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Emerging Flooring Technologies

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As time marches on, new technologies, processes and techniques shape the way commercial flooring contractors operate. From lean construction and the prefabrication of materials to the increased demand for LVT and design involvement, things are changing to improve quality, reduce installation time and promote best-value decisions.

Lean construction

The biggest change in the commercial flooring world is the push toward lean construction. This method of construction management has been passed around since the early 1990s, but has been utilized most often in the past few years. Lean construction is a mindset that seeks to minimize the waste of materials, time and effort. This can only be achieved through the participation of all project participants – the contractors, owner, end-user, managers, etc. These participants from various industries, under a variety of roles, work together instead of in isolated groups.

Under traditional construction management approaches, each contractor’s crew worked in isolation, lacking communication with the other projects. Instead, the general contractor and sub-contractors for plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc., all meet regularly to determine where everyone is on their projects, how those timelines may affect everyone else’s projects and what tasks need to be done to ensure goals are met. The projects are mapped out every morning, that way no one is butting heads. Additionally, it keeps accountability high.

Another part of lean construction is a new method for scheduling projects. Traditionally, projects were scheduled from the start date forward. Now, under what is called the Last Planner System, projects are scheduled from the end date through the start date. Scheduling a project this way allow contractors to work out issues in advance and know when things need to be done to stay on time. This is maintained through biweekly regroupings to review the schedule and stay on track.

Prefabrication of materials

An important change in the commercial flooring world is the prefabrication of flooring materials. By knowing the dimensions of the upcoming project, flooring contractors are cutting the flooring materials to fit beforehand instead of traditionally doing it on site. These prefabricated materials are then stored in the contractor’s warehouse until the project is ready to begin.

By employing the prefabrication of materials method, flooring contractors are able to keep the project’s job site clean and free of unnecessary debris while also greatly reducing the amount of time spent on site during the installation process.

Continued demand for LVT floors

Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are not new to the commercial flooring world. What is new is the increasing demand for them and explosion of LVT manufacturers. With more LVT manufacturers comes a reduction in price and an increase in available aesthetics. LVT now comes in a huge range of prices due to a vast array of quality and design options.

The drive for LVT demand is the desire for low-maintenance, high-durability flooring options. With LVT, there is no waxing and stripping. Instead, simple cleaning methods are all that is needed for floor maintenance.

Design involvement

As part of the change in the way flooring contractors operate, there is a recent push by flooring contactors to get involved in the design aspect of a project. Designers, architects and engineers have usually mapped out a project before a flooring contractor is even contacted. Often times they have chosen materials that don’t match with the design or are not suited for the application.

Relying on the expertise of a flooring contractor helps find the balance between aesthetics, functionality, durability and costs. It’s referred to as value-engineering and flooring contractors are implementing it on projects across the nation. While value-engineering isn’t necessarily new, it’s use for flooring projects is increasing.

These methods, practices and materials are emerging more and more in the commercial flooring industry. Each one is having a profound impact on the way flooring contractors approach and complete a project.

This article was originally published on the Spectra Contract Flooring learning center.

American Society of Concrete Contractors to Hold 16th Annual Conference in Phoenix this September

in Associations/News

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, MO, will hold its sixteenth Annual Conference September 14-17, 2017 at the Arizona Grand Resort, Phoenix, AZ.  Concrete contractors, manufacturers, designers and other industry professionals will gather for three days of educational events and networking.

Industry experts including Brad Humphrey, Pinnacle Development Group; Ian Blair, The Blair Group; Amy Lynch, Generational Edge; Chris Sullivan, Chem Systems; and Kim Basham, KB Engineering, will offer seminars on critical industry topics.

Seminar tracks include Tech, Business Management, Business Field Level, Decorative and Polished Concrete and Safety.

Seminar topics include “Use Science – Not Luck (to Minimize Floor Cracking)”, “Polished Concrete Maintenance”, “Navigating Your Construction Contract”, “Winning The War on Attitude”, and “Death on the Job”.

