Every building, project and monument has a story to tell. From our oldest standing relics of ancient times to our most modern skyscrapers, each structure holds its own unique narrative of a point in history. Most importantly, behind each project are the people who dream, plan, manage and build.
While we all can see the results of construction, we rarely hear the stories of those behind it–until now.
To begin to tell the stories of our industry, we’re launching a regular series on the PlanGrid Construction Productivity blog called “Behind the Build.” This week, we spoke with Dave Jones, Corporate Quality Director for John E. Green Company, a Michigan-based mechanical contractor. Below, he discusses how he first got started in construction around 40 years ago, as well as how he uses technology today to manage project quality.
What first got you into construction?
For two summers, my job while in college was working as a laborer in the renovation of the “Big House” in Ann Arbor. I enjoyed it and decided to leave school and become a plumber.
Why do you continue to build today?
I’ve been working in construction for 40 years now. The construction industry brings new challenges every day. By and large, I find the people in construction to be outstanding individuals and I enjoy working with them.
What do you love most about the industry?
I most enjoy working together as a team to complete a project, then stepping back and looking at what we’ve accomplished together.
Which project are you most proud of and why?
The CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan where I was the Branch Manager for the installation of Plumbing, Medical Gas, and HVAC Piping. The team we had on the project was second to none and was successful from every possible standpoint.
What do you spend the most time doing at work?
I spend most of my time now managing our Corporate Quality Programs, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Certifications, and training office and field staff.
What’s the most frustrating part of your job?
While I enjoy learning and the ‘latest and greatest thing on the market,’ I also find it frustrating at times trying to keep up with it all!
What would you tell the next generation of builders?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: never stop learning.
It not only enriches your life but makes coming to work every day more enjoyable.
How has technology changed the way you work in construction?
The change in drawing coordination has been incredible. At one time, I worked on a drafting table, laying out piping systems on mylar. We would then take each trades’ mylar and layer them together over a light table, looking for clashes. Now that’s all done using CAD and 3D modeling with built-in clash detection.
How do benefit the most from construction software like PlanGrid?
I started using PlanGrid in the last year. As part of our Quality Management System, we require that each job maintains drawing and document history and easy access to the most current drawings and specifications. PlanGrid greatly decreases the amount of work required to accomplish this while ensuring compliance with our program.
What’s your favorite PlanGrid feature?
Looking at PlanGrid from a Quality Control perspective, my favorite aspect of it is the ability to easily maintain a project’s drawing and document history.
Tell Your Story: Join our Behind the Build Series
Have a story to tell for the PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog’s “Behind the Build” series? Fill out our interest form, and you might be the next featured story on our blog.