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Construction Observer Training Programs

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What is the best way for a construction observer to train? Learning from a professional on site may be ideal, but other good sources of information include public agencies and the documentation they make available.

Columnist David A. Todd, P.E., CPESC, has 37 years of experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and has performed much construction administration during that time. He will answer questions from our readers or from his own practice and will provide answers based on his understanding of the construction process.

U.S. Infrastructure: Drinking Water

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This is the fifth article in Buildipedia's series on U.S. Infrastructure, following the January 8, 2010 feature on dams, "It’s About Dam Time!"

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned the United States’ DRINKING WATER infrastructure a grade of “D-” on their 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Easy access to fresh water is a modern convenience that we might take for granted in our daily lives.

Safety Modifications to Historic Buildings

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The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in South Bend, IN, designed by N. Roy Shambleau, was completed in 1933. Still in use today by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, it was renamed in 1992 as the Robert A. Grant Federal Building and United States Courthouse. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning that modifications to the exterior are not permitted. Any modifications to the function of the building must occur in such a way that the exterior remains true to its original design.

The Economic Stimulus Bill: Where Has the Money Gone?

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly known as the economic stimulus bill, was signed by Congress on February 13, 2009, and then signed into law by President Obama four days later. The government made a total of $787 billion available -- $275 billion for federal contracts, grants, and loans, in addition to $288 billion in tax cuts and $224 billion for entitlement for education and health care. Specifically relevant to the AEC industry is ARRA’s targeting of infrastructure development and enhancement using the $275 billion.

Charge into the Future on the Electric Highway

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Electric vehicles provide a welcome alternative to gasoline-powered cars ... welcome, that is, as long as we are still able to fuel up as we travel. Take a look at current options available in the United States for charging while on the go.

When Eddy Grant came up with the lyrics to his 1982 hit “Electric Avenue” he likely wasn’t expecting people to actually be rocking down an electric highway just 30 years later. That's what people will be doing later this year on the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH), a tri-state initiative that will form the longest electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the country, stretching along Interstate 5 from the Canadian to the Mexican border.

A Positive Alternative with Biofuels: A Win–Win for the Construction Industry

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As the construction industry continuously looks for ways to enhance its offerings to companies and clients, its abilities to do more with less and to offer better value by using better technologies will provide real benefit. It’s also rewarding for us drivetrain and energy nerds to see the application of some pretty cool and useful technologies such as biofuels that are morphing from research lab to fuel tank and from start-up enterprise to hyper-clean engine.

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