New Technologies for Reduced-Carbon Concrete Are On the Horizon

November 21, 2022
Nadine M. Post, Jeff Yoders, Emell D. Adolphus, Scott Judy - Engineering News-Record

Startups and more established suppliers of products that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete are developing systems to capture and sequester carbon dioxide. Some are even seeking ways to produce the material and its ingredients without creating huge carbon footprints.

Reprinted courtesy of Nadine M. Post, ENR, Jeff Yoders, ENR, Emell D. Adolphus, ENR and Scott Judy, ENR

Ms. Post may be contacted at postn@enr.com
Mr. Yoders may be contacted at yodersj@enr.com
Mr. Adolphus may be contacted at adolphuse@enr.com
Mr. Judy may be contacted at judys@enr.com


Balance Disorders: The Unseen Effects of Jobsite Fall Injuries

November 15, 2022
Michael Morgan - Construction Executive

Nonfatal workplace injuries resulting from falls continue to occur at a higher rate in the construction industry compared to the private industry at large. To heighten awareness and reinforce construction worksite safety measures around this ongoing problem, OSHA developed the National Safety Stand-Down campaign, which encourages contractors to emphasize the importance of fall prevention by training employees on the worksite hazards that lead to falls.

After an employee suffers a fall or direct blow to the head, healing from injuries incurred is of paramount importance. But depending on the type of injury, there could be underlying neurological impairments even after the musculoskeletal injuries have healed. These impairments can include dizziness or a persistent imbalance that occurs while walking, bending or performing other normal physical activities. These sudden, recurring bouts of unsteadiness can place a construction employee at higher risk of falling again on the job.

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


We Need to Talk: Suicide Prevention in Construction

November 7, 2022
Maggie Murphy - Construction Executive

"I’m good, man.”

“Nothing’s wrong, just tired.”

“You don’t wanna know.”

In an industry historically characterized by its stoic nature, these are often the responses you get if you ask a construction employee how they’re doing. Hard workers in a grueling industry, they’ve been conditioned by the very nature of the job to tough it out and get it done—and that’s taking a toll on their mental health. The numbers don’t lie: Construction is already a dangerous occupation, with 1,008 work-related jobsite fatalities in 2020, but the industry’s suicide rate for the same year is a staggering four times greater, at 5,242 employees.

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


Where Are the Workers?

November 1, 2022
Tina Nazier - Construction Executive

According to the Home Builders Institute, the construction industry needs an additional 2.2 million workers between now and 2024 to keep up with construction expansion and worker replacement. News outlets have called the situation “staggering” and “desperate.” But nobody should be saying it’s a surprise—or temporary. In Wipfli’s 2021 construction transition planning report, nearly 90% of construction leaders said they plan to start transitioning out of their companies in the next decade. Owners have been retiring and exiting the business in waves, taking a wealth of knowledge and skills with them.

Retirement is just one reason construction workers are walking away. Construction is tough, physical work. Sometimes, even dangerous. Companies have struggled to find workers who enjoy and thrive in the environment. It’s also hard to retain workers when wages and opportunities are plentiful outside the sector. The labor shortage is a ubiquitous problem, so construction firms are competing against “cushier” and “easier” career offers.

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


The Domino Effect of Labor, Construction and AI

October 24, 2022
Richard Harpham - Construction Executive

Before and since the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has been beset by a struggle to fill positions of all shapes and sizes. Though many industries throughout the United States have had ongoing labor issues in this time, construction has felt it more acutely than others, as McKinsey found that by October 2021, the industry had 402,000 open positions, the second highest level since December 2000. This is problematic because the report also found that construction will need to add anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 new employees every year for the next decade due to the passing of the Biden administration’s infrastructure law. This need is further complicated by the fact that by 2031, approximately 41% of the current workforce will retire—a trend that has accelerated since the pandemic hit.

