Why Construction Is Considered a Fundamental Service

September 14, 2020
Chris Jackson - Construction Executive

When the pandemic first hit the United States, many businesses were either ordered closed by different states or decided to close by themselves. There are, however, some major exceptions: those businesses that are considered as “essential” enough that should continue operating during this crisis. There are many states that include construction and building materials industries as “essential services.”

Of course, this might make many people wonder why construction is a fundamental service. To clear the misconception about construction services, here’s a brief guide that breaks down why construction is considered as a fundamental service.

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

Navigating the Perfect Storm: Combating a Projected Spike in COVID-19 Cases During Flu Season

September 7, 2020
Curtis Moore - Construction Executive

While COVID-19 related information and recommendations are continually evolving, many experts have warned that the United States will likely experience a surge of COVID-19 cases in the fall. This projected surge will likely coincide with the beginning of flu season—creating a perfect storm for the public and employers alike.

Flu season typically arrives in October or November and can last into May. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, during the 2018-2019 flu season 35.5 million people were sick with the flu, 16.5 million people went to a medical provider, and the flu caused 34,200 deaths. Many experts estimated that flu cost employers $17 billion in productivity for the 2018-2019 flu season. On top of those bleak numbers, the Integrated Benefits Institute estimated in April 2020 that COVID-19 could cost employers more than $23 billion in lost productivity and employee benefits.

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

Get Creative for Post-Pandemic Construction Recruiting

August 31, 2020
Annalisa Enrile - Construction Executive

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has put millions out of work, essential workers in industries like construction have continued. Considered part of the more than 17 million workers in infrastructure jobs that include construction site workers, electricians, plumbers, other skilled trades and project managers, the need for a consistent labor force is even more urgent. Questions about how to fill labor gaps due to illness, vulnerability to the pandemic and aging pose real challenges to companies.

While these labor gaps might seem insurmountable or—at the very least—unfillable, another way to look at it is an opportunity. Namely, this is an opening for construction executives to think outside of the box or, in this case, traditional populations where hiring occurs and instead look to untapped communities.

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

Three Ways Aerial Imaging Benefits Construction Amid COVID-19

August 24, 2020
Rob Newman - Construction Executive

One would be hard pressed to find an industry that has not felt the effects of COVID-19 in its own unique way. The worlds of construction, roofing and solar are no different, and come with their own unique challenges. Among them, these industries are tasked with considering new ways of working to make contracted surveying, onsite inspections, design planning, bidding and winning new projects more efficient. But this was an obstacle even before the pandemic.

Unfortunately, these pre-pandemic obstacles haven’t gone away; if anything, they've become more challenging. COVID-19 is forcing contractors to think creatively and critically about how to approach the operational challenges inherent to their work. Tackling them is paramount to adapting to the difficulties presented by COVID-19.

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

Union Specialty Contractors Urged To Seek Additional Pay for Pandemic Costs

August 17, 2020
Richard Korman - Engineering News-Record

Studies by key union specialty contractors indicate that COVID-19 has turned their projects into money-losers and that firms must seek and receive additional payment via change orders to prevent a wave of company failures.

Mr. Korman may be contacted at kormanr@enr.com

Preserving Cash and Incentivizing Employees During a Pandemic

August 10, 2020
Benjamin T. Gibbs - Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law Blog

As COVID-19 reverberates through the real estate and construction industries, impacted companies should revisit their employee compensation programs to preserve cash and drive performance while maintaining legal compliance. This is particularly true for companies normally dependent on high rents in cities, where commercial tenants are trading brick-and-mortar office space for work-from-home arrangements, and freeing up employees—unshackled by any commuting concerns—to relocate in pursuit of lower housing costs.

Mr. Gibbs may be contacted at benjamin.gibbs@pillsburylaw.com

Antibody Tests Cannot Be Required From Employees to Return to Work; Other New Covid-19 Guidance Issued

August 3, 2020
Amy R. Patton & Rana Ayazi - Payne & Fears

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its technical assistance guidance for employers. The new guidance explains that antibody tests cannot be required from employees to re-enter the workplace, addresses when an employee may receive an alternative symptom screening check as a disability or religious accommodation, reminds employers that actions taken based on their benevolent concerns about older workers, pregnant workers, and child caregivers may be discriminatory, and reiterates the employer’s obligation to prevent harassment against employees who are or are perceived to be of Chinese or other Asian national origin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also released guidance on contact tracing for government contract tracers. The guidance includes material that private employers might find helpful in contact tracing within their workforce.

