a
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


Architecture Billings Index Positive for Third Straight Month
All regions reporting positive business conditions

Billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index (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 score was 52.8, up from the mark of 51.6 in September. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, compared to a mark of 57.3 the previous month.

“With three straight monthly gains – and the past two being quite strong – it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “With 2012 winding down on an upnote, and with the national elections finally behind us, there is a general sense of optimism. However, this is balanced by a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the marketplace, which likely means that we’ll have a few more bumps before we enter a full-blown expansion.”

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (52.8), Northeast (52.6), West (51.8), Midwest (50.8)

  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (59.6), mixed practice (52.4), institutional (51.4), commercial / industrial (48.0)

  • Project inquiries index: 59.4

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is 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 as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.

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. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Employment Declined In 28 States Between October 2011 And 2012, While 31 States And D.C. Added Construction Jobs For The Month

Texas Adds the Most Construction Jobs and D.C. Adds the Highest Percentage Year-over-Year While New York Experiences Largest Annual Decline and Delaware Has Largest Percentage Drop in Construction Jobs

Construction employment declined in 28 states from October 2011 to October 2012 even as 31 states and D.C. added jobs during the past month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials noted that residential construction gains were being undermined by the broader business uncertainty being caused by the threat of the looming fiscal cliff.

"The industry remains stuck in neutral, with close balance each month between the number of states that add or lose construction jobs," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Despite a strong pickup in homebuilding and multifamily construction, uncertainty about the fiscal cliff appears to be holding back private investment, while public agencies keep trimming construction budgets."

Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Delaware lost the highest percentage (-11.0 percent, -2,200 jobs), followed by Arkansas (-8.4 percent, -3,900 jobs) and Alaska (-8.0 percent, -1,200 jobs). New York lost the most jobs (-12,800, -4.1 percent), followed by Pennsylvania (-10,400 jobs, -4.6 percent), New Jersey (-7,400, -5.7 percent) and Illinois (-6,900 jobs, -3.6 percent).

Simonson noted that 21 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between October 2011 and October 2012, while employment was unchanged in Vermont. The District of Columbia again added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (15.6 percent, 1,900 jobs), followed by North Dakota (11.8 percent, 3,000 jobs) and Nebraska (10.8 percent, 4,400 jobs). Texas added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months (46,900 jobs, 8.4 percent), followed by California (27,700, 5.0 percent) and Indiana (7,400, 6.0 percent).

Michigan (-3.7 percent, -4,500 jobs) had the steepest percentage decline among the 18 states that lost construction jobs for the month, followed by Arkansas (-2.9 percent, -1,300), Idaho (-2.3 percent, -700) and Kentucky (-2.1 percent, -1,400). The largest number of construction job losses in October occurred in Michigan, followed by Louisiana (-1,500 jobs, -1.2 percent), Kentucky and Arkansas. Construction employment levels were unchanged for the month in New Hampshire.

The highest percentage construction employment gains for the month occurred in Alaska (9.5 percent, 1,200 jobs), followed by the District of Columbia (4.4 percent, 600 jobs) and New Jersey (3.8 percent, 4,500 jobs). Texas added the most jobs during the month (13,600 jobs, 2.3 percent), followed by New Jersey and California (4,100 jobs, 0.7 percent). Simonson noted that the October data was collected before Hurricane Sandy hit the Mid-Atlantic States, so it does not reflect changes in employment caused by the storm.

Association officials continued to urge Congress and the administration to reach an agreement to avoid significant tax hikes and extreme spending cuts that could undermine the nascent economic recovery. They cautioned that an economic slowdown would force many already cash-strapped construction firms to make additional cuts to their workforce.

"If Washington officials can't find a solution to the fiscal cliff, we run the risk of putting the economy into another downward spiral," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "After years of difficult economic conditions, many firms will be forced to downsize if the economy begins to shrink."

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Material Costs Dip In October But Outrun Contractors' Bid Prices Year-Over-Year; Announced Price Hikes, Fiscal Cliff Pose New Threats

Short-lived Decreases in Steel, Gypsum and Lumber Prices Outweigh Spike in Diesel and Copper Costs; Association Warns Upcoming Increases for Steel, Gypsum and Concrete Products Put Contractors at Risk

Construction contractors face a continuing cost squeeze, even though a key price index for construction materials dipped in October and showed only a moderate increase over the past year, according to an analysis of federal figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials warned that recent and announced price increases may threaten the survival of some contractors.

“Although several materials retreated in price last month, prices in the past year have still outpaced the tiny increases in contractors’ bids,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. “In addition, some of the price drops have already reversed, or will soon, leaving contractors who have already submitted bids vulnerable to losses.”

The producer price index for inputs to construction—covering materials that go into every type of project, plus items consumed by contractors such as diesel fuel—decreased 0.4 percent in October, following increases of 0.9 percent in both September and August. The index climbed 2.0 percent in the 12 months ending in October. Meanwhile, the indexes that reflect what contractors would charge for their work were largely unchanged and mostly rose less than materials costs over 12 months—1.0 percent for industrial buildings, 1.4 percent for new office construction, 1.5 percent for schools, and 2.6 percent for new warehouses.

