Welcome to DCD, home of the number one construction magazine!
ABOUT DCD    THE MAGAZINE    D4COST    CONTACT    HOME
Welcome to DCD.com!
DCD CAREER FINDER       CURRENT ISSUE     ISSUE ARCHIVE     CASE STUDIES     MEDIA KIT     HISTORY  

 Current Issue
 Click here to    
 read the issue.
Click Here To Access The DCD Archives™
Subscriber Login
    


Content/Departments
   Current Issue
   Issue Archive
   Specifiers Spotlights
   Building Products Revue
   TradeWinds
   Technical Articles
   Insights
   Case Studies
   DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guides

   Cost Trends


Advertising
   Media Kit

Subscriptions
   Free Subscription
   Subscribe
   DCD E-News Subscription

  E•News Archive 
  Industry Resource

   






   

TradeWinds

Industry News List

More TradeWinds Articles
Back To TradeWinds


James Logan Abell, FAIA, Honored with the 2010 American Institute of Architects’ Edward C. Kemper Award for Service to the Profession

Award recognizes significant contributions to the profession

The AIA Board of Directors elected James Logan Abell, FAIA, as the 2010 recipient of the Edward C. Kemper Award. Named in honor of the AIA’s first executive director, the award recognizes individuals who contribute significantly to the profession of architecture through service to the Institute. Abell will be honored at the 2010 AIA National Convention in Miami.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based Abell has spent the last 35 years offering the public a myriad of community design solutions the AIA has to offer through its Regional and Urban Design Assistance Teams (R/UDAT). He has been the public face of what architects and the AIA can do to help people in need of better cities, town, neighborhoods, streets, homes, and businesses. Abell has worked with numerous R/UDAT programs across the nation, assembling diverse groups of design professionals to lead community forums in developing design solutions for changing communities, including affordable housing.

In 1974, Abell won a fellowship for work and travel in Northampton, England while finishing his architectural degree at Arizona State University (ASU). A Mark III British New Town, the Northampton Development Corporation sparked his early interst in sustainable urbanism and afforded new experiences in urban design and master planning. Abell further developed this expertise as a 10-year member of the City of Tempe’s Planning and Zoning Commission. In 1979 he founded Abell and Associates Architects in Tempe. The firm offers a diverse array of design services: architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

Abell first became involved with the AIA’s R/UDATs in 1974 in Phoenix, and he led his first national R/UDAT in 1994. He’s been a consistent presence in the AIA’s regional and urban design committee since the mid-80s, and helped craft an AIA design assistance team handbook. Abell has participated in 16 major community design charrettes, including AIA R/UDATs and AIA Vision 20/20 events in Vermont, Utah, California, Ohio, Texas, and Arizona. In each of these places, he has expertly assembled groups of elected officials, designers, local residents, preservationists, and activists, and helped them to find their own unique design interventions that can secure the future of their communities.

“As the most public face for these initiatives, James used his passion for sustainable urbanism and his unique humor and compassion to communicate complex ideas in an accessible and compelling way, touching the minds and hearts of hundreds of participating citizens,” wrote Robert Herman, AIA, of Edwards and Daniels Architects in Salt Lake City, in a letter of recommendation.

Abell has used many of his R/UDAT projects as opportunities to enroll architecture students in urban design activism and community outreach, and throughout his career he’s been a constant mentor to aspiring designers. He’s taught architecture classes at ASU and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Spring Green, WI and Scottsdale, AZ. Hundreds of high school students have heard his career lectures on the design professions, and Abell helped initiate and develop a 16-week architecture curriculum for Phoenix area fifth and sixth graders that was taught by 90 AIA architects.

Notable projects by Abell’s firm include Arizona Mills, a major retail center, the McClintock High School Multipurpose Facility in Tempe, a sports and classroom complex; a campus master plans for ASU and local community colleges; an historic renovation of the Lambert-Miller Gallery in Phoenix; and The House of 3 Courtyards, and early earth integrated residence.

