E-news for the Construction Division Fall 2010

PEC Wants Your Feedback!

NSPE-PEC is always looking for ways to strengthen and improve programs and benefits for our members. Input from a wide cross-section of PEC members would be most helpful to determine what service(s) PEC members could use. Therefore, we are asking for your participation in our 10 question survey. Please click on the link below to begin. Thank you in advance for your help!


Support PEC: Become a 2011 Sustaining Sponsor

There has never been a better time to get exposure, and more business, for your firm than now. Through October 31, get 10% off the price of becoming a 2011 PEC Sustaining Firm and get your firm listed in PEC's online searchable directory. By becoming a PEC Sustaining Firm, you will help to support the efforts of Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC) as we strive to promote the hard-earned professional engineer (PE) designation and enhance the image of the PE in Construction.

As a 2011 PEC Sustaining Firm, you will link more business to your future while receiving the following benefits:

  • Company listing: You'll be included in a searchable directory that includes a complete description of your firm's specialties. Let owners and other customers and partners find you! All PEC Sustaining Firms are listed at  www.nspe.org/PEC/Supporters.
  • Company Advertisement: Listing in an issue of NSPE's PE magazine (circulation is over 40,000) and in PEC Reporter, a monthly electronic newsletter sent to more than 5,500 PEC members.
  • Valuable Discounts: 25% discount on ads in PE magazine, NSPE Update, NSPE Web banners, and job board postings.

Please visit the PEC Web site to become a 2010 PEC Sustaining Sponsor. Your participation will not only help you reach potential clients and partners, it will also provide valuable support for our industry and profession. 

Thank you in advance for your support of NSPE/PEC.

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Use of BIM Creating New Paradigm in Project Delivery

Much of the engineering design and construction community has been introduced in some manner to Building Information Modeling—the process of generating and managing computerized multi-dimensional models linked to databases containing design specifications, schedules, and other documents related to a construction project.

Virtual building, virtual design and construction, and integrated practice are synonymous terms for this emerging technology that is trending toward being the next-generation tool for project delivery. Regardless of terminology preference, BIM’s mission is not to replace traditional or modern forms of project delivery; rather, the process aims to dramatically increase productivity and efficiency in the construction industry.   

Although the academic origins of BIM can be traced back to the late 1970s, it took more than decade for information modeling to achieve wider acceptance in the building industry. BIM gained further ground in 2004 following the release of a report entitled Cost Analysis of Inadequate Interoperability in the U.S. Capital Facilities Industry. Published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the report concluded that nearly $16 billion is lost annually by the U.S. construction industry due to inadequate interoperability, including the highly fragmented structure of the industry itself, continued paper-based business practices, lack of standardization, and inconsistent technology use among project team members.

Today, adopted in principle by more than 20 construction industry organizations, BIM overcomes many of the barriers cited in the NIST report. Proponents tout it as a process that offers improved visualization, better coordination of construction documents, and greater productivity due to easy retrieval of information. Because BIM embeds and links vital data such as suppliers of specific materials, location of details, and quantities required for estimation and procurement, it also increases speed of delivery and reduces overall costs.

By its own nature, BIM represents a new approach in architectural and engineering design. Digital representations of the actual components used to construct a building can be created, and the quantities and shared properties of materials can be extracted easily. Scopes of work can be isolated and defined, and the systems, assemblies, and work sequences can be shown in a relative scale within the entire project or just a group of facilities.

“BIM provides all parties involved on a project with shared, up-to-date project data,” the Associated General Contractors points out, “subsequently allowing for a richer design process, increased budget control through predictions about the project’s construction process, and fewer surprises with respect to potential design and scheduling conflicts among trades—long before ground is even broken.”

AGC’s perspective is shared with Terry Cook, president of the Construction Owners Association of America. “The challenge in the design and construction process isn’t to expand our horizons but to fix the seams,” he says. “BIM is an important conduit for information to flow from concept through design, construction, operations, and back to concept for the next project.”

The structural steel industry has also demonstrated the viability of BIM in today’s marketplace, according to the American Institute of Steel Construction. “The accomplishment of vertical integration has motivated other specialty contractors to begin the process of replicating these successes in their vertical project supply chain,” AISC notes.

In an industry that can sometimes be slow to embrace change, what is the future role of BIM in building documentation and project delivery?

The SmartMarket Report on Building Information Modeling: Transforming Design and Construction to Achieve Greater Industry Productivity, published by McGraw-Hill Construction in December 2008, found that BIM use on construction projects is growing rapidly. In fact, 62% of users surveyed indicated they would be using BIM on more than 30% of their projects in 2009. The research findings also showed that 82% of those using BIM believe it is having a very positive impact on their organizations’ productivity.

