Posted by Tyson at 20 August 2014

Category: Architecture News

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Modular buildings are an optimal solution for improving remote oil and gas projects as companies expand into new, untapped locations. Buildings can be quickly transported and setup almost anywhere to meet a variety of needs.

Watch this video to see a time-lapse of a large workforce camp installation. Then read on below to learn about the top five ways oil and gas companies can create a perfect worksite with modular buildings:

1. Project Management Offices

Onsite mobile offices allow managers to oversee projects and worker productivity firsthand. Offices can be built to any size or configuration and sections can be added or removed as project needs change.

2. Guard Houses

Delivered fully-assembled or ready for assembly onsite, guard houses are easily added or moved about the site as needed.

3. Blast Resistant Buildings

Some oil and gas worksites require additional safety protocols. Blast Resistant Buildings offer protection for workers and equipment. BRMs, as they are often called, let workers remain onsite for restroom and lunch breaks instead of transporting them offsite. Simply stated, they keep workers safe and allow you to maximize productivity.

4. Workforce Housing

Energy companies often find that workers living onsite have a better experience than those living in remote locations. Temporary modular housing can offer workers a feeling of home, while saving the company the cost of hotel rooms and loss of productivity associated with long commutes to job sites.

5. Cafeterias and Lunchrooms

Cafeterias and lunchrooms give workers a place to recharge and refuel so they can return to work focused and safe, and stay productive all day long. Modular cafeterias can be outfitted to any spec, including commercial grade kitchens, walk-in freezers and coolers, and enough storage room to provide meals for an entire workforce.

While not modular modular buildings, portable storage containers are an excellent option for keeping valuable equipment and materials onsite and secure. Quality storage containers include lockboxes, good ventilation and heavy-gauge steel to keep your assets safe and in good condition.

As the oil and gas industry continues to expand operations, modular buildings continue to be a valuable option for optimizing worker and project productivity.

The post 5 Ways to Improve Oil and Gas Worksite Productivity with Modular Buildings appeared first on ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights.


ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights

Posted by Tyson at 20 August 2014

Category: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

electrical-outlet-b&w

A couple of years ago we were touring an art gallery in Manhattan when we noticed one of the most refined details we had ever seen in our architectural careers. Toward the bottom of the floor were two small cut-outs allowing each circular electrical outlet to protrude out and sit perfectly flush with the face of the drywall. This detail eliminated the cover plate typical of most outlets in western civilization and catapulted the ubiquitous electrical socket to a whole new level. The finished look was extremely minimal and because of its highly tailored aesthetic, this exclusive detail was probably highly touted by the design team. Looking at it and reviewing this detail through our professional lens, we quickly and collectively came to one simple conclusion: This detail is ridiculous.

There are architects in the world who produce expensive, exquisite designs; the details of which are painstakingly executed to the level of near-perfection. It is within reason to say that some of the projects these architects produce would even be considered flawless. Simply put, we are not those architects. There is a sensibility we seek in life that extends to the way in which we work. This sensibility takes many aspects of design into consideration, including cost, usefulness, durability, the value of time, and a respect for the labor it takes to build something. To us, these aspects are every bit as important as what the design looks like when a project is finished. A project that looks “perfect” — but costs a fortune, frustrates all the trades on site, and leaves many project participants a (personal, financial, mental) mess — would be considered a giant FAIL in our opinion. To us, the nature of something is just as important as how it looks.

We’ve decided to broach this topic since there appears to be a strange acceleration of ever-increasing “standards” we’ve noticed between the improving economy and the cross-section of society. We appear to be expecting things in our world to be much more perfect now, something we’ve heard referred to as the “iPhone Syndrome.” For us, we’re starting to see this level of expectation creeping into the world of custom homes that are far from machined and highly controlled via assembly line. In stark contrast, during the great recession we noticed that people were actually happier because they had reasonable expectations. Lately, we’ve noticed that this expectation of Perfection is creating anxiety; it’s driving everyone nuts — clients, architects, contractors, and the trades alike. This has left us scratching our heads: Why have our expectations grown to this level of perfection, almost to the point of demanding perfection? What are the real costs and benefits of going down this road (besides bragging rights)?

