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The Dotted Line: Why Overlooking General Conditions Can Derail a Construction Contract
The Dotted Line: Why Overlooking General Conditions Can Derail a Construction Contract
They look at scope, price and insurance, and that’s it, said Andrew Richards, co-managing partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck. Richards noted that many times, a client will come to him seeking advice after the contract has been signed and when t...
3 Concepts That Will Shape the Future of Construction
3 Concepts That Will Shape the Future of Construction
The U.S. construction industry often boxes itself in when facing obstacles or uncovering the newest emerging trends, while similar situations are occurring in nations across the globe. That international perspective can offer unique solutions and a sen...
Dramatic Increase In Workers Who Qualify for Overtime
Dramatic Increase In Workers Who Qualify for Overtime
New Department of Labor regulations, which were last updated more than a decade ago, would let full-time salaried employees earn overtime if they make up to $47,476 a year, more than double the current threshold of $23,660 a year. About 35 perc...
New Bridge Rail Designed to Prevent Rollover Crashes
New Bridge Rail Designed to Prevent Rollover Crashes
Texas engineers have developed a taller, heavier bridge rail to help prevent vehicles from rolling off overpasses.
Smart Hospitality: The Future of Hotel Construction
Smart Hospitality: The Future of Hotel Construction
BIM (Building Information Modeling) Technology is at the core of the hotel construction revolution, and is one of the most promising developments in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to date. BIM technology, when combined wi...
How To Avoid Excess Risks When Filing a Construction Lien or Bond Claim
How To Avoid Excess Risks When Filing a Construction Lien or Bond Claim
Sometimes it can be a challenge for contractors, suppliers and other parties who furnish labor or materials on construction projects to get paid. This is largely due to the credit-heavy nature of payment in the construction industry. Most parties hired...
Crisis Communication: What Should You Say When the Press Calls?
Crisis Communication: What Should You Say When the Press Calls?
As with every other aspect of the construction business, communicating with the media and the public—especially during a crisis—requires thoughtful planning. Contractors gain little by lying low and hoping that everything will just blow ove...
The Tools We Need To Measure the Real Value of P3s
The Tools We Need To Measure the Real Value of P3s
It's no surprise that public-private partnerships (P3s) are a hot topic in the United States. Non-traditional approaches to infrastructure financing promise to help fiscally strapped state and local governments increase investment in public infrastruct...
Tomorrow's Buildings: Smarter by Design
Tomorrow's Buildings: Smarter by Design
The smartest buildings of the future will be those designed with people in mind, according to a new breed of architects trying to put the human at the center of the process.
Real Reform: Revolutionizing Transportation in Virginia
Real Reform: Revolutionizing Transportation in Virginia
Virginia made transportation history this June when the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) voted to fully fund the first wave of infrastructure projects that were scored and selected based on an objective, data-driven process. Virginia's Secretary...
States Eye Design-Build to Speed Transportation Projects, Reduce Risk
States Eye Design-Build to Speed Transportation Projects, Reduce Risk
Some states, recognizing the economic and environmental costs of such delays, are starting to use financial incentives, heightened public scrutiny and design-build strategies to increase the likelihood that projects will come in on time and on budget. ...
How Construction Firms Can Manage the "Necessary Evil" of Change Orders
How Construction Firms Can Manage the "Necessary Evil" of Change Orders
Instructions for how a general contractor or subcontractor should proceed with changes to its original scope of work can typically be found in the contract's general conditions. Both general contractors and subcontractors should pay close attention to ...
Three Rules for Every Change on Every Construction Project
Three Rules for Every Change on Every Construction Project
A construction contract without a changes clause is like a boat without a captain. The boat will never reach its destination, and the construction project will never reach proper completion. The changes clause protects owners against scope and price in...
FAST Act Will Help New York Improve Transportation
FAST Act Will Help New York Improve Transportation
Congress’ recent delivery of a long-term transportation funding package offers substantial new opportunities for New York State to improve its infrastructure. Signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface ...
