Construction Industry News

L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits

December 1, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

Earlier this month, just over two years after Los Angeles passed a law requiring seismic retrofits of older, nonductile concrete buildings, the city’s Dept. of Building and Safety began sending compliance orders to owners. The L.A. retrofit ordinance, which also includes requirements for weak first-story wood-framed buildings, was the first of its kind in the U.S.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

Growth to Remain Modest in 2018

November 15, 2017
Alisa Zevin & Tim Grogan – Engineering News-Record

A dip in public works combined with a substantial decrease in utility work, weak industrial markets and slower-than-anticipated growth in residential construction all put a damper on general construction growth in 2017. The consensus among economic forecasts analyzed by ENR indicates a very modest rebound in growth in 2018.

Reprinted courtesy of Alisa Zevin, ENR and Tim Grogan, ENR
Ms. Zevin may be contacted at

Construction Begins on Historic Napa Courthouse Damaged by Earthquake

November 8, 2017
Greg Aragon - Engineering News-Record

Richmond, CA-based Alten Construction has begun construction on the historical Napa County Courthouse in Napa, CA. The $11.6-million project will repair the courthouse, which was damaged by the South Napa earthquake that hit August 24, 2014.

ENR may be contacted at

DOT Test Program Could Widen Construction Drone Use

November 2, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

The Trump administration is launching a pilot program that seeks to expand the use of aerial drones, a move that could increase that spread of the aircraft in the construction industry.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Houston Could Learn Something From Austin About Managing Stormwater

October 26, 2017
Peter Coy - Bloomberg

Austin is already ahead of Houston in its approach to stormwater runoff, and it may be about to extend its lead. The Texas capital is working on a rewrite of its building code that, if passed by the city council next year, would require that most rain be absorbed where it falls instead of running off and causing problems elsewhere.

ASCE Tackles Climate Change in New Guide for Resilient Structures

October 19, 2017
Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

Insurance companies, governments and some businesses are looking to engineers to build more-resilient structures to accommodate changing climate and weather extremes. But some engineers may not know how to incorporate into their designs consistently the unknowns of future rainfall and storms.

Ms. Russell may be contacted at

New York City Adopts New Construction Safety Training Law

October 11, 2017
Richard Korman - Engineering News-Record

The New York City Council adopted on Sept. 27 a municipal construction safety law requiring workers on many projects to have 40 to 55 hours of safety training, well above the minimums required by federal law.

Mr. Korman may be contacted at

Reducing Uncertainty in Construction – Interview with Brittanie Campbell-Turner

September 28, 2017
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Brittanie Campbell-Turner is a Construction Management professional and a podcast host. In this interview, we discuss construction productivity, ways to make it better, and the Constructrr podcast.

Brittanie Campbell-TurnerHere’s what Brittanie says about herself and her podcast: “I’ve been servicing the engineering and construction management industry for 10+ years having specialized in project controls and schedule management. I’m currently a Project Management Consultant at Mace, and I am always researching ways to positively impact the construction industry by implementing best practices and innovative ideas through The Constructrr Podcast at

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

Miami's Downed Construction Cranes Spark Debate on Safety

September 20, 2017
Nathan Crooks - Bloomberg

In Miami’s central Edgewater district along Biscayne Bay on Wednesday, a collapsed construction crane hung from the top of a high-rise condominium under development, dangling over low-rise apartments below. Residents wondered why it hadn’t been taken down or better secured as Hurricane Irma headed toward the city.

Hurricane Inc.: Chasing Billions From Ever Costlier Disasters

September 14, 2017
Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

Frank Jones’s cell phone chimes: He’s landed another job. If he’s lucky, it could net him a cool million. “We got a monster house,” says Jones, driving through Houston in his Range Rover. His aptly named Cavalry Construction Co. is part of a legion of contractors and other entrepreneurs fanning out across Texas and Florida in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Don’t call him a storm chaser. Jones bristles at the term. Saviors to some, opportunists to others, these businesses clean up, in every sense, after hurricanes, tornadoes, and other catastrophes. Disaster is fueling a growth industry as more frequent and powerful storms lash coastal regions teeming with new homes and offices.

Help Available To Evaluate the Impact of Construction Delays

September 7, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

The American Society of Civil Engineers has published "Schedule Delay Analysis: Standard ANSI/ASCE/CI 67-17," which aims to help construction teams use the critical path method to determine the impact of construction delays on a project and calculate delay damages or liquidated damages.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

Kiewit-Led Team Wins Contract to Build $1.2B Central 70 Reconstruction in Denver

August 30, 2017
Mark Shaw - Engineering News-Record

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation has selected the Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) to lead a public-private partnership that will design, build and finance a reconstruction of Interstate 70 through Denver. The $1.2-billion project, known as Central 70, is the biggest highway infrastructure project in the state’s history.

Mr. Shaw may be contacted at

NJ Building Contractor Sam Hochberger Dies at 88

August 24, 2017
Engineering News-Record

Sam Hochberger, founder and president of a Fort Lee, N.J., building contractor that had been involved in construction of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, its main research library, died on July 4 of complications related to multiple myeloma, according to his family. He was 88.

