Preparing the Construction Workforce for an Upswing

July 25, 2021
Pamela A. Scott - Construction Executive

Are architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms prepared for an upswing? More than 80% of CEOs participating in a conference board roundtable see improved economic conditions in the coming months, the highest confidence level since 2004, according to Axios.

While some AEC markets declined during the pandemic, others experienced growth. For example, warehouse construction grew from approximately one-quarter of put-in-place commercial construction in 2015 to nearly half in 2020, representing approximately 18% growth year-over-year. For many AEC companies, 2021 will be a “bridge year,” of recovery in preparation for a possible upswing in 2022.

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

Be Prepared With Emergency Response Planning

July 19, 2021
Alvin Paniagua - Construction Executive

Given the nature of the work, construction sites pose inherent safety risks. In fact, OSHA estimates that nearly a quarter of all work-related fatalities occur in the construction industry. But oftentimes the first risks that come to mind are equipment-related accidents and personal injuries.

While these may be top-of-mind concerns, it’s particularly important to be proactive about emergency response planning in the spring and summer. As temperatures warm, weather conditions such as tornadoes and flash flooding can cause sudden, serious threats anywhere in the country—while some regions are prone to specific threats like hurricanes and wildfires.

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

Out of the Shadows: Breaking the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

July 11, 2021
Scott Wittkop - Construction Executive

It’s time to change the way the construction industry communicates about mental health to reduce the stigma and ensure that individuals get the help they need. Far too often, mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and substance abuse disorders have been cloaked in a veil of secrecy and shame. Yet these issues pose significant risks to health, well-being, safety and productivity.

According to insurance broker Holmes Murphy & Associates, the construction industry is especially vulnerable to mental health challenges because of factors ranging from financial and family pressures to workplace injuries, chronic pain and substance abuse.

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

Opinion: Will The Florida Condo Collapse Remind Americans of Their Aging Infrastructure?

July 5, 2021
Richard Korman - Engineering News-Record

The distance from the White House entrance walkway where presidents sometimes greet reporters, to Champlain Towers in Surfside, Fla., where life is about the beach, is about 1,050 miles and just shy of a 15-hour drive, depending on traffic. The distance between the two disappeared on June 24, when President Biden emerged from the White House with a group of Senators from both parties to say they had reached agreement on the framework of a $579-billion infrastructure spending measure. As they spoke, rescue crews were beginning to pick through the debris pile of Champlain Towers South, the 12-story condominium apartment complex that had partly collapsed early that morning. They were searching for more than 150 people entombed there. Many may not even have their remains recovered and identified.

Mr. Korman may be contacted at

Diversity in Construction: Seven Tips for Successful DEI Programs

June 28, 2021
Lisa Robinson - Construction Executive

Last year, spurred by a global movement to celebrate diversity and strive for social justice reforms, tens of thousands of companies—including scores of construction firms in the United States—took a look at their own business practices and made public commitments to improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) among their workforces.

Diversity and inclusion at its most basic concept means truly accepting, supporting and including the full range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical abilities, religious or ethical values systems, national origins and political beliefs. It’s a practice that’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business.

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

The Value of Mentorship in the Construction Industry

June 21, 2021
Dale Kopnitsky - Construction Executive

Construction is an industry filled with potential for people with a wide range of skillsets. The industry not only has careers for project engineers, but also provides countless opportunities in marketing, accounting, human resources, business development, preconstruction and more. Construction is unique because it is one of the rare industries that provides lucrative job opportunities for skilled laborers—carpenters, welders, ironworkers and equipment operators—whose education is on-the-job training.

The thousands of students who graduate from high school each year can pursue a career in construction without a college degree and achieve success through hands-on experience and mentorship opportunities.

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

Construction Financial Management in the COVID Economy

June 14, 2021
Cybele Tamulonis - Construction Executive

As the nation races to vaccinate more than 320 million citizens, construction firms have been busy catching up on backlog, keeping workers safe and grappling with the complexities of construction finance during a pandemic.

The economy has bounced back much quicker than expected; however, there are still plenty of reasons for construction firms to remain vigilant and continue to implement strict financial controls as the recovery unfolds. The challenges of the past year have sharpened the business habits of contractors and financial professionals alike across the United States—proving that consistent success is achievable—if contractors are committed to seeing past the boom and taking adequate measures to streamline their bidding, contract and finance practices. Resisting bidding on unprofitable work, keeping careful records through automation and paying attention to new tax laws are just some of the methods that can ensure a contractor remains profitable for years to come.