Simonson said prices for essential construction materials were mixed in October. The price index for diesel fuel rose 2.3 percent in October and 12.6 percent over 12 months. Prices for copper and brass mill shapes climbed 2.8 percent in October and 4.7 percent year-over-year. In contrast, the index for steel mill products dropped 1.9 percent for the month and 8.5 percent for the year. The index for lumber and plywood shrank 1.8 percent in October but was 6.2 percent higher than a year ago. Indexes for gypsum products and insulation materials both fell 0.7 percent for the month but rose relative to October 2011—by 14.1 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

“Many of these price changes appear to be short-term,” Simonson commented. “While retail diesel prices have dropped 15 cents per gallon in the past three weeks and copper futures have declined, steel, gypsum and even concrete suppliers have announced hefty price hikes for December or January. As a result, contractors who have already bid to install these materials at fixed prices may be headed for losses, and even bankruptcy.”

Association officials said declining public investments in infrastructure and businesses’ reluctance to commit to investments in the face of the “fiscal cliff” are forcing contractors to keep bids low. “With so few projects to bid on, contractors are offering their services with little or no margin to cover materials costs,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, noting that recent Census Bureau data showed a 4.2 percent drop in public construction spending and a slackening in the growth of private nonresidential construction between September 2011 and September 2012. “Congress and the administration have to find a way to avoid the catastrophic increases in taxes and cuts in infrastructure spending that threaten many construction firms and risk putting their employees out of work.”

Click here to view the October PPI table.

Back to Industry News List


Simpson Strong-Tie Product Catalogs Now Available On Mobile App

Simpson Strong-Tie launches the new Literature Library mobile app, providing customers with a quick and easy way to view and search the most popular Simpson Strong-Tie product catalogs while on the go. The app is a free download in the App Store™ for the iPhone® and iPad® and for Android™ devices in the Google Play Store.

With the Literature Library mobile app, customers can review the current Simpson Strong-Tie Wood Construction Connectors Catalog and Addendum, the Fastening Systems Catalog, and the Anchoring & Fastening Systems for Concrete and Masonry Catalog.

Each catalog is fully searchable by keyword, including product name, number or description. The app includes an interactive table of contents enabling customers to go directly from the table of contents to the product page with one tap of a button. Customers can also zoom in to view drawings and tables in detail.

To download the app for iPhone or iPad, visit the App Store. For Android devices, download the app from the Google Play Store.

For more information on the Literature Library mobile app, visit www.strongtie.com/apps.

About Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc.
For more than 55 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, testing and innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie works closely with industry professionals to provide code-listed, field-tested products and value-engineered solutions. Its structural products are recognized for helping structures resist high winds, hurricanes and seismic forces. The company’s extensive product offering includes connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, lateral-force resisting systems, anchors and products for concrete repair, strengthening and protection. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to helping customers succeed by providing exceptional products, full-service engineering and field support, product testing and training. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.strongtie.com.

Back to Industry News List


New Jersey Contractor Announces That It Has Restored Permanent Power To The Statue Of Liberty National Monument

New Jersey contractor, Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation, announces that it has restored permanent power to the Statue of Liberty National Monument. All lighting and electrical systems in the Statue, including lights at the torch and crown, have now returned to full operation. Power at the Statue was knocked out by Superstorm Sandy nearly two weeks ago. Temporary lighting to the torch and crown were restored early Friday evening, November 9th. Early Sunday morning, full power restoration was achieved by Natoli crews working in tandem with subcontractor Turnpike Electric, Inc.

Natoli's team worked around the clock to restore full power to the Monument since it was lost on October 30th. Although the Statue itself was not harmed by the storm, Liberty Island suffered damage to its docks and grounds. Heating, power and emergency generators were knocked out. In the wake of the Superstorm, Natoli has been making necessary repairs to the grounds and power systems. The contractor was already on site performing recent life and safety upgrades at the Statue for the National Park Service. The national monument is closed indefinitely to visitors until full repairs can be completed.

The Statue closed in October 2011 to undergo upgrades to visitor safety and accessibility. It reopened on October 28, 2012, the 126th anniversary of its original dedication, and then closed again the next day due to the Superstorm.

The storm was not the first major challenge faced by the contractor on this project. “The physical and logistical obstacles we faced with this project weren’t easily solved,” said Paul Natoli, President and CEO of Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation. “Having done prior work to early twentieth-century buildings on Ellis Island and to the Statue of Liberty, we knew the site and how to work with this national monument.” Mr. Natoli says the team’s strategy is at the core of their company identity. “Our team is knowledgeable, proficient, and dedicated to creative problem-solving.” In 2004, the contractor performed the initial life safety upgrades necessary to re-open the Monument after the events of 9/11.

Temporary lights provided by Musco Lighting will remain in use until the permanent lighting on the grounds of Liberty Island, which were destroyed in the storm, can be replaced.

About Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation
Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation is a full-service contractor/construction manager with broad experience building for private commercial companies, medical and educational institutions, hotels and other projects throughout New Jersey. Founded in 1975, the company has done work for such prestigious clients as The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, New York Football Giants, Delbarton School and Rutgers University.

About the Team
Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC (Architectural Design and Project Management); Atkins North America, Inc. (Construction Manager); Keast & Hood Co. (Structural Engineer); Joseph R. Loring & Associates (MEP Engineer); Hughes Associates, Inc. (Fire Protection Engineer); VDA - Van Deusen & Associates (Vertical Transportation Consultant); Becker & Frondorf (Cost Estimator); The Lighting Practice (Lighting Designer); The RBA Group (Civil Engineer); Schnabel Engineering (Geotechnical Engineer); David Evans Associates (Value Analysis).

About the National Park Service and Statue of Liberty National Monument Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, the NPS is proud to safeguard these nearly 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. One of those places is Statue of Liberty National Monument. Located on a 12-acre island in New York Harbor, the statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924. The Statue is visited by nearly 4 million people each year.

