Although Marie Laveau no longer practices voodoo in New Orleans, another “dark art” —soils testing—is practiced there, under unprecedented scrutiny and at a higher level of intensity than ever before. “The work here is moving state of practice into state of the art,” says Dr. Rai Mehdiratta, program director for FFEB Geotechnical Consultants, a joint venture. He says the joint venture in the last two years has accomplished work that previously would have taken 15, “using more tools” in the process. “What we are doing here today, people will expect in the future,” he says. Video Photo: Angelle Bergeron /
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.