It’s important to note that perfection isn’t cheap. The jump from 90% perfect to 95% perfect actually costs something akin to 30% more in the world of custom construction. The leap towards 99% perfection costs twice as much. What many folks may not realize is that any of the perfectly executed examples that are found on glitzy websites and glamorous magazines, start at $ 800 per square foot and increase from there (as compared to the world we are staking out which is already a pretty darn expensive $ 250/sf). We don’t want to belabor the point, but we’ve seen the negative feedback loop that increasing expectations and costs create beyond just these substantial dollars.

It’s a perplexing situation and as architects, we can’t help but wonder what’s at the root of it all. Spending 30% more money, effort, and time to come 5% closer to perfection seems counter-intuitive to the goals of good, holistic design. At the same time, we appreciate that it’s expensive to build and along with the sticker shock of new construction, many clients feel this merits a finished product that is nearly perfect. Put the level of expense of a custom home in the context of everyday objects (iPhones, thermostats, toasters, cars) that are achieving a much more perfect appearance, and well, therein lays the root of our conundrum. But custom homes aren’t objects. They’re also not designed once and reproduced hundreds or thousands of times.

We’ve spent our careers creating systems and processes that guide the people who put their trust in us, our clients and vendors, to embrace the hand crafted nature of a custom project. Since we are inclined to manage expectations by nature, we’ve even noticed that we tend to point to the “flaws” (for lack of a better word) on home tours with perspective clients, as they show the obvious overlapping that occurs when many sets of hands have touched a part of a project. More importantly, we want to emphasize the process of custom construction that simply differs from the manner in which other objects in our world are made.

So, we feel like we’re at an important crossroads now and we need to reclaim the sensible perspective. The line of “acceptable” still exists out there, it’s just a matter of returning to a reasonable and achievable bar. It requires keeping both feet on the ground and finding the beauty in the imperfect. It’s possible to be happy with the perfectly imperfect, some might even say it’s even better. That’s where the soul and poetry can be found.

Concrete has color variations, wood expands, and steel has an inherent texture. These characteristics can be fought and defied, but only temporarily. Nature is constantly working to be what it already is. With more reasonable and sensible expectations, and remaining in touch with the natural world around us, these characteristics can just as easily be recognized as beauty.

Looking to our most favorite examples of architectures around the globe and throughout time, it is exactly the perfectly imperfect that makes these projects so enjoyable. From the Temppeliaukio Church which is set into a jagged rock outcropping in Helsinki …

Temppeliaukio Church
[Photo source: Toinen Linja]

… to the patina of the preserved steel rails on Manhattan’s High Line …

Highline
[Photo source: The Highline]

… to the tarnished concrete walls of St. Ignatius Chapel right here in Seattle, it is the acceptance and appreciation of natural processes and imperfection that make these projects so extraordinary.

St. Ignatius
[Photo source: Color Me Mod(ern)]

There’s a win-win outcome within our grasp. We just have to choose it powerfully and deliberately.

Keep both feet on the ground, and cheers from Team BUILD


Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 18 August 2014

Category: Building

Tags: , , , , ,

An argument broke out over installation at a San Mateo, Calif. school project despite a union project labor agreement.
Top Stories from ENR.com

Posted by Tyson at 18 August 2014

Category: Building News

Tags: , ,

 

Walgreens and Station 22We recently used Reflectit, a relatively new product brought to the market by Dryvit, on an interesting urban project.

Station 22, a Birmingham fire station circa 1930, sat empty for years. Our customer and our team both thought that if the station could be saved, it could provide an interesting link between the current Lakeview entertainment district and the adjacent historic neighborhoods. Working with the National Historic Trust, the fire station was saved and now shares a parking area with a new Walgreen’s.

8242557304_3d949cd639_zIn this process, we used Reflectit on the Walgreen’s exterior and found it to be the just right fit, a modern look contrasting the traditional stucco of the fire station.