Back to Industry News List


FMI Releases Q3-2012 Construction Outlook Report
With the Elections Over, it is Time for America to Get Back to Work

“Contrary to election-year rhetoric, the economy is inching its way to improvement, and the construction industry has not stopped working,” according to the third quarter 2012 Construction Outlook report by FMI, the largest provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry. Released today, the industry forecast is calling for an 8 percent increase in total construction put in place for 2013. Contributing to this positive forecast is more robust growth in residential construction, as well as a few strong markets in nonresidential and non-building construction.

The focus for 2013 will be on the movement of private money back into the markets. For the economy to grow at a faster rate with the fiscal cliff looming and state and municipal budgets still in repair mode, it will be the private markets that must lead the way. Total construction put in place for 2013 is forecast to be $892 billion, a solid improvement over the last few years, but still just edging out 2003 levels of construction activity.

Residential Construction Housing starts rose to 603,000 units a year as of September 2012. Single-family permits also rose to a 545,000-unit pace, or 6.7 percent, returning to levels not seen since July 2008.

Nonresidential Construction Trends and Forecasts by Sector:

  • Lodging — Hotel developers will renovate before building new properties. Bank loans will be hard to justify until occupancy and room rates remain consistently high.

  • Office — Through the first two quarters of 2012, the U.S. office sector has now absorbed 10.4 million square feet, 100,000 square feet less of net absorption than was generated over the first six months of 2011. (Jones Lang LaSalle, “Office Outlook United States, Q2 2012). This is not yet enough activity to compare with prerecession highs, but we expect CPIP to improve 4 percent in 2013.

  • Commercial — Expect more rethinking of commercial construction space to accommodate smaller stores and combining in-store sales with online shopping. Look for increasing multiuse projects.

  • Health Care — New health care construction will include a growing number of renovation projects to update current facilities for modern hospital design, using more technology in the rooms as well as for improving air quality and reducing energy usage.

  • Education — Significantly less funding from states for K-12 schools.
    Religious — The lending environment continues to be a challenge for many congregations.

  • Public Safety — Despite overcrowding in prisons, we expect public safety construction to remain slow for the next couple of years, at least with only 1 percent growth in 2013 to $10.2 billion.
    Amusement and recreation —Money for sports stadiums will be hard to find from local government investment, and banks will be reluctant to lend to anyone who couldn’t already pay for the project from cash flow.

  • Transportation — This remains a strong sector for construction. CPIP is expected to grow 6 percent in 2013 to a total of $38.2 billion for the year. This is due in part to The FAA Modernization and Reform Act will provide $63.6 billion for the agency’s programs between 2012-2015.

  • Communications — Growth in communication construction is being powered by an insatiable need for speed and to send and store large amounts of multimedia files over the Internet. One trend that might slow the growth in construction dollars is the trend to use mini cell “towers,” which are small, easily installed boxes that help to maxi­mize spectrum.

  • Manufacturing — Manufacturing construction is starting to make a comeback with both new growth in manufacturing output and with some companies repatriating their manufacturing capacity.
    Power-related — Power construction will continue to be one of the strongest growth sectors for construction. Worthy to note is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a proposal out for $7 billion in locally generated renewable energy through power purchase agreements.

  • Highway — State budgets will continue to be strained and it will be difficult to get larger projects off the ground. Therefore, funds from the MAP-21 and TIGER grants make up a large percentage of construction put in place included in FMI’s 2013 forecast of $84.7 billion for highways and streets.

  • Sewage and Waste Disposal — Waste-to-energy may be one of the best bets for future work in this sector if more municipalities can find ways to work with private investors.

  • Water Supply — Expect this sector to struggle to find funds for necessary remediation and construction. Strength in water supply construction will be found in pockets for industrial projects like the mining sector, power and industrial plants.
    Conservation and Development — The 2012 annual budget for the Department of Agriculture eliminates funding for the Resource

  • Conservation and Development (RC&D) and Wa­tershed and Flood Prevention Operations programs. New projects in this sector, like water system projects, will more likely come from cleanup for the mining and energy sector to comply with regulations.

To download a copy of the full report, click here. For reprint permission or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Sarah Avallone at 919.785.9221 or savallone@fminet.com.

About FMI
FMI is the largest provider of management consulting, investment banking and research to the engineering and construction industry. We work in all segments of the industry providing clients with value-added business solutions, including:

  • Strategic Advisory

  • Market Research and Business Development

  • Leadership and Talent Development

  • Project and Process Improvement

  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Consulting

  • Compensation Data and Consulting

  • Risk Management Consulting

Founded by Dr. Emol A. Fails in 1953, FMI has professionals in offices across the U.S. FMI delivers innovative, customized solutions to contractors; construction materials producers; manufacturers and suppliers of building materials and equipment; owners and developers; engineers and architects; utilities; and construction industry trade associations. FMI is an advisor you can count on to build and maintain a successful business, from your leadership to your site managers. Visit www.fminet.com.

Back to Industry News List


Dodge Momentum Index Slides Again in October

The Dodge Momentum Index slipped another 0.6% over the month in October, according to McGraw-Hill Construction a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The October Momentum Index retreated to 93.3 (2000=100), the third consecutive monthly decline following the most recent peak of 96.0 in July. After bottoming out in mid-2011, the Momentum Index had shown a hesitant upward trend through July of this year, with monthly gains outweighing setbacks. The recent loss of momentum for the index over the past three months can be attributed in part to the high degree of uncertainty affecting the U.S. economy and construction industry, reflecting the U.S. presidential election and the looming fiscal cliff. In addition, plans for institutional building projects were particularly strong in recent months, but that strength dissipated in October given the continued tight budget conditions faced by states and localities.

