Volume 4 - No. 8 August 2009
In This Issue
- Architecture Billings Index
- New Employment Numbers
- Construction Employment
- CSI to End Support of MasterFormat 95
- DCD Subscriber Benefit
- Construction Observation Services
- 400+ Employees Back to Work
- Conceptual Estimating
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DCD Cost Trends
DCD Green Library
2009 Edition
green library

A comprehensive project library on CD-ROM of LEED and Sustainable Building Costs is now available from Design Cost Data magazine. A must have with the current market moving green. The DCD Green Library includes Green projects along with informative articles & DCD cost guides on Green Building. Projects are organized by building type and escalated to January 2009 and January 2010.
Construction Nightmares: Jobs from Hell and How to Avoid Them

Arthur F. O'Learly, FAIA, MRIAI, relates actual jobs gone bad from the world of construction, dealing with plans, extras, delays, interference, scheduling, change orders, defective construction, inadequate supervision, incompetent contractors and just about every other problem that could happen on a construction job.
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Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse
All regions and construction sectors suffering economic malaise
    After showing signs of stabilization over the last three months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plunged nearly five points in June. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI rating was 37.7, far lower than the 42.9 the previous month. This score indicates a sharp decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 53.8, the fourth straight month with a score in the mid-50's.
    "It appears as though we may have not yet reached the bottom of this construction downturn," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Architecture firms are struggling and concerned that construction market conditions will not even improve as soon as next year. There has also been little movement in terms of stimulus funding allocated for design projects having the desired impact of leading to new work."
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New Employment Numbers Show Steep Losses In Construction Nationwide
AGC Chief Economist Calls For Increased Investment In Infrastructure To Put People Back To Work
   Construction workers continued to bear the pain of steep job losses almost everywhere in June, as construction employment rose only in North Dakota (by 5 percent) and Louisiana (4 percent), compared to June 2008, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs disappeared in the remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia, with losses as great as 26 percent in Arizona, 23 percent in Nevada, 22 percent in Connecticut and 20 percent in Tennessee, noted Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.
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Construction Employment Continues To Fall, AGC Calls For Quick Disbursement Of Stimulus Funds To Save Jobs
"Construction employment fell by 76,000 jobs last month, seasonally adjusted," said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, in reference to today's employment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Meanwhile, the last 12 months have seen 1,053,000 construction workers lose their jobs, emphasizing the negative impact the current economy is having on the construction industry in particular. Currently, 18.2 percent of construction workers are unemployed, nearly double the 9.7 percent overall unemployment rate, or 9.4 percent seasonally adjusted. While it is clear that the stimulus has helped prevent even greater job losses, it is apparent that the construction industry is suffering from low demand for commercial facilities, dwindling orders for new office buildings, declining state and local revenue, and the current economic conditions as a whole, including tight credit markets."
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CSI to End Support of MasterFormat 95 on
December 31, 2009
   The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) announced that the organization will cease to license and support MasterFormat 95 as of December 31, 2009.
   The CSI Board of Directors voted to stop licensing and supporting MasterFormat 95 during its June 16, 2009, meeting at the CSI Annual Convention in Indianapolis.
   "Now that the new edition has been widely accepted by the industry, we felt it was time to complete the transition to MasterFormat 2004," said CSI Executive Director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE. "As a result, CSI and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) will no longer support MasterFormat 95 after December 31, 2009."
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DCD Archives
Professional Building Cost Estimating on the Internet
   Over 1,300 projects - as featured in Design Cost Data™ magazine - are featured in this database along with cost escalators and regional modifiers to create professional Statement of Probable Cost reports. Industry professionals use this information for pre-construction costs, conceptual cost modeling, 'what if' scenarios, budgets and more. Access to this database is part of a subscription to Design Cost Data magazine.
    Depending on the DCD subscriber level, projects can be customized quickly to a new bid date and location. The square footage and project line item subdivision amounts can also be changed for further customization. Professional reports of the new cost model and the actual project as it appeared in DCD magazine can be printed.
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Site Visitation and Reporting to the Owner
    Architects who agree to perform a complete contract administration function on their projects must be extremely careful during the construction phase. It is easy to make mistakes and cause problems. This is the phase most laden with the potential for client dissatisfaction and misunderstanding.
    Unexpected problems can require much more time and cause more complication than could ever have been reasonably anticipated. Sources of difficulty are unlimited and can include unusual weather conditions, accidents, contractor problems with workmanship and unavailability of materials or labor, owner misunderstandings, disputes, and third-party injury and claims.
    Professional services at this stage are comprehensively described in the architect's professional service agreement. They are also described for the contractor's benefit in the general conditions of the construction agreement. (Note 1) The breadth and depth of the architect's services should not depart from the written agreement.
Simonton Windows Calls 400+ Employees Back to Work
U.S. Senators Rockefeller and Durbin Applaud Rehire Action
    Simonton Windows®, one of the nation's leading manufacturers of windows and patio doors, has offered employment back to all hourly employees laid off since late 2008. Due to economic and seasonal market conditions, a total of 402 full-time and seasonal employees have been asked to rejoin the Simonton team at the company's window and door manufacturing locations throughout West Virginia and Illinois. The company, an operating unit of Fortune Brands, is also looking to hire an additional 55 new employees in those locations.
The Nation's #1 Conceptual Cost Estimating Software And Project Archiving System
    D4COST is the nation's #1 building cost estimating software for conceptual estimating created from ACTUAL projects that have been built. D4COST supplies you with a library of 1,100 real projects (buildings) NOT an average. D4COST is the best source to validate any preliminary cost, develop a reliable preliminary or conceptual square foot cost estimate, cost feasibility, valuation study, or budget. 
Learn more
    D4COST offers a full working demo with a 20 project sampling of our database. Click Here to download a copy today.
 DCD Subscribers: The archives of Design Cost Data are available online at DCD.COM in the DCD Archives™. The DCD Archives™ contains over 1,300 completed projects, and their actual cost to build, to assist you in developing preliminary cost estimates, building type research, cost modeling and more. The DCD Archives™ includes cost escalators through 2014 and regional modifiers in an easy-to-use cost modeling database.
    Access the DCD Archives™
with your DCD Subscriber Number that is located on your DCD Magazine mailing label next to your last name. To become a subscriber of DCD, you can subscribe online at DCD.COM or call us at 800-533-5680. 
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