As part of its market summary, McGraw-Hill says BIM is being broadly accepted by the construction industry, with more than 50% of each survey segment—architects, engineers, contractors, and owners—utilizing the technology tools at moderate levels or higher. Architects are the heaviest users of BIM; contractors are the lightest users, although they expect to see the greatest rise in BIM use in the future. Engineers see their BIM use increasing but not as much as that of other project team members; owners expect to see moderate increases.

“This powerful trend points to an unstoppable wave of adoption and creative implementation that will redefine project delivery and affect every company in the construction industry,” the McGraw-Hill report contends.

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Happenings on the Hill

NSPE, NIBS, and other industry organizations signed a joint letter to congressional appropriations committees in support of FY11 funding for GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings. Established under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the OFHPGB has increased the federal government’s focus on high-performance building issues, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and indoor environmental quality. When GSA received $4.5 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to upgrade federal buildings for high performance, OFHPGB provided the technical expertise for realizing the upgrades. OFHPGB cannot continue its mission, however, unless it receives appropriated funding for FY

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NSPE Helps You Meet Your Continuing Education Requirements

NSPE kicks off the fall Webinar series on September 23 with Successfully Building Green in a Bad Economy, then follows that up with the first in the popular Ethics Forum series, Key Issues in the Aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill, on September 29. 

See NSPE’s fall Webinar schedule on the web. Don’t miss out. Sign up online today. The member price is $99 per site. Get a group of your colleagues together in the conference room, and all of you can participate and receive credit for the one low price of $99. The more people you have in the room, the cheaper the price per person! Don’t forget to login to the Web site before you purchase to receive the member price. 

Download Fall Web Seminar Flyer (pdf)


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Engineer Your Way to Success, For Free!

Written for engineering students, recent graduates, and newly minted PEs, the guide provides advice on managing a successful career in engineering, no matter if you intend to be a company expert, independent consultant, or a manager. With anecdotes and advice from people who have been there and done that, Engineer Your Way to Success is a comprehensive career handbook. The book was published with help from NSPE’s Professional Engineers in Government and the Professional Engineers in Higher Education Sustaining University Program.

Engineer Your Way to Success is available to members as a free download. The nonmember price is $19.95.

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2010-11 PEC Executive Board

Paul J Bakken, P.E.,F.NSPE

Immediate Past Chairman
David Hunley, P.E.

Chairman Elect
Thomas L. Paxson, P.E., F.NSPE

Dr. David Ray Shields, P.E.

Northeast Region
Donn R. Zang, P.E., F.NSPE

North Central Region
Paul E Harmon, P.E.

Southeast Region
James B Harper P.E.

Southwest Region
Lee M. Alexander, P.E.

Central Region
Glen R Schwalbach, PE,FNSPE

Western & Pacific Region
Paul Highley, P.E.

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Engineers, architects, and other design professionals can now update their continuing professional development and increase their productivity using state-of-the-art educational programs available through SmartPros. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that online learning costs one-third less than off site, classroom training and consumes half the time. Consistent with this estimate, users of SmartPros programs enjoy the convenience of immediately accessible CD-ROM and Web-based training that allows for just-in-time learning-24 hours a day.

CE completion at your fingertips! From green building techniques (including LEED) to legal and discipline-specific topics, you'll find the excellence in course content you demand, delivered in a highly interactive online format. NSPE members enjoy a savings of nearly 15% off regular course pricing. To learn more, visit RedVector online or call 813-202-8460.


PDHengineer understands how busy you are. That's why they offer web-based learning to fit your schedule. You can choose from a library of nearly 2000 hours of self-paced, online courses and complete them in the comfort of your home or office—and print your certificate of completion on the spot!  NSPE members can get acquainted with PDHengineer by taking their popular Engineering Disasters: Kansas City Hyatt Catwalk Collapse course for free! To take advantage of this offer, visit their Web site and use passcode NSPE508. Call 877-500-7145 for more details.

If you would like to sponsor the next edition of PEC Reporter, contact the Professional Engineers in Construction for more information.


Halverson Constuction Co Inc

Van Dyken Mechanical Inc

Lloyd Consulting + Engineering Inc

Bonhag Associates PLLC

Frank Gurney Inc

Gibson & Associates Inc

Edward E Gillen Co

Allied Contractors Inc

Blitman Building Corporation

Buchart Horn Inc

Fagen Engineering LLC

Glynn Geotechnical Engineering

D'Annunzio & Sons, Inc.

Snyder Electric Co Inc

Richard W Rauseo PE Consulting Engineers

Dalton Olmsted & Fuglevand

John N Puder Inc

Brown Construction Services

Capital Project Management Inc


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