Joanna Masterson's Articles

How do you see technology disrupting the construction industry, for better or worse?

The Boston Consulting Group reported that full-scale digitalization in nonresidential construction will lead to annual global cost savings of up to $1.2 trillion in the engineering and construction phases. Think about the impact that kind of savings could have on our industry—one that has been plagued by low margins and high risk for far too long.

A User’s Perspective on Health Care Trends

Darrell O. Simpson, senior vice president of development at The Sanders Trust, Birmingham, Ala., offers candid feedback o health care segments, workforce concerns, and the benefits of collaboration, BIM and prefabrication. 

A New Continuum of Care

The health care industry’s shift from treating sickness to supporting preventive wellness is starting to take shape on the construction front—and the geographic scope of services is broadening as well. Recognizing this new continuum of care, medical providers are busy building or expanding outpatient clinics, freestanding primary care facilities, specialty cancer centers and rehabilitation hospitals. With those services spider-webbing into the community, main hospital campuses are undergoing renovations to meet standards for private rooms and adapt spaces to accommodate the remaining patients who need serious care.

Is Your Jobsite Smart Enough?

There’s a lot for contractors to be excited about on the technology front: drones, BIM, mobile apps, sensors, wearables, telematics, smart tools, video documentation, robotics, 3-D printing, laser scanning, generative design and much, much more. But the prospect of all the analytics, alerts and automation can quickly turn overwhelming without a firm strategy and capable IT staff in place. The trick is finding the sweet spot between doing what’s right for the company and not falling too far behind competitors—all while heeding employees’ appetite for change and making sure the technology is actually suited for construction environments.

ABC Members Invest $200,000 in Military Families

"Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy.” That motto has inspired Folds of Honor since 2007, when Major Dan Rooney started the foundation as a means of providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

Strong Prospects

What happens when 20 million people are expected to move to Texas in the next 30 years? Local contractors and college construction programs get busy. 

Already last year, 20,000 homes were built in the greater Austin area to accommodate the anticipated population influx, which is estimated to require the construction of 50 percent more residential units than the current stock

ABC Craft Instructor of the Year Brings Field Experience to the Classroom

By all accounts, Roger Thompson is one of the industry’s best at funneling his 32 years of experience in the electrical field into the minds of first-year apprentices. They’re listening, they’re learning and they appreciate the care he shows for their careers.

Wired for Success

When Adam Ruff was promoted to field supervisor at Price Electric, Robins, Iowa, last year, he set some personal goals to help develop the company’s next crop of leaders, improve operational efficiencies and have a positive influence over a larger group of people. He can place a definitive checkmark next to that last goal now that he has been named Associated Builders andContractors’ (ABC) 2017 Craft Professional of the Year. Ruff received the award in front of hundreds of contractors, apprentices and their families at ABC’s Workforce Week, held in March in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Crowdsourcing a Charitable Beneficiary

In March, Faith Technologies, Menasha, Wis., gave $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club with a little help from its social media community. Customers, partners and employees from across the country voted in an online poll to determine which of the four nonprofit organizations designated by Faith Technologies’ Giving Committee would receive the donation. The Boys and Girls Club won with 46 percent of the votes, followed by the American Heart Association with 35 percent of the votes; the remaining votes went to Earth Share and Junior Achievement.

Safety Leadership at All Levels

Nobody wants a jobsite incident to occur, but how a contractor responds to a worst case scenario is part of what separates it on the safety spectrum. 

Fisher Contracting Company, Midland, Mich., which performs civil infrastructure projects across Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, can attest. On a job last year, a scaffold wall bracket failed, causing an employee to fall to a lower level and suffer rib injuries. Upon review, Fisher Contracting determined the relatively new employee didn’t feel comfortable mentioning he was unsatisfied with the condition of the rented scaffold equipment.

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