ConstructionPro Week (CPW) is getting ready for the new year and will resume its regular coverage of construction-related developments after the holidays. In closing for 2012, we include a brief note of interest from each of the five areas that CPW covers. But first, please note several events of interest coming up in January:
Construction Claims Advisor (CCA) -- Which weekly CCA commentary drew the most reaction from CPW/Construction Advisor Today (CAT) readers in 2012? It was the entry entitled “Can Anything Be Done about Bid Shopping?,” which appeared in the May 3 edition of CPW/CAT and prompted readers to post 24 comments, including this one: “We have discussed this topic many times in our local and national ASPE [American Society of Professional Estimators] conferences, and I present a seminar about it as well ... to teach subcontractors how to combat this unseemly practice, which has several faces -- bid chiseling, bid beating, bid peddling, bid discounting -- they all stink. ASPE’s Canons of Ethics specifically prohibit this practice, but most of these activities are perfectly legal, making them tough to combat. Thanks for raising this important topic in this forum; the creation of awareness is our best tool to use against these practices.” The entry and all of the comments it generated can be accessed at http://constructionpronet.com/Content_Free/5312part1.aspx. Thank you for all of your comments, and we look forward to many more in the coming year.
Construction Law -- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has applauded Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) for signing into law legislation (Public Acts 348 and 349) that will allow workers in the state to decide whether or not to join a union. “No American should be required to join a labor union just to keep a job, and no resident of Michigan should be forced to pay dues to an organization he or she does not believe in,” ABC National Chairman Eric Regelin said. However, the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council’s website reported a prediction from Michigan Laborers District Council Legislative Director Jonathan Byrd that the law will “introduce a wildly unfair ‘benefits without representation’ scenario, where workers [will] not have to pay union dues but still enjoy the benefits of costly training, and administration of health care and pension plans and contracts.” The new laws could encounter legal challenges, and eventually there may be a ballot proposal to repeal the laws. In preparation for potential challenges, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has created a task force to defend Snyder’s action. Michigan is the 24th state to approve legislation of this sort. Similar bills have been introduced in 12 other states.
Green Building -- Turner Construction’s latest Green Building Market Barometer survey indicates that while executives remain committed to incorporating sustainable building practices into their building programs, fewer respondents believe that their companies are likely to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification when constructing a green building. Ninety percent of surveyed executives reported that their companies are committed to environmentally sustainable practices. However, the share of executives indicating that it is extremely or very likely their companies would seek LEED certification if they construct a green building is only 48 percent, down from 53 percent in the 2010 survey and 61 percent in the 2008 survey. “It is apparent that in the last four years many companies seem to have become more knowledgeable about the means and methods of designing and constructing green buildings and are less reliant on LEED as a checklist or a scorecard,” Turner concluded. For the most recent survey, which took place in October, Turner received input from 718 executives. Respondents work in the following principal types of companies: architecture (49 percent), construction (19 percent), real estate consulting (11 percent), among others. To view the full report, email a request to email@example.com.
Building Information Modeling -- Earlier this month, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced the formation of the 3D Portrayal Standards Working group. This group is chartered to progress the Candidate OGC Web 3D Service Interface Standard and the OGC Web View Service Discussion Paper to the state of an integrated, adopted OGC standard. The proposed OGC 3D Portrayal v1.0 Standard would provide a standard interface for Web-based scene graph rendering and image-based rendering of 3D city models. The consortium believes that this standard will be implemented by providers of 3D city models (cities, national mapping organizations, and private data providers); geographic-information-system, computer-aided design, and building-information-modeling vendors; and mass-market software vendors interested in geographic-based applications. OGC is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards.
Project Controls -- During WPL Publishing’s most recent webinar, entitled “Delays and Time Extensions on Construction Projects: Dealing with Sandy,” Trauner Consulting Services Inc. Principal Scott Lowe stressed that the effect of severe weather on a construction project is not limited to the actual duration of the weather event. “Construction projects can be further delayed by cleanup, the drying out of saturate soils, and the reconstruction of work damaged by the storm…. For example, due to Sandy, construction projects in Brooklyn and Queens, the eastern NYC [New York City] boroughs, were affected by limitations placed on the size of truck shipments allowed over bridges and in tunnels in NYC.” Additional coverage of the 90-minute webinar will appear in the next edition of CPW. Stay tuned!