Attendees can take advantage of the ACI Flatwork Finisher Certification class and exam which will be offered September 14.

Additional opportunities include a golf tournament, kart racing, Phoenix Art Museum tour, and a visit to an Arabian horse ranch.

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them with a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry, such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 725 member companies in the United States and 15 foreign countries.  For more information visit the website at or call (866) 788-2722.

Tenth Annual Decorative Concrete Awards

in Associations/News

The Decorative Concrete Council, (DCC), a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, in partnership with Concrete Construction magazine, announces its tenth annual Decorative Concrete Awards.  The competition is open to DCC members and non-members.

Entries are invited in the following categories:  overlays, cast-in-place stamped and special finishes, stained, polished concrete, polished overlays, countertops, vertical application, concrete artistry, multiple applications, architectural concrete, decorative environmental, and project video.  With the exception of countertops, two awards may be given in each category, for projects 5,000 SF and less, and projects over 5,000 SF.  Submittals are judged on craftsmanship, aesthetics, functionality and creativity.

The deadline for submittal is September 30, 2017.  The awards will be presented at the World of Concrete 2018.  For more information, or to enter go to or call 1-866-788-2722.

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 725 member companies in the United States and 15 foreign countries.  For more information visit the web site at or call 866-788-2722.


ASA Midwest Council Hosts St. Louis Construction Showcase and BBQ

in Associations/News

Free event scheduled for May 24th in Queeny Park 

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council has assembled more than 60 companies to participate in its 5th Annual St. Louis Construction Showcase & BBQ on Wednesday, May 24th in Queeny Park.  The event is free for all to attend! Visit for a full list of exhibitors scheduled to be in attendance.

The free event is open from 2:00-7:00 p.m., with judging of the BBQ competition to begin at 4:30 p.m.  Attendees will be able to visit with companies that represent all aspects of the St Louis construction industry, while enjoying some fantastic FREE BBQ samples and refreshments, provided by the exhibitors.

“The event provides a great chance for anyone in the construction industry to network and experience the latest & greatest in construction technology, software, equipment, tools and supplies,” said ASA Midwest Council president Amy Heeger. “We moved the event to May this year, and think the milder weather will lend to an even better experience for all of our exhibitors and attendees. We are looking forward to a great turnout, and are excited about the more than 60 companies already signed up to exhibit at the annual showcase.”

For more information about the FREE TO ATTEND ASA Construction Showcase & BBQ on May 24th at Queeny Park, visit

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty contractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. The ASA Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy and cooperation. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at  
ASA has been Building. Community. for 50 years. Est. 1967

Home Builders Association Donates More Than $7,000 to DOORWAYS

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2017 HBA President Ken Kruse of Payne Family Homes (left) and HBCF President John Eilermann of McBride & Son Companies (right) presented a $7,210 donation to Herman Johnson of DOORWAYS  (also known as Interfaith Residence).

The funds will be used to make lighting improvements in their family residential complex. DOORWAYS is an interfaith non-profit organization which provides housing and related supportive services to improve quality of life and health outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

Electrical Connection Saves the Season

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Services Donated to Repair Lighting for Little League in Festus, Mo.

For a time, it appeared that the joys of summer with the crack of the bat and kids playing baseball might be silenced at the Twin City Little League in Festus, Mo.  That’s because the lighting for the field was in bad need of repair and would not pass inspection for the 2017 season.  But the Electrical Connection stepped to the plate and saved the season!

Matt Copland & Chris Bank

The IBEW/NECA partnership agreed to donate services to repair the lighting.  NECA contractor Schaeffer Electric Company, Inc. teamed with IBEW Local 1 electricians Matt Copland and Chris Bank to repair field lights and bring them up to code.  A full slate of baseball games for the summer is now underway.

“The Electrical Connection really came through in our time of need,” said Scott White, Twin cities director of fields.  “Schaeffer Electric and IBEW made sufficient improvements to the field lighting so we could kick off a busy 2017 schedule of games.”