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


New Report: Civil Engineering Salaries and Job Satisfaction Are Strong and Continue to Climb

October 17, 2022
The American Society of Civil Engineers

RESTON, Va. – Civil engineering salaries continue to trend up according to the 2022 ASCE Civil Engineering Salary Report today released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), with an average annual salary of nearly $125,000. The median pre-tax annual salary in 2021 among survey respondents was $124,296. Base salaries rose by about 6% from 2020 to 2021. The median primary income for those civil engineers with a Professional Engineers license was $130,000, nearly $23,000 more than those with no licenses or certifications.

The report also shows high job satisfaction and opportunities for career growth in 2022.Of the salary survey respondents, 63.3% reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their financial compensation. That number was even higher, though, when asked about overall job satisfaction: 85.2% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their civil engineering jobs. More than nine in 10 respondents receive health and insurance benefits through their employer and nearly 79% are offered telework options – an increasingly important and desired employee benefit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.


Engaging For Results Part I – Working with and Through Others

October 10, 2022
Katherine Mair - AEC Business

“We were all there. I mean, who wasn’t? It seemed like no one had been left off the invite for this meeting. Everyone shared their two cents. The resource shortage was obvious. We need to act. Everyone agreed. At least, I thought everyone agreed. Until this morning. An unexpected email from the Division Director. He’s reconsidering the approach.”

Scenarios like this crop up far more frequently than we might like to think. A meeting took place. The key stakeholders were around the table. Recommendations were made. Discussions ensued. Heads nodded. Then people start running in the direction they think was agreed upon, only to discover later, and often via email, that agreement was merely a momentary apparition.


Tall-Timber Building Expected in Chicago, 151 Years After the Great Fire

October 3, 2022
Jean Thilmany - Engineering News-Record

As far as taller timber structures go, Chicago has been slow to follow the lead of other cities, such as Minneapolis, Atlanta and Milwaukee.
But that may be changing.

ENR may be contacted at enr@enr.com


Proactive Fiscal Project Management: Construction’s Defense Against Price Instability

September 26, 2022
Kenny Ingram - Construction Executive

Price inflation and supply chain disruption threaten the bottom line for many construction and engineering (C&E) firms, struggling in an industry where profit margins are already low, and increased costs are sparking uncertainty for financial planners. It is clear C&E project and commercial managers need to revise traditional methods of financial control and look beyond simple accounting solutions to overcome these challenges. Project managers need a shift in mindset to proactive fiscal management supported by purpose-built technology—which will ensure construction businesses remain profitable in the face of increasing price fluctuations.

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


Increase Sustainability Without Hurting the Bottom Line or Project Quality

September 18, 2022
Philip Lorenzo & Gayatri Shahane - Construction Executive

In early April, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its much anticipated Sixth Assessment report. It paints a dire picture for the future of the world. There are enormous implications for every nation—and every industry. As politicians haggle over what can and should be done, it is clear a shift toward sustainability is desperately needed, whether it is legislated or not.

What does sustainability actually mean?
Sustainability is a societal goal with three dimensions: environmental, economic and social. All three are important, but the main goal of environmental sustainability is to avoid depletion to preserve resources. This becomes increasingly important as humans push ecosystems past their tipping point, which can trigger catastrophic consequences (or so it is feared).

Reprinted courtesy of Philip Lorenzo & Gayatri Shahane, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


Three Reasons Veterans Make Great Construction Employees

September 12, 2022
Darick Edmond & Jarrett Milligan - Construction Executive

It’s no secret that the construction industry is in desperate need of more workers. Earlier this year, Associated Builders and Contractors found the industry will need to hire 650,000 more workers than the typical pace of hiring just to meet the demand for labor in 2022.

The United States veteran population offers a prime employment pool from which to hire these new workers. There are around 19 million veterans in the United States, with an estimated 200,000 Americans transitioning from the military each year. With some of Skanska’s leaders being veterans, the company is deeply familiar with the professional skills ingrained through military service and has experienced firsthand how those skills transfer seamlessly to the construction industry.

Reprinted courtesy of Darick Edmond and Jarrett Milligan, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


TestFit, the Maker of an AI-Powered Building Configurator, Gets $20 Million Funding

September 5, 2022
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

TestFit Inc., the maker of an interactive AI-powered real estate feasibility software, has announced $20 million in Series A financing led by Parkway Venture Capital, bringing the total company financing to $22 million.

