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.


New York Shuts More Projects As COVID-19 Cases Soar

March 30, 2020
Eydie Cubarrubia & Debra K. Rubin - Engineering News-Record

New York has narrowed the definition of "essential" construction, closing most projects in the state following concerns about worker safety as numbers rise related to COVIS-19 cases and deaths.

Reprinted courtesy of Eydie Cubarrubia, Engineering News-Record and Debra K. Rubin, Engineering News-Record
Ms. Cubarrubia may be contacted at cubarrubiae@enr.com
Ms. Rubin may be contacted at rubind@enr.com


How Gaps in Contractor-Owner Communication Are Impacting Multi-Site Projects

March 23, 2020
Stephen Kuhn and Donna Laquidara-Carr - Construction Executive

For any construction project to succeed, it’s imperative that all project or program stakeholders establish consistent and clear communication process early in the project. In no industry is this practice more important than multi-site construction.

An often-overlooked segment of the construction industry, multi-site projects represent a significant volume of work nationally. Multi-site involves similar work on dozens, hundreds or even thousands of sites across a wide geography. The scope of the work could be remodeling retail stores across the country, rebranding multiple locations due to an acquisition, or managing ground-up new to industry locations.

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


Risk-Adjusted Cost: A New Frontier in Construction

March 16, 2020
Justin Levine - Construction Executive

Successful general contractors understand that accurate cost estimates are essential to both project and organizational success. For decades, the cost of construction has been a function of marketplaces: labor, materials, insurances and fees. However, given increasing project complexity and greater technological capabilities, this reality is changing. The need to both understand and quantify the risk in performing complex projects will shape the way cost estimates evolve in the very near future.

WHY ACCURATE COST ESTIMATES ARE CRITICAL

It is safe to say that cost overruns have become common across the construction industry. According to a study from KPMG, just 31% of all construction projects from the past three years have been completed within 10% of their initial budget.

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


Four Ways Sustainable Cities Will Impact Urban Construction

March 9, 2020
Emily Folk - Construction Executive

All people across the world have similar ideas when they move to big cities: Cities are where people go to achieve their goals and dreams. This is certainly a small part of why the UN predicts 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050.

It’s not difficult to imagine all of the challenges this raises—including how successful we are in bringing renewable power to all of these rising city centers. Here’s a look at how the transition to sustainable cities is already changing how we build, maintain and even rebuild them.

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


September Construction Unemployment Rates Down in 48 States Year-Over-Year, Says ABC

March 2, 2020
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - Construction Executive

In September, estimated not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates fell nationally and in 48 states and rose in two states on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by Associated Builders and Contractors. For the fifth consecutive month, the construction unemployment rates for all 50 states were below 10%. For the nation and 29 states, this was their lowest September construction unemployment rate on record.

The construction industry employed 155,000 more workers nationally compared to September 2018, as the September 2019 national NSA construction unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 3.2% over the same period, according to BLS numbers. But the worrying trend of declining growth in construction employment continues. September’s increase in year-over-year employment is the smallest increase since the January 2013 increase of 116,000. Part of the slowdown in employment growth may be result of the continued shortage of skilled workers.

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


The Future of Construction Depends on High School Students

February 24, 2020
Meredith Love - Construction Executive

Across the country, the demand for construction labor is continuing to grow—and the supply is continuing to dwindle. From a continued flood of retiring construction workers to a significant decrease in the availability of immigrant labor, numerous factors are affecting the construction labor pool and making it more difficult for companies to hire top talent.

While all levels of the construction industry are affected by the labor shortage, the trades have been hit especially hard. As a result, construction companies need an infusion of so-called “new-collar workers,” who have pursued less traditional and more targeted training and education opportunities. The industry is starting by reaching out to an unexpected source for help: young students.

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


Classification is the Bedrock to a Digital Built Environment

February 18, 2020
Andy Hamer - AEC Business

It seems we all agree the digitisation of construction and real estate is an imperative for buildings to be designed, constructed and operated more cost-effectively and deliver the changing needs of the building’s occupants.

There is much discussion about the benefits of AI, MI, Digital Twins and not forgetting BIM to support the digital transformation of the built environment. Yet I’m unconvinced these technologies will deliver their promised benefit without the whole supply chain addressing the underlying fundamental need to deliver structured data, and I repeat the need for structured data.


Keeping it Clean: Analytics Can Benefit Contractors—So Long as They Maintain Good ‘Data Hygiene’

February 10, 2020
Bruce Orr - AEC Business

Construction firms receive a flood of information these days—everything from sales pitches in their email inboxes, to cover stories in industry magazines—about the potential for data analytics to revolutionize what they do.

And it’s true that under the right circumstances shifting from siloed spreadsheets to advanced data warehouses and analytics engines can yield transformative insights.

Mr. Orr may be contacted at bruce@pronovos.com


Preparing Your Business For Internal Transition

February 3, 2020
Stephen P. Katz, Esq. - ConsensusDocs

When is it right to start thinking about succession planning and preparing a construction company for transition? Many would agree – in concept, at least – that serious thought regarding succession and transition planning should begin at a company’s inception and be revisited throughout its lifecycle, but as a practical matter, it is frequently not part of the mindset when growing a business. This article explores issues that construction company owners should consider in order to achieve smooth transition of ownership and control. We will address three critical questions:

  • What happens to the business when an owner retires;
  • In the event an owner(s) become disabled; and,
  • Unplanned exit/owner pre-deceases her/his exit from the company

Mr. Katz may be contacted at skatz@pecklaw.com



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