Reprinted courtesy of Amy R. Patton, Payne & Fears and Rana Ayazi, Payne & Fears
Ms. Patton may be contacted at arp@paynefears.com
Ms. Ayazi may be contacted at ra@paynefears.com

Turner Construction is ENR Midwest Contractor of the Year

July 27, 2020
Jeff Yoders - Engineering News-Record

With $2.99 Billion in 2019 revenue from the 11-state region and leadership in the construction of digital infrastructure, historic reconstruction and preservation, Turner Construction has been voted ENR Midwest's Contractor of the Year for 2020. This is the second year in a row that big blue stood alone atop ENR Midwest's top contractors rankings, booking $2.77 billion in regional revenue in 2018, and the fourth time they've had the most revenue in the last five years.

Mr. Yoders may be contacted at yodersj@enr.com

Contractor Haskell Hits Its Reset Button

July 20, 2020
Scott Judy - Engineering News-Record

Bolstered by a series of strategic acquisitions broadening its array of in-house capabilities, along with a major investment in modular construction, long-time design-builder Haskell is now embracing an all-of-the-above project delivery approach as it pursues a plan to nearly double annual revenue by 2025.

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

Protecting Construction Workers from the Dangers of Hydrogen Sulfide

July 13, 2020
Chris Detillier - Construction Executive

Construction is one of the most dangerous professions, with one in five worker fatalities in 2018 occurring within the industry. The dangers of a construction site extend beyond the fatal four dangers reported by OSHA (falls, electrocution, struck-by-objects and caught-in-between) to those that cannot be easily spotted. Known as the silent killer, Hydrogen Sulfide, commonly referred to as H2S or sour gas, is the second most common cause of workplace gas inhalation fatalities following carbon monoxide. The colorless, flammable gas is naturally produced by the decomposition of organic material and is also emitted as a by-product of many industrial processes.

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

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Inches Higher in May; Contractor Confidence Continues to Rebound

July 6, 2020
ABC - Construction Executive

Associated Builders and Contractors reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 7.9 months in May, an increase of less than 0.1 months from April’s reading. Furthermore, based on an ABC member survey conducted from May 20-June 3, results indicate that confidence among U.S. construction industry leaders continued to rebound from the historically low levels observed in the March survey.

Nonresidential construction backlog is down 0.8 months compared to May 2019 and declined year-over-year in every industry, classification and region. Backlog in the heavy industrial category, however, increased by nearly one month in May after reaching its lowest level in the history of the series in April.

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

Get on the Path to Healthy Buildings With LEED

June 29, 2020
Tommy Linstroth - Construction Executive

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a new focus on how health and wellness issues can be proactively addressed through building design and green construction techniques.

Designers have to consider how viruses can be transmitted and how the danger can be mitigated. Research on how airborne particles can be circulated in HVAC systems leads to more discussion about proper system design and filtration and the importance of introducing clean outdoor air in the facility.

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

Technology—The Future of the Construction Industry

June 22, 2020
Michelle Johnson & Robert Mercado - Construction Executive

One of the most challenging obstacles contractors face is securing qualified skilled laborers to meet the demands of their current workload. The advent of more sophisticated technology on jobsites is alleviating the problem in part as contractors are increasingly utilizing technology to assist in achieving timely job completion. The use of technology also makes current workers accountable for meeting production timelines. Of course, technology is not new to the construction industry; however, significant advances are enabling construction contractors to take greater advantage of technology to fill the gap in human capital.

Building Information Modeling is a prime example. During the design stage, BIM, combined with virtual and augmented reality, can facilitate sharper results and greater efficiencies. BIM assists contractors in choosing materials, fittings and design changes in order to make post-completion buildings more maintainable. For example, BIM enables the maintenance team to do a virtual walkthrough of the building to understand placement of the mechanical system in order to determine access and ability to service the system. This allows design changes to be made before the construction stage begins and can reduce or eliminate delays and change orders in the construction process.

Reprinted courtesy of Michelle Johnson & Robert Mercado, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Culture of CARE Works to Boost Diversity and Inclusion, Overcome Racial Inequalities

June 15, 2020
Scott Blair - Engineering News-Record

The Associated General Contractors of America recently launched Culture of CARE, a program designed to boost inclusiveness and diversity in the construction industry by helping firms create more welcoming workplace environments to boost innovation, safety and profitability. ENR’s Managing Editor Scott Blair sat down (virtually) with Brynn Huneke, AGC director of diversity & inclusion and member engagement, and Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs & strategic initiatives, to talk about what the program means for companies that sign the pledge to participate, and how the program addresses current events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests to overcome racial injustices.

Mr. Blair may be contacted at blairs@enr.com

Kaiser Permanente Scraps Plans for $900M Oakland Headquarters

June 8, 2020
Greg Aragon - Engineering News-Record

Kaiser Permanente announced March 25 it has cancelled plans to build a $900 million headquarters facility in Oakland, Calif. The project, which would have been the largest office building in Oakland, was going to be called Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center.