The drop in the October Momentum Index was due entirely to a 1.3% decline in its institutional segment. In particular, the volume of publicly-financed construction projects eased as fewer large-scale healthcare projects entered the planning phase. The decline in institutional building plans was partially offset by stability for commercial building plans, following lower activity in this segment during the prior two months. The commercial building segment in October was helped by an increase in new plans for office projects, including an Apple data center in Prineville, OR and a new headquarters for Samsung in San Jose, CA. Store projects entering planning also ticked modestly upward in October, supported by new plans for an outlet mall in Georgia.

About McGraw-Hill Construction:
McGraw-Hill Construction’s data, analytics, and media businesses—Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, and Engineering News-Record— create opportunities for owners, architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers, and distributors to strengthen their market position, size their markets, prioritize prospects, and target and build relationships that will win more business. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers through its trends and forecasts, industry news, and leading platform of construction data, benchmarks, and analytics, including Dodge BuildShare and Dodge SpecShare. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts, a leader in commodities information. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Back to Industry News List


Architects Issue Statement on Election Results

The American Institute of Architects today issued the following statement on the presidential election results. Please attribute to AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA:

“Now that the election battle is over, we urge both the White House and the newly elected Congress to launch a new era of statesmanship by putting aside differences on the budget and by enacting policies that will help put the economy on a more solid footing for all Americans. In particular, we urge both parties to solve the impending budget impasse known as the “Fiscal Cliff,” where mandatory budget cuts and tax hikes threaten to cost more than 60,000 construction jobs beginning on January 2, according to a recent AIA study. Read the full report here.

“The AIA does not endorse candidates from either party in any election. What we do endorse are policies that help create jobs, and specifically, jobs in the design and construction sector. The AIA’s legislative priorities are the same today as they were yesterday:

  • Ease access to credit for borrowers, especially in the design and construction sector;

  • Adopt a comprehensive plan to rebuild our nation's aging infrastructure to make it to more resilient and sustainable;

  • Renew existing and create new incentives to encourage energy conservation in government buildings and throughout the built environment;

  • Enact tax and regulatory policies that benefit small businesses.

  • “In the coming weeks, the AIA plans to issue a more detailed strategy on its legislative priorities for 2013 and how they can help grow the economy.”

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. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

Back to Industry News List


The Beck Group CEO Peter Beck Announces Succession Plan To Transition CEO Role By End Of 2012
Century-old provider of commercial real estate services will transition CEO role in anticipation of next phase of company’s growth. Current Eastern Division Director and company veteran, Fred Perpall, named CEO.

The Beck Group announced today that CEO Peter Beck has chosen his successor, effective January 1, 2013. Beck will assume the position of executive chairman focusing on marketing, strategy and international operations. Fred Perpall, who most recently served as The Beck Group’s director of Eastern Division operations, has been named the new CEO.

Perpall, age 38, will serve as just the fifth CEO in The Beck Group’s 100-year history. Marking the first step in a multi-year transition, Perpall’s appointment carries on the firm’s tradition of promoting CEOs in their mid-30s. The Beck Group’s transition strategy allows new CEOs to work in partnership with their predecessors for a decade or more, enhancing the firm’s culture that reflects an obsessive commitment to its employees and customers.

“Our goal is to position ourselves for growth at the beginning of our next century,” said Peter Beck. “We believe that promoting leaders with most of their careers ahead of them ensures the vitality and success of the firm. I look forward to working collaboratively with Fred for many years.”

In his new role, Perpall will lead the company in continuing to integrate multiple building disciplines and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver superior value to customers.

“Peter and I have enjoyed a great working relationship for the past 13 years,” said Perpall. “I look forward to our continued partnership as we build upon the past and create a bright future for the firm.”

About The Beck Group
Founded in 1912, The Beck Group offers a full spectrum of commercial professional services including development, planning, architecture, interior design, construction and sustainability consulting. The company is headquartered in Dallas and maintains a national team of over 500 employees, who work among a network of offices in Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Fort Worth, Mexico City, San Antonio and Tampa. The firm’s notable projects in recent years have included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia; Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas; Michael W. Krzyzewski Center for Athletic Excellence in Durham, North Carolina; Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California; and the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.beckgroup.com.

Back to Industry News List


PAREX USA OFFERS NEW EXPANDED COLOR CHART AND COLOR FAN DECK

Increased Color Variety Offers More Flexibility and Choice in Design for Any Project

Parex USA, Inc., the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey, and Merkrete, introduces a brand new Color Collection, equipped with 75 standard colors for use on all acrylic finishes, elastomeric finishes, coatings and primers.

The enhanced Color Chart represents the top selling colors from the company’s Parex, Teifs and El Rey brands plus 43 new colors including soft, warm beiges and cool greens, to brilliant blues and robust reds.

“We spent a significant amount of time researching color trends and the most sought after colors in the architectural community,” said Heidi Larsen, Parex USA product manager. “Our expanded Color Collection offers a broader variety of hues and tones that are sure to impress and encourage designers to envision the limitless color options that are possible with Parex USA EIFS & Stucco solutions.”

To compliment the new Color Chart, Parex USA also unveiled a new Color Fan Deck designed for façade finishes, coatings and primers. The Parex USA Color Fan Deck presents a complete palette of 940 colors in six groups: off-white colors, pastel colors, clear hues, midtones, shaded colors and accent colors.

The two new color tools were created in an effort to support Parex USA’s recently launched Envision Campaign to allow for nearly unlimited color possibilities.

