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What We're Reading


It’s no secret the construction industry is a constantly evolving and moving. The short of it?—it’s tough to keep up.

Well here at RSMeans, we spend some time each week trying to stay current on what’s buzzing in construction, keeping our finger on the pulse. Here are a few articles from across the web we found particularly interesting and worth talking about.

Florida Continues 'Smart Grid' Switch Installation – from Government Technology
Florida Power & Lighting is in the process of installing 20,000 automatic lateral switch devices across the state, which are estimated to have saved crews more than 100,000 “field visits” last year. Although crews will still have to respond to major outages caused by a lightning strike, for example, Florida's largest electrical utility says it is installing “smart grid devices” on neighborhood lines that can automatically fix more common outages and quickly restore service — a task that previously could only be done manually. Read more…

Protect Your Jobsite Crews from the Summer Heat – from Builder
On a jobsite in Kingsville, Texas, in August 2013, a worker was mixing gypsum concrete in preparation for gypcrete installation on an apartment building. It’s not a particularly taxing job, but he was doing it in direct sunlight. “He wasn’t training or doing anything that involved a lot of lifting or climbing,” says Holly Webster, director of administration at Texas-based KWA Construction, which served as the general contractor on the job. (KWA would not release further information on either the worker or subcontractor.) The man, in his 20s, had just transferred from New Mexico, and he wasn’t used to the heat and humidity of a Texas summer. Read more…

Construction Firm’s In-House Machine Control Software the First Step Toward Automated Building on Mars – from Equipment World
While the vast majority of contractors in the U.S. still look at GPS machine control with a skeptical eye, Japan has embraced the technology as a way to cope with a lack of skilled labor and little hope that it will be able to replenish its construction workforce with new blood. With the 2020 Olympic games to build for, Japan is especially feeling the pressure of such a shortage and to that end, Komatsu has been hard at work to accelerate further development of its semi-automatic machine technology, intelligent Machine Control (iMC). Read more…

Planned Schools Provide a Big Boost to Las Vegas Construction Industry – from Las Vegas Review-Journal
It’s a busy time if you’re a construction worker on a Clark County School District project. The district has 11 major projects underway, including six new schools and two replacements, with a construction value of $253.3 million. Groundbreaking ceremonies with student performances, school officials and politicians have been a regular occurrence this spring and summer. Read more…