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

Infection Control Guidance for Construction Sites

June 1, 2020
Beverley BevenFlorez - CDJ Staff

According to the Safety+Health Magazine, published by the National Safety Council, the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) “have developed national guidance on infectious disease exposure control practices for construction sites.” Guidance includes designating a site-specific COVID-19 officer, arranging for office workers to work from home, as well as training employees on how to use “the most current information on the hazard and control measures” among several other recommendations.

Construction Lien Foreclosure Action Must Be Brought In County Where Property Located

May 25, 2020
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

A construction lien foreclosure action is an action against the real property and MUST be brought in the county where the property is located. It is an action concerning subject matter jurisdiction (the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter) and, thus, can be raised at any time in a proceeding. If you are looking to foreclose a construction lien, please make sure 1) the lien is recorded in the right jurisdiction and 2) the lien is foreclosed on in the right jurisdiction.

In a recent case, Prime Investors & Developers, LLC v. Meridien Companies, Inc., 2020 WL 355930 (4th DCA 2020), a dispute arose between a general contractor and subcontractor on a hotel project in Miami-Dade County. The general contractor filed suit against the subcontractor for untimely and defective installation in Broward County. The subcontractor counter-sued the general contractor for breach of contract and asserted a claim against the developer of the hotel to foreclose a construction lien. Remember, the property was located in Miami-Dade County but the lawsuit was in Broward County.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

What Every Federal Construction Contractor Should Know About the November 2019 Update to the Technical Assistance Guide

May 18, 2020
Sarah K. Carpenter - ConsensusDocs

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFFCP”) issued its 148-page Construction Contractor Technical Assistance Guide (the “Guide”) on November 13, 2019. A complete copy of the Guide can be found here but the below provides a summary of what every Federal Construction Contractor should know regarding the OFCCP’s November 2019 update to its prior 2006 publication.

Ms. Carpenter may be contacted at skcarpenter@smithcurrie.com

Tightened New York City Facade Law Hikes Non-Compliance Penalties

May 11, 2020
Eydie Cubarrubia - Engineering News-Record

New York City's Facade Inspection and Safety Program, or Local Law 11, now carries more stringent punishment for owners of buildings whose facades fail to meet safety regulations.

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

What Will the Future Hold for the Construction Industry?

May 4, 2020
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

As we enter into the last week of April, many are wondering if the shelter in place orders issued by Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma) and the City of Berkeley, many of which went into effect six weeks ago on March 16, 2020, will be extended past their stated end date of next Monday, May 3, 2020.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

COVID-19 Resources for the Construction Industry

April 27, 2020
Brenda Radmacher & Ernest Isola - Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

The Gordon & Rees Construction team has been closely watching all of the developments with COVID-19 and the impacts on our construction clients. We have compiled various resources that may be useful for you and will continue to update our COVID-19 Hub with information as it is released.

Reprinted courtesy of Brenda Radmacher, Gordon Rees and Ernest Isola, Gordon Rees
Ms. Radmacher may be contacted at bradmacher@grsm.com
Mr. Isola may be contacted at eisola@grsm.com

COVID-19: Considerations for Field Service Teams

April 20, 2020
Stacey Epstein - Construction Executive

As efforts continue to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19, companies in mission-critical industries such as building and construction services, medical equipment and utilities are looking to technology to help them keep the world running and continue to provide vital services to their communities.

For field service teams, who are by nature not “sheltered-in-place,” there are significant considerations for how to adapt operations to meet the current situation. There is no blueprint for how to conduct business during times like these, but there are steps organizations can take to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and their customers while maintaining uptime of the world’s most important assets.

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

California Construction in the Time of Covid-19

April 13, 2020
Erinn Contreras & Suzanne Stafford - Sheppard Mullin

Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, daily and sometimes hourly changes in federal, state, and local orders and regulations are significantly impacting the construction industry. This blog provides an overview of practical issues to consider related to your California construction projects in light of the ever-changing landscape.

When it comes to determining whether work should be stopped on a particular project, there are three major considerations to address: (1) where is the project located, (2) what orders have been issued in that locality, and (3) what kind of project is it?

Reprinted courtesy of Erinn Contreras, Sheppard Mullin and Suzanne Stafford, Sheppard Mullin
Ms. Contreras may be contacted at econtreras@sheppardmullin.com
Ms. Stafford may be contacted at sstafford@sheppardmullin.com

How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Construction Industry

April 6, 2020
Graham Ryan - Construction Executive

COVID-19 (officially SARS-CoV-2 or also the novel Coronavirus) is disrupting everyday business and life as we know it.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it would be pushing back the April 15 deadline to file tax returns and pay taxes owed on that date by 90 days, giving Americans three extra months to pay their 2019 income tax bills. This gives millions of individuals and C-Corporation businesses extra time needed to pay these out-of-pocket costs in light of COVID-19.

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


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