The Pipeline Newsletter & Podcast

Previous Episodes & Back Issues

Previous Episodes Subscribe and listen to the Pipeline Podcast and check out back issues of the Pipeline Newsletter below. Click here for more past episodes. Back Issues Click here for individual articles. 2020 Week 47: Please Cough – The One Thing to Do This Week Week 46: Setting The Bid […]

Please Cough – The One Thing to Do This Week

Executive Summary Caring about your employees is human and it’s good for business. Combine the two to create solid and long-lasting relationships plus a healthy business. Send your employees to the doctor. Regularly. I’m in construction, why do I care? You care about your employees and co-workers because you’re human. […]

Setting the Bid Unit Price: 2 Main Reasons for Unbalancing

Executive Summary Setting of bid prices on a unit price bid can have significant effects on the financial performance of a project. Set your unit prices in your proposals to have positive impact. Be strategic. Balanced Bid PricesA balanced bid price is when each of the bid items shares equally […]

Top 6 Ingredients of a Letter

Executive Summary Letters in the construction industry, during the course of a project, usually are reserved for contentious issues or to satisfy notification requirements. Here are six of the most important and common ingredients in these letters. Why do we Write Letters?  Emails are commonplace these days, but writing a […]

Pipe Goes Bang!

Executive Summary Any noise beyond liquid simply flowing in a pipe is likely not a good thing. Two potentially dangerous noises in pipes/pumping systems are water hammer and cavitation. What Noises are “bad” Noises? Whether it’s water in your own pipes at home, or you’re in a pump station with, […]

Insult Your Client with Simplicity: Day Labeling

Executive Summary Construction contracts are almost always measured in some sort of day: a working day or a calendar day. In analysis and project communication, kill the doubt for the reader and always define the type of day in every use of the word “day”. What’s a Work Day? A […]

Closer to 1.30, not 1.50

Executive Summary A common mistake in estimating is the cost of an overtime manhour.  Overtime is generally not one and one-half times the straight time rate.  It’s usually closer to 1.30. What’s in a labor rate? A labor rate is a combination of three numbers:  the base rate, the tax, […]

Fire! Run to It, Not From It!

Executive Summary Construction often times does not go per plan. These unexpected variances in the plan can make or break a job. How you treat these “fires” can define your effectiveness as a manager. What could go wrong? In construction there’s dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of things, that […]

Contract Mapping: A Valuable Tool in Your Toolbox

Executive summary. Contract interpretation can be difficult for a construction professional. Contracts are comprised of thousands of words and hundreds of paragraphs. Consider “contract mapping” to help quickly guide you through a contract. Give me numbers, not words. Most construction professionals are technically minded and/or visually geared. This is to […]

You Better Honor Your Bid on Bid Day Mr. Subcontractor

Executive summary.  As a general contractor you can rely on your subcontractor’s bid on bid day as a binding agreement.  But not in all states. Read on to learn about protection granted by the Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel.  Call your attorney.  I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know what […]

An Hour’s not an Hour, and it’s Certainly not a Day

Executive summary. There are differences in an hour: a manhour, a crew hour, a 50-minute hour. And an hour’s not a day, so there is another calculation for a manday. Here is a quick explanation of these estimating terms. Definitions. There are several ways to estimate the cost of construction […]

Anatomy of a Change

Executive summary. Construction changes are generally handled in a similar way in most contracts. As a contractor you can develop good habits and controls to ensure you capture time and cost impacts. Anatomy of a change. Changes occur in a majority of construction contracts. Knowing how to track them and […]

Shhh, You’re being Recorded – and Two Other Tips

Executive summary. Just three random important things for contractors that didn’t make up an article all on their own: the legality of audio recording, running one man short, the golden rule of bid forms. What’s this article about? It’s about being a smart contractor in the easiest of ways. Learn […]

Quantifying the Loss in Labor Productivity: the MCAA Factors

Executive summary. There are very few “court-accepted” ways a contractor can quantify his or her loss as a result of labor productivity, or lack thereof. MCAA’s (Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc.) document PD 2 Factors Affecting Labor Productivity is one of the most widely used methods in practice. See […]

Cash v. Accrual Accounting – Whatchu Talkin’ About Willis?

Executive summary.  There are basic differences between cash and accrual accounting.  Here’s a quick review. What is accounting?  Sounds simple, right?  It’s just keeping track of money in a business.  And money only does one of two things – it either goes in the bank account, or out of the […]

How to do a Job Cost Projection: Cutting through the Fog – Part 2

You can find Part 1 here. Let’s run through an example. Let’s do an example so you see some of the challenges. Let’s take one cost code in your budget – let’s look at roadway subgrade. Below we have the budget for this cost. You can see the cost code […]

How to do a Job Cost Projection: Cutting through the Fog – Part 1

Executive summary. An accurate job cost projection is vital to Company survival. And it’s not too complicated if you know the budget, the timing of your costs, and can do a little bit of estimating. It’s NOT about blindly relying on quantities completed! What’s a projection? It also carries different […]

Mistaken Taboo: Project Overhead

Executive summary. Field overhead carries different names with different contractors and owners. Discussed here is what field overhead is, and why it’s important for owners to understand. Project estimation. When a construction project is estimated, a good estimate will be one that captures all costs related to a project. These costs include, […]

The #1 Driver of a Construction Claim

Executive summary. A construction claim is a dispute in the Work as it was contemplated in the original construction documents. However, a large percentage of what drives a claim is not the Contract. It’s the people. It’s personalities. The spark. Losing money. That’s what drives contractors to spar with an owner. Contractors […]

Don’t Be Charlie Brown’s Teacher

Executive summary. If you are interested in communicating information to your audience, and you want your audience to absorb and remember what you’re saying, communicate effectively. Communicate using vocabulary, tempo, brevity, and body language that your client understands and wants. It’s not about you. It’s about them. They need to get […]

Better the Devil You Know

Executive summary. Many folks make changes based on temporary pains. More often than not, better the devil you know that the devil you don’t.  The problem. It happens with a girlfriend, a new service provider, or a material supplier. You’ve been in this relationship for some time and the performance has been less than desired, […]

Estimating: It’s an Art and a Science

Executive summary. Construction estimating isn’t wholly about the numbers. It involves a “feel” in its execution. This is why many say estimating is an art and a science. What is estimating? An estimate is just that. An estimate. Not an exactimate. Getting low on bid day or successfully negotiating a job isn’t […]