Sustainable Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project Gets Green Light
Sustainable Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project Gets Green Light
Engineering design firm Burns & McDonnell are set to provide design-build engineering and project management services in the new $27 million Green Omni Terminal Demonstration project at the port of Los Angeles.
Caterpillar Test Measures How Much Time Technology Can Cut from the Building Process
Caterpillar Test Measures How Much Time Technology Can Cut from the Building Process
Caterpillar Inc. recently conducted a production study at their proving grounds in Peoria, Ill., that once and for all put new technology to the test against traditional road building methods. They built identical roads side by side – one with in...
UConn Researchers Say Super-Strong Concrete Could Be a Fix for Nation's Bridge Problems
UConn Researchers Say Super-Strong Concrete Could Be a Fix for Nation's Bridge Problems
One problem aging bridges face is corrosion from the elements and salt from the roads. Corrosion often occurs at the end of beams in the superstructure of the bridge – the part that supports car traffic. Engineers usually use steel plates to patc...
New Technology for the Building Industry Being Put to the Test
New Technology for the Building Industry Being Put to the Test
A ton of research for the building industry is happening at local universities. It’s all state-of-the-art and expensive; some of it is even proprietary. University researchers with big budgets study many broad topics such as seismic retrofitting,...
Construction Underway on $330M Texas State Highway 330 South Project
Construction Underway on $330M Texas State Highway 330 South Project
State Highway 360 South is a design-build project. The project is overseen by a public-private partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation, the North Texas Tollway Authority and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Lane Constr...
Performance Bond Claims: A Step-by-Step Guide for Contractors
Performance Bond Claims: A Step-by-Step Guide for Contractors
However, there is still a chance to salvage finances, and the business’s reputation, by having a plan of action for responding to surety bond claims. Like any surety bond, a performance bond is an agreement between the principal (the contractor),...
Smart Glass out of the Shadows
Smart Glass out of the Shadows
Smart-glass tinting technology is not necessarily new. It has been used for decades in products ranging from airplanes to sunglasses, but with mixed results, which gave self-tinting glass a less-than-stellar reputation. That is changing now, though, wi...
New Steel Barriers Could Change Construction Industry
New Steel Barriers Could Change Construction Industry
Concrete barriers have been around for decades, but a new steel barrier hitting the market could change the game and the only place you can get it here in Colorado is Pueblo. Concrete barriers do what they're supposed to, which is stop cars from gettin...
Commentary: Integrated Approach is a Best Practice in Health Facility Development
Commentary: Integrated Approach is a Best Practice in Health Facility Development
Most healthcare facilities to date have been constructed under a design-bid-build model, or DBB–a three-party paradigm in which the owner contracts separately with both a designer and a constructor...In a 2015 KPMG report, 53% of owners reported ...
Staying Safe in Construction
Staying Safe in Construction
“Here’s a young kid – and I say young because they’re not old like me – but he’s not afraid to say, ‘Hey, stop the work, I need to make a call,’” recalls Jerry Flemming, vice president of risk manag...
The P3 Map is Changing in 2016: Could Your State Be Next?
The P3 Map is Changing in 2016: Could Your State Be Next?
It’s hard to say that Public-Private-Partnerships (P3s) have only become a trend in 2016. According to our P3 map based on state statutes, P3s are widely permitted in 10 states and are authorized for one primary sector in 15 others. However, legi...
7 Key Risks for Contractors in Transit Procurements
7 Key Risks for Contractors in Transit Procurements
Your company has reviewed an RFP issued by a municipal authority to select a firm to operate and maintain transit services, and the business team has signed off on the economics of submitting a bid.
Can Timber Skyscrapers Really Help Save the Planet?
Can Timber Skyscrapers Really Help Save the Planet?
Fueled by the wood products industry (a $200 billion market, if you include paper), sustainability issues, and emerging ideas from building science, wood buildings are no longer pastoral artifacts. According to many scientists and architects—...
