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TradeWinds

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American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents and EADOC Announce Embedding of G702 and G703 Forms into the EADOC Construction Management Application

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and EADOC LLC, the provider of the EADOC web-based project management application for the construction industry, today announced the integration of two select AIA Contract Documents into the EADOC application, giving easy access to AIA payment forms to owners and construction managers. These two forms, G702™–1992, Application and Certificate for Payment, and G703™–1992, Continuation Sheet, are two of the most heavily used AIA forms in the industry. This marks the AIA’s most recent effort to integrate AIA Contract Documents into a construction and project management system.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB085329

EADOC users can now easily share AIA’s G702 and G703 payment forms with other project team members through the software application. The application provides the content and tools necessary to streamline workflows and save time. It automatically populates forms with project data, tracks multiple payments by period relative to budget and eliminates the need to enter duplicate payment information into two systems, reducing the chance of error.

“We are eager to expand our customer’s access to and use of digital documents. The EADOC application provides our customers with access to our payment forms when they need them, where they need them,” said Molly Lindblom, Managing Director of AIA Contract Documents. “The partnership between EADOC and AIA is a great complement to the breadth of AIA contracts and forms that are available through AIA Contract Documents software.”

Eric Law, Founder and President of EADOC added, “Delivering AIA's G702 and G703 through EADOC's project management application makes it easier for clients to follow industry standards while reducing review time and waste associated with paper forms.”

“Utilizing the AIA G702 in EADOC for our monthly billings has greatly simplified the process as we are able to create, review, approve and distribute AIA pay applications electronically,” said David Heyde, Construction Manager of Mortenson Construction and an EADOC customer. “EADOC's project management application combined with AIA's payment forms has allowed me to focus my time on managing the project instead of pushing paperwork and filling out spreadsheets."

More information about AIA forms in EADOC can be found at www.eadocsoftware.com/aiadocs.

More information about AIA Contract Documents can be found at www.aia.org/contractdocs. AIA Contract Documents software can be purchased at www.aia.org/contractdocs/purchase. Documents in paper form are available through the AIA’s full service distributors. For a listing of full service distributors and pricing information, please visit www.aia.org/docs_purchase.

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

About EADOC LLC
EADOC provides a fast, secure, easy to use web-based project management application that reduces construction delays, rework, and overhead costs. With unlimited users, a project team gains instant access to all the information communicated from design through construction. Visit www.eadocsoftware.com or call 877-305-3844 for more information.

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PPG, Steelscape announce marketing alliance
Companies to jointly market colorful DAZZLE interior metal panel coverings

PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) and Steelscape will jointly market Dazzle® colorful metallic coverings for walls, ceilings and other interior surfaces and accessories.

The new line of Dazzle coverings features TRUFORM® tinted clear coatings by PPG applied to galvanized TruZinc® panels by Steelscape. The products are available in 16 distinct color options encompassing eight tinted clearcoats and two gloss levels. Because of their clearcoat appearance, TRUFORM tinted coatings enable Dazzle coverings to join the natural spangle of TruZinc products with a vivid color palette.

Suggested applications for Dazzle coverings include column covers, wall panels, decorative ceilings, heating and cooling equipment and walk-in coolers. The product also provides a colorful alternative to white boards because it resists dry-erase and permanent markers.

Dazzle coverings are resistant to fingerprints, stains, graffiti, scratches and marring. For building owners, this durability means less maintenance along with the ability to add color without the disruption of painting. It also is lighter and less expensive than other materials.

To learn more about Dazzle coverings, call Steelscape at 1-888-285-7717 or visit www.steelscape.com.

About Steelscape
Steelscape, Inc., makes metallic coated and painted steel sheet at its facilities in Kalama, Wash., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Fairfield, Ala. The company’s products are primarily used in the construction industry. To learn more about Steelscape and its products and services, please visit the company’s website at www.steelscape.com.

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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AIA Issues Statement in Support of Senator Baucus’ “Tax Extenders” Legislation
New Legislation Eliminates Onerous S Corp. Tax Hike on Small Businesses and Architectural Firms

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement in support of Senator Baucus’ introduction Thursday of a revised tax extenders bill.

“This tax extenders legislation is a vastly improved bill,” said AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA. “This bill has tax incentives for green homes, extends the “Build America Bonds” program created by stimulus legislation and contains many other attributes that will help the design and construction industry in this recessionary economy.”

“At the same time, the new extenders bill eliminates an onerous payroll tax hike on many small businesses and architectural firms who file their taxes under the S. Corp. provisions of the tax code,” Miller said. “Since many of our members are firms with three or fewer employees, this could have forced many architects to lay off staff or stop hiring new staff to pay the new tax.”

