Corps Calls For $1 Billion Cape Cod Bridge Replacements

December 9, 2019
Johanna Knapschaefer - Engineering News-Record

Replacing two Cape Cod Canal bridges for an estimated $1 billion rather than rehabilitating them would be more cost-effective, according to a federal study announced on Oct. 3.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


A Fifth Worker Loses Life on Orlando's I-4 Ultimate Job

December 2, 2019
Scott Judy - Engineering News-Record

Another deadly accident, the fifth, has taken the life of a worker on one of the nation's biggest road projects.

Mr. Judy may be contacted at judys@enr.com


From CAD to Machines as Co-Designers

November 24, 2019
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Finnish economics professor Osmo A. Wiio claimed that we typically overestimate the near future and underestimate the distant future. His thoughts resonate well with today’s perception of design automation.

Back in the 1980s, I took part in the first-ever Finnish “integrated CAD” projects, in which the architect, the structural, HVAC, and electrical engineers exchanged CAD files instead of blueprints. We used minicomputers, which had about as much computing power as today’s laser printer. Still, we were able to automate design tasks.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi


The Fundamentals of the Construction Industry Are Strong, but Lingering Workforce Concerns Need Industry-Wide Action

November 18, 2019
Diane Earll - Construction Executive

The fundamentals of the commercial construction industry are strong and industry leaders are largely optimistic about the future of the sector, according to the latest USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI). Contractors report a healthy pipeline of new business and more than 50% expect to hire more people in the next six months.

But behind the headline numbers, one of the most persistent challenges in the construction industry is first recruiting, then training and retaining, skilled workers. Like manufacturing and other trade industries, the construction sector is grappling with an aging workforce, as well as a gender and skilled labor gap, which is causing builders to turn down work, submit higher bid levels and struggle to meet deadlines.

Reprinted courtesy of Diane Earll, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


A 20-Year Odyssey To Widen Brays Bayou

November 12, 2019
Louise Poirier & Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

After 20 years, the end of the $550-million Brays Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project in Houston is finally in sight

Reprinted courtesy of Louise Poirier, ENR and Pam Radtke Russell, ENR
Ms. Poirier may be contacted at poirierl@enr.com
Ms. Russell may be contacted at Russellp@bnpmedia.com


Regional Contractors See Market Strength Continuing Through 2020

November 4, 2019
Mark Shaw - Engineering News-Record

The struggle to meet ever-shorter project schedules with a limited workforce continues to dominate daily life for most contractors across the region. Steady in-migration and an economic boom in Boise, Salt Lake City and along Colorado’s Front Range are driving demand for new projects as firms scramble to keep up with record growth in those areas.

Mr. Shaw may be contacted at shawm@enr.com


Attract More Women to Construction With a Female-Friendly Environment and Culture

October 21, 2019
RubinBrown LLP - Construction Executive

Even with a lot of focus recently on diversity in the workplace, construction is still a male-dominated industry. According to recent surveys, women make up less than 10% of the construction workforce.

There is a higher percentage of women serving in Congress (currently 23.7%) and in the active duty military (14%). Women do, in fact, make up 47% of the total civilian workforce. So, as the construction industry looks for ways to hire and develop skilled labor, diversity has become more important than ever.

There are several challenges to increasing diversity, specifically among women in construction that need to be addressed. These include unwelcome worksites, sexual harassment issues, flexibility and the perception by others that women on the team are not as capable for projects that require manual labor. It’s not the women, it’s the environment and the culture.

Reprinted courtesy of RubinBrown LLP, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Contractors Turn to Tech to Help Reduce Jobsite Safety Risks

October 15, 2019
Pete Schermerhorn - Construction Executive

Construction companies, project teams and even insurance companies are increasingly turning to digitalization, and more specifically the internet of things (IoT), to gain much-needed visibility on the jobsite to improve safety, reduce risk and operate more efficiently.

A new study released by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with Triax Technologies, found that nearly three-quarters of contractors surveyed believe IoT will help them control occupational risks, and about half expect it to reduce risks to the public, as well as financial risks and those related to property damage and construction defects. These findings represent a dramatic shift in thinking when it comes to digitalization of the jobsite.

Reprinted courtesy of Pete Schermerhorn, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


A How-to Guide for Recruiting Millennials to Construction

October 7, 2019
Darren Bounds - Construction Executive

Millennials are slowly taking over the workforce as baby boomers are exiting. By 2024, it is projected that three in four U.S. workers will be millennials. This is particularly impacting the construction industry, with more than 40% of the current construction workforce likely to be retired by 2031. This change is creating a labor gap that must be filled, but the problem is attracting millennial workers to the industry.

