Posted by Tyson at 23 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , ,

The fundamental shift in how the construction industry does business is now reflected in pay rates, according to research from FMI, a provider of management consulting, investment banking and research to the engineering and construction industry. Since the great recession, an increased emphasis on sales and the process of nurturing relationships is making business development, and […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 23 October 2014

Category: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

BUILD-LLC-Magnolia-Master-Bath-02
[All images by BUILD LLC]

More than ever, residential bathrooms are substituting bathtubs for the practicality and sensibility of walk-in showers. Along with this shift comes a greater emphasis on the detailing of showers. And when it comes to design that is authentic to our time, (also known as modernism,) this often leads to smarter, more attenuated design solutions. One of the most satisfying details we’ve developed for bathrooms lately is the curbless shower. Under the right circumstances, and with some thoughtful planning, the curb can be eliminated without reducing the functionality of a shower.

There are several reasons to lose the shower curb. A curbless shower means cleaner lines in the bathroom: there’s less visual clutter, there is greater ease of use with the shower, fewer nooks and crannies to clean, and the shower becomes highly accessible. The methods for achieving this vary and today’s post covers just one technique, but it’s the one we like best and the one we’re designing and building for our current projects.

BUILD-LLC-curbless-shower-detail

The primary move is a structural drop in the floor framing to accommodate the shower slope. This change in floor framing (or slab in some conditions) should be considered early on in the project so that the appropriate information can be coordinated with the structural engineer.

BUILD-LLC_LWR_Master-Bath-04

As 12” deep joists (11-1/4” for sawn lumber or 11-7/8” for TJIs) are a typical application with floor framing, we find 2x8s to be well suited under the shower floor in general. Note that each situation has its own load factors and needs to be engineered independently.

BUILD-LLC_LWR_Master-Bath-07

BUILD-LLC_LWR_Master-Bath-03

This 4” floor drop is then lined with a single-ply water proof membrane and filled with a concrete slab sloped to a single trough drain at one end.

We’ll typically include a slight valley down the middle to center the water on its way to the trough. The trough is also sloped in both directions (and perpendicular to the shower slope) to direct water to the drain line in the center. Because the floor slopes are large and orthogonal, the tiles don’t need to be cut into funny little 45 degree angles (a pet peeve of ours).

BUILD-LLC-LWR-11

BUILD-LLC-LWR-10

This system allows the shower floor to align with the bathroom floor and, depending on how the shower heads are arranged, can work with or without a glass partition or door.

BUILD-LLC-Magnolia-Master-Bath-08

There are a few additional (and optional) detailing moves that can enhance the curbless shower. While we typically stick with the same tile at the bathroom floor and the shower floor, we’ll often change the shower tile to a smaller geometry. For instance the bathroom floor may be 12” x 12” tiles whereas the shower tile may switch to 4” x 4” tiles. The increased grout joins in the shower provide a more appropriate scale to the shower and offer more grip to the floor surface. The trough drain can also be outfitted with a stainless steel cover plate to conceal the drain and keep the surface of the shower floor uninterrupted.

Several supplementary posts on bathroom, shower, and tile design also apply to curbless showers. We recommend our guide to selecting tile, lessons in tile, important shower details, and a post on our favorite plumbing fixtures.

Happy detailing and Cheers from Team BUILD


Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 22 October 2014

Category: Architecture News

Tags: , , , ,

Construction Tech 150x150 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download NowEquipment World.com named the Apple iPhone 5s the best smart phone for construction industry professionals. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the most affordable. Despite its faults, the iPhone still has far more readily available apps that make construction pros smarter, more efficient and more effective on the job. Add a beefy case and the right app and you have a powerful tool that goes wherever you do, including the jobsite.

App Appeal

Construction apps can provide the developer, project manager, and even site foreman a wealth of real-time resources that make every job easier. From apps that monitor project bids to finger-assisted CAD drawing to calculating architectural formulas, the number of available construction-specific apps is currently in the thousands and growing.

Best Apps for Construction

The best app for you depends on your job responsibilities, personal preferences and technical aptitude. Here are a few of our favorite free apps you may find useful:

Aconex Field

Track and share project documents, images and videos with team members and customers

Force Effect by AutoDesk

Analyze structural reactions from images and translate them to diagrams with load calculations

ThresholdCM

Manage, tag and markup, then share images from your jobsite

DropBox

Easily store, access and share large files from the cloud

Evernote

Sync notes, images and voice memos across all of your mobile devices

What’s on Your Phone?