ENR may be contacted at

Congress Faces 'Packed' Agenda After Aug. Break

August 17, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

When Congress returns after Labor Day from its break, lawmakers will be staring at deadlines just weeks ahead for at least three must-pass, construction-related measures. The list includes legislation to fund federal agencies for at least part of fiscal year 2018 and a measure to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration programs, including airport construction grants. The deadline for both bills is Sept. 30. Congress has made headway on the measures but almost certainly won’t have final votes by the deadline. That means lawmakers will turn to stopgap extensions.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Australia Pitches Trump on a Plan to Fix America’s Roads and Bridges

August 10, 2017
Mark Niquette - Bloomberg

Among his many campaign promises, Donald Trump pledged to fix America’s crumbling roads and bridges with $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. Almost seven months into office, though, and two months removed from his vaunted “infrastructure week,” the president has revealed few details for how to pay for it. As his advisers look for ideas, a group of Australian politicians and executives has been lobbying for the administration to adopt a controversial policy of selling or leasing airports, toll roads, and other public facilities to raise money for infrastructure projects.

June Construction Spending Dips from May, Up Year over Year

August 2, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction spending in June slipped 1.3% from the previous month’s level, to an estimated $1.206-trillion annual rate but the total rose 1.6% year over year, the Commerce Dept. has reported.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

The Agonies of Building Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium

July 26, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

Just about every Tuesday for three years, structural-engineer Erleen Hatfield arose at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight from New York City to Atlanta. The early riser was determined to make a 9:30 a.m. meeting for her most dynamic project in more than a quarter century of practice—a 2-million-sq-ft stadium with a 14.5-acre convertible roof that opens and closes at its center, much like a camera lens iris. The daring design, which brazenly departs from kinetic-roof sports architecture, makes earlier “boxes with sliding lids” look almost simple.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

Veteran Contractor Is A City Change Agent

July 19, 2017
Jim Parsons - Engineering News-Record

Complex projects that require a healthy measure of innovation and problem-solving skills are the norm for New York City’s construction management firms. But applying an entrepreneurial approach to tackle those challenges is what Ken Colao, founding principal and president of CNY Group, believes sets his firm apart.

ENR may be contacted at

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Apprenticeships

July 13, 2017
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

Perhaps it was only apropos. This past month, President Trump, former reality show host of The Apprentice, signed an executive order calling for more money and a bigger role by private companies in designing federal apprenticeship programs.

The federal government and many states including California have apprenticeship programs designed to provide a pathway for individuals to enter into the workforce. In California, with limited exceptions, public works project valued at $30,000 or more are required to use apprentices.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at

Indiana Takes Over Failed Privatized Highway

June 29, 2017
Mary B. Powers - Engineering News-Record

Indiana will assume control of a nearly $476-million public-private-partnership project to complete a 21-mile section of I-69 that is two years behind schedule. The state is set to terminate the contract with the Spanish-led developer and has named Walsh Group, a former P3 project competitor, as construction manager to complete work.

ENR may be contacted at

How to Add 39 Tons of Steel to the Top of the Empire State Building

June 21, 2017
Tom Sawyer - Engineering News-Record

When engineers made plans to reinforce and upgrade the carrying capacity of the Empire State Building’s mast and tower by adding 39 tons of steel, they had to find a way to protect pedestrians from falling rivets, tools and materials. Roofing the observatory and building bridges over the sidewalks 1,250 ft below were lousy options. The top of the iconic New York City building has an open-air observatory at the 86th floor and premium viewing spaces at the 102nd and 103rd levels. Annually, these spaces host about 4.3 million visitors and generate about $85 million in revenue. Soaring above the busy streets, a 200-ft-tall steel broadcast tower bristles with antennas that generate about $20 million more. Together, the observatory, mast and tower are the crowning jewel of the 86-year-old icon, which is owned by the Empire State Realty Trust Inc.

Mr. Sawyer may be contacted at

The New Promises of Construction Equipment Telematics

June 15, 2017
Clive Winward - Construction Informer

There are some big shifts taking place in the field of construction equipment telematics. Starting with the integration of telematics devices in vehicles right from the manufacturers, to the standardization and integration of telematics data across various business functions, the future of telematics has never seemed so full of potential for fleet based businesses. Perhaps more than any other industry, the construction industry is set to reap the benefits of the seismic shift taking place in construction equipment telematics.

Construction Adds 11,000 Jobs in May

June 5, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

The construction industry added 11,000 jobs during May and its unemployment rate improved from April’s level but it was slightly worse than the year-earlier figure, the Labor Dept. has reported.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Construction Women Push To Earn What They're Worth

May 10, 2017
Debra K. Rubin - Engineering News-Record

Noting their contributions to "the power of the purse" for their employers, women in construction are pushing for parity in compensation, which continues to lag behind that of male peers.

Ms. Rubin may be contacted at


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Wood Construction Growing Despite Dangers

CBS Evening News reports on the growing use of compressed wood in Portland, Oregon.

Construction Worker Rescued From Trench

CBS New York reports on a construction worker rescued from trench in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

Construction Worker Shortage in Houston

Houston Public Media discusses how the lack of construction workers could impact the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

Northern California Wildfires: Interview with Santa Rosa Fire Chief and Captains

ABC7 News interviews firefighters who responded in the first hours of the North Bay wildfires.

Appraisers Sent to Assess Sonoma County Fire Damage

CBS SF Bay Area news reports that appraisers will be assessing damage to property for tax bill purposes.

Chicago Homeowner Alleges Home Damaged by Nearby Construction

A Highland Park couple fights to return to their home after the city deemed it inhabitable.

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