AEC Mergers & Acquisitions Show No Signs of Letting Up

men running on cogs
Recent M&A activity in the engineering and construction sector shows a penchant for mega deals. In the third quarter 2014 six mega deals accounted for 56% of total deal value. (Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

The architecture, engineering and construction sector continues a period of robust consolidation with firms trying to position themselves as jacks of all trades, in wider and wider geographies.

Even the building materials sector is busily merging and acquiring to deal with overcapacity and to improve their competitive positions, according to a new report out from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Deal volume in the third quarter was 54% greater than the same time last year. Continue reading

On-The-Spot Financing Promises New Revenue Streams for Contractors

Man with money raining down
It probably won’t really rain money if you start offering financing for projects, but this solution promises to make the process easier and quicker. This is not the contractor named in the post. (Copyright: palinchak / 123RF Stock Photo)

When Charles Clemons with Bath Fitter of Chattanooga went looking for a loan partner to qualify customers on the spot, he wanted a company that didn’t have a lot of hassles and one that would help him close business with three major categories of customers. Continue reading

Compensation Survey Reveals Construction’s Pay Differences

Man throws money
Field engineers, quality assurance, proposal managers, environmental engineers and project engineers have enjoyed the largest increases in base salary percentage since 2009. (Copyright: andreyuu / 123RF Stock Photo)

The fundamental shift in how the construction industry does business is now reflected in pay rates, according to research from FMI, a provider of management consulting, investment banking and research to the engineering and construction industry. Since the great recession, an increased emphasis on sales and the process of nurturing relationships is making business development, and project accounting/office management pay rates increase quicker than other industry occupations. Continue reading

Space Elevator Construction Might Rely on Nanostructures

space elevator
Artist Pat Rawling’s concept of a space elevator shows one view of how a vehicle would travel between earth and space to carry people and cargo. This is the view looking down the cable from a geostationary platform above the earth. (Courtesy NASA)

Japanese construction firm, Obayashi announced its intention of building a space elevator to carry materials and people into space at a fraction of the cost of today’s rockets. The plan is to have one in place by 2050 with the help of an international organization set up for the task.

What is the magic material Obayashi will depend on? Continue reading

Construction’s Place in the New Death Statistics

grim reaper on road
The ages of 45 to 65+ put you in a category where you are more likely to have a fatal workplace injury. (Copyright: fergregory / 123RF Stock Photo)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows two groups face higher risks of death on the job. Hispanic or Latino workers, and those identified as contractors had higher on-the-job deaths than in previous years. Continue reading

Compact, Simple Construction Cameras Increase Options for Job Oversight

camera overlooks construction site
Easy to use construction cameras now offer just about anyone who’s involved in a project ways to easily capture visuals of what’s going on. According to Brinno, this image represents the quality produced by this camera. (Courtesy Brinno)

The revolution in easy-to-use job site cameras continues with a new entry that claims to make it quick and easy to record job site activities. The Brinno Construction Camera, otherwise known as Brinno’s TLC200 f1.2 model, offers subcontractors, and others on construction sites, the chance to easily record activities on the fly.

Many construction sites have cameras these days, but they are often controlled by the GC, owner or CM. Continue reading

OSHA Changes Injury Reporting Rule

Paramedics performing CPR on patient in ambulance
OSHA is looking for new insights into workplace injuries that can help to reduce injuries, disabilities and deaths. A changed reporting rule goes into effect next year. (Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo)

Starting in January 2015, employers in states covered by federal OSHA must report all work related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours, and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses within 24 hours, according to Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. Employers in states with OSHA-approved state plans must check with their state plans to find out their implementation dates. Continue reading

Is Construction in a Dark Age of Moisture Damage Prevention?

Castle on the sea
Handling moisture issues in days of old was largely a process of channeling it away from where you didn’t want it. Today, tighter buildings, climate change and variations across regions makes controlling moisture a much more scientific and high profile process. (Copyright: justdd / 123RF Stock Photo)

The Dark Ages, so called because civilization forgot a lot of stuff, led to human misery on a grand scale. Now, some people claim construction has entered just such a phase when it comes to mitigating moisture and mold problems in buildings. Continue reading

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