Bond Premium and the Project Time Extension

Executive summary. Most traditional bond rates have two variables in their cost: the contract value and the time threshold. Do not forget to include both in time extension negotiations. What’s in a bond rate? The bond rate from your surety agent comes in two parts: (1) the cost as a […]

Video Conferencing Softwares: a Quick Review

Executive summary. Many video conferencing softwares are in existence. Which one suits you best? Which ones are easiest to use? Here’s one users’ opinion. What do these softwares do? The concept is simple: hold a “face-to-face” meeting with colleagues from anywhere across town or around the world. And it works. […]

Dear Owner, No Change Orders Thank You

Executive summary. Most Project Owners are convinced that Contractors thrive on change orders. The truth is that most would prefer to have none. Read below a sort of open letter to Owners. Speed. I feel the need, the need for speed [QR]. Mr. Owner, when I signed this contract, I […]

I Didn’t Ask for a Lamborghini

Executive summary. Extra work on a construction project must be delivered at fair and reasonable prices. Owners should know they have this right in their Contract, and Contractors should know the owners have this right too. Here comes the extra work. A new scope of work has been added to […]

Letters to the Owner Need to Tell, Not Ask

Executive summary. Most contractors use letters to communicate significant events in a project. Use letters to tell. Use RFIs to ask. Letters for when and for what. Generally speaking, during a construction project, letters are used by contractors to owners at significant or milestone-type events. Common reasons for letters include: […]

“Boosting” Job Profits on Equipment Purchase – on Paper

Executive summary. Whether in a bid situation or a change order negotiation, there is a way to boost your profit on paper by not “job costing” your equipment. Let’s talk depreciation. And whatever you do, make sure to talk to your CPA after reading this. It’s much more complicated than […]

But What Does It Smell Like?

Executive summary. Field experience is necessary to be a best of class construction and engineering professional. Can you or your employee relate to today’s article? Can you write your own article with similar anecdotes to these below? If you cannot, schedule some time in the field. I built this project. […]

Project Parties – Who does what?

Executive summary.  The management structure of sizable projects usually involves four major parties:  the owner, the construction manager, the designer, and the contractor.  Here’s how project management is structured and what the parties’ responsibilities are in two common project delivery methods. Project conception.  Let’s take a sample project, say, a […]

Signing a Change Order: What to look for

Executive summary. Ensure that before you sign a change order, all of the necessary components of your negotiation are included. Here’s what to look for in a change order before you sign it. And don’t forget – you don’t have to sign it. What is a change order? It’s a […]

What Information Governs: Order of Precedence

Executive summary. As a construction professional in the field, when information conflicts between plans and specifications, you should immediately seek the order of precedence section of your contract for guidance. What is order of precedence? In a construction project, the contractor is directed on the makeup of the final product […]

Notice: Writing the Letter

Executive summary. There’s almost nothing more important than notifying your client, in accordance with the Contract, of a time and/or cost impact. Learn how to do it here. What is “notice” and why is it so important? If you had a contractor working on your home and on the presumed […]

Legal Word of the Day: Contemporaneous

Executive summary. In a construction matter, the quality of evidence can be as important as the evidence itself. Using contemporaneous information can be invaluable in your legal matter against an opposing party. What is this word, contemporaneous? In layman’s terms it means recording information as it happens. A note recorded […]

The Joint Venture Estimate: Setup is Key

Executive summary. Whether bidding a job together in one shared document, or running comparison estimates, the setup in a joint venture effort is critical to success. Consider establishing the following before starting your estimating effort. And, be consistent. Be consistent. Why setup is so critical. There’s nothing more important in […]

Optimizing the Contractor’s Professional Engineer

Executive summary. Do you often need a professional engineer to facilitate the construction at your projects? Here’s how to pick your engineer and to guarantee the quickest turnaround of the product you need. Needing a professional engineer. You have traffic control, concrete formwork, deep excavations, shored trenches, worker tie-offs, or […]

Wanna Eat? Help me Kill

Executive summary. Maintaining employment is a factor of your performance, but for construction and engineering firms it is largely dependent on a firm’s ability to bring in project after project. Who’s responsible for bringing in these projects? The answer lies below. The business model. Construction and engineering firms usually do […]

Laos: Infrastructure / Means & Methods

Executive Summary. You’re probably reading this from America or Canada. Ever wonder what the infrastructure and construction means and methods are like in a smaller less developed country like Laos? [For those who haven’t tapped into Google yet to find out where Laos is, it’s a landlocked country adjacent to […]

Earthwork: What’s a Cubic Yard?

Executive summary. A cubic yard is not a cubic yard when it comes to earthwork estimating and field operations. Know the difference to best estimate productions and to negotiate pricing in the field.  Estimating earthwork. Let’s say you’re at your daughter’s soccer game and you’ve been asked to excavate a […]

Takeoff: Beyond the Drawings

Executive Summary. Takeoff is a primary function in the estimation of construction costs. A good takeoff includes more than is plainly seen on the drawings. Here is discussed the definition and purpose of takeoff along with what makes a takeoff good. What is takeoff? Takeoff is the first step in […]

From Me to You: Things I’ve Learned as a Professional

Executive Summary. Advice for life in general, and professional life, is often gleaned by the sharing of lessons and anecdotes. Here are some lessons to apply to both home and work. My resume. I’m 49 years old. I’m not young anymore, but I’m not too old yet either. It could […]

Introduction to Contractor Estimating

Executive Summary.  The reader is introduced to the process of contractor estimating from initial project evaluation through the call for bond, the takeoff, the actual estimating of a civil project, an even the turn in of the bid. Bid Evaluation and call for bond.  Contractors consider many facets of a […]

Designers Design, Constructors Construct: Drawings Constructability Review

Executive Summary. A constructability review can significantly and positively impact a project. But what is it and what are the third-party reviewers looking for in their review? Here we look just at the drawings/plan review (not the specification and contract review). What is it? A constructability review is a third […]

Designing with Cost in Mind

Executive Summary.  Contractors are often brought into a project in the design phase to minimize cost.  Here are some guidelines on infrastructure project cost cutting measures from a Contractor’s viewpoint – it’s advice to a design team. How estimating is done.  In civil infrastructure work, most contractors use crew-based methods […]

The Lookahead Schedule and 90/60/30

Executive Summary.  Once the project starts, it is the Contractor’s project management team’s responsibility to update the client on a regular, usually weekly, basis.  This is done graphically using a lookahead schedule in bar chart format (also known as a Gantt Chart).  Here we discuss the contents and reliability of […]

Cracks in Construction

Executive Summary. Cracks in construction provide information to a superintendent. We identify what you’re seeing and what it could mean in specific scenarios. Where are cracks seen? Cracks are seen in naturally occurring materials and construction materials used in the building process. Cracks can occur in Timber Concrete Soil What […]

Needed Software for a Contractor

Executive Summary. What are the “necessities” for software and apps for your construction business? Here’s a look at what’s out there – software and/or apps that are in use by successful firms to accomplish necessary functions in your business. What do I need? If you’re doing more than a million […]

Is One RFI One Too Many?

