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Vice President Pence Asks Contractors to Donate Safety Masks to Healthcare Community

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Construction companies in St. Louis and nationwide are preparing to respond to Vice President Mike Pence’s request on March 17 to donate N95 respirator masks to local healthcare organizations for use by medical professionals on the front lines as they treat patients stricken with the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the vice president called upon construction companies across the U.S. to quickly inventory and estimate the number of N95 masks they’ll need for their own workers and to donate the extras, which are in short supply.

N95 face masks, readily worn by drywall contractors, painters and other construction workers, snugly fit the face and provide efficient filtration of airborne particles.

“We would urge construction companies to donate inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders,” said Pence during a White House press briefing Tuesday morning. The vice president is heading the White House’s coronavirus task force. “These industrial masks, used on construction sites, are perfectly acceptable for healthcare workers to be protected from a respiratory disease,” he added.

Many contractors are currently scouring their construction trailers, headquarters buildings and elsewhere for excess masks.

According to Engineering News-Record, Suffolk Construction Company in Boston is donating more than 1,250 masks to the Mass General Brigham hospital network there.

In the St. Louis region, Holland Construction Services is rounding up N95 respiratory masks to donate to local assisted living centers.

HCS President Mike Marchal said Safety Director Doug Devlin is leading the effort. “One of our senior living clients made a call for help to all its contractors nationwide since its business is on the front lines of keep safe those who are most susceptible to coronavirus,” said Marchal. “With the shortage of N95 masks throughout the country, we’re happy to share ours with them during this time of need.”

Poettker Construction Company is also donating 100 N95 masks to healthcare centers.

Construction Industry Braces for COVID-19 Supply Chain Impact, Not Yet Detectable

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

As St. Louis’ construction industry braces for an anticipated supply chain disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lenders, contractors and materials vendors say so far it is not being readily felt.

“I think it’s very early on in terms of any supply chain impact at this point,” said Enterprise Bank & Trust Regional President Steve Albart. “Construction companies had already been storing up reserves due to tariff-related concerns. What I have heard of is that those who have bought pieces of equipment to run in their shops are having trouble finding experts to install it due to the current travel restrictions.”

Supplier Negwer Materials isn’t seeing any significant supply chain impairments yet either, according to Seth Joy, vice president of sales.

“So far it has been business as usual with one interesting exception,” said Joy. “On certain projects, customers are asking us to provide delivery services at different times or to accelerate them…one customer requested a Saturday delivery. We are seeing more and more requests for higher levels of service based on some immediate construction needs – particularly for projects specific to hospitals and schools. Projects that normally couldn’t move forward until summertime are now able to move ahead (because the facilities are not occupied).”

A supplier of door systems, engineered steel products, metals, acoustical ceilings, fasteners, thermal and moisture finishes and more, Negwer wasn’t grappling with a shortage of materials as of March 19.

“Are we going to see some sort of slowdown effect? Probably,” Joy said. “But it’s too early to tell at this point. We’ll need to see what the next few months bring. There are some hot pockets (in terms of supply chain constraints) going on around the country right now, but here in the Midwest, every vendor I’ve talked to has spoken of keeping production at current levels or possibly stepping it up.”

Joy cited California-based CEMCO, one of the largest steel framing makers in the US, as an example of a manufacturer that faced a recent COVID-19-related shutdown but was later able to remain in production. “Very quickly the city of San Francisco and surrounding municipalities determined that the manufacturer was providing necessary building products for critical projects,” said Joy. “The government provided CEMCO with an exemption and they’re back in production.”

Associated General Contractors of Missouri President Leonard Toenjes says he’s not hearing of many members whose construction materials supply chains are being impacted at this time. However, says Toenjes, he is aware of a scarcity of personal protective equipment or PPE.

“Respirators, ventilators, safety gloves and other personal protective equipment is in short supply,” Toenjes said. “In some confined spaces where craft workers are required to have that respiratory protection, it’s not available and there are wait times of weeks or even months. Workers can’t get into a tunnel or into demolition areas – or areas where there’s heavy dust and other materials – without PPE. Health and safety are paramount, always. These individuals are our life blood.”

