Thankful 365

Thankful 365

  This is a popular week to say “thank you.” To me, we’d do better to let our attitude of Thanksgiving spill over into the remaining 51 weeks.What if the rest of the year (and our lives) we considered saying thank you in different ways?  Quietly sharing our gratefulness to friends and others as often [Read More]

Decoding the Codes

Decoding the Codes

“Is that up to code?” I hear this often. Construction codes are complex and at times hard to navigate. Regulations can vary by trade and locality. To complicate things, there is no uniform building code in the United States, nor is there a common language for what is written.  Industry groups publish standards that are then [Read More]

Play Your Own Course

Play Your Own Course

I recently had dinner with a friend, who is a great golfer in his own right, and whose brother is of one of the top PGA tour players. While we did not discuss the dynamics of the game, I thought to myself that, while these guys compete against one another, in a way, they compete against [Read More]

Powder Activated Fasteners vs Welding

Powder Activated Fasteners vs Welding

Powder activated fasteners are probably not something that is top of mind for many. But to some, depending upon the way one might have been raised in the business, there is a preference. Both get the job done, but differently. I was talking with one of our project superintendents on a job in Blacksburg recently [Read More]

Tactical and Strategic Thinking: The Balance

Tactical and Strategic Thinking: The Balance

I was talking with our CFO this week, discussing tactical and strategic types of thinking. In tactical execution, one does not have to look over the horizon. These are the folks who focus on short-term goals and milestones, planning and organizing for a set timeframe. Problems always seems urgent and concrete, with the immediate goals [Read More]

Eliminating Moisture: Flooring’s Arch Rival

Eliminating Moisture: Flooring’s Arch Rival

In the final stages of a recent project, we discovered that our concrete slabs had elevated moisture content as compared to the specifications required by the desired floor coverings. This persisted in spite of running the HVAC system for 30 days, our standard operating procedure. Was their storm water matriculating through sub grade? Was there a [Read More]

For Problem Solving, Turn it Upside Down

For Problem Solving, Turn it Upside Down

In the construction industry, one usually finds “left-brained” thinkers, people who tend towards the analytic and objective. Bruce Adams, a part of our senior management, is one who also exercises his “right brain,” being a talented artist. Recently, he was telling me a process he uses for still life paintings. When he finishes his sketch, [Read More]

Trading Cars for a Bike.

Trading Cars for a Bike.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Twin Cities visiting some customers. While there, my friend Randy Manthey and his wife Christine invited me to their new flat in downtown Minneapolis. Vélo North Loop, in the Warehouse District near the M River, caters to an active lifestyle, particularly those who bike. They have street level [Read More]

Tax Credits for Historic Preservation

Tax Credits for Historic Preservation

There was a time when people saw the creation of new structures as the epitome of growth, even if that meant tearing existing buildings down. Between the post-World War II years and the 1980s, many a historic building was razed in the name of “urban renewal” and “progress.” Gratefully, an undercurrent of historical preservation arose, [Read More]

Vertical Transportation

Vertical Transportation

Lately, our folks have been involved in more urban projects than in the past. On these jobs, space is premium and “VT” or vertical transportation comes into play. Over the past couple of years or so, we have completed four projects where retail sits above parking. Shopping carts must be transported back and forth. Beyond [Read More]