Another Excellence In Construction (EIC) awards event in the books! For the past 15 years, the American Subcontractors Association – Houston Chapter (ASA-HC) has presented companies and individuals in the architectural, engineering, and construction industry awards for excellence.
Unlike many of the construction industry awards given, ASA-HC’s awards are based on the business practices and the working environment created by general contractors and architects on projects in the Houston area. ASA-HC believes that this relationship-based type of awards program recognizes those in the construction industry who understand and embrace building as more than just a business; that construction is the daily lifeblood for tens of thousands of individuals in the Houston area employed by the construction industry and for the millions of Houstonians and visitors who work, play and worship in what the industry creates. Read more » about Houston’s Top Architects and Contractors Celebrate
It is Oscar season and while this wasn’t the event itself, last Friday night members of the Construction Citizen team attended the ASA-Houston Chapter’s 15th Annual Excellence in Construction Awards in Houston. The annual ceremony is held to recognize those outstanding companies and individuals in 8 categories: General Contractor of the Year, Architect/Engineer of the Year, General Contractor Safety Award, Project Manager of the Year, Project Superintendent of the Year, Project of the Year Over $15 Million, Project of the Year between $5-$15 Million, and Project of the Year Under $5 Million. Read more » about Stars Shine at the ASA Excellence in Construction Awards
You’re driving down the freeway at 65 mph when you look over and the person next to you is reading their email and texting on their smartphone. Worse yet is the person on the other side who is driving down the freeway with the latest edition of the Wall Street Journal stretched across the steering wheel and they too, are driving at 60 or 70 mph. Scary to say the least. I have personally seen both of those in the last 30 days. Scary and really dangerous. But that is changing and will be common place over the next decade if not sooner.
I have told a number of my clients and audiences that the next generation of cars will have to drive themselves because the “next gen” folks will have to have that robotic help to survive the freeways. Many of us have already read of the Google-owned driverless cars that have racked up over 140,000 miles in Nevada and California. You might have read of the autonomous car in China that drives the 177 miles between Changsha and Wuhan. True, that is not the 405 freeway in LA, but still it is 177 miles. Read more » about Yes HAL, I Can Do That For You!
The January edition of The Red Bulletin has an article about men who build bamboo construction scaffolding in Hong Kong. The article talks about the “whys and how” of using bamboo scaffolding to build structures that reach over 250 meters or 820 feet into the sky. The spidermen who do this work are known as “Taap Pang,” Cantonese for bamboo scaffolder.
The advantages of bamboo scaffolding include the fact that they are light weight, recyclable, and found in most Asian climes. The poles are selected for their size and strength, and are held in place with long plastic ties. The spidermen are very skilled and in demand in Hong Kong and other major cities where scaffolding is needed.
There is a growing shortage of skilled spidermen. Even though there are around 4,000 active spidermen, only 50-60 candidates have entered the craft in the last year. The training is extensive and candidates are taught the art of the selection and erection of the poles to create the spider web for the construction crews. Read more » about Construction Spiderman
This week, an article by Matt Dunning in Business Insurance lists some of the numbers which reveal the enormity of the combined projects currently under construction at the World Trade Center site in New York. The article states that “there are 13 integrated megaprojects” in progress at the site. When the projects were initiated, details of risk management such as safety inspections and incident reports were maintained separately for each individual project, but in 2008, risk managers for the developers and their insurers implemented a system which integrates relevant Read more » about Combining Payroll and Safety Data Adds Value at WTC Site
I was thinking about the people and things in my life that I wanted to be thankful for this year when I ran across this blog posting by Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why, an outstanding book for anyone interested in examining their business and their lives.
This blog and the letter that it contains from the C17 pilot reminded me that we should be thankful for the men and women who fight for our freedom around the world. They deserve our prayers and our support this holiday season. They are far away and facing the risk of death each and every day. Please take a moment to read it in its entirety and to pause to consider the message that it contains. Read more » about Thanksgiving Thoughts
An article in Fuel Fix, an online source for energy business news, features a video from ExxonMobil with artists’ renderings of its future campus, also known as "project delta", which is currently under construction in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston. In the video, Mike Brown, project executive for the US Real Estate Strategy Study, talks about the design of the campus. The desire was to create a pleasant place to work which feels like a community, or a college campus with an “urban vibe”, yet also feels close to nature since it is set in a heavily wooded area. The facility will be a Read more » about Images of ExxonMobil’s 2014 Houston-Area Campus
“Architectural team BKNR Arquitectura of Mexico have inverted all the standard architectural rules for skyscrapers, in fact they have inverted the idea of a skyscraper in its entirety. What they hope to uplift [in] the city’s centre is not in fact an overwhelming skyscraper, but a 65 storey earth-scraper. This is a concept that does not even have an associated vocabulary. It is the concept of a world class building that doesn’t deal in height, but depth, a completely revolutionary idea.”
Last Monday morning on the NBC TODAY show, Jane Pauley of AARP’s Your Life Calling interviewed structural engineer and educator Charlie Thornton, a veteran and advocate of an industry in which he clearly takes enormous pride.
Thornton was brought up with tremendous respect for construction by his dad, a bricklayer who taught his trade to Charlie and to other young people from the neighborhood. Charlie’s dad got other contractors to hire Charlie, and told the contractors to make him work hard so that he would be inspired to go to college. Charlie ended up earning a bachelor’s degree Read more » about Engineering Champion Recruits the Next Generation
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters have set up their makeshift camp in Zuccotti Park in New York in the shadows of the construction of the new World Trade Center Towers. We find it interesting that while there is a growing shortage of skilled craftspeople in the USA who could work on building projects like the World Trade Center Towers, there is a growing number of people Read more » about When Will Occupy Wall Street Protesters Show Up at Your Job Site?