From Prototype to Job Site: How Contractors Stay on the "Leading Edge" with New Technologies
From Prototype to Job Site: How Contractors Stay on the "Leading Edge" with New Technologies
Tony Colonna, senior vice president of innovation construction solutions at Skanska USA, heads up a team dedicated to technology, and as part of the company's "culture of innovation," ideas come from the top down, as well as from the trenches. "A lot o...
The Parking Garage of the Future: Big Makeover Coming in Autonomous Age
The Parking Garage of the Future: Big Makeover Coming in Autonomous Age
But like every other aspect of transportation being upended by technology, parking garages will be no different. Within the next two to five years, experts believe these technologies will begin to alter what drivers need from a parking garage. Further ...
How Louisiana's Vanishing Coast Could Create 13,600 Jobs
How Louisiana's Vanishing Coast Could Create 13,600 Jobs
A new report from Greater New Orleans Inc. predicts the region will have 13,632 job openings in coastal restoration and water management over the next decade, employing a range of laborers from construction workers to high-wage engineers.
New Method for 3D Scanning Buildings Uses Machine Learning
New Method for 3D Scanning Buildings Uses Machine Learning
In an effort to streamline the time-consuming and tedious task of collecting architectural details by hand, a team of Stanford researchers has recently added a level of automation to the existing process of collecting reliable building information with...
Experts Testing X-Ray Technology That Could Identify Infrastructure Damage
Experts Testing X-Ray Technology That Could Identify Infrastructure Damage
From potholes to cracks, it’s easy to see with your own eyes failures on the surface of a bridge. Issues underneath the surface – which compromise the structure of Rhode Island’s deteriorating bridges – are far harder to find an...
Modern Buildings Have an Alarming Flaw When People Need To Escape Quickly
Modern Buildings Have an Alarming Flaw When People Need To Escape Quickly
Safety engineering is about designing buildings that reduce the negative effects of accidents and attacks. The basic concept is straightforward: it takes a while after an incident before a structure collapses. If you can design it so that the time for ...
De Blasio Announces Crackdown on Construction Safety
De Blasio Announces Crackdown on Construction Safety
Amid a surge of construction injuries, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced that the city will more than quadruple penalties for safety lapses and conduct 1,500 sweeps at work sites.
Developments in Federal Design-Build Legislation and Regulation
Developments in Federal Design-Build Legislation and Regulation
We’ve had some movement on a few fronts with DBIA’s efforts to improve design-build procedures in federal projects. Since our successes in 2014 and 2015 on encouraging better use of two-step design-build selection procedures (more on that l...
Design-Build is Fast – Even Legislation Authorizing it
Design-Build is Fast – Even Legislation Authorizing it
Monday morning quarterback is always the easiest position to take, but we kind of saw this coming. With state and federal infrastructure in dire need of improvements and a Highway Trust Fund reauthorization issued by Congress in the fall of 2015, it...
How Value-added Services Can Improve Your Construction Business' Bottom Line
How Value-added Services Can Improve Your Construction Business' Bottom Line
Who said business is slow? The tighter economy lowered net profit margins while it increased most construction business owner’s and manager’s workloads. Cutting costs, reducing staff and lowering overhead expenses kept managers busier than ...
Envisioning More Sustainable Infrastructure
Envisioning More Sustainable Infrastructure
The Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects. It evaluates, grades and gives recogniti...
Finding Money for Big Infrastructure Projects
Finding Money for Big Infrastructure Projects
In recent years, Australia has come up with an alternative to tax increases that’s worth exploring in this country. As in the United States, most Australian infrastructure is the responsibility of the individual states, which have been taking an ...
Cities Build Up Innovation To Tackle Breakdown in Urban Infrastructure
Cities Build Up Innovation To Tackle Breakdown in Urban Infrastructure
The unfolding water contamination issue in Flint, Mich., which led to the declaration of a federal emergency, is the latest example of the challenges we are seeing across many of our nation’s cities when it comes to aging infrastructure. From tra...
