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Modern Contractor Solutions May 2020

MAY 2020
Retrofits for Cutting Carbon Emissions
Using Data Metrics for Profitability
Researchers Use Enerpac for Safety Testing
Adjustable Arch Lifting Technology
project profile
Atomized Mist
curing concrete with consistent humidity level
MAY 2020
Inside This Issue
Photo courtesy of Morooka
USA. A Morooka MST-2200VDR
helps move dirt for a creek
restoration project near
Charlottesville, Virginia. Its
unique ability to rotate its
upper structure without moving
the tracks allows for it to easily
maneuver smaller jobsites. See
the Morooka USA ad on the
back cover.
Industry News .................................08
Modern Construction Products.......63
What’s Trending ..............................66
safety solution
Common Sense
returning to the office as states reopen
legal solution
Delay Issues
a glimpse into construction setbacks
management solution
Project Businesses
adopting a cloud strategy
software solution
Leveraging Technology
remaining competitive
software solution
Digital Transformation
effect of digitization
Donna Campbell
Editor in Chief
From the Editor
P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, AL 35266
Editor in Chief
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
Art Director
Graphic Designer
Digital Media Specialist
Office Manager
Vice President, Editorial
Vice President
inquiries or changes:
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Modern Contractor
Solutions Magazine
Modern Contractor
Atomized Mist ....................................................................16
Proper Footwear .................................................................20
Compact Utility Loaders .....................................................24
Disaster Recovery Plan ......................................................28
Those Darn Boomers: Part 1 of 2 ......................................30
Project Businesses .............................................................32
Digital Transformation ........................................................36
Leveraging Technology ......................................................38
Delay Issues .......................................................................42
Thermal Bridging: Part 3 of 3 .............................................44
Battery UPS ........................................................................46
Healthcare Construction ....................................................48
Common Sense..................................................................52
Digital Tool Adoption ..........................................................54
Seasonal Care ....................................................................58
Mi-T-M .................................................................................62
I’m thankful construction is deemed essential. In fact, I view every industry as essential to the
American way of life. There will always be an unforeseen issue that will need to be handled.
I learned as a Girl Scout that the first rule of thumb was to not panic. In other words: do not
overreact, think logically, and form a solution.
Solutions are at the core of MCS and this issue puts a focus on projects. From the footwear
needed on the jobsite (pg 20) to the versatility of compact utility loaders (pg 24) and adopting a
cloud strategy (pg 32), the importance of technology and using data remains.
We are still dealing with COVID-19 as states reopen. For articles related to the pandemic, read
the legal issue of delays (pg 42); returning to the workplace as states reopen (pg 52); and a
Q&A with Jon Tate, vice president of construction risk engineering for Zurich North America, as
he shares his insight on the current state of the construction industry (pg 66). A close look at
Baby Boomers and their impact on the economy is presented by Preston Ingalls (pg 30); part
two of this article will be in the next issue of MCS.
No doubt we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and business operations during this global
pandemic. Will changes be made to better adapt to changing landscapes? Will safety in the
workplace and on the jobsite be viewed differently? Together we will answer these questions
and more as the year unfolds. For now, I leave you with commentary below from a GC in New
York regarding his projects and the emphasis on safety.
Guest Post by Michaela Coston
As far as I can see, the construction industry has been wearing gloves and masks, using
hand sanitizer, and practicing proper social distancing. Our projects in New York, whether
essential or not, have been working since this [pandemic] started and what we are seeing is
if you maintain the proper protocol, we should be safe. All of our clients and employees have
been very safe and we haven’t heard of any cases within our own people or clients whom
have had this other than a subcontractor that we know who contracted the virus. We firmly
believe the safety behind controlling the virus works and will continue to be successful if the
proper safety measures are maintained.”
Michael A. Bordes
Certified General Contractor and President of AA Jedson Company LLC
inquiries or changes:
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com8
industry news
Extracker, a cloud-based collaboration platform that helps
general contractors and subcontractors create, track, and share
change orders and time and material tags, offers added safety
and financial security during the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring
real-time visibility into project costs for all parties and providing
tools for working remotely and touch-free.
In addition to financial protection, Extracker provides many
of the country’s subcontractors and general contractors a key
tool to track T&M work while complying with COVID-19-related
jobsite distancing requirements. Instead of filling out paper
T&M tags for physical authorization, subcontractors can use
the Extracker mobile app to professionally document their work
and request a digital signature by email. The touch-free process
automatically generates a cloud-based log for both companies.
Many construction companies in the United States trust
Extracker. Turner, a global provider of construction services with
10,000 employees, recently leveraged Extracker to convert the
Sacramento King’s former NBA Arena into a field hospital to
treat up to 360 COVID-19 patients.
Instead of bidding the project, Turner agreed to perform
the work on T&M. All of their trade partners were trained
on Extracker in less than 24 hours and used the touch-free
workflow to get T&M Tags signed and automatically price out
a change order request at the end of each day. With Extracker,
Turner was able to see the project costs in real time and keep
their teams healthy.
“The goal for our customers right now is to get their teams
back to work, and to do that in a healthy way,” says Cameron
Page, founder and CEO of Extracker. “Our tools allow them to
do their jobs touch-free in a challenging environment and also
help them protect their profit margins in this new economy.
These are difficult circumstances, but it’s also an opportunity
for companies to evaluate their processes and workflows to
incorporate new ideas and technology that will continue to give
them competitive leverage after the current crisis has passed.”
For more, visit
Double Coin and CMA, a leading tire manufacturer and marketer,
announce its joint partnership with Love’s Truck Care and
Speedco. In addition to the hundreds of current Double Coin
dealer locations, Love’s customers can now select from a wide
range of Double Coin’s Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tires at any
of the more than 380 Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations
in the United States. Some of the available tires include: the
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com10
industry news
RR150 premium 5-rib steer/all-position multi-use tire, the
RLB400 closed shoulder drive position tire, and the TR100 ultra-
premium shallow tread trailer tire.
Love’s and Speedco combined represent the largest oil
change, preventive maintenance, and total truck care nationwide
network, and provides professional drivers and fleets access to
certified technicians to help get them back on the road quickly
and safely with the best range of proven products and services.
For more, visit and
RedTeam, a collaboration platform for commercial contractors,
announces its new ROI calculator tool to help companies
estimate and measure the value of construction technologies.
The new tool furthers RedTeam’s commitment to servicing the
construction industry by helping companies understand how
benefits may be realized through the adoption of technology.
Project delays caused by COVID-19 have given many
general contractors the time to reevaluate their businesses
and determine which workflows can be optimized. One of the
biggest considerations is the adoption of new software—and
understanding which software is worth the investment is critical.
While most GCs have a clear picture of the general benefits of
their technology options, there was no easy way to determine
how these benefits will translate into their specific operations.
RedTeam’s new ROI calculator allows GCs to quickly determine
the value of a new technology for their specific needs. The
calculator takes the benefit (financial value created by the
technology being used) divided by investment (the total cost of
buying, implementing, and maintaining the software) to find the ROI,
or total net value created. Benefits are measured in four categories:
Labor Savings: Doing the same amount of work and doing it
with less people, reducing overall labor costs
Productivity Gain: Uses a method based on applying
weighted per hour productivity calculation using average
revenue per employee multiplied by gross profit hourly wage
Workplace Benefits: With stronger controls and workflows,
businesses have less conflicts and are able to run more
smoothly, reducing stress and helping to retain employees
Risk Mitigation: Technology helps to lower company
exposure to costs associated with project disputes
“While many GCs are interested in exploring options for
a technology software and have a sense that there are clear
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com12
industry news
benefits to adopting the right technology for their business,
the value created from the use of software is not always easy
to measure,” says Frédéric Guitton, chief strategy officer at
RedTeam Software. “When you evaluate technology, there are
a lot of variables to consider that are not always apparent. With
our ROI calculator, we help assess those variables to ensure you
are getting the most accurate sense of the return on investment
you feel is attainable for your business.”
The ROI calculator is located on RedTeam’s website for free
download. Companies can simply download the spreadsheet
and input their specific structure and estimated impact to help
optimize operations and profitability. To download the ROI
calculator, visit
Trimble announces the completion of the breakthrough
expansion of its CenterPoint
RTX Fast correction service, with
coverage now spanning the contiguous U.S. and southern
Canada. This expansion is central to Trimble’s vision to
transform how and where users can leverage precision and
accuracy. Ideal for autonomous applications in both on-road and
off-road markets, the coverage and performance of the service
enables industry professionals to rethink what is possible when
using augmented positioning for improving safety, performance,
productivity, and operational efficiency.
The CenterPoint RTX Fast subscription service delivers
horizontal positioning accuracy of one inch or less in under a
minute, with the versatility of satellite or cellular delivery. This
expanded coverage makes it the largest, high-performance
GNSS correction network in the world. No other GNSS
correction service provides this combined level of accuracy,
convergence speed, flexible delivery, and geographic coverage.
Now, with more than 5 million square miles of CenterPoint
RTX Fast network coverage worldwide, users across North
America and Europe, including farmers, land surveyors, and GIS
professionals can untether from the cost and complexities of
GNSS base stations. In addition, Trimble RTX Fast offers a single,
continuous correction technology platform ideal for enabling a
broad range of safety-critical autonomous applications in markets
such as automotive, agriculture, and construction.
CenterPoint RTX Fast subscriptions for Trimble RTX-
compatible GNSS receivers are available through Trimble’s
Authorized Business Partners or Trimble’s online store
Trimble RTX correction services
are available throughout most of the world. For more, visit
TALBERTMFG.COM | 800-348-5232
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com16
project profile
Atomized Mist
curing concrete with consistent humidity level
pioneer in atomized mist
technology helped a government
contractor comply with
military concrete quality and
emission standards during the
construction of an airfield tarmac. By
providing a consistent humidity level
in a high-heat desert environment, the
DB-30™ (manufactured by
BossTek) helped Southwest Concrete
Paving Company (SWCP) maintain the
proper moisture levels needed for high-
grade concrete production. In addition,
the mobile misting cannon offered dust
suppression during the demolition of the
previous tarmac and storage of dusty
material. The result of the 9-month,
multi-phase contract was a premium
quality 87,000-square-yard concrete
tarmac that passed inspections the first
time while adhering to all workplace
dust standards throughout the project.
The consequence of not meeting the
required standards can be ripping out
entire sections of the project to create
a compliant product. The lifecycle of a
normal road is 15 to 20 years, whereas
the lifecycle of an airstrip apron is 40
to 60 years. Due to the point loads of
jets and other aircraft, proper curing
is critical, thus engineers meticulously
test for slump and moisture content
every step of the way.
Paving crews in arid conditions
generally work through the night
to control surface temperature and
slump. Critical factors include ambient
temperature, concrete temperature,
wind speed, and humidity. As the
concrete mix temperature increases,
slump will decrease approximately 0.8
inches for every 20-degree Fahrenheit
rise in temperature.