“The AIA supports efforts to collect taxes from individuals who form as S corporations to avoid paying payroll taxes,” Miller said, “without entrapping legitimate S corporations who follow the letter and spirit of the law.”

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

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Construction Added 19,000 Jobs Last Month As Strike Ends But Industry's 17 Percent Unemployment Rate Is Highest Ever For August
Industry Association Urges Congress and the Administration to Act on Long–Delayed Infrastructure Bills and Avoid Tax Rate Increases or Risk Further Job Losses

The construction industry added 19,000 jobs in August as a strike that had lowered employment in July ended, but the sector’s 17 percent unemployment rate was the highest August rate ever, according to a new analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of federal employment data released today. Continuing gridlock in Washington over infrastructure legislation and expiring tax rates threatens to keep construction workers unemployed much longer, association officials warned.

"Construction layoffs in May through July offset modest job gains in March, April and August, leaving the industry with a tragically high unemployment rate last month,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction association. He pointed out that the industry’s 17.0 percent rate was higher even than the 16.5 percent rate a year earlier and far above the unadjusted national rate of 9.5 percent. He noted that industry unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and, thus, can be meaningfully compared to the same month in earlier years but not across months.

“Construction began losing jobs four years ago, more than a year before the rest of the private sector, and the industry remains stuck in neutral at best, nine months after other industries started adding jobs consistently,” Simonson observed. He said that over the past year, 274,000 construction workers (4.7 percent of the August 2009 total) have lost jobs, spread among all five categories tabulated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: nonresidential specialty trade contractors (123,700 or 5.8 percent), residential specialty trade contractors (63,200 or 4.0 percent), residential building (45,700 or 7.4 percent), nonresidential building (31,900 or 4.5 percent) and heavy and civil engineering construction (10,000 or 1.2 percent).

“Construction job losses will resume soon unless Congress and the White House promptly finish work on long–term transportation and water infrastructure spending bills and keep income tax rates from soaring,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. “Stopgap funding for transportation doesn’t provide the certainty companies need for hiring. Meanwhile, the prospect of a leap in taxes is deterring private investment.”

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President's Transportation Investment Proposal Will Give Needed Boost To Hard-Hit Construction Industry As Stimulus Runs Its Course
Obama Administration proposal, while needed, is no substitute for long-overdue six-year surface transportation bill, association head notes

The following statement is from Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America:

"The President clearly appreciates that the infrastructure-focused portions of the stimulus were effective in boosting employment and helping rebuild America's aging infrastructure. And while the most effective sequel to the stimulus is passing a fully funded six-year surface transportation bill, countless thousands of construction workers will have a better chance of retaining their jobs thanks to this proposal than they otherwise would once the stimulus runs its course.

"Like others, we are anxious to learn more details about the President's proposal, and hope that this proposal receives the bipartisan consideration and support investing in our country's economic infrastructure ought to merit. After all, the American people are counting on both parties to begin tackling the nation's $2.2 trillion infrastructure deficit.

"Meanwhile, we will continue our vigorous work in support of swift passage of the fuller, long-overdue, surface transportation bill. Those efforts include a third "Sick of Aging Roads?" event, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups involved in the Americans for Transportation Mobility and the Transportation Construction Coalition, we will hold Wednesday in Des Moines. We also will continue working to ensure the nation's water, energy and other infrastructure needs are met."

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Simpson Strong-Tie Introduces Dual-Purpose AHEP Connector for Wood and Cold-Formed-Steel Truss Applications

Visit Us at BCMC in Charlotte, N.C., September 29-October 1, Booth #200

Simpson Strong-Tie introduces the AHEP (adjustable hip-end purlin) connector for wood and cold-formed-steel (CFS) truss applications. Designed for step-down, hip trusses, the AHEP can be used as a lateral restraint to safely space and support the flat section of the top chord. In addition, the AHEP can be used as a structural purlin for attaching sheathing or decking.

As a structural purlin, the AHEP lines up with the end jack trusses to maintain framing spacing from eave to hip or peak. Roof sheathing or decking can be attached directly to the AHEP. As a lateral restraint, the AHEP saves time by eliminating the steps needed to install and possibly remove and dispose of other fill-in framing during installation. For example in wood step-down hip trusses, the restraint attaches at the leading edge, so there’s no need for dropped top chords and gable fillers. In CFS applications, the AHEP attaches similarly and saves the time and expense of cutting and installing C-stud fillers.

The AHEP is designed with an inner and outer tube, so it can be adjusted to the desired pitch or length and then fastened together with four #10 self-drilling tapping screws. The parts are installed with 10d nails for wood trusses or #10 self-drilling screws for CFS applications. The AHEP can accommodate a pitch range of 3/12 to 9/12 as a structural purlin and up to 12/12 as an installation spacer/lateral restraint.

