Contractors Report Strong Opposition to PLA Mandates

February 19, 2019
Joanna Masterson - Construction Executive

In a survey of more than 500 members of Associated Builders and Contractors, 98 percent said they were less likely to bid on a taxpayer-funded construction contract if the bid specifications required the winning firm to sign a project labor agreement with labor unions. Additionally, 97 percent stated that a construction contract mandating a PLA would be more expensive compared to a contract procured via free and open competition.

There was near unanimous consent that a PLA would result in worse local hiring outcomes for a project, and almost 90 percent of respondents agreed that a PLA would decrease the hiring of women, veterans and disadvantaged business enterprises.

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


Scaling up Building Sustainability Assessments with BIM Model Checker Tools

February 11, 2019
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Sustainability of buildings is an essential topic – buildings and construction consume almost half of raw materials and one third of energy in Europe. Therefore, scaling up the building sustainability assessments and making them faster and more reliable is a key challenge.

Building sustainability is evaluated with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). An LCA is a quantitative method of assessing a building’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle, i.e., procurement, construction, operation, and decommissioning. The assessment allows owners to optimize the entire building process from a life cycle cost perspective instead of resorting to short-term sub-optimization.

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


Leo Sveikauskas: Federal Economist Leads Design of a More Reliable Construction Productivity Measure

February 6, 2019
Alisa Zevin - Engineering News-Record

Leo Sveikauskas, research economist in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Division of Productivity Research and Program Development, had been thinking about issues in measuring construction productivity after a discussion with peers in that unit of BLS, part of the U.S. Labor Dept.

Ms. Zevin may be contacted at zevina@enr.com


New Systems Aim to Improve Jobsite Safety Awareness

January 28, 2019
John Gregerson - Engineering News-Record

Construction companies can’t afford to scrimp on jobsite safety because even a single accident comes at too high a price, say industry professionals and insurers.

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


Contractors See Bright 2019, But Finding Workers Is Still Tough

January 21, 2019
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction contractors are upbeat about their businesses’ outlook for 2019 and expect to increase staffing, but they remain worried about recruiting enough workers to meet their needs, a new industry survey says.

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


Five Innovations Powering the Construction Equipment of the Future

January 15, 2019
Allen Schaeffer - Construction Executive

When it comes to the latest trends and innovation in construction, drones, big data, smart and connected jobsites, virtual reality and artificial intelligence get most of the headlines. These technologies appear to hold great promise to enhance and further enable the interface of man and machine to work faster, smarter, safer and more efficiently.

However, innovation in construction also is taking on new forms as it relates to efficiency and environmental sensibility in the design and operation of machines and equipment. For the last decade, machine design and manufacturing revolved substantially around achieving progressively more stringent emissions standards. Due to their unmatched combination of power, efficiency, performance, reliability and durability, diesel engines are the primary power source in the overwhelming majority of construction equipment.

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


Construction Dec. Jobs Surge by 38,000, Led by Heavy-Civil SectorConstruction Dec. Jobs Surge by 38,000, Led by Heavy-Civil Sector

January 9, 2019
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction added a strong 38,000 jobs in December but the industry’s unemployment rate showed mixed results, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

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


Construction Nov. Jobless Rate Drops Year-Over-Year, Up Vs. Oct.

January 2, 2019
Tom Ichniowski – Engineering News-Record

Construction’s November unemployment rate fell sharply from the year-earlier level but rose slightly from October’s mark as the industry added a modest 5,000 jobs during the month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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


Fire-Resistant Homes Don't Have to Cost a Fortune, Report Says

December 19, 2018
Christopher Flavelle - Bloomberg

Homes in wildfire-prone areas around the U.S. could be built to better withstand blazes without increasing the cost of construction, according to a new report.


Construction Billionaire Appears in Thai Court as Poaching Trial Begins

December 11, 2018
The Associated Press - Bloomberg

Kanchanaburi, Thailand (AP) -- The trial of a Thai billionaire construction tycoon charged with poaching an endangered black panther and other animals in a wildlife sanctuary began Tuesday after months of delay.


Amazon To Build Headquarters in New York City and Washington, DC

December 4, 2018
Jim Parsons, Engineering News-Record

As Amazon’s decision to split its second headquarters between New York City and metropolitan Washington, D.C., draws plaudits and criticism regarding incentives used to lure the e-commerce giant, contractors are weighing the impacts of major new construction programs in what are already the nation’s top two construction markets.

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


Shale Gas Fuels U.S. Chemical Plant Construction

November 28, 2018
Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

McDermott project managers held their breath as a nearly 3,000-ton module journeyed on a carefully ballasted barge along the Gulf Coast to Lake Charles, La. Anticipation mounted as the module arrived safely to the site of the $1.9-billion ethane cracker McDermott was building for a joint venture of South Korean Lotte Chemical and Houston-based Westlake. Over the course of the next two days, self-propelled modular transporters shuttled the component to its intended spot, where it was placed carefully on preconstructed piers. As seamlessly as two Lego bricks snapping together, the module fit snuggly in place. Over the next two months, an additional two heater modules—each over 2,500 tons and 155 ft high—made the daylong journey from Gulf Island Fabrication in Houma, La., and were set in place without a problem.

Ms. Russell may be contacted at Russellp@bnpmedia.com


Fall Protection Tops OSHA’s 2018 List of Most Frequent Safety Violations

November 21, 2018
Joanna Masterson - Construction Executive

For the eighth year in a row, fall protection was the leading workplace safety violation cited by OSHA in 2018. More than 7,200 violations were recorded through Sept. 30. And for the first time, eye and face protection joined the list in the 10th spot, with 1,536 violations in fiscal year 2018.

