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After a round of nominations, the stage has been set for the 5th annual Best Construction Podcast Competition presented by Construction Junkie. This year we have several familiar faces, as well as a couple new ones.

Last year, there were 10 nominations for best podcast, but this year the field has narrowed to 7. The voting booth saw record breaking numbers last year and we certainly hope that trend continues this year.

Click the corresponding year to check out the results of our 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 best construction podcast competition.

Voting Rules

To place your vote, fill out the form below. The voting booth will be open until July 3rd, 2019 until 11:59:59pm PST.  After that time, no more votes will be tallied.  Duplicate votes will be disqualified. For more information about each nominee, check out our descriptions below the voting form.

The Prize

For the past 2 years, we have offered a prize to the contest's winner. That will continue this year and the winner will once again receive FREE sidebar ad on ConstructionJunkie.com for one full year! That will help your favorite podcast gain hundreds of thousands of impressions every year.

Vote here for your favorite Construction Podcast!

The voting booth will be open until 7/3/19 at 11:59:59pm PST, so cast your vote and share with your friends to help your favorite podcast get some great notoriety!

Best Podcast? * Choose your favorite podcast to cast your vote! CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio The ConTechCrew The Lien Zone Podcast Constructrr Contractor Conflicts Builtcast The Construction Record Name * Name First Name Last Name Email Address * Subscribe to Construction Junkie's email newsletter? * Choose "yes" if you would like to receive our email newsletter to be the first to hear about product giveaways and construction news, tools, technology, and more! Choose "no," if you are not interested. Yes No Thank you! The Nominees CONEXPO/CON-AGG Radio

Previous nominations: 2018 (winner)

Listen to it here: http://www.conexpoconagg.com/visit/conexpo-con-agg-radio-podcasts/

You’ve probably heard of CONEXPO/CON-AGG, because it’s the largest construction conference in the world, but did you know that they also produce a podcast?  Hosted by Peggy Smedley, the monthly podcast features interviews with experts in many aspects of construction, such as technology, occupational health and safety, regulations and education. Currently on episode number 104, each show is about 30 minutes long.

The Lien Zone

Previous nominations: 2016, 2017 (winner), 2018

Listen to it here: https://www.thelienzone.com/podcast/

After failing to retain its 2017 crown, the Lien Zone podcast looks to get back on top in 2019.  Hosted by Miami construction lawyer, Alex Barthet (@thelienzone), The Lien Zone Podcast discusses many aspects of the construction industry from a legal point of view.  This weekly podcast is a quick listen, with most lasting less than 10 minutes, but that’s all the time Alex needs to inform his audience about each topic.

The ConTech Crew

Previous nominations: 2016 (winner), 2017, 2018

Listen to it here: https://jbknowledge.com/thecontechcrew

The ConTech Crew (@TheConTechCrew) is also a previous champion, taking home the title in 2016, albeit under a slightly different name.  Previously known as the ConTech Trio, the podcast renamed itself after co-host Josh Bone departed the show amicably.  Hosted by JBKnowledge CEO James Benham (@JamesMBenham) and a now rotating cast of Rob McKinney (@ConAppGuru), Jeff Sample (@IronmanOfIT), and others, the ConTech Crew Podcast takes a weekly deep dive on construction technology topics and guest interviews with the construction tech industries biggest names.

The Constructrr Podcast

Previous nominations: 2018

Listen to it here: http://www.constructrr.com/episodes/

Returning to the contest for the second year, CONSTRUCTRR focuses on interviewing people within the construction industry who are either “crushing it!”, “innovatively efficient,” or “positively impactful.”  Hosted by Brittanie Campbell-Turner, a construction project manager and business consultant, CONSTRUCTRR is released at least once a week.  Many of the most recent episodes have taken a closer look at BIM collaboration and how blockchain technology, the same kind used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, could be used to positively affect the construction industry. 

Contractor Conflicts

Previous nominations: first time nominated

Listen to it here: https://www.contractorconflictspodcast.com/

Although Contractor Conflicts is a new name in our contests, it’s hosted by someone very familiar to it - and also a past champion. Miami construction lawyer Alex Barthet, also host of The Lien Zone, couldn’t be satisfied only having 1 podcast, so he started a second one, but has a different audience in mind. While The Lien Zone focuses on contractors and those in the trades, Contractor Conflicts gives law advice to owners. The structure is very similar on both podcasts, usually coming in under 10 minutes in length,

Builtcast

Previous nominations: first time nominated

Listen to it here: https://builtcast.com/

The newest show in our contest this year, Builtcast, came onto the scene in January of 2019. Hosted by Kurt and Reid Bangert of Bangert Inc., a construction technology company, Builtcast aims to “explore the people and stories behind growth, technology, and change in the construction industry.” Each episode is less than 25 minutes in length and features an interview with a guest who is making an impact in the world of construction technology.

