Building Internet

A reorganisation of the internet will make it easier for construction companies to use says Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic Group plc

While architects and engineers have always been on the cutting edge of using new technologies, their counterparts in the construction industry have been late adopters when it comes to using laptops, smart phones and the internet in general as work tools.

For an industry that is the world’s largest – valued at over $7.5 trillion a year, the construction business cannot afford to miss out on what is such a universally important business tool. Of course the internet is starting to play a role on the construction side; for sending and receiving information such as drawings, for project management, ordering, financial management, collaboration between contractors that may be miles or even continents apart, and of course, for finding the right contractor for the job.

But progress is still slow, and the potential of using the internet to increase efficiencies, reduce risk and waste, and to manage time and people is still a long way from being fully realised on the construction site.
Today, however, the worlds of software and hard hats are coming together more than ever, with one builder, George Minardos of Los Angeles, leading the way.

Minardos has set up his own website to showcase his firm’s work; from commercial to restaurants, to Beverly Hills mansions and even museum construction.

There are some impressive projects on the site, but the most extraordinary thing about the Minardos Group’s website is its web address with George’s website being the first in the world to end with “.build” instead of the familiar endings like .com, .net or .co.uk.

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And the reason the George Minardos was able to obtain the first .build domain name was that he is also the entrepreneur who took it upon himself to ensure that the construction industry was represented on the new internet, by putting up a substantial amount of his own time and money over the last three year process to get .build domains launched.

Now, construction companies all over the world, from multi-billion dollar behemoths in Tokyo to sole traders in Tooting, are registering .build domain names, typically for one of five reasons:
1. A .build domain makes it easier for search engines and consumers to find and identify you; johnlewis.build is obviously the builder John Lewis, but johnlewis.net could just as easily be a chiropractor, footballer, or a department store
2. The construction industry is becoming more global in its nature. It is therefore essential to have a website that accurately represents what you do so as to take more and more enquiries from customers and general contractors needing specialists
3. Many business owners within the construction industry that aren’t currently on the internet are taking advantage of this new opportunity to get their own online presence, with a new website and professional email address ending with the new .build name
4. Any company that has gone to the trouble of registering their trademark business name can now obtain the global rights to the .build domain, matching their name at a relatively small expense. It can be a worthwhile precaution, even for those that already own the .com and .co.uk domains
5. Many companies will register their own .build domain so as to guard against others in the construction industry with the same name doing so, thus taking first-mover advantage and registering the domain while it’s still available

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Considering the size and scale of the construction industry, it is about time that it engages with and becomes more present on the internet. Through the creation of .build, builder George Minardos is taking the steps to make that happen. It is now time for other construction companies to take advantage of this opportunity, to take the entire industry online and so take advantage of the many benefits of the internet as a whole.

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