Both the Parex USA Color Collection and Color Fan Deck can be used with ColorFast pigments to provide added fade resistance and durability.

About Parex USA
Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 55 manufacturing sites, 9 R&D centers in 20 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 3,100 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization. For more information regarding Parex USA, Inc. visit www.parexusa.com.

Back to Industry News List


Modest Growth Predicted for Construction Industry in 2013, According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Dodge Outlook Report
Construction Starts Expected to Rise in Housing, Commercial & Manufacturing Building Sectors, Offset by Declines in Public Works & Electric Utility Construction

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), today released its 2013 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2013 will rise 6% to $483.7 billion, slightly higher than the 5% increase to $458 billion estimated for 2012.

“As reported by McGraw-Hill Construction, new construction starts in 2010 edged up 2%, followed by another 1% gain in 2011, and 2012 is headed for a 5% increase to $458 billion. This still leaves the volume of total construction starts 32% below the 2005 peak on a current dollar basis, and down about 50% when viewed on a constant dollar basis,” said Robert Murray, McGraw-Hill Construction’s Vice President of Economic Affairs. “The modest gains experienced during the past two years have in effect produced an extended bottom for construction starts, in which the process of recovery is being stretched out.”

“The fiscal cliff poses a significant downside risk to the near-term prospects for the U.S. economy and the construction industry. Assuming that efforts to cushion the full extent of the fiscal cliff are successful next year, keeping the U.S. economy from sliding back into recession, then there are several positive factors to benefit construction, including low interest rates and improving market fundamentals for several project types,” Murray continued.

Based on significant research and in-depth analysis of macro-trends, the 2013 Dodge Construction Outlook details the forecasts for each construction sector, as follows.
  • Single family housing will grow 24% in dollars, corresponding to a 21% increase in units to 615,000 (McGraw-Hill Construction basis). The positives for single family housing have become more numerous – the pace of foreclosures has eased, home prices are stabilizing, and mortgage rates are at record lows.
  • Multifamily housing will rise 16% in dollars and 14% in units, marking healthy percentage gains yet slower growth than what took place during 2011 and 2012. Improved market fundamentals will help to justify new construction, and this structure type continues to be viewed favorably by the real estate finance community.
  • Commercial building will increase 12%, a slightly faster pace than the 5% gain estimated for 2012. Both warehouses and hotels will benefit from lower vacancy rates, while store construction will feature more upgrades to existing space and the derived lift coming from gains for single family housing. The increase for office construction will be modest, as new privately financed projects continue to be scrutinized carefully by lenders. Next year’s level of commercial building in current dollars will still be more than 40% below the 2007 peak.
  • Institutional building will level off, following the steep 13% drop estimated for 2012. For educational facilities, K-12 construction will slip further while college and university construction should at least stabilize. Healthcare facilities are expected to make a modest rebound after this year’s downturn.
  • The manufacturing building category will grow 8%, showing improvement after its 2012 decline.
  • Public works construction will slide an additional 1%, as federal spending cuts in particular restrain environmental projects. The new two-year federal transportation bill should help to limit the impact of spending cuts on highways and bridges.
  • Electric utility construction will drop 31%, after reaching a record high in current dollars during 2012. This year was boosted by the start of two very large nuclear power plants, and projects of similar magnitude are not expected for 2013. The expiration of federal loan guarantees for renewable energy projects would also dampen construction in 2013.

The 2013 Dodge Construction Outlook was presented at McGraw-Hill Construction’s 74th annual Outlook Executive Conference in Washington, D.C. Copies of the report with additional details by building sector can be ordered at http://analyticsstore.construction.com/index.php/2013-dodge-construction-outlook.html. Additional reports and projections are available from McGraw-Hill Construction Research and Analytics, http://construction.com/market_research.

About McGraw-Hill Construction: McGraw-Hill Construction’s data, analytics, and media businesses—Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, and Engineering News-Record— create opportunities for owners, architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers, and distributors to strengthen their market position, size their markets, prioritize prospects, and target and build relationships that will win more business. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers through its trends and forecasts, industry news, and leading platform of construction data, benchmarks, and analytics. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Back to Industry News List


Increase for Architecture Billings Index
High demand for rental housing is key driver behind strong conditions for multi-family residential sector

Billings at architecture firms in September increased at their fastest pace since late 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 51.6, up from the mark of 50.2 in August. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.3, compared to a mark of 57.2 the previous month.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB096344

“Going back to the third quarter of 2011, the multi-family residential sector has been the best performing segment of the construction field,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “With high foreclosure levels in recent years, more stringent mortgage approvals and fewer people in the market to buy homes there has been a surge in demand for rental housing. The upturn in residential activity will hopefully spur more nonresidential construction.”

Key September ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (53.4), South (51.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (47.2)

  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.3), institutional (51.0), commercial / industrial (48.4), mixed practice (47.8)

  • Project inquiries index: 57.3

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is 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 as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.

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. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

Back to Industry News List


Robert Bosch Power Tool Corp. and Simpson Strong-Tie Form Strategic Alliance
Agreement allows companies to jointly address opportunities in fast-growing concrete construction industry

Robert Bosch Power Tool Corp., the world’s leading manufacturer of professional power tools and accessories, and Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., a leading provider of concrete, masonry and anchor repair solutions, today signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance that will allow the companies to jointly pursue sales, marketing and product development opportunities in the concrete construction market.

The new sales combination gives the companies’ distribution partners and customers’ access to the broadest commercial and residential product portfolio in the concrete construction industry. The strategic alliance will give distributors the opportunity to compete effectively and take market share from direct sellers.