Executive Summary. How many RFIs (requests for information) are too many on a construction project? Is it time, is it possible, to tie the number of RFIs on a job to the cost impact suffered by a contractor? What is an RFI? “RFI” is an acronym standing for Request for […]

If Cash is King, Time’s the Queen

Executive Summary. Time for any business is critical, perhaps more so in construction than many other industries. The role of time and its effect on a contractor are discussed here. Cash is king. Most construction companies have seen times when cash has been tight. If you can’t manage cash, it’s a […]

Time, an Owner’s Achille’s Heel

Executive Summary. Discussed here, by a contractor, is arguably the #1 area of recommended improvement for infrastructure owners with fiduciary responsibility. The area in need of improvement: response time to construction issues. Where does time cost an owner money? The number one place time costs an owner money is in response time. […]

Microsoft Excel v. Microsoft Project v. Primavera P6

Executive Summary.  In the construction industry, there are three main tools used for scheduling.  Pros and cons of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, and Primavera P6 are all briefly discussed. The Three Main Options.  I still see schedules done on paper in the industry, and it works too, but here we […]

Live Crew Cost Clicker

Executive Summary. Education of your staff or of your client can be effectively done using SJ Construction Consulting LLC’s (SJCC) Crew Cost Clicker. Don’t talk about the cost per hour of a crew, show it. Live.  The Clicker. Runjob Software partnered with SJCC to develop a simple, yet effective, visual […]

Construction Law Bible

Executive Summary. If you work for a public works construction contractor or you do construction management on public works jobs, Administration of Government Contracts by John Cibinic, Jr. and Ralph C. Nash, Jr. is the bible for governmental law. A very brief background from a construction professional, not a lawyer, is […]

Davis-Bacon, OSHA, Jones Act, and Buy American

Executive Summary. A quick background on terms you hear every day in federal construction contracting: Davis-Bacon, OSHA, Jones Act, and Buy American. The terms. Each of the items in the title were introduced by the federal government. Here’s a quick background on each of them. Davis-Bacon Act – Senator James […]

Embedding Cost Control Culture into the Project Cycle

By Scott Jennings, P.E. This article was originally published in CFMA’s Building Profits April 2019 Sometimes financial situations can cause a contractor to fail. But these mishaps can likely be avoided.  Forecasting and managing the timely implementation and execution of cost controls can considerably impact effective bidding. In fact, cost […]

The Basics of Advanced Scheduling Terminology

Executive Summary. It’s important as a contractor, or even as an owner’s representative, to know a bit more than the basics of scheduling.  Familiarity of some of the terms is helpful regardless of what side of the table you’re on:  Contractor or Owner.  The terms.  When a project starts to […]

A Crane with Wings!

Executive Summary.  Construction equipment is always evolving in its attempt to increase safety and efficiency of construction. One newer technology is the use of “wings” on construction cranes. Learn more about the wings on the Manitowoc®Grove GMK6400 MegaWingLiftTM crane here.  Our partial analysis showed a lifting capacity increase of up to 68%. […]

Fleet Management: Ways to Gather Data

Executive Summary. Several means exist in the way of gathering data from your operating fleet. Here are the basic ways and then a quick explanation of current technology.  The Basics of Data Collection. Many contractors, or companies with large on/offroad fleets and/or construction equipment, use somethingto track their assets’ location and/or performance: Clipboard […]

Instant Resolution of Contractor Overhead Daily Cost

Executive Summary.  Projects often experience delays for which the Contractor is awarded additional time.  The determination of the per day reimbursement to the Contractor for this time is fraught with protracted analysis and negotiation.  Owners should consider the time related overhead bid item for instant resolution. The Problem.  It happens every day – the […]

Timecard Collection – Like You’ve Never Heard

Executive Summary.  One of the top complaints of construction employers is the collection of completed timecards – in a timely manner that is.  Here is a suggestion for improvement you probably haven’t heard. What sort of timecard?  Although this phenomenon of untimely timecard collection happens to salaried employees who simply […]

Unit Conversion

Executive Summary Converting from one unit of measure to another is critical for any position of management in a construction company. Using the internet is one way of doing it but knowing the simple process of fraction multiplication and the value of the number “1” gets it done too. Unit […]

What’s BI? Do I need it?

Executive Summary: BI stands for business intelligence. It is the process by which information from all of your company’s different computer systems (estimating, job costing, accounting, operations, et cetera) is displayed on one screen. You may not needit, but you better understand it – it’s coming. What is BI?BI, or business intelligence, […]

Freight Terms Over Land

If you’ve ever seen a quote from a supplier, or you’ve taken delivery of a product on a jobsite, there’s always a term, or an acronym or two on the paperwork which may look foreign to you. Here’s some common freight lingo you should know…

What is Section Modulus, S?

Executive Summary:  One of the most basic properties of a beam is its section modulus. How does the section modulus, S, come into play in structural design?  And, why should I care? What is a beam?  Keeping it simple here, a beam is a horizontal member supported at two ends.  When you stand in the […]

Forecasting with Confidence

Forecasting feeds the lifeline of the financial health of a company,” he says. “If owners and CEOs want to prevent profit fade during construction projects, they must equip project managers with sophisticated software tools that allow the managers to project costs accurately.

Avoid Claims with a Pre-Bid Analysis

In a best case scenario, a construction claim will make the contractor financially whole again on the matter. In a worst case scenario, the contractor goes out of business. Most claims conclude somewhere in between with all parties unhappy.