“The night temperatures fluctuated,
but often remained above 80-degrees
Fahrenheit,” explains David Rath,
QCQA manager for SWCP. “In those
conditions, the relative humidity across
the curing slab has to consistently
stay above 40 percent. If the surface
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com18
project profile
conditions aren’t precisely controlled,
the concrete surface will be prematurely
exposed to tensile stresses that it cannot
withstand before the hydration of the
cement has passed a certain stage. This
causes small cracks known as plastic
shrinkage, which can significantly reduce
the life of the concrete.”
Once the sun went down, the atomized
misting cannon was moved to the
front of the paving machine to lay an
even surface of moisture across the
base layer. When pouring, the moisture
content of the concrete mixture is
precise, but the dry ground can draw the
moisture out of the meal, increasing the
chances of cracking.
Due to the need for mobility, SWCP
secured the DustBoss DB-30 to the back
of a flatbed truck with a 250-gallon water
tank and a portable generator to create
a completely mobile and autonomous
unit, designed for conditions that lack
adequate access to water and power.
The water cannon could be removed
and placed on a hydraulic forklift as
high as 40 feet in the air. This allowed
improved targeting of the atomized
mist sprayed over and around the newly
poured concrete to provide the humidity
and surface moisture needed for proper
finishing. Using the variable height and
the DB-30’s adjustable 0- to 50-degree
vertical angle settings, operators were
able to control the humidity levels and
coverage area, while compensating
for wind.
Water from the tank is forced through
a circular stainless-steel manifold with
30 atomizing spray nozzles at the front
of a heavy-duty cone-shaped barrel
design. A powerful 7.5 hp fan at the
back of the cannon, producing 9,200
cfm of airflow, launches millions of
tiny droplets in a 100-foot cone. With
180-degree horizontal oscillation, the unit
has a coverage area of 17,000 square
feet. Using only 9.8 gpm of water, the
unit raises the humidity of an entire
area with evenly distributed droplets
between 50 to 200 microns in diameter
(approximately the size of fine dust),
while minimizing pooling or runoff.
The unit is designed to be set
up by a single worker and operated
autonomously without further attention.
Able to be operated by remote control,
the DB-30 also has a touch screen panel
for adjusting the settings (oscillation,
pump settings, etc.). The panel is
encased in a NEMA 3R cabinet to
protect it from the harmful elements of
outdoor operation such as dust, rain,
and contaminants.
The mobility and adjustability of the
DB-30 allowed crews to reposition and
recalibrate the settings of the atomized
mist cannon to raise the humidity above
the paved surface and prevent water from
being sheared away by high winds.
“Some of the wind conditions would
have stopped construction cold in
the past,” says Rath. “Positioning the
DustBoss upwind, allowing the air to
carry the humidity with it, kept us up and
running on several occasions. Otherwise,
we might have had to go back, rip out
what we poured, and start again.”
Wrapping up the finishing touches of
the project, core samples of the concrete
taken by inspectors demonstrated high
quality, with no compliance issues.
The meticulous planning, technical
skill of the staff and use of modern
technology allowed SWCP to complete
the project on time and on budget with no
major downtime.
The atomized mist technology has
proven to be applicable across several
segments within SWCP’s business,
from road construction to military and
public airports. Enhanced control over
the finishing process helped improve
the outcome and extend the life of the
finished product. This attention to detail
and quality has become a hallmark of
SWCP projects.
for more information
BossTek is a global leader in dust and
odor control solutions for the storage and
handling of clinker, petcoke, coal, rock and
aggregate, as well as controlling air quality
during port unloading, recycling and scrap
processing, mining, earth moving, and
construction demolition. For more, visit
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com20
equipment solution
Proper Footwear
considerations for choosing the right work boot
By Xavier Kawula MAY 2020
ootwear is an essential tool
and element of protection for
contractors. Depending upon what
you put on your feet, standing, pouring,
climbing, and working for long periods of
time can positively or negatively impact
your productivity. Looking generically
for a work boot may set you down a
bad (and uncomfortable) path. When
choosing the proper footwear, your key
guidelines are function, fit, and features.
A basic boot that fits well and hits
all required governmental regulations
is great, but could you do better? For
example, the Muck Chore Classic has
been a mainstay of the work boot world
for 20 years. It was built on that proven
framework and designed the new Chore
Max with a composite toe, which has a
slower heat transition rate (vs steel toe
boots) to keep feet warmer longer in cold
weather. The traction was improved with
a new outsole design and put a non-
metallic puncture resistant plate in every
pair. The Oliver line does things similarly.
The 65493S is a rigger boot that nails the
functions of the class. ASTM and CSA
certified, but with additional features
like an ergonomic toe cap, antimicrobial
linings, a dual density insole, barnyard
resistant leather, slip resistant outsole,
TPU toe and heel for additional wear
resistance, and Kevlar stitching along the
vamp plug for additional durability.
Key features when considering a boot
are: waterproof protection, climate
control, slip resistance, and cost.
The workday doesn’t stop just because
it’s wet outside, even if it is very wet or
cold. The client wants the job completed
on the contracted date. The problem
with leather boots is that eventually they
will start absorbing water—yes, even
waterproof leather. When it becomes
saturated, it loses strength and begins to
tear and leak. The performance features
of some brands, like the Original Muck
Boot Company, are built to be fully
waterproof, keeping feet safe and dry
regardless of what Mother Nature puts
in your path. Muck boots keep your
feet warm and dry even in the worst
conditions as they are constructed from
hydrophobic materials such as rubber
and neoprene, no matter how many
days in a row you have had the worst
conditions. The same goes for days you
are pouring concrete or doing irrigation
work. The performance features of
reliable boots like the Chore Classic,
Chore Cool, and the new Chore MAX
mean that you can get the right boot for
the right job no matter the conditions.
How you protect yourself from the cold
is also becoming more sophisticated in
footwear design. In the past, contractors
have looked for higher and higher
temperature ratings, thinking that more
is better. Instead, we are seeing a trend
in contractors looking for climate control
in the boots rather than simple insulation
in the product design. High insulation
values that cause perspiration create a
worse condition than the cold itself, as
the now released perspiration condenses
and soaks even more heat out of the
body, especially when the person goes
from active to inactive states. This is
where Honeywell industrial work brands
such as Muck, Oliver, and Ranger have
additional insight, as many years ago,
Honeywell was an early innovator in the
concept of climate control. Therefore,
when designing products for contractors
and other industrial workers, creating the
right climate in the boot is thought about,
not just loading it up with insulation.
Another important feature for a
contractor is slip resistance. Whether
working on a roof or pouring concrete,
traction is an important feature of a
safety shoe and something that all
workers should consider. However,
there is a lot of industry frustration and
confusion around slip ratings and what is
best. Many products will say they are slip
resistant or call out their slip resistance
as Fair, Good, or use another subjective
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com22
equipment solution
term. If you are truly looking for footwear
to be compliant to a Slip Hazard
Assessment Plan, it is important to be
able to review the manufacturer’s actual
slip scores in the standardized tests. The
current standard for slip-resistant testing
is the SATRA, which is a whole shoe test.
Older tests were designed to test the
floor, not the shoe, and are considered
obsolete. We suggest looking for SRA for
most wearing occasions and an SRC slip-
rated outsole when looking for best-in-
class slip performance. If an outsole has
a passing score on the Slip Resistance
A test—soapy water on quarry tile—it
can be labeled SRA. If an outsole has a
passing score on the Slip Resistance B
test—glycerol on stainless steel—it can
be labeled SRB. If it passes both tests, it
can be labeled as SRC.
Lastly, it is important to consider cost
over time in your footwear investments.
Often when shopping for boots, we only
focus on the initial sticker price and don’t
take into account such things as average
wear time or time to failure. Higher-
end manufacturers take a lot of things
into consideration to make sure you are
getting true quality from what you spend.
Manufacturers look at where the high-
wear, high-flex, and high-stress areas
of the boot exist, and how to mitigate
damage through material selections and
design changes, so you may be paying
more upfront but the longevity and quality
of the product is well worth the price.
What you put on your feet needs to
be what is going to work best for you
over time. Whether you are out on a
job in the wet, cold weather setting
deadlines and budgets; coordinating with
subcontractors; or obtaining appropriate
building material; your footwear is a
key piece of gear to keep you safe and
comfortable. It is important to keep
overall costs, climate control features,
slip resistance, and waterproof features
in mind when purchasing.
about the author
Xavier Kawula has 20+ years footwear experience. He currently serves as Honeywell’s liaison for innovation,
as well as product manager for Honeywell’s Work and Hunt offerings. Prior to Honeywell he was a product
manager at Timberland Boot Company and Timberland PRO.
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com24
equipment solution
Compact Utility Loaders
versatile machines for the jobsite
ompact utility loaders (CULs) have been gaining
remarkable momentum in recent years, and rightfully so.
These powerful, durable, and versatile machines are a
hit in the compact equipment industry. With the CUL segment
gaining in popularity, this category has already started giving
compact track loader and skid steer loader manufacturers a run
for their money.
Contractors, both large and small, continue searching for
creative and effective ways to maximize their overall capital
equipment investments. We know that a CUL generally has
a smaller upfront investment than its rivals in the skid steer
loader and compact track loader classes. However, in addition to
offering you a bigger bang for your buck, do CULs also deliver
high-performing results on the jobsite?
In the past, contractors realized the benefit of the
smaller upfront investment with CULs; however, they were
a bit skeptical of how the CUL would perform on a typical
large-scale jobsite.
Luckily, with recent major technological enhancements from
popular CUL manufacturers like Toro, contractors are realizing
that CULs can lift as much or even more than entry-level skid
steer and track loaders. It’s evident that when you have a CUL,
you can take advantage of all the other benefits associated
with a smaller machine. Not to mention the lower upfront and
ongoing maintenance costs when compared with skid steers
or track loaders.
Numbers aside, in terms of performance, there are really
three main reasons that any contractor looking to minimize
operational costs should consider. First, compact utility loaders
can go places skid steer loaders and compact track loaders
cannot. Thanks to the compact footprint and lower overall
operating weight, the machine is both easier to transport and
typically nimbler and maneuverable on the jobsite.
Second, the fact that operators can mount and dismount
the machine easily is a feature that can be very attractive for
contractors and equipment operators. If a specific job requires
crew members to get in and out of a machine frequently, the
CUL class has the edge. Stepping off the platform is objectively
much simpler than climbing in and out of the cab of a machine.
