CURT would like to thank Nicholas Johnson, Chief Evangelist at Kahua, for his insight into the 2022 CURT-CII Joint Conference, titled “2022…Now What? The New Construction Industry.” CURT MEMBERS can contact Ronna DuBro at / 513-981-2773 to receive a conference agenda with links to all of the Conference presentation files.

In early February, CURT and CII concluded another successful Joint Conference. Once it was over, most of us – including construction owners and all the other enterprises that support these organizations – came back to our offices and assessed the value we received for our investment of time and resources. These assessments guide our decisions going forward about how we participate in CURT, CII, or any other industry association.

It might sound a bit selfish upfront, but the question boils down to, “What do we get out of this?” Since time and money are always limited, it’s not actually selfish but rather, just good stewardship to ask this question.

So, what did you get out of it?

I observed the conference from a few perspectives. Although I’ve spent the last half of my career supporting construction as a technology provider, I continue to think of myself as a practitioner who is there to learn. The Joint Conference had plenty of opportunities to learn more about the issues that affect our work and our world.

I was fascinated to learn about “green” steel production – thank you Nucor! Anirban Basu, from Sage Policy Group, once again was equal parts entertainment and education. There was a lot of information shared about the large investment many members are making in Operating System 2.0, which is now called PrairieDog, and what potential it promises for the future. In the Kahua booth, we contrasted that conversation with a conversation about connected construction and the common data environment our partners are already using today.

From a vendor perspective, there are two observations. First, the owners who travel to CURT are experienced leaders and decision-makers. Second, I appreciate that the ratio of owners and supporting organizations seems about right. James Boileau, P.Eng., is a Construction Segment Director for Zurich North America. He offered this: “Attending the CURT-CII conference was a perfect mix of owners, contractors, and service providers that together gave a holistic perspective of the construction industry.”

Another perspective I have is that of a Committee member since I serve on CURT’s Off-site Construction Committee. Chair Bill Lewis, Director Construction Management AWP, Microsoft has done a great job of creating agendas and steering our group through fruitful processes, and the result is that our Committee provides highlighted and helpful information back to the entire association and all of CURT’s members.

Kahua President, Brian Moore, serves on CURT’s Technology & Productivity Committee. We have found that the best investment we can make is not just to pay for association membership and show up at events, but to become active participants. I can remember as a kid complaining to my parents about having to participate in some particular endeavor. “I don’t get anything out of this,” I would say. And they would of course ask, “What have you put into it?”

On that note, I will say that the CURT-CII 2022 Joint Conference offered valuable opportunities to learn and to advance business.

What did you get out of it? And, perhaps more importantly, what did you put into it?

Nicholas Johnson has over 40 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Starting as a building design engineer with General Dynamics and Heery International (now CBRE), his career grew around the latest technologies. First CAD/CAM, then BIM, then internet-based PMIS, and now Kahua’s low/no-code PMIS platform. Nicholas has held sales leadership positions at Constructware/Autodesk, Trimble Connected Water, Beck Technology, and Trimble e-Builder. He twice took two-year working sabbaticals to serve a greater cause. The first was with Amigos for Christ, a non-profit that serves the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua, and more recently, with the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, serving the poor in Georgia. He now has the honor of serving the AEC industry as Kahua’s Chief Evangelist.