July 15, 2014
Upcoming Events
 
AGC Golf Classic Registration is Now OPEN!
Donations and Sponsors Still Needed! Date is set for Monday, August 11th at Ironwood Golf Course
The AGC of Greater Milwaukee is gearing up for our Annual Golf Classic; invitations have been sent out, and registration is now OPEN!  Space is limited to the first 216 golfers, so please return them as soon as possible.  We are still seeking sponsorships, and donations for raffle, hole contest, and door prizes.  We will be teeing off at the beautiful Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI on Monday, August 11th.

As always, all proceeds of this event benefit the Education & Research Foundation, which provides scholarships to students entering the construction field at local Colleges and Universities, so please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thank you in advance for your support!

For more information, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or (414) 778-4100.

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Fall Protection Training in the Construction Industry - FREE TO ALL ATTENDEES
August 5, 2014, 8:00 am 5:00 pm at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
Each year, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. Over the last 5 years, on average, more than 350 workers were killed each year in construction-related falls according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. AGC of America is pleased to offer this one-day training program based on OSHA standards and best practices to answer the need for quality Fall Protection training within the industry.

Who Should Attend?
· Company Officers
· Managers
· Project Managers
· Supervisors
· Foremen
· Both Union and Non-union Contractors

What Will I Learn?
· Fall Protection Statistics
· OSHA Standards for Fall Protection
· How to Identify Fall Hazard Locations
· Selection and Criteria of Fall Protections Systems and Equipment
· Fall Protection Training Requirements

Sponsoring Chapter:
AGC of Greater Milwaukee
Program Date and Location:
August 5, 2014, 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Training Location:
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
5311 S. Howell Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone: 414-481-2400

For more information contact:
Dan Burazin or Kim Jalalian
AGC of Greater Milwaukee
Phone: 414-778-4100
kjalalian@agc-gm.org
Raj Vohra
AGC Safety and Health Department
Phone: 703-837-5409
Fax: 703-837-3119
Email: vohrar@agc.org

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Association Highlights
 
PBGC Report Notes Multiemployer Plan Risks, AGC Calls on Congress to Enact Reform

This week, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued its FY 2013 Projections Report, which provides a financial overview of the agency.  As expected, the report noted increased risk to the multiemployer program, stating that the multiemployer program’s FY 2013 deficit of $8.3 billion will widen to approximately $49.6 billion by FY 2023.  In addition, the report warns of significant benefit cuts in the case of plan failures and additional benefit cuts if the PBGC’s multiemployer program goes bankrupt, which is a realistic scenario without significant reform to the system.

The report also states that PBGC’s multiemployer program itself is on course to become insolvent with a significant risk of running out of money in as little as five years. The risk of insolvency only rises rapidly, exceeding 50 percent in 2022 and reaching 90 percent by 2025. If these assumptions hold, PBGC’s multiemployer program can be expected to become completely insolvent in 2021, consistent with the budget estimate of the Congressional Budget Office.

A group of bipartisan leaders in Congress responded to the release of the report by noting that the multiemployer system must be reformed. AGC continues to advocate for the joint labor and management reforms outlined in the Solutions Not Bailouts report and remains hopeful Congress will enact these reforms before the end of the year. It remains critical that AGC members reiterate their support of legislation to their members of Congress and to use the AGC Legislation Action Center to send letters to their members of Congress.

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Supreme Court Victory in Challenge to NLRB "Recess Appointments"

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case challenging the validity of three “recess appointments” President Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012.  The court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The case was challenged with the help of the AGC-supported Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The decision will affect the status of hundreds of cases that were deemed to have been decided by invalid board members of the NLRB.

The Board is expected to now reconsider those cases, along with potentially reconsidering other acts, such as appointments of regional directors and other NLRB officials that were taken during this time. AGC will be analyzing the decision and will keep you updated on the impact of today’s decision.

For more information, please contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org

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AGC Financial Issues Forum Recap

Last week, nearly 40 member company CFOs and other senior accounting professionals attended the AGC Financial Issues Forum (FIF) Summer Meeting in Washington, D.C. Forum members were brought up to speed on the recently released Revenue Recognition Accounting Standard Update and had a tax discussion with Congressman James Renacci (R-Ohio), a CPA and member of the congressional tax-writing committee.