 

Associations, Contractors, Support Continuation of St. Louis Construction

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Workflow text with gear wheels hand drawn on graph paper background

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

St. Louis construction industry players are urging the city not to take the path that Boston has in ordering stoppage of all commercial construction projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associated General Contractors of Missouri President Leonard Toenjes said Thursday that he had spoken with Pat Kelly, executive director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis about it. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, voluntary association comprised of cities, villages and county governments dedicated to improving quality of life for area residents.

“I asked Pat to send out a notification to St. Louis-area municipalities, urging them to keep their permitting and inspection services operational if and when they decide to close their physical locations,” said Toenjes, “and he did indeed send out that notice, which we appreciate. We’re trying to make sure that our construction companies can get building permits and inspection certificates during this time so they can continue building. We’re talking to our friends and partners in labor to send that same message to our elected officials.”

Safety is always a number-one priority, Toenjes said, but keeping job sites active and workers working is also a big concern.

“Our members are doing everything they can to make sure work gets done safely, work gets done in a healthy manner, but that work gets done,” he said.

Enterprise Bank & Trust Regional President Steve Albart said he has spoken with clients who are worried about what would happen to the St. Louis region’s construction economy should the city follow Boston’s lead. On March 17, Boston’s mayor ordered work stoppage on all construction job sites.

“There is great concern that job sites are going to be shut down here like they have been in Boston due to government (population density) restrictions,” Albart said, “that the wave that began in Boston might continue. We’re also hearing from construction clients who’ve experienced some slowing down of projects because they’re awaiting permits from government offices that have had to shut down. It’s another evolving issue.”

On a related issue, early Thursday afternoon the American Subcontractors Association in Washington D.C. hosted a videoconference moderated by Brian Wood, an attorney with Smith Currie, a firm specializing in construction and government contract law. The video conference briefed thousands of ASA members nationwide on potential legal impacts of any subcontractor work disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Poettker Construction Completes $31.8M 21st Century School

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Poettker Construction Company, a second-generation family and veteran-owned construction company, alongside its design/build team, led by FGM Architects, Inc., recently completed the new $31.8 million Pierce Terrace Elementary School in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the U.S. Army’s largest basic training installation.

The Poettker/FGM Architects Team was selected by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for their extensive knowledge of the DoDEA specifications. Based on 21st Century School learning concepts, which promote collaboration, problem-solving and innovation, the facility replaces an existing 47-year-old building and can accommodate 325 students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

The single-story, 73,942 square-foot facility incorporates a hands-on STEM-based learning program beyond the classroom and throughout the entire campus. Key features include: neighborhood-inspired learning hubs; smart walls featuring learning graphics and digital information boards; A/V systems including resource monitoring dashboards, which show – with age-appropriate graphics – environmental history, climate impact and energy resources used between neighborhoods; vision panels for exposed and color-coded building systems with detailed illustration; small photovoltaic system and wind turbine, which expose students to renewable energy, showing firsthand how power is produced and consumed.

All building components, including Insulating concrete forms (ICF), LED lighting, reduced and low water consumption plumbing fixtures, and high efficiency gas-fired water heaters, were selected to provide energy conservation and energy savings. These components work to achieve program sustainability credits for LEED Silver certification and to enhance the overall life cycle cost efficiency of the building.

“The Poettker/FGM Team has always been committed to building up the communities where we live and serve, and that’s especially true for creating education environments that will mold our great country’s future leaders,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “Our team is honored to design and build this state-of-the-art 21st century facility for the Department of Defense, providing a quality learning facility for more families of service members to utilize for years to come.”

FGM Architects led the design team. Baldridge Associates Structural Engineering (BASE) served as the structural engineer, Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc. (TWM) as the civil engineer, and BRiC Partnership, LLC as the mechanical and fire protection engineer. Additional consultants included Premier Fire & Safety for communications and information technology services, Threshold Acoustics for acoustical engineering, and The Geiger Group for kitchen consulting.

Established in 1980, Poettker Construction is a second-generation, family-owned and veteran-owned construction company. Specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform work, Poettker Construction serves the Education, Government, Healthcare, Industrial, Municipal, Recreation and Retail industries. For more information, visit www.poettkerconstruction.com.