It’s time for construction to take advantage of the possibilities. With any industry, the best information comes from within, specifically those who have “boots on the ground.” So we’d like to hear from you.

  • What construction apps do you currently use?
  • What is the best app for construction?
  • Is there an app that you would like to see developed?

Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

The post 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download Now appeared first on ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights.


ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights

Posted by Tyson at 22 October 2014

Category: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

farmhouse-featured-3

On a recent trip through Scandinavia, we had the opportunity to stay in a Swedish farmhouse originally built in 1680. It was a learning experience on many levels, and while the home had the quirks and nuisances of any older home, staying there was a pleasure. We were impressed by the flexible open rooms, the adaptability of the spaces, and most of all, the timelessness of the design. The simple A-frame structure was easily updated over the years; new windows, placed in the existing openings, improved the energy savings as electrical improvements, new appliances, and cosmetic updates brought the living experience up to modern day standards.

A couple of days into our stay, our hosts brought out an 8½” x 11” booklet which documents the important design options for building a Swedish farmhouse like the one we were staying in. This simple guide lists the different materials and parts necessary to build the structure, and even covers important site planning strategies. We were astounded that such a guide exists and that we were holding it in our hands. Driving around the Swedish countryside, the similarities between farmhouses were apparent. It was easy enough to assume that there was a collection of design standards passed down from one generation to the next, but to see the entire family tree of design variations illustrated in a tidy portfolio blew us away.

farmhouse-01

While the dates on this booklet indicate that it was produced well after these structures had been constructed, we’d like to think that it visually documents what was a common design vocabulary over the last several hundred years in rural Scandinavian residential construction. With this in mind, we should refer to it as a retro-active instruction guide for the Swedish farmhouse.

The guide covers an impressive range of design in just eight simple pages; from the site planning and relationship with the garden to the door hardware options. Most impressive is that the illustrations boil down hundreds of years of knowledge into a couple of simple options. The diagrams on roof slopes, for instance, offer just two options: a 55 or 48 degree pitch. For whatever evolutionary reason, these are the two roof slopes that make the most sense for this type of structure in this environment. The same goes for the configuration and attachment of the barn structures to the living quarters. Studying the illustrations, you get the impression that these guidelines are the result of generations of trial and error; that these design solutions exist for a reason.

There is a refreshing sense that the material options are local and practical to obtain. The sustainability is already built into the design, with the option of bringing bespoke materials from exotic places removed from the equation. The same can be assumed of the construction methods, it would appear that the building techniques depend on resources directly available within the community.

farmhouse-02

While the guide is regulating and pragmatic, this method of design probably didn’t feel restrictive to homeowners when these farmhouses were originally constructed — in fact it probably still doesn’t feel restrictive in Scandinavia. There are a variety of options to fulfill a homeowner’s desire to make personal choices, and ample opportunity for each farmhouse to be unique. The important element is that this design freedom all occurs within set boundaries defined by sensibility; by what works and what doesn’t, by what is available and what’s not, by the practicality of time and budget. There are six varieties of roofing, seven types of siding, and nine distinct door designs. These three variables alone allow for 378 unique farmhouse designs and while one completed design could vary from another, each individual design decision is manageable. The nine door options are locally made from community resources, not a thousand from every corner of the earth. The same philosophy of decision-making applies to all aspects of this guide: Design decisions are informed by the collected knowledge of the people who built a house before you did.

As architects, designers, builders, thinkers, and people who live in homes, this little guide really has us thinking about our philosophy of design (and our philosophy of life, quite frankly). Since returning home, it's been impossible to ignore the stark contrast between the method of design and construction prescribed by this little booklet and our observations in the United States.

farmhouse-03

Without a doubt, this guide to Swedish Farmhouse Design strikes a delicate balance. Too much standardization, and you get the endless repetition of suburban tract homes loathed by anyone with a design pulse. But the opposite end of the spectrum is equally harmful to the built environment. Without design discipline, the built environment doesn’t make forward progress in terms of sustainability and creating healthy environments. Without the careful curation of design options, homeowners all too often end up with a project that is over-designed, over-stylized, and over budget.

