Contributed by Eric D. Lussier
The world is in love with social media. We use it to stay connected to those we know, as well as meet new acquaintances. We use it to share pictures of our family, our surroundings and perhaps even our lunch and dinner. We use it share our current status, both in work and life, and our acquired knowledge.
Using social media intelligently has become more important as it becomes more widely used and as it dominates more of our time. The most valuable commodity in the world at this moment is attention and everyone is battling for the same 24 hours that you possess. This is why it’s important to thoughtfully choose which network you utilize when it comes to professional usage and development.
For those that have attended our workshop ‘She’s a Specifier, He’s a Product Rep: Different Roles, Same Goals’, or listened to our latest podcast, you know how much importance we place on using LinkedIn. With 562,000,000 registered members, including close to 150 million in the US, we view it as THE social network to use for a professional presence in Architecture, Engineering and Construction and the working world in general.
Launched just over fifteen years ago, LinkedIn was taken seriously as a social media network when Microsoft acquired them just over two years ago for over $26 BILLION, which was over three times the price they paid for Skype in 2011 at $8.5 billion.
If you aren’t taking full advantage of the benefits that LinkedIn has to offer, you may need to ask yourself why? Please don’t say that “it’s just for job seekers” or “I don’t have time for more social media”. First, just like other social media platforms are not about sharing what you had for lunch, LinkedIn isn’t solely about finding a job. While job seeking is certainly one component of LinkedIn, as an active user, I see few posts mentioning job opportunities in comparison to the industry knowledge being shared.
One of the clear benefits, and alone a reason to use the site, is that Google LOVES LinkedIn. Let’s face it, we all want Googleability as an individual and to appear on the first page when someone queries a name. Have you ever tried searching for a name only to find the first result comes from LinkedIn? I have, daily! If you can’t be found on Google, you might as well be intentionally living off the grid. If you are in sales, or it benefits your brand to be found, LinkedIn is an absolute must.
Contributed by Randy Nishimura
A cozy group gathered at the Eugene Builders Exchange this past Thursday for the May chapter meeting of the Construction Specifications Institute-Willamette Valley Chapter. The topic for the meeting was repurposedMATERIALS, the successful enterprise at the vanguard of the rapidly growing materials repurposing industry.
CSI-WVC member Alorie Mayer, who has a background in energy and resource conservation management, organized the presentation of a webinar by repurposedMATERIALS president Damon Carson. Damon founded the company in 2011, and it has only grown by leaps and bounds since then. In Damon’s words, repurposing occupies the intersection of affordability and sustainability. The repurposedMATERIALS business model involves taking byproducts out of the waste stream and extending their maximum practical benefit while minimizing waste and the expenditure of new energy to ready them for new uses.
Damon introduced the topic of repurposing materials by having us think about what many of us did naturally as preschoolers: taking an empty Quaker Oats canister and transforming it into a drum or a container for Lego blocks, or reimagining a Maytag refrigerator shipping box as a medieval fort or a space-age rocket. This, in his words, was our “substitutionary thinking” at work. Repurposing isn’t a new concept; fundamentally, it is an innately human behavior.
Damon cited the waste hierarchy pyramid and how reuse occupies a perch near its peak. Repurposing is not the same as recycling, which typically involves energy-intensive processing of the materials (e.g. chipping, shredding, grinding, or melting) before reuse is possible. Repurposing is a means to extract the maximum practical benefit from products while minimizing the cost to the environment. As a waste-management strategy, repurposing minimizes emissions of greenhouse gases, reduces pollutants, saves energy, conserves resources, creates jobs, and stimulates the development of green technologies. Repurposing rather than reprocessing previously-used items also saves time and money, making quality products available to people and organizations who may be of limited means.
Of course, repurposing isn't a new concept. Artists (like my friend and former co-worker Rosie Nice) have long fashioned sculptures and other works out of what most people would consider junk. Habitat for Humanity ReStores and Eugene/Springfield’s own BRING Recycling sell salvaged materials but tend to emphasize reuse rather than repurposing. For example, salvaged doors or windows sold by Habitat for Humanity ReStores or BRING are typically used by the purchasers for the same ends they originally were originally intended for. What distinguishes repurposedMATERIALS is its procurement of large amounts of discarded products no longer suitable for their original purposes but are otherwise practical for altogether different uses.
Contributed by Lori Greene
Each school shooting brings renewed attempts to secure our schools and prevent the next tragedy.
Unfortunately, in the rush to do something (anything!) quickly and within tight budgetary constraints, safety is sometimes overlooked in favor of security.
