All Construction & Building Materials Articles
  • Mechanics liens provide protection against contractor bankruptcy

    Nate Budde

    Unfortunately, the failure rate of businesses in the construction industry is high. This means that the bankruptcy or pending bankruptcy of a general contractor is a more common reason for payment problems than people may realize. Fortunately, for a financially troubled general contractor, mechanics liens may provide some protection.

  • Ground broken on Southwest’s new international terminal at Houston

    Matt Falcus

    Southwest Airlines has marked the beginning of its expansion at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport by breaking ground on its new International Terminal. Hobby is primarily a domestic airport with no international airline service, but corporate and general aviation traffic does regularly arrive from across the border in Mexico. In 2011, Southwest Airlines officially expressed interest in changing this by proposing the introduction of international flights.

  • Confessions of a miser: Learning to let go

    Bob Fortune

    ​I sinfully watched costs for decades — and was labeled a "miser" by my two brothers/partners. This was deeply hurtful. Our seasonal restoration business was slow in the Chicago winters. Therefore, it was essential to make nine months of revenue stretch to cover 12 months of costs. Creating a culture of frugality was a matter of survival.

  • Green building trends will drive plastics construction use

    Don Rosato

    The construction and operation of buildings has a significant impact on the environment. In Europe and the U.S., buildings account for 40 percent of total energy consumption. Buildings also use a tremendous amount of natural resources to construct and operate. Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, refers to a structure and its operation that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life cycle.

  • Window film improves building system performance

    Steve DeBusk

    You can spend a lot of time analyzing building system performance, looking for ways to reduce energy use and improve efficiency in HVAC equipment, lighting systems and the building envelope. As you work hard to prolong equipment life, reduce utility bills and lower operating costs, consider high-performance, low-e window film as a solution.

  • Hollow-tube steel: An effective weapon in the war against corrosion

    Sasha Viasasha

    ​Perhaps the most villainous enemies of commercial building projects are the two most basic elements of our environment: air and water. In response, urban planners have deployed a material that has shown some promising results as an inhibitor to oxidation. Sites around the world, from France to Japan, have successfully used hollow-tube steel in construction projects, and some have lasted for decades in extremely corrosive environments.

  • High-end highlights from CEDIA 2013

    Mitch Weinraub

    In September, Denver hosted the annual CEDIA (The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) conference. This show focuses on high end electronics and home theater installations with everything from the mild to the extremely wild. While a number of exhibitors showed items that will likely never make it to the mass market, others serve as a preview of what, as prices decrease, will soon become available to the masses.

  • Boiler maintenance is mandatory but not expensive

    Sandy O'Lear

    Boiler tune-ups are just the beginning of energy efficiency program rebates.

  • The ultimate proposal editing checklist: 7 steps to a more persuasive document

    Joe Latta

    Proposals are important. And with a growing focus on procurement transparency and objectivity, a high quality proposal can mean the difference between a big win and an almost-was.

  • Should you sign that lien waiver?

    Scott Wolfe Jr.

    Lien waivers are a popular and confusing topic in the construction industry. Unfortunately, these instruments are encountered nearly every day. Where the promise of payment is concerned, discipline is necessary as lien waiver mistakes come with consequences. This article will serve as a helpful guide through the most common of these mistakes.