The rising workforce is quite different in comparison to its predecessor. The priorities have shifted. Millennials are after benefits and perks rather than pay, so much so that more than 80% of millennials would change jobs to obtain better benefits, and nearly 90% would pass up a pay raise in favor of benefits and perks.

Millennials will require a different approach to recruit, but it isn’t impossible. Below are a few steps contractors can take to attract them to their teams.

Reprinted courtesy of Darren Bounds, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Five Mounting Forces Disrupting the Construction Industry

September 30, 2019
Kelly Romano - Construction Executive

Demand for U.S. construction is healthy, growing 10% between 2016 and 2018, and now reaching $10 trillion in construction related goods and services globally (a staggering 13% of the world’s GDP) and $1.2 trillion in the U.S. Yet it’s an industry at a crossroads.

Consider these statistics:

  • 70% of contractors cited trouble finding skilled craft workers; 65% think it will not improve and could get worse.
  • More than half of large projects are delayed past their scheduled completion date, with more than two-thirds over budget.
  • MEP systems (lighting, power, lifts, plumbing, HVAC) now account for 40% of build costs. Their complexity has overwhelmed project management and ongoing building operations.

Reprinted courtesy of Kelly Romano, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Ms. Romano may be contacted at kelly.romano@xinova.com


Navigating Aggressive Construction Timelines in the Hospitality Sector

September 23, 2019
Kate Ivanova - Construction Executive

Hospitality construction and renovation work is unique in that, more often than not, it requires contractors to perform complex, bespoke, and intricate work while remaining invisible and inaudible. To eliminate disruptions to the typical flow of business, seldom do luxury hospitality venues close for construction. Instead, renovation and restoration projects must be completed in short, often aggressive timelines.

In addition to everyday construction challenges, aggressive timelines require general contractors to anticipate and plan for a number of scenarios. Inevitably, the one-of-a-kind Italian tile will get delayed in customs, or a spontaneous labor strike will prohibit ships from being unloaded, thus delaying critical materials to the jobsite. These occurrences cannot be used to rationalize delays.

Reprinted courtesy of Kate Ivanova, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Bridging the Gap Between Old and New Schools of Construction

September 16, 2019
Adam Quiñones - Construction Executive

It is undeniable that the construction industry is experiencing a period of expansion and success since the gloomy years of the great recession. This rapid growth in the volume of new construction has created unique opportunities for millennials to enter an industry in which entry-level positions are bountiful and the compensation is enticing.

However, young construction professionals are entering a workforce with one of the highest age gaps between senior-level managers and fledging graduates who are seeking life-long careers in construction. Studies show that the construction industry has surpassed all other industries in age gap from the beginning of the great recession to the present-day boom by about two years. The average age of construction professional currently sits at about 40, which means the industry is facing an era of transition where experienced project managers and superintendents are phasing out of their careers—and the void is being filled by a new generation of skilled workers.

Reprinted courtesy of Adam Quiñones, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Avoid Tax Trouble by Ensuring Construction Workers Are Correctly Classified

September 10, 2019
Gregory Seador - Construction Executive

With the recent increase in the number of federal and state task forces aimed at curbing tax fraud in the construction industry, construction companies would be wise to ensure their businesses are in compliance with the tax laws. One area in particular that has drawn increased scrutiny by federal and state tax authorities is the misclassification of construction workers as independent contractors instead of as employees of the business. Construction companies can reduce the risk of an audit and incurring costly penalties by accurately classifying its workers at the outset of the relationship.

Reprinted courtesy of Gregory Seador, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


From Duct Taping to Reinventing Construction – an Interview with Steve Holzer

September 4, 2019
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Construction tech is hot. The question is: Are the dollars are invested in contech reinventing the industry or are they merely adding patches to outdated processes? Steve Holzer, an industry expert and Product Evangelist at BIMobject, shares his views in this interview.

Steve Holzer’s LinkedIn profile details industry experience that starts from 1976 when he became the president and owner of Holzer Construction Company. Since then, he’s been on the cutting edge of AEC technology and, today, is an acknowledged tech expert and visionary.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi


Eco-Friendly Mansions Can Hold Hidden Bargains for Home Buyers

August 26, 2019
James Tarmy - Bloomberg

In 2012, Dani Mouawad purchased a 1.55-acre piece of property in Chapel Hill, NC, then spent 10 months constructing a “sustainable, natural, health-promoting” house.

