Episode Description

In recent times, how has preconstruction changed? Precon is being put center stage as bids are increasing and more projects are coming back online. Join host Todd Weyandt and guest Zac Hays as they discuss the exciting new Autodesk Takeoff, the undergoing journey from 2D to 3D, the biggest hurdles facing preconstruction this year, and the effects that the pandemic will have on the construction industry as a whole. 

Zac Hays is the Director of Research & Development of Preconstruction Products for Autodesk Construction Solutions. Zac leads product design and development for Autodesk’s construction bidding, risk, & intelligence products. As a member of the Construction Solutions R&D Board, he also helps with the strategy and development of the entire Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio. Zac came to Autodesk through the 2019 acquisition of BuildingConnected, where he spent four years as VP of Product. Zac has over 15 years of experience in product development at startups and large tech companies including Microsoft, Nokia, and TiVo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC San Diego and gets to enjoy living and working in San Francisco with his wife and two young daughters.


1. If the last year has proven nothing else, it has proven that construction is adaptable. I don’t need to go through all the ways the industry and people had to remain agile and change with the circumstances. The need for adaptability isn’t going away either. In fact, as more technology comes online, the need for adaptability becomes even greater. 

2. Zac talked a lot about the common data environment and having that single source of truth for the whole project. As mentioned, the Construction Outlook report found more projects coming online and more bids than ever which is leading to a faster turnaround time. Efficiency is key to be both accurate and fast, which is where Autodesk Takeoff is coming into play. The spotlight is on preconstruction right now to be the driver of those accurate estimates and ensure the designs are truly constructible to have successful projects out in the field. 

3. Zac called out that innovation needs to be paired with simplicity. That is one of the hardest things to do for sure, but all too often the best ideas to push the industry forward is the simplest one in front of you. Innovation does not have to be a total overhaul. You just need the courage to try something new.  

4. Bonus take…do not underestimate the impact of a simple thank you. I love the story Zac shared around the support case ticket that came through while he was at BuildingConnected simply thanking them for creating an efficient tool. That is what got him hooked on construction. You never know just how big of impact a simple thank you has on people.

This episode is sponsored by Autodesk’s BuildingConnected. With a centralized bid management solution, you can manage all incoming bids, submit proposals, and track win rates. Connect with builders on the largest crowd-sourced construction network so you can find the jobs you want. Win up to 25% more work and save up to 8 hours per week with BuildingConnected.


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