Volume 4 - No. 10

October 2009

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In This Issue
- 2010 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook
- A Guide To Successful Construction
- AIA to Congress: Act Now to Jump Start Building
- Live Deck Collapse
- DensArmor Plus® High-Performance
- Billings at U.S. Architecture Firms
- Horton Adds Smoke Rated Seal
- DCD Cost Guides
- Construction Unemployment Rises
- Architecture Billings Index
- Conceptual Estimating
Our Sponsors
DCD Cost Trends


2010 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook
As you know, square-foot costs can vary widely, making it difficult to use them for estimating and budgeting. But the 2010 ENR Square-Foot Costbook practically eliminates this problem by giving you costs that are based on actual projects -- not hypothetical models. For each building type you get a detailed narrative with background information on the specific project.
A Guide To Successful Construction Fourth Edition
Contractors can protect themselves and their companies at each critical stage of a construction project. This much-needed guide shows how to avoid lawsuits and other problems by explaining exactly what the architect's and contractor's roles are during the construction phase of a project - as well as the responsibilities of owners, developers, and construction attorneys. 
Quick Links...
AIA to Congress: Act Now to Jump Start Building Sector of Economy
Architect testifies about need for polices designed to help small businesses during economic crisis 
     Tampa-based architect, Mickey Jacob, FAIA, unveiled the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Rebuild & Renew plan for both short- and long-term economic recovery to the House Committee on Small Business at a hearing today.
     "Small business does not want a bailout. We want access to loans to bridge the economic downturn to help fund operational costs. We want relief from the premium costs of health insurance. We want incentives for people to build, buy, and renovate their homes and businesses. We want the availability of grants that assist in the acquisition and implementation of new technologies to keep small business competitive in the world wide marketplace. These are investments in the future of the country," Jacob testified.
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Live Deck Collapse, New DeckTools™ Software and Seminars at DeckExpo
     Since 2003, there have been thousands of reported injuries* and several deaths as a result of deck failures. To help raise awareness about the prevalence of deck collapse and promote code-compliant deck construction, Simpson Strong-Tie will stage a live deck collapse at DeckExpo in Indianapolis on October 28-29 at 1 p.m. in booth 302. In addition, educational seminars and new products will be featured at the show; visit Simpson Strong-Tie booths 1205 and 1305.
New DeckTools™ Software 3.0
     DeckTools™ sales, design and estimating software program for decks makes it easy for deck builders and suppliers to create one-of-a-kind deck designs right from their laptops. The program allows users to customize nearly every detail, from the deck shape and railings to material choices, while quickly generating plans, proposals and material lists. Unlike many deck software programs, DeckTools software features photo-realistic 3D views that are rendered in real time. DeckTools was launched in 2003 and since that time has developed a large community of users. "The market is getting tougher because of the economy, but we are very busy, thanks to DeckTools. I've almost doubled my sales closing rate," said Clemens Jellema, president of Fine Decks Inc. in Maryland.
Densarmor Plus® High-Performance Interior Panels Laminated With Galvanized Steel Provide Blast Resistance Without Bulk For Courthouses, Military Facilities And Other At-Risk Structures
    Blast resistant construction is a growing mandate from the federal government, as well as many state and local governments that seek to protect building occupants from terrorism and other catastrophic forces. The U.S. Department of State, through its Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and the Department of Defense, with its Unified Facilities Criteria, are just some of the major government entities that are looking to increase protection in new and existing buildings, without adding excessive structural weight or project costs.
    Fortunately, governments have a lightweight, easy-to-install and cost effective option for blast resistant walls with SureBoard products from Wellbilt International of Miami, Fla. For its patented SureBoard line, Wellbilt remanufactures various substrates by laminating them with galvanized sheet steel to create a wall panel that absorbs force. When using Georgia-Pacific Gypsum's DensGlass® Sheathing or DensArmor Plus fiberglass mat gypsum wallboard as a substrate, the result is a protective wall panel has the potential to withstanding wind loads and explosive forces, as well as fire and moisture. www.gpdens.com
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Billings at U.S. Architecture Firms Exceeds $40 Billion Annually
Substantial increase in green design practices and use of BIM software