The building was made out of straw, clay, plaster, and lime, with a living roof made from topsoil displaced by the building’s foundation. Construction on the first of the property’s two buildings cost Mouawad, a pediatrician, “three times the cost of conventional materials,” he says, but what he spent in construction costs has more than paid off.


Drones Do Deadly Work So You Don’t Have To

August 20, 2019
Jack Pitcher - Bloomberg

Here’s a job any worker would be happy to pass off to a drone: Imagine crawling down a ladder into the vast darkness of a 20-story-high storage tank filled with toxic chemical fumes to spend hours searching for corrosion.

More than a thousand U.S. laborers have been killed working in confined spaces like that in the past decade. One of them was 43-year-old Clinton Miller, an AkzoNobel NV employee who passed out after entering a tank to retrieve a piece of trash at a North Carolina chemical plant last year. Oxygen levels were found to be just 11% inside the structure, according to a federal incident report.


The Top 50 Construction Law Firms™: Keeping a Sharp Eye on the Contract

August 13, 2019
Cybele Tamulonis - Construction Executive

With the explosion of new technologies in construction, changes to contract documents, and the growing challenge posed by an ever-increasing number of state and federal laws and regulations, contractors need expert legal advice more than ever to manage risk and protect profits.

Law firms specializing in construction have the unique industry experience essential to guide their clients through a complex maze of compliance and contracts to ensure the health of the construction enterprise.

Reprinted courtesy of Cybele Tamulonis, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


DOD Awards Border Fence Contracts, Has Plans for More

August 6, 2019
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

About $1 billion in federal contracts have recently been awarded to modify sections of barriers on the U.S. border with Mexico, and the Dept. of Defense is seeking to follow up with more contracts in coming months. But at ENR press time, DOD had yet to decide which military construction projects it will seek to hold over until 2020 to free up funds for some of that future border work.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at ichniowskit@enr.com


NYC Green Bill Requires Major Retrofits on Largest Buildings

July 30, 2019
Eydie Cubarrubia & Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

New York’s largest buildings will have to be retrofitted to produce fewer carbon emissions under one of the first laws passed by the city council as part of the city’s sweeping Green New Deal. Under the law approved April 18, all buildings 25,000 sq ft or more must reduce their emissions 40% from 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


Building TWA Hotel's Quiet Space in the Middle of JFK Airport

July 22, 2019
Eydie Cubarrubia - Engineering News-Record

To hear is to see, proclaims the title of a 1969 jazz album — and in building a quiet hotel in the middle of an airport, that phrase rings true.

Ms. Cubarrubia may be contacted at cubarrubiae@enr.com


Midwest Floods are Hampering River Projects

July 15, 2019
Engineering News-Record

The Midwest’s waterways have been hit hard by an unusually rainy and snowy spring. Since March, the Mississippi River has maintained high water levels and crested at near-record levels on May 1. The flooding is also impacting construction operations along the river.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


Number of Women in Construction Rises, but Underrepresentation Persists

July 9, 2019
Joanna Masterson - Construction Executive

The number of women working in construction trades increased 17.6 percent between 2017 and 2018, rising to more than a quarter of a million women (276,000), according to new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. This is five-fold better than the 3.7 percent job growth in construction occupations overall.

Reprinted courtesy of Joanna Masterson, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


How Performance Bonds Work in Construction

July 1, 2019
Todd Bryant - Construction Executive

Contractors who are awarded a contract are frequently required to obtain several surety bonds before they can begin the project. One of these bonds is the performance surety bond.

A performance bond basically guarantees a contractor's performance under a contract. Yet, there are a number of important details that contractors need to know about performance bonds when they are required to obtain one.

Reprinted courtesy of Todd Bryant, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Four Ways Contractors Can Prepare for the Emergence of Smart Cities

June 25, 2019
Annalisa Enrile & Oliver Ritchie - Construction Executive

The world is becoming a global metropolis with an estimated 60% of the population living in cities by 2050. The “Smart Cities” movement envisions the quality of life in urban areas are sustainable, efficient and humane. Generally, a smart city is one that incorporates information and communication technologies (ICT) to meet this goal. Smart city development includes the use of smart initiatives that leverage technology investments. They are reliant on the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and software to collect data from every imaginable aspect of infrastructure and community. The construction industry is literally building these cities, so contractors play a pivotal role in the smart city movement reaching its potential.

Reprinted courtesy of Annalisa Enrile & Oliver Ritchie, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.



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