Abell has been awarded five AIA Arizona President’s Commendations and two AIA Arizona Design Excellence awards. In 1989 at the age of 38, Abell won the AIA Arizona Architect’s Medal, the youngest architect to do so. Named in honor of the AIA’s first executive director from 1914 till 1948, past winners of the Edward C. Kemper Award have been William Perkins, FAIA (1950), Norman Koonce, FAIA (1998), Norbert Young, FAIA (2005), and Barbara Nadell, FAIA (2009)

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


Benjamin Vargas, FAIA, Selected as 2010 Recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award

Vargas recognized for his efforts to increase diversity in the profession

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have selected Benjamin Vargas, FAIA, as the 2010 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award, given to an architect or architecturally oriented organization exemplifying the profession’s responsibility toward current social issues. Vargas, whose efforts to instill the value of diversity and inclusiveness into the AIA at a national, Institute-wide level, will be presented with the award at the 2010 AIA national convention in Miami.

The award honors civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., proponent of social change and head of the Urban League from 1961 until his death in 1971. At the 1968 AIA Annual Convention, Young challenged architects to more actively increase participation in the profession by minorities and women.

A native of Puerto Rico, Vargas established a presence within the AIA as a tireless advocate for institutional change to survey and remedy the lack of minority participation in the Institute and architecture at large. He was elected as the Florida/Caribbean regional director on the AIA’s Board in 2002, and has been on numerous committees and groups tasked with addressing this issue.

“Ben was the dependable and thoughtful originator of concepts and working papers designed to develop and bring into architecture the talents of aspiring Latino and Hispanic architects, and to recognize the practitioners who too often had been unrecognized even within their own firms,” wrote Boston Architectural College president Theodore Landsmark, Assoc. AIA, in a recommendation letter.

Vargas has been at the helm of a great many of the diversity initiatives the AIA has undertaken, beginning with a resolution to track demographic data to better understand the challenges to diversity the profession faces. In 2005, he helped craft the AIA’s position statement on diversity, and in 2007 he participated in the planning committee for the AIA’s Diversity Plenary.

This year, Vargas helped create the AIA’s Diversity Recognition program, which recognizes architects for contributions to diversifying the profession by bestowing diversity best practice awards. Vargas was also instrumental in the appointment of a director of diversity and inclusion at the AIA, and has helped codify diversity as one of the AIA’s primary strategic initiatives. Throughout his career, Vargas has been vocal about the gap between Hispanic and Latino presence in the AIA and in architecture in general and their growing influence in American culture at large. He’s used his steady presence in the AIA to diligently work for change from the inside-out.

Vargas has also come to professional prominence for promoting the architecture and history of Caribbean architects, as well as building bridges of professional collaboration across the Caribbean. Vargas has lead several networking trips for Puerto Rican architects that have taken them to the Dominican Republic and Cuba in an attempt to build a pan-Caribbean culture of design collaboration.

“Ben’s resume of accomplishments is well documented, but it is his unique, quiet, thoughtful, and inspirational leadership that has had the greatest impact on the profession,” wrote Mickey Jacob, FAIA, of Tampa-based Urban Studio, in a letter of recommendation. “His mentorship, leadership, and vision have opened the doors of opportunity and touched the lives of many wishing to pursue a career in architecture, who in the past have found their paths filled with barriers.”

Notable past projects Vargas has worked on with his firm Bartizan Group Architects and Project Managers are the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School and a cancer hospice for children called Hogar de Ninos Que Quieren Sonreir.

Past Whitney M. Young Jr. Award winners have included J. Max Bond, FAIA (1987), Habitat for Humanity (1988), Curtis J. Moody, FAIA (1992), the National Organization of Minority Architects (2007), Norma Sklarek, FAIA (2008), and Clyde Porter, FAIA (2009).

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


AIA Reaction to President’s Job Creation Proposal
An encouraging step, but additional measures can have greater economic impact

“The president’s proposal to spur job creation and stimulate the economy through tax breaks for small businesses, investment in infrastructure projects and incentives for home owners to make energy efficient improvements are all ideas that we have advocated for or testified before Congress in support of,” said Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President / CEO of the American Institute of Architects. “But with unemployment rates in the construction industry, which accounts for roughly ten percent of GDP, rising past 19 percent in November, there are additional measures that can have a wider impact and accelerate economic recovery. We urge Congress to expand the energy efficient commercial tax deduction, dedicate additional investments for the construction of green schools and, most importantly, redirect TARP monies towards lending for commercial and institutional design and construction projects to get America building again.”

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


SOLARBAN 60 STARPHIRE glass by PPG on tallest LEED building in United States
Comcast Center in Philadelphia earns LEED Gold Certification

The Comcast Center in Philadelphia recently earned LEED Gold Certification in part to its extensive use of the high-performance Solarban 60 Starphire glass by PPG. At 58-stories tall, it is now the tallest LEED-certified building in the United States.

