FleetWatcher CMS Simplifies Fleet Maintenance

Feedwater’s popular Construction Management Solution (CMS), collects data from all construction equipment assets, regardless of class or manufacturer, and presents the maintenance due report with color coded entries providing “at a glance” status.  Built specifically for the heavy equipment industry, this unique telematics platform shows equipment that is within 36 hours of its required maintenance in yellow, and any equipment at or past its maintenance due date in red.  This allows fleet maintenance managers to better schedule in-shop personnel and service trucks in the field.

Unlike OEM telematics which require separate logins for each brand, and present information differently, FleetWatcher works across all fleet equipment with a single login and presents the data in an easily understood format which can be shared with all applicable personnel via cell phone, tablet, or computer.  FleetWatcher CMS is ideal for heavy construction contractors of all types and sizes.

Throughout the day, FleetWatcher collects specific and customized data from the attached fleet.  That information is then processed and delivered through a Daily Snapshot in the specific data and format that users select.  Reports, available online or in MS Excel format) can be shared with team members.  Over 20 reports and hundreds of filtering options allow users to have the information needed to manage their business more effectively and efficiently.

In addition to maintenance due, FleetWatcher tracks multiple data points including cycle times, productivity and down times, equipment utilization and underutilization, project status, budgets, shop costs, rental expenses, trends and behaviors, and more.  It integrates with all major management programs including accounting, estimating, invoicing, and more.

Earthwave Technologies manufactures construction-specific wireless telematic products which provide complete visibility to all components used within the process.  Their industry leading Fleetwatcher Material Delivery Solution (MDS) is being used by asphalt paving contractors across the US.  They also offer modules for e-ticketing, off-road construction, and more.

For additional information visit www.EarthwaveTech.com, e-mail info@EarthwaveTech.com, call (800) 553-0027, or write Earthwave Technologies, 8727 Commerce Park, Suite C, Indianapolis, IN   46268.

Posted in Vendor News |
Most Popular Dog Breeds in the World

Dogs have always been the closest human friend right from the early centuries. They are one of the most loyal, trustworthy, and gentle domesticated animals on the planet.

Every day, we see evidence that dogs are not just man’s greatest friend, but also a companion that devotes themselves and their existence to us humans, loving us even without any form of expectations from us in return.

Different dog breeds have varying levels of capability for performing specific tasks. Nevertheless, a significant percentage of people brought dogs to their homes due to their loyal, friendly companion nature and protectiveness toward their potential owners.

Although there are many dog breeds in the world, only a few are more popular among people. CLICK HERE to find out more on the most popular dog breeds.

Posted in Uncategorized |
Interested in Helium Mining? – Read This

Helium: An Overview

Helium is a fantastic blockchain network that aims to create a decentralized wireless network for Internet of Things (IoT) linked devices (IoT). IoT gadgets are smart devices that connect to the internet and share data. In the consumer sector, smart home goods are a common use of IoT devices, but there is a wide range of gadgets that are being used in business settings as well. The Internet of Things may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of anything from parking garage sensors to remote blood pressure monitoring in hospitals.

The wireless network that connects IoT devices is one of the most challenging components to implement successfully. Traditional WiFi has limited range, while cellular networks have similar coverage limitations and can be costly to operate. Helium attempts to solve problems like monopolistic wireless carriers, invasive data collecting, and inadequate coverage by building a decentralized wireless network that employs long-range radio waves to cover large areas. People may build up Hotspots that deliver data to devices and act as Helium miners because Helium is built on blockchain. Miners are rewarded with Helium Tokens for helping to expand and sustain the network (HNT). 

This year, helium mining has been a major issue in the crypto world, with many miners making thousands of dollars per month simply by purchasing and plugging in a Hotspot. However, as the network expands, profitability will certainly decrease, and there are several examples of Hotspots earning less than they did earlier. I’m still asked if someone should buy a Helium Hotspot, and my response is the same as it was a few months ago: it depends a lot on where you are. 

In this piece, I’ll go through two Hotspots that I compared in July and talk about the aspects that affect their profitability. I’ll then go through various variables that make for a strong Hotspot site in the future, as well as some real-world instances of successful Hotspots. 

