The 6 Steps You Need To Take to Dump Your Spreadsheet Dependence

  So, you’re a small contractor and you’ve relied on Excel for a long time. It’s in every aspect of your business. You do your accounting with it, you use it for estimating, and you have it involved in project planning and project management. It is so well entrenched that the thought of moving on seems too daunting. Just consider though that for every month you wait to adopt tools that overcome spreadsheet dangers, you are becoming less and less qualified to compete. In fact, if you think your spreadsheets are accurate, you are probably deceiving yourself. Multiple sources put the error rate in spreadsheets at 80% or more, with one claiming the error rate is actually closer to 90%. […]

Warranty Issues You Just Can’t Escape

From Pennsylvania to New South Wales, and beyond, contractors face challenges with warranties. Your best bet is to prevent the need for warranty work, and make sure you aren’t signing up for more warranty work than you should. Typical construction contracts require the contractor to deliver the correct quality in materials, workmanship, and equipment. The “correct” quality gets spelled out in the project’s specifications. Unfortunately, many people forget to, or don’t want to read the specifications, so inappropriate items get substituted. Substitutions without approvals lead to rework, either when it’s caught, or later when the owner notices. Then, too, it’s not unusual for the specifications only to call for something that is free from defects, or new, or of good quality. That […]

6 Lean Construction Myths BUSTED

Myth #1:  Waste Reduction = Lean Construction Waste is expensive. According to the Construction Industry Institute, on average, waste accounts for 57% of a construction crew’s time—and that’s not even including materials, rework, and so on. But if you think lean is the same thing as waste reduction, you’re missing out. All competent builders strive to eliminate waste. That doesn’t make them lean. Rather, lean is formal system that provides for two key things: Flow Continuous improvement   Flow: The ability of a team to operate in an uninterrupted fashion, moving from one task to another in a single, continuous manner, seamlessly handing off tasks from one stage to the next without disruption. Continuous Improvement: Ongoing effort to improve products, […]

Airflow considerations when designing HVAC ductwork

  Ductwork used to channel or direct air to spaces throughout a building can impact the efficiency of the structure’s HVAC system. That’s why it’s important to properly design and install ductwork and its components, including the dampers used to regulate or stop airflow. As they select dampers that will best suit their ductwork design, HVAC construction engineers have the option of specifying either airfoil, triple-V groove or modified flat blades. Airfoil blades offer several advantages, beginning with blade strength. Read More 

Design Risks the Modern Contractor Should Watch Out For

Contractors take on more design responsibilities on projects using new delivery methods. But along with the new influence, comes new risks. New project delivery methods are reshaping the role of the contractor. Throughout most of the 20th Century, design-bid-build was the standard way of running projects. This model relied on architects working with the owner under separate contract for the design phase. From there, the project was put out for bid to contractors to do the building. So Many Roles Today, more contractors find themselves as construction manager, assisting with design, or acting as partners with other participants. Generally called design-build delivery methods, these place design and construction services within one contract. Design-build use has risen rapidly over the past […]

Getting out in front of virtual design is a smart move

Planning construction in a digital environment is about as obvious a move as a company can make to improve the bottom line and broaden market share; doing it with others is trickier. The world is moving toward collaborative digital definition for several reasons: speed of execution, effective risk management, and even environmental implications. The reality is that the digital environment simply makes good business sense. During the Architectural Contractor’s Forum at SMACNA’s Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii in October, you will glimpse the future of construction planning and management and learn how to bridge the gap between design and construction by using a single communication platform. You will receive an introduction to: The big picture overview of Virtual Design for […]

Building Better with BIM

It’s been a long road for Building Information Modeling (BIM) to reach its current state. But, if supporters, surveys, and reports are accurate, BIM is now moving to widespread adoption, even as it continues to evolve. Interestingly, it turns out that contractors are adopting BIM faster than architects! On one project, the Collaborative Life Sciences Building in Portland, Oregon, a joint project of Oregon State University and Portland State University, BIM is credited with saving $10 million on a $295 million budget. The project had complex geometric designs and using 3D models helped to communicate the way things fit together for the subcontractors. But, it was the three-dimensional, all-digital documentation process used by the 28 different design teams that received […]

Building Information Modeling for the Win: Top 10 Benefits of BIM

  The move from 2D drawings to 3D models is well underway and gaining steam in the architectural, engineering, and construction industry, thanks to tangible bottom-line returns from streamlined workflows. The model-based approach increases efficiency within individual organizations and truly shines during coordinated project delivery. Building information modeling can drive time and budget savings for building and infrastructure projects. Here are the top 10 benefits of building information modeling (BIM) 1. Capture Reality. The wealth of information that’s easily accessible about project sites has expanded greatly with better mapping tools and images of Earth. Today, project starts include aerial imagery and digital elevation, along with laser scans of existing infrastructure, accurately capturing reality and greatly streamlining project preparations. With BIM, […]

4 OSHA Tips for a Successful Safety Stand-Down

    A construction worker is chipping a trash chute hole in the floor, and falls through to the level below. A painter-contractor working on a transmission tower unhooks his safety lanyard for just long enough to shift position and plummets 80 feet. Improperly secured safety scaffolding partially gives way and an unharnessed worker lands in the hospital. These scenarios are sadly not isolated events, or “once in a lifetime” accidents. “Falls from elevation” make up about a third of all construction worker fatalities. These deadly accidents are largely preventable. And OSHA is leading the way to ensuring we are not only aware, we are empowered to make a change; for the safety of everyone.   Read More

What’s New in Revu 2017 – Part 1

  2016 introduced many new features like Legends, Batch Markup Summary, Tags, improved text recognition with both AutoMark and OCR, and interface enhancements. Since then, we have been working hard to deliver even more innovative features to Revu 2017. Read on and follow the links below to learn more about all of the exciting new features now available in Revu. Dynamic Fill Polylength Quantity Link Segments Automatic Form Creation 360° Photos Batch Sign and Seal 3D PDF Enhancements Read more