At 58 stories tall, Comcast Center in Philadelphia recently became the tallest LEED-certified building in the United States with an assist from energy-saving Solarban 60 Starphire glass by PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG).

Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the skyscraper earned LEED Gold Certification due in part to its extensive use of high-performance glass. One of the tower’s signature elements is a 120-foot-high winter garden topped by a series of three, three-story atria overlooking a light-filled interior plaza. All are sheathed in Solarban 60 Starphire glass. This PPG glass also is featured in the crown and corners that cap the 975-foot-tall building.

Solarban 60 Starphire glass unites the industry’s most transparent architectural glass with one of its most advanced solar control, low-emissivity coatings. The result is glass that transmits 74 percent of the sun’s natural light and blocks 60 percent of its heat energy to reduce cooling costs and reliance on artificial lighting.

Other highlights that helped to earn Comcast Center its LEED certification are a low-velocity displacement ventilation system, floor-embedded radiant heat, access to an underground commuter rail hub and extensive use of recycled materials.

To learn more about Solaban 60 Starphire glass, visit www.ppgideascapes.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Unemployment Nears 20 Percent As Another 27,000 Construction Workers Lose Their Jobs In November
Eighty-Six Percent of Job Losses Come From Non-Residential Construction Sector Though Good Weather Likely Contributed to Fewer Job Losses Than in Previous Months

Despite a slowing in the number of construction workers losing jobs in November, 19.4 percent of the nation’s construction workers are now unemployed according to new federal figures released today. The figures show that unemployment rates within the construction industry remain significantly higher than any other sector of the economy, the Associated General Contractors of America said.

“The fact fewer people lost their job in construction this month is little solace for the one in five construction workers out of a job today,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “This is yet another reminder that our economy will not be able to fully recover until we find new ways to drive demand for construction services.”

Simonson said new November employment data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 27,000 construction workers lost their job in November, compared to 56,000 in October. The decline in construction layoffs was likely caused by better than expected work conditions in November, given the unusually good weather much of the country experienced last month, Simonson noted.

Among construction workers losing jobs in November, 86 percent (23,900) worked in nonresidential construction while 3,800 worked in residential construction, Simonson noted. He added that since January 2007, residential and nonresidential construction employment has declined by over 1.7 million.

“With construction unemployment nearing 20 percent, our economy can’t afford the significant cuts in infrastructure spending scheduled for next year,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, noting federal highway and transit investments are set to fall by over $15 billion, nearly 20 percent, in 2010 compared to 2009.

He urged Congress and the Administration to boost infrastructure investments as part of any new jobs measure. He added that Washington should take additional measures outlined in the association’s construction recovery plan designed to boost infrastructure investments, increase demand for construction services and expand the economy. “You can’t just hope for a better future, you have to build it,” Sandherr said.

Back to Industry News List


2010 AIA Gold Medal Awarded to Peter Bohlin, FAIA
Profession’s highest honor goes to architect known for exceptional contextual use of materials


The Board of Directors of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) voted today to award the 2010 AIA Gold Medal to Peter Bohlin, FAIA. Bohlin, founder of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which has five U.S. offices, is renowned for his versatile, contextual use of materials.

The AIA Gold Medal, voted on annually, is considered to be the profession’s highest honor that an individual can receive. The Gold Medal honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Bohlin will be honored at the 2010 AIA National Convention in Miami.

AIA President Marvin Malecha, FAIA, notified Bohlin by telephone immediately after the Board made its decision. “I’m so pleased and I’m surprised,” said Bohlin. “We all believe in architecture. It is our life to a great extent. Like athletes, we all know that it’s hard work to make it look easy, and we’re all constantly striving to do that.”

Over the course of his long career, Bohlin has designed superlative rural houses, nature centers as well as excellent urban buildings. The key to success for both building types is their contextual use of materials. “He moves from the log cabin to the glass box with the same unassailable ethic that has for hundreds of years defined and shaped an architectural tradition rooted in the exercise of knowledge and made unique only by the personal will, character, and imagination of its creator,” wrote Mack Scogin, FAIA, of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, in a recommendation letter.

“His architecture clearly communicates that buildings are not just placed on the landscape, but are part of the landscape and indeed enhance the experience of nature,” wrote Ed Feiner, FAIA, former General Services Administration chief architect, in a letter of recommendation.

