State of MEP Construction 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]

August 15, 2018 Sarah Lorek

The results are in! We surveyed over 1,000 construction professionals in the MEP and field professions to determine the state of construction in North America. Fields of work included Estimating, Operations/Management, CAD, Layout, and Scanning.

This year’s survey results showed a great deal of estimator respondents. This does not necessarily mean that other trades are underrepresented in this year’s report. The second largest sampling consisted of respondents in the operations and management field, followed by CAD, and finally, field workers specializing in scanning or layout. Although many of the respondents’ area of expertise was estimating, many noted job titles of manager, president, and owner.  It was clear that a significantly large majority of executive level professionals were represented throughout each field in this report.

We will continue to refine this survey, the questions, and our audience in the years to come.

Below are some key findings from our first annual report.


Key Takeaways for MEP Professionals

  • Majority of respondents (44%) were in the field of estimating, followed by Operations & Management at 33%

  • 28% of respondents were Managers

  • 19% of respondents had the title of “President” or “Owner”

  • Most respondents were in their current role for 21 years or more

  • Majority of project types were commercial office, hospitals, and schools

  • 44% stated that less than 25% of their workflow involved BIM

  • 92% of estimators received their drawings in PDF form

  • Of 101+ estimates personally created per year, most estimators win less than 25%

  • Although field workers used Robotic Total Stations, almost half said they use BIM less than 25% of the time

  • The most common usage for scan data was to document as-built conditions

  • 100% of field workers said that using scan data in a mixed reality application, like Trimble Connect and the VR headset from Microsoft HoloLens, would be helpful to their design and construction process

  • Of construction managers who use desktop software alone, but spend $50k or more on tool replacements, 59% were not using any mobile apps

  • 63% of construction professionals don’t use mobile apps at work, although managers ranked their workforce a 7 out of 10 in tech savviness

  • Roles using BIM more than 90% of the time include BIM Managers, Designers, and Owners

  • Out of the Estimating respondents using BIM more than 90% of the time, more than half employed 101+ field mechanics

  • Younger workers are more likely to use BIM than older workers


The Survey

Every respondent was asked ten general questions regarding demographics, trade, job title, company annual revenue, years in their profession, project types, BIM usage, and field of work. The tenth question asked respondents to choose the option that most closely related to their field of work, and participants and could select one of the following:

  • Estimating
  • Operations/Management
  • CAD
  • Layout
  • Scanning
  • I don’t work in the industry

Those who chose “I don’t work in the industry” were immediately disqualified from participating. Depending on their selection, respondents were presented a series of questions related to their chosen field.


Who Participated

All participants worked in the construction industry, with most being MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) trades, facilities and jobsite operations and management, layout technicians, estimators, designers, and more. Those who stated no involvement in the industry were immediately disqualified, and only respondents from North America (85% in the US) and Canada (15%) were included in this report.


Ready to dig in? Click here to access your free copy.


Related Research

There is no denying that the construction industry is far behind in adopting the latest technology— and many reputable research firms have acknowledged this year after year. According to JB Knowledge’s 2017 6th Annual Construction Technology Report, the industry is continuing to innovate, but until we see true business technology adoption, “contractors will opt to use personal devices to solve short-term problems. Therefore, the lines will continue to blur between personal and corporate data, hardware and software, so data security will remain a key issue.” Our report showed a similar trend. Although workforces were rated an average of 7 out of 10 in tech savviness by their managers, most leadership still hasn’t adopted mobile apps for business on site.


What other technologies will the industry be late to adopt? Find out now.


About the Author

Sarah Lorek

Sarah is the Lead Content Strategist for Trimble Buildings, CEC (Civil Engineering & Construction), and Geospatial. She has worked on many large scale marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, helping them define their story and shape a compelling narrative. Now, she focuses on creating and sourcing valuable thought leadership content for our readers.

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