President Obama will nominate Patrick Gallagher, the acting head of the Commerce Dept.’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, to be NIST’s director, the White House announced on Sept. 10. For construction, NIST’s key unit is its Building and Fire Research Laboratory, which includes the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, applied economics, materials and construction research, building environment and fire research offices. The lab’s work included a three-year building and fire safety probe of the 2001 World Trade Center disaster. Gallagher, 46, joined NIST in 1993 in its Center for Neutron Research. He became NIST deputy director in September 2008
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.