TestFit’s building configurator helps real estate developers, architects, urban planners, and more to solve site plans in seconds. Development deals for multifamily, commercial, and industrial building types can be rapidly evaluated with TestFit.

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


Smart Construction News 8/2022

August 29, 2022
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Here are the topics covered in the August 2022 Smart Construction issue of the AEC Business Newsletter.

Keep tabs on AEC innovation and tech news, and subscribe!

Breaking down the 6 principles of Lean construction
This article breaks down the six core lean construction principles and explores how to implement them in your organization.
Read more

Sellafield’s biggest construction project reaping benefits of 4D modeling
The Sellafield Product and Residue Store Retreatment Plant being delivered by the Programme and Project Partners is reaping the benefits of 4D BIM, with the introduction of a second twin ‘BIM cave’ in the project team’s Warrington office.
Read more

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


Paradigm Shift in Tall Building Wind Design Cuts Material, Cost and Carbon

August 22, 2022
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

It’s not often easy to be first. But that hasn’t stopped an intrepid adventurer from going against the prevailing winds of structural practice to debut a dynamic shift in skyscraper engineering that at minimum promises improved tall-building resilience and sustainability—at a reduced cost. The first proof-of-concept for the radical technique, called performance-based wind design, is stirring up a storm of optimism for tall-building enthusiasts committed to advancing “real” not “cookbook” engineering. And they predict that in 10 or 15 years, high-rise PBWD will be the norm the world over.

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


OSHA Launches Trench Safety Initiative Amid Sharp Rise in Deaths

August 15, 2022
James Leggate - Engineering News-Record

Two workers in Texas were killed June 28 when the unprotected 20-ft-deep trench they were inside collapsed, as trench shields sat unused beside the excavation.

Mr. Leggate may be contacted at leggatej@enr.com


Kwant Expands Its Connected Construction Solution

August 7, 2022
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Kwant, the New York-based construction software company, has announced a product expansion that supports Lean Construction-based waste reduction. The expansion provides digital transparency for construction sites by connecting each data node to improve safety and productivity.

As construction projects become more challenging, the need for fully connected jobsites and data-driven decisions becomes critical. Kwant solves the complex challenges by connecting every workforce, forklift, crane, sheet of drywall, and ton of steel to a centralized platform. Based on the millions of data points, decision-makers can take proactive actions to improve safety and productivity on and off a construction site.

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


Military Veterans Bring Safety, Leadership and Career Ambition to Construction

August 3, 2022
Dale L. Crawford - Construction Executive

Military veterans have invaluable skills that position them well for careers in construction. Veterans have great leadership and teamwork skills, sometimes with actual hands-on experience, as there are many engineering and electronic roles in the military. Veterans also respect hierarchy and have excellent communication skills that help inspire their teams to reach common goals. Military veterans are an invaluable asset to the construction industry. However, veterans of construction should also be commended for their commitment to training those who have come after them and will succeed them.

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


Thank U.S. Military Veterans by Hiring Them for Construction Jobs

July 25, 2022
Zachary L Green - Construction Executive

The American construction marketplace has confronted numerous challenges over the past few years. In addition to disruptions and the renewed call for safety precautions based on COVID-19, construction firms nationwide have been besieged by material shortages, rising costs and widespread labor issues.

And even though the industry is projected to grow by 8.8% in 2022, the same problems are expected to persist well into the near future. In fact, NCCER recently confirmed the “finding and hiring of skilled workers” is still one of the industry’s greatest challenges. However, the organization also noted that the problem has accompanied “the unique opportunity to refurbish” and “emerge stronger than before.” This includes “building cultures that attract long-term talent,” “making the industry a great place for young workers to shine,” reinforcing the value of continued learning programs and helping workers find “dream positions” that “leverage better opportunities.”

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


Offer Benefits for Fathers in Construction to Improve Employee Retention

July 18, 2022
Doug Ramsthel - Construction Executive

The challenge of finding employees is real across all aspects of the economy, but is particularly severe for the construction industry, which has seen continued significant growth from low interest rates, stimulus monies, increasing real estate values and pandemic inspired projects. The challenge of finding employees, let alone skilled employees, is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Construction companies need to adapt to this new normal and offer what employees what they truly want.