FGM Architects has specialized in the planning and design of environments for study, work and play for the last 75 years. From early strategic facilities planning through building and interior design to furniture selection, our team of over 120 professionals supports the needs of our clients with a total commitment to service. For more information, visit http://www.fgmarchitects.com/

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

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The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Walker Promoted to Senior Vice President-Mortgage at Midwest BankCentre

Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker has been promoted to senior vice president of mortgage at Midwest BankCentre. She reports to Erin Erhart, executive vice president of consumer banking and fee services.

Walker, who joined the bank as vice president of mortgage in July 2019, leads the bank’s mortgage department and manages mortgage loan processing from origination to funding. Her focus includes identifying opportunities to increase efficiencies in processes, policies and procedures, including automation and technology enhancements. Walker also manages investor and mortgage insurance relationships.

Walker has been in the banking industry for 19 years. She most recently served as mortgage loan manager for Scott Credit Union. Walker is a member of the board of directors for the Center for Hearing and Speech.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. 

March 13, 2020

Cathy M. Westerheide promoted to Director of G&S Acoustics/FabricWall Sales 

Cathy Westerheide

St. Louis-based G&S Acoustics has promoted Cathy M. Westerheide to Director of G&S Acoustics/FabricWall Sales. She is responsible for improving processes, developing new products and increasing sales, as well as leading the sales teams in providing product information, competitive bids and global representation.

“I’ve always enjoyed the challenges of providing sound solutions for our clients,” says Westerheide of her career with G&S Acoustics. “Every job is unique, and we have a great team of people developing and creating customized solutions.”

Westerheide has been with G&S Acoustics since 1994, having worked as an estimator, sales assistant, sales representative and national sales manager.

G&S Acoustics® is a leading manufacturer of acoustical, tackable and sound diffusing wall and ceiling products distributed worldwide. For more information, email G&S Acoustics or call 800-737-0307.

SWT Design Welcomes Lance Klein, PLA as Kansas City Studio Manager

Lance Klein

SWT Design is pleased to announce Lance Klein has joined our team as the Studio Manager for our Kansas City office. Lance brings 24 years of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design experience including parks, corridors, and nodes that transform communities.  He’s passionate about the public realm and the critical role it plays in elevating our everyday lives. As a resident of Kansas City, MO his familiarity with the region combined with his design talent and civic involvement will deepen SWT Design’s roots in the community. Lance earned his Master of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University.

For 25 years, SWT Design has developed a diverse and award-winning portfolio of outdoor spaces, approaching planning and design as a living, breathing thing with a passion for innovation. SWT Design has grown to become one of the largest landscape architecture firms of its kind in the Midwest. As a strong proponent of sustainable design, the firm was at the forefront of developing the Sustainable Sites Initiative, working closely alongside other founding partners and agencies to develop what has become the world’s first comprehensive rating system for the design, development, and management of sustainable landscapes around the globe. Sustainability continues to be a core principle addressed in all the firm’s projects. SWT Design is located in St. Louis, MO, Kansas City, MO, and Louisville, KY.

For further questions, please contact Ashley Jenkins, Marketing Coordinator for SWT Design by e-mail at ashleyj@swtdesign.com or call 314-644-5700.

March 6, 2020

HDA Architects Hires Two

Brice Zickuhr

HDA Architects have hired Brice Zickuhr as Director of Operations. Brice will oversee day-to-day office activities, managing resources and schedules as well as quality control. He will provide oversight and leadership to all of HDA’s project teams, reviewing the drawings throughout their development. Brice brings 30 years of experience and is part of HDA’s Management Team.

Tim Piskorski

HDA Architects have hired Tim Piskorski as a Senior Project Manager.  Tim will oversee all aspects of the design and construction process of a building project, from developing and reviewing building plans to making sure a project meets environmental and zoning standards. Tim has 27 years of experience and a love for the craft of designing and constructing a building, while respecting client’s budgets, schedules and project parameters

The UP Companies Hires David E. Murrell as Kansas City Regional Director

David E. Murrell

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of David E. Murrell of Leawood, Kansas to its new Regional Director position.

Murrell takes on the leadership role during a time of considerable growth for UPCO, one of the region’s largest full-service contractors, and will be responsible for heading operations, developing new business relationships, strengthening existing client partnerships and directing business strategy in the greater Kansas City area.