“Both the Bosch and Simpson Strong-Tie brands are synonymous with trust, integrity and quality in the concrete and masonry markets,” said Terry Horan, president and CEO, Bosch Power Tool Corp., North America. “This strategic alliance will leverage both companies’ engineering strengths, manufacturing practices and sales expertise to deliver anchoring and fastening solutions that meet building code requirements and improve productivity for installers.”

The alliance seeks to bring to market a complete Bosch/Simpson Strong-Tie installation system, including adhesive and mechanical anchors, demolition and rotary hammers and accessories, and to improve efficiency and productivity for customers. The new venture also will provide joint jobsite training to installers and offer distribution partners a variety of sales and marketing benefits.

“The alliance between our two companies will give our distribution partners a better way to compete against direct sellers,” said Terry Kingsfather, president, Simpson Strong-Tie. “By combining Bosch’s expertise in power tools and accessory systems with the Simpson Strong-Tie focus on providing specified, value-engineered anchoring solutions, we can drive quality business to our partners and provide customers with even better solutions.”

To learn more, please contact Bosch at http://www.boschtools.com / 877-BOSCH-99 or Simpson Strong-Tie at http://www.strongtie.com / 800-999-5099.

About Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc.
For more than 55 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, testing and innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie works closely with industry professionals to provide code-listed, field-tested products and value engineered solutions. Its structural products are recognized for helping structures resist high winds, hurricanes and seismic forces. The company’s extensive product offering includes connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, lateral force resisting systems, anchors and products for concrete repair, strengthening and protection. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to helping customers succeed by providing exceptional products, full-service engineering and field support, product testing and training. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.strongtie.com.

About Bosch
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of $71.5 billion in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal year 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent more than $5.5 billion for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com.

About Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
Robert Bosch Tool Corporation in North America, was formed in January 2003 when Robert Bosch GmbH combined its North American power tool, accessory and lawn and garden divisions into one organization. As a manufacturing pioneer with more than a century’s worth of experience, the Bosch name has become synonymous with engineering excellence. With 18,000 employees worldwide and 3,500 in North America, the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of power tools, rotary and oscillating tools, accessories, laser and optical leveling and range finding tools, and garden and watering equipment.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Employment Declined In 28 States Between September 2011 And 2012, While 30 States Added Construction Jobs For The Month

Texas Adds the Most Construction Jobs and D.C. Adds the Highest Percentage Year-over-Year While New Jersey Experiences Largest Annual Decline and Alaska Has Largest Percentage Drop in Construction Jobs

Construction employment declined in 28 states from September 2011 to September 2012 even as 30 states added jobs during the past month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials noted that the monthly gains, while welcome, were too small to offset the larger annual declines in many states.

“Even though a good number of states added jobs in September, most states have a smaller construction workforce than they did a year ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Between the fiscal cliff, unset tax rates and declining public sector investments, there are a lot of construction projects on hold as owners wait for a clearer picture of where the economy is heading.”

Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Alaska lost the highest percentage (-16.1 percent, -2,400 jobs), followed by New Jersey (-10.2 percent, -13,400 jobs) and Nevada (-9.4 percent, -5,000 jobs). New Jersey lost the most jobs, followed by New York (-12,500, -4.1 percent), Pennsylvania (-9,100 jobs, -4.1 percent), North Carolina (-8,400 jobs, -4.7 percent) and Illinois (-8,400 jobs, -4.4 percent).

Simonson noted that 22 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between September 2011 and September 2012. The District of Columbia added the highest percentage of new construction jobs (12.5 percent, 1,500 jobs), followed by Nebraska (11.1 percent, 4,500 jobs) and North Dakota (11.0 percent, 2,800 jobs). Texas added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months (32,800, 5.9 percent), followed by California (25,700, 4.7 percent) and Indiana (6,300, 5.0 percent).

New Jersey (-3.4 percent, -4,200 jobs) had the steepest percentage decline among the 19 states that lost construction jobs for the month, followed by the District of Columbia (-2.9 percent, -400 jobs) and Delaware (-2.8 percent, -500 jobs). The largest number of construction job losses in September occurred in New York (-4,700 jobs, -1.6 percent), followed by New Jersey and Texas (-4,100 jobs, -0.7 percent). Construction employment levels were unchanged for the month in Arkansas and Nebraska.

The highest percentage construction employment gains for the month occurred in Missouri (4.5 percent, 4,300 jobs), followed by Iowa (3.5 percent, 2,200 jobs) and Alaska (3.3 percent, 400 jobs). Missouri added the most jobs during the month, followed by Florida (4,200 jobs, 1.3 percent) and Michigan (2,700 jobs, 2.3 percent).

Association officials said that construction employment was suffering because of Washington’s failure to act on a range of tax, spending and infrastructure programs. They added that the political uncertainty wasn’t just affecting the public sector market, with construction firms reporting many private sector projects appear to be on hold until Congress sets tax rates, addresses the fiscal cliff and acts on vital infrastructure measures.

“A lot of businesses are wary of investing in new construction activity when they don’t know where the economy is heading or even what tax rates they will have to pay next year,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. “Economies don’t thrive amid uncertainty and inaction.”

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Material Costs Jump For Second Month In A Row In September; Contractors Hold Line On Prices, Adding To Risk Of Insolvency

Diesel Prices Soar for Second Time As Copper, Aluminum, Lumber and Steel Also Spike, Prices Hold Steady or Fall for Finished Buildings and Most Subcontractors’ Work, Threatening Firms’ Solvency

Price spikes for several key construction materials in September threaten to push contractors out of business, according to an analysis of federal figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The recent surge comes despite mild year-over-year changes in materials prices overall.