The Basics of Helium Mining

After you’ve set up your Hotspot, it will begin to connect to other Hotspots in the area and join the network. In most circumstances, providing data to devices will not make your Hotspot any money. Proof of Stake challenges provide for the majority of a Hotspot’s profits. Proof of Stake is a kind of Proof of Work that is used to validate transactions on blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Rather than hashing cryptographic data, Hotspots regularly challenge other Hotspots in their vicinity to verify to the network that they are doing what they claim they are doing.

There are three roles in a challenge: the challenger, the challenger, and multiple witnesses. Random neighbors are commonly questioned by Hotspots, and the challenged Hotspot must send the necessary data to confirm it is running correctly and in the place it claims.

Other adjacent Hotspots observe the challenge and verify that the information being conveyed is what the challenger expects. Being a witness is by far the most profitable of these three professions. 

The amount of helium in the atmosphere is rapidly increasing. 

My previous essay about Helium mining was some months ago, and the network has developed tremendously since then. There were less than 60,000 Helium hotspots worldwide when I wrote my first Helium article in July, and today there are approximately 240,000 Hotspots linked to the network, with 58,000 Hotspots added in the previous 30 days! Because of this fast growth, the Helium network’s terrain changes substantially every month.

Helium is meant to encourage network development, therefore adding a Hotspot to an already overburdened location will result in lower revenues. Smaller towns and more spread-out suburban regions still have plenty of room for expansion, but many major centers have been saturated for a long time and are witnessing significant drops in mining revenue. Let’s look at a few Hotspots in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to see how the network rewards mining. Because Colorado Springs is a medium-sized town with a lot of sprawl, I believe it will be interesting to watch how things have evolved since July and what Hotspots are flourishing now.

Is It Too Late for Helium Mining?

In this post, we saw how hotspots in areas that aren’t yet extremely saturated are generating good money from Helium mining. However, before ordering a Hotspot to deploy in your neighborhood, I would take some time to consider various issues. 

Receiving a Hotspot still takes many months.

Getting a Helium miner has been challenging all year, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. Getting miners hasn’t been as easy as many had imagined, especially with the current chip scarcity and shipping issue. Bobcat miners are still expected to arrive 12–20 weeks after an order is placed, making it difficult to plan a wise purchase. Because of the extended lead times, anyone interested in buying a miner will have to take a chance, but that doesn’t imply making an educated selection is impossible.

Final Thoughts

Helium is a really intriguing blockchain technology application, and it’s been fascinating to watch it expand so fast in 2021. While it may not be as profitable as it was earlier this year, helium mining may still provide a decent return on investment, particularly in a region that is still developing. As the Helium network expands in coverage, I’m interested to see how IoT devices may use it.

If you like this article, you might be interested in reading some of my other Helium pieces, which go into further detail on how the network works. 

Posted in Vendor News |
Swinerton Stands Read for Mass Timber in NYC

The recent update to the New York City Construction Codes, set to take effect January 1, 2022, is a game changer for mass timber, now approved as a Type IV construction material for projects built to a maximum height of 85’ or the equivalent of up to six stories. With the new code change, the Swinerton New York team brings the expertise of its over 130-year-old legacy in the building industry along with its affiliated mass timber company, Timberlab, Inc., to the Big Apple. 

“As New York City building codes allow for mass timber construction, Swinerton is at the ready to be the city’s mass timber contractor,” says Andrew Pearl, Swinerton VP and Division Manager. “With the forthcoming 2022 NYC Building Code revisions, new provisions allow for the use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels in buildings up to 85-feet tall. Swinerton has constructed twenty mass timber projects across the country and brings expertise and experience to clients seeking to design low-embodied carbon, beautiful buildings. Swinerton’s affiliate company, Timberlab, provides turnkey mass timber structures with in-house design, fabrication, and installation services.” 

Since its founding in 1888, Swinerton, and its affiliated companies, have grown into a $5 billion, 100% employee-owned company with over 4,000 employees, and more than 2,000 craft carpenters and laborers. This diverse employee base gives the company the ability to self-perform many jobs other firms would have to outsource, including cleanup, concrete, drywall, demolition, doors/frames/hardware, electrical, rough carpentry, millwork and associated scopes. Along with that, Swinerton specializes in new building materials, techniques, and tools that have been transforming the construction industry. 

