Massachusetts and California Nab Top Spots on Energy Efficiency Scorecard

  Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Vermont and Oregon landed in the top five spots on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2017 scorecard, which assesses states’ utility programs, transportation policies, building energy code compliance, government-led efficiency initiatives, appliance and equipment standards, and heat and power policies. Idaho, Florida and Virginia were the three most improved states. For more information, visit aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.

Retaining Construction's Greatest Asset

As the industry struggles to improve its reputation among the younger generation, many tactics can be used to foster a company culture that improves employee retention. Offer attractive benefits packages. Provide access to training and education. Keep communication with leadership clear and comfortable. Focus on safety. Encourage employees to become active in their communities. And, don’t be afraid to have a little bit of fun.

The Power of Partnership: Choosing the Best Surety Agent for the Job

  Thanks to several years of favorable industry-wide results, there is plenty of capacity in the surety marketplace. Carriers and agents are aggressively competing for contractors’ business. Most companies have probably received numerous solicitations from agents and brokers near and far, via the internet, promising larger programs, better terms and lower rates. 

In today’s soft market environment, practically any licensed insurance agent can help a firm obtain bonding. It is a buyer’s market right now and a great opportunity for contractors to establish their first bond line or reevaluate their current situation.

Don’t Overlook Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) in Civil Construction Cases

Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) is significantly underutilized in civil construction cases. Ordinarily thought of as a criminal evidentiary statute, Rule 404(b) excludes evidence of a person’s character or actions as proof that the person acted in conformity with that character attribute. However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as prior knowledge, motive or lack of mistake. Though seldom used in construction cases, these and other exceptions allow savvy counsel to include evidence that might not ordinarily be admitted in a civil construction case. 

How to Handle Higher Project Volume Without Overextending the Business

  Higher project volume—whether it’s more projects of the same size or the same number of projects at an increased size—can place stress on any contractor. The starting point for handling that stress is the business plan, which should be prepared and continually updated. Accordingly, contractors that decide to increase project volume should only consider doing so after careful planning.

Keep in mind, the business plan for well-run organizations incorporates the five Ms: money, machine, material, manpower and methodology. 

Filling the Surety Industry's Generation Gap

Word of the construction industry’s labor shortage is being heard loud and clear: Two-thirds of U.S. contractors are having a hard time finding qualified workers and possess a virtually nonexistent backfill of young talent entering the industry. But what about the surety professionals working behind the scenes? Are they facing the same challenges?

Building the Contemporary Coliseum

When owners and operators of a professional franchise lobby a community for a new or updated stadium or arena, they frequently argue that construction and operation of the facility will boost the local economy. On the surface, that makes sense. Arenas and stadiums are expensive to construct and they have a propensity to attract large numbers of visitors with disposable income, including from other communities. That fuels spending, hotel stays, job creation and tax revenues.

Airport Construction and Design Is Taking Off Thanks to Virtual Reality

  While VDC improves the efficiency of projects of any size, it significantly supports the construction of larger, more complex airport jobs. This is achieved through an integrated process that brings together the most critical components of a project: logistics, scheduling, safety and cost. Virtual reality then provides stakeholders with the opportunity to become immersed in the environment. Experiencing complex projects in this manner can create a more fluid decision-making process and fewer surprises down the road.

A Renewed Focus on Resiliency in Wood Construction

  In light of several recent natural disasters affecting North America, there is renewed focus on the resiliency of buildings. Because ongoing development will increase the total number of buildings exposed to these extreme weather events, the construction industry must play an active role in enhancing resiliency.

Sealing in Building Performance: Innovations Spark New Opportunities for Energy Savings

With the development of aerosol-based sealing, the tide has begun to turn on duct leakage. During the past six years or so, hundreds of commercial buildings across the country (and the world) have solved previously unsolvable ventilation issues, energy waste concerns, poor indoor air quality and other factors directly related to duct leakage. 

 

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