Since 1939, Twin City Little League has been an anchor of the Festus and Crystal City communities.  The non-profit Little League sanctioned program serves more than 400 boys and girls, ages three to 16 years old, in 12 different divisions of baseball and softball programs.

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  Members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

New Tool Helps People Buy Local, Healthy Energy-Efficient Building Products

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Architects, Multi-Family Home Building Owners, Consumers and Others Can Use New Database to Find Locally Made Building Products That Minimize Harmful Toxins

The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation today released a new tool to help everyone from building professionals to consumers find energy-efficient housing products that are healthy and made locally. Building Clean—found at—offers an easy-to-use interface to access its one-of-a-kind database. Products and manufacturers of products available on the database include appliances, heating and air conditioning equipment, insulation, lighting, plumbing, roofing, sealants, and water filtration.

Housing consumes more than 20 percent of U.S. energy. Building Clean is designed to make it easier for architects and designers, consumers, contractors and developers, and manufacturers to find American-made, healthy products so they can capture the benefits of energy efficiency retrofits—including lower utility bills, improved occupant health and increased economic development.

“Building Clean will supercharge efforts to find healthy, American-made products in a wide range of sectors,” said Kim Glas, president of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. “Building Clean should be in the toolbox of anyone updating multi-family homes, designing new affordable housing or just looking for the safest products to use when upgrading their own home.”

The site allows both searches for products and manufacturers in energy efficient building sectors and includes information about toxic chemicals commonly found in some product categories. In addition, you can search for products certified with third-party health certifications and that promote transparency by listing the chemicals they contain.

The site can also be a resource for businesses looking to break into the energy-efficient product supply chain. “We wanted to make sure we were making it easy for manufacturers looking to grow their businesses to find and get into contact with other business with needs they can fulfill, providing an opportunity to grow their market and business,” added Glas.

Building Clean is an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation and is a companion piece to the broader Energy Efficiency for All initiative, which is dedicated to linking the energy, housing and health sectors to tap the benefits of energy efficiency for millions of low-income families.

Building Clean is an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that conducts research and educates the public and media about solutions to environmental challenges that create economic opportunities for the American people. Visit

Home Builders Association Donates $10,000 to Rebuilding Together-St. Louis

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2017 HBA President Ken Kruse of Payne Family Homes (left) and HBCF President John Eilermann of McBride & Son Companies (right) presented a $10,000 donation to Dave Ervin, executive director of Rebuilding Together-St. Louis (second from left), and Mark Jansen, Rebuilding Together Board Member.

The donation will be used toward Rebuilding Together-St. Louis’ Rebuilding Day program. Rebuilding Together revitalizes neighborhoods in partnership with the community by rehabilitating the houses of low-income home owners, particularly the elderly and the disabled, so that they may continue to live independently in comfort and safety. Rebuilding Day is the organization’s annual one-day blitz where volunteers make home repairs for low-income, elderly and disabled home owners in the St. Louis Metro area.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

Electrical Connection Urges Caution in Flood Areas Impacting Electrical Systems

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The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership reminds residents in flooded areas to be wary of shock hazards around their home and carefully check credentials of any company offering repairs.  IBEW/NECA electrical contractors will again work with government officials, residents and businesses to ensure electrical systems damaged by the recent flooding are made safe.  Residents and business owners need to be aware some electrical systems compromised by the flood may have to be inspected and repaired.  Residents and business owners should always use licensed electrical contractors for new electrical installations and electrical repairs.  IBEW/NECA contractors are dedicated to strict adherence to the National Electrical Code to ensure safe electrical systems. The Electrical Connection offers the largest data base of licensed electrical contractors at its web site (

The Electrical Connection offers the following tips to homeowners and businesses:

  • Always ask for credentials to ensure the repair service is fully licensed.
  • Call your insurance company first to find out what your insurance will cover and identify their procedures for how it will be covered
  • Never enter a basement with standing water that is in contact with electrical systems.
  • With the immense volume of rain, water has been able enter homes from faulty rooftop flashing to basements and in many cases the water trickles down electrical cables into fixtures.  These fixtures, while they may look dry, should be inspected.
  • The nonmetallic-sheathed cable (Romex) wiring used in most all dwellings has a paper-type material on the inside that will absorb water. Even though the appliance or outlet may look dry, the wiring may be completely wet.
  • Any flickering lights may be a sign of hidden water damage and not be used until inspected and repair.
  • Flooded sockets will have to be replaced as the waters could corrode the device and insulation.
  • All dishwashers, laundry machines must be on ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) circuits.