Examples of Bohlin’s work include:

  • The Ledge House, which builds a serene, natural light-bathed retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains by arranging a series of timber and stone pavilions in a horseshoe pattern.
  • The William J. Nealon Federal Building and US Courthouse in Scranton, Pa., which subtly integrates a new courthouse building into the original 19th century Neo-Classical facility with a multi-story, sky-lit atrium.
  • The 5th Ave. Apple Store in New York City, a pure, pristine glass cube absent any structural steel that takes visitors below ground, away from its busy urban milieu, and into one of Apple’s flagship retail destinations.
  • The Pocono Environmental Education Center in Dingmans Ferry, Pa., which distills Bohlin’s approach to nature center design to its essence with basic shed massing, a broad, overhanging roof, natural materials, and a luminous, lantern-like glow from within.
  • Seattle City Hall; its varied curtain wall facades of steel and glass uniquely reflect the solar orientation and urban fabric of each face.

Bohlin and his 200-person practice, which has offices in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco, have shown a deference to site context and a tendency for design humility that is becoming rarer and rarer among the top tier of practitioners. Again and again, his work demonstrates that great cities, towns, and buildings are created by designers looking to further the story of their place in a collaborative and contextual way, not by singular architecture that calls for heedless and self-serving attention. Awarding the Gold Medal to Bohlin, wrote Scogin in his recommendation letter, would communicate that “architects can in fact address all the complexities of our present day world with the grace and humility that privileges the best of human aspiration.”

Bohlin’s projects have earned 14 national AIA Awards, including COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards, AIA Committee on Education, AIA Housing Awards, and Institute Honor Awards for Architecture as well as Regional & Urban Design. Bohlin is the 66th AIA Gold Medalist. He joins the ranks of such visionaries as Thomas Jefferson (1993), Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Louis Sullivan (1944), LeCorbusier (1961), Louis Kahn (1971), I.M. Pei (1979), Frank Gehry (1999), and Renzo Piano (2008). In recognition of his legacy to architecture, his name will be chiseled into the granite Wall of Honor in the lobby of the AIA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


Stonhard Floor System Recognized with “Top Products Award”

Stonhard’s Stonclad GR floor system is being recognized with the “Top Products Award” in the January 2010 issue of Building Operating Management magazine.

The award honors the most popular manufacturers and suppliers of the year, as determined by page views on Building Operating Management’s affiliate website, FacilitiesNet. Of the nearly 800 products that were featured on the FacilitesNet “Products” page from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009, BOM is awarding those products and companies that received the top ten percent of page views.

The Stonclad GR floor system incorporates recycled glass aggregates and rapidly renewable, soy-based additives for a long-lasting, seamless, easy to maintain, abrasion, chemical and wear resistant floor that is suitable for application in various settings, including healthcare, manufacturing, food and beverage, retail, educational and public spaces.

Because it incorporates both recycled and rapidly renewable materials, Stonclad GR can help projects accumulate points as they pursue LEED certification. Twelve standard colors and the option for custom shades expand the limits of design possibility. And, the Stonclad GR system can be further customized, with coatings, waterproofing, cove bases and fiberglass reinforcement, to meet the specific needs of each application.

For more information on Stonhard's complete line of seamless, high performance floor, wall and lining systems, visit us at www.stonhard.com or call 800.257.7953. Stonhard is a member of the United States Green Building Council.

Back to Industry News List


Nonresidential Construction Spending Drops To Lowest Rate In 27 Months As Commerical Activity And Road Building Decline
Stimulus Delays, Lack of Highway Bill Are Adding to Construction Industry Woes Caused by Declining Private-Sector Activity, Industry Economist Notes

Spending on nonresidential construction activity tumbled 1.5 percent in October, seasonally adjusted, to the lowest annual rate since July 2007, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. The data showed that nonresidential construction spending slumped to $652 billion, an 11 percent decline compared to October 2008, the association added.

“Even formerly robust construction segments, such as manufacturing and power, have run out of steam,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, noting that spending on both categories of construction dropped more than 2 percent from September. “Worse, the impacts of the stimulus have been more limited and temporary because of needless delays and red tape.”

Private and public nonresidential spending both dwindled in October, offsetting a 4.2 percent jump in residential construction and leaving total construction spending virtually unchanged from September’s total. Private nonresidential construction shrank 2.5 percent for the month and 21 percent compared to October 2008. Public nonresidential spending slipped 0.4 percent in October but was up 3.7 percent from the year-ago month.

