There is a saying that “Things are Bigger in Texas.” Whether we Texans just brag about it or whether others expect it from us, that is the myth.Not on supertall buildings.The latest report from The Council on Tall Buildings Council and Urban Habitat (TCBUH) on the supertall buildings completed over the last year titled 2016 Another Record-Breaker for Skyscraper Completions; 18 “Tallest Titles” Bestowed lists China, not Texas or even the US, as the country completing the most buildings over 200 meters or 656 feet tall. While second on the list of completions, the US was not even close.According to the report, there were a total of 128 buildings completed in 2016 and China far outstripped Texas and the US with 84 completions to a paltry 7 in the US. South Korea followed with 6, Indonesia with 5 and the Philippines and Qatar tied at 4. In terms of combined height, according to TCTBUH, China completed 30,301 meters or 99,413 feet of tall buildings. Stacked end on end, that would be 18.8 miles high. That is pretty tall and enough to give the Chinese real bragging rights in that category.If you look at the various charts in the report, and they are eye opening, you will see that the latest round of completions brings the leader China to a total of 500, followed by the US at 187, the Middle East at 137 and Europe at 47 buildings over 200 meters high.
January 27, 2017
A recent post by Joe Paduda, principal of Health Strategies Associates, in his blog, Managed Care Matters, titled “Construction Labor Fraud is Screwing Everyone” was the second in his series on labor fraud and the damage it is doing to the insurance industry. In this issue, he interviewed Matt Capece, representative of the General President at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, about how bad the worker’s comp problem has become in some key states like Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma and Tennessee.Capece said, “When we go onto jobsites in Florida, on 8-9 out of 10 sites we hear from carpenters that they are getting paid in cash.” He indicated that subs and labor brokers in Florida are paying in cash with no overtime or any other benefits like vacation, worker’s comp or training. Usually they are also misclassified as independent contractors as well.
January 17, 2017
Emily Peiffer, the editor over at Construction Dive, recently posted a feature article titled 10 Construction Trends to Watch in 2017. Since hers is one of the first of 2017, I thought that we would share the list and give you the link so that you can take a deeper dive into the list at your leisure. Here is Emily’s provocative list.Collaborative project delivery methods will become more popular.The labor shortage will continue to plague the industry.The feeling of uncertainty will linger under the new administration.Offsite/modular construction will gain a stronger foothold in the market.Construction firms are cautiously optimistic for a future infrastructure-spending boost.
January 09, 2017
We recently attended a celebration and thank you party in the offices of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) in Partnership Tower.The GHP honored and thanked those craft workers responsible for the build out of their offices designed by Kirksey Architects, built by Harvey Builders and a host of specialty subcontractors like Marek, Trio Electric, and Clunn.The space, designed to be the “front door” for business visitors to Houston, is home to the largest business organization in the fourth largest city in the US. It will be a heavily utilized space and is designed to accommodate a variety of events from meetings of its large Board of Directors, to hosting foreign dignitaries, hosting events such as the elected officials appreciation party, and hosting corporate leaders from around the world.
December 20, 2016
Business Insider’s Tech writer Dana Varinsky posted 13 of the most stunning twisted towers around the world that visually documents some of the most interesting towers that have been built after “famed architect Santiago Calatrava designed the building known as the Turning Torso, (and) ushered in a new era of twisted designs.”The buildings are visually striking statements of the visual design and are bold statements of the structural engineers and contractors who were able to make those designs a reality.It will be interesting to hear the “twisted tales” of the users and residents of those twisted towers over the next decade as they become part of the landscape. It will be interesting to see how the buildings themselves age as the complex structural elements respond to the wind, rain and other elements.They are striking and visually interesting. We offer our kudos to the architects, engineers and contractors for their outstanding work. Special thanks to the owners and investors who were willing to take a chance on new structural designs that have made the built environment in cities around the world much more interesting than ever before.
December 16, 2016
It seems that every morning we see on the news that the industry is at another crossroads whether it be politics, manpower shortages, market shifts in mid construction, new financing and risk management schemes or technology.Actually technology is probably the first on the list since it is beginning to impact the construction industry in ways not thought of a decade ago. Unfortunately for the industry as a whole, the “early adoption” of new and sometimes “bleeding edge” technologies for the most part is an anathema for current boomer owners and leaders of our firms.A recent article titled AEC at a Crossroads with Technology written by Steve Hansen in Sourceable, a publication about the construction industry “Down under” describes the reasons behind the slow adoption, the need for that adoption and the younger managers who are pushing and sometimes even demanding that their firms find a way to move forward in the new technologies like drones, virtual reality and augmented or assisted reality.
December 14, 2016
A ceremony held at the recently completed C3 project for the Greater Houston Partnership in Partnership Tower has the potential to impact the construction workforce in the Houston region for decades to come.The ceremony honored the inaugural class of 17 graduates of Generation Houston, a collaboration of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Upskill Houston, United Way, and Generation, a 501(c)(3) social initiative sponsored by McKinsey & Company and other major sponsors.The four week, fast track program was aimed at individuals who express an interest in the construction industry as a career and offers them training in life, safety, social and career skills. The United Way Thrive program provides the candidates and the screening of the individuals who are eligible for the training. McKinsey’s Generation provides the instruction.
December 06, 2016