As a construction professional, it’s probably difficult to imagine no longer using paper in your daily activities. We’re talking no more hard copies of plans and specs, invoices, contracts, time sheets, punch lists, contracts or bids.
It’s been about five years since the construction industry started its slow recovery from the Great Recession. Flash forward to today and the industry has rebounded nicely with construction spending at an all-time high and demand for construction is strong. The only problem? The industry is still dealing with a skills gap and labor shortage caused by layoffs and a mass exodus of skilled workers who retired or chose to seek greener pastures when the economy tanked.
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Energy codes are used to outline the minimum requirements needed for energy-efficient design and construction, and they can exist at the city, county, state or federal level. Designed to ensure that all new and refurbished metal buildings adhere to certain energy-efficiency standards, these codes exist for both commercial and residential structures.
So, you’re a general contractor bidding a project and the contract requires an MBE participation goal of 8% and you aren’t sure where to turn. Maybe you’re a minority or woman owned company working in the realm of the construction industry and want to find more work. Today we’re going to look at some of the various programs available for contractors, subcontractors and construction suppliers that are women and minority-owned business enterprises. We’ll discuss programs from the federal level all the way down to local municipalities.
Whether you have a construction fleet of five or 500, the key to keeping your company’s vehicles and heavy equipment operational is implementing an effective preventive maintenance program. The average cost for a piece of heavy equipment is over $20,000. Depending on how much heavy equipment your company owns, a large percentage of your company’s assets could be in construction vehicles and heavy equipment. Regardless of whether you outsource your construction equipment maintenance or do it in-house, a proper preventive maintenance program can extend the useful life of your equipment, prevent costly repairs and reduce downtime due to equipment being out of service.
What is the biggest current challenge facing the construction industry? It’s certainly not demand—in fact, the worldwide demand for construction is quite high. According to professional services provider PwC, global construction output is projected to grow 85% by 2030, with an average of 3.9% per annum up to 2030, which outpaces global GDP by a whole percentage point. Much of the recent growth in the construction industry can be attributed to both developed countries recovering from the 2008 recession and undeveloped countries continuing to industrialize.
Lean construction is all about efficiency. Construction firm owners should care about it because it has the potential to saves firms time and money. Lean construction accomplishes savings by allowing teams to complete jobs faster with less waste of materials, time and labor. This is especially important to construction companies after the end of the recession.
The Maintenance of Construction Equipment
In 2016, we launched a webinar series for subcontractors and it has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my entire construction career. It keeps me connected to our customers and up-to-date with the latest trends and ongoing changes in the construction industry.
Apprenticeships play a vital role in supplying the construction industry with its skilled workforce. Unfortunately, at their current enrollment and completion levels, registered apprenticeships alone aren’t enough to meet the current and projected demands for the industry over the next decade. To be fair, apprenticeships have never been the sole provider of labor to the construction workforce but they are a key piece of the puzzle. The potential for apprentice programs to play a larger role in training and preparing the next generation of skilled labor is high, but changes are needed. Dealing with construction labor shortages has been a growing issue over the past few years and establishing a stronger network of apprentice programs can go a long way in resolving those issues.