VOLUME Construction Advisor Today   ISSUE 81   NOVEMBER 12, 2010


On public construction projects, bid prices are generally a matter of public record. On private projects, of course, this is not the case. The private project owner has no legal obligation to disclose bid prices to the bidders. A recent Tennessee court decision illustrates, however, the drawbacks to keeping this information too close to the chest.


Of the four bids received, the low bid was approximately $3.3 million and the second low bid was $5.2 million. The private project owner suspected a mistake. The owner declined to disclose the bid price spread to the low bidder, but said the bid was lower than the owner’s estimate. The bidder confirmed the accuracy of its bid and signed the contract.


Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh will lead a four-year, $2-million federally funded project to revamp sustainable construction by investigating "the true environmental presence" of current green buildings and redesigning the scientific method that guides sustainable construction. The researchers then will integrate their work into a digital simulator that is expected to predict a structure's ultimate footprint based on construction and performance decisions. 


Melissa Bilec, a professor of civil and environmental engineering in the university's Swanson School of Engineering, received an Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grant in Science in Energy and Environmental Design (EFRI-SEED) from the National Science Foundation to lead a group of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University researchers in evaluating and expanding the scope of life-cycle assessments (LCAs). When used in construction, LCAs analyze a building's environmental impact throughout its entire existence, from the production of its basic components and raw materials to eventual demolition and disposal. 


Autodesk Inc. earlier this month announced that AutoCAD for Mac is now available for purchase. This version of AutoCAD software, one of the most widely used applications for professional design and engineering, makes AutoCAD features and functionality available to customers who choose to work natively on the Mac.


"AutoCAD for Mac has an intuitive interface that will feel familiar to Mac users and takes full advantage of Mac OS X, including graphical browsing of design files with Cover Flow and use of Multi-Touch gestures for pan and zoom on Mac notebooks, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad," Autodesk stated. "With native creation and editing of files in the DWG file format, AutoCAD for Mac also supports easy collaboration with suppliers, customers, clients and partners regardless of platform. AutoCAD for Mac is also integrated with AutoCad WS, so users can also upload and manage designs in their online workspace directly from the desktop and easily edit and share those designs through a Web browser or Apple iOS devices using the free AutoCad WS mobile application." 





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