Simonson noted that developer-financed categories, including private lodging, office and commercial – retail, warehouse and farm – fell between 2 and 6 percent for the month and 37 to 45 percent over the past 12 months. The economist added that while the largest public category, highway and street construction, was up 4.7 percent compared to October 2008, it slipped 0.3 percent between September and October.

“Highway and street construction clearly got a big boost from the stimulus; unfortunately many of those projects already are beginning to wind down,” Simonson said. “Without action on new highway and transportation legislation, road and transit builders are likely to suffer further declines.”

Other public categories were mixed, Simonson observed. Educational spending climbed 1.1. percent for the month, while sewage/waste disposal and water supply projects, both of which should have benefited from stimulus funding, fell 0.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Simonson noted that some stimulus-funded construction projects, such as water and wastewater projects, have been delayed by Buy American restrictions and regulatory delays in some agencies. “Congress passed stimulus with the intent of putting construction workers back on the job as soon as possible. Without quicker action, construction spending will continue to shrivel, and the industry’s unemployment rate will exceed the current 18.7 rate.”

Back to Industry News List


Efco Corp. launches updated “smart” Web site
New site allows users to chat live with EFCO, store project data in single site

Quick Facts
The site, www.efcocorp.com, now features a “My EFCO” area that allows registered users to build a personal, confidential profile and conveniently store project, sales representative rep and customer data in a single place.

Industry-leading tools like E-Beam, Engineering Detail Library and E-Generator, along with Revit BIM details and special sections for Wind Load Charts, Blast/DoD and Impact details are included.

When online at efcocorp.com, you can now chat live with EFCO’s Product Technical Services for fast answers to questions.

EFCO Corporation, a Pella company, launched a newly updated Web site that will make it easier for building owners, architects, building consultants, glaziers, and others in the building construction industries to quickly get information about EFCO windows, curtain walls entrances and storefronts.

The new site, located at www.efcocorp.com, features a section called “My EFCO”. My EFCO gives the visitor an unparalleled experience of defining and creating information for their projects, estimates, sample and literature orders, forms, tools, documents and customer lists. The information is available with a click or two of the mouse and is archived on the EFCO servers. . E-BEAM is EFCO’s proprietary continuous beam software package designed specifically for EFCO's curtain wall. E-BEAM has a user friendly graphical interface which allows up to 15 continuous mullion spans, splices and cantilevers, then allowing user input for uniformly distributed wind load and deflection limits.

E-BEAM is EFCO’s proprietary continuous beam software package designed specifically for EFCO's curtain wall. E-BEAM has a user friendly graphical interface which allows up to 15 continuous mullion spans, splices and cantilevers, then allowing user input for uniformly distributed wind load and deflection limits.

EFCO's Engineering Detail Library (EDL) application is a client installed (your computer) application to allow you to easily browse EFCO’s extensive shop drawing detail library. The program’s primary use is to assist in the building of EFCO shop drawings.

EFCO's proprietary E-Generator application is a suite of parametric drawing tools that runs inside AutoCAD® 2007 or 2008 to assist the user in creating shop drawing elevations. Visitors use the tools to draw windows, curtain walls entrances and storefronts,

EFCO’s upgraded Wind Uplift Charts area is state of the art. The user can generate a custom single span wind load chart for most of EFCO's available curtain wall and storefront mullions, for any combination of three design wind pressures and deflection limits.

The new site also features BIM content linked to Autodesk® Seek, which helps architects explore early design concepts and forms, and more accurately maintain their vision through design, documentation, and construction. Changes are automatically updated across the project.

The new live chat function allows users to “talk” in live time with EFCO’s Product Services Group from 8AM – 6PM Central Standard Time, Monday - Friday.

EFCO Corporation President Mike Farquhar said, “Everything we do at EFCO is done with the customer at the center of it. Our Web site’s new functionality will make life easier for our stakeholders, and in a business climate like the one we’re in, Web users value the shortest route to getting quality information at their fingertips. This site gives customers, whether they are architects, consultants or glaziers, a vast amount of digital information designed specifically for their needs. This includes design tools, engineering tools, product information and much more, for new construction and for the renovation of current buildings.”

About EFCO Corporation
Headquartered in Monett, Mo., EFCO Corporation, a Pella Company, provides innovative customer solutions to satisfy commercial design challenges from historical replication to cutting-edge new construction. EFCO manufactures architectural windows, curtain walls, storefronts, and entry systems designed for commercial construction needs sold through independent sales representatives across the United States.