“Up until now, no single product on the market could streamline step-down hip framing and provide additional structural integrity for lateral spacing restraints,” said Stan Sias, Simpson Strong-Tie national manager for the Plated Truss Industry. “In addition to saving time by eliminating gables or C-stud fillers during installation, the AHEP eliminates the need to attach twist clips and requires fewer nails or screws. By using the AHEP to serve as the framing purlin from the eave to the hip or ridge, installers also don’t have to cut and shift sheathing as they go.”

New Online Calculator for AHEP Installation
A new Web-based calculator is available that allows designers to input such values as, roof pitch, live and dead loads, deflection, and truss spacing, to help with AHEP specification and installation. To view the calculator, visit www.strongtie.com/webapps/ahep.

About Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc.
For more than 50 years, Simpson Strong-Tie has focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and buildings. Considered a leader in structural systems research and testing, Simpson Strong-Tie® products are recognized for helping structures resist high winds, hurricanes and seismic forces. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, anchors and lateral-force resisting systems. Product lines include structural connectors, Wood and Steel Strong-Wall® prefabricated shearwalls, Anchor Tiedown Systems (ATS) for multi-story buildings and Strong Frame™ moment frames. Additional product lines include Quik Drive® auto-feed screw driving systems, structural and corrosion-resistant fasteners, and Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems® – anchors and fasteners for concrete and masonry. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to providing exceptional products and service to its customers, including engineering and field support, product testing and training. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.strongtie.com.

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Construction Job Gains Become More Widespread, Losses Less Severe As Six States Add Jobs Between July 2009 & 2010; 27 States Add Jobs In The Past Month
Kansas Tops Yearly and Vermont & New York Top Monthly Gainers; California and Nevada Experience Most Job Losses During Past Year While Illinois Experiences Largest Monthly Percent Decline

Construction job gains were more widespread across the country and job losses were generally less severe in July than in June, the Associated General Contractors of America reported in an analysis of state employment data released today by the Labor Department. Twenty-six states added construction jobs in July, compared to 19 in June, while six states added construction jobs over the past year and most others are losing far fewer jobs than previously, association officials noted.

“Encouraging as it is to see some modest signs of progress, it is increasingly unlikely we’ll keep seeing these kinds of gains over the next few months,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “There is little to indicate that construction will be adding workers to a significant extent any time soon.”

Simonson noted that the largest year-over-year increase was in Kansas, where construction employment rose 6.9 percent (4,000 jobs), followed by New Hampshire (5.0 percent, 1,100 jobs); Oklahoma (1,900 jobs, 2.8 percent); West Virginia (2.4 percent, 800 jobs); Alaska (1.9 percent, 300 jobs); and Arkansas (1.5 percent, 800 jobs).

The largest percentage job decrease compared to July 2009 was in Nevada, 22.4 percent (-17,300 jobs), followed by Illinois (14.8 percent; 32,000 jobs, including many idled by a strike in early July that has since ended); Idaho (13.9 percent, 4,600 jobs); and Colorado (13.7 percent, 17,400 jobs). California lost the largest number of jobs (54,400 or 9.1 percent).

Vermont and Wyoming rebounded from the largest one-month percentage losses in June to the highest

monthly percent increase in construction employment in July. Vermont recouped all 600 jobs it had shed (5.5 percent) and Wyoming added 1,100 jobs (5.4 percent), followed by Oregon (5.3 percent, 3,500 jobs); New Mexico (4.0 percent, 1,700 jobs); and Louisiana (2.8 percent, 3,500 jobs).

New York added the largest number of jobs in July, seasonally adjusted (1.4 percent, 4,400 jobs), closely followed by Texas (0.8 percent, 4,300 jobs). Illinois lost the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month (7.5 percent, 14,900 jobs, mostly strike-related); followed by Hawaii (6.6 percent, 2,000 jobs) and Montana (5.4 percent, 1,200 jobs).

Simonson cautioned that the improved employment picture may be attributable to a bulge in federal stimulus-funded projects that could soon fade. “There are few signs of life in privately funded construction, and state and local budget deficit projections are forcing further cuts in non-stimulus public projects,” he said.

Association officials urged Congress to act on long-stalled infrastructure bills that would build on momentum from the stimulus. “Continued neglect of our aging infrastructure will damage our economic competitiveness and plunge the construction industry into another cycle of layoffs and hardship,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.

View construction employment figures by rank or by state.