Top 5 Excel Tips for Contractors

Executive Summary: Microsoft Excel is probably the most common tool in the construction industry. Most people use it daily. Here are five simple, everyday things to make you better with Microsoft Excel.  Right to the tips! To some this list will be elementary, to some it will be lifechanging! Feel free […]

Cost Codes: What, Why & How

Executive Summary:  Many construction companies run their operations with too little specificity; costs ought to be reviewed on an activity-by-activity basis.  Learn what, why and how to set up a good cost code structure.   The bid and execution.  Let’s use an example, say, Concrete Curb & Gutter.  Suppose this was a proposal item for our […]

Why be an Engineer: It’s the Mornings

Executive Summary:  A recent article by the American Bar Association caught my eye. It was entitled “When is it okay for a lawyer to lie?” I could probably end the article right here.  I’ll keep going. [QR] Contemplating a law career.  Yup, I get it, you know someone who watched television like the rest […]

The Internal Pre-Con: Top 10

Contractors usually are mandated to attend a pre-construction meeting with the Owner. There’s no reason not to also have an internal pre-construction meeting.

The Construction Daily Report: Why & What

The importance of the daily report cannot be overstated. Knowing whyto write them and whatto put in the report is critical for defense of yourself, and offense against another party.

Spearin and Modified Total Cost Method Adopted in Missouri

One of contractors’ most reliable defenses, the Spearin Doctrine, has been upheld in a Missouri Court. Certainly, for Missourians, this is a good thing, and to the extent, others may be able to reference this case or use a similar approach in claims, is a win for the construction industry.

Training: Now I see the Value

The benefits of training can be great for numerous reasons. You’re making capitalinvestments, you should also treat your employeesas an asset worthy of investment too.

Choosing a Construction Consultant

Once the decision is made to engage a consultant, choosing the firm to assist you can be one of the biggest challenges. Consider asking key questions to flush out the quality and value of the service.

Construction Claims Hierarchy

Construction claims are an unfortunate part of the construction process in today’s world. When you have a claim, know the order of hierarchy in your presentation of the data for maximum remuneration from the client.

Customized Programming: Easy Access and Low Cost

Executive Summary: There are no perfect software solutions out there for many industries. Many companies must settle for “close enough” to achieve their control goals. If you have relatively simple needs, considering a custom program may vastly improve your efficiency for less cost than you think. What do you mean, […]

Some Basic Analysis Techniques in Claim Preparation

Executive Summary: A claim is made because a contractor has lost money and/or time on a project. The method is chosen by the contractor to substantiate these costs can vary. Some popular methods of calculating cost are presented. What and why do I have a claim? In a perfect world, and […]

Engineering or Communication Failure?

Basic communication would have prevented mass casualties in Kansas City in 1981. Almost 40 years later, we still should be learning from the tragedy at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City. Yes, an engineering failure, but the real failure was just in simple jobsite communication. #collapse #hyatt #communication #worksafe

If I Told You, You Would Have Screwed Everything Up

I’ve written a couple posts about my superintendent Mike. This one involves another one of my superintendents in the past named Jon. Jon and I were running a good sized job at a large, public transportation facility. Of course, the location of this facility shall remain nameless to protect the […]

Balance Sheet – Knowing the Basics of Liabilities

Executive Summary: The balance sheet says a great deal about a company. If you’re a business owner you better know how to read your own, as well as that of your clients and subcontractors. This week we discuss the Liabilities section. Just the basics. My recent article introduced the balance […]

Construction is a Battlefield

I was surfing the web recently and I saw an article by a construction management student. I read it, and it was good. It talked about the efficiency of communication and the ability to manage people and to track budgets etcetera, etcetera. And all that is true. But that’s usually […]

Is that a “Pinky Ring”?

Yup.  It’s a “pinky ring”.  Get over it.  Respect it.  Keep reading. I wear one on the outside finger of my right hand. If you live in Canada, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an engineer or two wearing one also. The story is a classic. A classic tragedy, unfortunately. […]

Importance of Timely Notification

I have not done the official research on what are the most common causes of success or failure in a construction claim, but I would bet that the quality of notification to your client is a leading indicator of success – or failure. I can tell you this with certainty: […]

Being a small construction business owner: tough, tough, tough

So, you want to start a construction business? Install tile, frame houses, lay pipe, move dirt, paint ceilings, wire fixtures, sweat pipe, hang drywall, tie rebar – one of these, right? Well, that’s the easy part. So is making money, right? After all, the economy’s healthy and we’re out of […]

Lose the political correctness and go find that pipe stretcher

We all hear on the news about this over political correctness and how everyone’s become so sensitive. Well, get over it. Sometimes people get a laugh at your expense. It doesn’t have to be mean – good fun is good fun. The year: 1990. The contractor: Peter Kiewit. The job: […]

Engineering tip, steel erection: if it’s taut, it’s carrying load

I’ve got the fancy degrees on the wall. Even have myself a professional engineering license or two in a couple of states. I guess that makes me a smart guy. Well, I guess. Yes, it’s true that having the knowledge to work fancy mathematical equations is of value and necessity […]

Contract favors the non-drafting party

If you get into a contract dispute, and you did not draft the contract agreement, know that the rule of contra proferentem adopts the interpretation that favors the non-drafting party (Administration of Government Contracts written by John Cibinic, Jr. and Ralph C. Nash, Jr.). This basically states that if something […]

Spearin Doctrine – a Landmark Construction Law Case

Have you ever had a project you were building according to plans and specifications and it just couldn’t be built the way they drew it up? George B. Spearin did in Brooklyn, New York.  He sued the federal government in 1918 and won – click here to see it in […]

Equipment – Buy, Rent, RTO, RPO, Lease – Which One???

Construction equipment is a necessary tool to perform many types of construction work. How to acquire the equipment has a significant effect on the financial aspect of a company. There are many options which should be considered when temporarily or permanently acquiring a piece of gear.