Finally, a CUL offers superior visibility over a skid steer loader
or a compact track loader. Where the latter two classes of
equipment rely on mirrors and backup cameras, the compact
utility loader class requires the operator to simply turn their
heads for a panoramic, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
By Kyle Cartwright
There are also several innovative and intuitive features that
have been engineered into the CUL category. Here are a few of
the smart features that would make an excellent choice for any
contractor to include in their fleet: effortless controls, which
allow the operator to have all the controls of the machine on an
easy-to-navigate control panel at their fingertips; a high-drive
track system which mimics the design of many CTL models and
ensures that it can withstand the demanding conditions of a
construction site; and comparative height and reach statistics
when compared to entry-level SSLs and CTLs.
And, they’re getting more powerful and innovative. For
example, in February 2019, Toro introduced the Dingo TXL 2000,
which harnesses all the benefits of a compact utility loader
with an outstanding rated operating capacity of 2,000 pounds
and telescoping loader arms. They’re also getting smarter.
The next generation of CULs is also starting to feature electric
compact equipment, with the introduction of the world’s first
revolutionary electric Dingo—the Toro
e-Dingo™ 500 compact
utility loader. With an operating capacity of 515 pounds, the
e-Dingo allows contractors to utilize all the benefits and power
of a standard compact utility loader with no fuel costs and zero
exhaust emissions. Higher efficiency and reliable performance
set the e-Dingo apart for faster completion times and higher
ROI for rental partners. It’s also powered by lithium-ion battery
technology designed for tasks that require heavy or continuous
operation for indoor applications. Now that electric-powered
equipment has found its way into the CUL category, contractors
could anticipate even more popularity with CULs. After all,
people do enjoy using machines that are lighter, quicker, high-
performing, and sustainable—factors they can expect to find in
CULs, specifically in electric-powered CULs.
When you break it all down, CULs are an outstanding alternative
to the two other equipment classes. They now have the power
to rival their larger equipment counterparts and the intelligently
engineered features to make the compact utility loader not only
a legitimate option, but potentially a superior option on the
jobsite for light-, mid-, and heavy-duty applications alike.
about the author
Kyle Cartwright is the marketing manager at Toro, a leading worldwide
provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf
and landscape maintenance, snow management, rental and construction
equipment, and irrigation solutions. For more, visit
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MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com28
environmental solution
he tornadoes that tragically
ravaged the southern U.S. recently
underscore the reality that natural
disasters can strike at any moment.
Ongoing construction projects are
particularly vulnerable to natural disasters
and catastrophic weather events. Owners of
construction projects and their contractors
should have an effective disaster recovery
plan in place that contemplates legal and
insurance issues related to extreme or
catastrophic weather events.
When drafting recovery plans, project
owners and contractors have numerous
insurance-related questions to consider
including whether the project owner has
coverage for flood damage, for example
through the National Flood Insurance
Program, and/or for windstorm damage.
Project owners and contractors should
review all property, casualty, builders
risk, and other policies and determine
the availability and scope of insurance
coverage; identify the causes of all
potentially covered property damage,
for example whether damage was
caused by wind-driven rain, wind, storm
surge, a breakdown of flood protection
systems, and/or flooding from rain;
and identify issues that may affect a
policyholder’s ability to collect on a
claim. The policyholder will likely need
to review how the policies define key
terms such as “flood” and “wind” to
determine whether the policy language is
broad enough to cover potential property
damage caused by these elements.
Other considerations should include
whether builders risk policies are in place
that will cover natural disasters; whether
policies cover any expected business
interruption losses caused by delays,
or “contingent” business interruption
losses, which are losses suffered
because a supplier or subcontractor
was delayed; and, if a disaster occurs,
how project participants will collect
and preserve materials necessary to
substantiate claims.
In addition, companies should
be prepared to determine, after a
catastrophic weather event, whether
it is necessary to engage a forensic
accountant or other consultant—the cost
of whose services may be covered in
a policy—because specific specialized
information may be needed to develop a
claim for business interruption or other
types of loss. Project participants must
also know how to comply with notice
requirements of the relevant policies—
which is generally a mandatory condition
precedent to a claim—and provide timely
notice to all carriers whose policies
potentially provide coverage.
Project participants should also
understand their contractual rights and
obligations in the event of a severe
weather event including, for example,
those related to increases to costs of
work, termination, delays, and claim
submission requirements.
Delays and Increased Costs: Delays
caused by severe weather events are
treated in many construction contracts
as “excusable delays,” i.e., the
contractor is entitled to additional time
to complete the work but not additional
compensation. Delays are generally
compensable only if they would not have
occurred but for the action or inaction
of the owner, or where the delays arose
Disaster Recovery Plan
recovering your construction project after a natural disaster
By Daniel A. Kapner, Esq. MAY 2020
as a result of a condition that the owner
was originally responsible for, such
as differing site conditions. However,
some contracts do contain provisions
expressly addressing extreme or
catastrophic weather events, so project
participants should carefully review
the particular terms of the agreement.
Project participants should also analyze
the terms of the contract to determine
the contractors’ entitlement to increased
costs arising from natural disasters such
as the costs of cleanup, correcting and/or
replacing damaged work, and increases
in the cost of construction materials,
and determine whether further insurance
coverage is necessary to protect against
the risk of incurring such costs.
Claim submission requirements:
Most construction contracts require
the submission of claims and notice of
claims within mandatory established time
periods. Because many jurisdictions strictly
enforce such provisions, it is critical that
project participants strictly comply with
the procedure for asserting claims and all
associated notice requirements. Parties
should also ensure that claim notices are
properly submitted to sureties, if applicable.
Termination: Whether a contractor is
contractually entitled to terminate a
contract is complicated and depends on
the particular terms of the agreement.
Even if a project has become
significantly delayed, the contractor may
be responsible for a substantial increase
in costs. If it appears unlikely that the
project is able to achieve completion
due to a natural disaster, the contractor
should not assume that it is contractually
entitled to or advisable to terminate. If
a contractor is considering termination,
they should exercise the utmost care and
caution because terminating a contract
regularly leads to disputes.
Project owners and contractors must
carefully review their construction
contracts in preparation for an extreme
weather event and understand their
rights and responsibilities, so they are
best equipped to get the project back on
track if a natural disaster were to occur.
about the author
Daniel A. Kapner, Esq. ( is a member of Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram’s
trial practice, construction law, and power and energy construction groups, where he advises local, regional,
and national clients in various sectors of the construction industry on contract and commercial disputes,
mechanics lien claims, construction defect claims, design errors and omissions, real estate and property
disputes, and contract drafting. Contact him at 202.689.1900 or
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com30
management solution
o, you have to work with a Baby
Boomer or two? Ever notice
they are different from the
other Generations, like Gen X or Gen Y
(Millennials)? Well, the reason they seem
different is because they are.
Let’s explore the Baby Boomer. I am
offering my unique firsthand perspective
because I have been one all my life.
Although I started working part time after
school at the age of 12, it wasn’t until I
was 16 years old that I started paying in
on Social Security, meaning I have over
five decades in the workforce.
It might help to define exactly who
qualifies as a Baby Boomer. Technically,
it is an individual born between 1946
and 1964—that makes up 20 percent
of all Americans.
The origins of the Baby Boomers
began after the end of World War II,
when birth rates across the world
increased sharply. The explosion of
new infants became known as the Baby
Boom. During this period, almost 77
million babies were born in the United
States alone, making up almost 40
percent of the American population.
According to an AARP bulletin, Baby
Boomers spend roughly $7 trillion
per year on goods and services. And
even though we are getting older (the
youngest Baby Boomer would be in their
late 50s in 2020), we continue to possess
considerable corporate and economic
influence. In fact, 80 percent of the
country’s personal net worth belongs to
Baby Boomers.
America’s post-World War II
prosperity provided well for the previous
generation, the Greatest Generation.
Many had company-funded pensions.
For example, according to the Social
Security Administration, 90 percent of
retirees today receive Social Security
benefits, in contrast with only 69 percent
of retirees in 1962. They also benefited
from a workforce in which there were
six employees for every retiree. Plenty
of people in that generation were able to
retire at the official age of 65 and many
even younger.
Another significant change from then
to now is that a large portion of the
72 million remaining American Baby
Boomers will actually live 10 to 25
years longer than our parents did.
That means those folks retiring in
their 60s can expect to live about
25 years beyond retirement, thanks
to healthier lifestyles and improved
healthcare systems.
But most companies did away with
pension plans in lieu of the 401K
plan. Because Boomers were the first
generation to encounter these changes,
a majority of the them didn’t start
saving enough or early enough, with
many procrastinating.
Those Darn Boomers
the baby boomers’ impact on the economy
By Preston Ingalls
PART 1 OF 2 MAY 2020
In addition to most not saving enough
money, Baby Boomers experienced the
Great Recession in the late 2000s at a
crucial time for their retirement savings.
The meltdown of 2008 in the mortgage
industry and the subsequent stock
market crash left many Baby Boomers
struggling with their retirement savings.
Many lost their jobs and subsequently
turned to borrowing against the equity
in their homes as a solution, which put
them further in the hole. Countless
Boomers were frightened by the crash
and missed the rebound.
Here is the bad news … research by the
Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) showed
that 45 percent of Baby Boomers have
no retirement savings. Only 55 percent
of Baby Boomers have some retirement
savings and, of those, 28 percent
have less than $100,000, which will
be totally inadequate to fund the 10 to
25 years of projected retirement. This
appears especially troubling when you
consider that, based on information
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
adults between ages 65 and 74 spend,
on average, $48,885 a year. This means
many will depend on Social Security for
those retirement years. However, the
average Social Security benefit of $1,503
per month for 2020, according to the
AARP, is less than half the average wage,
which is approximately $3,668, according
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Current events will create even more
stress. With an uncertain future, Baby
Boomers could face difficulty in returning
to the workforce due to employers
opting to hire cheaper, younger workers
and discouraging older, more highly
compensated workers from returning
to their jobs. And, many Boomers may
decide, “What the heck?” it’s time to go on
Social Security and Medicare ... that will
be a disaster.
As we can see, we depend on Boomers
returning, so let’s hope they do. The
economy needs it and so do they
(we). Now that you know the basics of
Boomers, get ready for part two of this
series in the next issue of MCS, which
will cover how to work with a Boomer.
Check out this article
on for
added commentary from
Bloomberg Opinion
about the author
Preston Ingalls is president and CEO of TBR
Strategies, LLC, a Raleigh, North Carolina-
based maintenance and reliability firm
specializing in the construction and oil and
gas industries. Preston can be reached at
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com32
hile the federal government
has not announced any
guidelines on construction
during the coronavirus pandemic,
many state and local governments
have issued their own regulations.
However, despite the fact most
states have implemented a “stay-at-
home” order excluding construction
workers, there’s no denying construction
projects are slowing down, on standby
mode, or completely shut down.
According to the Association for
General Contractors of America,
27 percent of construction firms reported
coronavirus-related layoffs. In addition,
the firms responding to the Association
survey that said they have been ordered
to stop or completely cancel projects by
their clients jumped to 55 percent.
