Volume 50, Issue 4 - April 2015


BEC Takeaways: Get Better
Information, Make Better Decisions

Condominium projects are ripe for litigation these days, and the glass and glazing industry knows it. And in order to increase that awareness, Courtney Little of ACE Glass made the topic a point of focus last month when speaking to attendees of the Glass Association of North America’s Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas.

Nearly 400 industry members attended the event, which took place March 8-10 at the Paris Las Vegas.

During a presentation, Little, who is also an attorney, explained that when apartments are sometimes converted into condos, an attorney will get the new property owners association to gather and sue for issues such as leaks.
“We’re a natural defendant because of the percentage of envelope covered,” he said.

Little said the problems often start because the job is specified wrong, and that many leaks show up in the windows down the road, even though they don’t originate there.

“We need to educate owners and architects, teaching them specifically how our products work,” he said, adding that it’s important to “identify roles and responsibilities” early in the process.

Other ways Little said companies can avoid getting stuck in a condo-defect suit is to be selective about the parties with which they work, consider an outside consultant to verify installation, and monitor and document storage and damage by others.

Approximately 400 glass and glazing industry members attended GANA’s Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas last month.

On a different topic, BEC attendees were also encouraged to get with the program from a technology standpoint—particularly regarding Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Tyler Goss of the building industry consultant firm Case gave a presentation on just that.

Goss stressed that the contract glazier’s involvement is a crucial piece to the BIM puzzle, and he said he’s been surprised to learn just how “critically collaborative” the glazing industry is, “from the float guys all the way through.”

He concludes, “better information leads to better, faster decisions.”… Data is still largely an untapped resource. Companies that leverage their data effectively are the future of the building industry.”

—Nick St. Denis

Construction Industry Set to Hire in 2015

Construction demand has grown steadily the past few years and, by most accounts, that trend will continue through 2015. So to meet the demand, firms across the country are prepared to bring in the necessary help.

The Associated General Contractors of America recently released its 2015 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook, in which it surveyed more than 900 firms throughout the United States. The results showed that “an overwhelming majority of firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2015.”

Eighty percent of firms reported that they plan to expand their payrolls this year, which would be a significant bump from last year, when only 57 percent of firms reported they added staff. Additionally, in 2014, 18 percent of firms reduced staff, while only 7 percent expect to reduce headcounts in 2015.

The association did, however, note “a number of significant challenges” that face the industry. First and foremost is the much-discussed growing shortage of qualified workers—especially craft workers—to fill positions as they’re made available. The survey revealed that contractors consider “the apparent poor quality of local craft worker training programs” to be a main culprit of the shortage.

Despite that, a majority of contractors remain optimistic, particularly in terms of demand in private sector construction. The retail/warehouse/lodging segment saw the most optimism in the survey, with other nonresidential construction prospects such as private office and the hospital sector seeing “net positive” readings of 20 percent or more.

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