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Seismic Retrofit Lessons Learned: Contractual and Planning

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The project was a seismic retrofit of a 15-story building constructed in 1991. The steel portion of the project consisted of systematically strengthening the moment connections throughout the building and installing over 200 dampers in a 750,000 sq. ft. office building without interrupting the operation of the tenants. The contract dictated that the work would start in the basement, progress through the ground floor and the parking garage (floors 2-5), and then continue through the occupied office floors (6-15). The contractor could only occupy three half floors at any one time and a set number of parking spaces due to contract restrictions. The contract also restricted work hours, noise levels, and delivery times. These restrictions would drive the pace of the work.

Performance and Payment Bonds

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Welcome to the On Site channel’s Construction Administration Column. Unsure of how to handle bond submittals? Here David A. Todd, P.E., CPESC, gives his opinion.

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 and administration of the construction contract. The focus will be on the customary duties of the owner, contractor, and design professional as typically described in the contract documents.

The Procrastinating Blogger

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Meet Jeff Wilson, construction industry expert and host of more than 200 episodes of home improvement shows. Get the inside scoop from Jeff right here on his Everyday DIY blog – and join in the conversation yourself!

I know you’ve been diligently following my DIY Video Series on the At Home Channel here at Buildipedia.com... I mean, c’mon, who would miss all of the excitement of home renovation “as seen on At Home?”

Can an Owner's Representative Deal Directly with a Sub-Contractor?

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Welcome to the On Site channel’s Construction Administration Column. When a construction observer gives instructions directly to a subcontractor, it can lead to contentious claims. David A. Todd, P.E., CPESC, discusses how to address the issue.

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.

Green Speak: FTC Provides Guidance on Environmental Marketing

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In the past two decades, the environment has become a hot topic across most economic sectors, and the homebuilding industry is no exception. As new technologies continue to emerge and as builders and homeowners continue to adopt environmentally conscious practices, the way that we talk about green products and practices is of ever increasing importance. Not only do homeowners expect builders to build green homes, they also expect builders to be able to explain why and how the home is green. Enter the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and their "Green Guides," which aim to provide guidance on environmental marketing.

Universities and Their Communities: The Town and Gown Relationship

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As the well known John Donne poem "Meditation XVII" states, "No man is an island." Neither are colleges and universities. Long gone are the days when an institution of higher learning could operate without considering the surrounding community. University presidents now understand that the success of their institutions depends on the health of their cities and towns. The “town and gown” relationship has not always been a healthy one in many communities, but it has improved significantly in recent years as competition for students and faculty has increased. When these relationships work well, they can have a tremendous impact on the community and university.

Mitigating the Risks of Green Construction

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Green building practices have come on the scene so fast that many implications – and unintended consequences – are just now coming to light. How can you protect yourself, legally speaking, in these new situations?

Environmentally conscious building practices are typically associated with positive outcomes, such as improved energy efficiency, reduced material waste, financial savings as a result of tax incentives, and improved builder reputation. In addition to these benefits, research indicates that certified green buildings cost less to operate; command higher occupancy rates; contribute to a healthier, safer environment; and can possibly enhance employee recruitment and productivity.

Tools That Facilitate the LEED for Homes Certification Process

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In 2008, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) launched its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes program with the intent of capitalizing on the momentum of other LEED programs and revolutionizing the way homes are built. Since the inception of LEED for Homes, more than 10,000 LEED homes have been certified, providing builders a way to differentiate the products that they offer. It has also given home builders the opportunity to provide homes with higher marketability. Making the transition from traditional home building to green home building can be a daunting task: the following tools will facilitate the building of a LEED-certified home.

U.S. Infrastructure – Obvious but Unnoticed

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One of my college friends, Lisa Starling, recently had an audition in Los Angeles for a new role in a daytime soap opera. She had been working in local theater on the East Coast for two years, and was really glad to have this fantastic opportunity in California.

Case Study: Clinical and Translational Science Building, Part 2

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This second article in a three-part series on the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building addresses the strategies Francis Cauffman used to achieve LEED Gold certification.

When designing the Clinical and Translational Science Building (CTSB) in Rochester, NY, Francis Cauffman was challenged with a two-fold mission: achieve high standards of sustainable design while addressing the functional requirements of 11 user groups with distinctly different objectives, day-to-day tasks, and schedules.

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