Tag Archives: construction

NYU Creates Institute of Design and Construction (IDC) Innovations Hub

A new partnership hopes to combine academic research with real-world industry knowledge to better engineering design and construction in the future.

New York University Tandon School of Engineering recently announced the creation of the Institute of Design and Construction (IDC) Innovations Hub. The “industry supported and membership-based center will promote innovation in construction, engineering design, and management” with a commitment to maximize safety, efficiency and sustainability within the construction sector, according to the university’s announcement.

It will be run by Michael Horodniceanu, an internationally prominent transportation and construction executive, who is a professor within the department of urban and civil engineering. NYU hopes the center serves as a model of a partnership between industry and research and solve problems that often cause projects to have schedule delays and run over budget.

Some of the center’s stated goals include:

  • Help industry executives devise creative solutions to project design and construction issues.
  • Provide access to consultancy services from experienced, independent experts.
  • Sponsor in-depth informational seminars on topics ranging from organizational issues to best practices in the selection of materials and machinery.
  • Support training programs provided by academics and industry leaders.
  • Promote networking opportunities among a wide spectrum of organizations in the construction sector.
  • Serve as a national clearinghouse for sharing information on consulting and construction opportunities.

NYC Construction Costs Are Highest in the Country But NY Building Congress CEO Says It’s Worth It

The numbers are out, and it’s no surprise—it is expensive to build in New York City. As a matter of fact, New York City has the highest construction costs in the country. And they just keep going up.

The New York Building Congress released its New York City Construction Costs 2019 Construction Outlook Update this week. Last year, the cost of construction in New York City rose 5 percent, compared to a 3 to 4 percent increase nationally. That is about the same increase as the year before and, overall, NYC remains the country’s most expensive major city to build in. The primary driving factors in construction expenses were the cost of land, materials and regulations, according to the report.

The top ranking is created by Class A office and retail building costs, which were significantly higher than any other sector. New York is actually behind Chicago in hotel construction costs, less expensive than Los Angeles for K-12 education, and ranked lower than Chicago and San Francisco for multi-family residential construction.

Despite the overall numbers, it’s worth it to work in New York City, according to Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of New York Building Congress.

“While the cost of construction is high, the rewards for doing business in New York have never been greater.”

Government Shutdown Stalls Infrastructure Projects

The government shutdown is impacting transportation and road construction projects across the country, but exactly how much depends on the state, according to a story in The Washington Post.

Every state is feeling the impact, but not all are being hit the same. The percentage of federal funding states receive varies from one jurisdiction to the next and not every state is in the same funding situation. Depending on the climate, for instance, while some states would be taking bids for spring projects, others would be in mid-construction on projects.
The more this goes on without a resolution, the more of a problem it will be for contractors and the construction workforce, not to mention the nation’s infrastructure.
“If this continues to drag on it will have real impacts, not only on a state’s ability to build new projects but also on their ability to operate the system that they currently have,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials told the Post. “Eventually it’s going to have an impact on operations and maintenance.”
Read the full story for more of a breakdown on the situation’s impact on the industry.

Women Still Outnumbered, But Making Bigger Strides in Construction Industry

Like so many other industries, construction continues its efforts for greater gender and racial representation in its workforce.

Construction has long been, and remains, a male-dominated industry. Nationally, women make up less than 10 percent of the workforce. But there has been a recent 15 percent growth of women in the industry, as more and more companies are recruiting women and promoting them to senior roles, according to a report on industry trends in Fora Financial.

Women in construction are even getting documentary film attention. A feature-length documentary is in post-production. Hard Hatted Women follows five female construction workers through their daily life on and off the job where they break down barriers in the blue collar world, according to the filmmakers, who hope to secure enough funding to get screenings on the film festival tour in 2019.

The project has received support from companies like Turner, Dragados USA, SMACNA and Structure Tone, according to a story in enr.com, which adds that if the push of recruiting attention alone isn’t enough to attract more women to the industry, maybe the industry’s growth and opportunity will be.

Don’t have to Google It: Hudson Square Will See Construction Boom

Since Disney announced in July that it is relocating its New York headquarters to 4 Hudson Square, the downtown New York City neighborhood was primed to be a focus of construction and development over the next couple of years.  CIS Project

But when Google stepped in last week and announced that it plans to invest $1 billion on a 1.7 million-square-foot campus in Hudson Square, well, suddenly the spotlight seems set on the area on the lower west side of Manhattan. CIS Project (With maybe a little attention still finding its way to Amazon in Long Island City if Jeff Bezos has anything to say about it.)

