As Construction’s Labor Crisis Intensifies, Dextall Design And Building Innovations Impact Solutions

End-to-End, from pre-construction to completion, here are 5 ways Dextall adds to skilled worker capability.

Construction’s labor crisis – widely-known and entrenched over the past decade or longer – burst to an order of magnitude worse with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only two solutions can relieve the crisis. One, increasingly unlikely, would be a return to days of new, trained, inexpensive, skilled-workforce. The other, more and more necessary, is transformation of human and technological capability in construction through innovation.

An innovator like Dextall, which has developed and project-proven a simplified tech-enabled path – from project planning, through factory prefabrication, all the way to one-step installation of building exteriors that outperform and outlast conventional construction approaches, and do so in 80% less time and skilled labor – can turn the tide from a labor constraint crisis to a boom in throughput capability.

Dextall simplifies design of fully-integrated exterior panels, precision-manufactures them to specification and code, and installs them seamlessly to a finished, water- and air-tight, Passive Home-quality structure in one-fifth the time for a traditional exterior retrofit.

By integrating architecture, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, site work, and construction into a digital single-source-of-truth workflow, Dextall significantly reduces construction timelines and skilled-labor constraint risks, enabling the rapid redevelopment of green resilient buildings producing greater value returns.

· For every new entrant into the construction fields, five site-proven, experienced skilled workers retired out.
· Workers commonly dropped their tools and left a jobsite if a higher-paying opportunity arose somewhere else.
· The Great Recession had decimated the ranks of construction crews, many of whom returned to their countries of origin never to come back to the U.S.
· Construction cycle times have progressively elongated due to capacity constraint among available trade crews.
· Further, as more highly-skilled workers age-out, institutional knowledge, skill, speed, and quality fall off.

Five daunting challenges. Each grows more urgent, more problematic, harder to work around every day, and puts more businesses at risk each day as the mismatch between project demand and labor capacity intensifies.

And, the thing is, that was all before COVID.

The arrival, sudden impact, and lingering disruptions set in motion by the pandemic – including recent fanfare about The Great Resignation and its impacts on labor force participation – have taken a pre-pandemic industry phenomenon and added fuel to the fire. As of November 2021, open positions in construction fields clocked in at 345,000 unfilled positions, a 76% increase in unfilled construction positions from one year earlier.

Where Innovation Impacts The Crisis

Dextall is a circular-economy construction technology company committed to empowering property owners, developers, and their partners to transform America’s built space for a vibrant future.

Dextall’s digital system – capable of eliminating up to 24 months of project design coordination and construction inefficiencies – gives client stakeholders the advantage of end-to-end project cost analysis for the entire building lifecycle, starting with the earliest design stages that tap instantly into bill of materials level architecture and building detail. Dextall’s prefabricated unitized exterior walls are installed 70% faster compared with traditional onsite construction processes resulting in improved construction schedules.

Dextall precision-manufactured structural wall panels – complete with windows and cladding – plug-and-play together with dry perimeter gaskets, eliminating the need to wet-seal the wall panels once they are set in place, which also makes scaffolding and other suspended platforms unnecessary. Dextall’s industrialized design, engineering, fabrication and installation process eliminates jobsite waste, drastically improves finished product quality, lowering embodied carbon impacts and further reducing hauling and unused materials costs.

Dextall’s 5 Impacts On Construction Labor Capability

Briefly, Dextall impacts labor constraint first by lowering barriers – i.e. the number of skilled worker-hours, the amount of construction-cycle time, etc. – and, at the same time, raising the capability level of fewer crew members achieving faster and higher quality results in completing buildings that perform to the highest measures of durability and performance.

Specifically, here are five opportunity areas of impact on skilled labor shortages for which Dextall’s innovative design, development, materials science, engineering, fabrication, and installation systems can turn the tide of constraint, and rebalance capacity and demand.

· Pre-construction – Much of Dextall’s time- and labor-saving capability occurs well in advance of work at the job site. Our architect and engineer empowering digital-twin data and design platform solves for aesthetic, performance, code compliance, and cost-and-materials availability optionality all of which effectively can shave two-years of pre-construction processes – eliminating crossed-signals and costly process delays – which add up to greater throughput with 80% savings in human workhours.
· Pre-fabrication – Dextall’s precision-manufactured panel system integrates the work normally done on a jobsite by as many as seven separate skilled trade contractor crews:

o Framing contractor crew (5-10 people)
o Interior drywall installers working on exterior walls (3-5 people)
o Insulation contractor (5-10 people)
o Sheathing contractor (5-10 people)
o Window installer (10-15 people)
o Exterior cladding installer (10-15 people)
o Caulker (crew that applies silicone from the outside) (3-5 people)
o Exterior cleaning crew depending on the cladding used, finished façade sometimes needs to be cleaned, especially windows after brick installation. (3-5 people)
· Installation – Instead, a Dextall site installation requires a simple crane and a six-member crew to wrap up a building exterior and make it completely water- and air-tight, about 80% faster – and with no warrantee or call-back risk — compared with traditional onsite process.
· Crew-member safety – Both Dextall’s factory prefabrication conditions – eliminating bad weather impacts — and our on-site panel installation processes protect the health safety of project team members from end-to-end in the construction cycle, a critical impact on current labor capacity.
· Talent attraction – Among the most important impacts innovators like Dextall exert on today’s labor capacity challenge is that by fusing manufacturing technology, digitalized design and engineering, and industrialized, robotic production into its platforms, a next generation of highly capable, purpose-driven construction workforce participants.

Construction labor will never return to a time where plentiful skilled workers made themselves available at low cost. Innovation, and innovators like Dextall can turn the tide of impact from crisis to capability.