EFCO team members are dedicated to supporting the building community with products, services, and programs that promote outstanding commercial design. EFCO is a proponent of energy conservation and recycling during manufacturing and is committed to environmental leadership by creating and implementing products and processes that will help support a "greener" world. For more information visit efcocorp.com or call 800-221-4169.

Back to Industry News List


Only Five Out Of The Nation’s Largest 337 Communities See Annual Increase In Construction Employment This October
1,900 Construction Jobs Added in Those Five Areas While 1.1 Million Workers Lose Jobs Nationwide As Employment Picture Continues to Deteriorate

Only five out of 337 metropolitan areas saw an increase in construction employment between October 2008 and October 2009 according to a new analysis of metropolitan area employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Meanwhile, construction employment nationally tumbled by 1.1 million jobs over the past 12 months alone, with 328 metro areas reporting losses. Construction employment was unchanged in four metros.

“Imagine if the entire population of greater Salt Lake City lost their jobs, because that’s basically what has happened to construction employment in America’s largest communities,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “In many communities, construction employment isn’t just contracting, it is collapsing.”

Simonson noted that Reno-Sparks, NV again had the largest percentage decline with a 32 percent drop in construction employment. Other cities with large percentage declines in construction employment included Kokomo, IN (31 percent); Redding, CA (30 percent); El Centro, CA (29 percent); and the Cleveland, OH area (28 percent). Simonson added that the Phoenix metro area lost the most construction jobs (33,000); followed by Atlanta (24,700); and Las Vegas-Paradise, NV (24,500).

In comparison, only one community saw double-digit job gains. Columbus, IN again led the nation in construction job growth with a 20 percent increase, totaling 400 added construction jobs. Four other cities saw increases in construction employment, Anderson, IN (6 percent); Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA (5 percent); Tulsa, OK (3 percent); and the Davenport, IA area (1 percent). Those five communities combined added only 1,900 construction jobs over the past twelve months.

“Getting construction workers back on the job will provide a significant economic boost to virtually every community in America,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The lesson for Washington ought to be clear: we should be building our way out of the country’s current bleak employment picture.”

Sandherr urged Congress and the Administration to include new construction and infrastructure investments as the core component of any new measures designed to address an employment market that has left over 10 percent of Americans, and 18.7 percent of construction workers, unemployed.

Back to Industry News List


Architecture Billings Index Sending Most Positive Signals in Over a Year
Index remains in negative category despite improvement; inquires for new projects holding strong

Amidst a continued high level of inquiries for possible new projects, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reached its highest mark since August 2008, just before the serious credit problems emerged in our economy. 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 October ABI rating was 46.1, up sharply from 43.1 in September. This score, however, indicates a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 58.5, following the 59.1 mark in September.

“This news could prove to be an early signal towards a recovery for the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “On the other hand, because we continue to get reports of architecture firms struggling in a competitive marketplace with a continued decline in commercial property values, it is far too early to think we are out of the woods.”

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (46.1), Northeast (44.3), Midwest (43.0), West (42.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (48.7), multi-family residential (45.4), commercial / industrial (41.7), mixed practice (39.1),
  • Project inquiries index: 58.5

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month. The regional and sector data is formulated using a three-month moving average.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


Federal Government Approves Use Of Consensusdocs Template Contracts For Use In Construction Projects
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service Latest Group to Allow Use of Documents as Way to Save Time, Money while Ensuring Qualified Contractors Perform the Work

The federal government has joined a growing list of groups that allow for the use of template construction contract documents prepared by a coalition of building, owner and surety groups known as ConsensusDOCS. The decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service opens the way for key template documents to be used in water construction projects worth up to $20 billion each year.

“It just got much easier for federal officials to write smart, effective contracts that help keep the work on time and on budget,” said Brian Perlberg, Executive Director of the ConsensusDOCS coalition.

The federal agency announced that it will allow the use of two of the coalition’s documents, the Electronic Communications Protocol and the Contractor’s Qualification Statement for Engineered Construction. The protocol allows for key project information to be transmitted electronically, saving significant time and money. The qualification statement, meanwhile, provides federal officials with an easy-to-use form for evaluating contractor qualifications.

Perlberg noted that the federal government is the latest in a series of large-scale project owners to embrace the ConsensusDOCS contracts. He noted that states such as South Dakota, Michigan and North Carolina allow the use of the coalition’s documents. He added that Habitat for Humanity now routinely uses ConsensusDOCS contracts on a number of its key projects.