Timberlab grew from the desire to accelerate the mainstream adoption of mass timber in the U.S. Commercial construction market. In 2016, Swinerton built the largest installation of cross-laminated timber in the U.S. at the First Tech Federal Credit Union Oregon Headquarters.  The project resulted in cost and schedule savings through embracing the prefabrication potential of mass timber, and self-performing the installation of the structure.  In 2020, anticipating the growth and need for focused specialization in the market, the new company Timberlab was created from the experienced resources of Swinerton’s Mass Timber division.  A fabrication facility was opened in Portland, OR, to expand the supply chain and help drive down the premiums associated with mass timber. 

“Mass timber continues to increase as a desirable building material and alternative to steel and concrete because of its sustainability as a renewable resource and its architecturally aesthetic finishes,” says Chris Evans, President of Timberlab.   

Mass timber engineering is increasingly used as a construction technological solution in the construction industry, and in major cities around the world, particularly in low-to-mid-rise structures, as well as interiors. It is a growing alternative to concrete and steel due to its environmental sustainability, cost effectiveness, shortened build times, and aesthetics.  

As a building material, mass timber is lighter than steel and concrete with one fourth of the weight and represents 20% of the cost of a building with less impact on the environment, answering the global demand for delivering carbon neutral or carbon negative buildings. For interiors, the beauty of mass timber is in the simplicity of the system – both structure and finish – with less environmental impact.   

“As the AEC community becomes more educated in the advantages of mass timber construction, the possibilities are limitless and over time mass timber will become the preferred structural system,” adds Erica Spiritos, Preconstruction Manager of Timberlab. 

A major reason for timber construction’s sustainability impact is that it is a renewable resource that holds atmospheric carbon. Using mass timber as the primary structural system of a building results in the lowest embodied carbon compared to alternatives such as concrete and steel.  

Demand for building carbon neutral or negative carbon structures continues to grow globally. “Swinerton brings its expertise, national reputation and self-perform capabilities to New York as it builds back stronger and better,” concludes Andrew Pearl.

About Swinerton 

Founded in 1888, Swinerton and its affiliates, are a $5 billion full-service national commercial construction company group with great financial strength, national clients, project diversity, and a culture that is proud of its 100% employee ownership.  Together, they currently have 20 offices in nine states across the country and is ranked #17 on the ENR 2021 list of top contractors in the country.  Swinerton represents diverse market sectors including: Affordable Housing, Aviation, Education, Corporate and Critical Facilities, Gaming, Healthcare, Hospitality, Interiors and Special Projects, Industrial, Life Sciences, Mass Timber, Public/Civic, Gaming, Residential, Retail, and Parking Structures. The company has represented world-class clients, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Pfizer, Honeywell, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, and others in projects that are massive as well as on a smaller scale.  Swinerton is headquartered in Concord, CA with regional offices in Spokane and Seattle, WA; Portland and Bend, OR; Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Diego, CA; Honolulu, HI; Denver, CO; Dallas and Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; and New York City, NY. www.swinerton.com. 

Posted in Vendor News |
5 Trends that Will Change the Skilled Trades Industry

Technology has changed the future of the workforce, from keeping employees safer to making jobs more technically advanced. Skilled trades jobs are no exception.

Recently, we while attending FABTECH, North America’s largest fabrication and manufacturing exhibition, to gained the scoop on the latest industry trends.

CLICK HERE to find out what to watch for now and next year.

Posted in Vendor News |
Construction Begins on UNC-C New Residence Hall

Initially delayed in 2020, construction restarted this month on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s new, six-story student housing building, Moore Hall (Phase XVI).

Designed by St. Louis-based KWK Architects and Architect-of-Record Jenkins Peer Architects of North Carolina, the 147,000-square-foot residence hall will replace the old Moore and Sanford Hall towers (built in 1970 and 1969) to complete the upper south village residential quad and provide a direct pathway to the South Village Dining Hall.

“With the pandemic causing so many delays, we are excited to see activity resuming on residence hall projects, like the new Moore Hall at University of North Carolina at Charlotte,” said KWK Principal Paul Wuennenberg. “The design of Moore Hall combines modern features and sustainability, while providing new students with a welcoming atmosphere to make them feel at home.”

KWK’s team worked closely with university administrators to design the new hall with the first-year student in mind. The building’s design includes traditional double rooms for up to 692 residents and their Resident Advisors. Resident rooms are supported by shared bathrooms for more privacy, with lounges and study rooms on each floor. The design also includes a community kitchen, laundry room, gaming area, and office and living space for Housing and Residence Life staff.