The Construction Record

Previous nominations: first time nominated

Listen to it here: http://theconstructionrecord.libsyn.com/

Our lone Canadian podcast in this year’s competition is The Construction Record, which focuses on the Great White North’s construction industry news. Powered by ConstructConnect, the show features stories from the Journal of Commerce and Daily Commercial News. Each episode usually lands between 20 and 30 minutes.

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Even with the comprehensive collaborative environment that project management software, like Procore, provide, email is still a necessary evil for even the most technologically advanced contractor. Recently Procore announced new integrations with one of the biggest email providers, Microsoft Outlook, to help reduce redundancies and get all your information into one place.

Now available in the Microsoft Appsource, Procore for Outlook is an add-in that allows Outlook and Procore users to have easy access to their project files sent over email.

Procore for Outlook features 3 key productivity improvements:

  1. Ability to forward emails directly from Outlook to your Procore project

  2. Upload file attachments from email to the Documents tool in Procore

  3. Easily Create RFIs in Procore directly from Outlook emails



For those interested in setting up this Procore Outlook Add-in, Procore has created an easy to follow tutorial on their website with step-by-step instructions.

Overall, the solution solves a small nuisance of a problem, but every minute saved is a minute that could set your company apart from others.

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OSHA

The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade.  Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.

The current LOTO standards were published in 1989, but after 30 years, OSHA believes that some of their requirements could now be considered outdated. According to the press release, which was published late last week, the agency is specifically looking for information regarding the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy and new risks for workers that have an increased interaction with robots.

Per the current active standard, control circuit-type devices are not permitted to be used as energy-isolating devices, but OSHA believes that technological advances could have made those devices much more acceptable in recent years.

In respect to the robot inquiry, OSHA is looking to find out more about the hazards or benefits that robotics provides to the workplace with respect to hazardous energy. They’re interested in any new risks, safeguards, increased efficiencies, and any related information to ensuring safety around robotics.

If you are interested in providing comments to the OSHA inquiry, they must be made by August 18, 2019.  Comments can be filed electronically through https://www.regulations.gov/ or by fax or mail. For more information, you can check out the full Federal Register notice here.

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As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami, Florida in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.

According to NBC 6 Miami, court hearings about the FIU bridge collapse are finally starting to release some information to the public.  In a recent hearing, lawyers referenced meeting minutes that claimed the representatives from the engineers for the bridge, FIGG Bridge Engineers, said that there were no safety concerns even with the visible cracking of concrete on site just 5 hours before the bridge span fell to the open street below.

The NBC report says that FIGG engineers were on-site the morning of the collapse at 8am to examine the cracks that had formed.  Around 9am, they lead a meeting with the general contractor, the Florida Department of Transportation, and an engineering firm representing FIU.  In that meeting, it was reported that FIGG gave a presentation that said there was no safety concern and that reinforcing the bridge during repair efforts “was not necessary.”

These allegations derived from the meeting minutes of the engineers hired to represent FIU, Bolton Perez & Associates, according to the report.  FIGG later denied the accuracy of the minutes and submitted their own “corrected minutes” to the National Safety Board (NTSB) 6 weeks after the collapse.

Neither of the meeting minutes discussed in the court hearings have been made public.  The NTSB’s investigation is still ongoing, as well.

It’s a good lesson for everyone in the industry that accurate meeting minutes are extremely important pieces of documentation, but perhaps what could have made them even stronger evidence was a time stamp and revision history of minutes loaded to a web-based project management software.

Full story: Engineers Dismissed Crack Concerns on Morning of FIU Bridge Collapse | NBC 6 Miami

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There’s no doubt that pop culture shapes the way people think, especially when it comes to interest in certain activities.  The narrative for the past few years in the construction industry has been that there is a workforce shortage…that young people aren’t interested in working in construction.  It’s no secret that kids love cartoons, though.

A 2015 study in the UK has made the case that nearly one-third of construction workers in the industry were inspired to work in construction by characters they watched on TV.   Of the 1,947 construction industry workers that were surveyed, 31% stated that watching these characters on TV played a role in them ultimately choosing to work in construction.

Respondents were also asked to pick the cartoon character that was most iconic to the construction industry.  Bob the Builder was the clear leader with 42% of the votes, followed by Super Mario (19%), and Fred Flintstone (16%).