Retrofit security products, also known as classroom barricade devices, have entered the market in recent years. Although these devices may have an attractive pricetag and are less complex to purchase and install than traditional locksets and key systems, there are risks, liabilities, and unintended consequences to consider.
For decades, the model codes have included requirements which help to ensure free egress, fire protection, and accessibility, and the 2018 model codes have an additional requirement for access to locked classrooms from the outside using a key or other approved means. When these codes are enforced, classroom barricade devices cannot be used in addition to the existing locking or latching hardware.
The video below covers the model code requirements, the 2018 changes, and other concerns regarding classroom security.
Want more information on classroom security? Be sure to look into the following:
Decoded: Classroom Security Code Update
National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) – Classroom Door Security and Locking Hardware Guidelines (PDF)
Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) – Position Statement on Classroom Barricade Devices (PDF)
Door Security and Safety Foundation (DSSF) – LockDontBlock.org
Contributed by Eric D. Lussier
Eighteen months ago, a random conversation on a Tuesday afternoon between Cherise Lakeside and myself went like this:
Me: "Seemingly few are committed to speak their mind or try to fix the broken system that is construction. You do a damn fine job of breaking that mold and trying to help this industry."
Cherise: "Thank you. The key, I think, is speaking your mind in a productive and positive way with some solutions in hand. Everyone just wants to be negative and bitch about things. I try to only stir the pots that need stirring."
Me: "You are so right. A problem is everyone acts like their own island and the destination rescue is each their own issue and not working together on being rescued. I pretty much just 'Survivored' the construction industry."
Cherise: "Ha, ha! Exactly. We need to pull people out of their comfort zones and make them open their eyes. This is way too much of a "me" society as it is."
Me: "So, perhaps a member from each seat at the table who can feature their respective perception and potential solutions. We can register a domain like letsfixconstruction.com"
That's the truth. I have the actual conversation and those are exact quotes.
It struck me this past Friday, February 16th, that Let's Fix Construction was a year & a half old. If you had told me eighteen months ago what the last 550 days were going to be like, I would have laughed out loud.
As a way to look back on these first months of Let's Fix Construction, we're going to take the next week to share and revisit every article that we've posted along the way, starting at number one. We'll be sharing these posts on social media. Please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
We've gained dozens of contributors, thousands of readers and now listeners, thanks to the Let's Fix Construction podcast, and didn't want to lose sight at what we started with and shared in the last year and a half.
As always, if you would like to share your knowledge and contribute a forward-thinking concept to a construction-related issue, dispel a myth or just provide a solution for a better built environment, please contact us and let us know.
And without further ado, our very first post on the Let's Fix Construction blog, written by yours truly, 'The Fifth C of CSI: Collaboration'
Contributed by Elias Saltz
Writing posts about specific misconceptions has got me thinking about the nature of misconceptions in a more general way. I have questions about their origins and their ability to linger, and how they differ from other types of beliefs.
Misconceptions, especially about the kind of things I’m writing about here, seem like they should be less tricky to dispel than other beliefs because they don’t usually embed themselves with their holders’ personal identities. I don’t see people getting emotionally attached to their beliefs and preferences pertaining to different types of sprayed fireproofing, for example. Still, it takes a certain amount of self-awareness to examine and question your knowledge. When incorrect information is passed along as ‘rules of thumb’ or ‘common knowledge,’ are you curious enough to ask the question, ‘what do I think I know and how do I think I know it?’ It’s difficult to tease out misconceptions because they feel like facts to us, and we’re subject to confirmation bias - that is, a tendency to use mental tricks to reinforce our beliefs to avoid being wrong. But every ‘fact’ we think we believe should be provisional, subject to updating when we’re presented with compelling contrary evidence.
In addition to misconceptions, there’s a lot of pure ignorance about some topics. We don’t know much about them, but hopefully we’re aware enough of our ignorance to not just make up an answer. I chose today’s misconception topic with that in mind; I think that woodwork finishing is a bit of a black box, performed behind the scenes, with systems that are little understood beyond their names. That’s why I approached Margaret Fisher from the Architectural Woodwork Institute, who is also a previous contributor of two articles on Let’s Fix Construction.
06 40 00 - Architectural Woodwork
There is much that can and has been written about architectural woodwork and it’s an immensely broad topic, so this post will limit its focus to finishing systems. AWI’s Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) introduces the topic better than I can:
“The purpose of finishing woodworking is twofold. First, the finish is used traditionally as a means to enhance or alter the natural beauty of the wood. Second, the finish shall offer protection to the wood from damage by moisture, contaminants, and handling. It is important to understand that a quality finish must offer acceptable performance and also meet the aesthetic requirements of the project.”
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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