Lloyd Alter on some of the difficult tradeoffs inherent in green building

Once again, some thought provoking writing from longtime sustainable architect and Treehugger columnist Lloyd Alter: The best way to have our buildings use less energy is to insulate them really well. But for a long time, I have also been writing about the problems of insulating with plastic foam, even writing that Polystyrene insulation doesn’t … Continue reading Lloyd Alter on some of the difficult tradeoffs inherent in green building

New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

Retrofit Magazine shared the following major construction safety news announcement: The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has voted to adopt the Iron Workers (IW) safety standard updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. California is the first state-approved OSHA plan to work with the IW to reform existing safety standards. The IW … Continue reading New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

Rare manslaughter conviction handed down to construction project manager for safety lapse

Shane Hedmond, at Construction Junkie, recently shared the following: Just last week, an Encino, California man was sentenced to 6 months in county jail and 18-months of supervised release after an excavation collapse killed one of his employees, according to the Ventura County Star.  The project manager, who was acting as an unlicensed contractor at … Continue reading Rare manslaughter conviction handed down to construction project manager for safety lapse

Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

According to Rong-Gong Lin II, Raoul Rañoa and Jon Schleuss of the LA Times, the city of Santa Monica is considering a mandated seismic retrofit program: Santa Monica’s safety rules would go beyond what Los Angeles has done by requiring not only wood-frame apartments and concrete buildings to be retrofitted, but also steel-frame structures. The ordinance … Continue reading Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

Is a virus infecting millions of internet-connected cameras coming to a construction job site near you?

According to Catalin Cimpanu of Bleeping Computer: Since mid-September, a new IoT botnet has grown to massive proportions. Codenamed IoT_reaper (Reaper for this article), researchers estimate its current size at nearly two million infected devices. According to researchers, the botnet is mainly made up of IP-based security cameras, network video recorders (NVRs), and digital video recorders … Continue reading Is a virus infecting millions of internet-connected cameras coming to a construction job site near you?

Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

Researchers at Stanford are pleased to report the following: Thousands of miles of buried optical fibers crisscross California’s San Francisco Bay Area delivering high-speed internet and HD video to homes and businesses. Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, dreams of turning that dense network into an … Continue reading Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

CBS on the impact of the skilled labor shortage on homebuilders, and the economy

Television, unless it is available to stream via Hulu, Netflix or HBO Go, isn’t something I watch much of. CBS apparently aired an impressive program highlighting the impact of the skilled labor shortage on the construction industry, and the resulting impact on the rest of our economy and infrastructure. Here’s an excerpt: America’s economy has … Continue reading CBS on the impact of the skilled labor shortage on homebuilders, and the economy

Procore on the Value of Big Data Analysis

Socrates is alleged to have asked the possibly rhetorical question, “Is the unexamined life worth living?” One might ask the same question of data — Is unexamined data worth storing? Procore, purveyors of fine construction software, recently touched on the topic of the value of data analysis on their Jobsite blog. Duane Craig identifies “5 … Continue reading Procore on the Value of Big Data Analysis

Some applications of virtual reality (VR) technology in construction

Jason Vander Griendt, founder of Render3DQuickly, posted a pretty decent roundup of some current applications for VR in the construction industry: Humans are emotional and the more you connect with them emotionally the easier you can communicate, and this is what virtual reality helps you to achieve. Giving an immersive experience whereby your prospective clients … Continue reading Some applications of virtual reality (VR) technology in construction

Oroville Dam interim report highlights the importance of codes and standards

When the Oroville Dam failed earlier this year, it prompted a review of numerous major infrastructure projects throughout California. The news is not good, as it is clear that many billions of dollars of tax-funded projects were designed and constructed to withstand significant seismic events. That’s because we’ve learned that our previous codes and standards … Continue reading Oroville Dam interim report highlights the importance of codes and standards