Archive for Jeff Dusing

How Will Lower Oil Prices Affect the Construction Industry?

Gas Station Fill 300x168 How Will Lower Oil Prices Affect the Construction Industry?With the cost of oil hovering around $50 a barrel, economists are projecting both positive and negative effects on a national and global scale. But how will lower oil prices affect construction, an industry that’s looking for a big year, and heavily reliant on fuel for transportation, heavy equipment and more?

ENR.com attempted to answer this question in the recent article, Contractors Get Reprieve at the Pump.

While responses are mixed, we thought you’d find the perspectives interesting as you look forward to the building season. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

Xmas Safety 270x300 Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips to help you keep the festivities safe for family and friends. While many of these tips may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, year-after-year emergency responders across the nation are called to action for entirely avoidable circumstances. So please keep these in mind while celebrating this season.

Drink Responsibly

Appoint a designated driver, get a taxi or simply stay put until you can drive safely. Alcohol is still one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities. It’s just not worth it. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

Buckle Up for Safety

This simple and effective safety measure is forgotten by many during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family far away or just going down the street, take a moment before pulling out of the driveway to make sure everyone is ready for a safe journey.

Be Weather Ready

Winter travel requires additional preparation. Start with an inspection by a professional mechanic and address any issues before you hit the road. Have flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, and snacks in your vehicle at all times. A shovel and a bag of kitty litter are especially helpful when you’re stuck in the snow.

Holiday Decorations

Choose decorations made from flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Always keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials. Carefully inspect all lighting and repair or replace any damaged items before plugging them in. Make sure lights are mounted securely to avoid damaging the wire insulation. Confirm all outdoor lighting is certified for outdoor use and make sure all lighting is properly grounded. Never overload outlets or extension cords as is can lead to fire. And remember to turn off all electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

Before using a fireplace or stove, test all smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers nearby. Keep the area around your fireplace or stove clear and double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. Always use a fireplace screen to catch burning embers. Never Read more

2014 Construction Industry Roundup and 2015 Forecast

improve 300x153 2014 Construction Industry Roundup and 2015 ForecastWhile architects, engineers and construction pros close the books on 2014, industry experts have already crunched mountains of data and released their predictions regarding where the construction industry is headed in 2015. Here are some highlights from industry analysts.

The Associated General Contractors of America @AGCofA

AGC of America Economist Ken Simonson took a look back at 2014. In a recent release, Simonson cited a report from the Department of Labor which confirmed 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs between October 2013 and October 2014. The association’s chief economist noted, “These year-over-year and one-month changes show that construction is doing well in most of the country. Yet, the list of states that have added construction jobs varies from month to month, showing that the industry’s recovery remains vulnerable to worker shortages and unfavorable governmental actions.”

Forbes @Forbes

Houston was the fastest growing U.S. city in 2014, according to Forbes Staff Writer Erin Carlyle. The oil industry metropolis was the site of $25.1 billion in new construction in Read more

10 Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Day Hd Wallpaper 2013 001 300x187 10 Tips for a Safe ThanksgivingAs we all pause to give thanks, here are 10 tips to help you keep friends and family safe throughout the celebration.

  1. Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
  2. Have a working ABC, UL fire extinguisher in the kitchen and remember the acronym P.A.S.S.
    1. Pull the pin.
    2. Aim the spray nozzle at the base of the fire.
    3. Squeeze the nozzle to spray the contents.
    4. Sweep back and forth as you spray the base of the fire.
  3. Keep a fire-resistant oven mitt close to your cooking area. If a fire starts in a pan, use the oven mitt to pick up the lid and cover the fire. Turn off the stove and do not remove the lid until the pan has cooled.
  4. In the case of an oven fire, keep the oven door closed and turn off the oven to prevent flames from spreading. If the fire does not go out quickly, call 9-1-1.
  5. Never wear loose clothing while cooking as it can catch fire from hot burners or open flames.
  6. Make sure a kitchen smoke alarm is installed and in good working condition before you start cooking.
  7. Never pour water on a grease fire as it is likely to spread. Using a fire-resistant oven mitt, carefully cover the pan, turn off the burner and wait until the pan has cooled before you remove it.
  8. Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills that commonly result in burns.
  9. Never put glass dishes or lids on a stove top. They can overheat and explode.
  10. Unplug small appliances when not in use.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Creative Architects Turn Portable Storage Units Into Sustainable Structures

Portable storage containers are commonly used by construction firms and retail stores to keep materials, equipment and inventory safe from the elements and theft. But around the world, architects, community planners and entrepreneurs are finding new, inventive ways to use portable storage units to create visually stunning places for people to work, eat and live.

