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How Innovation is Shaking Up Construction, Facility Maintenance & More

What do Blockbuster, Nokia, and Kodak have in common? All three failed to adapt to disruptive technology. 

Blockbuster’s downfall was streaming video; Nokia didn’t adapt to consumer software requirements for their phones; and Kodak refused to change its operating strategy when digital photography began to replace analog.

Stagnation is a killer for businesses in all industries, which is why TD is always looking for new ways to improve.

From commercial hvac and plumbing, to facility maintenance and more, innovative methods and products are relieving consumer pain points better than ever. 

Here are a few examples of current innovative products TD is testing to remain a leader in the industry:

ZippKool: Summer is the prime time for construction. There’s more time during the day, and fewer shut-down weather concerns. However, it’s still hot, and heat illness is a major concern for our field Partners.

mechanical construction

One of San Antonio Partners nominated ZippKool attire for a field test. With special fabric and a built-in fan, the garment helps maintain a cool, comfortable temperature for the wearer’s core. The company produces jackets and short-sleeve shirts. It also produces ANSI Class 3 Compliant versions and helmet fans.

Although it worked well in lower-temperature environments, it has struggled to keep up with midsummer temperatures. The interior fan has functional issues when running on high for prolonged periods of time. TDSan Antonio is evaluating its use.

FARO scanner: Need to scan, measure, and create an image of a jobsite? The FARO 3D scanner creates 360-degree images and point clouds to accurately create a virtual model of a jobsite for our BIM software platforms.

augmented reality in construction

Partners in our Austin office used this technology on the WeWork Barton Springs project. The site’s original files were highly inaccurate, and the FARO scanner allowed the team to create a fully accurate model of the existing site, which in turn eliminated hundreds of hours in expected labor costs for field changes.

Our Austin Partners expect to continue using this scanner on future projects, including design/build and upgrade applications.

Halo: Typical headlamps provide light in one direction, which restricts a wearer’s view in low-light locations. It also causes issues when additional gear is connected to the helmet. The Halo light distributes light in 360 degrees, which allows better peripheral vision. Additionally, it’s easily seen both during the day and at night.

safety in construction and facilities management

Houston Construction is using this product at Memorial Hermann.

"Having (the Halo) has given us a new option in safety," Partner Edgar Fernandez said in a recent Pipeline article on the Halo light.

EksoVest: Ekso Bionics produces several tools to alleviate strain for construction workers. The EksoVest relieves 15 pounds of pressure on Partners performing overhead work by redirecting the pressure from the weight of tools and the upper body into the suit.


The EksoVest is a great example of a product that has future potential, but isn’t ready for full use on a TD site. Houston Partners used several trials to test the vest, but it did not lower Partners’ heart rates as was predicted, and the extra bulk of the vest made it tough to use in tight areas. Ekso took the feedback and is working to make a better version for later use.

“We actively pursued a tool that we thought would have a positive impact for our business,” said Morgan Fountain, Houston Process Manager. “The EksoVest might be an asset, eventually. … It is also something that is not beneficial in every situation but could be highly beneficial in a few select situations. Nothing revolutionary is successful immediately. Transformation takes time.”

EksoZeroG arm: Similar to the EksoVest, the EksoZeroG arm reduces fatigue from repeatedly using heavy tools on the jobsite. It can reduce the weight of approximately 36 pounds of equipment during operation. Houston was the first group to test the arm. Dallas recently acquired it from Houston, and is in the process of using it in TDManufacturing.

Interested in some of TD's innovative services or products? Schedule a consultationTD's highly-trained Partners will not only diagnose your maintenance issues with state-of-the-art detection technology, but also implement proactive maintenance measures to keep your facility running smoothly. 

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