OP COMM ED PIC 1By Todd Andrew

In August, three leading organizations – the American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders and Associated Builders and Contractors – published their mid-year construction economic forecast.

For those of us who are general contractors specializing in commercial projects, the report will probably conjure up some memories.

According to a summary of the forecast in Architect magazine, “Commercial spending, which includes sub-categories such as retail, is projected to increase by just 6.5 percent from 2016 to 2017– roughly half of the prior year’s gains and anticipated due to the projected slowdown in office construction in the next year.”

Twenty years ago, market conditions were quite similar: relatively strong but projected to weaken in key areas. Like today, America in 1996 was about five years into recovering from a recession – granted, nowhere as bad as the most recent.


 OP NYNJ ED PIC 1By Carlos DeLeon

Today’s construction market is not the industry my father started his career in over 27 years ago. We have moved from an industry built on personal relationships and handshake deals to a fast-paced market revolving around high-speed emails and close encounters with prospective and existing clients who are ever demanding and increasingly short on interaction.

With this in mind, today’s residential construction leaders must adapt to a new reality that relies on technology for cost effectiveness and timeliness. After all, the rules of the game have not changed, but we do find ourselves challenged by the new mediums by which we must communicate and make our clients feel valued.

 OP CIVIL ED PIC 1By Alvin F. Lindsay

There are few businesses that generate as many disputes as the construction industry. Chances are that even the best owners, contractors and design professionals will experience formal dispute proceedings, whether in court or in arbitration. And few businesses generate as much information, so it is helpful to understand how and why lawyers obtain discovery of that information. Here are some tips for those business people who may be new to the litigation process:


U.S. consumer awareness of energy efficiency spiked suddenly in 1973 when an Arab oil embargo led to soaring oil prices and fuel shortages. Many Americans will recall waiting in long lines on alternate odd- or even-numbered days to fill up their cars’ gas tanks, getting slammed with astronomical home heating bills, or walking to school in the dark as Daylight Savings Time was extended into winter to help save energy.

SafetyLeadership styles have a big impact on safety culture.   

By Joshua Estrin  

The impact of managerial leadership styles is not a new topic in the broader realm of occupational safety and health. In recent years, the construction industry also has recognized the importance of using it as a means by which to measure and, in some ways, proactively approach safety management issues by understanding that certain ways in which those in charge of the job site safety approach safety means and methods can have a more effective outcome on avoiding accidents and keeping the worker safe.

 7 HABITS ED PIC 1Seven habits can lead to projects staying on time and under budget.   

By Chris Bell

The steps to achieve and maintain a thriving construction project management program can be complex, leaving facility and asset owners at a loss of where to begin to improve their current program. However, as the construction industry has become more technologically adept by adopting cloud-based project management solutions, we have seen a significant spike in resources and data that paint a clearer picture regarding the practices that separate top-performing owners, those who regularly see projects completed on-time and under budget, from average or low-performing owners. In fact, they can be boiled down to seven common habits.

 OP NYNJ ED PIC 1By Brian L. Gardner

In June, New York City contractor Harco Construction LLC was convicted for manslaughter related to the death of a worker killed in a construction accident. The company’s job superintendent was recently on trial regarding the same incident, also for manslaughter and related charges.

This is not the first time that Manhattan prosecutors have brought criminal cases against a construction company related to job site safety where an injury or death occurred. However, it is seemingly the first where a conviction was obtained. While Harco’s attorneys have signaled that they intend to appeal the conviction, the conviction alone may have an impact on companies and how they do business.


Construction is booming so much that in 2015 alone, U.S. construction projects costs reached $1 trillion, the highest recorded amount since 2008, according to estimates offered by the Census Bureau. A large portion of this construction is happening on the campuses of colleges and universities across the country.

New construction and renovation costs have become near certainties year after year as colleges and universities continue to break ground on student housing, research labs and lecture halls. However, undertaking these large projects comes with a fair amount of risk, and university decision makers often overlook several insurance risks before expanding.

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