Improved productivity in construction by aligning the hierarchy of needs of the craft worker- ON-486

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Engineering - other, Engineering, Computer science, Mathematical Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences & Humanities, Sociology
Company: AedoAI Inc
Project Length: Flexible
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, ON, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 1-2
Desired education level: CollegeUndergraduate/BachelorMaster'sPhDPostdoctoral fellow
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About the company: 

AedoAI is a data enablement company for the construction industy.  Established in 2018 as a spin out of a large Canadian trade contractor, we are now a 30+ team and growing.

The Aedo team encompasses data science and analytics, computer science, and construction professionals. Aedo’s massively transformative purpose (MTP) is to be the knowledge layer for our world’s buildings: to be the data and insight that underpins how buildings are designed, constructed, and operated.

As a company, we love partnering to help solve the big problems with data.

Describe the project.: 

The human side of the construction industry is broken. Improving the quality of work, will not only increase productivity but will make dignity and decency a norm in the industry.

There is a correlation between productivity, the skilled trade shortage, DEI, substance abuse, absenteeism, and the lack of legal protections for the trades person / craft worker. This is not a uniquely Canadian problem, but one seen on construction sites around the world.

An intervention must focus on changing existing “norms” (what are the enablers and mechanisims to change)  (J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2017, 143(10): 04017073) This will not be realized by a change within one organization, but rather through a collective effort of the entire industry. The change also demands the buy in of leaders and influential stakeholders of the industry – this could include, government, major construction clients, large construction organizations, construction industry associations and unions, among others.

There is a lack of overall knowledge, safety priority, organizational effectiveness, fair rewards system, resource adequacy, physical and mental health, and job tenure within the industry.

Construction professionals face many stressors – top critical issues have been identified as : time pressure, excessive workload, long work hours, and unpleasant , unsafe work environment.

The industry :  what are the conditions (legal and other) that have led to the current state?  What is the route to changing the industry to make it a favourable career path?  How is the lack of DEI negatively affecting the industry?  What are the barriers?  What are the entry points to bring about meaningul/impactful change?  Why is there a  shortage of skilled labour?   How does the industry change the disparity between the office and the field, where the blue collar trades person is treated like a disposable commodity.How do other comparable jobs measure up? (Why are some industries protected with downsizing and severance and construction is not?


Project outcome:

  • Actionable data that supports meaninful  change to develop standard benchmarks that lead to a change in culture/norms
  • DEI and productinvety and recruitment goals
  • Codes of conduct developed
  • Leadership is trained and champion the “new normal”
  • There is a link between ROI and

What are the main tasks to be performed by the candidate?

  • Research
  • Surveys of various trades (union, non-union, foremen, project managers, C-suite, office, business owners) disaggregated data
  • Data analysis – what is the data telling us
  • What are the reasonable benchmarks
  • What is the legal interpretation of a tradesperson (part-time, seasonal) classified as a professional, certified. 

Construction does not belong in the gig economy.

Required expertise/skills: 

  • Construction industry knowledge
  • Data analytics
  • Psycology / Social Sciences
  • Empathetic – customer focused
  • Curious – beginners mindset
  • A team player with integrity
  • Results oriented and resourceful