Tag Archive for Education

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object InjuriesEarlier this month a man was killed at a construction site New Jersey when a 1-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him in the head. This tragedy is a stark reminder that falling object injuries can and do occur. It could also be considered a call for an industry-wide effort to prevent these incidents in the future.

Falling Object Statistics

  • A solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in 2 seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour.
  • The same object dropped at 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles per hour.
  • A 2-ounce pen dropped from 230 feet has the potential to penetrate a hardhat.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

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Fall Protection and OSHA Compliance: What You Need to Know

Fall ProtectionWe recently published an article about the 46% jump in OSHA violations from 2012 to 2013. Not surprisingly, fall protection topped the list, again, with more than 8,000 violations, or 33 percent more than the second most common violation, Hazard Communication. The article sparked some good conversation around the industry about fall protection compliance and best practices.

With this in mind, here are some OSHA codes and general information that every project manager and worker should fully understand before stepping onto a jobsite. Because regulations can change, it is important that you consult the appropriate professionals when considering code compliance

Meet or exceed these codes:

Infographic: How Will We Rebuild America’s School Buildings?

America’s schools are in disrepair. Meanwhile, student populations are rising as budgets are slashed. How will America stay competitive in the future without sufficient school buildings today? Click on the infographic below to learn about two solutions that can help schools add new quality buildings quickly.

modular school buildings

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Creative Containers: Architects Transform 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

Portable storage container city

Photo: CMGLee

Portable storage container city interior

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

Modular Classrooms Welcome Students Back to School

5 Reasons Why Schools Should Consider Permanent Modular ConstructionA new school year’s underway, and here’s what we know about the state of education:

  • The generation now heading back to class is the largest since the Baby Boomers.
  • School populations are projected to grow steadily through 2019.
  • At $10 billion, U.S. spending on school construction is half of what is was prior to the recession.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers report on infrastructure gave our schools a D+.

Clearly, there’s a gap between the need for learning space and the resources invested in building it. Is modular an effective solution? We think so, and here’s why: Read more

The Next Generation of Architects Find Innovation in Modular

Some of the most innovative young minds in architecture are finding inspiration in modular construction. That’s one lesson learned from U.S. and China Solar Decathalons, where the winners used the power of modular to bring their projects to life.

Two Competitions, One Solution

Modular building innovation in China Solar Decathalon

In China’s first-ever Solar Decathlon, Asia-Pacific teams placed first and second over 19 competitors by applying modular construction to solar applications. The first-place team (from Australia’s University of Wollongong) used off-the-shelf solutions for the exterior of their solar-powered home. The second-place students (from South China University of Technology) used native materials like sugar cane and bamboo to create insulated wall panels. Read more

The Changing Face of Construction

Construction JobsThe traditional construction worker is here to stay. Hands on experience and practical know-how make these workers invaluable to the industry. At the same time, the construction industry is evolving and its workforce along with it. A new type of construction pro is emerging from reputable national programs focused on the latest in project management and technology.

Construction College

Columbia University provides proof of construction’s development. The Ivy League Read more

Modular Obstacles in Small Town America

Modular Taco Bell Franchise, Grundy, VA

Modular Taco Bell Franchise, Grundy, VA

Critics of modular often confuse exterior aesthetics with structural design. The truth behind this myth of modular construction is that, like traditional buildings, there are no limitations on the exterior aesthetics of modular buildings. They can be designed and built using the most elegant exterior finishes, or made cheaply with no-frills, low-cost cladding. Exterior appeal is determined by the architect and his client, not by the construction process.

Small Town Debates Modular Codes

Similar confusion has led residents of Kilgore, TX to lodge complaints about the design of Meadowbrook Preschool, a small expansion project still in progress. The uproar has town leaders considering new codes for future modular construction projects.

While some may scoff at such an issue in small town America given modular’s widespread adoption for large-scale projects, the Kilgore case confirms continued misconceptions about modular construction.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Muhlenburg College Modular Residence Hall

Muhlenburg College Modular Residence Hall, Allentown, PA

The concerns expressed about Meadowbrook Preschool are little more than critiques on its physical appearance with no comment about the new classroom’s functionality or benefit to the existing structure.

The Meadowbrook expansion was properly planned and approved. It meets existing city codes, zoning requirements, and other regulations. Yet, the proposed ordinance (which would not affect Meadowbrook) includes a pair of regulations that could set an interesting precedent if approved. Future modular buildings in Kilgore would need to: 1) be comparable in value to surrounding homes/buildings within a 500’ radius; and; 2) have external facades that look similar to others in the vicinity.

The proposed regulations fail to consider that options for design aesthetics for both traditional and modular buildings are virtually unlimited and are the direct result of the architects vision. That vision is subject to the client’s final approval. They can be elaborate, polished or elegant. Or, they can be plain, unfinished or downright ugly. The fact that the building is modular is irrelevant.

The Right Resolution

We hope that the Kilgore City Council realizes the debate is about exterior aesthetics and not structural design. Given the advantages of modular construction, cities like Kilgore could benefit greatly from going modular more often.

Wanted: Skilled Tradesmen for Growing Construction Industry

Construction Site Theft - Copper CableThe 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

How Technology is Taking over the GC’s Toolbox

Someone recently said to me that the construction industry has been reluctant to embrace technology. To that, I say, “Really?

Advances in technology are giving the industry new ways to make projects and processes more efficient. The easier the technology is to use, the more popular it becomes. And the more popular devices are helping projects run more efficiently in the field.

Common gadgets (think GPS-equipped smart phones and tablets) are becoming as vital to industry veterans as the hammer and nail. They’re portable, so there’s no need to carry an armful of blueprints from site to site. And they’re making cross-site communication and project research more efficient. Every day functions like snapping job-site photos, sending work orders, projecting costs and amending blueprints are being done faster than ever before.

Leaner, Meaner, Greener

Some companies are using technology to adopt green measures that reduce paper waste. And as a workforce weaned on Wi-Fi and mobile devices comes of age on the construction site, the tech industry is turning its attention to building construction-specific applications.

What tools and applications are you using to work better, and smarter, on the jobsite? Share your experiences in the comment section below.