On day one of the forum, attendees focused most of the day on the new accounting standard:


With detail presentation & discussion on how the standard will affect construction companies by John Armour, CBIZ MHM; and member of the FASB Transition Resource Group


Update on Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ongoing projects such as lease accounting by Cullen Walsh, FASB senior staff

An economic outlook by Bernard Markstein, U.S. Chief Economist, Reed Construction Data
On day two, FIF members turned their attention to tax issues faced by the industry:
A discussion on construction tax issues including recent tax court rulings by John Armour, CBIZ MHM
Presentation on the State of the Surety Industry by David Finkelstein, Arch Insurance Group
A tax policy dialogue regarding  recently published legislative drafts and future congressional action on expired tax provisions by Brian Lenihan, AGC Congressional Relations staff
A discussion about the status of legislation and politics with Ways & Means Committee member Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio)
Presentation on AGC’s new Private Health Care Exchange by AGC and Willis

The slides from the Summer Meeting are now available under the presentations tab on the meeting page – AGC FIF Summer Meeting.


The next meeting of the FIF will be the Winter Meeting held Jan. 8-9, 2015, in Florida. Meeting and hotel information will be circulated in the coming weeks. The forum is geared toward member company CFOs, VPs of Finance, Controllers, Tax Directors and other senior accounting professionals – in which forum attendees have an opportunity to learn as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters that directly affect the bottom line and operations of AGC member companies of all sizes and specialties. Over the next months, AGC will highlight the work of FIF members and the need for construction companies to prepare for the new Revenue Recognition Accounting Standard Update.

For more information, please contact Brian Lenihan at (202) 547-4733 or lenihanb@agc.org

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July Sale: Save 20% on Manual of Accident Prevention in Construction

For the month of July AGC is offering the Manual for Accident Prevention in Construction at 20% off!

This manual has safety and preventive measures from underwater construction all the way to the use of simple tools such as a hammer. With this manual contractors can be ensured that the employees that have read and abide by the safety measures outlined by the manual will certainly be better off on their respective work site. As a contractor this manual is an invaluable resource, with information on just about every type of preventable accident while on the work site. Let this manual be the tool that you use to rest a little easier at night, you’ve hired the right people now educate them with the best Accident Prevention Manual on the market.

This 9th edition manual contains information on a variety of safety topics and is designed to assist construction contractors in preventing accidents on their jobsites. This manual contains 43 chapters and topics covering: Personal Protection, Rirst Aid, Fire Hazards and Prevention, Scaffolding, Steel Erection, Motor Vehicles, Pipelines, Boilers, Explosives, Road Building, Mobile Asphalt Plants and many more…


Use Coupon Code: MAPC20
Purchase here.
Offer ends 8/1/14!

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Do More With Less

In recent years, AGC members have been pressed to deliver more services at lower cost, while maintaining the highest quality. Recognizing this challenge, AGC developed a "Doing More With Less" webpage, which contains a number of tools and resources to help members maximize their efficiency. These include a searchable database, which allows contractors of all types and sizes to share cost-saving ideas that have worked successfully in their firms and to learn from others' best practices, a LinkedIn Group, and several AGC Forums.

Check out this webpage for more information about how your firm can "Do More With Less!"

Please contact Sarah Gallegos with any questions.

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In the News
 
Milwaukee Area Digging in as Construction Projects Progress: Top 10 Banner Projects

Cranes and construction equipment are humming around the seven-county Milwaukee area as general contractors tackle projects large and small.

When I solicited construction companies for high-cost work they have underway - from site preparations to the final touches before the building opens - the list just kept growing. Many projects came in with construction costs of at least $5 million.

As I waded through some of the correspondence, I got a closer view of many exciting things happening in our community.

While the final list of 25 construction projects underway began around the $14 million construction cost mark, even that list missed a few because certain parties want to keep costs confidential.

So you won't see the ProHealth Care Cancer Center development underway in Pewaukee, or the Nordstrom store going up at Mayfair among the list.

