Construction company Suffolk is looking to disrupt the construction process as we know it with their Smart Lab concept, which uses interactive technology to help developers and owners reduce construction costs and time. Suffolk is launching the Smart Lab in Los Angeles, and is working on DTLA’s Park 5th, Hollywood’s Tommie and Thompson Hotels projects.

“The construction industry has not had a lot of innovation or productivity change in the last 50 years,” Tom Donohue, president and general manager of Los Angeles at Suffolk, tells “The Smart Lab concept grew organically, and Suffolk encouraged project teams to independently explore innovative ways of leveraging new tools and new technologies. A Smart Lab is an area that allows us to have project teams work side-by-side with architects and consultants to look for new ways to build projects more efficiently and with lower costs.”

Reducing development costs and time are along enough to attract developers. Donohue says that those goals are the one constant in the future of the construction industry. “The one thing that hasn’t changed is that developers want to lower costs and build projects faster,” says Donohue. “If we continue to build projects the way we have built them for the last 20 years, we aren’t going to change. The Smart Lab is really a tool to help us innovate.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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