Using local methods, materials, and labor narrows down the design choices and clarifies which options are the most sensible. Employing a healthy dose of sensibility fosters design that responds to its immediate environment and prevents materials from being unsustainably shipped from halfway around the world. These decision making skills are important design tools on a project and they help create spaces for living and working that are relevant to specific environments for generations to come (also known as timeless).

farmhouse-04

While American culture loves to “re-invent” design, we can’t help but wonder if the very nature of re-inventing something like the single family residence is counterintuitive to good, sensible design. Among the important messages to take away from the Swedish Farmhouse Guide is that the design of something should be based on the lessons learned from the entire lineage of past designs similar in nature.

Standardization may sound too harsh to apply to residential design (or it simply brings up visions of Suburbia), but when applied correctly, it provides a sense of reason and can lead to exceptional results. This little guide makes a good case for a recalibration of how we think about design in the U.S. and also sheds light on a design profession that practices with purpose, reason, and conviction. We’re incorporating more of this thinking into our own design process here at BUILD and we’ll be sharing more of our experiences soon.

Until then, cheers from Team BUILD


Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 20 October 2014

Category: Building

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Canada-based Williams was an expert in microclimate impacts on building performance; Podolny, a former FHWA senior structural engineer, was a bridge design guru; Hines led the school design practice at Connecticut structural firm, The DiSalvo Engineering Group
Top Stories from ENR.com

Posted by Tyson at 20 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , , ,

By Brendan Thomas Breaking news:  You no longer have to be a superhero to lift thousands of pounds with just one hand. Your envy of Superman’s astounding strength does not have to eat you up inside anymore, thanks to air-operated skates. Air bearing technology is not brand new.  However, it has become increasingly common on […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 19 October 2014

Category: Architects

Tags: , , ,

Construction Americas 2015Next spring, the Construction Marketing Association will take our construction marketing talents to South Beach, and all of you are invited.  Just announced, Florida International University will be hosting a new exposition for construction brands that features a think-tank of panel discussions on key factors propelling the future of construction best practices and technologies, with a focus on North and South American markets.

These panels will offer insights from construction industry leaders from multiple perspectives: CEOs, Editors, and technology providers.  Additionally, more than 10,000 square feet of exhibit space will offer attendees the opportunity to peruse hot new products and technologies on display by leading construction product brands and service providers.

Scheduled for March 26 & 27, 2015, Construction Americas is the newest expo on the block and will be hosted at the U.S. Century Bank Arena on the FIU campus, Miami, Florida.

You can learn more about the exposition below; whether you are an attendee, exhibitor, or sponsor.

Construction Americas Call for Sponsors

Sponsor Construction Americas 2015 Exposition, and gain access and exposure to thousands of construction professionals across the United States, North and South America! Following are some of the key benefits of sponsorship:

  • Company/brand logo on CA website
  • Profile listing and link on CA website
  • Recognition on event signage, and during panel discussions
  • Recognition in news announcements
  • Recognition in email campaigns
  • Blog company/brand information with links
  • Discounted exhibitor fees (based on sponsor level)
  • Free VIP & attendee passes
  • Sponsor lounge access

There is a sponsor package for every budget including Premiere Sponsors, and several event sponsorship options. Premiere Sponsors include Gold, Silver and Bronze levels.  Learn more about the Sponsorships on the Construction Americas Sponsorship Page.

Demonstrate at Construction Americas

Want to put your products and services in front of decision makers? Starting on October 15, 2015, you gain the opportunity to register for prime position at Construction Americas! What can you gain from exhibiting at Construction Americas?

  • Meet Industry Executives and Decision Makers
  • Put your products and services in front of leading construction editors
  • Network with Students

The expansive U. S. Century Bank Arena on the FIU campus has capacity for thousands of attendees, and hundreds of exhibitors. So don’t miss this chance to showcase your construction brand to this important group of construction decision makers and influencers.

Learn more about the pricing levels and benefits at the Construction Americas Exhibitor Page.

Attend Construction Americas

Construction Americas 2015 Exposition will give attendees a broad look into the future of construction. Focusing on North and South American markets, this new exposition will share cutting edge perspectives from construction industry leaders, brands, academia, and editors from leading construction publications—each sharing their views and insights into construction trends, technologies and best practices.

Lower than the average cost of exhibitions, you can learn more about the event at the Construction Americas Attendee Page.

