How Not to Sweat Summertime Heat Stress

  As those who’ve worked in the construction industry for years can attest, the often excessive exposure to heat during the summer months in many parts of the United States can cause a wide variety of illnesses associated with heat stress, ranging from heat rashes and heat exhaustion to heat cramps and heat stroke. Thousands of workers report suffering occupational heat-related illnesses each year, dozens of which result in fatalities. Of those fatalities, 40 percent occur in the construction industry. 

Job Planning and Risk Assessment Under NFPA 70E 2018

  While there are guidelines and requirements in place to help prevent electrical accidents, there is still a lot of room for error and oversight during the course of a busy workday. According to OSHA data, there are 30,000 arcs and 7,000 burn injuries per year, and more than 2,000 people are admitted to the hospital with severe arc flash burns annually.

Open Data Makes Sustainable Structures More Achievable

  The demand for sustainability and efficiency associated with new construction and renovation projects is higher than ever, as monthly energy costs constitute an ever-increasing percentage of total building life cycle expenses due to rising utility rates. As a result, sustainable construction practices promoting net-zero building designs have become a prevalent industry objective. However, peak sustainability is rarely accomplished due to the high costs and a lack of resources available in the early stages of design and planning.  

Conflict in Court Over Income Recognition for Construction Contractors

  The 9th Circuit Court’s review of how construction contractors should recognize income had a somewhat surprising outcome. The key question being considered was: When should developers recognize income under the completed contract method? Is it when the entire project is complete, is it on percentage of completion, or is it upon the sale of each individual home sold?  

Shea Homes, which used the completed contract method to account for its planned development communities, claimed that final completion and acceptance under Reg. 1.460-1(c)(3) did not occur until the last road was paved and the final bond
was released. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contended that final completion took place upon the sale of each home.

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

BREEAM Breaks Into the U.S. Market

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) has been an integral part of the worldwide green building industry for many years, yet it only broke into the U.S. marketplace last October. The journey began 97 years ago, when the Building Research Establishment (BRE) was founded as an academic and science-based government organization in the United Kingdom. It has since been privatized and created the first green building standard, BREEAM, in 1990. All green building rating systems have their roots in BREEAM, including LEED. Today, nearly 3 million buildings have been registered and more than 500,000 have been certified under BREEAM.

Staying SHARP on Safety

M&D Mechanical, Decatur, Ala., has more than 100 years of experience serving clients in the industrial, institutional and government sectors. During its legacy, the leadership team has certainly learned a thing or two about exceeding clients’ and employees’ expectations for safety on the jobsite. In December, the company achieved OSHA’s SHARP status—an elite ranking for small businesses that maintain exemplary injury and illness prevention programs. 

How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry—for Better and for Worse

Last year marked a milestone for the country’s youngest generation of workers, commonly known as millennials: They overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce segment in America. Employers should be ecstatic that elevated rates of retirement are positioned to be offset by an influx of younger, energetic, tech-savvy workers ready to stimulate productivity. 

Executive Insights

Four experts offer advice on what contractors need to know about construction disputes.

Farewell John Hancock: The Emerging Use of Digital Signatures

The law of electronic signatures primarily derives from two statutes: the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act 2000 (ESIGN), which governs at the federal level, and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which governs each state (except New York, Illinois and Washington). Both laws establish that electronic signatures are legal with only a few exceptions.

 

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