Author Archives: Chris Colabella

Mayor de Blasio places the DDC and the SCA in one woman’s hands

Lorraine Grillo, as of Monday July 16th, 2018, is not only NYC’s president of the School Construction Authority (SCA) but also the city’s commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction (DDC). Ms. Grillo has been president of the SCA for 8 years and has an impressive track record to call upon. According to Katie Honan with the Wall Street Journal, Grillo will take over as DDC’s commissioner after years of delayed projects and “cost overruns”.

As the new commissioner, Grillo plans to bring her seemingly successful tactics from the SCA with her to make the fixes necessary to the DDC. Ana Bario, the former commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, has joined the Department of Environmental Protection in light of Ms. Grillo’s appointment. Hopefully, Grillo is the leader the DDC needs.

See the original NYC Press Release .


Smart City Planning for the 21st Century

Dan Doctoroff, New York City’s former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding under the Bloomberg administration spoke to Stephen Dubner on Freakonomics Radio about retrofitting old cities in the midst of an historic rise in urbanization and his new venture to build a modern city from scratch.

Listen to the podcast on the Freakonomics website.

Doctoroff also talks about New York City’s bid to host the Olympics and how that spurred development.  He references the High Line Project, Hudson Yards and The Shed, which is expected to open in March of 2019. See CIS Project Details for construction information or visit The Shed website for information on cultural events.

AEMP Releases their Guide for Hiring Veterans.

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), in partnership with the Center for America (CFA), has developed a handbook to help employers in the construction industry more easily connect with qualified veterans and military service members.  The handbook contains skill matrices for high priority categories and individual hiring workbooks for the three hardest to fill job series.

Discover more, plus a link to the full version of the handbook and workbooks, on the AEMP website.

DuPont family heir changing his golf club into a family friendly athletic club.

Ben DuPont and Don Wirth, longtime members of the DuPont Country Club, plan to increase the club’s membership, currently 1,750 members down from 5,000 in 2004, by investing $18 Million in more family friendly facilities.   Plans include construction of a 15,000 sf fitness facility and indoor golf driving range, three all-season swimming pools along with associated site improvements within the 525 acre property.  See project details.

DuPont and Wirth expect their venture to be profitable by catering to today’s families, who look to spend more time together.  One of the options they are considering – reducing the par 3 course from 18 holes to 12. According to WHYY News

Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed by 2020.

Scientists develop regenerating bio-concrete using solid-state fermentation

Scientists at the University of Waikato in New Zealand have developed a protocol called solid-state fermentation that uses nanobiotechnology to make a concrete that regenerates itself to repair cracks as they develop. Researchers around the world have been working on the same thing, but Waikato researchers Dr.

Source: Scientists develop regenerating bio-concrete using solid-state fermentation

USDOT Federal Highway Administration announces $1B in Emergency Relief for road and bridge repairs.

The emergency relief program reimburses eligible expenses for damages caused by natural disasters or other emergency situations.  More than one quarter of the funds will be used to repair damages caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.  In all, 32 states, several US territories and Federal Land Management Agencies will receive funds to help pay for the reconstruction or replacement of damaged highways and bridges.  Read more at US DOT

Steel and aluminum tariffs raise more questions than answers for domestic suppliers

Over the past 90 days, the price of steel that Dallas-based DFW Grating buys from domestic mills to fabricate bar and plate grating has nearly doubled. C. Scott Netherton, DFW Grating’s Vice President of Business Development, added that steel distributors are scaling back their inventories unless they are sure they have a buyer. “We’re not happy with the current situation,” said Netherton, meaning the uncertainty surrounding tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum imports that have rattled the U.S. market, where prices on some products had been rising since late last year.

Read the full article from Building Design + Construction: Steel and aluminum tariffs raise more questions than answers for domestic suppliers