With a little over a year before the 2016 vote for America’s next President, I’m sure many of you are already sick of the ads and the constant politicking as we are. Nevertheless, there are very important issues that need to be addressed that can and will affect the construction industry and a recent study has ranked the current presidential candidates past performance with regards to those issues that affect our industry.
CG/LA is an organization whose main goal is to increase the support for global infrastructure by providing leadership forums, acting as advisors and using market intelligence. The group recently released their rankings of current US presidential candidates based upon their past dealings in infrastructure in the United States. The study was part of CG/LA’s Blueprint 2025 campaign, which aims to greatly increase funding for infrastructure upgrades through the year 2025.
In order to rank the candidates, the group used several key measures, including their history of building infrastructure in the past, their current plan for handling infrastructure improvements in the future, and their ability to be a catalyst for infrastructure funding.
"Every successful presidential candidate for the last two generations has promised to build our infrastructure, helping us to regain our global competitiveness - none has been able to do it," said Norman F. Anderson, President and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure in a press release. "Our monthly rating system provides a structure for the evaluation of candidates, Republicans and Democrats, rating their ability to get this done."
After analyzing those key measures, CG/LA determined that there were 3 clear frontrunners in making infrastructure a priority and one of them may strike you as a surprise. Tied with 18 points in first place were Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican John Kasich. Donald Trump was not far behind, tallying 17 points. Hilary Clinton was ranked fourth, with 11 points.
Bernie Sanders was ranked highly due to being very vocal about infrastructure improvement and proposing a major infrastructure investment initiative to the Senate. John Kasich was ranked highly due to leading major infrastructure repairs in the past in Ohio. Donald Trump was close behind because of his extensive experience in real estate and construction as a business owner. You have to wonder if CG/LA considers that wall Trump keeps talking about as infrastructure.
What do you think? Does this change your mind regarding who to vote for next November?
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Augmented and Virtual Reality has always been designated for large headsets. Even with recent developments in the construction industry, like Microsoft Hololens and the DAQRI Smart Helmet, if you want to experience AR, you have to get used to wearing something you’re not used to around a job site. As cool as both of those technologies are, it seems that the ole trusty smartphones and tablets have been overlooked. A Danish BIM company has developed a smartphone and tablet application that leaves the headsets behind.
Just last November, a massive Five-Alarm fire rocked a multi-story residential building that was almost 80% complete at the time, completely destroying the project. This month, yet another multi-story residential tower that was almost complete caught fire, making it the 5th in 5 year to suffer the same fate. At least 3 of the previous 3 fires have been ruled as arson but, up to this point, no arrests for any of the previous arsons have been made.
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
In January of 2017, OSHA released a final rule which greatly reduced the allowable exposure to beryllium, a mineral that can cause deadly lung disease. While not as commonly encountered in the construction industry as other substances that cause terrible lung diseases, like crystalline silica and asbestos, beryllium is linked to a disease called chronic beryllium disease, which kills around 100 people each year. It’s commonly found in coal slag, which is used for sandblasting. According to the New York Times, OSHA estimates that 11,500 construction workers would be affected by OSHA’s reduced exposure limit.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
Many contractors and repair technicians live out of their truck and Milwaukee Tool knows this. That’s why they’ve just released an M12 and M18 battery charger that plugs into the c12V DC outlet in your truck or van! As added security, the charger will automatically shut down if it senses that your vehicle’s battery is getting too low. Smart and ultra-convenient.
We know a lot of you out there could use this charger, so we teamed up with Milwaukee to give YOU the chance to WIN one! There are 4 ways to enter below!
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
In a year that OSHA can’t seem to enforce any new rules, it appears to have found a way to remove a rule from its books. As announced last week, OSHA has removed monorail hoists from Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Employers are still required to follow other OSHA regulations regarding the hoists, but this rule should help clear up some inconsistencies.