NYC Prepares to Implement Large Building Emissions Limits

January 23, 2023
James Leggate - Engineering News-Record

Construction firms are poised to play a key role in cutting New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions as large building owners move to comply with a local law limiting emissions from their properties. But some concerns remain around the law and the way it will be carried out.

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


Update Fire and Life Safety Standards for a Safer Winter Season

January 17, 2023
James Pecz - Construction Executive

With fire on construction sites still a leading cause of loss of life and costly damages, the need for worldwide education and safety provision remains high. As winter closes in, bringing with it further perils for site safety managers, Ramtech's 2022 white paper, “No Site Left Behind: The Modern Fire and Life Safety Solutions for Construction” helps deliver fire and life safety awareness in the United States.

At the heart of the white paper is an understanding of the fire safety challenges faced by American construction sites, which continue to receive mainstream attention, such as the recent three-alarm blaze that took place at an under-construction memorial school in Massachusetts.

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


Hiring a New Generation of Workers to Address the Construction Labor Shortfall

January 9, 2023
James Barlow - Construction Executive

The construction industry is coming to grips with a massive problem: finding, hiring and training the next generation of construction workers in the United States. Between the fallout from job loss due to the pandemic, the “Great Resignation” (where people increasingly and voluntarily quit their jobs) and an aging Baby Boomer workforce retiring in droves, the construction industry must immediately prioritize attracting a new workforce.

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), construction faces a workforce shortage of over 650,000 workers in 2022 alone. They noted that since the end of the Great Recession, workers aged 25-54 had dropped 8%, while workers 55 and over have risen by 20%. With the average retirement age at 61 years old, a fifth of the industry could resign within the next six years.

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

Mr. Barlow may be contacted at jamesbarlow@bzisteel.com


In November, Construction Jobs Rose to Record Level

January 4, 2023
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction posted strong employment numbers in November, adding 20,000 jobs during the month, and also recording improvements in its unemployment rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

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


Robots in Construction Can Help Maintain Productivity at a Time When Fewer People Are Pursuing a Career in the Industry, Says GlobalData

December 26, 2022
GlobalData

The construction industry's lack of digitalization and new technologies mean that companies will struggle to fulfil projects as younger people choose to pursue a career in other industries, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that by adopting robotics technology at scale across the industry, companies can attract younger workers and maintain or increase their current productivity levels.

Two markets that can be lucrative for the construction industry are commercial drones and exoskeleton. According to GlobalData forecasts, the commercial drones segment was worth just $3.4 billion in 2020 but is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.6% to 2030 and will reach $57 billion. The exoskeleton market was worth $200 million in 2020, but it will be worth $10.9 billion in 2030, emerging as the fastest-growing robotics category with a CAGR of 49.0%.

In GlobalData's Construction Industry Sustainability Survey 2021 (159 respondents), 72% of respondents said the construction industry in their region was concerned or very concerned with the health and safety of construction workers. GlobalData's latest report, 'Robotics in Construction – Thematic Intelligence', identifies several other benefits that robots can bring to the industry such as construction robots, which can address these concerns by greatly increasing the safety of workers.


Contractors Face $700K OSHA Fines for South Boston Power Plant Collapse

December 18, 2022
Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record

Suffolk Construction and key subcontractor NorthStar Contracting Group face $691,000 in federal safety fines stemming from a wall collapse during demolition of a shuttered power plant in South Boston that left three workers injured, one seriously.

ENR may be contacted at enr@enr.com


Novel $750M Gas Power Plant With No Air Emissions Set in Texas

December 13, 2022
Mary B. Powers - Engineering News-Record

Natural gas power plant developer NET Power LLC, with partners Baker Hughes, Occidental Petroleum and Constellation Energy, will narrow selection of an EPC contractor by year end to build a $750-million utility scale power plant that it claims will be the world's first to burn natural gas with oxygen to generate power and produce pure carbon dioxide as a sellable byproduct with no harmful air emissions.

ENR may be contacted at enr@enr.com


Expert Tips on Height Safety for Roof Workers

December 5, 2022
Andy Graham - Construction Executive

Without the correct safety measures in place, working at height can be dangerous. In fact, accidents from height are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries.

Plan Effectively
Clear plans should be in place before any at-height work takes place and risk assessments should be carried out to identify potential hazards.

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


Vertical Growth

November 28, 2022
Christopher Durso - Construction Executive

The thing about working for an elevator company that’s been hired to modernize the elevator in the Washington Monument is that, due to the very nature of the project, the only way to get to the machine room at the top is to walk. That’s up 897 cold iron steps, in a narrow, windowless staircase that spirals within the 555-foot-high structure.

Jose Carrasco thought it was great. The stairs have been closed to the public since the 1970s, but when Delaware Elevator Inc. (DEI) got the job to lift the monument’s elevator into the 21st century, Carrasco—the company’s vice president of construction modernization—relished “the opportunity that not many people have to walk the steps.”

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


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



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