Welcome to the Construction Informer blog – featuring news, information and commentary for contractors
Why Not Break Out Of The Box?
Load Center, LLC, has invented several new electric panel enclosures to make the electrician’s job easier and faster. When changing out panels there are wires that run through the top and bottom. That box, with the wires hanging out, has to be inserted in a cut-out in the sheet rock not much bigger than the box. Most times, after much struggling to install a standard panel the sheet rock ends up getting broken and needs repaired, sometimes repainting, and the wires many times get damaged. Electricians can struggle for 20-30 minutes just to get the standard box in the wall.
Load Center, LLC has designed six and tested four different enclosures to solve this problem. The new Pivot Panel allows the electrician to install this box in the wall in 4-7 minutes with no stress or struggling and with no damage.
Go Around to Cut Square
Almost every construction project requires square holes for electrical sockets and other boxes but for years electricians have struggled to create them with rulers, pencils and handsaws. QUADSAW solves this problem thanks to its unique four-blade technology that cuts square holes in seconds and with absolute precision. QUADSAW is a simple attachment to a power drill that uses patented technology to convert rotary motion into linear motion – in four planes at once. It has built-in spirit levels and the blades can be changed in seconds at the push of a button enabling the user to switch between single and double socket sizes.
A New Solution to a Safer Working Environment
Benefit Everyone with the New Stub-EASE
Until now, conduit stub-ups had been universally accepted as a necessary evil in concrete construction applications. Previous methods of protection and awareness varied from spraying or flagging the stub-ups, to setting concrete blocks over them, only serving to highlight or hide the hazards on a raceway.
Stub-EASE allows the customer to keep future extensions of the conduit from projecting beyond the top of the concrete slab, by attaching to the embedded conduit via a threaded coupling. After the concrete pour, the HDPE (High Density Poly-Ethylene) sleeve and support are cut down to the top of concrete elevation and left in the slab until the future raceway is ready to be safely extended into a wall cavity. At this time, the electrician can use a driver with standard size paddle bit on the plastic partition wall in the middle of the sleeve, to expose the embedded threaded coupling.
U of M School of Architecture Hosts “Complexity: Dutch and American Housing” Symposium
WHEN: Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8, 2017
WHERE: Rapson Hall, University of Minnesota, 89 Church Street SE (East Bank), Minneapolis, MN RSVP: Registration for the symposium is now open. To register, visit http://www.z.umn.edu/complexitysymposium. Based on the book Complex Housing: Designing for Density by Professor Julia Robinson, FAIA, “Complexity: Dutch and American Housing” will explore the values inherent in Dutch Complex Housing and how to apply these values to American housing developments. At the symposium twelve Dutch presenters, representing four projects, will showcase best housing practices governing the development of Dutch housing.
USW Blasts Proposal to Cancel Beryllium Protections for Shipyard and Construction Workers
PITTSBURGH, June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The United Steelworkers (USW) today blasted the administration’s proposal to cancel important protections for shipyard and construction workers exposed to beryllium. Under the proposal OSHA released this morning, employers would no longer have to measure beryllium levels in the workplace or provide medical testing to workers at risk of fatal lung disease. In addition, workers would not have the right to wear protective clothing or to shower at the end of the work shift, making it possible for beryllium to be taken home and exposed to spouses and children.
Roof Design for Builders
CASTLETON ON HUDSON, N.Y., June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Attention to Detail announces the release of Easy Rafters 4.0, the latest version of its interactive roof design software for builders, remodelers, architects, engineers and do-it-yourselfers. Easy Rafters has been completely rewritten with new features, better support for the latest versions of Windows and a new licensing option. In addition to the Gable, Shed, Saltbox, Hip, Valley, California Valley, Gambrel, and Bay Roof options, the new Polygon Roof (3-12 sides) option has replaced the Octagon Roof. Other new features include jack rafter layout drawings for Valley Roofs similar to the Hip Roof layout drawing, roof sheathing drawings for several roof types, DXF output in AutoCAD 2000 format, and Print Preview functionality.