Inventory Tracking: A Money Saver

Executive Summary: Construction companies have inventories that should be managed to improve efficiency and, in turn, improve the bottom line. Consider a mobile solution or at least one that gets away from the clipboard. How it was. My parents ran a small and successful construction company which provided well for […]

Top 10: Basic Business Etiquette

Executive Summary: Landing the work has enough challenges in meeting the scope, schedule, and cost requirements of the client. You’re defeating yourself if you can’t be polite and practice simple business etiquette. Low hanging fruit. If your client has been kind enough to consider doing business with you, don’t give […]

The Unilateral Change Order

  Executive Summary: The purpose of a change order is to add work to an existing contract. Ideally, this work is added with mutually agreeable terms in scope, time, and cost. These terms often cannot be agreed upon and contractors feel coerced into signing the document. Consider not signing the change order. Origination […]

Project Management Triple Constraint

Executive Summary: There’s an adage, fast/cheap/good, pick any two. This relates to the Project Management Triple Constraint. It also has other names like Iron Triangle and Project Triangle. The Triple Constraint. A common teaching in the project management world is the Triple Constraint. This is represented by the simple triangle […]

Cost versus Price

Executive Summary: Cost and price are two different measures of money in a construction bid. Knowing the difference is fundamental and can improve profit. What is cost? Cost is the expense associated with an activity or item. It is just cost. It has nothing to do with price. In construction […]

Two for Today: Taxes and Fuel

Download PDF Executive Summary: Do two things today to improve your company: (1) check to make sure you are current on your 940 and 941 taxes and (2) make sure you’re reviewing your fuel bill.  Confirm you’re current on your 940 and 941 payments. The federal Form 940 is used […]

A Quickie on DEF

Executive Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implemented a rule on May 11, 2004 [QR1] which rocked the construction industry. It has made DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) a household name. What is DEF?  What is DEF? DEF is an acronym which stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. It’s a liquid. It’s […]

Plans Constructability Review: Why, When, and What?

Executive Summary: A constructability review of a plan set can greatly benefit the project. On the surface, it looks like it benefits primarily the Owner, but the benefits to the design team and contractor can also be significant. All project parties should encourage this service on their projects. I’m only […]

Credit Unions versus Banks

Executive Summary: A credit union is a viable option for many small businesses. Consider the advantages of a credit union over a traditional bank. What is a credit union? It’s “big bank lite”. It’s a bank with checking accounts and savings accounts, with mobile banking services, with internet access, tellers, […]

Conversion of Inches to Feet (in decimals)

Imperial vs. Metric Length in the United States is still primarily measured using inches and feet – inches add up to feet add up to yards add up to miles. These are called Imperial units. The vastly more common way on the planet of measuring distance is by using the metric system – […]

An RFI can Satisfy Notice Requirement, said the Feds

Download PDF Executive Summary: Possibly the leading cause of contractor claim denials – lack of proper notice – just got a little bit easier for contractors thanks to the U.S. Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ conclusion that a request for information (RFI) can satisfy a notice requirement under F.A.R. (Federal […]

Escrowing Bid Documents: What, Where, How, Why, & When?

Executive Summary: Escrowing your bid documents and estimate calculations allow the contractor and owner to review all documents relied upon and created by the contractor as of bid day. If this method of price evaluation is accepted by the owner, it can be an invaluable asset during a project dispute. What […]

Standardized Contracts and ConsensusDocs: a Win-Win

Download PDF Executive Summary: Standardized contracts provide tremendous benefit to the construction industry – they benefit the owner and the contractor. ConsensusDocs is the leading standardized contracts provider utilizing plain speak and fair risk allocation. Consider using them on your next project. [QR1]  What’s out there now. We’d all agree that […]

A Cheap Lawyer

Download PDF Executive Summary: Construction projects are becoming more and more litigious. The cost of outside counsel is practically its own line item in a contractor’s estimate these days. Hiring a junior attorney today for pennies may later save you dollars. The problem. I was listening in on a webinar […]

Letters – Keep them Simple & Discrete

Download PDF   Executive Summary: Written communication is a skill every good project manager must have. Knowing how to write a letter is critical during the project, and afterward in the case of a claim. Basic pointers for writing good construction letters are presented here. You can listen to my […]

Temperature Effects on Productivity

Download PDF Executive Summary: Effects of weather on labor productivity can be difficult to quantify. Consider efficiency factors generated by the National Electrical Contractor’s Association and presented by Adrian & Adrian in Total Productivity and Quality Management for Construction. This is also discussed in many other publications. Why and when […]

Unbalancing a Bid and Cash Flow

Executive Summary Cash flow is vital to a contractor’s survival.  Taking advantage of setting unit prices in a bid, and also knowing cash strangle points is imperative for business owners and project managers. Here’s a Video The first ten minutes of this video (presented by this article’s author) is a […]

Users of Your Financials: What They’re Looking At

Download PPT Download PDF Executive Summary: Some parties may require their own review of your financial reports before doing business with you. The two documents of interest to these parties are the income statement and the balance sheet. The major items they’re looking at are briefly discussed here and a […]

Build your Business into a Machine

Download PDF Executive Summary: Without solid processes and controls in place, too many decisions can be left in the hands of employees who approach things in very different ways. The end result is that executive management has no consistency in the data presented to them. Lockdown processes to establish consistency – […]

Divisional Separation: Pure Crap

Executive Summary: Companies lose money and affect reputation by divisive behavior between divisions. Work to make this better by improving morale, efficiency, and the bottom line. How it goes. You’re a member of a successful construction company. You work in the heavy/civil division building treatment plants. The boys and girls […]

Why Hire a Management Consultant?

  Executive Summary: Consultants sometimes carry a bad rap for what they do. They’re expensive and actual or perceived value is not recognized in their effort. Consider what they do bring to the table that your firm cannot. What does a management consultant do? At the heart of their duties, […]

I See Claims…

Download PDF Executive Summary: Construction is a litigious business. Often times the signs were right in front of you from day one. Pay attention and look for the behaviors of the parties that often indicate inevitable dispute and possibly a claim at the end of the job. See 20/20 today. […]

Proposal Terms and Conditions

  Listen Read PDF Executive Summary: Submitting a clear and concise proposal is an important step in getting the project off on the right foot. An ambiguous proposal welcomes dispute. Be complete in the listing of terms and conditions in your proposals. What are terms and conditions? Terms and conditions […]

Engineers and Architects Gotta Step It Up

Executive Summary: Contractors for as long as I can remember have been taking on risk that is not theirs to take. Engineers, and architects, can do a much better job of protecting projects by improving design and management of the construction process.   What is the definition and purpose of […]

The Difference Between a Good and Great Estimator

Executive Summary: Estimators are difficult to find, but one way to determine whether you have a good or great estimator on your staff, or in the interviewee chair, is whether or not they talk productivity rates or unit prices. What is construction estimating? A construction estimator has many skills – […]

It’s Concrete, not Cement.