Missouri Contractors Anticipate Continued Growth In 2017

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Lack of sustainable infrastructure plan and shrinking skilled workforce loom over market

Contractors in both the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division and its Heavy Highway/Infrastructure Division remain optimistic about economic conditions going forward, as reported in a recent quarterly Contractor Confidence (CCI) Index, looking six, 12 and 18-24 months ahead. However, the lack of a permanent, sustainable infrastructure program and a developing critical shortage of skilled workers in some of the building trades and project management roles appear as dark clouds looming over the horizon.

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Building Division report increased optimism for the construction climate across the board, with the six-month forecast moving from 61.3 pts. in Q4 2016 to 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017. Looking 12 months out, their forecast jumped from 62.9 pts. in Q4 2016 to 69.23 pts. in Q1 2017.  Forecasting business conditions 18-24 months ahead, they reported at 56.45 pts. in Q4 2016, jumping to 63.46 pts. in Q1 2017.

Contractors in the AGC of Missouri’s Highway Division remain highly optimistic, but they tempered their outlook somewhat in this latest survey.  For the six-month outlook, their forecast moved from 65.3 pts in Q4 2016 to 66.7 pts. in Q1 2017.  Their forecast for a year from now dropped nearly 20 pts., moving from 91.7 pts. in Q4 2016 to 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017.  Their forecast for 18-24 months rose from 68.1 pts. in Q4 2016 to 72.2 pts. in Q1 2017.

Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president of the AGC of Missouri, notes that any numbers over 50 pts. indicate a favorable construction climate. “Conditions have definitely turned around for our contractors from the bottom we hit in 2008,” said Toenjes. “It’s been a slow and steady recovery, but the future holds some major challenges that could greatly impact this projected growth pattern.”

He noted that the Missouri Department of Transportation still has two years left in its spend-down of its transportation funding reserves, but the lack of long term plans to fund Missouri’s transportation needs and the nation’s infrastructure could stall growth (and jobs) in coming years. “The infrastructure in our state and across the country is crumbling,” Toenjes added.  “Every month our legislators fail to act, the problem worsens. We only need to look at road conditions on I-70, on our state highways, and on our bridges across the state to see the problem is very real. (See:  I would also anticipate that the recent flooding across the state will require major emergency road repairs.

“Investment in infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates economic growth,” he added. “One only need look to neighboring Kansas to understand the economic impact state funding for road and bridge projects can make on a state’s economy. (See:  “Our other neighbors of Iowa and Arkansas also have increased transportation investment in the past several years while nothing has changed in Missouri.

“At the same time, our building contractors across the state are facing major challenges finding enough qualified project managers and skilled craft workers,” said Toenjes.  “These are good paying jobs that can support families, but there just aren’t enough trained workers in the pipeline to meet the demand. The recession that began in 2008 forced a lot of early retirements and workers left construction for other industries.  Now that the jobs are here, we need more trained workers now and moving into the pipeline. Without them, we won’t be able to build the facilities to help fuel the economy and create new jobs.

“I encourage young people to take a serious look at a career in construction,” Toenjes said. “There are excellent employment opportunities available, great new technologies and innovation driving the building arts, and a very positive outlook for our industry. It’s no longer just trenches, concrete and dirt. Today project scheduling is done on mobile devices, job sites are monitored by drones, fiber optics run through most buildings, environmentally-friendly systems and materials comprise structures, and precision logistics and new methodologies drive profits.  It’s a tough, but very rewarding industry for people who want to create and build something of which they can be proud.”



The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing nearly 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri


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