Author: Constructech Editors

The classic approach to training specialty skills to new construction workers starts with a period of on-the-job training called apprenticeship. A six-year study led by Abt Associates of the AAI (American Apprenticeship Initiative), a project of the Dept. of Labor that covers all industries not just construction, found that almost 70% of the 29,553 apprentices were from underrepresented populations. Only 8% were in construction-related industries, the traditional apprenticeship sector. Most AAI apprentices completed their programs, which generally lasted less than two years, and reported that they had positive experiences and that the programs prepared them well for their occupations. Equally…

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Canada is known for many things: Beavers, Poutine, Maple syrup, Ice Hockey, Environmental Technology. Wait, technology? Canada is, indeed, on the leading edge of technology for mitigating climate change. They are working hard to be the leaders in carbon pricing along with clean electricity, transportation, and buildings. Canadians have realized that actions that reduce the negative impacts of climate change, like building seawalls and strengthening bridges and hydro lines, pays off big. Every dollar spent on adaptation measures saves $13-$15, including both direct and indirect economy-wide benefits. In fact, taking proactive adaptation measures cuts climate costs in half. That means…

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The COVID-19 pandemic has receded in the rearview mirror of daily life for many people. Masks are trophies now, there to remind us, not to be used in all situations. Vaccines are considered a normal part of healthcare for millions, right up there with flu shots and the kid’s back-to-school inoculations. If you still can, working from home has many advantages; if you can’t, work in the office is back to normal, something we can all appreciate. The changes the pandemic imposed, whether they are sticking around or not, made health a genuine issue for everyone. Technology, of course, became…

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In the 1970s, building-related diseases, where the symptoms of the illness are identified and attributed directly to airborne building contaminants, were in the news. Called the sick (or tight) building syndrome, the symptoms were headache, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks, and even personality changes. The cause was not known. Most of those complaining reported relief soon after leaving the building, although lingering effects of neurotoxins can occur. While no longer making news, the…

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Election season comes every year, it seems. Federal elections return every two years, state and local elections happen then and in the between years, as well. Some candidates are on television, radio, your favorite social media platform, even in your computer’s email or cellphone’s text inbox every month. And these days, many have the same pitch: the economy is (fill in the blank). In 1992, campaign strategist James Carville coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid.” At that time, Carville was attempting to emphasize the importance of the struggling economy in then-candidate Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Although originally intended…

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With the expansion of email came the sending of various documents between offices, suppliers, subcontractors, owners and developers, and government agencies. The preferred method today is by PDF or photo images. Since we are still in a somewhat incompatible environment, not every program can read every format. One answer has been OCR (optical character recognition) software that can read documents and convert them from one format to another. Corecon Technologies, a provider of cloud-based estimating, project management, and job-cost construction software, now offers OCR functionality as part of its Procurement Module.  For use by Corecon subscribers, as well as outside…

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The funding is flowing for infrastructure repair and renovation as the Congress releases and the various executive agencies distribute the money allocated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Picking the priorities and sorting out the bids will take time and effort on the part of states and localities; getting ready to perform will be the task of the bidding contractors. Few companies are staffed and equipped to handle the complete project when it comes to massive infrastructure jobs. Subcontractors and suppliers will need to be in the loop from the start to assure pricing…

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The interest in 3D printing of houses and other structures has been growing at various levels of the market for a few years now, and one segment, local government, is picking up on it. Azure Printed Homes, innovators of 3D printing utilizing recycled plastic, has been chosen by Enfield Housing Corp. of Enfield, N.C., for the delivery of seven two-bedroom homes. Enfield’s Mayor, W. Mondale Robinson, believes this will be a great start to tackling the lack of affordability in Enfield, a town rated the 8th poorest city in America with 43% of the current homes uninhabitable. Azure has a…

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The IoT (Internet of Things) is only part of the ecosystem called The Internet. Most people don’t even recognize that they are interacting with the IoT, whether through their appliances or Personal Systems like Alexis. It is “just there.” But everyone knows when they interact with the Internet on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Open a browser or email client, and there is the Internet. Families, especially, recognize the importance of the Internet. With nearly every piece of information, accurate and not, available at a click of a link, the Internet has become part of the family’s daily routine. Accessing…

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Parks Associates’ new consumer research finds that nearly three-fourths of EV (electric vehicle) owners own at least one smart-home device, compared to 38% of all U.S. internet households. EV momentum is real, and so is the opportunity for utilities and connected home players. Major auto OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) have committed to a conversion to fully electrified fleets across the next 10 years, so the EV revolution has already begun. When our survey fielded with new electric vehicle questions in December 2021, global market forces were forming up to push vehicle electrification forward: The U.S. congress was working out an infrastructure…

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