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


Modern Technology Is Influencing Construction Safety

November 14, 2018
Michael Rivas & Scott Chinn - Construction Executive

How is technology influencing the construction industry? The short answer is in each and every aspect of construction. Technology and construction are both ever-evolving industries–from the world’s first skyscraper to the under-construction Vista Tower which will be Chicago’s third tallest building when completed in 2020.

Reprinted courtesy of Michael Rivas & Scott Chinn, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Report Finds Construction Labor Shortage Impacts Jobsite Safety

November 6, 2018
Donna Laquidara-Carr - Construction Executive

Safety has been a top concern in the construction industry for decades, but there are new challenges on jobsites whose safety implications need to be addressed. The most recent USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, a quarterly report based on surveys of general and trade contractors conducted and analyzed by Dodge Data & Analytics, explores the degree to which several factors that now impact jobsites raise safety concerns among contractors. Findings show that factors such as skilled worker shortages, shorter construction schedules, greater project complexity, an aging workforce and the use of marijuana, alcohol and opioids all play a role.

Reprinted courtesy of Donna Laquidara-Carr, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Uruguay's No.1 Construction Firm Smells Opportunity in Argentina

October 30, 2018
Ken Parks - Bloomberg

Uruguay’s largest construction firm is scouting for highway, rail and energy projects in Argentina even as South America’s second-largest economy slips into a recession and a corruption scandal stalls investment.


Design for Salesforce Transit Center Flange Fracture Fix Coming Soon

October 23, 2018
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

Investigators for San Francisco’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority are searching for the cause of brittle fractures in the tapered bottom flanges of twin 80-ft-long built-up plate girders in San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center. With shoring in place to relieve the loads on the problem girders, which span Fremont Street, shoring contractors are turning their attention to similar parallel girders that span nearby First Street, though no cracks have surfaced there.

Ms. Post may be contacted at postn@enr.com


Embedding Digital Readiness Into Corporate Culture

October 16, 2018
Jay Snyder, Alyssa Menard & Sabine Hoover - Construction Executive

Engineering and construction leaders need to think about how they will change processes, systems and operations in preparation for the industry’s inevitable digital transformation. Done right, it can be a game-changer. But companies must ensure that their change management plan addresses both technology and culture, or they will be doomed to fail.

“For us, digital transformation is really that intersection of technology innovation and business innovation,” stated Mark Peacock, principal and global IT transformation practice leader with The Hackett Group, in a 2017 CIO article. “It’s how you’re taking digital technologies and, as a company, fundamentally changing the way you’re delivering products and services. It’s about applying technology innovation to come up with new business models, which really drive new revenue above the line and new ways to deliver products and services.”

Reprinted courtesy of Jay Snyder, Alyssa Menard & Sabine Hoover, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Construction Gains 23K Jobs in Sept., Jobless Rate Trends Mixed

October 9, 2018
Tom Ichniowski – Engineering News-Record

Construction added 23,000 jobs in September but the industry’s unemployment rate showed uneven trends, rising from August’s level but declining year over year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

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


Oracle Unveils Collaborative Test Site for Construction Tech

October 2, 2018
Jeff Rubenstone - Engineering News-Record

Looking to bolster development of new technologies for construction and give industry players a place to test new products, Oracle has created a Construction and Engineering Innovation Lab. Located on the campus of the former Textura headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., the 15,000-sq-ft initial phase of the facility is designed to resemble an “in-progress” construction site, ready to be rigged with the latest in sensor and automation technology for testing and demonstration.

Mr. Rubenstone may be contacted at rubenstonej@enr.com


Construction Gains 21,000 Jobs in Aug., Jobless Rate Stays Low

September 25, 2018
Tom Ichniowski – Engineering News-Record

Construction added 23,000 jobs to its workforce in August as the industry’s unemployment rate held even with July’s but fell year over year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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


Construction Groups Sign Pledge to America’s Workers

September 18, 2018
Joanna Masterson - Construction Executive

More than 20 prominent companies and associations have signed President Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” signaling their commitment to creating new opportunities through apprenticeships, work-based learning, continuing education, on-the-job training and reskilling. To date, companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Home Depot have pledged to train more than 3.8 million people for new positions.

Associated Builders and Contractors has committed to educating and developing at least 500,000 construction workers during the next five years. Already, ABC members invest $1.1 billion on workforce development to educate more than 475,000 industry employees annually, and ABC chapters have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety programs across the United States. Yet, there are 500,000 open positions in the construction industry alone. The National Association of Homebuilders, Associated General Contractors and North America’s Building Trades Unions have made pledges as well.

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


Construction Worker Shortage Continues To Grow

September 10, 2018
Alisa Zevin - Engineering News-Record

The U.S. construction industry's labor shortage continues to worsen in 2018, according to the recently released Autodesk-Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Construction Workforce Shortage Survey. Among the 2,500 contractors surveyed, 80% report difficulty hiring qualified workers, particularly in the hourly craft positions. The percentage indicates that the shortage continues to grow, up 10% from 2017’s reported 70%.

Ms. Zevin may be contacted at zevina@enr.com


Summer Learning Programs Engage Students in Construction Careers

September 5, 2018
Mike Glavin - Construction Executive

Summer camp is a tradition for many young people across the country. For some lucky students, this summer was filled with blueprints, tools and construction skills instead of sports, crafts and swimming.

Several chapters of Associated Builders and Contractors have partnered with schools and community organizations to provide summer learning to young people interested in gaining a competitive advantage in their future career with quality construction skills. With more than 500,000 jobs available in the construction industry right now, creating opportunities for young people to connect with construction professionals and learn career-ready skills is essential.

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

Mr. Glavin may be contacted at glavin@abc.org



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