“UPCO has forged a path in the Kansas City marketplace over the last couple of years as steadfast electrical and carpentry contractors,” said Brian Arnold, UPCO Vice President. “Kansas City is a dynamic and bustling market with lots of opportunity and the outlook continues to be bright. With all these exciting developments, we made the decision to hire a local Regional Director for The UP Companies. David is a homegrown Kansas Citian and a 30-year veteran in the design and construction industry, which we feel is important to gain quicker traction in this marketplace. We believe David relates perfectly to our target customers while representing our core values.”

Murrell has more than 30 years of architecture and construction industry experience, having previously worked as Director of Business Development for Multivista in Overland Park, Kansas; Preconstruction & Project Management for United Excel Construction in Merriam, Kansas; Business Development & Preconstruction for AEC Connections in Overland Park, Kansas; and Project Architect/Construction Manager for Gould Evans Architects and BNIM Architects, both of Kansas City, Missouri.

Murrell has a BFA from the University of Kansas in Architectural Design and is a member of the Kansas City Chapter of Health Care Engineers (KCAHE).

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.

Michael Moehn Joins Midwest BankCentre’s Legal Board of Directors

Michael Moehn

Michael Moehn, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ameren Corporation and chairman and president of Ameren Services, has been elected to the legal board of directors of Midwest BankCentre.

Moehn was named to his current role with Ameren Corporation in December 2019. Previously, he was president of Ameren Missouri, working with more than 4,000 team members to provide electrical power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and about 127,000 natural gas customers. After a nine-year career at Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP as a CPA leading client engagements across multiple industries, Moehn has served Ameren in a succession of leadership roles that have deepened his insights and experiences in strategic planning, finance and operations.

Moehn is deeply engaged in the bi-state community. He serves as board chair for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, while also serving as a member of the board of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis since 2016. In addition, Moehn serves on the finance planning committee of Christian Hospital, and the budget and finance committee of Concordance Academy of Leadership.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Louis University and a master’s in business administration degree from Washington University. Moehn was selected for the Eisenhower Fellowship, participating in its International Leadership Exchange Program, with a focus on South American energy. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. 

February 28, 2020

Myron Ury Joins G&S Architectural Products 

Myron Ury

St. Louis-based Golterman & Sabo has hired Myron Ury as Sales Representative at G&S Architectural Products, a division of Golterman & Sabo. Ury’s primary focus will be promoting Hufcor Operable Walls to the Architectural Design and Construction Community.  He will also lead the Operable Wall service work.

“Operable walls are a fast-growing segment of our business,” says Dennis Voss, director of sales for G & S Architectural Products.  “We look forward to Myron helping our customers integrate these innovative products into their projects.”

Most recently, Ury was the Hufcor Factory Sales Representative for the St Louis metro area.   Ury enjoys spending time with his two children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.  His hobbies are traveling, and camping, and volunteer work.

Golterman & Sabo, a premier provider and installer of specialty building products, began operations in 1946 under the name of Herbert Golterman Company. Today, in its third generation of family ownership, the company manufactures and distributes acoustical products, operable walls, cubicle curtains and track and a variety of other specialized products.

February 21, 2020

Poettker Construction Finance Executive Receives St. Louis Business Journal Honor 

Kim Luitjohan

Poettker Construction Company’s vice president finance, Kimberly (Kim) Luitjohan, has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class of 2020. Luitjohan, along with other young business leaders in the St. Louis area, was honored for her contributions to the company and community at a special awards gala on Thursday, Feb. 13. The St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards salute young professionals making a difference in their organizations and communities. More than 600 nominations were submitted and reviewed by a panel of previous 40 Under 40 winners.

Luitjohan began her career at Poettker in 2001, where she worked in a variety of roles learning the processes of all company operations. She is a member of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) and graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s business program, the latter of which she earned while working full-time at Poettker. In 2010, at the age of 26, Kim was promoted to Vice President Finance, where she has been instrumental in managing the firms’ growth, by overseeing accounts payable, project accounting, payroll, human resources, IT, and asset management.

Luitjohan serves on the HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese Foundation Leadership Council (FLC), which has raised more than $250,000 in the past the years, as well as organizes the First United Methodist Church’s “Cookie Walk and Craft Bazaar” fundraiser, raising more than $16,000 since she founded the event in 2015.

Established in 1980, Poettker Construction is a second-generation, family-owned and veteran-owned business specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform services with an emphasis to exceed the client’s expectations. For more information, visit www.poettkerconstruction.com.