The 1.2 million-square-foot Disney project is expected to create thousands of jobs during development and construction. Starting in the coming year, it will involve the demolition of three buildings for the construction of a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified, energy efficient complex with offices, and production spaces complete with the latest technology and the ability to adapt to the coming technological advances. The site–which Disney reportedly spent $650 million for–is a full city block, bordered by Hudson, Varick, Vandam, and Spring streets.

With these work spaces will come residential and retail needs for the thousands of employees who will flood the neighborhood. Multiple high profile residential projects are underway or recently completed, including neighborhood transforming buildings at 570 Broome CIS Project111 Varick St, CIS Project, and 60 Charlton St. CIS Project

The Jackie Robinson Museum is also coming to the area, set to open in the spring of 2019 at the corner of Canal and Varick streets.  

If there wasn’t enough going on, Google made it certain: Hudson Square will be the place for development and construction in the near future. It is set to be the neighborhood to be in the coming years in New York City.

Farm Bill Could Impact Construction Industry

This afternoon, President Trump is set to sign the Farm Bill, which could impact the construction industry with the included Timber Innovation Act.

The Timber Innovation Act, which was not without its detractors, was proposed “to create opportunities to use wood products, including mass timber, in the construction of tall wood buildings,” according to those who introduced the language to the legislation.

According to the American Wood Council, the act aims to:

  • Establish performance driven research and development program for advancing tall wood building construction in the United States.
  • Create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders, that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings;
  • Authorize technical assistance for USDA, in cooperation with state foresters and state extension directors (or equivalent state officials), to implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications; and
  • Incentivize the retrofitting of existing facilities located in areas with high unemployment rates, to spur job creation in rural areas.

Read more about how the act’s proponents hope it creates jobs, expands markets, reduces construction’s environmental footprint, and more.

The legislation made it through to the final bill despite opposition from many organizations, including the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, which cited issues with marketplace fairness (using taxpayer money to promote one type of business over another), as well as a lack of research in the safety and structural viability of tall wooden buildings.

The Mason Contractors Association of America and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association were among other groups that voiced their opposition.

AR and VR Ready to Make an Impact on Construction Industry

As we head into the 2019, a few technologies are primed to change the way we work.

The use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—known together as mixed reality—is still in its relative infancy in construction, but the impact the technologies could have on the industry is far-reaching. AR is the changing of someone’s world around them whereas VR immerses people in a completely different world. Both have useful applications in construction.

According to Code Brew Labs, using the technology that allows architects, engineers, project managers, and construction workers to visualize projects in 3D, “see through walls” and virtually walk through buildings before they are built can not only lead to more sustainable building but also improve safety and training, detect critical design errors and optimize costs. Read the full story to learn more.

Okappy.com adds that AR and VR can also enhance collaboration and Construction Dive included mixed reality on its list of The 7 Most Striking Construction Technology Innovations of 2018.

Economy Brings More Construction Work, Industry Struggles to Find Workers

A strong economy is giving the construction industry so much work it’s having trouble finding enough workers. According to an article on CNBC.com, a boost in spending from consumers and businesses who have more cash on hand for expansions and improvements is exacerbating the industry’s growing inability to fill jobs.

 

In New York City, the coming of Amazon is pushing the industry even harder to fill the existing vacancies, says Bisnow.com. But the Amazon to Long Island City issue is not an isolated case created by the corporate giant.

The Associated General Contractors of America 2018 Workforce Survey revealed that 79 percent of New York firms reported having difficulty finding hourly workers. As part of its recommendations to reduce the labor shortage the AGC of NY suggested that educational reform is part of the process. That includes a proposal to expand federal work-study programs and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as better educate students about employment outcomes, according to a story in the Albany Times Union.

The story continued: The report noted immigration reform as a key issue. With millions of undocumented, able-bodied immigrants who can’t legally work, the AGC says a visa program would alleviate the labor shortage and recommended expanding seasonal worker visas, as well as market-based visas to mitigate the current and future worker shortages.