    In the three-year period leading up to the current recession, gross billings at U.S. architecture firms increased nearly $16 billion from 2005 and totaled $44.3 billion in 2008. This equates to 54 percent growth over the three-year period with annual growth of about 16 percent. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Business of Architecture: AIA Survey Report on Firm Characteristics, which is conducted every three years to examine issues related to the business practices of AIA member-owned architecture firms. The study also revealed sizeable gains in the number of firms doing green design projects, as well as using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.
     "While architecture firms are struggling considerably as the current economic slump continues unabated, there were extensive increases in revenue for the profession during the period this survey covered," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Of particular note, the survey also revealed that the number of firms practicing green design has nearly doubled since 2005. The use of BIM software has also doubled in the last three years."
Horton Adds Smoke Rated Seal To Self-Closing ICU Door System
    Horton Automatics' Profiler® self-closing ICU door system with no power needed is now available with a smoke-rated seal. Exceeding NFPA 105 air leakage requirements, this system can be specified in a single slide track or trackless configuration for openings ranging from 7 to 9 feet.
    In use, the sliding panel opens manually like a regular ICU door and then closes quietly as a person enters or exits. If needed, the door can be left open and comes with full breakout capability. New options with this smoke-rated system include an electro-magnet hold-open device that ties to the fire alarm system in a healthcare facility and will automatically close the door when an alarm is activated. Another exclusive feature of this product is the magnet-to-latch option in place of the positive latch. When the door closes, the magnet-to-latch keeps the door securely closed and meets the full requirements of NFPA 101 (check with your local code inspector before specifying).
    Further information about the Profiler® Smoke-Rated, Self-Closing ICU Door System as well as other ICU/CCU door solutions may be obtained from Horton Automatics distributors or by contacting Horton Automatics, 4242 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78405-3399. Phone 800-531-3111. www.hortondoors.com.
DCD Cost Guides
The DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guide for Buildings with Metal Construction
   Design Cost Data™ magazine includes a new Square Foot Cost Guide in each issue. These square foot cost guides have been assembled from projects in our database, the DCD Archives online at DCD.COM. These guides are provided to the industry by DCD as a benchmark for future building costs.
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Construction Unemployment Rises To 17.1 Percent
As Another 64,000 Construction Workers Laid Off
In September
One out of Every Five Construction Workers Lost Job since December 2007, Nonresidential Construction Accounted for 80 Percent of Construction Jobs Lost Last Month
    The national unemployment rate for the construction industry rose to 17.1 percent as another 64,000 construction workers lost their jobs in September, according to an analysis of new employment data released today. With 80 percent of layoffs occurring in nonresidential construction, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said the decline in nonresidential construction has eclipsed housing's problems.
    "The housing industry may be stabilizing, but the broader construction crisis is only getting worse," Simonson said. "While the stimulus is helping slow the decline, it's clearly far from enough to reverse sweeping industry-wide layoffs on its own."
    Simonson said the new September employment data assembled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 50,800 layoffs in the nonresidential construction sector this September, while there were 13,300 fewer workers in the residential construction sector during the same period. He added that over the last year, 649,800 nonresidential construction workers were laid off while 443,000 residential workers lost their jobs.
    He added that since December 2007, residential and nonresidential construction employment shrank by 1.5 million. In other words, one out of every five people working in construction in 2007 has lost their job, Simonson added.
Architecture Billings Index Points to Continued Struggles for Construction Industry
All regions and sectors suffer due to ongoing credit market issues for construction projects
    Another stall in the recovery for the construction industry as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped to its lowest level since 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 August ABI rating was 41.7, down slightly from 43.1 in July. This score indicates a decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 55.2.
    "While there have been occasional signs of optimism over the last few months, the overwhelming majority of architects are reporting that banks are extremely reluctant to provide financing for projects, and that new equity requirements and conservative appraisals are making it even more difficult for developers to get loans," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Until the anxiety within the financial community eases, these conditions are likely to continue."
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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