I decided to come up with my own list after scouring the earth for all of the cartoon characters that I could think worked in the construction industry. The list, which you can see below, is based solely on my opinion, but I would also love to hear yours in the comments!

1. Teddy (Bob’s Burgers) 2. Fred Flintstone (The Flintstones) 3. Super Mario (The Mario Bros.) 4. Emmet Brickowski (The Lego Movie) 5. Bob the Builder (Bob the Builder)

After posting the Top 5 on my social media pages, a few other worthy entrants emerged, including Handy Manny, Wreck-it Ralph, and Handy Smurf.  We’ll call those honorable mentions to this list.

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There’s no doubt that pop culture shapes the way people think, especially when it comes to interest in certain activities.  The narrative for the past few years in the construction industry has been that there is a workforce shortage…that young people aren’t interested in working in construction.  It’s no secret that kids love cartoons, though.

On Thursday, April 18th, the New York City Council passed what they are calling “NYC’s Green New Deal,” which legislators hope will greatly reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.  In order to achieve those results, several mandates included in the legislation will have major effects on the construction and real estate industries.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined the Green New Deal policies in a document called “OneNYC 2050: Building a Strong and Fair City.” The plan expects a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to their baseline from 2005 and expect to reach full carbon neutrality by 2050.

A major change that will have a large effect on both construction and real estate is the plan to ban all-glass facades in new construction, unless they can prove to meet strict performance guidelines. This will cause quite the shake-up in the standard design of tall structures, which NYC is famous for.

According to CNBC, the Real Estate Board of New York is pushing back against the all-glass building ban, saying that it will discourage development of taller, dense buildings.  They also contend that the many exemptions will not help reduce the emissions and create a much larger burden for a smaller amount of developers.

The deal isn’t necessarily bad news for the construction industry, as all existing buildings 25,000 square feet in area or larger will need to make efficiency upgrades to lower their energy usage.  There are currently roughly 50,000 buildings in the city that will be affected, creating retrofit and other renovation opportunities for many contractors in the area.

Other initiatives include installing 1 million square feet of a heat reducing rooftop coating, enhancing infrastructure to allow for better walkability and accessibility, upgrading city bridges and other facilities, among others.

“The laws and investments of New York City's Green New Deal will directly confront income inequality, generating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs retrofitting buildings and expanding renewable energy,” explains the press release on the Green New Deal.

Full story: Action on Global Warming: NYC's Green New Deal | NYC.gov

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Photo by Matthew Paul Argall, CC BY 2.0

One of the most highly used and versatile pieces of equipment on any construction site is a compact loader, also known as a skid steer, or by the name of one of its common manufacturers, “Bobcat.”

When using a compact loader on site, one important choice is to determine whether you need it to have wheels or tracks. Another extremely important choice is how you and your team is going to maintain the machine.

Construction Equipment (CE) recently shared a few tips from Case Construction Equipment’s product marketing manager, Debbie Townsley, to keep your compact loader up and running for a longer period of time. I’ll summarize those tips below, but encourage you to check out CE’s full article in the link above for more information.

  1. Keep tires clean

  2. Check tire inflation

  3. Check fluid levels

  4. Inspect and replace filters regularly

  5. Check belts, like alternator belt and fan belt

  6. Check regularly for signs of structural damage

Overall, though, preventative maintenance for these machines is very similar to a car.  Just because they’re built to withstand a jobsite doesn’t mean they don’t need a little upkeep every once in a while.

Full story: Uptime Tips for Skid Steer Loaders | Construction Equipment

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Image courtesy of Buildfore

The following article is sponsored by Buildfore

In a world where construction is desperately seeking young people to fill the gaps of an aging workforce, it seems pretty obvious that someone should have come up with a way to incorporate video games into the construction process.  Well, thanks to Buildfore’s CtrlWiz, someone finally has, and it allows users to manipulate 3D models within Navisworks with an Xbox controller.

The Xbox One controller is able to connect to nearly every PC available on the market today, making it an obvious fit for a construction industry still dominated by Windows-based computers.  Gaming manufacturers have spent decades perfecting controllers to fit the human hand and they have proven to be very effective over that time.

Conventional ways of navigating through 3D models involve a clunky combination of a keyboard and mouse, which isn’t natural for many.  Using a popular gaming controller makes moving around your computerized jobsite second nature, especially the developers took navigation cues from first-person style gaming.

Image courtesy of Buildfore

It’s also had a surprisingly strong effect on the more seasoned field staff, many of whom aren’t normally so quick to adapt to new technologies, the company said.  Several companies using the plugin say that their superintendents have had much more success with the Xbox controller than they had previously with the keyboard and mouse.