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Still Showing Weakness, Architecture Billings Index Increases Slightly
Commercial construction category continues to outperform other sectors

Following a two-month soft patch the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose almost two full points in July. 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 July ABI score was 47.9, up from a reading of 46.0 the previous month. This score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index dropped substantially from 57.7 to 53.1.

View this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB085874

“Business conditions at design firms remain quite volatile,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “While this recent uptick is encouraging, this state of the industry is likely to persist for a while as we continue to receive a mixed bag of feedback on the condition of the design market from improving to flat to being paralyzed by uncertainty.”

Key July ABI highlights:
  • Regional averages: South (47.9), Northeast (47.2), Midwest (46.7), West (45.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (50.4), institutional (47.9), multi-family residential (47.5), mixed practice (42.9)
  • Project inquiries index: 53.1

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

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Change in A/E Firm Fees Reflects Market Challenges

Reeling from the economic downturn in recent years, A/E firms face a competitive business environment, and setting fees at levels that attract clients has not been without its challenges. According to ZweigWhite's 2010 Fee & Billing Survey , close to three-quarters (71%) of A/E firms adjust their budgets on an annual basis. Moreover, firms responding to the survey reported both increases and decreases in fees, but, overall, fees have changed a median of five percent this year.

"Triumphing over the competition requires more than an impressive list of similar projects and eloquent value proposition," says Christine Brack, PMP, Principal, ZweigWhite Strategic Advisory Services , who provides an in-depth forward to the 2010 Fee & Billing Survey . "There is a cost involved—your fee—and in today's environment this number alone can suddenly become the deal breaker."

ZweigWhite's Fee & Billing Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms takes an in-depth look at the fee structures and billing practices of U.S. architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms. This report gives managers the information they need to see if their firm is charging enough or too much for their employees' time, reimbursable expenses, equipment usage, and more. The report shows data broken down by firm size, type, region, growth rate, and client base enabling firms to make meaningful apples-to-apples comparisons. Fees for a number of services are shown for 12 different markets. Also compared by market are contract types, how firms determine the fee, and methods by which firms are awarded contracts.

ZweigWhite is a full-service consulting, information, and education firm specializing in serving the needs of design and construction industry principals and managers.

An electronic report or printed book is available for purchase from ZweigWhite at http://www.zweigwhite.com/p-933-fee-billing-survey-2010.aspx

About ZweigWhite: ZweigWhite is the nation's leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms. The ZweigWhite team consists of experts in strategic business planning, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources management, finance and administration, mergers and acquisitions, market research, marketing, project management and project delivery methods who collectively produce a comprehensive suite of products and services, including newsletters, industry reports, executive training, business conferences, and advisory services covering virtually every aspect of firm management. The firm is headquartered in Wayland, MA, with additional offices in, Chicago, IL, Durham, NC, Fayetteville, AR and Washington, DC. The ownership of ZweigWhite are investors Eli Global and BIA Digital Partners, and management including Mssrs. Zweig and Friedrichs.

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Lags in Public Highway Spending Contribute to Consumption Reduction

SKOKIE, Ill.—Due to delays in an extension of a federal highway bill, cement consumption will not begin a significant rebound until 2013, according to the most recent economic forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

In 2010, PCA anticipates a 2.4 percent increase in consumption compared to severely depressed 2009 levels. A 6.7 percent gain is predicted for 2011, followed by an 8.4 percent increase in 2012. An 18.8 percent jump is projected for 2013 when highway and street cement consumption comes back on track.

“Delays in an extension of SAFETEA-LU reduced highway cement consumption by one million metric tons in 2010,” Edward Sullivan, PCA chief economist said. “Lacking a new highway bill until 2013, highway cement consumption will be based on inflation eroded SAFETEA-LU extensions, declining ARRA stimulus and extremely weak state fiscal conditions.”

Spending from the stimulus package will increase in 2010 as composition of the projects shifts away from resurfacing to more cement intensive projects like road widening and bridgework--attributing 4.1 million metric tons, followed by 2.8 million metric tons in 2011. Due to the large deficits many are facing, state spending is expected to decline during the same period as states channel funds to higher priority areas.

Although nonresidential sectors like oil and farm construction will contribute to the modest 2010 cement consumption increase, consumption accrued to commercial building will decline 23.3 percent. The residential sector is projected to remain nearly unchanged from 2009 levels, but is expected to grow 12.1 percent in 2011 as foreclosures flatten and job creation increases.

“The turning point for cement consumption will most likely occur in 2013,” Sullivan said. “Then we will have a new highway bill in fiscal 2013, supplemented by the recovery in state fiscal conditions. At the same time, nonresidential and residential building should be on a solid upswing.”

About PCA
Based in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

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