Construction Americas Agenda

Kicking off on March 26, 2015, Construction Americas begins at 6:00 PM with a reception and opening remarks from Dr. Irtishad Ahmad, P.E., the Director of the OHL School of Construction at FIU.

March 26, 2015

6:30 pm: Evening Reception
Opening Remarks Dr. Irtishad Ahmad, P.E., Director – OHL School of Construction

March 27, 2015

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast and Keynote:  CEO Panel

9:00 am – 6 pm: Exposition Open

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Morning Breakout:  Technology Panel

12 pm Exposition and Lunch on your own

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Breakout:  Editor Panel

6:00 pm: Exposition Closes

Learn more about the different panels at Construction Americas.

We look forward to seeing all of you at Construction Americas 2015 Exposition!


Construction Marketing Blog

Posted by Tyson at 19 October 2014

Category: Building News

Tags: , , , ,

Bruce's PaintingIn the construction industry, one usually finds “left-brained” thinkers, people who tend towards the analytic and objective. Bruce Adams, a part of our senior management, is one who also exercises his “right brain,” being a talented artist.

Recently, he was telling me a process he uses for still life paintings. When he finishes his sketch, prior to applying brush strokes, he looks at the canvas upside down. At that point the sketch becomes simple lines, shapes and forms, instead of a coherent painting.

Bruce showed me the rough draft of the painting above. The glass jar has just been laid in and appears somewhat correct when viewing right side up. However, when the picture is viewed upside down, it’s easier to see that the bottle is lopsided. The change in perspective paves the way for a correction.

To me, this is similar to conflict discussions. It might be a good idea to take a moment–and a deep breath or two, at times–and look at the situation from the other opposite perspective. Maybe we learn something when we take our view and “turn it upside down.”

 

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 17 October 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , ,

By Derek Graham I expect in this day and age we have seen every sort of conceivable construction schedule tool in existence: from lines in the sand, to a full-blown integrated project system. Here is a summary of some available programs I have used. I started scheduling c. 1993, cutting my teeth with a program […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 17 October 2014

Category: Building

Tags: , , , , , ,

Survey says region’s oil and gas development has spawned 45,000 new jobs since 2008.
Top Stories from ENR.com

Top tips for working in construction

The construction business is one of the most pulsating and challenging business ventures. It demands lot of investments in terms of your energy, capital and time that is the main reason why it is very essential that you are passionately interested in this business venture.

With each passing day this arena is facing lot many changes in the techniques, equipments and style of working. You can do yourself a huge favour by seeking the right qualifications in order to have in-depth knowledge about the different dimensions of the construction business. No doubt, the reality picture tends to be different but it is always worthwhile to be well versed with the theoretical aspects in order to focus on the challenges of the actual world of work.

It will also help you in becoming more receptive of the changes and better options. You will be able to embrace the novelty easily if you remain open to its challenging nature. For that you always need to be on your toes and make sure you are well aware of the changing trend. With this attitude you will never lag in the race of being a proverbial in the construction business and lead your company towards excellence and proficiency.

Make sure you have the right tools. It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but it's understandable if you can't get the job done because you haven't got the equipment you need. As an example, portable hyundai generators can provide you with power when out in the field

Hence, you should seek this business option only when you think and firmly believe that it is your area of expertise. This will help you in creating better perspective and clear the expectation zone! It is important to be interested and really like the construction work in order to reap better rewards!

Once, you have set your mind in your business endeavours you need to take the first step of launching the construction business. You can also affirm your intensions and visions by joining the trade union. This step can facilitate your functioning as a proficient business venture. Moreover, the formalities, legal procedures, financial liabilities can be sorted by seeking the right guidance and information.

Most importantly, the construction arena is sure to make you more aware and concerned about the safety needs of your workers and employees. Hence, you will be giving lot of importance to safety meetings. These meeting can be taken as the right opportunity to seek awareness about the location and enforcing required rules and regulations. This is why you should never avoid or delay the safety meetings and its significance in your business. The insightful observation when blended with experience can help you get prepared for emergencies also. This also pave the way for better adjustments when require.

It is clear that this business can be crude and demanding in many respects, yet it also creates a very profitable and satisfying venture. In order to get the maximum of your business set up you need to have proper vision and clear expectations. Your attitude and working style is going to determine your success and the heights of your profits. Therefore, it is time that you open yourself to the creative and profitable ideas to ensure that your construction business is a roaring success from now on!