As the pandemic continued, employees followed a tremendous burst of economic productivity with feelings of fatigue and burnout. This burn-out became widespread enough to earn the moniker “The Great Resignation.” But perhaps a better title is the “Great Reflection,” as employees do some soul searching, re-examining life priorities and the role of work. This may be one reason why the focus on mental health resources has become a much larger part of employee benefits programs.

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


ENR Top 400 Firms Caught in Supply Shortage Storm

July 11, 2022
Emell D. Adolphus & Jonathan Keller - Engineering News-Record

“If you build it, they will come” isn’t just a version of a famous film line. For ENR Top 400 listed contractors navigating markets bogged down by supply shortages and delays, it’s strategy. Whether “they” refers to more craft workers, better material lead times or decreased cost risk depends on a firm’s most pressing problems, but contractors overwhelmingly agree that relationship building is a way forward despite the industry’s steadily strained supply chain.

Reprinted courtesy of Emell D. Adolphus, ENR and Jonathan Keller, ENR
Mr. Adolphus may be contacted at adolphuse@enr.com
Mr. Keller may be contacted at kellerj@enr.com


GSA's First Completed IIJA-Funded Project Is Delivered Early

July 3, 2022
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

It’s a relatively modest beginning, but the U.S. General Services Administration has completed its first construction contract funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—and it was finished ahead of schedule.

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


The Top 100 Project Delivery Firms Balance Increased Risks

June 27, 2022
Emell D. Adolphus & Jonathan Keller - Engineering News-Record

With projects facing rising material costs, crunched schedules and labor shortages, project delivery firms say owners are finding themselves at a fork in the road when it comes to design-bid-build versus alternative delivery models. Risks are inherent to any project, but more owners are turning to alternative delivery to reap the rewards of early collaboration.

Reprinted courtesy of Emell D. Adolphus, ENR and Jonathan Keller, ENR
Mr. Adolphus may be contacted at adolphuse@enr.com
Mr. Keller may be contacted at kellerj@enr.com


Seven Safety Tips to Protect Construction Workers in Summer Heat

June 20, 2022
Western Specialty Contractors

(St. Louis, MO, June 14, 2022) – Summer is a great time for construction work, but a brutal time for construction workers. Excessive heat and sun exposure pose significant dangers, such as sunburn, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Every year, construction workers become ill on the job and some even lose their lives due to heat exposure.

To protect its workers from the extreme summer heat, Western Specialty Contractors manages a heat illness training program and a safety hotline for its employees. As part of the program, training is provided to all employees and supervisors who work in high temperatures. Training topics include: how heat can affect the body, how to identify the signs and symptoms of various heat-related illnesses, and what to do if a co-worker is experiencing symptoms of a heat-related illness. Western also regulates the hotter environment by providing water and shade to workers and by having supervisors and safety managers monitor the heat index so that the proper protective measures can be taken.

About Western Specialty Contractors
Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation's largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including: industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.


5G Technology and the IoT Introduce New Regulatory and Security Concerns for Developers

June 13, 2022
Lee G. Petro - Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law Blog

Over the last several years, the proptech movement has become entrenched in the lexicon of the real estate industry as developers use the term as a catch-all term for using technology in the construction of new commercial buildings and begin planning for Smart Cities. The various technologies incorporate wireless sensors, broadband service and other cloud-based applications to reduce energy costs, improve transportation and enhance security.

At the same time, the introduction of these technologies increases the likelihood that property owners will need to incorporate an extra layer (or two) of due diligence when incorporating these services. Not only do many Internet of Things (IoT) devices use wireless spectrum to communicate with other devices, but recent actions by the Federal government have led to the prohibition of certain equipment manufactured in China. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has primary responsibility over devices that use wireless spectrum and also implements federal policy with respect to devices that may implicate national security concerns.

Mr. Petro may be contacted at lee.petro@pillsburylaw.com



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