With its initial release, CtrlWiz allows users to move and look with ease through the 3D models, but their development team is not finished yet.  Feedback and functionality requests will be collected by from the community and the plugin will be regularly updated. Support for Navisworks 2020 is already on the top of the list of updates.

The CtrlWiz/Xbox Controller add-in is currently available on Autodesk’s App store for $29.99 and is compatible with both Navisworks Manage and Simulate.  Add-ins are disabled on all of Autodesk’s free viewers, so it is not available on Navisworks Freedom.

Check out the video below of CtrlWiz in action!

CtrlWiz / Xbox Controller for Navisworks - YouTube
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via YouTube

On Saturday afternoon, tragedy struck downtown Seattle as a tower crane that was being dismantled suddenly fell to the street below, killing two ironworkers and 2 people that were in their cars, as well as injuring 4 others. Dashcam footage of that collapse has recently surfaced, giving some clues as to why the crane fell as it did.

After reviewing the video and pictures from the scene, many believe that the pins, which secure the tower crane sections together, were pulled prematurely.  King5 News reports that experts point to the fact that the base section of the crane did not move at all.  Many initial reports pointed to wind gusts that rolled through the area, but it now appears that the wind only played a small part as the structure was significantly weakened.

In King5’s story, attorney David Kwass, who has worked on the litigation for crane incidents in the past, drew comparisons to a 2012 crane collapse in Dallas.  In that case, many thought the wind was a big factor, but it was later discovered that the crane had been prematurely de-pinned.

As the investigation rolls on, let’s not lose sight of the fact that 4 people lost their lives and many others will be affected by witnessing the incident for years to come. King5 also reported that the victims were 33-year-old Travis Corbet and 31-year-old Andrew Yoder, both ironworkers, as well as a 19-year-old college freshman Sarah Wong and 71-year-old Alan Justad.

The video of the incident shared on YouTube is below.

Seattle Crane Collapse - YouTube
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via the Seattle Fire Department

For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.

Around 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon, the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department responded to emergency calls after the crane collapse.  The Seattle Times reports that the crane, which was working on a new Google campus building, was being dismantled at the time of the collapse and that there were gusts of high winds.  The National Weather Service tweeted that there were recorded wind gusts of 18-23 mph, but that they would not consider them to be strong gusts.

Seattle, WA *Crane Collapse* #WAfire https://t.co/VljDLZCn1n pic.twitter.com/cZa2AXe3wF

— Kempter's Fire Wire (@KempterFireWire) April 28, 2019

The two workers killed in the collapse were reportedly ironworkers. In total, 6 cars were crushed by the falling crane, which killed 2 civilians, and injured a 25-year old woman, her 4-month old daughter, and a 27-year-old man, who were all admitted to an area hospital.

Thankfully, the mother and daughter, who were trapped in their car, were released from the hospital several hours later.  The man remains in the hospital, but his injuries are not considered to be life threatening.  A 4th person was injured, but was treated by medics at the scene and not admitted to a hospital.

GLY, the general contractor on the jobsite, issued the following statement in a press release on Sunday:

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what happened at our job site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Our sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in this tragic accident. We are hopeful for those who have been injured and wish that they return to full health as quickly as possible.

GLY and its sub-contractors involved with this tower crane accident are doing everything we can to investigate the incident. We are cooperating fully with investigators and assisting the local authorities. At this early stage of the investigation, we have no further details. We will share additional information as it becomes available.”

The top corner of the building under construction was also badly damaged, both by pieces of the crane that fell to the ground below and sections that landed on the roof. Investigations will follow to determine the root cause of the accident.

Even though Seattle has had the largest amount of tower cranes of any US city for the past few years, there has not been a recorded accident involving one since 2006, according to the Times. In that incident, a 210-foot-tall tower crane crashed collapsed and damaged 3 neighboring buildings, killing a man that was sitting inside his living room.

I believe this is also the deadliest construction accident involving civilians since the devastating FIU bridge collapse in Miami that killed 6 and injured several others in March of 2018. Investigations of that bridge collapse are still ongoing, as are several civil lawsuits that have pushed the General Contractor to file for bankruptcy.

For more information about the Seattle crane collapse, you can watch the video below from NBC News, view KIRO7’s photo gallery by clicking here, or read the Seattle Times’ full article in the link below.

Crane Collapses Into Seattle Traffic, Killing 4 | Sunday TODAY - YouTube

Full Story: ‘A tragic day in Seattle’: Fallen crane kills four in South Lake Union | The Seattle Times

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