Sunscreen to the Workers
WATERFORD, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skin cancer is by far the most common form of cancer and too much exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases the risk of skin cancer. However, according to a 2016 survey Deb Group commissioned, 71 percent of outdoor workers are not provided sunscreen by their employer’s to use at work.1 A new survey commissioned by Deb Group, and conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,057 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, examines the public’s opinions on sunscreen at businesses. The study found that 74 percent of adults believe businesses with outdoor workers should provide sunscreen for their employees to use while at work.
Very Tough, And They Plunge
Mt. Prospect, Ill., June 14, 2017 – The days of having to change jig saw blades in the middle of a job for fear of hitting a nail or a screw in wood or laminate are over. Bosch Carbide for All-Purpose and Bosch Carbide for High-Pressure Laminates (HPL) jig saw blades are tough enough to withstand a nail hit and keep going – no change-out required. A Bosch-exclusive carbide brazing technology delivers 10X life versus standard bi-metal blades.So one jig saw blade really does do it all in tough laminate, wood with nails and hard materials. Premium Bosch Carbide for All-Purpose jig saw blades rely on Progressor® Technology that is a combination of aggressive small teeth that work together with larger teeth to increase speed and life.
New Wearable Sensor For Safety Alerts
NORWALK, Conn., May 23, 2017 – Triax Technologies Inc., just released the spot-r, a lightweight wearable sensor that alerts safety personnel to slip, trip and fall incidents in real time so workers can receive aid faster. It also logs key data for insurers on when and where incidents occur. The IoT device comes with a dashboard that provides visibility into worker location and site operations. This unprecedented Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled technology makes the digitally connected construction worksite possible for the first time. It helps to improve worker safety and reduce incident response times, while enabling general contractors to better manage projects and labor productivity.
How To Stop Silica Dust Dangers
August is Tree Check Month
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wants to remind the public that August is Tree Check Month. This is the best time to spot the round, drill-like holes made by the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a highly destructive invasive pest that destroys trees.
“If you love trees, now is the time to take 10 minutes and go outside and look for the signs of this invasive pest,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for the ALB eradication program. “Look for round holes the size of a dime or smaller in tree trunks and branches. If you see them or black beetles that have long antennas with black and white bands, report them immediately.”
The Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America’s treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure to save infested trees. They need to be removed to keep the beetle from spreading to nearby trees, as well as to protect homes and other personal property, since infested trees will die and can drop branches.
“Trees infested by the beetle weaken and die over time and are more likely to fall or lose branches during high winds and storms,” added Ryan. “Since we’re in hurricane season, it’s wise to remove trees sooner than later. It’s possible to get rid of this destructive pest, but we need the public’s help to do so. To date, the beetle has been eradicated from Illinois and New Jersey.”
The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to containing it. People can also help by not moving firewood from areas quarantined because of the ALB, which can transport the beetle hidden inside to new locations.
The beetle has distinctive markings that are easy to recognize:
• Long antennae with black and white bands, longer than the insect’s body.
• A shiny, jet-black body, about 1” to 1 ½” long, with white spots.
• Six legs with possible bluish-colored feet.
Signs of infestation include:
• Round exit holes, about the size of a dime or smaller, in tree trunks and branches.
• Shallow oval or round scars in the bark, where the adult beetle has chewed an egg site.
• Sawdust-like material, called frass, on the ground around the tree or in the branches.
• Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.
After seeing signs of the beetle:
• Make note of what was found and where. Take a photo, if possible.
• Try to capture the insect by placing it in a container and freezing it. Doing so will preserve it for easier identification.
• Report findings by calling 1-866-702-9938 or completing an online form at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com.
The ALB was first detected in the United States in Brooklyn, New York, in 1996. It is believed to have come from wooden packing material used in cargo shipments from China. Since then, it has led to the loss of more than 160,000 trees.
For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle, ways to keep it from spreading and eradication program activities, visit www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com and www.HungryPests.com. For local inquiries or to be forwarded to your State Plant Health Director, call 1-866-702-9938.