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

Biden Restores Obama-Era Local-Hire Pilot Program on FHWA, FTA Projects

June 7, 2021
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation is reviving Obama-era pilot programs for state agencies and contractors to give hiring preferences to people who live in areas where construction projects are located if they receive federal agency funding.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Biden Administration Repeals Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rule, Signals Change to Joint Employer Rule

May 31, 2021
Jessica Ewert - Lewis Brisbois Newsroom

This week, the Department of Labor (DOL) repealed the Trump Administration’s independent contractor rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL has also proposed the rescission of the Trump Administration’s joint employer rule and sent a new proposed regulation to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. Both moves signal a return to standards more likely to find an employment relationship.

Ms. Ewert may be contacted at

In 2021, Industry Needs to Hire an Additional 430,000 Craft Professionals

May 24, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

In 2021, construction companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers than they employed in 2020, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by Associated Builders and Contractors. The analysis also revealed that every $1 billion in extra construction spending generates an average of at least 5,700 construction jobs.

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

When the Construction Project Team Made 122 Design Changes in the Name of Safety

May 17, 2021
Richard Korman & Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record

It’s not every day that a project interior designer sits down with the project team to discuss construction and occupant safety. But in 2019, Keith Switzer, who heads interior design firm INTEC Group, found himself in meetings doing just that as plans took shape for a four-story office and research building in the Boston suburb of Billerica. The project’s owner, drug maker EMD Serono, was “very keen” on safety, Switzer recalls. So leaders from the project’s prime contractor, Erland Construction, and much of the project team gathered regularly in an existing building at the project site, and later sometimes in a project trailer, where the vibe was for a “roll up your sleeves effort … literally everyone at the table throwing out ideas.” Even after the pandemic shifted the meetings to the internet, the basic mission as Switzer sees it was to explore ideas where “if you did this differently, this would be a safer way of doing XYZ.”

Reprinted courtesy of Richard Korman, ENR and Scott Van Voorhis, ENR
Mr. Korman may be contacted at

New Orleans Officials Select Developer for $1-Billion Riverfront Project

May 10, 2021
Autumn Cafiero Giusti - Engineering News-Record

Plans for a $1-billion riverfront entertainment district moved forward after New Orleans convention center officials selected a developer to transform an adjacent, 39-acre site into the new destination.

ENR may be contacted at

Construction Adds 110,000 Jobs in March

May 3, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

The construction industry added 110,000 jobs in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 931,000 jobs since April 2020, recovering 83.6% of the jobs lost during earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The construction unemployment rate fell to 8.6% in March from 9.6% in February, but it is still 1.7 percentage points higher than in March 2020. Unemployment across all industries declined from 6.2% in February to 6.0% in March.

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

Nonresidential Construction Spending Stabilizes in January 2021, Down 5% Since January 2020, Says ABC

April 26, 2021
ABC - Construction Executive

National nonresidential construction spending increased 0.9% on a monthly basis in January 2021 but is down 5% since January 2020, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published today by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $799.1 billion for the month.

Spending was up on a monthly basis in nine of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.4% in January, while public nonresidential construction spending increased 1.6%. Only four nonresidential construction categories have experienced growth in spending on a year-over-year basis, all of which are primarily publicly financed segments.

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

Utah’s Budget Surplus Will Give State Transportation Projects $1B Boost

April 19, 2021
Brian Fryer - Engineering News-Record

State-funded construction projects are among the top beneficiaries of a $1.5-billion budget surplus carved up by Utah lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session that ended March 6.

ENR may be contacted at

Is the Pandemic Forcing An Evolution in P3 Work?

April 12, 2021
Jim Parsons - Engineering News-Record

Before 2020 and the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, public-private partnerships in the U.S. had evolved far beyond their one-of-a-kind transportation infrastructure origins, with agencies and institutions of all sizes applying the P3 delivery method to a variety of construction, operations and maintenance projects.

Reprinted courtesy of Jim Parsons, Engineering News-Record

ENR may be contacted at

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2021 Outlook: Emerging Technologies Impacting the Construction Industry

April 5, 2021
Chris Ruffo - Construction Executive

While the AEC industry has largely transitioned to BIM over the last decade, it’s only been more recently where new design technologies have emerged for the built environment, further extending what’s possible with BIM. These new technologies include digital fabrication, real-time visualization, virtual and mixed reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, generative design, reality modelling, IoT and the development of digital twins. In fact, the industry is already seeing accelerated adoption of these emerging technologies out of necessity.

With the challenges of working remote coupled with project delays, the entire building industry is looking for creative ways to maximize project efficiency. What technology trends can be expected to dominate this space in 2021?

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

Drones: A Valuable Tool for the Construction Jobsite

March 29, 2021
Mike Sobola & Luisa Winters - Construction Executive

Aerial imaging and data gathering via drone is not just a luxury these days, it’s a necessity. Aerial drone data delivers valuable insights during every construction phase, from preconstruction bids to site handoff. There are many ways drones help construction managers save time and money every day.

