construction

Subcontractor Challenges by Construction Dive

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Construction Dive wrote an in-depth article about the major challenges that subcontractors deal with on the construction site.  

Most construction projects use subcontractors for specialty work.  Why would a general contractor (GC) self-perform a specialty such as fire protection when they don't have the code knowledge, design experience, or skill set necessary?  They hire a subcontractor to complete that work.  However, when GC's hire a subcontractor, they are passing along a burden to the subcontractor.  

Related:  Case Study - Air Handling Unit Retrofit

Oftentimes, the subcontractor needs to take responsibility for the scheduling of the project and fronting the money needed to complete the project.  In some cases, subcontractors need to front millions of dollars for a project and coordinate the scheduling with other subcontractors on the project.

According to Construction Dive, subcontractors have 4 major challenges.

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1.  Cash Flow

GC's often rely on subcontractors to front the money for materials and payroll with a "pay when paid" policy.  This puts extra strain on subcontractors, especially those without adequate cash flow.

2.  Scheduling

Subcontractors are responsible for coordinating with the other groups on a job site.  Working with other subcontractors and coordinating the schedule can be challenging when each contractor's priority is getting their own portion of the job complete. 

3.  Communication

Communication between the owner, GC, and subcontractors is difficult.  Each group's main objective is the same.  Finish the project perfectly and on time.  However, outside factors like labor shortages and scheduling mishaps provide a need for crucial conversations.

Related:  Streamlining Processes for the General Contractor

4.  Labor Shortage

The labor shortage has been an issue for years now.  Contractors are starting to turn jobs down because they don't have a means to adequately staff the job.  It is better to not take a job then to take one you can't complete well.  The reputation tarnish of a job turned bad is not worth it.  

5 Odd Artifacts Found at Construction Sites

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It's always fun to look at the strange things that are dug up at construction sites.  Things could be buried for centuries to be found at a parking garage construction site.  Let's take a look at the strangest things found recently.

1.  During Chinese Road construction, a 700-year-old mummy was found. 

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In 2011, a mummified woman was found during road construction.  She was incredibly well-preserved, dressed in silk, her hair and eyebrows were still intact.  Amazingly, she was 700 years old.

2.  A medieval hospital was found in Madrid at an Apple store. 

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In the 1850s, the bubonic plague was going strong in Europe.  Many hospitals got overwhelmed and had to be abandoned.  In 2013, the rubble of a bubonic hospital was found where an Apple store was being constructed.  It was determined that the hospital dated back to the 15th century.

3.  Pablo Escobar's Secret Safe at Home Construction

The government seized Pablo Escobar's Florida house twenty-nine years ago.  A new owner bought the house and began construction.  During the excavation process, they found Escobar's safe.  The government didn't release the contents though.

4.  Triceratops Fossil Found at Construction Site

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During construction of a new fire and police station, in July of 2017, a triceratops skeleton was found.  The construction crew called the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and on August 28, 2017, the curator confirmed that it was a triceratops. 

5.  1700's Cemetery

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A man from New Orleans was digging a backyard pool when he discovered a buried cemetery.  The cemetery dated back to 1700 with 13 caskets with human remains.  Nearby, in 1984, 36 corpses were found while excavating an apartment complex.

  

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WWII Bomb Found During Construction, German Prison Evacuated

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Regensburg, Germany -- A World War II era bomb was recently unearthed during excavation work at a Germany construction site in Regensburg.  Regensburg is a city with a 140,000 population and home to a prison.

Construction in this area has unearthed undetonated munitions throughout the area.  The bomb was found during a construction project a few yards from Regensburg prison.  The prison is home to 109 inmates.

Authorities were forced to organize a large-scale evacuation of the area, including of the inmates and the prison.  Approximately 1,500 local residents were evacuated while the bomb was diffused.  Specialists defused one bomb and had two controlled explosions of bombs found with still-intact detonators.

Bombs and other munition is found throughout Germany during construction excavation.  Since the beginning of 2017, five bombs have already been found in the area.

About ten minutes from the site, another bomb was found near a kindergarten.  The bomb was a 250 lbs American pilot bomb.  It was safety defused.

"There are bombs everywhere.  This is nothing unusual in Germany," said Biopark Physicist Dr. Robert Mertzig.

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