Illinois Bill Looks to Significantly Expand Use of P3s
Illinois Bill Looks to Significantly Expand Use of P3s
The Illinois Senate is currently reviewing a bill that would greatly expand the authority of public agencies in Illinois to enter into public-private partnership (P3) agreements. To date, such authority has been limited to the Illinois DOT, the State ...
Los Angeles Approves $1 Billion River Restoration Plan
Los Angeles Approves $1 Billion River Restoration Plan
The city of Los Angeles approved a plan to restore an 11-mile stretch of the LA River.
8 of the Most Interesting Trends from Gensler's Design Forecast 2016
8 of the Most Interesting Trends from Gensler's Design Forecast 2016
Government Buildings Go High-Tech: In addition, governments will shift to design-build and public-private partnerships to develop and operate their facilities without losing sight of goals for resilience, wellness, and productivity. End-user involvemen...
Grand Parkway Project Receives Award from P3 Group
Grand Parkway Project Receives Award from P3 Group
A partnership that delivered Grand Parkway segments F1, F2 and G, from U.S. 290 to Interstate 69/U.S. 59, was recognized for its approach toward achieving faster delivery, lower costs and better design, the Texas Department of Transportation said.
Autonomous Robots and Four More Emerging Construction Technologies
Autonomous Robots and Four More Emerging Construction Technologies
Now that the construction industry is finally in sustainable recovery, it's time to look beyond survival at how the industry can develop and grow. There are numerous challenges ahead. Does the solution to many of these challenges lie in technology? It ...
Scissor Lift Accidents Spur OSHA To Issue Hazard Warning
Scissor Lift Accidents Spur OSHA To Issue Hazard Warning
A spate of accidents involving scissor lifts has caused the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a hazard alert outlining employers’ obligations and preventive measures.
Financing Trends in the Construction Industry
Financing Trends in the Construction Industry
In today’s lending environment, contractors in search of financing must do everything they can to position their companies in the best possible light to bankers and potential lenders and avoid high risk lending factors.
Alabama Prisons Bill Could be a Very Important Design-Build Victory
Alabama Prisons Bill Could be a Very Important Design-Build Victory
Alabama, one of just four states with serious restrictions on design-build, saw very quick movement on important legislation this week. The Alabama State Senate took an important step forward to promote design-build authority for the construction of wo...
Here's What the New Pensacola Bay Bridge Will Look Like
Here's What the New Pensacola Bay Bridge Will Look Like
The Florida Department of Transportation released the plans following the announcement that FDOT has issued a notice of intent to award Skanska USA Civil Southeast a design-build contract to replace the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
The High-Tech, Low-Cost World of Tunnel Building
The High-Tech, Low-Cost World of Tunnel Building
Cities are going down. To manage relentless growth, urban centers are expanding underground at an unprecedented pace. But it isn’t just the crush of humanity above the ground that is behind the subterranean push. It also is the result of dramatic...
Transportation Organizations Push back on GOP's Call To Eliminate Federal Transit Funding
Transportation Organizations Push back on GOP's Call To Eliminate Federal Transit Funding
It's no surprise that transportation-related trade organizations are delivering some serious pushback to the idea of reduced federal funding for transit and other non-highway projects. David Bauer, American Road and Transportation Builders Association ...
Onvia: Pay Attention to These Top Government Contracting Hotspots
Onvia: Pay Attention to These Top Government Contracting Hotspots
Repairing aging water systems, design-build projects, and industrial and marine projects are three of the 10 fastest growing categories in government contracting, according to an analysis by government bid data provider Onvia.
How Technology Can Solve Construction's Workforce Shortage
How Technology Can Solve Construction's Workforce Shortage
“In my opinion, the future of construction technology all comes down to analytics because we have such a workforce shortage right now,” says Dustin Burns, IT director with Kansas-City-based general contractor McCownGordon Construction. "And...
Technology Is Rebuilding the Construction Industry
Technology Is Rebuilding the Construction Industry
The building industry is notoriously slow when it comes to adopting and utilizing technological solutions. However, Google’s Project Tango could be about to change all that if its self-3D mapping software becomes impossible to ignore, as expected...
