Construction Advisory Group is committed to contributing to the industry by conducting a blog-conversation on monitoring projects and navigating the construction world.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Florida's Share of Stimulus Money

Stimulus check: Where the money went - Orlando Business Journal:

In the last twelve months, Central Florida has benefited from more than $782.4 millon in stimulus monies. Central Florida's share is almost 9 per cent of the $9 billion awarded to the entire state. Central Florida has made good use of their stimulus monies: 506 contracts and grants, according to a national stimulus tracker.

In Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole counties, federal stimulus money has created the equivalent of nearly 283 full-time jobs. The numbers get bigger: during the past year, statewide, stimulus money has created 34,868 full time jobs across the state.

The numbers are anticipated to look even better in 2010. Many projects weren't contracted until late last year, including road construction and building renovation projects.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sleeved column braces as a earthquake-proof technology

You would think the drawings above are a result of American engineering.


The sleeved column braces as earthquake-proof technology were invented by Mr. Sridhara, a structural engineer in Bangalore, India and patented by Bangalore Benne Narasimhamurthy Sridhara.

The sturdy brace apparatus is simple, yet effective. It surrounds a core of high-performance steel, but is spaced from the sides of the core. The sleeve absorbs and dissipates energy, but doesn’t buckle under pressure.

Conventional braces, which do not have sleeved material for absorbing energy, can even buckle under an earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale, according to Mr. Sridhara.

Star Seismic, CoreBrace and other steel fabricators in the U.S. import the components via a substantial royalty. Star Seismic and CoreBrace are perfectly capable of manufacturing the braces in the U.S. instead of importing them from Japan’s Nippon Steel, the world second largest steelmaker.

According to AGC, “Despite getting a U.S. patten in 2000 for sleeved column braces, the light of Mr. Sridhara's invention was hidden under a bushel.”

"This is a mystery that would be interesting to delve into," says Val Tuhari of Construction Advisory Group.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Factor this in, or pay with your profit

The Environmental Protection Agency has imposed national monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limitations on construction sites.

Considering the construction industry and the stress - and trauma - that has cut across specialities, trades and construction-related professions, the consultants at Construction Advisory Group are left shaking their collective heads. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Or not.

Can the reeling construction industry withstand one more punch?

We just urge our colleagues and our clients:

Check the published new requirements and include the related factor on your estimates.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Warning: Now it's Chinese Steel

The following are quotes from Kiplinger News, "New Threat from China: Shoddy Steel Imports":

“Steel imports from China that fall apart easily are making U.S. manufacturers and construction firms more than a little nervous. Reports of failures during initial fabrication and questions about certifications documents will mean closer scrutiny, The American and Canadian institutes of steel construction have already advised member companies to be vigilant and report any problems.”

“The biggest concern is hollow structural sections widely used in construction of skyscrapers, bridges, commercial and school buildings.”

“Chinese high-strength steel tubes and pipes are also a potential problem."

“Inferior high-strength steel could cause catastrophic failures of buildings, pipe lines or in power plants’ boiler tubing.”

And it goes on and on and on.

We all, in construction or not, must obtain proof that Chinese steel has been tested here in U.S. and that it is 100% in accord with ASTM standards and requirements.

Val Tuhari, of Construction Advisory Group warns, "We don’t need Chinese manufacturers' certifications since they cannot be trusted; we need American certifications, and then, guess what, check them as well."

"We must get to the bottom of this," Tuhari warns. "I urge my colleagues at Construction Advisory Group, and every else, to diligently follow this matter."

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