Welcome to the Construction Informer blog – featuring news, information and commentary for contractors
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.
Simplify Your IoT Home
A press of a button can turn on a smart light and start your coffee at the same time, and also add reminder for “out of milk” and taking medication. Through machine learning have IoT’s mirror the personality of the household to take away the pain of programming.
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.
Shedding Light on Lighting
“The most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) collected new information about lighting control technologies and strategies in the United States in 2012. Compared with other investments in energy efficiency—such as upgrading heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems or replacing insulation—lighting controls are often relatively easy, accessible, and affordable changes. A new EIA report, Trends in Lighting in Commercial Buildings, details these strategies and provides information about lighting technologies in commercial buildings.”—EIA
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the May 2017 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $1 trillion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market eased again in May to 63.2, down from the April index of 65.8.
22.6% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 36.7% in April. 71% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 63.3% in April. 6.5% believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from none the previous month.
Conceal the Toilet Tank
DES PLAINES, IL: Geberit North America will showcase the latest bathroom trends at the 2017 PCBC Expo and Conference in San Diego, June 28-29. The displays will illustrate how the Geberit Concealed Tank and Carrier System can accommodate bathroom design challenges with versatility, reliability, and enhanced function and style, no matter the size of the space.
Visitors to PCBC will learn about the Geberit system’s expanding role in water efficiency and modern bathroom design. Attendees will see how the system is inspiring new creativity and how in-wall technology can overcome unique bathroom design challenges such as small spaces and aging-in-place.
Raising the Roof
WASHINGTON, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Profile America — Monday, May 1st. On this date in 1884, construction began in Chicago for a radical new building design — destined to be America’s first skyscraper. It was the Home Insurance Company headquarters, designed by engineer William Jenney. For many centuries, thick outer walls supported multistory buildings, limiting the height that could be safely or usefully attained. Jenney’s building used a metal frame for support, like a skeleton. The exterior walls were attached to the frame, and so these so-called curtain walls weren’t load bearing. Soon, skyscrapers using Jenney’s method thrust up across the country and today dominate city skylines around the world. Lately, the construction industry in the U.S. has erected some $435 billion worth of private nonresidential buildings annually. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.
Get Disaster Smart
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In honor of Building Safety Month, the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced DisasterSmart – Leadership for a Resilient Future, an initiative designed for leaders seeking to enhance community resilience before and after natural disasters.
The initiative provides commentary, video, and a resource library that outline the cost-benefits of smart building code practices, including life safety, insurance savings and heightened pre- and post-disaster relief eligibility. Economic evidence validates building codes and beyond-code construction practices as essential to increase public safety.
Slowing M&A Deals Blamed on Uncertainty
Deals Insights Q1 2017
Q1 17 M&A activity decreased to $12 billion which is the lowest level in the last three years. While there are some seasonal influences on the first calendar year quarter in any year, the drop in Q1 17 was far more pronounced than in previous years suggesting ongoing levels of heightened market uncertainty as well as tempered demand from Asia, and specifically Chinese investment. – Colin McIntyre, US Engineering and Construction Deals Leader
- Deal value in the E&C sector decreased from $23.3 billion in Q4 16 to $12 billion in Q1 17. Deal volume also dropped by more than half from the previous quarter.
- Two megadeals were announced in Q1 17 with a total aggregate disclosed value of $4.8 billion.
- The civil engineering category had the largest share in terms of both value and volume – 47% and 35%, respectively.
- In Q1 2017, financial buyers deal value decreased by 43% and 38% as compared to Q4 16 and Q1 16, respectively. Strategic investors had a higher drop in deal value, decreasing by 51% and 53% during the same period.
- Asia and Oceania continued to lead the region, but only marginally in an otherwise down quarter across the globe.
- China M&A activity in Q1 17 continued a trend of declining comps versus the prior year, reflecting continued influence of currency controls in the market making completion of overseas transactions more challenging for Chinese outbound investors.
Using Ice to Lower AC Costs Really Works
How To Stop Silica Dust Dangers
Half of Mature U.S. Workers Will Wait Until At Least Age 70 to Retire
While delaying retirement can be fueled by a number of reasons, financial motivations typically top the list as mature workers work to ensure they have a large enough nest egg. But, just how much they’ll need in the bank to enjoy their golden years remains a mystery or moving target for some. One third of workers ages 60+ (34 percent) say they aren’t sure how much they’ll need to save in order to retire.
Asked how much money they think they’ll need to save in order to retire, 42 percent of U.S. workers ages 60+ believe they will need at least $500,000. A quarter (24 percent) believe they’ll need less than $500,000.
- Less than $500,000: 24 percent
- $500,000 to less than $1 million: 25 percent
- $1 million to less than $2 million: 13 percent
- $2 million to less than $3 million: 3 percent
- $3 million or more: 1 percent
When asked if they’re currently contributing to retirement accounts, more than 1 in 4 (26 percent) workers 55+ said they do not participate in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan.
Three out of four workers ages 55+ (74 percent) don’t earn their desired salary, and they’re taking steps to change that. Eight percent took on a second job in 2016, and 12 percent plan to change jobs this year.