The impact of the coronavirus
has forced many companies to work
remotely. Unfortunately, most project-
based companies, also known as Project
Businesses, are not equipped to do so. Of
course, it is understood that construction
work requires a hands-on approach;
however, that’s not to say there isn’t
a need be able to work and manage
projects remotely.
The fact is, Project Businesses are
not set up to take advantage of the
cloud. Unlike traditional business
industries where it’s much easier to apply
technology to standardized processes and
data in order to automate and accelerate
production, it’s not so easy with Project
Businesses with their unique products
and non-standard business practices.
Most Project Businesses operate within
a host of disparate tools and applications
to run their entire business (e.g., project
management, time and expense, project
accounting, ERP, and lots of spreadsheets).
In addition, they spend a lot of time,
money, and resources trying to manually
translate, consolidate, and validate large
amounts of project data from these
multiple solutions. On top of that, many
of these applications are not cloud-ready,
meaning they may not be accessible
remotely, or the applications and files
could be sitting on someone’s desktop,
inaccessible from the rest of the company.
And while this fragmented setup
means these companies have no way to
integrate, share, and present that data in
these remote working conditions, it also
means project managers and executives
do not have real-time visibility into the
status of their projects. This disparate
landscape leads to mistakes and delays,
which can cause important business
decisions to be made based on
outdated and unreliable information.
What should construction
companies do now?
Where do you start and how should
you move to the cloud? If you replicate
your fragmented environment in the
cloud, you’ll have the same problem,
just in a different place. Construction
companies need to rethink their cloud
strategy. To benefit from the cloud, you
need to consolidate your multiple point
solutions into one, end-to-end cloud
system. This approach maximizes the
value of the cloud not only by reducing
overhead costs to manage individual
applications, but you can eliminate
them altogether.
Moving to the cloud represents an
opportunity for construction companies
to unify their organization by
integrating all the project functionality
normally managed in disparate
applications into one, end-to-end
Project Business system. This is a
new concept called Project Business
Automation (PBA).
Project Businesses
adopting a cloud strategy is key during and after pandemic
By Daniel Bévort
management solution MAY 2020
PBA standardizes, integrates, and
automates all Project Business processes
and data. With this structure, PBA
can produce time-phased operational
and financial threshold data, giving
construction companies the ability to run
their projects with real-time visibility and
control over processes, costs, and risks.
This will allow project managers and
executives to determine if any projects
are running late or over budget and can
mean the difference between low and
high profitability. Let’s face it, being able
to anticipate and respond to changing
market conditions can make and save you
a lot of money.
Implementing a project-based cloud
solution not only creates the data structure
necessary to operate like a well-oiled
machine, but enables your employees to
collect, share, and analyze the right data,
at the right time. When your project plan
is the central entity against which a host
of other operational activities are planned
and managed, you need to make it central
to your business system strategy. With this
approach, you will be able to make better
business decisions faster and improve the
overall productivity of your company.
By the time we get through this
pandemic and on the other side, the way
we do business will never be the same,
and the reboot to normalcy will demand
more than business as usual. Project
Businesses need to prepare now. Take
this time as an opportunity to restructure
your organization and data processes
in a way that allows you to efficiently
and effectively work, collaborate, and
manage your projects in times of crisis
now and in the future.
The temporary pause forced upon
us by COVID-19 presents a narrow, but
unprecedented opportunity to make bold
moves. In good times when business
is humming along, making the move to
an integrated cloud system might be
seen as disruptive and put on the back
burner. Now companies have the chance
to make that move quickly and set
themselves up for success on the other
side of this.
about the author
Daniel Bévort is the founder and CEO of
Adeaca, a specialized Microsoft industry
partner focused primarily on the development
of new business processes and systems
for project-based companies. For more, visit
Editor’s Note: What has your
experience been using an integrated
cloud-based system? If not currently
using a software solution, do
you have plans to update your
operational technology? Email me at
Look for answers to this question and
more in the next issue of MCS.
f you’ve followed the predictions of
construction industry technologists
over the last decade you could be
forgiven for skepticism about the
current hype. Similar to Chicken Little’s
warning about the falling sky in the
children’s fable (turns out it was just an
acorn), the promised mass reckoning
for industry laggards and Luddites has
not yet materialized. But just because a
prediction hasn’t come true yet doesn’t
mean it won’t. The growing demand for
built infrastructure and Silicon Valley’s
generous subsidization of innovation
seem to indicate that the construction
industry will soon reach its tipping point.
Another key driver for this change will
be a critical mass of savvy owners
implementing new approaches to
planning, procuring, building, and
operating their built assets. The
incremental efficiency gains within
siloed project stakeholder groups will
compound and then accelerate, as clients
increasingly require a more integrated
design and construction supply chain.
What will this digital transformation look
like for the construction industry? The
results of this will look a lot like the future
the technologists have been promising.
Construction tech insiders are seeing
a number of trends that will soon pose
real risks to unprepared firms. Miners
would bring canaries to work to warn
them if they needed to evacuate when
conditions became unsafe (they warned
them by dying).
Here are three canaries to watch and
how to prepare for their eventual demise.
The construction industry skews
disproportionately older, and we will
soon feel the impact of lost technical
expertise as the Baby Boomer generation
retires. Additionally, young people
are increasingly picking professions
in different industries, depriving the
industry of new blood. Companies
should be prepared to adjust to a
new reality in which expertise is
increasingly scarce and distributed. A
critical success factor will be the ability
to leverage technology to capture
knowledge that until now existed in the
brains of the most seasoned workers,
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com36
software solution
Digital Transformation
three ways digitization could change the construction industry
By Sean Olcott and Scott Unger
and to implement systems that can
automate the application of it. Another
factor will be the ability to leverage
new technologies to scale operational
processes and best practices, so that
companies can still grow even with a
shrinking talent pool.
Owners are adopting project delivery
methods that better align team
incentives and facilitate improved
collaboration, such as Design Build,
Construction Manager at Risk, Design
Assist, and Integrated Project Delivery.
Many of the features of a successful
design-bid-build engagement for an
individual operator in the supply chain—
the hoarding of information, the allergy
to risk, the change order—cannot be
maintained in a contracting method
where project success is defined by the
absence of those features. A key enabler
for these delivery methods are modern
systems that leverage the cloud, are
flexible enough to accommodate unique
user requirements, and are predisposed
towards integration. Companies must
embrace these systems and the
transparency it brings to projects, or will
increasingly find itself on the outside
of these new contracting approaches
favored by its clients.
As processes go digital and project
teams become more integrated, the
industry will see increased scrutiny of
what activities add value to the design
and construction process. This will not
just touch the more easily automated
administrative and oversight activities on
projects, it will even impact professional
services resources who must justify
pricing paradigms based on old ways
of doing business. As owners begin to
recognize the possibilities of greater
visibility and more control of their project
delivery supply chain, organizations will
need to adopt Lean principles and be
prepared to reevaluate how they should
be compensated for their work.
When the Dutch sailors arrived on
Mauritius in the late 16th century, they
weren’t the first humans the Dodo Birds
had ever encountered—but they were
the ones that drove them to extinction.
There are real reasons to believe we are
approaching the long promised digital
transformation of the construction
industry. Firms that will thrive in today’s
economy and the coming years will be
the ones able to not only spot the risk,
but to seize the opportunity it presents. It
will be these companies that succeed.
about the authors
Sean Olcott, technical director at Gafcon (, has been at the bleeding edge of industry
innovation since 2006. Prior to joining Gafcon in 2013, Sean worked at industry start-ups that brought
emerging solutions to the market for Building Information Modeling, business process outsourcing,
managed service cloud platforms, and digital twin technologies. At Gafcon, he helps project owners make
sense of the expanding alphabet soup of industry technology acronyms (PMIS, VDC, BI, EDMS, CMMS,
BI, IoT, UAV, AR, VR, and more!) to design and implement solutions that enhance collaboration, drive
accountability, and increase predictability on their capital building programs and projects.
Scott Unger is the co-founder and CEO of Kahua (, the creator of the world’s only
collaborative network for real estate and construction project management. He helps the world’s leading
owners, contractors, architects, and engineers to profitably deliver the highest performance capital projects
at the lowest possible cost. Prior to Kahua, Scott was co-founder, president, and CEO of Constructware, the
first cloud-based SaaS project controls solution. Constructware was acquired by Autodesk in 2006, and he
served on the Autodesk executive team following the acquisition. Scott has served as chairman of the Board
of Directors for Associated Builders and Contractors.
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com38
ising material and labor costs,
coupled with an increasingly
competitive landscape, means
tight margins for construction firms and
little room for error when it comes to
delivering construction projects. A 2020
Deloitte Engineering and Construction
Industry Outlook report noted that most
engineering and construction firms
“continue to experience low profitability
and margins … The industry’s
low margins, combined with increasing
project complexity, fierce competition
from Asian companies, and supply chain
constraints, will likely continue to put
pressure on US companies’ profitability
in 2020.”
In this environment, many construction
firms are struggling to grow and achieve
business goals. Leveraging technology in
project design, building, and managing
can help firms remain competitive and
improve profitability.
A design-assist approach, which
brings together key construction team
stakeholders with design professionals
early in the design phase, is a collaborative
approach that helps address complexity
in construction projects. Advances
in technology are helping facilitate
this approach connecting architects,
contractors, engineers, and key
subcontractors to develop a shared
understanding of
the project early in the
process. This can help
make projects more
profitable by minimizing RFIs and change
orders, saving time and money.
The time it takes to manage
and answer
RFIs can be costly. A higher quantity of
RFIs to answer is not necessarily the core
problem on its own, but a lack of proper
tracking and communication can heighten
risk and cause issues.
Firms are using cloud-based
software to break down
the communication silos that add time
and cost to RFI responses and wreak
havoc with project timelines. Cloud-
based project management technology
streamlines communication and provides
anytime, anywhere access to project
information. An added benefit of the
technology is real-time information
which keeps all project stakeholders on
the same page and the project on-track.
The way firms execute projects has a
major impact on profitability. Productivity
and jobsite efficiency are key drivers for
controlling costs and keeping a project
on schedule. Factors such as scheduling
mishaps, supply chain issues, and rework
can derail productivity and decrease
profit margins.
A report released by FMI and Plangrid
revealed that construction professionals
spend 35 percent of their time on non-
optimal activities, such as, looking for
project information and data, conflict
resolution, and dealing with mistakes
and rework. This non-optimal activity
accounts for $177.5 billion in labor costs
per year in the U.S. alone.