Cody Baumgartner Joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Manager 

Cody Baumgartner

Cody Baumgartner of the Central West End in St. Louis, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project manager. Baumgartner is responsible for managing new and renovation HVAC construction projects in a range of industries. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients in a wide range of industries. For more information, visit www.wiegmannassoc.com or call (636) 940-1056. 

Kwame Building Group Hires Martel Hulsey as Business Developer and Diversity Monitor

Martel Hulsey

Martel Hulsey, of Olivette, MO, has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as Business Developer and Diversity Monitor. Hulsey’s responsibilities include creating business and marketing opportunities and maintaining existing client communications. As Diversity Monitor, he oversees construction sites to ensure and verify minority involvement on projects.

Hulsey holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Business Management from Maryville University. He has four years of experience in the marketing industry. He earned a Delux Power 100 Rising Stars Award by Delux Magazine, which celebrates St. Louis’ most inspiring and influential African American professionals.  

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management servicesFor more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

Western Specialty Contractors Minneapolis Assistant Branch Manager David Grandbois Receives ICRI 40 Under 40 Award

David Granbois

The International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), the only association in the concrete industry devoted solely to repair and restoration, recently announced the winners of its first 40 Under 40 Award. Western Specialty Contractors is proud to announce that Minneapolis Assistant Branch Manager David Grandbois, 31, was among the announced winners.

The prestigious award recognizes 40 individuals who exemplify dedication to the concrete repair industry. A peer nominated award, the ICRI 40 Under 40 recognizes individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to continued professional growth, high potential for continued success in leadership roles, and a strong passion for – and commitment to – the mission of ICRI.

Grandbois started his career in construction as a Civil Construction Management Engineer for Kiewit in Omaha, NE before accepting a Project Manager position with Hans Hagen Homes in Fridley, MN. He joined Western Specialty Contractors’ Minnesota Branch as a Project Manager in 2015 where he held the position for nearly five years before being promoted to Assistant Branch Manager in February 2020.

Grandbois has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He is also a certified Concrete Surface Repair Technician – Tiers 1 and 2 through ICRI and an Associate Constructor through the American Institute of Constructors. He has also achieved OSHA 30 certified training.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Maintaining Transitions Between Components Equals Better Waterproofing for the Entire Building Envelope

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A building’s envelope is described as any component of a building that touches the outside air and repels the elements, such as the roof, walls, doors and windows. There are also some not-so-obvious parts of a building’s envelope that often get overlooked, such as the lighting, handrails, signs, steps, pavement, concrete slabs, mechanical equipment and decorative features.

It’s important to take into consideration a building’s entire envelope, including the not-so-obvious parts, when it comes to waterproofing the exterior, say the experts at Western Specialty Contractors.

“The reason that this is so important is because a building envelope has to have all of those elements that are a part of it to be 100% waterproof, if you’re going to keep water from damaging the interior spaces,” says Teddy Williams, Content Marketing Manager at Western Specialty Contractors. “Look at waterproofing like an offensive line of football. An offensive line has five players whose job it is to protect the quarterback, and if four of those guys block really well, but the fifth player gives up a sack, it really doesn’t matter how well those four other players performed because the end result is the same; the quarterback got sacked. That’s kind of how waterproofing a building is. All of the elements can work really well, but if one part doesn’t do its job and lets water in, then it really doesn’t matter how well those other parts were doing at their job.”

Coined as the 90%/1% principle by author Michael Kubal in his book The Construction Waterproofing Handbook, a small area of a building, or one percent, is basically going to cause the majority of a building’s problems.

“If you can control and manage this one percent area, a lot of your building’s moisture issues are going to be solved, and you’re going to have a lot easier time in terms of waterproofing your building,” said Williams.

The one percent area of a building that causes most of the moisture problems, according to Western’s experts, is the gap where one component transitions into another. For example:

  • Where a door meets a surrounding wall
  • Where the glass of a window meets the metal frame
  • Where the metal frame meets the surrounding wall
  • Where a handrail meets the brick

“If the sealants, glazing or caulk joints at these transition points are failing or absent, water is sure to seep in and cause damage over time,” said Williams.  “These small areas of a building’s envelope can cause the greatest damage and should be closely monitored and maintained consistently to protect the overall building.”

