In today’s construction daily news, we look into the Better Housing Coalition’s starting construction on a new extension to the Winchester Greens complex that will cost $45 million. The shortage of manpower could make it more difficult to rebuild Florida after Hurricane Ian. Seabees from the Pacific Partnership help construct a school in Papua New Guinea. As BIM becomes more widespread, there are increased hazards to the builders’ privacy and safety.

Better Housing Coalition begins $45M extension to Winchester Greens campus

Original Source: Better Housing Coalition breaks ground on $45M addition to Winchester Greens campus

A local housing group is beginning construction on its latest property for low-income renters on the Southside.

Winchester Forest is a $45 million addition to Better Housing Coalition’s 60-acre Winchester Greens site in northeast Chesterfield County.

The nine garden-style apartment buildings will accommodate 160 apartments for families with yearly salaries of $40,480 to $60,420 for a family of four. One-, two-, and three-bedroom rates will vary from $650 to $1,150.

Two- and three-story structures will rise in two phases at 2701 and 2739 Drewrys Bluff Road, west of Route 1 and northwest of Winchester Greens, which contains 240 multifamily and 234 senior homes.

BHC CEO Greta Harris said the area is part of Winchester Greens, which will be linked to Winchester Forest.

Two lots were sold to a nonprofit-affiliated LLC in a $750,000 deal on Sept. 1. Chesterfield County’s assessment was $1 million.

Harris termed Winchester Forest one of BHC’s “COVID babies” that got caught up in supply chain difficulties and pricing rises.

Harris remarked, “It became such a stressful feat because every time we thought we had prices nailed down, the amount kept fluctuating due to supply chain challenges and health concerns throughout the pandemic.”

“We’d have a number in mind and attempt to fill it, but it would change,” she said. “It took us months to discover and acquire sources, and by then our contractor said the sub numbers had moved.” It’s been a dance, and I’m very proud of our employees for sticking with it.

Arnold Design Studio designed Winchester Forest for UrbanCore Construction. Virginia Housing, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and Chesterfield County donated funds.

Third quarter 2023 is expected for completion.

BHC is also planning a 166-unit building further south on Route 1 at the former Colebrook Motel site in Chester. It’s also erecting a 67-unit apartment building in Jackson Ward, spanning Cameo, Jackson, Price, and Duval streets.

BHC and Virginia Supportive Housing canceled a proposed merger earlier this month.

Labor shortages may impede Florida’s recovery from Ian

Original Source: Rebuilding Florida after Ian may be slowed by labor shortage

In one of the toughest labor markets in U.S. history, reconstructing Florida after Hurricane Ian will likely require thousands of workers.

Hiring employees to rebuild months and years after the initial cleanup could be difficult due to low construction and overall unemployment, especially in Florida.

The storm’s economic costs are unclear but considerable. Hurricane Sandy cost in inflation-adjusted USD, according to NOAA.

In 2012, the construction sector was recovering from a five-year crisis, and there were more employees available to rebuild, said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America, an industry group.

Before Sandy, 900,000 construction workers were looking for jobs. In comparison, 401,000 construction workers in August. Simonson says the unemployment rate in August was 3.9% and 11.3% in August 2012.

“There are fewer skilled personnel to satisfy present demand, let alone a storm surge,” Simonson said.

Hurricane Sandy ranks fourth in cost. $186 billion is the cost of Hurricane Katrina.

Simonson is optimistic that the building will meet Florida’s needs.

He said the construction industry responds quickly and successfully to natural disasters. “I’m convinced that many companies and workers will help in Florida and wherever Ian causes terrible harm.”

High demand for workers due to last year’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan affects construction. Colleges are expanding programs to teach more qualified professionals, but recruiting untrained individuals may be difficult. Florida’s unemployment rate is less than 3.7%.

Rebuilding Florida’s hurricane-damaged communities will take several steps, said Peter Dyga, president and CEO of ABC’s East Coast chapter. Initial debris removal and utility restoration will begin.

Dyga sees the utility response as a collaborative approach, with crews coming into the state under mutual assistance agreements. He wishes there were mutual agreements for rebuilding after a storm, but there are none.

He said, “The labor crisis is really bad.” To this, it’s hard to see a short-term answer.

Dyga said the government may help by relaxing some requirements, such as extending building permits so a contractor can shift personnel to a disaster region without losing a permit.