“You don’t need to start from scratch every time you need a construction contract,” Perlberg said. “We spend years getting these contracts right so others can focus on getting the project right.”

Offering a comprehensive catalog of more than 90 contract documents covering all project delivery methods, ConsensusDOCS contracts are the first and only industry standard contracts written and endorsed by 23 leading construction organizations. For more information, visit www.ConsensusDOCS.org.

Back to Industry News List


Architecture Billings Index Sending Most Positive Signals in Over a Year Index remains in negative category despite improvement; inquires for new projects holding strong

Amidst a continued high level of inquiries for possible new projects, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reached its highest mark since August 2008, just before the serious credit problems emerged in our economy. 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 October ABI rating was 46.1, up sharply from 43.1 in September. This score, however, indicates a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 58.5, following the 59.1 mark in September.

“This news could prove to be an early signal towards a recovery for the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “On the other hand, because we continue to get reports of architecture firms struggling in a competitive marketplace with a continued decline in commercial property values, it is far too early to think we are out of the woods.”

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (46.1), Northeast (44.3), Midwest (43.0), West (42.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (48.7), multi-family residential (45.4), commercial / industrial (41.7), mixed practice (39.1),
  • Project inquiries index: 58.5

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month. The regional and sector data is formulated using a three-month moving average.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

Back to Industry News List


ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum Released

ConsensusDOCS just released the construction industry's first and only comprehensive standard contract document addressing the elevated risks and complex responsibilities in green building projects -- the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum.

Key elements include:

* Establishes project participants' roles and responsibilities
* Identifies critical implementation steps to successfully achieve
a LEED rating or other green goals
* Defines "green" terminology, green work scope, and clarifies
legal risks
* Coordinates various project participants efforts to cooperate
and resolve potential objections for a range of issues
* Can be used with any standard contract document, including the family of ConsensusDOCS contracts.

To receive a free copy of the guidance document, an excerpted sample, or to purchase, visit ConsensusDOCS.org <http://mcgrawhillinfo.net/r/?ZXU=1029862&ZXD=1572889. The 310, like all ConsensusDOCS, was developed by a unique coalition of 23 leading construction organizations with designer, owner, contractor, subcontract, and surety members (DOCS).

REGISTER TODAY for the December 2 webinar about Green Building! <http://mcgrawhillinfo.net/r/?ZXU=1029863&ZXD=1572889

Back to Industry News List


GAF Materials Corporation Introduces the Industry’s First Single-Layer “Fire Resistant Slip Sheet” Designed for TPO

GAF Materials Corporation is proud to introduce VersaShield® Solo™ Fire Resistant Slip Sheet, a unique slip sheet for installation within roofing assemblies where an increased fire rating is desired. Based on patent pending technology, one layer of VersaShield® Solo™ slip sheet installed between a combustible deck and EverGuard® TPO will deliver a UL Class A Fire Rating. One layer will also reduce installation costs when compared to other fire resistant slip sheets that require multiple layers to achieve equivalent fire ratings.

A number of sources, including chimney sparks, a brush fire or airborne brands ejected from a nearby building, can ignite a roof. Therefore premium “fire resistant slip sheets” are an important safety consideration and a critical part of a quality roofing system. With VersaShield® Solo™ slip sheets, you’re guaranteed a UL Class A rating in approved assemblies, which is the highest fire-resistance rating for roofing. This rating will help your roof withstand exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Professional installers love the VersaShield® Solo™ slip sheet – it was designed with Roofers for Roofers with the intent of covering as much roof deck as fast as possible. The 6’ wide sheets are 50% wider than the competitors, which are 4’ wide. Its heavy weight and dimensionally stable fiberglass mat help the VersaShield® Solo™ membrane to roll out smoothly and lay flat. In addition, one layer of VersaShield® Solo™ Fire Resistant Slip Sheet can produce fire ratings similar to gypsum-based boards at significant labor and material savings.