Executive Summary: Defining concrete and cement. The common misconception. Once a month or so it seems I’m watching the news or listening to the radio and I hear about the guy who fell on the “cement sidewalk” or crashed into the “cement wall” with his truck. It’s concrete people, not […]

Construction Contract Review Basics

Executive Summary:  Each day we hand contracts down to our subs or we are signing contracts down from Owners or General Contractors.  Know some of the basics of what to look for here. What is and when will I ever use a Contract?  A contract is a laying out of […]

Top 3 Reasons to Leave Spreadsheets

Executive Summary:  The electronic spreadsheet is arguably the most common tool used in the industry for everything from construction documentation to estimating to human resources.  Here are the top three reasons not to use them in some instances. What you’re using them for currently.  You probably left a spreadsheet to […]

Dead is the Handshake

Executive Summary: The “Steel Team” composed of fabricator and erector joined together to sue the owner and general contractor for failure to pay on changes. The “right” parties appeared to win, but they paid dearly. The Project and Players. The project was the Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge – a 21-floor, […]

Why is the Accounting Department Telling Me How to Estimate?

Executive Summary: Estimators know the construction work while the accountants know the financials. These two parties must work in harmony to benefit the company and their own livelihoods. This article recognizes the needs of both parties. The dilemma and end goal. Most firms beyond the “Mom and Pop” stage, have […]

Anticipate Non-Obvious Movement to Prevent Serious Injury

Executive Summary: There exist thousands of hazards on a construction site. Some are obvious, some require more intimate knowledge of the industry and its equipment. Below are some of the non-obvious, learned hazards. A bed and other leaning things. Not your mattress, but a truck bed in its upright and […]

Top 5 Uh-Oh Signs of a Client

Executive Summary: If you do not have a relationship with a client, or you are moving to a different management team within a familiar client, there can be some telltale warning signs. Listen to your client for some of the items listed below and beware. #5 The taped meeting. I […]

Top 5 Countdown: Things to Look for in Vendor Quotes

Executive Summary: Each quote on bid day, whether from a subcontractor or a supplier, needs to be thoroughly reviewed before incorporating into the bid. Here’s a Top 5 countdown! #5 Math Errors. Often times subs or suppliers will quote a certain quantity of an item and then a unit price. If […]

In Choosing a Software – Best Advice is to Talk to a Friend

Executive Summary: There exists construction software to do nearly all functions in your construction company. Your best source of software advice: your friends in the industry. I’m drowning in choices. There exists software to “help” your construction company in many functions: Estimating Takeoff – two and three dimensional Accounting Job […]

Changes in the 2017 AIA A201/A101/A401 Documents

Executive Summary: Probably the most common construction contract documents in use in America are the AIA (American Institute of Architects) documents. The A101/A201 for Owner-General Contractor and the A401 for General Contractor-Subcontractor were both reissued in 2017. See some of the substantive changes here. What are the changes? I recently […]

The “All Zeroes One” Code Prevents Lost A/P Invoices

Executive Summary: A key component of job cost reporting is accurate posting of accounts payable (A/P). The time between receiving the invoice in the mail and posting it to your job cost reports can be fatal to a job, or a company. The answer is to not let the invoice out of the […]

An Alternative to Eichleay: HOOP!

Executive Summary: Contractors delayed by the owner often want to be reimbursed ‘x’ dollars per ‘y’ days for the cost of home office overhead. Most contractors are used to using the Eichleay Formula to recoup this cost. There’s a new formula available from a case in Ohio: the HOOP Formula. […]

Getting Paid: Some Suggestions

Executive Summary: The law* provides the rules of getting paid in construction. Sometimes contractors must use the law, other times there are other easier (less expensive and quicker) ways of getting paid. *I’m not a lawyer, so please make sure to consult with your attorney on any of your legal […]

Bidding a Civil Construction Project: Part II

Letting, or bidding out, a civil construction project can be a challenge for an Owner. Questions inexperienced owners may have involved choosing an engineer, what sort of contract to use, how to collect bids from contractors, and finally how to manage the construction of the contract. In this two-part series, in Part […]

Bidding out a Civil Construction Project: Part I

Letting, or bidding out, a civil construction project can be a challenge for an Owner. Questions inexperienced owners may have involved choosing an engineer, what sort of contract to use, how to collect bids from contractors, and finally how to manage the construction of the contract. In this two-part series, in Part […]

The Importance of Construction Cost Estimating for Civil Engineers

In episode 066 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, Anthony Fasano talks with Scott Jennings, P.E. principal of SJ Construction Consulting, LLC about the importance of cost estimating for civil engineers. Here are some of the questions asked of Scott: Can you walk us through the process of putting together a construction […]

RFID (and NFC): What is it & how can it help you?

Executive Summary: RFID is defined and the differences between RFID and NFC are explained here. Also discussed is how they can help your company. RFID defined. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a process. It is a process where items can be uniquely identified using radio waves. By taking […]

Hawaii Case: A Subcontract is Valid and Binding Without a Signature

Executive Summary: Contractors too often allow their subcontractors to commence work without a fully executed subcontract. A contract between the two parties can be binding even without a signature. Learn from this June 2017 case in Hawaii how a contract can be formed without a signature. No signature required. Pacific […]

Fraud: Stop Thinking it won’t Happen to You

Executive Summary: Fraud is a real risk to businesses and most do not realize they’ve become a victim until it’s too late. There are simple controls to put in place to help prevent it, or perhaps bring it to your attention. Learn preventative measures and examples of embezzlement techniques. “No, […]

Owners Need to Stop Expecting Filet Mignon on a Hamburger Budget

Executive Summary: An August 19th, 2017 cover page headline in The Economist magazine reads Construction: the least efficient industry. Their general position on our industry’s efficiency I didn’t think was far off, but the blame was misplaced. Owners need to help turn this industry. For their own sake, not just […]

Make Claim Preparedness the Standard, not the Exception

Executive Summary: More and more construction jobs year after year go to litigation – or at least go “legal” as I say, by requiring the services of a lawyer. Don’t make preparing for a claim a monstrous duty towards the end of the job, prepare as you go with good […]

Cut Out the Office Cancer for Better Office Health

Executive Summary: A lot of offices have that one person or that one small clique that creates a negative atmosphere in the office. You and your office will be better off with this cancer removed. Cut it out. Bad attitude. This person or persons I’m referring to may exist in […]

Invoice Your Clients Clearly and by the Rules to get Paid Quickly

Executive Summary: Invoices get paid untimely for numerous reasons. The reason for slow payment should never be because of you – the party billing. Keep billing simple and in accordance with the payer’s guidelines to get paid quicker. What is an invoice? An invoice is a document generated by you […]

What’s a Banking Covenant?

