The Rapid Rate of Technological Change

Technology is moving at break-neck speed. I recall that, when I was getting my MBA in 2007, one class required that we read the book The World is Flat, a business best-seller that was raved about by business executives and professors. It’s a book about globalization, the free spread of information, and how the world is changing rapidly. But despite the love for the book by my elders, I and my fellow students—all of us in our mid-to-late twenties—kinda shrugged our shoulders and said “Yeah. That’s obvious.” What was astounding to older generations was second-nature to us. That was ten years ago.

Construction Plans for Border Wall

Details are still sketchy about the actual construction materials that will be needed and used (is it steel? Is it cement? How tall? Etc.) but we know it's planned for three phases, and will cost approximately $21.6 billion. That puts the cost at much higher than the $12 billion President Trump promised during his campaign, and also the $15 billion House Speaker Paul Ryan estimated. And the price could rise, as the leaked report shows they have not yet planned additional expenses when building in mountainous areas.

Paris Showcases Architectural Security

In an age of terrorism and mass shootings, security measures around the world have become essential in many areas, and, more and more, architects, engineers and landscape planners are working with psychologists, security experts and law enforcement to incorporate safety into their designs. Some designs are intended to be seen, such as security cameras. Other measures blend seamlessly into the background: berms of earth are quite often used around buildings and parking lots to deflect explosive shock waves up into the air, instead of horizontally into buildings. In large commercial buildings, curves and alcoves are giving way to straight, unobstructed lines of sight.

Labor Shortage Slows New Construction

Not long ago, construction jobs were scarce. When the Great Recession hit in 2008 and 2009, 31% of laborers left the construction industry, and they haven’t come back. In fact, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) estimates that there are 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the United States. The ratio of job openings to hiring is at its highest level since 2007, when we were at the peak of the housing bubble.

Mesh WiFi for Construction

It used to be mark of a forward-looking company to have Wi-Fi in the job trailer. Now with the proliferation of online meetings and the connected nature of modern business, it has become a necessity. And just because most smartphones have built-in connections, does not mean that the jobsite will have adequate network coverage, or that the data plan allows unlimited usage. To conduct business in this digital age, you’ll need Wi-Fi attached to a high speed, unmetered internet connection on your jobsite and a solid Wi-Fi network in your main office.

Construction Leading the Way in Mental Health Care

When thinking of health protections in the construction industry, it may surprise many to learn that the industry is helping to lead the charge in mental health awareness and care. Safety concerns are not just limited to reflective vests and hard hats on a job site.

In an industry that has a higher-than-average likelihood of mental illness, companies are taking action to make sure that workers have access to both daily care and long-term protection.

The Border Wall and Construction

The Wall. It’s been a subject on the lips of politicians and pundits for well over a year, ever since President Trump has been running for office. And the subject’s not new: a congressional vote for a wall was won back in 2006, with the Secure Fence Act of 2006, though Trump’s wall is speculated to be on a much grander scale than the former plans.

3-D printers have already taken the tech industry by storm—news stories of 3-D printed shoes, wheels, artificial hearts and even guns are breaking one after another. While there are downsides to 3D printing (despite the amazing things you see on the internet, quality comes at a pretty steep price), there’s no question that the future of this printing is bright.

The Greenest Building on Earth

Opening on Earth Day last year, Seattle’s Bullitt Center has been the greenest building on the planet. You wouldn’t know it to look at it. It appears to be nothing more than a six-story office building (albeit with a very unique architectural profile). It was the winner of a competition to create the greenest—yet most economically viable—building. (If it were not for that qualification, the prize would most likely go to sod homes or “land arks” that are built halfway underground and recycle everything from shower water to urine to the condensation on their windows.

Crowdsharing Construction Equipment?

Taking a cue from the crowdsharing fame of companies like Uber (the rent-a-car-and-driver service that's taking the transportation industry by storm) and Airbnb (the service that lets homeowners rent their properties in lieu of hotels), we now have Dozr. Have a piece of construction equipment laying around? A bulldozer or a forklift or a backhoe? Earn some money with it between jobs with Dozr, the first person-to-person construction equipment rental company.

IKEA’s Award-Winning Refugee Shelter

At a time when the refugee crisis seems worse than ever, IKEA’s “Better Shelter” is booming around the world. While IKEA furniture has a reputation (true or false) for being cheap and disposable, in the world of supply-chain management, IKEA reigns supreme. Known for the flat-pack, assemble-yourself products, IKEA can efficiently store, ship, and build it’s products for minimal cost. With a company mantra of “Low price, but not at any price,” IKEA looks to cheap but durable products (over 50% of their materials are recycled) that can be delivered and built anywhere.

Updating Sage Accounting Systems

hh2 was designed from the ground up to sync with Sage accounting, specifically Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, and Sage 100 Contractor. It is therefore essential that, when you update Sage you do not want data syncing over during the update. If things are not properly updated you will get an error message from Sage and the sync tool won’t work. (These errors are very rare—we’ve only run into these recently after end-of-the-year updates.) By performing the actions below, you can avoid any future error messages, and keep everything running smoothly.

Where is the Construction Industry Going in 2017?

Man Construction trends have a tendency to embrace an uncertainty of the future. Under a picture of President-Elect Donald Trump, the article uses phrases like “cautiously optimistic” and “fear of the unknown”. They have some well-argued ideas, such as “Offsite/Modular construction will gain a stronger foothold in the market” and “Labor shortage will continue to plague the industry.”

Dangers When Working from Heights

My first day in the construction industry, back in 2003, a contractor, who was working on the roof of our warehouse, fell through a gap and died. He was not wearing a harness, despite it being required by both law and our company’s rules for contractors. A thorough investigation was performed, and it was found that the contractor had temporarily removed his harness as he walked across the not-yet-secured metal roof sheeting. He fell approximately forty feet to a concrete floor.

Women in Construction Bring Benefits to the Industry

Only 9% of workers in construction are women, a statistic that is lower than in almost any other industry (for comparison, mining is at 13%, transportation at 23%). And in senior positions, women are even more rare. Only 4.3% of board of directors’ seats are held by women in construction companies. While there is progress being made, legacy effects of long-standing gender policies do play a role in how and when women are treated in the construction workplace.