Friday, July 17, 2015

Builders Report Lack of Skilled Labor

A diminished labor pool is impacting new construction--will quality suffer as a result?


Yahoo reports that the building industry is suffering from a lack of skilled labor resulting from tightened immigration policies and young workers choosing other fields. We reported on this problem in an earlier post on the Berkeley building collapse. Quality suffers when demand is high and the skilled labor pool is low.

"Unemployment in the construction industry fell in June to the lowest level since 2001, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. That's because contractors are having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to meet growing demand, association officials said....We've lost about two-thirds of our Hispanic and South American population in South Carolina, and that has had a profound effect on labor...Local high schools have training programs, but they have been slow to churn out new workers."

So where do builders get the labor to meet demand? We need to spend more on high school and community college technical training, that's where. In the meanwhile, more and better inspections must be employed so that mistakes left behind by untrained labor won't result in construction problems and building failures.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Berkeley Proposes Tougher Balcony Standards

PROPOSED STANDARDS INCLUDE DISCLOSURES BY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS

Inside Bay Area reports:

BERKELEY -- City planning and building officials are proposing a package of safety-related urgency ordinances in response to the June 16 collapse of a fifth-floor balcony at a downtown apartment complex that killed six young adults and injured seven more. A city councilman, meanwhile, is proposing tougher building and inspection standards for balconies.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the proposals on July 14.

An inspection by Berkeley building official Alex Roshal and Senior Building Inspector Steve Messinger on June 16 found the cantilevered joists of the balcony, at the Library Gardens at 2020 Kittredge St., completely shorn off about 16 to 20 inches from the exterior building face, with a torn waterproofing membrane hanging over the joist ends, according to a report from Roshal. The deck joist ends protruding from the exterior wall appeared to be severely dry-rotted, the report stated.

The rotted wood beams that held a balcony jut out from side of the residential apartment building on Kittredge Street in Berkeley on June 17, 2015. Six people died and seven others were seriously injured when the balcony collapsed. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Planning and Development Director Eric Angstadt proposes adding several sections to the city Building Code.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Death in Staircase Collapse--Dry Rot Suspected

One man was killed on July 3, 2015 when a staircase at an apartment building in Folsom, Ca collapsed due to dry rot in the structure.



http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article26678224.html

 Read: The Perils of Hidden Damage...Click Here to Download