Here are some great examples of how storage containers have been reinvented around the world.

Container Cities

1024px Cmglee Container City 2 300x200 Creative Architects Turn Portable Storage Units Into Sustainable Structures

Photo: CMGLee

1024px Cmglee Container City Studio 12 300x200 Creative Architects Turn Portable Storage Units Into Sustainable Structures

Photo: CMGLee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2001, Container City I was built in London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf by Urban Space Management. The project transformed 40’ storage containers into affordable housing and office space in just four days.

The following year, the firm expanded the development with the creatively named Container City II, adding more offices and several colorful bridges that connect it to Container City I.

Ice Cream Parlor in a Can

In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, Smitten Ice Cream put a new spin on the traditional ice cream parlor using a 40’ storage container. Builders sliced the container in half and Read more

5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download Now

Construction Tech 150x150 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download NowEquipment World.com named the Apple iPhone 5s the best smart phone for construction industry professionals. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the most affordable. Despite its faults, the iPhone still has far more readily available apps that make construction pros smarter, more efficient and more effective on the job. Add a beefy case and the right app and you have a powerful tool that goes wherever you do, including the jobsite.

App Appeal

Construction apps can provide the developer, project manager, and even site foreman a wealth of real-time resources that make every job easier. From apps that monitor project bids to finger-assisted CAD drawing to calculating architectural formulas, the number of available construction-specific apps is currently in the thousands and growing.

Best Apps for Construction

The best app for you depends on your job responsibilities, personal preferences and technical aptitude. Here are a few of our favorite free apps you may find useful: Read more

5 Big Benefits of In-factory Construction

DSC 0056 300x199 5 Big Benefits of In factory ConstructionMost people know that in-factory construction is faster than traditional, site-built construction. But there are several more advantages to in-factory building. Here are a few that may impact your decision on where to build.

1. Precision Assembly

The repeatable nature of in-factory construction allows builders to continuously improve equipment and processes that cannot be reproduced onsite. Cuts and connections are practiced and confirmed accurate.

As the building proceeds through the assembly line, frequent checks confirm strict adherence to specifications. Components that fail to meet specifications are corrected Read more

Infographic: Deconstructing Construction Waste

Construction accounts for 24 percent of all solid waste produced in the U.S. That’s approximately 160 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris created every year.

Reducing construction waste can have a tremendous impact on landfill costs, not to mention the obvious benefit to our environment. One solution for greener building is modular construction. Modular is inherently more resource efficient, and can dramatically reduce C&D waste.

Click on the infographic below to see some staggering construction waste figures, and the waste and money savings that can result from modular building.

modspace deconstructwaste final 012413 Infographic: Deconstructing Construction Waste

Copy and paste the code below to embed this infographic on Your site.


<img src="http://modspaceblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/modspace_deconstructwaste-final-012413.png" width="800">

Deconstructing Construction Waste – An infographic by the team at ModSpace

Infographic: Modular Construction or Traditional Building… What’s right for you?

Before you start planning your next construction project, here’s an infographic that may help you determine which building method is right for you.

Click on the image to see the full-size version

modular vs traditional infographic1 Infographic: Modular Construction or Traditional Building... Whats right for you?

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Copy and Paste the Code Below


<img src="http://www.modspace.com/enews/Modular-vs-Traditional_Infographic.png" width="800">

Modular vs. Traditional Construction – An infographic by the team at ModSpace

How to Prevent Construction Site Theft

copper cable thumbnail1 150x150 How to Prevent Construction Site TheftConstruction site theft is on the rise, and expensive delays and replacement costs are the fallout. Copper wiring, generators, and heavy equipment are some of the items at risk.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates as much as $1 billion in metals and equipment is stolen from construction sites each year. And a 2009-2011 report by the NICB revealed that metal theft claims jumped 81 percent over numbers from 2006-2008, an increase driven by the economic downturn and the rising price of base metals.

Thieves are looking for more than metals. Equipment theft is also a significant threat to contractors and subs. According to the NCIB, in 2010 there were 13,374 reports of heavy equipment theft, valued at around $400 million, of which only 19 percent was recovered. This year, 43 percent of thefts were reported in just five states, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Read more