Executive Summary: What are banking covenants? Banking covenants are conditions put upon a borrower by the bank. Although they can be general in nature, they often are quantitative. Some typical covenants are listed here. What sort of loan? In the construction industry, there’s all sorts of loans: line of credit, […]

The Power of Habit

Executive Summary: Although policies can be created overnight, getting them to function and last in your organization takes time. Read here about the value of persistence. Change is tough. We’re in the construction business and many of you reading this are doing it as a professional in America. Change for […]

Small Tools Tracking Software – Get It!

Executive Summary: Estimates vary on the financial loss suffered by contractors due to lost or stolen tools. Pick any number you want, it’s certainly worth a discussion at any value. The direct cost loss is most obvious, but consider also the inefficiencies suffered by crews not having the tools they […]

Including the Portion of Corporate Overhead in a Bid

Executive Summary:  Determining how to account for the portion of corporate overhead to be included in a bid is a calculation that every company makes a bit differently.  Learn the definition of corporate overhead and how it is included in a bid. What is corporate overhead? Corporate overhead is the cost […]

Choosing a Professional Services Provider

Executive Summary: There are many factors in determining who should provide your firm professional services. Read on to find that it’s more than just their technical ability. General: As a contractor, you need the following professional services on a regular basis: Legal Banking Accounting Insurance Engineering Some construction companies may […]

Balance Sheet – Knowing the Basics of Assets

Executive Summary: Knowing the basics of accounting is essential in business. Knowing the balance sheet will help you assess your own financial health as well as that of your clients or subcontractors. Here are some basics on the balance sheet and, specifically, the assets section. Just the basics. I entered as […]

Estimate Handoff – Estimators to Field Team

Executive Summary: It’s great that your estimators just landed a new project, but your competitive advantage can be lost without a synchronized handoff to the field team. Make sure to have a formal meeting between the estimating and project management teams before the project starts. Estimator knows best. There is […]

Bid Unbalancing – How It’s Done To Increase Profit

Executive Summary Contractors unbalance unit prices in their bids to take advantage of anticipated quantity overruns and underruns. An intelligent unbalancing of the unit prices can result in higher profits. Of course, that’s the contractors’ goal. Review the example provided to see how it’s done. The Bid Proposal Let’s look […]

Award Reversed Because of No Expert Testimony

Executive Summary:  A Washington concrete contractor, Salinas Construction, Inc. (SCI), was awarded $404,000 of its requested $425,000 for a job at U.S. Army Joint Base Lewis-McChord only to see this decision reversed in district court.  The problem was that SCI did not offer expert testimony, despite warnings that it was […]

Concrete Formwork – Pressure not a Function of Wall Thickness

Just a quickie on formwork pressures.  One of my foremen once asked me if we needed more form ties in a 24″ thick wall versus a 12″ thick wall.  That answer is “no”. Concrete, when being placed, is liquid.  Just like water.  And as all carpenters know, form ties are […]

Field Tip: If in a Confrontation, Don’t Hang Up on the Police

I just learned this one a couple months ago from a fantastic superintendent – Mike. One of his foremen called to him to say that he was having a confrontation with a homeowner – we cut down a tree that was shown on our plans to remove, but the homeowner […]

Owner Involvement, Careful What You Wish For

Executive Summary:  Owner involvement in the way of project management and furnishing material is done for one primary reason:  to save money for the owner.  It doesn’t always happen.  The owner’s decisions in these regards can cost the contractor money.  Or the taxpayer. The owner as a project manager.  I […]

The Good and the Bad of Contracting

Executive Summary:  Contracting can be the most fantastic of businesses, but also one of the toughest.  Read about some of the things that make it the best and the worst of businesses. What makes contracting unique?  I think that everyone thinks their business is different from everyone else’s.  As I […]

Consistency Results in Predictability

Executive Summary:  Sustaining a business, and more so growing a business, relies heavily on consistency in business practices.  Start today with improving your company’s practices so that profitability can be maintained and even improved.  Better yet, let your consistent practices help you better predict the future. What is inconsistency?  In […]

Killer Clauses: No Damages for Delay

Executive Summary:  A presentation on March 8, 2017at the 98th Annual AGC Convention reviewed ten (10) “killer clauses” in contracts.  The “No Damages for Delay Clause” was #4; it is discussed, and proposed language to neutralize the clause is presented. What’s at stake.  A presentation prepared by Brian Perlberg (Senior […]

A Contractor’s Cash Flow: Acknowledgement and Improvement

Executive Summary:  Managing cash flow is imperative and it never hurts to see these challenges on paper.  This article reminds you as the owner, the chief financial officer, or as a member of the project management team of the challenge of staying cash positive. Cash is king.  If you’ve had […]

Best Way to Save Money is to Not Spend It

Executive Summary: When in a changed condition situation, the best way to minimize loss or to survive, depending on the case, is not to spend less, it’s to not spend at all. Take advantage of situations where you can spend zero. We’re going down. We’ve all been in a situation […]

Need it or Want it?

Executive Summary: Develop behavioral cost controls in your employees by incubating a need versus want mentality on purchases. The ATM perception. Things look great – you own the company and your last name is on the side of excavators and dump trucks all over town. The guys in the field […]

Profit Fade – Avoiding It

Executive Summary: Reduce profit fade at the end of your projects by adjusting building habits and getting the right people in place to finish your jobs strong. Several suggestions from years of experience are provided here. What is profit fade? So often a good job goes bad, but just at […]

The Engineer Was Negligent

As published in Civil Engineering, February 2017  Click for PDF The Law in the June 2016 issue ( “Engineer Found Negligent for Not Verifying Product Data,” page 92) discussed a legal case in which a contractor installed an en­gineer-specified rain tank that later failed, causing financial damage to the project owner. […]

Software Designed by Construction Professionals

Runjob Software is not like other construction management software – it’s designed by industry professionals.  And because of this, we will always be on the cutting edge of ideas and improvements in the software. Runjob’s founder and designer, Scott Jennings, has been designated as a Certified Construction Manager (CCM No. […]

Why track extra costs… and how?