For more information about waterproofing, contact the Western Specialty Contractors branch location nearest you: http://www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/western-locations/.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.     

ASCC Safety Consulting Services Announced

in Associations/News

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) St. Louis, MO, has launched a program of safety consulting services for its contractor members. Available services include Written Program / Policy Review, Site Safety and Risk Assessment, a Mock OSHA Inspection and an Assessment of Silica Dust Generating Conditions. Services are provided by Joe Whiteman, ASCC’s director of safety services, and are $90/hour for offsite activities and $195/hour onsite.

The audit is a new piece of ASCC’s comprehensive safety program, designed to make its member contractors the safest in the industry. Other products and services include:

  • A safety/insurance hotline
  • A 288-page customizable Safety Manual written specifically for concrete contractors
  • 52 Tool Box Training Talks specifically for concrete construction work; in English and Spanish
  • A Legacy Safety Leadership Program for owners and CEOs for establishment and maintenance of a behavior-based safety culture
  • 28 Safety Bulletins of current topics of interest
  • Insurance Bulletins
  • Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) forms covering most concrete construction activities
  • Templates for Site Specific Safety Plans and much more

The Safety & Risk Management Council (SRMC) is a specialty council of ASCC that educates and provides materials to contractors on all aspects of safety relating to concrete contracting and insurance matters.

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 760 member companies in the United States and 13 foreign countries.

For more information, visit www.ascconline.org or call the ASCC office at (866) 788-2722.

The CPC provides standards, education and a professional network for polishing contractors and others in the industry. The primary goals of the Council are to furnish training opportunities and certification programs for their members and to share information on best practices with the design and construction community. 

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 760 member companies in the United States and 13 foreign countries.

For more information, visit www.ascconline.org or call the ASCC office at (866) 788-2722.

ASCC CPC Position Statements

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The Concrete Polishing Council (CPC), a subsidiary of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, MO, has published five Position Statements on topics of concern to the polished concrete contractor and those who specify polished concrete. The position statements clarify the polished concrete contractor’s point of view for architects, engineers, owners and others.

The five statements are:

#1 Slab Protection by Others

#2 Slip Resistance of Polished Concrete

#3 Coordinating the Concrete and Polishing Contractors’ Subcontracts

#4 Separation of Semirigid Concrete Floor Joint Fillers

#5 Effects of Slab-Surface Finish Density of Polished Concrete

The statements are written by ASCC technical director, Dr. Bruce Suprenant, P.E., Phd, FACI.

“The statements explain the concerns that can arise during construction and/or the polishing process, and explain how CPC member contractors will work with the project team for the best possible outcome,” says Suprenant.

Coronavirus Impacts Begin to Affect Projects; 32 States Add Jobs Through January

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Contractors and others are beginning to report diverse impacts on building projects and products from the coronavirus outbreak. Today Boston’s mayor, Martin Walsh, ordered construction sites in the city to shut down but also was reportedly preparing to order more construction of medical facilities. A consultant to construction lenders sent a summary on March 9 of reports from draw inspections (site visits for the lender to verify that work to support requested construction funds has been completed): “we’re hearing delays from [general contractors]. Delayed delivery of drywall, glass, steel, HVAC and electrical equipment from China and curtainwall from Italy. Contractors are generally claiming force majeure, owner responsibility for losses or impact on schedule.” Investment-research firm Jefferies Inc. posted on March 5, “70% of the global elevator subcomponent market is sourced from factories located in a 100-km radius around the city of Shanghai. In addition, we learned at the meeting with Schindler of the high dependence of the European elevator supply chain to the northern part of Italy. Kone’s largest facility in Europe is located in Pero, in the suburbs of Milan. Add to this, the company’s largest supplier, Wittur, has also a factory in the suburbs of Milan.” Readers are invited to email ken.simonson@agc.org if they experience impacts affecting materials (including personal protective equipment); workers (including truckers, subcontractors and service providers); finances; or governmental approvals, inspections or reviews.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment increased from January 2019 to January 2020 in 32 states, remained flat in one, and declined in 17 and the District of Columbia, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today shows. The largest year-over-year (y/y) additions of construction jobs occurred again in Texas (34,900 jobs, 4.6 percent), Florida (21,500 jobs, 3.9 percent) and California (17,400 jobs, 2.0 percent). The largest y/y percentage increases occurred in Utah (7.5%, 8,000 jobs), followed by New Mexico (7.1%, 3,400) and North Dakota (6.5%, 1,800). Louisiana lost the most construction jobs over 12 months (-15,200 jobs, -10%), followed by West Virginia (-5,100, -13%) and Illinois (-2,400, -1.1%). The largest percentage loss occurred in West Virginia, followed by Louisiana and Vermont (-5.2%, -800). Construction employment rose from December to January in 32 states, decreased in 16 and was flat in Rhode Island, South Carolina and D.C. BLS made routine annual “benchmarking” revisions to past data. (AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C., Hawaii and Delaware is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.)

