Daniel Menno, 30, is a senior project engineer at DPR Construction. He grew up in San Diego, studied structural engineering, and is now based out of New York City. In his free time, Daniel likes to rock climb, run, and play guitar.
In this interview, Daniel shares about his experience working in construction, his hopes for the future of construction, and how TrunkText helps him in the field.
Working in the Construction Industry
Q: What do you love most about working in construction?
A: I love working in construction because it requires so many people, each wearing different hats and bringing different skills, to work together towards a common goal. It’s really rewarding to make a complex plan and execute it with others.
Q: What’s the most difficult part of your job?
A: Relating to teammates with different approaches to problem-solving can be challenging, but we always find a way to move forward. The more difficult thing is that in these complex projects, so many small tasks have to be done correctly, on time, and in the proper order.
Technology and the Future of Construction
Q: What role does data play in the construction industry?
A: If you boil it down, modern construction management is data management on a very global scale: you translate thousands of criteria and data points into a sequential plan, and then you distribute that information to teams on the ground. If you talk to people who have worked in construction for a long time, they’ll tell you that technology has introduced positive changes and that there’s still much to be improved.
Q: What are your hopes for the future of technology in construction?
A: Construction is one of the last industries to be modernized by technology, but that means there’s a lot to be excited about. In particular, I believe AI is going to change the way we make sense of the immense amounts of data on our project sites, accelerating our ability to synchronize work streams and build for the future. I also think that improvements in prefabrication will help to speed up building times.
TrunkText in Practice
Trunk Tools’ newest product, TrunkText, is your AI-powered jobsite wingman. Users of TrunkText can ask any question pertaining to their project documents via text message, receiving the answer and relevant source document in seconds. Daniel’s construction project, a state-of-the-art laboratory in New Jersey, has been using TrunkText since August.
Q: What’s an example of a time when TrunkText unblocked you?
A: Last week, we were installing some fumehoods, and I wasn’t sure whether we were responsible for installing zone presence sensors. I asked TrunkText, and it pointed me straight to the correct spec that showed we actually were responsible for installing them. So, I was able to coordinate directly with the installer in the field, instead of pausing everything and returning to the trailer to track down the answer.
Q: What’s the last question you asked TrunkText?
A: Today, I asked TrunkText about the testing procedure for some piping we’d just completed. I’m responsible for signing off on all of our quality checks, and I use TrunkText to verify that we’re meeting all the right standards. It gives me peace of mind to know that I have this information easily accessible to me, exactly when I need it.
We are grateful to Daniel for sharing his thoughts with regard to the construction industry, emerging technologies, and TrunkText. We continue to build AI for the field to help tradespeople like Daniel to work faster, safer, and more efficiently.