The Reflectit product is a highly durable 100% acrylic EIFS top coat with a pearlescent finish. It can look  just like metal panels or stone, and has a sleek appearance at a fraction of the total cost . These are the advantages we have found, looking at the total picture:

  • Can be applied over a new or existing Dryvit finish, utilizing the same installing trade as the EIFS. Fewer subs mean a faster and less expensive install.
  • Lighter than traditional claddings, resulting in concrete and steel savings.
  • Lowers the heating and cooling costs over the life of the building. Carbon footprint is five times smaller than brick and almost three times smaller than stucco.
  • Can contribute to LEED certification.
  • Designed to require minimal maintenance.

Gone are the days of “Dryvit” bringing fear and chills to contractors and building owners alike. Innovations, including their “drainable” systems, have taken care of the problems we saw in early installations. For us, we’re seeing savings and visual interest using the Reflectit product.

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 17 August 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , , ,

By Richard Saint (Regulations cited in this article apply particularly to construction in the UK.) The standardisation of health and safety precautions is one of the biggest changes to hit working environments in recent times. While this is welcomed news, it doesn’t mean these new regulations are universally followed. Health and safety is crucial within […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 15 August 2014

Category: Construction

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Many people probably don’t know the One World Trade Center shares a characteristic with Roman Empire roads, railroads, and 18th century masonry work in Europe.  That characteristic goes by the unassuming name of “slag.” Slag, the leftovers from the metal smelting process was a key component used as a base material in Roman roads. And […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 15 August 2014

Category: Building News

Tags: ,

Rickwood CagesBirmingham, where our company is headquartered, is a city in transition. We are seeing a renaissance in the urban: Warehouse and industrial areas transforming into top entertainment districts. Long empty buildings being filled with bright new talent and young people. Historic spots getting the credence they’ve always deserved.

One locale that’s seen particular change is the area surrounding the new Railroad Park. In addition to the award-winning green space, new multi-family, local breweries, art installments and a downtown baseball stadium have come to life.

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Birmingham Southern Railroad Freight Depot in its original location

Until a few weeks ago, the landmark 1928 Birmingham Southern Railroad Freight Depot was empty, until it was repurposed

Turns out, Rickwood Field, the country’s oldest baseball park, was in need of batting cages. The shape of freight depot was just right, and the building materials were correct to the time period. We were off to the races.(more from al.com)

From the stands, the building looks very much it did from 14th Street. But inside, there’s a modern batting facility that gets the job done. Construction might have been a bit more challenging than building from scratch, but the end product is better for it. A way to breathe new life into an old building. We were glad to be a part.

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 14 August 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , ,

It’s a no-brainer that infrastructure is a big consideration in how and where people invest their real estate dollars. But what the recent report put out by the Urban Land Institute and EY showed is that there are more forms of funding options than just public private partnerships, or P3s, that people view as significant. Venture […]


Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 14 August 2014

Category: Building News

Tags: , , ,

COT-iPlan-650x301

It wasn’t that long ago–five years maybe–that submitting items to an architect for approval meant making six copies to stamp. We would file two copies and the architect would distribute his four to various engineers and decision makers. Talk about a “paper trail.” Our filing cabinets were bursting at the seams.

These days, the process is managed via email and file transfer systems, saving time, money and trees. From design to construction to final documentation, digital files are becoming the medium of choice:

  • Instead of hand drawn sketches, we see computer renderings and BIM models.
  • Bid documents are sent digitally rather than mailing them to every subcontractor.
  • Specification books are in PDF format, so we may search for key words.
  • We file our documents on a server, rather than in a filing cabinet. Backups of digital files are made hourly and kept both on and off site for disaster recovery.

Paper plans have not completely been replaced…yet. We still keep an updated set of plans for each job, but many on our project management team choose to view and mark them up on our computer monitors. Down the line, we might replace our plan tables with a large tabletop touchscreen. The technology is out there, it’s just a matter of getting the kinks worked out.

 

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 12 August 2014

Category: Construction

Tags: , , , , , ,

Nonresidential construction executives recently revealed a lot more about the sector’s challenges than simply trying to gain some economic traction. Forty-seven percent of respondents in the FMI Nonresidential Construction Index Report said their firms don’t have ongoing research and development efforts, and 69% ranked the industry’s ability to innovate as moderate to very slow. Lack of innovation, according […]


Construction Informer Blog

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!