The new complex was also designed using LEED or Green Globes elements, and its exterior design reflects the existing architectural style on campus. The new hall is expected to open in August 2023.

KWK Architects also designed the university’s unique Levine Hall, which combines an honors program within a traditional residence hall. The hall opened in 2016 and was awarded two Green Globes for sustainability.

About KWK Architects

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. Areas of expertise include student housing, dining, and academic and science/technology spaces. KWK Architects has completed more than $1 billion in construction-valued projects since its founding and currently employs a growing staff of 15 at its headquarters in St. Louis, MO. For more information about KWK Architects, visit www.kwkarchitects.com or contact the Director of Marketing Cindy Hausler at cindyh@kwkarchitects.com.

Posted in Vendor News |
Times Square Lighting New “Gramercy” LED

The Gramercy is a powerful LED fixture designed for medium to long throw applications.

This efficient, 35-watt LED fixture can produce a 12° degree beam that rivals line voltage PAR technology. The Gramercy utilizes a Cree XLamp LED array that delivers a high lumen output and uniform color. The Gramercy has passive cooling and features 1% dimming.

For more info on Gramercy, CLICK HERE.

Posted in New Products |
Is Your Building Ready To Deal With Winter Conditions

Winter is right around the corner. With the changing seasons comes freeze and thaw cycles, falling pine needles and leaves, organic growth and harsh weather conditions that can wreak havoc on a building or structure’s exterior if not maintained properly. Conducting an annual fall building inspection will help to identify potential maintenance issues before they become problematic and lead to costly repairs for the owner.

“Maintenance of buildings or structures, whether it be the interior or exterior, horizontal or vertical construction, or a hi-rise or single-story, is a necessity across the country,” said Bob Gender, Region Manager, Western Specialty Contractors. “Many times a quick check today on your properties can help save building owners and managers headaches during the harsh winter months ahead when getting repairs done can be complicated by low temperatures.”

Facility managers can protect their buildings and structures throughout the winter by identifying a few red flags early in the fall and addressing those problem areas quickly and effectively before the winter sets in, says Gender.

Repairing and Protecting Concrete

In the winter, freeze and thaw cycles can cause big problems with concrete structures. When water infiltrates concrete, it can freeze, causing the water to occupy nine percent more volume than in its liquid state. This expansion causes distress on the concrete, which can lead to fractures that will continue to grow exponentially as saturation of the material increases.

A wide range of restoration, repair and reinforcing services are offered by certified specialty contractors, such as Western Specialty Contractors, who can repair cracks, spalls, rust spots, deterioration, pot-holes and heaves in concrete and masonry. More often than not, concrete repairs are made before they become a more serious or costly issue, but there are measures that facility managers can take to actually prevent future damage. Applying hot-applied or below-grade waterproofing and urethane or acrylic protective coatings to traffic decks, pedestrian areas or exterior facades will extend the life of the repair, protect adjacent areas that are currently in good condition and significantly improve the aesthetics of the area treated.

For facilities with a concrete parking structure, the fall is an ideal time to survey for damage. Vehicles regularly entering parking garages leave water, oil and muck behind. Not to mention salt and de-icers tracked in during the winter months that can corrode the structure’s concrete and steel support system.

An ineffective maintenance routine on a parking structure can quickly lead to costly repairs and restorations that can be disruptive to tenants and cause unexpected costs and safety concerns.

All types of parking structures are subject to deterioration. Western’s experts have identified five key indicators that a parking garage is in need of preventative maintenance: water leakage; ponding water; expansion joint failure; exposed rebar; and delaminated, spalled or horizontally/vertically cracked concrete.

An experienced concrete maintenance and restoration specialist can identify specific problem areas and recommend a repair plan and maintenance schedule for the structure.

Preventing Unwanted Water Leakage

The exterior walls of a building can be a significant source of unwanted water leakage. It’s easy to forget how many openings are required in commercial building walls – from plumbing and irrigation connections to lighting, HVAC system elements, exhaust vents, air intakes, joints around windows and doors, and fire alarms, to name a few.

There are also unplanned holes caused by aging brick joints that need re-pointing, vanishing sealants, damage from acid rain and settling cracks. All wall penetrations provide easy access for water, bugs, field mice, birds or other unwanted pests to enter a building and cause damage.

