President Obama will nominate Patrick Gallagher, the acting head of the Commerce Dept.'s National Institute of Standards and Technology, to be its director, the White House announced on Sept. 10. Photo: D.Anderson/NIST Gallagher has been NIST deputy director since 2008. For the construction industry, NIST's key unit is its Building and Fire Research Laboratory, which includes the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, as well as applied economics, material and construction research, building environment and fire research offices. The lab's best-known recent project was a three-year building and fire safety investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center disaster. NIST's
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.