A couple projects that piqued my curiosity but didn't make the list, ranked by construction costs:

The Paper Box Lofts - a project of adaptive re-use is converting the Milwaukee Paper Box Co. in the Menomonee Valley into 72 apartment units. The construction cost is $10.5 million and a fall 2014 completion is anticipated. Greenfire Management Services and Continuum Architects are collaborating on the effort.

Curious about the Milwaukee City Hall Terra Cotta project at 200 E. Wells St. and when all the scaffolding will come down? JP Cullen is working on it. The restoration of the exterior facade to repair and replace about 2,400 terra cotta pieces has an estimated $6.7 million construction cost and work is expected to be done by Oct. 31.

But back to the Top 25 banner projects in various states of completion. The 25 include the Alverno College expansion project, Beaumont Place luxury apartments in Whitefish Bay and Park East Avenir Apartments in the Park East corridor.

Check out the Slideshow Here for photos of some of the highest-profile projects around the area with the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project and Potawatomi hotel in the Menomonee Valley leading the way.

Read Original Article

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New Building Product (Almost): Lego-Like Smart Bricks

A company called Kite Bricks is out to disrupt the construction business starting with the humble brick.

Kite Bricks has developed "Smart Bricks" (S-Bricks) made out of high-strength concrete that can be used to make buildings rapidly, cheaply and energy efficiently.

The bricks -- which are patent pending -- are much like Lego in that they come in a variety of forms for different purposes and can easily connect together, with rows of knobs along the top of bricks that slot into voids along the bottom of other bricks. A special adhesive -- which works like a super-strong double-sided sticky tape, a bit like 3M VHB -- dispenses with the need for cement. They can be delivered to building sites in a kit complete with traditional doors and windows allowing for structures to be assembled with a minimum of debris and labour. Steel bars can be slotted through dedicated channels in the bricks to provide the same support as traditionally reinforced concrete.

The bricks feature open internal spaces for insulation, which means that buildings made with the bricks require less energy for heating and cooling. The spaces also allow for infrastructure elements -- whether it's plumbing or wiring -- to run through them. Removable panels allow for easy access to these infrastructure elements so that portions of walls don't need to be torn down for maintenance. The bricks can be used to make floors, walls and ceilings and the company says that if it constructs the average five storey building using the bricks it can save around 30 percent energy compared with traditional construction methods. Kite Bricks also claims to be able to reduce the cost of construction by as much as 50 percent.

Kite Bricks was set up by Ronnie Zohar, who has another company that applies layers of film over windows in order to improve insulation. "I realised that windows in the building are a small part of the heat problem -- most of the problem is the concrete with the steel inside that get hot or cold," Zohar told Wired.co.uk. This led him to develop a brick with gaps for air inside for insulation purposes, before he started to consider other features. It's been in development for three years, with one of the most tricky elements being developing a formulation of concrete that's "light and strong like steel".

What does he think of the Lego comparison? "It didn't come from there," he says, adding that the focus was always on insulation and strength. The fact that the blocks have been designed to connect together easily was secondary.

One of Zohar's key focusses has been to make it as simple as possible to build using the bricks. "I'd like people in Africa and other places in the world to be able to build with our brick and get a thermally-insulated house using the same money they would have spent on tin."

So far, there's only a prototype and IP protection. Zohar needs further funding -- around $3 million -- in order to bring the Smart Brick to market. Future plans could include the introduction of robotic builders (as shown in the video) that could assemble properties using the bricks.

Check Out the Original Article, Featering and Animated Demonstrational Video

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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
AGC Golf Classic Registration is Now OPEN!
Fall Protection Training in the Construction Industry - FREE TO ALL ATTENDEES
Association Highlights
PBGC Report Notes Multiemployer Plan Risks, AGC Calls on Congress to Enact Reform
Supreme Court Victory in Challenge to NLRB "Recess Appointments"
AGC Financial Issues Forum Recap
July Sale: Save 20% on Manual of Accident Prevention in Construction
Do More With Less
In the News
Milwaukee Area Digging in as Construction Projects Progress: Top 10 Banner Projects
New Building Product (Almost): Lego-Like Smart Bricks
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AGC of America Website
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