Checking for changes in a building since last year is also recommended. Do you have abandoned pipe penetrations from a tenant upgrade? A new tenant demo? Or maybe just a deteriorated building joint which can make the building joint vulnerable to the elements and unwanted pests?

If a building is seriously damaged, specialists may be needed to bring a wall system back up to its expected performance level. Regular inspections by the property manager or a trained professional will help identify these potential problems early and save the owner money.

Protecting the Roof

The fall often brings falling leaves, pine needles and organic growth on building roof tops. A commitment to good roof maintenance practices can help facility managers avoid overflowing gutters, clogged downspouts and excessive ponding water which can lead to costly roof, facade and foundation damage. A weekly routine roof inspection is recommended during this time of the year.

Decaying leaves, pine needles and dirt run-off can all contribute to ponding water and clogged gutters and downspouts, which is why it is essential that all roof drains remain clear of obstructions. In addition to the risk of water pouring into the tenant spaces should a breach in the roof occur, the freezing and thawing of ponding water during the fall and winter months can cause extensive roof damage.

Make sure that all organic debris is completely removed from gutters, downspouts and drains before the winter arrives.

About Western Specialty Contractors

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including: industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

Posted in Vendor News |
Mold Prevention Tips for AC Ducts

Mold is often visible on walls and ceilings, but it can also hide in your air ducts.

Even if you can’t see it, you might feel its presence. Mold signs include a musty smell and mold exposure symptoms similar to allergic reactions (irritated nose, coughing, wheezing, etc.). If you suspect mold is hiding in your AC vents, take quick action and follow these guidelines.

For more information, CLICK HERE to read rest of article.

Posted in Uncategorized |
XL Construction’s New Organizational Development Group

XL Construction, a leading Northern California general contractor whose mission is to build to improve lives, has tapped Senior Vice President Alan Laurlund to lead its new Organizational Development Group.

Laurlund, a 22-year XL Construction veteran and one of its longest tenured leaders, formerly headed up the company’s healthcare group and Sacramento operations. Senior Vice President Ryan Heeter now succeeds Laurlund in overseeing the healthcare group and Sacramento operations.

In his new role, Laurlund will oversee a group that will be responsible for enhancing the company’s people practices and well-being, employee learning and corporate culture. Among the critical focuses of the Organizational Development Group include establishing a diversity, equity and inclusion program (DEI) roadmap that better reflects the communities in which the company operates, as well as developing an integrated talent management approach to help employees reach their full career potential.

Laurlund joined XL Construction in 1999 as a project executive supporting the company’s life sciences group. As the company turned its attention to new sectors and opportunities, he was appointed to create and build the company’s healthcare group. In this role, he was charged with driving operational performance, hiring and developing team members and supporting client sales and business development. He became known as a trusted advisor, and under his watch, the group became a major asset to the company’s business.

“As our company continues to expand, we want to develop a mechanism to ensure we remain laser-focused on our people and our culture,” said Richard Walker, president, XL Construction. “Under Alan’s leadership, our new Organizational Development Group will be the steward for this initiative, helping to institutionalize best practices and enabling us to continue to provide the best possible working and growth environment for all our employees and trusted trade partners.”

“XL Construction’s Organizational Development Group will help to ensure our colleagues are provided with the most purposeful and meaningful career and learning opportunities in the industry – from the time they are hired to the time they are ready to retire,” said Laurlund. “We’re taking a holistic approach to employee development that not only enhances the lives of those in our organization, but the communities we serve as well. In effect, we are embracing our ‘we build to improve lives’ mission to not only include the type of projects we build, but also in how we take great care of our people.”

Laurlund graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., with a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management. He remains very involved with the school as a recruiter for XL Construction and as a mentor and member of the Construction Management Industry Advisory Board. He is also active in the community and served as chair of the executive leadership team of the American Heart Association’s Hard Hats with Hearts.

About XL Construction

XL Construction is a leading general contractor whose mission is to “build to improve lives.” XL partners with today’s leaders in life sciences, advanced technology, corporate office, civic, healthcare and education to create places that make its communities better. The company’s focus and passion for team success has earned it a network of great partners and a reputation for putting people first. XL Construction is consistently ranked among the top general contractors in Northern California. In 2020, the company was named ENR California’s Top General Contractor of 2020 and the #1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area.

Posted in Vendor News |