Rework, in particular, is one of the
issues which has a major impact on
project profitability. The same report
estimated that $31.3 billion of rework
in the U.S. in 2018 was caused by poor
data and
Construction project management
platforms can reduce rework by connecting
cross-functional and distributed teams
ensuring a “single source” of truth with
a central repository of the most accurate
and up-to-date information on project
drawings, markups, RFIs, and change
orders. This streamlines communication
and improves productivity and workflows,
minimizing rework, which is often
considered one of the most inefficient
activities on a construction site.
The boost in productivity, efficiency,
resource, and time savings that result
from reducing the incidence of rework
translates to more profitable projects.
To protect the profitability of projects,
construction firms need to stay on
top of risk management. This involves
tracking all of the resources, assets,
and activities that impact productivity.
Managing financial resources is
foundational to achieving better
profitability. This process starts with
Leveraging Technology
remaining competitive to improve profitability
By Frederic Guitton
software solution
creating detailed, accurate estimates that factor in the real costs
associated with overhead, risk, and job costs.
Technology that simplifies estimating and integrates accounting
into project management can help construction firms accurately
assess how job progress and profitability stack up against real-
time revenue recognition—the barometer for measuring job
profitability, cash flow, and working capital efficiency.
Project management platforms further help firms mitigate risk
through document management. The complexity of construction
projects generates thousands of documents firms must track
through the lifecycle of a project. Proper documentation
and collection
can help construction firms more quickly settle
disputes that can adversely impact profitability.
Disputes and litigation are costly. According to the 2019
Arcadis Global Construction Disputes Report, during 2018 in
North America alone, the average dispute cost $16.3 million and
lasted more than 15 months. The report noted that “projects fail
because they are unable to adequately manage uncertainty and
expectations. The plans are either too optimistic (i.e., the budget
and schedule are based on the wrong assumptions), or external
events and risks impact the plan’s objectives, often giving rise to
construction claims and disputes.”
Cloud-based technology provides access to updated real-time
information from the office to the field or anywhere in between.
Centralizing document management and tracking can help firms
easily access information to avoid disputes and litigation and
protect project profitability.
Visibility into project data provided by project management
technology can also help manage risk. Deloitte’s 2020 Engineering
and Construction Industry Outlook Report highlighted the
importance of digital technology and real-time
data for helping
“project managers make better-informed decisions around
scheduling labor and materials and this type of
project monitoring
is moving beyond documenting cost overruns and construction
delays to include more forward-looking insights.”
In an environment of increasing competition as well as labor
and material costs, project management technology can give
construction firms a competitive edge. Construction firms that
embrace the use of technology in all phases of projects can better
collaborate, execute, and manage projects from preconstruction
to closeout. This maximizes productivity and minimizes RFIs,
rework, and other risk factors to boost profitability. MAY 2020
about the author
Frédéric Guitton is chief strategy officer/chief marketing officer at RedTeam
Software. Frédéric works closely with financial and strategic partners,
identifying new partners, providing an excellent experience and great support
to existing clients. For more, visit
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com42
Delay Issues
a glimpse into construction setbacks due to global pandemic
By Christopher S. Drewry
ince March, the COVID-19
pandemic has wreaked havoc
on the United States and the
rest of the world. Beyond the obvious
health consequences and the changes
in peoples’ daily lives, the virus has also
crept into the world of construction.
Despite the fact that many (though
not all) states throughout the country
have deemed construction an essential
business and the ongoing work on
construction projects therefore has (for
the most part) continued, there are still
a variety of impacts on those jobs due to
the pandemic.
In addition to the health of and well-
being of the workers and the overall
there are widespread concerns
over potential delays and other impacts on
projects. Specifically, there are questions
of whether the COVID-19 pandemic gives
rise to excusable or even compensable
delays. The construction industry has been
facing myriad issues, including labor and
manpower shortages, disruption to supply
chains, material delays, resequencing of
work, issues relating to social distancing
requirements and other excessive or
stringent protocols, and even voluntary
withdrawal. Additionally, there are impacts
to productivities and efficiencies as
companies and jobsites have adapted to a
variety of requirements and protocols laid
out by OSHA, the CDC, and others.
It seems almost inevitable that there
will be some form of delay or labor
inefficiency on any given project.
Ultimately, this begs the question: Will
such claims be viable and, if so, who
will bear the burden of any cost and/
or schedule impacts? Many industry
experts have debated whether the
pandemic itself and/or any of the
resulting impacts will qualify as an
excusable delay or force majeure event.
At its core, “force majeure” is the
excusing of contractual performance as
a result of unforeseen circumstances.
Although many people associate
force majeure with “Acts of God,”
the application can vary significantly
depending on the wording of the contract.
In contracts, the purpose of an
“excusable delay” or “force majeure
clause” is to (1) allocate risk, and (2)
provide notice to the parties of events
that may suspend or excuse performance.
Many construction contracts will make
express reference to “Acts of God”
or utilize the broader language of
“circumstances beyond the control” of
the parties. Specifically, the American
Institute of Architects (AIA) A201 General
Conditions § 8.3.1 pertaining to Delays
and Extensions of Time states as follows:
“If the Contractor is delayed at any
time in the commencement or progress
of the Work by (1) an act or neglect of
the Owner or Architect, of an employee
of either, or of a Separate Contractor;
(2) by changes ordered in the Work, (3)
by labor disputes, fire, unusual delay
in deliveries, unavoidable casualties,
adverse weather conditions documented
in accordance with Section, or
other causes beyond the Contractor’s
legal solution MAY 2020
control, (4) by delay authorized by the
Owner pending mediation and binding
dispute resolution; or (5) by other causes
that the Contractor asserts, and the
Architect determines, justify delay, then
the Contract Time shall be extended for
such reasonable time as the Architect
may determine.”
Additionally, the ConsensusDocs 200
Standard Owner-Constructor Agreement
expressly refers to “epidemics” in its
excusable delay clause. Although inclusion
of the term “epidemic” or “pandemic” may
make the analysis more straightforward
under the ConsensusDocs, most parties
nevertheless will be left to argue whether
the COVID-19 pandemic fits within the
scope of their respective excusable delay
or force majeure clauses. On the one
hand, the overall COVID-19 pandemic and
the related social distancing measures
and shutdowns of non-essential business
would most likely fall within the broad
scope of these contracts’ force majeure
clauses. However, excusing non-
performance or delayed performance
resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
remains an issue. Stated differently, the
resulting events and impacts stemming
from the pandemic must be evaluated and
put under the contract microscope.
Regardless of the scope of clauses
like the AIA A201 or the ConsensusDocs,
the parties must look to their respective
contracts to determine whether only a
time extension is allowed, or whether
there are grounds for an adjustment to the
contract price. The contract may further
define (a) the types of costs recoverable;
(b) the burden or methodology needed
to establish, prove and document such
costs; and (c) notice, timing, and formal
submission of claim requirements
associated with pursuing any time
extension or contract price adjustment.
This latter point regarding notice, timing
and submission is particularly important
as satisfying these claim requirements
in a contract is critical to preserving the
right to relief. Notwithstanding the issues
COVID-19 may present to office staff and
personnel, contractors must nevertheless
strictly conform with the timing and
procedural requirements to successfully
preserve a claim.
Typically, notice for any delay events—
including force majeure or other delays
which are claimed to be associated
with COVID-19—involves a multi-step
process beginning with the initial notice
requirements tied to the impact event
followed by subsequent requirements
to quantify costs as well as a “formal
claim” submission. Additionally, for
claimed ongoing delays, the contract
may require periodic updates as costs
continue to accrue. Finally, the form of
claim submission (i.e., submission by
mail or electronically, the identification of
recipients, etc.) must still be followed.
Regarding “traditional” claim
notices—that is, those not pertaining to
COVID-19—some courts have sounded a
clear warning: Only by compliance with
the notice requirements of the contract
documents can a contractor help ensure
that if (and when) delays are encountered
it can secure monetary as well as
schedule relief. Even in those jurisdictions
which take a more equitable approach,
it is still important to meet the express
contractual notice requirements to protect
against an owner’s arguments of lack of
actual knowledge and prejudice by the
noncompliance. In the end, a contractor
who fails to satisfy the contractual notice
requirements runs the risk of forfeiting its
entitlement to delay damages and/or time
extensions. This remains true on those
claims resulting from COVID-19 impacts
on a project.
In the end, this pandemic is unchartered
territory so it is not entirely clear how
courts and arbitrators may come down
on the specific issues which COVID-19
presents. Under some states’ laws,
claims that non-performance or delayed
performance of a contractual duty should
be excused under a force majeure theory
are largely evaluated on a case-by-case
basis. The first and most important issue
for courts to consider is the specific
language of the contract, as the scope and
effect of a force majeure clause or other
excusable delay provision will depend on
the specific contract language as opposed
to traditional definitions. Ultimately, we
are left with the harsh reality that delays
associated with the COVID-19 pandemic
will be extremely case specific based on
the project, the contracts involved, and
the underlying facts.
about the author
Christopher S. Drewry is a partner with the
law firm of Drewry Simmons Vornehm,
LLP, in Indiana ( He
focuses his practice on construction law and
litigation, as well as labor and employment
law and litigation. He is also a member
of the Construction Law and Litigation
Committee of the International Association
of Defense Counsel. He can be reached at
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com44
technology solution
art one of this article introduced
thermal bridging and its
consequences; part two discussed
the options to address thermal bridging.
In part three of this series, examples of
steel buildings constructed using thermal
breaks are presented.
Life Sciences Lab Building at the
University of Massachusetts: The
University sought to reduce thermal
energy loss due to thermal bridging
where 40 steel cantilevers that support
a canopy above an external walkway
penetrate the building envelope. Isokorb
Type S thermal breaks were installed
at each penetration point, providing
continuous insulation and reducing heat
loss by approximately 50 percent at
those points.
The use of thermal breraks—plus
the deployment of energy efficient
plumbing, chillers, ventilation, and
lighting systems—enabled the University
to save approximately $300,000 a year
in energy costs and achieve LEED
Gold certification. Preventing thermal
bridging also protects the structure
from condensation and rust damage and
eliminated conditions that could cause
mold growth, which might adversely
affect the health of building occupants.
National Museum of African American
History and Culture, Washington, D.C.:
The Museum houses priceless artifacts
that must be protected from interior
condensation. At the same time, the
Museum must provide a comfortable
interior for visitors and staff in an energy
efficient manner.
Doing so involved insulating the building
envelope where support structures for
rooftop chillers penetrate the envelope and
could lead to heat loss and condensation
on interior surfaces. An additional design
change called for swapping out a chilled
water connection with rooftop cooling
towers, leaving an area of the rooftop
unprotected and subject to a substantial
thermal bridge directly over exhibit space.
Isokorb Type S load-bearing thermal
breaks were installed to insulate and
support the cooling tower columns where
they penetrated the building rooftop.
The thermal breaks prevented conditions
that could lead to condensation and
mold growth, and helped the Museum
reduce energy loss by 50 percent at each
penetration point and maintain humidity
levels to protect the artifacts inside.
