Upset with a perceived lack of opportunities for Richmond, Va.’s minority contractors, the executive director of the NAACP’s Virginia state conference has threatened “direct action” against current and planned city construction projects. King Salim Khalfani alleges that only 6% of city contracts have minority involvement in planning or construction, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Unless that figure is improved, Khalfani said, the NAACP will disrupt various projects. One tactic would be parking unmarked dump trucks at construction sites to block access. The organization is focusing on projects that are publicly funded or receive government-backed financing. Potential targets include the Richmond Redevelopment
Rocky economic times, green infrastructure, lean construction and helping the industry be heard were themes at the Associated General Contractors of America convention in Orlando on March 17-20. AGC has to be about “the industry, not about the politics,” says AGC’s new president, Ted Aadland, CEO of Aadland Evans Construction Inc., Portland, Ore. “We can’t afford to be a partisan organization. We need to work with elected officials in both parties on the issues.” Aadland said AGC is like “the sleeping giant”—members can “wake up” to influence those who make codes and regulations and reach out to other construction associations
The Associated Builders and Contractors, an Arlington, Va., group that represents non-union construction firms, proposed a five-step plan on March 2 to help create new jobs in a sector in which unemployment has reached 24.7%. ABC is calling on Congress and the Obama administration to focus on what it calls “free-enterprise initiatives,” instead of “anti-business legislative and regulatory proposals.” It also calls for increasing access to capital for new construction projects, reducing the tax burden, enacting a national comprehensive energy plan that includes new construction and upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure, and allowing the “entire construction industry workforce to participate
When major owners stepped up and starting requiring contractors to improve safety, they got results. At its national conference, the Construction Users Roundtable announced plans to help improve construction industry productivity, as well. + Image Source: EMCOR Group Inc. Safety and productivity go hand in hand. CURT plans to work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to implement recommendations from the National Research Council study published last summer. A key initiative is establishing a “universal metric on measuring productivity,” said CURT President Egon Larsen, manager of construction engineering at Air Products & Chemicals, Allenton, Pa. CURT will help
A disconnect between marketing and business development can always make it challenging for AEC firms to get work. But the problem can be acute during difficult economic times, said marketing experts at a think tank in New York City on Nov. 13. The event was organized by the SMPS Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes research and education. Source: Robert Buday, “Integratin g marketing and busines development in profesional services Firms: Findings from a 2007 Blom Group survey,” research report , Blom Group LLC, Dec. 2007. Managing Demand Creation: Who is in charge ? “The most vexing question” is why marketing
Chongqing, a metropolitan area with 31 million people, took center stage at a conference that drew almost 400 construction professionals to the heartland of China. The Nov. 5 event focused on how to achieve sustainable development, a central issue for this city, which is expected to “urbanize” another 500,000 rural residents next year alone. Slide Show CHONGQING City in central China has 31 million people, and it is still growing. The city is located at the center of China, and although it is not familiar to many Westerners, it is playing a major part in the economic development of the
Every three years, construction industry attorneys meet to educate themselves on “big-picture” issues affecting the industry. This year, at the triennial conference of the American College of Construction Lawyers, members were told of the challenges facing design and construction from the growing economic impact of dwindling natural resources. Photo: Frank Wojciechowski / ACCL George Smitherman, deputy minister of Ontario’s new Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, told attendees at the Nov. 5-6 conference at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., that the province’s push to reduce coal-fired power and ramp up alternative energy is “North America’s largest climate-change initiative.” He said the effort
Fast-moving environmental, political and workplace trends are boosting civil engineering to a critical new role, even if its practitioners and academics aren’t totally ready, according to speakers and attendees at the annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The Oct. 29-31 meeting in Kansas City drew nearly 1,000 attendees, including a large contingent of students. Photo: David Hathcox / Asceput From left, CEOs Rodman and Graves and educator Nelson say civils must “stand up.” “The world needs the profession to deal with issues that extend beyond civil engineering,” said Priscilla Nelson, a professor and former provost at
An updated Construction Management Standards of Practice from the Construction Management Association of America includes, for the first time, sections on sustainability, building information modeling and risk management. The document, last revised six years ago, was a two-year association effort. CMAA says the document also is for use by owners to give them an idea of what to expect from construction-management and program-management practitioners.
Unfolding impacts of worldwide infrastructure are putting acute pressure on the engineering profession to steer future development onto a more sustainable path, said global practitioners meeting Sept. 14-16 in London. The warnings came at the annual conference of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, at which the group, which represents close to one million global engineers, released its first “state of the world” report. Hundreds of delegates from all continents were urged to take a leadership role to find ways to curtail future negative effects. Photo: FIDIC In a new report, global engineers group is sounding the alarm for needed
A contractor in Liverpool is set to tear down the Churchill Way viaduct by the end of the year, one of the most dramatic consequences of a new U.K. inspection regime of post-tensioned concrete bridges that emerged from the rubble of collapses nearly 30 years ago.