“The latest surge in materials costs may push subcontractors and some general contractors into insolvency, following years of razor-thin margins and shrunken levels of activity,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. “Most contractors have no ability to pass on unexpected cost increases.”

The producer price index for inputs to construction—covering materials that go into every type of project, plus items consumed by contractors such as diesel fuel—increased 0.9 percent in both September and August, while the indexes that reflect what contractors would charge for their work were largely unchanged, the economist noted. The price increases for materials follow several months of declining prices, so that the year-over-year change in the index for materials was a “deceptively mild 1.7 percent,” he added.

Simonson cited rising prices for a variety of essential construction materials as responsible for the recent spike. The price index for diesel fuel jumped 5.7 percent in September, following a leap of 8.7 percent in August. Prices for copper and brass mill shapes climbed 3.6 percent in September. The indexes for aluminum mill shapes and lumber and plywood each rose 1.1 percent in the latest month, while the price of steel mill products increased 1.0 percent.

In contrast, the price indexes for finished nonresidential buildings, which measure what contractors estimate they would charge to put up new structures, as well as the indexes for subcontractors’ work, were mixed for the month, Simonson noted. The index for new industrial buildings decreased 0.2 percent from August to September, while the index for new school construction slipped 0.1 percent for the month. The indexes for new office and warehouse construction were unchanged, as were indexes reflecting prices charged by concrete, electrical and plumbing contractors for new, repair and maintenance work on nonresidential buildings. The index for roofing contractors was the only nonresidential building index to show an increase for the month: 0.3 percent.

Association officials said inadequate public investment in infrastructure is a major reason contractors are unable to recover costs. “With so few projects to bid on, contractors are offering their services with little or no margin to cover materials costs,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, noting that recent Census Bureau data showed a 3.5 percent drop in public construction spending from August 2011 to August 2012. “Despite the tepid recover, the construction industry continues to suffer from tight margins and weak demand. That is why federal, state and local agencies must keep funding intact for construction, or they will have even worse problems with unemployment and shuttered businesses.”

Back to Industry News List


USGlass Names Beuke, Struble of PPG Among 100 Most Influential in Industry

Richard A. (Dick) Beuke, PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) vice president, flat glass, has been named by USGlass magazine as one of the glass industry’s 100 most influential individuals. He is joined on the list by Robert J. (Rob) Struble, PPG manager, brand and communications.

Beuke, a 36-year PPG veteran, first worked in the glass industry in 1974 as a curtain wall hanger between college semesters at Georgia Southern University. He has spent most of his career serving the building and construction industries, including a six-year stint as vice president of PPG’s architectural coatings business. Since taking over as the top executive for PPG’s flat glass business last year, Beuke has helped guide the business successfully through one of the construction industry’s longest and deepest downturns.

Even in the midst of a difficult economic recovery, he believes glass manufacturers and their customers should be planning for better days ahead. “[One of the biggest challenges for the industry right now] is dealing with the reinvestment economics of an underutilized industry,” Beuke said. “[Customers need to understand that there is a] fundamental lack of capacity that will exist when the construction markets turn around.”

During Beuke’s tenure, PPG’s flat glass business has implemented aggressive plans to launch several new architectural glass products, including the recent debut of SUNGATE(R) 600 low-emissivity (low-e) glass, while expanding manufacturing capability for PPG solar glass products on the West Coast at plants in Fresno, Calif., and Salem, Ore.

Struble is a 25-year marketing veteran who has been with PPG’s flat glass business for more than a decade. He said his experience in other industries taught him that selling value is the biggest challenge facing the glass industry. “When you think about what we do, it’s pretty amazing,” Struble explained. “We take a common, opaque material and make it transparent and strong. Then we add a practically invisible coating … that splits the light spectrum and delivers hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy savings.”

USGlass magazine, published by Key Communications in Garrisonville, Va., is the official publication of the Glass Association on North America (GANA), a trade association whose members account for 88 percent of all glass sales in the U.S. The 2012 USGlass Most Influential People, published in the August issue, recognizes individuals who are leading change or having the greatest impact on the glass industry.

For more information on PPG glass technology, visit www.ppgideascapes.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

PPG: BRINGING INNOVATION TO THE SURFACE.(TM)
PPG Industries' vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. Sales in 2011 were $14.9 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


Gilbane Publishes Fall 2012 Construction Industry Economic Report
Report Outlines Fluctuation in Construction Spending; Predicts Continued Movement Toward Recovery

Gilbane Building Company today announces the publication of the Fall 2012 edition of Construction Economics -- Market Conditions in Construction. Based on an array of economic data, construction starts, and material cost trends, this free report indicates an increase in construction spending over last year but cautions of an expected downturn again in early 2013. The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), which predicts activity 9-12 months out, indicates increasing spending nearly through the end of the year before another slowdown.

"Jobs continue to be the difficulty in this construction recovery. They are at a near standstill, while spending continues a slow climb," says Ed Zarenski, the report's author and a 40-year veteran of the construction industry. "A nugget of good news, though, is that climb may mean productivity is increasing. Spending is up only 2.5% since the beginning of the year, but up 6% from a year ago. Supported by positive growth trends, contractors may be able to recover a bit of lost margins."

According to the report, the construction industry has seen a small but continued growth in contractor's margins that started a very slow return to positive in 2011. Material price increases and labor cost growth will still contribute to escalation. Contractors' building costs "charged" in 2012 are above labor and material cost increases, signaling a continued movement towards recovery of more normalized margins.