Addressing thermal bridges will improve
insulation efficiency so large amounts of
heat energy will not continue to escape
the building.
Thermal Bridging
insulating penetrations through envelopes of steel buildings
for more information
For more about Schöck North America and
thermal bridging, visit
The UMass Life Sciences Lab features a 300-plus foot elevated walkway along the building’s façade. An overhead glass canopy supported
by 40 steel beams protects passers from the elements. Structural thermal breaks at each point of penetration insulate the building interior.
The museum features four thermal breaks at each of four steel rooftop penetrations per cooling tower preventing thermal bridging between
exterior and interior environments while supporting loads.
Photo courtesy SmithGroupJJR.
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com46
technology solution
ission-critical facilities realize
that batteries provide a
trustworthily, Uninterruptible
Power Supply (UPS) to augment the grid
during outages. However, this option
has not always been available, as until
relatively recently batteries were not a
cost-effective means to hedge against
the grid’s instability. Improvements in
lithium-ion technology and scalability
have transformed storage into a notable
option for utilities, burning coal, natural
gas, or diesel fuel.
Today, batteries are a cost-effective,
economic alternative to backup diesel
generators, due to technological
advancements in management software,
coupled with the fact that they require
minimal maintenance and are friendlier to
the environment.
Although batteries decrease
greenhouse gases and don’t need tank
loads of diesel fuel—which are difficult
to get following a natural disaster—the
main reason for selecting them is simple
economics—they are cheaper to operate
compared to generators.
They are a far superior option compared
to peaker plants, which are incredibly
expensive for utilities to maintain and
operate. Peaker plants also create an
enormous amount of greenhouse gases
in addition to particulate pollution, often
in the heart of urban neighborhoods. In
addition, batteries require no spool-up
time, as opposed to large peaker plants,
as they can start supplying power in
seconds when needed. Add to that the
ability to recycle them at end of life (as
opposed to dealing with the ground
contamination common to underground
fuel tanks, potential fuel leaks, etc.) and
the economics become fairly stark.
There are multiple viable battery options
on the market today, such as NextEra
Energy and BYD that utility-grade project
developers can consider. Perhaps the most
impressive battery options to date come
from Tesla. The company has already
demonstrated its expertise by powering
the world’s largest lithium-ion battery
installation in Hornsdale, South Australia,
using its Powerpack batteries—although
the power is being produced by the
wind. In its July 2019 blog, “Introducing
Megapack: Utility-Scale Energy Storage,”
the company boasts that Hornsdale
saved nearly $40 million in its first year
and helped to stabilize and balance the
region’s unreliable grid. Engineers were
all “charged up” by these results and went
on to produce the utility-scale Megapack,
which will ship from the factory fully
assembled and bring a payload of up to
3-megawatt hours (MWhs) of storage and
1.5 MW of inverter capacity.
In late March, Hawaiian Electric
announced the development of an 810
MWh installation at its Kahe Generating
Station on Oahu, adding to the
Megapack’s front-runner status. To put
things into perspective, it would have
over six times the energy capacity of the
Hornsdale project, and would currently
be the largest BESS in the world.
While the majority of the initial battery
energy storage system (BESS) projects
were standalone storage systems, we’re
now seeing a great many involving the
integration of solar power and battery
storage. This pairing has become popular
because solar panel prices continue
to drop, and there are sophisticated
software control systems that add a
great deal of flexibility for developing
more resilient, smart energy grids.
Even though many companies are
considering utility-scale battery and
Battery UPS
alternative energy sources provide power
By Abbot Moffat
technology solution
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com48
Healthcare Construction
the role of single source technology integrators
oday, there is significant increase
in the number of hospitals, clinics,
and outpatient centers that are
being built or remodeled across the
country, in part due to the rise in demand
for healthcare from an aging population
and more access to health insurance.
To accommodate this rapid growth,
however, requires a sophisticated level
of technology integration that goes
beyond brick-and-mortar construction to
the design and installation of
communications, electronic record-keeping,
and patient/staff security systems.
As a result, the healthcare industry is
increasingly turning to single source
technology integrators during the
earliest phases of construction, that can
design, install, and manage an integrated
package of systems while coordinating
with other more traditional aspects
of construction.
Integration, defined on
as “an act or instance of combining into an
integral whole,” can be a somewhat vague
concept because the combination of parts
can be unending, while each individual
solution is specific to the application.
What is known is that the best
integrators are those that have an
extensive knowledge of the available
products and component parts of any
system and are able to connect them
together in a manner that extracts
significant added value. In other words,
the “whole” [a properly integrated
system] should be much greater than the
sum of its parts.
In healthcare, with new construction
booming “integration” has taken on new
meanings as well.
To start, technology integration in
new hospital, medical group, or clinic
construction now encompasses an
array of options from network IT and
Wi-Fi access points, to access control
systems, physical security cameras,
alarms, VoIP phones, nurse call systems,
and environmental and temperature
monitoring—to name a few.
Then there is integration of effort and
coordination with other aspects of new
construction when installing such systems.
Technology integration, it turns out, is not
covered under the umbrella of the general
contractor. That means technology
integrators, often hired by building
owners, must coordinate and integrate
their efforts with the general contractor
and associated plumbers, electricians,
drywall installers, painters, and other
tradesmen in a side-by-side effort.
In addition, technology integrators
often coordinate with healthcare company
personnel tasked with overseeing specific
aspects of the installation, whether
environmental control managers, IT staff,
or physical security experts.
In short, any integration—if not properly
coordinated, scheduled, and executed
with accommodations for last minute
changes, etc.—can be a nightmare for
those responsible for managing the
overall effort and all the contractors.
To avoid this scenario, healthcare
companies are turning to single source
companies that not only can handle the
full array of technologies, but can do so
down to the installation of the low voltage
wiring, cabling, conduit trays, wireless
antennas, hubs, electronic equipment
racks, and even the locks on the exit doors.
“By working with a single source
technology provider that offers a
menu of technology offerings, there
is an advantage of having a single
point of contact for overall system
design, installation, management, and
support,” says Eric Brackett, president
of BTI Communications Group, a
technology convergence provider
serving the healthcare, logistics, and
aerospace sectors. MAY 2020
Brackett adds that this can save healthcare organizations
significant time and money in technology consultation, along
with saving “a lot of aggravation and headaches” related to
managing construction staff.
Traditionally, voice, data, network, and physical security system
purchases have been made independently. Security cameras
and access control systems, for example, are implemented by
security integrators, while VoIP phone systems are installed
by telecom providers. In this approach, each vendor offers a
proprietary solution with little consideration as to how it will be
converged with other aspects of the network.
However, integration of these applications during new
construction or remodeling can offer immediate significant
revenue, security, and savings to a healthcare organization’s
bottom line, says Brackett.
“If you go to a traditional vendor in commercial security, VoIP
or even IT, they may try to interest you in products that are
currently promoted,” says Brackett. “It might not end up being
a fully operational solution to the business problem they are
attempting to solve.”
“Some vendors may not comprehend the full integration
potential and so are not able to go the extra mile to deliver
advanced functional capabilities that are built into the system,”
adds Brackett.
As an example, an access control system can be integrated
with the HR database to coordinate changes in employee status
such as termination, to automatically activate or deactivate
an employee keycard. If that same employee has remote
access to the security cameras, the network can disable the
account immediately.
It is important to note also that the role of the technology
integrator does not end once the system is installed. Proactive
monitoring should be employed, so that the system actively
oversees technology performance to identify anomalies
even before a malfunction occurs. Problems are addressed
proactively often without the customer even knowing about it.
When site visits are required, the monitoring system dispatches
an engineer without interrupting the customer.
Read about managing costs in this
article on
for more information
For more about BTI Communications Group, visit MAY 2020
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com52
ue to COVID-19, health and safety
are the top motives for having
employees work remotely …
and health and safety will be the driving
factors for the employee’s eventual
return to the office.
Ware Malcomb’s 2020 Return to
the Office research project explored
employee’s motivations and behaviors
as they worked remotely. The research
affirmed that employees will be
emboldened to push back on returning
to the workplace until they feel it is safe
to do so. As organizations begin planning
this transition back to the office, things
will be different. Significant attention
will be paid to “visible housekeeping”
that was once intentionally concealed.
Workstation areas will no longer
have the crowded cafe feel; rather,
they will be de-densified to maintain
social distancing.
Every organization’s return to the
office will be customized to their
circumstances, but each will have
a few commonalities:
Perception is reality and what
employees perceive is what they will
believe is happening
Transparency is essential for building
trust and managing misinformation
Common sense should prevail,
grounding decision making in
practical, sound judgement
The strategic and tactical planning
guidelines outlined below are
situationally dependent. Different
circumstances will require different
responses in planning for bringing
employees back to the office.
The level of
organizational communications
prevalent during the work from home
period will be maintained after employees
are allowed back into the office. Openly
advertising protocols for visitors, social
distancing, and housekeeping will
establish a sense of trust that employee’s
health and safety are top priorities. Things
will be different around the office post
COVID-19, and a robust training and
change communications program will
establish the “new normal.” Examples
of change management techniques
include establishing back-to-the-office
instructions for using the office space,
especially if it has been newly configured
for social distancing, and posting
or sharing
change communications documents, such as
“Frequently Asked Questions” postings,
and “Stay-Safe” etiquettes guides.
Safety protocols can be adapted in
various ways. Screening procedures for
employees, visitors, and contractors may
use the Infrared Fever Scan Systems
(IFss) or other health assessment
measures. Staggered work times/days,
or 4-day work weeks can reduce the
number of employees in the office at the
same time. Lunch and break times can
be scheduled or lengthened to minimize
occupant loads.
In addition to social distancing and
capping group sizes, centralizing trash and
Common Sense
returning to the office as states reopen
By Cynthia Milota
safety solution MAY 2020
recycling bins with frequent disposal can
slow disease transmission. A clean desk
policy devoid of employee memorabilia
will enable the nighttime cleaning crew to
thoroughly clean all desks.
In addition to the conventional hands-
free faucets and soap and paper towel
dispensers, no touch options can be
considered for doors, badge readers, and
garbage/recycling bins. The increased use
of virtual digital assistants for enterprise
applications is another consideration.
Employees may choose to wear
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
when returning to the workplace to
protect the transmission of germs
through contact and droplet routes.
PPEs include face masks, gloves, and
potentially goggles. Organizations may
also make these available to employees
for personal use outside the office as
an additional level of protection.
As the owner and leader of your
construction company, making sure all
areas of operation meet the health and
safety regulations and guidelines is an
essential task. Below are thoughts given
to a particular space to help with overall
return-to-work readiness.
Reception areas. If no formalized
visitor protocols or badge requirements
exist, consider controlling access to the
office via signage for phone-in entry.