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

Mr. Sobola may be contacted at
Ms. Winters may be contacted at

Q&A: The Challenge of Meeting LEED Materials Requirements

March 22, 2021
Tommy Linstroth - Construction Executive

Green construction is not going anywhere but up in 2021, and reaching LEED certification is an important goal of many builders. But like anything, the devil lies in the details, and it can be a challenge for design teams and contractors to meet LEED material requirements. We spoke with Tommy Linstroth, CEO of Green Badger, a provider of cloud-based LEED documentation management services, to learn more about how the construction industry can face this challenge.

Q: What is the main hurdle to understanding LEED-compliant materials requirements?
One of the biggest challenges is learning about and understanding the LEED requirements. And even though they've been out for a couple of years now, following and implementing these guidelines is not common practice yet in the construction industry. There are pockets in the industry that tend to comply, but it’s still more common that they do not.

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

AI-Powered Construction – An Interview with Aviv Leibovici of Buildots

March 15, 2021
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

In the 100th episode of the AEC Business podcast, Aarni Heiskanen interviews Aviv Leibovici, the CPO and co-founder of Buildots.

Buildots is an innovative construction tech start-up established in Israel in August 2018. The company was created with the aim of creating the equivalent of a mission control room for construction sites. Bringing together AI and wearable hardware, Buildots technology creates seamless construction process visibility and fully digitized construction workflows with the aim of optimizing processes, minimizing delays, and avoiding budget overruns.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

Create a Culture That Better Supports Women in Construction

March 8, 2021
Laura Beebe - Construction Executive

The pandemic has accelerated vast changes in the workplace and exposed critical gaps employers and their employees face on a day-to-day basis. One of the top contenders? The challenges women face simply showing up to work.

More than 600,000 women left the U.S. workforce in September—that’s eight times more than the number of men. On top of that, one in four women is considering downshifting her career or leaving the workforce entirely.

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

How Preventative Maintenance Improves Construction Worker Safety

March 1, 2021
Talmage Wagstaff - Construction Executive

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and can cause serious trauma to the body at minimum depending on the height the employee is falling from. It can be difficult to spot hazards on a construction site when one is looking with an untrained eye, however, a quick sweep of most any construction site will reveal a great number of machines that need to be properly maintained and calibrated in order to continue to safely operate.

From the largest tower crane to the fleet of pickups used to haul materials between jobs, there are many pieces of equipment that need to have preventative maintenance performed in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly and safely.

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

'Ribbon of Light' Begins to Unfurl in Los Angeles

February 22, 2021
Aileen Cho - Engineering News-Record

The new Sixth Street Viaduct, when completed next year, will be hard to miss. Ten pairs of continuous arches will create a sinuous profile as the 3,060-ft-long, 100-ft-wide viaduct soars over the 101 Freeway, several railroads, the LA River and the downtown Los Angeles arts district.

Ms. Cho may be contacted at

E-Commerce Trends for Commercial Construction

February 15, 2021
Joe Altieri - Construction Executive

Change burst onto the scene in 2020 like a wrecking ball and smashed norms without discrimination. The pandemic, and subsequent closures and lockdowns, brought Godzilla-sized destruction world-wide. But it didn't take long to realize that the construction industry would largely escape the devastation and even thrive through the chaos.

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


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Surfside Building Official Who Was on Roof 14 Hours Before Collapse Says He Noticed No Warning Signs

WSVN-TV reports the town’s top building official, Jim McGuinness, was on the roof of the building just 14 hours earlier.

Miami River Condo Owners Hit with $1 Million Special Assessment for Concrete Fix

WPLG Local 10 reports the work to shore up support beams will take about a year at the River Run South, which sits on the Miami River.

San Francisco's Tallest Residential Building is Sinking

9News reports a sinking San Francisco high-rise is receiving renewed scrutiny after the Surfside condo collapse.

Structural Engineering Firm Avoided Condo Collapse in Sarasota Before Spotting Issues in Surfside

10 Tampa Bay reports the tragedy in Surfside has condo associations across the country evaluating building safety.

Exclusive: County Officials Order Inspection of Marina City Club Towers in Marina Del Rey

David Goldstein of CBS Los Angeles reports on the county's efforts to have the Marina City Club Towers condominium inspected after the tragic collapse of a condo building in Florida last week.

Why Do Concrete Buildings Collapse?

In the aftermath of the Champlain Towers collapse in Miami, Roger of Skill Builder takes a look at why concrete fails and what can be done to prevent future disasters.

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