Among the topics covered in this comprehensive report are:

-- Construction Starts, Spending, & Costs
-- Material Price Movement
-- Trends and Costs for Structural Steel, Recycling Steel, & Copper
-- Architectural Billings Index
-- Current Inflation Forecast
-- ENR Index -- BCI History

This free report is available for download at http://info.gilbaneco.com/construction-economics.

About Gilbane, Inc.
Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services -- from sustainable building to the latest in construction technology -- for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-run company, Gilbane has more than 60 office locations around the world. For more information, visit www.gilbaneco.com.

Back to Industry News List


Construction Market Activity Continues Slow Growth Pattern
Modest Increase in Construction Cost Forecasted in Third Quarter 2012 Turner Building Cost Index

Turner Construction Company announced that the Third Quarter 2012 Turner Building Cost Index – which measures costs in the non-residential building construction market in the United States – has increased to a value of 832. This reflects a 0.73% increase from the Second Quarter 2012 and 2.21% yearly increase from the Third Quarter 2011.

Karl F. Almstead, the Turner vice president responsible for the Turner Building Cost Index, said, “A modest increase in construction costs over the last few months is driven by labor and material cost increases.” He continued, “Market optimism also contributes to the moderate increase in costs. However, any significant change in the market will require a change in the overall economy.”

Approximately 90% of Turner’s business is performed under contract arrangements where Turner provides extensive pre-construction planning services before the contract price is fixed and before construction starts. By providing pre-construction services and utilizing enhanced procurement strategies, Turner effectively manages the market risks associated with cost-related issues.

Turner has prepared the construction cost forecast for more than 80 years. Used widely by the construction industry and Federal and State governments, the building costs and price trends tracked by the Turner Building Cost Index may or may not reflect regional conditions in any given quarter. The Cost Index is determined by several factors considered on a nationwide basis, including labor rates and productivity, material prices and the competitive condition of the marketplace. This index does not necessarily conform to other published indices because others do not generally take all of these factors into account.

About Turner Construction Company
Turner is the leading general builder in the U.S., ranking first or second in the major segments of the building construction field. Turner annually completes $8 billion of construction. Founded in 1902, the firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, a publicly traded company and one of the world's leading international construction service providers. For more information, visit www.turnerconstruction.com.

Back to Industry News List


AIA Introduces Energy Modeling Guide

In order to help architects more accurately predict the energy consumption in their design projects, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put together An Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling in the Design Process. The guide is an exhaustive, step-by-step map to predicting (and thus reducing) the energy usage of buildings.

Written and assembled by a committee of architects, sustainability experts, and government building science officials, as well as AIA staff, the guide surveys a wide swath of the building design and construction industry to present baseline best practices for empirically evaluating the energy performance of buildings. Beyond defining and making a case for energy modeling, this primer walks readers through different types of energy modeling and the individual tools and software available for it. As a relatively new technical specialty, the guide also discusses how to bring energy modeling to other building team members, like engineers, and most important of all—to clients. From initial exploratory design concepts to code compliance and ongoing energy maintenance, this manual covers the entire spectrum of design and building.

“Energy modeling is fast becoming a more useful means to better inform major design decisions early and often throughout the building design process. It can provide a roadmap to help practitioners lead their clients toward energy efficiency goals, green code compliance and building certification programs,” said AIA President, Jeff Potter, FAIA. “It is imperative for the entire design and construction industry to be cognizant of the energy use implication buildings have, in terms of limited resources, climate change, and rising utility costs. This guide provides the energy modeling fundamentals that can serve the client’s high expectations and ultimately reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cities including Washington, D.C, San Francisco and Philadelphia have passed legislation requiring nonresidential building owners to measure and report their buildings’ annual energy use. By employing energy modeling during the design phase, it will become much easier for building owners to meet energy efficiency targets.

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. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

Back to Industry News List


Belden Brick Company Donates Brick Paving to Ohio Geological Walk Through Time

The Belden Brick Company, a manufacturer of brick and masonry-related construction products and materials, donated 14,100 bricks to Ohio’s new Geological Walk Through Time Exhibit, a paved walkway that now resides within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) area of the state fairgrounds. The ODNR finished the walkway construction in July.

“We are always proud to give back to the community,” said Bradley Belden, corporate manager of occupational & regulatory services. “This pathway provides a historic look into the natural evolution of the state of Ohio. Belden Brick is honored to contribute to such a memorable exhibit.”

The walkthrough is a 286-foot-long set of educational exhibits detailing the geological history and composition of the state. The exhibits, which opened in July, include the world’s largest geological bedrock map, depicting all 88 counties of Ohio. Boulders from quarries across the state were moved to the site, aptly representing the composition of Ohio’s diverse geological areas. The project is privately funded and made possible by donations to the Friends of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden.

“Without generous donors like the Belden Brick Company, the Geo Walk would not have been possible,” said former First Lady of Ohio Hope Taft, whose dedication to the walkway began in the early 2000s when she created the Heritage Gardens at the Governor’s Residence in Columbus, the walkway’s original proposed location. “We appreciate the donation of Belden’s brick paving, which has enhanced and completed the walkway.”

The Belden Brick Company traces its roots to the Diebold Fire Brick Company organized in Canton, Ohio, in 1885 by Henry S. Belden and four associates. The Belden Brick Company owns and operates six plants in Tuscarawas County, employs approximately 500 people and has an annual production capacity of nearly 250 million standard brick equivalent (sbe). In the US brick industry, The Belden Brick Company is the sixth largest (by production volume) manufacturer. Belden Brick is the largest family owned and managed brick company in the United States.

Back to Industry News List

 

 

 

D4COST Software


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