Archive for General Construction

How Will the Polar Vortex Affect Construction Through 2014?

polar vortex11 300x225 How Will the Polar Vortex Affect Construction Through 2014?Something’s wrong when a term like “polar vortex” is trending on Twitter. Since early December bone-chilling cold and record snow have gripped the much of the nation. For the construction industry, now is the time of year when construction is heating up. But with many states still packed in snow, meeting existing deadlines and starting new construction is a monumental challenge.

It’s not for lack of effort. Hard-as-nails construction crews forge on through bitter cold, driving projects closer to completion. Despite their fortitude, countless construction sites have been shut down for the safety of workers. They’re all to be commended for their dedication.

Can Construction Rebound?

The situation gives way to several possible scenarios, all of which raise the question as Read more

14 Construction Apps for Project Managers in 2014

iphone tool belt 300x286 14 Construction Apps for Project Managers in 2014Apple’s App Store recently topped 1 million apps, with approximately 25,000 new apps being added every day, or one every 3.5 seconds. For construction, the store has more than 10,000 good and not-so-good tools available to help project managers be more effective and efficient on the job. With so many options, finding the right one for you can be a task in itself. To help you get a jump on your app search, here are 14 you should consider downloading in 2014.

1. Archipad Lite

A version of Archipad software made for the iPad, this free app allows project managers to create and send punch lists, reports, and drawings with specific locations for items. It also “learns” to autocomplete entries based on familiar phrases you use. Archipad Lite automatically formats information, eliminating time-consuming steps to ensure your information is conveyed in a neat, concise way. 

2. iAuditor: Safety Audit and Checklist

Do paperless safety checks and inspections for free. Edit, sign-off and approve,  then email completed audits in PDF or Microsoft Word formats. The iAuditor has more than Read more

3D Printing of Buildings Becoming a Reality

3D Printed House 300x193 3D Printing of Buildings Becoming a RealityAt its current rate of advancement, it’s projected that, by 2020, 3D printing will become a $5.2 billion industry. From synthetic human limbs to functioning firearms, state-of-the-art 3D printing is now making its way into construction. Here are a couple of the projects paving the way for 3D printing of buildings.

New Year’s Resolutions for Construction Professionals in 2014

2014Resolutions New Years Resolutions for Construction Professionals in 2014Every New Year brings the opportunity to clear the slate and start adopting better, more productive habits. While eating healthier and exercising may top the list of personal resolutions, construction professionals may find themselves with a few additional goals for 2014. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions worth consideration by construction pros:

1.    Contribute to a safer working environment

Safety is a top priority in every workplace; however, it’s even more pertinent in a field like construction. Stay up-to-date on the latest amendments to OSHA regulations and Read more

Survey Confirms Modular Construction to Expand in 2014

ModularOfficeBuilding 300x148 Survey Confirms Modular Construction to Expand in 2014A recent FMI survey revealed some compelling trends in prefabricated and modular construction in the near future. The survey targeted a blend of mechanical, electrical, and general construction contractors, as well as construction management firms. Here are some of the noteworthy findings:

  • Respondents believe that prefabrication services will grow by more than 5% per year for the next three years.
  • More firms are considering in-house prefabrication (17% in 2013 compared to 5% in 2010). At the same time, the number of respondents who have definitive plans to start up their own prefabrication facilities dropped from 57% in 2010 to 33% in 2013.
  • 40% of all respondents have prefabricated construction as a part of their companies’ strategic initiatives.

While the survey as a whole appears to convey mixed messages (specifically point 2 above), it is obvious that industry participants believe that prefabrication and modularization services will play important roles within construction projects in the future.

The question remains as to the number of respondents that will take on those responsibilities themselves or look to subcontractors for in-factory construction. As with all expansion plans, ROI will determine whether or not in-house modular divisions will be cost effective.

With nearly a half century of experience in modular, we’re happy to see more firms are seeing the benefits of in-factory building and look forward to what 2014 reveals.

There’s a Construction App for That

appstore under construction 300x199 Theres a Construction App for ThatApple’s iPhone 5s was recently named the best smart phone for construction industry professionals by Equipment World.com. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the cheapest. 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

4 New Trends in Commercial Construction Management for 2014

Women in Construction 300x203 4 New Trends in Commercial Construction Management for 2014With 2014 right around the corner, there is no better time to look at some of the new trends in commercial construction. Not surprisingly, technology, particularly cloud-based tech, is poised to figure extensively into construction management in 2014.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Also known as software on demand, SaaS allows the user to gain access to the cloud by using an application service provider. All information Read more

Common Mistakes that Lead to Construction Injuries….And How to Prevent Them

construction worker1 186x300 Common Mistakes that Lead to Construction Injuries….And How to Prevent ThemAn “accident” is normally defined as an unexpected or unforeseen condition with an element of “chance”. In the world of construction, incidents can happen to even the most experienced professionals and are not normally due to “chance”. Incident causation is usually based on unsafe acts and/or unsafe conditions and therefore can be prevented. Developed in the late 1920s, Heinrich’s Domino Theory regarding the sequence of events that lead to construction injuries still holds true today. The theory states:

  1. Social Environment [that develops…]
  2. Undesirable work traits – recklessness, lack of knowledge,  nervousness [that creates…]
  3. Unsafe work acts / Unsafe work conditions [that cause the…]
  4. Incident [that results in…]
  5. Injury

This theory places strong emphasis on the Unsafe Work Act / Unsafe Work Condition “domino” as Heinrich believed that unsafe acts more frequently are the cause of Read more

5 Questions to Ask Every Commercial Construction Vendor

construction employment april 2013 200x300 5 Questions to Ask Every Commercial Construction VendorWhether you’re a general contractor, architect or facility manager, finding the right vendor for your commercial construction project can difficult. There are plenty of service providers to choose from. But how do you separate the good from the unreliable? Here are a few questions you should ask before signing any contract.

What is your experience?

Your project should not be their training ground. Ask how long they’ve been in business and if they hold any certifications, licenses or belong to their industry association.

Can you provide a list of past customers or projects?

It’s one thing for a vendor to say they have been on the job for 20 years. It is a different Read more

5 Reasons to Consider In-Factory Construction

DSC 0056 300x199 5 Reasons to Consider 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