The Civil Rights of Construction Codes: Lessons from Harsh Consequences of FHA Noncompliance
The Civil Rights of Construction Codes: Lessons from Harsh Consequences of FHA Noncompliance
While attention is often focused on the high-profile, anti-discriminatory provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) — also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 — the measure also provides construction requirements for most mul...
To Increase Infrastructure and Transportation Projects, New Hampshire Adopts P3 Law
To Increase Infrastructure and Transportation Projects, New Hampshire Adopts P3 Law
The new law makes provisions for two P3 structures only - design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) and design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM), but each project must still be approved through New Hampshire's 10-year transportation improvement program.
U.S. Labor Department Hikes OSHA, MSHA Penalty Amounts
U.S. Labor Department Hikes OSHA, MSHA Penalty Amounts
In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect.
Commercial Property: Inspecting Hard To Reach Areas Quickly and Inexpensively
Commercial Property: Inspecting Hard To Reach Areas Quickly and Inexpensively
There are times where an inspection will be necessary in the most unique or hard to reach places. In some cases, it is too difficult or time consuming to rent, transport, place and erect equipment that may or may not end up gaining the access that is r...
A Departure from Decades of Highway Policy
A Departure from Decades of Highway Policy
Before he was the United States Secretary of Transportation, before he was Mayor of Charlotte, before he was a Charlotte city councilmember, Anthony Foxx grew up in a split-level house in Charlotte in the shadow of two freeways: I-77 and I-85.
Obama's Final Budget Proposal Calls for $4.15 Trillion in Spending
Obama's Final Budget Proposal Calls for $4.15 Trillion in Spending
President Obama sent the final budget proposal of his presidency to Congress last week, a $4.15 trillion package that will mark the closing rounds of a long-running fiscal battle with Republicans in Congress over the nation’s spending priorit...
Developing a Strategy for Getting Paid on Time
Developing a Strategy for Getting Paid on Time
Many architects and engineers don’t like to talk about money. This isn’t to say that architects aren’t good business people, it’s just that money typically is not the reason an architect or engineer is drawn to their career; it&...
As Roads Crumble, Infrastructure Spending Hits a 30-Year Low
As Roads Crumble, Infrastructure Spending Hits a 30-Year Low
A new report this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns that state and local spending on infrastructure – including schools and wastewater treatment plants as well as highways and bridges – is at a 30-year low. Total capi...
Contractors Beware: New Rules and Regulations Coming Soon
Contractors Beware: New Rules and Regulations Coming Soon
Nearly all contractors will have begun pouring by the time you read this. Although this means that you will be very busy during the season, you still need to watch for certain legal developments that are likely to impact your business.
Proposal Would Shift California Bullet Train Funding for Use on New Water Projects
Proposal Would Shift California Bullet Train Funding for Use on New Water Projects
The state’s powerful agriculture industry and its political allies are gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative that would grab bond money earmarked for California’s bullet train and use it instead for new water projects.
ENR: Top 500 Design Firms
ENR: Top 500 Design Firms
There is a growing trend in the industry, especially in the public sector, to move toward alternative project delivery. The move to alternative project delivery (APD) has caused a shift in the scale of some infrastructure projects. “To capitalize...
Retailers Fuel a Warehouse Boom, Racing to Keep Up with Amazon
Retailers Fuel a Warehouse Boom, Racing to Keep Up with Amazon
Over the past year, prime warehouse rents are up 9.9 percent across the U.S. and up by double-digit amounts in some large urban areas, according to a recent report. In some cities, surging demand has helped set off a speculative-building boom unlike an...
How NASA Accidentally Found a Way To Make buildings Safer During Earthquakes
How NASA Accidentally Found a Way To Make buildings Safer During Earthquakes
NASA developed a new stabilizing technology, known as the LOX Damper, in 2013 after working on a violently shaking rocket. Testing revealed that the Ares rocket, a crew launch vehicle, would shake so hard during ascent that it could harm astronauts on ...