Temporary plexiglass “sneeze guard”
screens can be installed at reception or
check-in points. Rearrange or take away
seating in the reception area to manage
social distancing. To maintain hygiene,
remove magazines, corporate swag or
pens from the reception space, and
keep the hand sanitizer dispensers in
plain view.
Workstation areas. To accommodate
6 feet of social distancing, start with a
floor plan indicating the workstations
to be occupied and determine your
maximum capacity per floor or wing.
Remove chairs or even monitors to
discourage unoccupied workstation use.
Seating should remain assigned until the
widespread threat of virus transmission
has diminished. Employees personal
items should be removed for thorough
nightly worksurface cleaning. Additional
concepts include installing higher
panels/shields between workstations or
repositioning workstations, so employees
do not face one another.
Collaboration areas. To satisfy
the 10-person maximum gathering
rule imposed by many states and
municipalities, remove extra conference
room chairs and install signage indicating
the maximum number of people allowed
in each conference, meeting, huddle, and
focus room. Use a portion of your largest
conference room for chair storage,
until the need for social distancing
has diminished.
Breakroom. The office coffee maker,
water dispenser, and fresh fruit snacks
will temporarily go by the wayside along
with the morning bagels and birthday
cake, until the threat of transmission
has diminished. However, pre-packed
twinkies would be safe.
Touchless hand sanitizers and disinfectant
wipes will become like exit signs;
employees can see them from every
vantage point. Maintaining adequate
stock will be challenging until the supply
chain has regulated production.
ncrease “during the day” housekeeping,
maintaining a visible presence so
employees see the efforts of the
organization to keep them healthy and safe.
Virtual meeting and collaboration
platforms will continue to keep the
people connected professionally and
personally. Encouraging virtual meeting
attendance even while in the office
may be recommended until the virus
transmission has curbed.
There are vast amounts of speculation
and misinformation surrounding the
Coronavirus, leading to anxiety and
uncertainty. The local, national, and
global impacts are monumental. The
eventual return to the workplace will
provide a sense of routine and the
beginnings of the new normal. In
planning that return, the considerations
can be overwhelming.
Dated January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine
wrote the pamphlet Common Sense to
the American colonists. He began with
this line: “In the following pages, I offer
nothing more than simple facts, plain
arguments, and common sense.”
As organizations navigate the
COVID-19 complexities, let common
sense be the guide.
about the author
Cynthia Milota is director, workplace
strategy, with Ware Malcomb, where she
is responsible for leading Ware Malcomb’s
workplace strategy practice in North America.
She partners with clients to formulate their
unique objectives: mindful of employee
experience and business objectives along
with wellness, social responsibility, talent
strategy, the workforce ecosystem, and
measures for success. For more, visit
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com54
safety solution
f you’ve been in the industry long
enough, you’ll notice a trend in the
average age of its code professionals.
A report released in 2014 by the
International Code Council (ICC) listed
the average age of the profession as
62 years of age with 85 percent of
inspectors and plan examiners above
45, and there is no question the average
age is even older today. We’ve also
seen this firsthand with older applicants
far out-numbering younger ones,
suggesting that younger workers are
not joining the profession. Even before
the pandemic, 80 percent of code
professionals were set to retire within
the next 15 years, and unless businesses
and building departments take action,
the current COVID-19 pandemic is likely
to accelerate this trend. At SAFEbuilt,
we’ve seen how the right technology can
enable an aging workforce to continue
working past average retirement age by
reducing the risk of illness, eliminating
the physical requirements for the job,
and improving quality of life through the
reduction of travel time.
While 93 percent of building departments
say they are still conducting inspections,
61 percent say they do not have the
capabilities to conduct remote or
electronic inspections. Given the average
age of inspectors and the disparate
impact COVID-19 has had on older
Americans, the fear of catching the virus
while on site is especially acute for this
group, and may push inspectors to retire
early, take a leave of absence, or to delay
or cancel inspections when possible. With
no end in sight to the pandemic and few
younger professionals to fill the ranks,
building departments and developers alike
are bracing for a potential slowdown in
permit approvals and inspections, thus
increasing project length and costs.
At SAFEbuilt, our number one priority
is safety through attention to detail in
applying the codes and standards we
review and enforce on a daily basis.
For almost 30 years, we have worked
with more than 1,100 communities
nationwide, as well as the nation’s top
five home builders, to come up with
new ways to perform plan reviews and
commercial or residential inspections
that consider the challenges that both
code officials and developers experience
in the field. With this current pandemic,
the industry has to ensure an older
workforce stays safe while not delaying
projects indefinitely. In Florida, we saw
how this played out firsthand. As a result
of stay-at-home-orders that affected our
workforce above the age of 65, many of
our projects could have been delayed
had our code officials not been able to
conduct remote plan reviews.
Remote inspections provide the best of
both worlds by giving older workers the
ability to inspect jobsites from a safe
location. An additional benefit is the
elimination of travel time to and from sites,
allowing inspectors to “visit” more jobs.
Virtual inspections connect the inspector
to the jobsite where they can tour and see
the work as the contractor walks the site
with a smart phone, tablet, or other video
streaming platform.
After testing and using this technology in
the field for more than 2 years with certified
project managers, inspectors, and plans
examiners, we have been able to determine
what inspection types it works for best.
Additionally, we are working with ICC to
ensure we continue to meet code standards.
By knowing what types of projects are
best suited to virtual inspections, we
are better able to protect our workforce
by dramatically limiting the number of
inspectors we send out to jobsites.
Digital plans submission is another
way we can leverage technology to
help expedite projects while keeping
By Joe DeRosa
a necessity to protect an aging workforce
Digital Tool Adoption MAY 2020
workers safe. As of now, 60 percent of
jurisdictions do not possess digital plan
submission capabilities. For traditional plan
submission, paper copies of plans must
be delivered to building departments at
city or town halls. This traditional system
can potentially endanger government
employees by drawing more people into
municipal buildings. Additionally, as studies
show the virus can live on paper for up to
5 days, anyone handling the plans is at risk
of getting sick. Many cities have mandated
a 5-day quarantine period for all physical
copies of building plans. Using digital tools
such as email, secure online portals, or
cloud-based file drops, you eliminate the
need to ship and handle paper, reducing
the risk of coming in contact with anything
or anyone who has the virus.
Digital plan reviews have an added
bonus of being more convenient by
saving a trip to the building department
while enabling the customer to submit
plans at any time of the day. They also
more easily comply with record retention
laws, allow plans to be easily stored and
searched, and promote collaboration
among departments. Once submitted,
digital plans can be routed to a qualified
inspector, thus reducing backlogs and
related delays. Speed is especially critical
now as a quarter of building departments
recently surveyed have reported seeing
an increase in plan submissions for
temporary occupancy and/or temporary
structures as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic. To help expand services to
fight the coronavirus pandemic, many
healthcare facilities have proposed putting
beds in alternative locations (like school
gymnasiums, hotels and conference
facilities, outpatient surgical centers) or
installing temporary structures in their
parking lots. It goes without saying that
the ability to inspect these new temporary
healthcare facilities virtually is critical
to ensure workers aren’t exposed to the
virus and the facilities are up to code.
Digital tools that enable projects like
these and help keep the code inspector
workforce safe, are especially crucial now
as cities think about how to address their
budget shortages at a time when they and
their workers are being asked to do more
with less. Through forward-thinking public
and private partnerships that leverage
digital tools and remote capabilities we
can help improve the efficiency of busy
building departments by helping them add
additional digital and remote capabilities
along with staff fluent in using them.
Through the use of digital tools, building
departments can ensure their workers
stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 by
reducing person-to-person contact and
thus they will be more likely to continue
working. Going forward, it is critical that
these digital tools get more widespread
adoption so that cities don’t
have to risk
the health of their inspector workforce.
These digital tools have many advantages
and will boost the efficiency of building
departments, which will be critical to
address the future shortage of experienced
code professionals. For cities with staffing
shortages or workers who are reluctant
to switch to digital code inspections or
plan reviews, private provider services like
SAFEbuilt can help cities keep workers
safe and projects
about the author
Joe DeRosa is the chief revenue officer of
SAFEbuilt. Joe and his team are responsible
for all aspects of revenue growth for
SAFEbuilt. Joe is a global sales and marketing
executive with experience in industries
including SaaS, FinTech, FinServ, Insurance,
Telecom, Manufacturing, and Industrial.
Founded in 1992, SAFEbuilt supports
municipal governments and public and private
corporations with community transformation
services, including expert and professional
community development, infrastructure,
and maintenance services to over 1,100
communities across 24 states. SAFEbuilt
offers customized solutions that are built to
fit its client’s development needs including
stabilizing budgets, maximizing efficiencies,
improving customer services, and adaptable
staffing. For more, visit
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com56
MAY 202058
maintenance solution
Seasonal Care
equipment maintenance for optimal performance and longevity
ou already realize the importance
of winterizing your construction
equipment before cold weather
hits in the winter. But did you know that
you should be taking similar measures
ahead of hot weather in the spring and
summer to ensure that your equipment
runs as efficiently as it can?
You’re probably thinking that you’ve
never taken any sort of “dewinterizing”
steps before and your equipment seems
to work just fine. Well, it’s true that you
can probably get by without prepping your
equipment for the summer. But by opting
not to take these steps, you’re decreasing
the life of your equipment, making it
more difficult—or even impossible—for
your equipment to operate at full capacity
and increasing the opportunity for small
issues to turn into larger ones.
Dewinterizing will protect your
equipment against hot temperatures,
it will improve your equipment’s ability
to perform when it’s hot and it will
extend the life of your equipment, which
increases the value you get from your
company’s investments.
If you’re not sure what you should be
doing to prepare your equipment for hot
weather, here are a few ways that you
can get started now.
This one seems like a no-brainer but
it’s one of the most important (and
most overlooked) steps to ensure your
equipment runs well in all weather
conditions. If you have a mechanic at
your disposal then this should just be a
matter of staying on top of maintenance
scheduling and making sure it gets done.
You’ll also want to schedule time for your
equipment in the shop for bigger jobs or
if you don’t have a mechanic who goes
Even if you already have maintenance
scheduled and being performed
routinely, you should double check that
everything is being done properly since
it’s easy for construction mechanics
to get complacent about routine
work. Regular maintenance on heavy
equipment should include things like:
Oil checking/changing
Air filter checking/changing
Checking/changing other fluids
& lubricants (powertrain fluids,
grease, etc.)
Checking for broken parts
(lights, glass, etc.)
Checking for worn parts
(rubber tracks)
If you don’t have a great
budget or enough manpower to
do routine maintenance
as recommended
then you can also
encourage your
workers to check
the equipment
before, during, and after they use it.
Ideally, this is already happening, but in
many cases it doesn’t. Getting operators
on board will allow you to identify and
resolve issues more quickly, which can
have a major impact on the equipment’s
condition and lifespan.