On Thursday BLS posted producer price indexes (PPIs) for February, calculated from prices gathered in early February (before most impacts from coronavirus). AGC posted tables showing PPIs relevant to construction. The y/y rate of price increase slowed compared to a year earlier for both inputs to construction (up 1.6% y/y from February 2019 to February 2020, vs. 2.4% a year earlier) and new nonresidential building construction (up 3.9%, vs. 5.2% a year earlier)—a measure of the price that contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of buildings. Increases in the latter index ranged from 3.3% y/y for new office buildings to 3.4% for healthcare buildings, 4.1% for industrial buildings, 4.6% for schools and 4.8% for warehouses. Increases in PPIs for subcontractors’ new, repair and maintenance work on nonresidential buildings ranged from 2.7% y/y for roofing contractors to 3.4% for plumbing contractors, 3.7% for electrical contractors and 4.4% for concrete contractors. The PPI for inputs to construction covers both goods (55%) and services (45%). The PPI for energy inputs to construction was flat y/y. The PPI for nonenergy goods inputs edged up 0.5%; the index for services inputs increased 3.0%. Items important to construction with large 1- or 12-month changes include: steel mill products, up 0.3% from January but down 12.5% y/y; diesel fuel, down 10% for the month and 11% y/y; and aluminum mill shapes, down 2.4% and 6.7%, respectively. The abrupt cutbacks in transportation and output since these indexes were calculated have led to further sharp price declines for oil and steel products.

Construction data provider ConstructConnect reported on Thursday that the value of construction starts, not adjusted for inflation or seasonal variation, tumbled 14% y/y from February 2019 to last month. The value of residential starts slumped 11%, with single-family starts jumping 15% y/y and apartment starts plunging 54%. The value of nonresidential building starts sagged 18% y/y, with commercial starts down 14%, institutional starts up 9.0%, and the volatile industrial category down 87%. The value of engineering (civil) starts slid 12% y/y. Chief economist Alex Carrick noted, “Since large project groundbreakings can often introduce notable volatility in the monthly ‘starts’ numbers and their period-to-period percentage changes, it is informative to also study ‘smoothed’ series. On a 12-month moving average basis, February 2020’s total nonresidential starts were +9.8% versus the previous 12 months (i.e., March 2019-to-February 2020 vs. March 2018-to-February 2019)[, with] commercial, +6.6%; industrial, +23.2%; institutional, +1.4%; and engineering, +16.4%. The ‘smoothed’ grand total of starts, which includes residential, was +5.2% in February. As for residential activity, it was 2.2% on a 12-month moving average basis,” with multifamily down 7.7% and single-family up 0.4%.

As attendance for the 9th Annual Design & Construction Technology Conference will exceed the parameters of the current rules in place regarding size limits of gatherings, the event scheduled for April 29th is postponed.  We are currently working with the venue for an available date for rescheduling of this event.

Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Great Circle

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), HBA Executive Vice President Celeste Rueter (left) presented a $15,000 donation to Kenny Meredith, director of advancement for Great Circle, and Michael Singer, director of gift planning for Great Circle.

The donation will be applied to capital project costs for renovations to two bathrooms at Great Circle’s Intensive Behavior Treatment (IBT) Program housed within the Kresge East cottage on the Webster Groves campus. The IBT program provides intensive behavior counseling for four children at a time, serving approximately 24 children each year, who have severe behavioral challenges associated with autism, mental health disorder or developmental delay and exhibit aggression, inappropriate behaviors, property destruction, self-injury or suicidal ideation. Great Circle was formed in 2009 by the merger of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children’s Center and has become one of the most comprehensive providers of behavioral health services in Missouri, the Midwest and beyond.

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.

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