About GAF Materials Corporation:
GAF Materials Corporation has grown to become the largest roofing and ventilation manufacturer in North America, with sales of nearly $3 billion annually. Its success is driven by a commitment to provide property owners and specifiers with their best and safest choice in roofing, and by helping supportive contractors and distributors to build their businesses and avoid hassles. Its products include a comprehensive portfolio of steep-slope roofing systems (marketed under the GAF-Elk brand) and low-slope roofing systems (marketed under the GAF brand). These products are supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. The Company also supports the industry through CARE, the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence. CARE’s mission is to help professional contractors and distributors to build their businesses through sales and management education, and to provide product and installation training to contractors, distributors, architects, property owners, and related industry personnel. Since its inception, CARE has provided education to over 100,000 professionals. www.gaf.com

Back to Industry News List


New Study: Green Building to Support Nearly 8 Million U.S. Jobs Over Next 4 Years
USGBC/Booz Allen Hamilton Report Shows Green Construction to Contribute $554 Billion to U.S. GDP Between 2009 and 2013; Also Shows Strength of USGBC Membership

Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy – including $396 billion in wages – over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages.

The economic impact of the total green construction market from 2000 to 2008, the study found, contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product; created or saved 2.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs; and generated $123 billion in wages.

The study also assessed the U.S. Green Building Council’s 19,000-plus member organizations and found that they generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue, employ approximately 14 million people, come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies.

The study was released at the USGBC’s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement.

“Our goal is for the phrase ‘green building’ to become obsolete, by making all building and retrofits green – and transforming every job in our industry into a green job,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC. “This study validates the work that the 25,000 people gathered here at Greenbuild, and every member of our movement, do every day.”

The study considered the total value of green buildings and the results include workers from the architects who design them to the construction laborers who pour their foundations to the truck drivers who deliver the materials, in recognition of the how extensive the impact of green building is.

“The study demonstrates that investing in green buildings contributes significantly to our nation's wealth while creating jobs in a range of occupations, from carpenters to cost estimators,” said Gary Rahl, Officer, Global Government Market, Booz Allen Hamilton. “In many ways, green construction is becoming the standard for development. As a result, it is expected to it is expected to support nearly 8 million jobs over the next five years, a number four times higher than the previous five years.”

The full report can be downloaded at www.usgbc.org/greeneconomy, where one can also find other research, resources, tools and information about green building and its role in the economic recoveries of professionals, businesses and the nation.

In support of the green building industry’s potential to drive tremendous job growth, USGBC has bolstered its commitment to education as a key component of its organizational mission toward a sustainable built environment. A new course catalog at www.usgbc.org/courses helps green building professionals find educational resources and training that support their learning needs at any level – from novice to seasoned pro – and in a variety of learning formats, including live, in-person workshops, live or on-demand online courses and webinars, study materials and reference guides, and other resources. Learn more at www.usgbc.org/education.

Among the report’s findings:

The economic impact of the total green construction market:

  • Contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
    • 2000-2008: $173 billion
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $554 billion
  • Jobs created or saved (includes direct, indirect and induced jobs)
    • 2000-2008: 2.4 million
    • 2009-2013 forecast: 7.9 million
  • Wages
    • 2000-2008: $123 billion
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $396 billion
  • Energy savings
    • 2000-2008: $1.3 billion saved
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $6 billion saved

The economic impact of LEED-specific spending*:

  • Contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)\
    • 2000-2008: $830 million
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $12.5 billion
  • Jobs created or saved (includes direct, indirect and induced jobs)
    • 2000-2008: 15,000
    • 2009-2013 forecast: 230,000
  • Wages
    • 2000-2008: $703 million
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $10.7 billion
  • Energy savings
    • 2000-2008: $281 million saved
    • 2009-2013 forecast: $4.8 billion saved

*These figures only account for LEED-specific spending, not the value of LEED-certified buildings as a whole.

USGBC’s role in the marketplace:

  • The U.S. Green Building Council’s 19,000-plus member organizations generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue.
  • USGBC members employ approximately 14 million people.USGBC members come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

About Booz Allen Hamilton
Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading strategy and technology consulting firm, works with clients to deliver results that endure. Every day, government agencies, corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations rely on Booz Allen’s expertise and objectivity, and on the combined capabilities and dedication of our exceptional people to find solutions and seize opportunities. We combine a consultant’s unique problem-solving orientation with deep technical knowledge and strong execution to help clients achieve success in their most critical missions.

About Greenbuild
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild is the three-time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings Award and the 2009 show is being held Nov. 11-13, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz. Greenbuild 2009 featured more than 1,800 exhibit booths and more than 20,000 attendees. Visit www.greenbuildexpo.org for more information. To view past years, go to www.greenbuild365.org

Back to Industry News List

 

 

 

D4COST Software


©2015 Copyright DC&D Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. | DCD Construction Magazine | Email: webmaster@dcd.com