When you operate your machinery
in cold weather, the impact is often
very noticeable. But believe it or not,
the heat can take a great toll on your
equipment as well.
When temperatures get really high, it
impacts how your equipment parts and
fluids work within the machine. One
example of this is that
your fluids may get
used up more MAY 2020
quickly and may even evaporate during usage. When your fluids
and lubricants get used up more quickly, it increases the risk of
damaging the equipment.
One way to protect against this happening is to look ahead
at which days of the week are supposed to be the hottest and
schedule work for your equipment on the cooler days, while
scheduling work without that equipment for the hotter days. You
can even use the hot days to get the equipment checked out for
regular maintenance.
If you’re unable to schedule your equipment to run on cooler
days, consider telling your workers to shut the equipment
down every now and then to give it a break. This will allow your
equipment to cool down and not get overworked.
Depending on the type of work you do, the number of jobs
you have going on, the size of your fleet and other factors, you
might use certain equipment during certain seasons.
If this is the case for you then you probably have equipment
sitting around all winter long and then when spring and summer
roll around you expect it to fire up as usual. But the longer your
equipment sits, the more difficult it will be to get it going again
when you need it.
Even worse, letting your equipment sit for long periods
without being checked or stored properly increases the chances
of it getting damaged or malfunctioning.
One easy step for proper off-season storage is to make sure
the equipment is clean when you stop using it. You can get by
with letting dirt, mud, and other debris hang around when you’re
using equipment daily (although you should really be cleaning it
every day) but letting debris pile up and sit for extended periods
of time is just asking for trouble. Other steps you can take to
safely store off-season equipment include:
Draining fluids
Shutting off fuel lines
Covering or storing indoors (out of sunlight) if possible
Store with hydraulic parts lowered
Refer to your equipment manual for more
The equipment you use makes up some of the largest
investments your company makes on an ongoing basis. You
can protect those investments and get the most from them by
properly preparing for hot and cold temperatures and by taking
care of the machinery when it’s idle.
for more information
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Featured on website! MAY 2020
n response to the immediate need
for disinfecting equipment, Mi-T-M
Corporation introduces two new
combination models that are not only
used to dispense disinfectant but can also
be used as a cold water pressure washer.
Dana Schrack, vice president for the
Peosta, Iowa manufacturer says long-
standing customers called looking for
help, “Our sales guys started getting
calls from customers with an urgent need
for equipment to help with disinfecting.
Within 2 weeks of those first calls, we
were shipping product.”
The Mi-T-M engineering team came up
with a redesign of an electric pressure
washer, currently being sold by Mi-T-M,
and developed it as a combination model.
According to Schrack, Mi-T-M then
teamed up with another Peosta company,
“We immediately contacted our hose
supplier, ProPulse, and they were able to
redesign an existing high pressure hose
to handle the disinfectant needed to
combat COVID-19. Working together we
were able to put equipment in the hands
of people who are helping businesses get
back to work.”
The electric combination 1400 psi cold
water pressure washer and 350 psi low
pressure dispensing mister is easy to
use and comes in either a hand carry or
portable model. Since it is a combination
model it can be used for all purpose
cleaning around the home or small
business and, in mister mode, used to
put disinfectant right where it’s needed.
Each unit includes a 36-inch lance and
trigger gun with quick connect nozzles
for pressure washing, a trigger gun with
misting nozzle and 75-foot x ¼-inch hose.
The high quality electric motor makes it
safe to use both inside and out.
Designed to be used with a
concentrated disinfectant mixture, you
can disinfect a multitude of surfaces
quickly and efficiently. Either model
works great on high contact areas inside
buildings, such as medical offices and
supply stores. The compact commercial
grade unit will quickly help to sanitize
break rooms and rest rooms. It can be
used in locker rooms and in gyms, on
weights, exercise equipment, and other
common spaces.
Mi-T-M has been highly respected in the
cleaning industry since 1971. In 2016,
Mi-T-M introduced an innovative all electric
hot water pressure washer perfect for
sanitizing food and beverage facilities.
Now, more than ever, the HAE Series of
hot water pressure washers is helping
businesses with their cleaning and
sanitizing needs.
The HAE Series is available in 2500
or 3000 psi and consists of two major
components. The high-quality belt-
driven pump and motor is protected
by a stainless-steel cabinet that resists
corrosion and rust.
The innovative heat exchanger cartridge
design provides consistent and efficient
on-demand hot water. The temperature will
rise 120 to 130 degrees above incoming
water temperature within 3 to 5 minutes, so
crews can get right to work.
To view videos of these
essential machines, visit
For more about Mi-T-M Corporation, visit For more about ProPulse,
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com62
featured product
Essential Equipment MAY 2020
modern construction products
CPG 250 and CPG 330 generators
include a John Deere 9-liter, 6-cylinder
Tier 4 Final diesel engine. The CPG
250, which has a rated prime power
of 250 kVA/200 kW, operates at 290
hp. With a rated prime power of 330
kVA/264 kW, the CPG 330 runs at 390
hp. Unit includes the standard dual
axle trailer or an optional skid mounted
unit with forklift pockets. An internal
385-gallon fuel tank runs for 34 hours
at 75 percent load on the CPG 250 and
26 hours at 75 percent load on the CPG
330. Both units are manufactured with
an emergency stop. For more, visit
Atlas Copco’s inverter power (iP) P 3500i
generators use advanced electronics and
magnets to ensure efficiency. An inverter
produces high-voltage, multi-phase AC
power. The AC power is converted to DC,
and then the DC power is inverted back
to clean, predictable AC power at the
required voltage and frequency. The P
3500i delivers 3.0 kVa. Incorporating fuel
tanks of 3 gallons, the P 3500i can run
for as long as 6 hours before refueling.
Despite their large fuel capacity, the
generators are compact and lightweight
— just 99 lbs — making it easy to move
them around sites. For more, visit
Inverter Power Generators
ICON engineers started with a ridged
8-inch X 8-inch X ½-inch box-beam
frame that offers enough under-frame
clearance to prevent trash buildup or
clogging. Thanks, in part, to its 11,500-
lb weight and large 36-inch by 12-mm
notched disc blades, the 6510 provides
up to 14 inches maximum penetration
depth to cut, level, and mix the soil
across the full 10 ft, 9-inch working
width. Featuring 17½-inch blade spacing
on both gangs, front blades are set
on a 20-degree angle, while the rear
gang features an 18-degree blade
angle for a level finish. For more, visit
ICON 6510
Construction Disc
The new OLFA SK-15 Disposable
Concealed-Blade Safety Knife protects
workers with an enclosed cutting
solution that doesn’t require blade
changing—when the blade gets dull,
simply throw the knife away and use a
new one. The SK-15 has an ultra-sharp
stainless-steel blade. The durable plastic
handle has blunt plastic piercing tips on
each blade end to grab materials and
initiate cutting while also encasing the
blade ends. Cuts materials up to 0.16-
inch thick. The large, oversized tethering
loop allows the tool to be hung from a
hook or tethered to a lanyard for safety.
For more, visit
Aluma Trailers are in for the long haul
The Purdy Pail (suggested MSRP
$13.49) is available at Sherwin-Williams
and features multiple grip options and
hands-free hanging. Add a pail hook
to the bail to allow the Purdy Pail to
hang on ladders within easy reach.
Purdy Pail is the perfect companion
for mini rollers up to 4½ inches with a
roller ramp, a helpful side rest, and an
interior molding that holds rollers out of
the paint. An integrated brush magnet
holds a brush and a mini roller on the
outside of the paint simultaneously.
Three-pack of liners sold separately
(suggested MSRP $6.99). For more,
Paint Bucket
Disposable Concealed-Blade
Safety Knife
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com64 MAY 2020
What do you see in the construction industry since mid-April and
now the beginning of May with regards to states beginning to open?
JON TATE: States such as Pennsylvania are permitting construction
to resume beyond projects that were deemed life-sustaining,
with many safety conditions spelled out, including procedures for
cleaning and disinfecting the worksite, employee health screening,
not sharing tools, mandatory masks or face coverings, and spatial
distancing of at least 6 feet. You’ll see pandemic safety officers being
appointed at worksites and limits on the number of workers who can
be on sites at once. Technology innovation such as contact tracing
could help contractors and crews as projects resume to help ensure
that workers are complying with social distancing guidelines.
What factors are affecting jobsites still in operation?
JON TATE: One of the most significant impacts include all the new
protocols, including staggered start times and breaks. There are
fewer people to help manage the work on site; project managers,
project engineers, and other office staff are working remote.
Contractors are moving to virtual new hire orientation and training
rather than in-person. Costs are likely increasing and schedules
extending. This slowing down of the process could potentially
enhance overall site safety and quality of work. However, there is
concern that many projects will accelerate in efforts to get back on
schedule, putting pressure on safety and quality.
What do you see for the construction industry for the remainder
of 2020?
JON TATE: There’s quite a bit of uncertainty about the rest of
the year, and it is nearly impossible to predict the full impact this
pandemic will have on our industry. After we get fully back to work,
we may see some construction increases in sectors that weren’t
previously planned, such as healthcare, infrastructure, warehousing,
which was already going gangbusters, and manufacturing.
Coronavirus has created supply chain issues associated with
offshore providers; the reaction to that may be making more of that
material here in America. There are some predictions that we will
see regional population shifts in response to the hardships endured
during the pandemic. This will result in increased construction in
areas of growth.
n the last month I’ve taken inventory of every call and email to ask GCs around the nation how COVID-19 is affecting
their current jobsites and upcoming projects. The responses vary depending on which state, county, and city or town in
which the work is commencing. Sadly, some projects are on hold in hard hit states like New York. In North Dakota, it’s business as usual with
increased safety protocols to maintain social distancing and the addition of portable handwashing stations on jobsites. Of vital importance is the
role of the project manager to schedule work on projects while adhering to OSHA’s guidelines and keeping the project on task towards completion.
Words by Donna Campbell
Jon B. Tate, vice president of construction risk engineering for Zurich North America, a leading provider of insurance
products and services for construction customers, did a brief Q&A to share his thoughts.
This pandemic reminds me of a line from my favorite movie series Jurassic Park: “Life finds a way.” Indeed, it does. Work continues; living
continues. For some, the virus is simply an obstacle to overcome. The journey moves along. My heart goes out to the families that have
truly lost a loved one to the novel coronavirus. It’s hard to grieve with chaos and uncertainty around every corner. Through it all, however, I
have faith in human ingenuity to improvise and adapt. Yes, some things will change. It won’t be the end of the world. Embrace your fellow
man (virtually) and stand firm on liberty and freedom. We’ll get through this and be stronger on the other side.
Perspective Matters
the latest on the pandemic and America’s jobsites
MAY 2020 www.mcsmag.com66