This is a guest post by Evan Hallward (LinkedIn), Growth Lead, on his time attending BUILDEX Alberta 2022.
What is it?
BUILDEX Alberta is a conference based in Calgary, Alberta that took place between October 26th and 27th this year. It was hosted in the beautiful and central Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. The 2022 edition was the first event since November 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic!
The conference focuses on professional development for architecture, construction, engineering, home building & renovation, interior design, and property management by encouraging new technology discovery, knowledge transfer, and networking.
I was happy to be in attendance for the first time to see what the excitement was all about!
Purpose of the event
- KNOWLEDGE - I felt the greatest focus of the event was to gain & share knowledge. This was evident in the wide variety of booths, presentations, seminars, and attendees. I joke that it was super cool to see a technology leveraging advanced artificial intelligence located right next to someone displaying wall insulation innovation. I walked away learning a lot about the innovation happening across the board in the construction & building industry.
- INNOVATE - BUILDEX definitely promotes the idea of innovating both the industry as a whole, as well as your individual organizations. This innovation was not simply about technology either, it included topics like creating more gender equality in the construction industry. This is a perfect example of how we need to continue moving forward as crucial part of the workforce.
- NETWORKING - BUILDEX brought together individuals from across Alberta as well as other parts of North America. This presented an awesome opportunity to meet people or reconnect with old colleagues, something desperately needed after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specific seminars attended
- Integrating Tech: Barriers and Opportunities - a great conversation facilitated by Hammad Chaudry (EllisDon) between Chloe Smith (Mercator.ai), Lawrence Zastre (Wexford Developments), Carly Guilcher (Clark Builders), Neeraj Gupta (Attabotics). The talk was a blend of those working on innovation in the construction construction and those working specifically for builders or developers. There was general consensus and excitement about the potential to do things smarter, with carefully applied solutions.
- Building Gender Equality in Construction - this was a very insightful conversation facilitated by Kristen Haliberg (WEDGE Environmental Monitoring and United Rentals) between Jyoti Gondek (Mayor, City of Calgary), Lara Murphy (Co-founder, Ryan Murphy Construction), Kayla Browne (Owner, BOLD Workshop Architecture). The conversation was about what everyone can be doing to support more inclusion and gender quality in the construction space. This was a unique and energizing talk to continue to make positive chage.
- Do More in Less Time: Integration Technology & Software to Accelerate and Thrive - this was a presentation by Bryan Kaplan, a specialist who works with residential remodelers and custom builders. Bryan spoke directly to general contractors and small business owners in the construction space on how they should approach creating more efficiencies in their operations through technology. Bryan offered a very broken down, step-by-step approach to being innovative.
For me, this was a huge learning opportunity. There is still so much to learn & discover in the construction space, both related to technical innovation and generally how the industry operates. It was great to see how specific people spoke about what they were doing and achieving. I left with a sense that there is a huge opportunity to innovate in the space, in terms of new technologies, but also around how construction can continue to modernize and grow as an industry.