Executive Summary: Whether you use a functional cost coding system to track the cost of your original scope or not, it is imperative that you accurately account for costs outside of your base scope. Learn why, and how, to account for these extra costs outside of your original scope. Why […]

Determining Equipment Rates in Estimating

Executive Summary:  Equipment cost within an estimate is one of the most common areas to make large scale adjustments in a bid’s price. It is also a large component of a heavy/civil construction company’s bid and balance sheet. Because of these reasons, it is vital to know what your fleet […]

Notice – When in doubt, write it out!

Executive Summary: Looking at a recent case in the state of Washington, a contractor attempted to be compensated for additional cost resulting from the project engineer’s direction to perform work different from the contractor’s desired sequence. The Court ruled against the contractor because of his failure to provide notification in […]

Do Something Awkward Every Day

Executive Summary: As a manager, it may be often that you run into a situation in which you must do something outside of your comfort zone. Mitigate stress and make this exercise easier for you by practicing uncomfortable and awkward situations every day. The problem. As a manager of one […]

Owner Paralysis – i.e. Vapor Lock

Executive Summary: When a tragic event happens, even the roughest and tumble executives can suffer from decisional paralysis. I don’t mean physical paralysis in your body, I mean the inability to make a decision. You’re not alone. Who you are. You are the father of two beautiful little girls, the […]

Grammar for Professionals… and the Rest of Us

A friend recently sent me this link to a grammar website, Grammarly.  Grammarly gives you tips, tricks, and some plugins to help keep your grammar in check. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s any better than the next, but I do know one thing. I know that the majority of engineers […]

Incentive Clauses: Do they Work?

Executive Summary: Engineers have wondered if incentive clauses are a benefit to Owners in producing a timely, or accelerated, contract completion. My experience has been that it is of great benefit to the Owner because of the aggressive nature of project completion by the Contractor. What is an incentive clause? There […]

Safety: Communication, Communication, Communication

Executive Summary: To be successful in heavy/civil construction, it is imperative to have a rudimentary understanding of engineering concepts. However, more often than not the primary reason for a project failure is the human factor versus gross misunderstanding or misapplication of an engineering principle. One of my personal experiences was in a crane failure, […]

The $5 Casio: Your Best Tool

Executive Summary: With all of today’s fancy and complex tools available in the marketplace, nothing is more important than simple calculations (and common sense). Rely on simplicity and basic math to check your work. The Message: I travel the country frequently helping contractors. I help clients one-on-one in dirty old […]

Embezzlement: Password Protection

Executive Summary:  Protecting your company passwords is like protecting any other asset.  Protect them or risk losing confidential information and/or thousands of dollars. What is embezzlement?  This subject is one that should primarily concern company owners, but also employees. Embezzlement is a crime punishable by jail time and/or fine depending […]

Choosing a Professional Services Provider

Executive Summary:  How do you pick an attorney, a banker, a certified public accountant, an insurance agent, or an engineer? General:  As a contractor, you need the following professional services on a regular basis: Legal Banking Accounting Insurance Engineering Some companies may provide these services in house, but likely you […]

Calculation of Workers’ Compensation (WC), General Liability (GL) & Bond in your Estimates

Executive Summary: Many estimators do not understand how workers’ compensation, general liability, and bond costs are calculated. This article discusses these calculations and how to properly include them in your bid. Workers’ Compensation (WC): Most contractors understand the reason for WC – the reason for WC is to provide wages and medical benefits to […]

Contractor Wins Acceleration Impact Cost and the Incentive Payment

Contractor Wins Acceleration Impact Cost AND the Incentive Payment (1995)1 Executive Summary: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) awarded a time sensitive bridge rehabilitation project to a contractor and, within the contract, provided a large daily incentive payment for early completion. PennDOT delayed the project and refused to pay the acceleration […]

ACEC Hawaii November Breakfast Meeting (11/03/2016)

“The Crystal Ball of Construction Bid Estimating”  Joseph Uno, LEED AP BD+C, President at J.Uno & Associates, Jim Bauckham, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Estimator with Nordic PCL, & Scott Jennings, P.E., President of SJ Construction Consulting gave a great presentation and panel leading the discussion topic: What A/E Consultants and Project Owners Should Know […]

No good deed goes unpunished

Proverb #1: No good deed goes unpunished. I’ve got a couple of these proverbs up my sleeve when it comes to construction. This one I normally share with the newbies to the biz, but I find that those that have been around awhile benefit from it too. Where’s this applicable? I usually […]

Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works

Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works Chapter 104, HRS Presented by: Pamela Martin, DLIR, Wages Division, September 27, 2016 Click here to read the full PDF article. Executive Summary: We present the highlights of a presentation by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), Wage […]

Giving Workers a Voice Makes Jobsites Safer

Giving Workers a Voice Makes Jobsites Safer As a project site safety manager, if all you had to do was “safety” all day, your job would be easy. But as a safety professional, much of your time is spent convincing project managers, superintendents and executive management of the value is spending […]

Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes

Event & Topic: Scott Jennings, P.E., M. ASCE, was the guest speaker at the Hawaii Chapter’s monthly member meeting in Honolulu. His presentation was entitled Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes. Background & Content: Within Hawaii’s engineering community, there exists a void in civil construction estimating services. During Mr. Jennings’ […]

Calculation of Owner’s Estimate

SJCC received the call to assist with the Owner’s estimate on this project due to the magnitude of the job and the accelerated pace of getting the project designed, bid, and awarded in a tight timeframe. The State of Hawaii was challenged with losing funds if the job could not […]

Opinion: Engineer Found Negligent for Not Verifying Product Data

Engineer Found Negligent for Not Verifying Product Data Civil Engineering magazine, page 92, June 2016 Executive Summary: Scott Jennings, P.E., M. ASCE, responds to an article published in ASCE’s signature publication, Civil Engineering magazine. Kudos to the project owner for holding the engineer of record responsible for the engineering of […]