2014 Is Your Year to Grow and Prosper

Three Tips to Help Material Suppliers Increase Sales

The weather outside is frightful and it may seem the perfect time for construction material suppliers to wait out the cold weather in anticipation of the busy season (when the call for concrete, gravel, fencing, landscaping, signage, etc. will be in full swing). It’s true, winds and snowstorms cause construction project delays, temporarily sidelining crews throughout the Tri-State Region, delaying the purchasing of materials.

However, spring is coming! Plan ahead by using your down time to get your company’s products and services in front of would-be customers and to look for ways to upsell or increase the average spend of existing clients. Many general contractors and subs have their usual list of suppliers. Want to become a go-to resource? Get in front of them by considering these ideas for kick-starting sales in the New Year:

 Get Social!

Networking, as you already know, is not only worthwhile, it’s necessary if you want to find new clients. You can do it the tried-and-true way; face-time allows you to find out, in person, how your company can help them overcome their challenges in the marketplace. In addition to catching up with current clients, you may get an opportunity to shake hands with key decision-makers you haven’t been able to get to take your calls. Don’t forget to ask happy customers for referrals and introductions, as well!

Of course, don’t forget about social media. If you personally prefer not to “Link,” “Like” or “Blog,” find someone in your organization who knows their way around the Internet. Every time you make a move online to talk about your company, your message gets shared with an exponential number of online users. It’s like distributing your business card to thousands of people at once.

When Disaster Strikes, Are You Ready to Sell?

In the wake of SuperStorm Sandy and a host of Nor’easter blizzards, there is a lot of attention being paid to disaster planning and how rising tides and other climate issues will impact construction requirements. Whether this is your core business or not, don’t miss out. Think restoration, fortifying foundations, raising, moving, building infrastructure to repair damage and prepare for changing climate and the next disaster.

To make sure your company is not missing out on disaster-related opportunities, apply to be included on the U.S. Federal Contractors Registration as well as FEMA’s Debris Removal Contractor Registry. Both of these registries are go-to resources after disaster strikes. Additionally, the New York Governor’s Office on Storm Recovery advises residents to check with municipal building and construction officials for recommendations on “Finding Reputable Contractors.” Regardless of which state your company is located, go shake some hands and get listed on the lists of referred contracting material suppliers in your region.

Want More Sales? Get Serious about Advertising

In addition to your company’s website (which should be updated regularly), it’s important to become familiar with the variety of online advertising resources that will allow you to reach prospects. The Internet is called the World Wide Web for a reason; there are many options out there, at a variety of price points.

Be smart; put your money where your would-be clients are looking. To maximize your budget and increase your hit rate, choose advertising outlets that allow you to reach your target audience — prospective clients in your ideal geographic region. Point of note:  you are reading this article and so are your clients and competitors.

CIS can help you meet all three of the objectives outlined in this article. The great thing about Internet marketing is that you can change direction, literally, with the click of a mouse button. Take the time now to prepare multiple targeted messages that can be implemented in online ads and emails over the next several months, as needed. In addition to having something ready to go to market your company if disaster strikes, you can think ahead to seasonal promotions and be ready to reach customers fast!

CIS’ advertising opportunities help companies like yours reach thousands of potential clients and partners. It’s targeted by geography and interest. Like you, CIS’ online visitors are bidding on work found on CISLeads.com and winning jobs. Contact CIS for assistance with a customized advertising plan that will take your business to the next level in 2014.

When it comes to winning more business in 2014, you need to find a way to connect with more people. Further, it’s important to do more than just talk about what you are selling; make sure your audience needs to buy what you have to sell. Whether you opt for the old fashioned face-to-face meeting or the consistent “e” communication with an online newsletter, blogging or electronic advertising, you have to set in place a strategy for winning new business and work your plan.

CIS is here to help. If we can help you reach more customers, please let us know. Visit cisleads.com or email customer service at Sue@cisleads.com.

 

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Patience, Persistence and `Who You Know’ are the Keys to Getting in front of GCs
By Bari Faye Siegel

The economy is on the upswing and there are more construction jobs – both public and private – out to bid in the NJ-NY area than anytime in past two years. More jobs mean more work for subcontractors because GCs are always on the lookout for subs who are experienced, efficient, cost effective and well-vetted.

So, how does a sub-contractor, who may be the very best estimator on the block, get in front of GCs in an effort to win new business and become a go-to resource? The answer is simple, but it’s not an easy process. It takes patience and persistence.

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