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Welcome to the Construction Informer blog – featuring news, information and commentary for contractors

Trip Up the Grim Reaper with a Safety Program

This definitive guide to developing a construction safety program includes the rationale, a video overview and a list of resources.

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Natural Lighting Challenges the Unnatural

Natural lighting offers benefits to building occupants as well as to companies involved in residential and commercial construction. Find out what researchers say about natural lighting and see examples of the components you would use in a natural lighting installation.

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4 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying Job Management Software

Buying job management software is no easy task especially for service-based business owners strapped for time. By asking these four simple questions though, you can narrow down the field of choices much more quickly. By Jay Crain More field service business owners are...
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EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Offers Boost To P3s

Updated 1-9-2017. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was extended to April 28, 2017, opening the option for more infrastructure construction using foreign wealth.

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Using Portable Line Boring Machines for Construction Equipment Maintenance

Portable line boring machines offer quicker repair options for damaged and worn out pivot points.

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Update: Where Did That Punch List Term Come From Anyway?

I've often wondered just where the term "punch list" came from, and I've found a few sources that seem to make sense, while others not so much. Enter the Realm of Conjecture and Opinion One person claims it came from the telephone installer process of “punching down”...
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Simplify Your IoT Home

FetchitGo is your universal home device controller to interact with all the IoT devices and mobile services and keeps track of all your tasks and reminders.

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.

Elevated Foundation Helps Deal With Volatile Soils

In North Texas, active soils often cause foundation problems due to movement and settlement. By using a field-tested, patented process of elevating a slab-on-grade foundation, Tella Firma creates a protective void between the ground and the foundation itself. This application isolates the slab and guards it from damaging soil swells, contractions and unexpected movement. Most foundation damage results from soil movement that can be caused by expansion and contraction of clay soils due to moisture change and other changing conditions that affect the soil.

Faulkner Perrin Custom Homes used Tella Firma Foundations (www.tellafirma.com) for two high-end spec homes under development in the Preston Hollow neighborhood in Dallas.  One project will be completed by the end of this year, while the other project is just under way.

Government Buildings Slash Energy Use

From 2003 to 2012, the average energy intensity, or energy consumption per square foot, of government buildings decreased by 23%. The slide shows how it was done. About 14% of commercial buildings in the United States are owned by a government agency at federal, state, and local levels. Over the same period, the average energy intensity across all commercial buildings decreased by 12%.

CBECS data highlight some of the specific actions building owners can take to help meet building energy reduction goals or requirements, such as monitoring energy use and upgrading key equipment. Building automation systems that automatically control lighting and heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) systems are present in about one in three government buildings, more than twice the rate as in nongovernment buildings.

Skanska Delivers First Major US P3 Months Ahead of Schedule

Skanska, leading a joint venture of Skanska, Kiewit Construction and Weeks Marine (SKW Constructors), announced that it reached substantial completion of the new Midtown Tunnel, a key element of the Elizabeth River Tunnels project between Norfolk and Portsmouth, VA, four months ahead of schedule.

The project is using a public private partnership (P3) model for the finance, development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a new two-lane tunnel adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel under the Elizabeth River. The 3,800 foot-long underwater vehicle tunnel is one of the few immersed-tube tunnels in the U.S., and is comprised of eleven 16,000-ton concrete elements.

The tubes were fabricated at Sparrows Point, MD, and towed 220 nautical miles down the Chesapeake Bay to the project site in Portsmouth, VA. They were then immersed and positioned – one element at a time – in a dredged trench nearly 100 feet at the bottom of the Elizabeth River and then connected together through a series of locking mechanisms and seals.