Global satellite navigation systems (GNSS) have become a vital instrument in many construction companies’ toolsets. Their accurate locating capabilities and universal availability can help crews more easily collect data and save time when surveying, easily locate sites, manage fleets and even help protect expensive, critical equipment from theft. But GNSS technology and the global positioning systems (GPS) receivers they communicate with also are vulnerable to malicious attacks via RF interference, jamming and the deliberate counterfeiting of signals known as spoofing. These attacks have a direct impact on security and accuracy and can ultimately undermine a construction company’s profitability.
There is no question that the United States’ homebuilding industry is being driven by a wave of consolidation, causing merger and acquisition activity to heat up. As the landscape transforms, competitors and collaborators are rapidly buying, selling and merging into each other. Over the next decade, we expect to see 50 percent or more of privately held businesses in the construction industry to transition ownership.
As consolidation builds, it is important to understand factors driving the force. There are four areas fueling this trend: strong housing market fundamentals, need for scale, diversity, and improved operating efficiencies.
By now, most of us involved in the building construction and design industry are familiar with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification — the U.S. Green Building Council’s set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods — and other sustainable building programs. As the demand for “greener” buildings continues to grow, it’s important that our industry communicate the impact the products we manufacture have on the environment.
The race is on in the construction and engineering sector to develop and commercialize the use of 3-D printing technology. Although firms are already using the technology to print models and hard-to-construct components, it is the promise of using 3-D printing technology to print actual building components layer by layer in on the job site that excites many because of the potential transformative uses of the technology. The claimed advantages of the technology include the flexibility to design hard-to-build structures, the potential for mass-production and customization, reduced waste, substantially reduced labor costs, safer work environments and the ability to build in hostile environments. In addition, this technology potentially allows developers to build applications ranging from mass-producing simple housing in underdeveloped countries or in the wake of natural disasters to changing the economics of complex construction in developed countries to applications in outer space.
Passengers on Southwest Airlines flights to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will soon receive some much-needed breathing room.
The airline broke ground in November 2014 on a $508 million modernization of LAX Terminal 1, of which the Dallas-headquartered company is the sole occupant. Southwest is contracting directly with construction manager at-risk Hensel Phelps to deliver the project, which it anticipates will be complete by the end of 2018. The program team also includes program manager AvAirPros, design manager ODEMCO, and PGAL, which is providing design and engineering expertise.
Over the next 20 years, demand for power in the United States is expected to increase approximately 1 percent annually, with worldwide demand climbing even higher. Even as demand increases, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts likely will continue to be the predominant form of contracting in the energy sector.
EPC contracts, sometimes referred to as turnkey contracts, are single, design-build contracts for complete construction of a power plant and include provisions for design, equipment procurement, fabrication, and performance testing. The parties to an EPC contract typically are the project owner and a business entity specifically formed between contractors and design professionals to support the construction project. The entities created between contractors and design professionals may take the form of joint ventures, consortiums, limited liability companies, corporations and other businesses.
Are you satisfied with how your company manages transportation today? Many construction companies and building material manufacturers are not content with how equipment and materials are delivered to their warehouses, jobsites or laydown yards. Several factors have made the efficient movement of project materials more challenging than ever.
The right trucks and equipment are hard to find — an estimated shortage of 40,000 drivers nationwide has caused a capacity gap in trucking. Safety and risk are growing concerns; the number of large trucks involved in property damage and fatal crashes has increased since 2010. Finally, the logistical complexity of many projects can complicate communication among contractors, suppliers and trucking carriers. As a result, deliveries arrive late, deadlines are missed and profitability is compromised.
Building information modeling (BIM) in recent years has emerged as a standard practice for contractors both small and large, local and national. With the technology advancing at a seemingly daily basis, adapting or optimizing BIM can be challenging for practically anyone.
Construction professionals seeking answers or advice about this crucial technology can find what they’re looking for at the BIM Integration Congress, Aug. 26 and 27 in San Francisco. Construction Today recently had the opportunity to ask Jack Parker, director of product development at American Business Conferences – the event’s organizer – about what attendees can expect.