The need for labor may prompt Washington to expedite work permits for asylum seekers.

Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) presented legislation this year to speed up the asylum process by months by reducing the waiting time to 30 days.

Seabees build a school in Papua New Guinea

Original School: Pacific Partnership Seabees Build School in Papua New Guinea

Seabees assisting Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22) built a new two-room classroom at Buluma Primary School in Kimbe, PNG. In its 17th year, the Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian aid and disaster relief operation in the Indo-Pacific.

At the ribbon-cutting event, Charge d’Affaires Joe Zadrozny said, “Pacific Partnership 2022 brought the Seabees back to West New Britain 79 years later.” The Pacific Partnership included the US, PNG, Australia, and Japan. Former foes have become allies. The Pacific Partnership develops friendship and collaboration among numerous nations. Buluma Primary School proves it. We use hospital ships instead of warships. The Pacific Partnership was operated from the USS Mercy. On August 26, Mercy began building Buluma Primary School on August 26 and finished a month later. Seabees continue to build in peacetime.

At the event, engineering aid constructionman Matthew Evans said, “This school will help numerous youngsters grow.” The building can potentially be used as a disaster relief shelter.

Evans and his colleagues are assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 in California. On Sept. 6, they began building Buluma School.

While the Seabees create a community building, the Navy personnel take something with them.

This incident taught me the necessity of working together to deliver relief. Due to cultural differences, we learn a lot from the host nation.

Learning about PNG culture and making new friends has been a bonus of this assignment.

Buluma hamlet residents in West New Britain are very welcoming and want to show it. “From refreshments to keeping us cool, this project is as much theirs as ours,” Evans added.

Events for PP22 are developed with the host nation and based on its needs.

Builders confront security, privacy problems as BIM takes off

Original Source: Builders face security, privacy risks as BIM takes off

The construction industry is adopting BIM. BIM has many benefits but also presents issues for civil contractors.

Federal and state cybersecurity policies are moving quickly, panelists said at the Building Innovation conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Energy and Transportation revised their data rules this year, and California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia all have 2023 data privacy regulations.

Contractors must grasp the rules and equip their personnel and subcontractors to comply or lose civil jobs.

Compliance-minded contractors

NIBS has created the U.S. National Building Information Management Program to aid builders with these difficulties. The program intends to create a BIM standard for planning, constructing, and operating in the built environment.

Many federal contractors lack understanding of compliance responsibilities, panelists said. Getting subcontractors and other stakeholders to comply is another difficulty, says HDR’s Rachel Riopel.

“One of the greatest problems I noticed among companies that handle a lot of federal work is that we spend an abnormal amount of money to fulfill those criteria, but we also want our subcontractors and carpenters to hop on board with us or improve their procedures and become compliant,” Riopel said. “Otherwise, no job.”

Prime contractors may be refused an award if a subcontractor doesn’t meet federal Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements. CMMC is a system of compliance levels that helps the government decide if an organization has the security infrastructure needed to work with CUI.

Risk reduction

NIBS study respondents fear ransomware, breaches, and loss of personal information and privacy in BIM environments. With the rise of new legislation and concerns about privacy and security, it’s crucial to get everyone on the same page, said Riopel.

Contractors can:

  • Gap analysis assesses businesses’ ability to implement new security standards.
  • Compare implementation costs to security gains.
  • Determine why current security practices fail and how to improve them.
  • Clarify project criteria for everyone.
  • Use federal funding to boost project security.

Nathan Wood, executive director of the Construction Progress Coalition, said further study and training are needed to enhance and update the new standards. Wood says it’s difficult to create strong cybersecurity guidelines for contractors.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed that the Winchester Forest is a 45-million-dollar addition to the 60-acre Winchester Greens site that is owned by the Better Housing Coalition in the northeastern part of Chesterfield County. They have begun development on its newest property, which will be available for renters with modest incomes on the Southside.

Rebuilding Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian is likely going to require the assistance of thousands of people.

The Seabees, who were working to support Pacific Partnership 2022, constructed a new two-room classroom at Buluma Primary School in Kimbe, Papua New Guinea, and the Seabees were able to learn about the culture of Papua, New Guinea as a bonus of their assignment.

BIM is becoming more widely used in the building industry. The Building Information Model (BIM) offers numerous advantages, but it also creates issues for civil contractors.