Archive for Jason McLaughlin

The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage Disclosure

Lightbulb 300x225 The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage DisclosureAs global green initiatives continue to increase and energy efficiency remains a priority, the question of energy usage disclosure has become a highly contested issue. As its name suggests, energy usage disclosure is the requirement that building managers report the total energy consumption rates of their respective properties.

Much of the country already complies with such informational reporting (specifically Northeastern states), however California, due to state law AB 1103, and Chicago now require that commercial building owners disclose their energy use. Other major cities, including New York, Austin, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are Read more

5 Reasons to Choose Certified Remanufactured Modular Buildings

CRB Cutout 300x214 5 Reasons to Choose Certified Remanufactured Modular BuildingsIn today’s cost- and environmentally-conscious world, there are few options for adding space quickly and affordably, without creating significant waste.

For companies on tight timelines and budgets, remanufactured modular buildings are a popular option. Here are some reasons why you should consider them.

1. Not Refurbished, Remanufactured

Refurbished buildings commonly undergo simple cosmetic updates and essential repairs. Remanufacturing refers to a comprehensive overhaul. The process starts with a Read more

Major Milestones in Modular Construction History

Modular building is anything but new. Modular construction dates back to the early 20th century, gaining traction between World War I and World War II before taking off in the 1950s.

In the 21st century, modular is more sophisticated, but its core architectural principles remain. That said, a tip of the cap is due to a pair of modular projects of yore, both of which embody creativity, ambition and lasting vision.

AndrewLloydWrightModularHouse 300x200 Major Milestones in Modular Construction HistoryFrank Lloyd Wright’s 1923 Millard House

Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose modular construction when designing his 1923 Millard House in Pasadena, California. Wright used a unique concrete block building strategy to complete “La Miniatura” for $17,000. His goal was to reduce material costs without compromising aesthetics. We think he proved his point. The structure was recently put up for sale for nearly $4.5 million.

Hilton Palacio del Rio Major Milestones in Modular Construction History

Palacio del Rio Hotel

San Antonio’s Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel is an example of modular speed. It was built in 1968 in 202 working days by H.B. Zachry Company (now Zachry Construction Corporation), just in time for the opening of the neighboring Texas World Exposition.

With nearly 500 rooms, the 21-story hotel featured individually pre-cast and decorated modules that were manufactured offsite. The crane-placed modules measure 30’ x 13’ x 10’ and weigh approximately 35 tons each. Today, the hotel remains a vibrant part of San Antonio’s Riverwalk District, and a beautiful example of modular construction.

Wanted: Skilled Tradesmen for Growing Construction Industry

copper cable thumbnail1 Wanted: Skilled Tradesmen for Growing Construction Industry The outlook for new residential and non-residential construction is increasingly positive. But with more projects on the horizon, new fears are emerging regarding a potential shortage of skilled construction workers.

Industry Falloff and Attrition

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), many tradesmen retired or left the industry over the past decade causing a shortage of skilled plumbers, electricians, roofers and other essential trades.

AGC is attempting to curtail the shortfall by urging education officials to bolster Read more

Modular Construction vs. Noise Pollution

Construction site noise1 Modular Construction vs. Noise PollutionThe advantages of modular over traditional construction are well documented. Cost effectiveness, sustainability, and speed are at the top of the list. One benefit that’s often overlooked is the significant reduction of construction noise.

How does modular cut construction noise? Instead of hammers banging away at the site, modular structures are built offsite in controlled factory environments.

Modular also requires comparatively less site preparation. Unlike stick-built structures, modular buildings are designed and built to stand Read more

5 Ways Modular Construction is Greener

sustainable modular construction 5 Ways Modular Construction is GreenerAs we pause to celebrate Earth Day today, many of us may stop to consider what we can do to help the environment. Selfishly, we hope your considerations lead you to waste reduction through modular construction.

At nearly 25 percent, construction waste is the largest contributor to our waste stream. Cutting it would have a measurable impact on landfills, air pollution and our consumption of natural resources.

The US Green Building Council agrees. That’s why modular construction is worth additional points for Read more

5 Reasons Why Schools Should Consider Modular Construction

Rising enrollments, decreasing budgets and natural disasters have America’s schools facing difficult times. When it comes to adding new teaching space quickly and affordably, modular construction offers temporary and permanent solutions that get students back to class sooner, even on tight budgets.

Here are five reasons to look closely at modular learning space. Click the link in each one to see how schools can benefit from temporary and permanent modular construction.

1. Faster Permanent Buildings

 5 Reasons Why Schools Should Consider Modular ConstructionThe Jesse Kaplan School in West Nyack, NY needed four ADA-approved classrooms with restrooms for special needs children. The classrooms had to blend seamlessly with the existing facility. Innovative floorless modular construction Read more

Decoding Mixed Messages in Construction Industry Reporting

 Decoding Mixed Messages in Construction Industry ReportingYou don’t have to look far to find contradicting reports on the current and future state of construction. On their own, the numbers usually speak for themselves. Putting them together for a clear view of the industry and where it’s headed is the challenge.

Statistical Confusion

This month, Reuters reported that construction spending in January was unexpectedly weak. A week later, the news agency reported that new Labor Department numbers showed a February increase in construction sector hiring, with approximately 48,000 employees added to national payrolls — nearly Read more

Forecast: Construction Employment to Improve in 2013

 Forecast: Construction Employment to Improve in 20132012 was dismal at best for adding new construction jobs.  Fortunately, one forecast is predicting a decided uptick in construction hiring this year.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Patrick Newport, an economist at international research firm IHS Global Insight said, “Construction companies will add 140,000 jobs this year, up from a meager 18,000 in 2012.” If correct, 2013 construction job growth would mark a 678 percent increase in hiring over last year, a number I think we can all live with.

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statics would seem to suggest that job growth has already started with a Read more

4 Green Building Trends to Watch in 2013

green building 2013 trends 4 Green Building Trends to Watch in 2013There’s little question that green building is on the rise. Now, as all indicators point to a promising 2013 for commercial and residential construction alike, here are a few green trends likely to hit your radar sometime this year.

1. Greening Existing Workspaces
The U.S. Green Building Council spent most of 2012 working with individual states to expand their portfolio of sustainable projects. For 2013, the USGBC continues this push with a new framework for companies and cities that applies to both new projects and renovations.

2. It’s All in the Cloud
2012 introduced cloud computing to the general public. Apple and Google led the way, creating remotely stored systems and data for customers to access via the Internet, instead of a local hard drive. This year, Read more