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|June 21, 2017 ||
Vol. 48 No. 4
GBA helps you and your clients confront risk and optimize performance by delivering unique professional resources, programs, and services that make you stronger, smarter, and more successful.
A free webinar for every one of your employees!
Please pass this GBA-sponsored opportunity along!
What is holding your business back from improving and growing?
As your A&E business grows and you develop strategies to improve and adapt, it is inevitable that change must happen with your people, processes and technology. But how do we effectively overcome resistance and embedded cultures that fight change?
- Employees and leaders resistant to change?
- Managers' failure to understand the importance and goals of change initiatives?
Join us for free training on Wednesday, June 21 at 1:30 EDT
"Leading Organizational Change to Improve Profitability"
A&E profitability expert, June Jewell, will look at what holds some firms back from effective change, and provide useful best practices, tools and strategies for implementing change in your A&E firm that will enable you to grow profitably and achieve your strategic objectives.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeating mistakes of the past. So true, which is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too. Five more case histsories have been issued.
GBA Case History 11: The TGBA-Member Firm was retained to investigate the cause of a soil collapse beneath a water-treatment facility constructed on soil that contained volcanic ash.
GBA Case History 12: Excellent documentation helped keep the GBA-Member Firm's financial responsibility to a reasonable sum, even though it was not without blame, in part because of its ambiguous language.
GBA Case History 13: The CEO of a GBA-Member Firm learned the hard way about the importance of professional diplomacy. When a client doesn’t pay, learn why first.
GBA Case History 14: Applying lessons learned from GBA, a Member Firm led all disputants to a settlement, without litigation. The firm had to pay, but at least not for attorneys, experts, etc.
GBA Case History 15: A close relationship between key owner and constructor representatives, unfair blame was assigned to the GBA-Member Firm. Thanks to documentation, the Member Firm had to pay nothing… but the owner informed friends and the Member Firm lost business.
Tetra Tech Facilities Construction, LLC, a design-builder (D-B), encountered a significant amount of unsuitable soils that required remediation before it could initiate foundation work for a two-story U.S. Army building. It sought equitable adjustment from the contract officer, but the officer refused. The D-B then took its case to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), arguing that it was entitled to equitable adjustment because the soupy clay it encountered differed materially from the medium to stiff clay indicated in the government's geotechnical report. The government argued that the D-B should not have relied on the Army's soils report, because the contract required the D-B to perform additional site study after award of the contract.
The ASBCA rejected the Army's arguments, saying, "The fact that the contract labeled its representations as to subsurface conditions as 'for information only' or that the contract contains a requirement that the contractor perform further subsurface investigation after award does not deprive the contractor of the right to rely on those representations."
About 60 insurers offer cyber-security policies today, but you need to examine them closely before signing on the dotted line; they're not all the same. According to Cyberheist News, some insurers won't cover claims resulting from employers' failure to patch known system or employees' falling for phishing schemes. Some organizations without coverage have sought recovery by filing claims under their kidnap insurance, but insurers are not likely to permit that for long. Given how devastating cybercrime can be, geoprofessionals need to enhance their IT systems and educate staff about avoiding phishing scams and e-mail security breaches. You may also want to monitor employees' use of computer systems, because some security breaches are "inside jobs." Note that HR departments often are cybercriminals' targets because of the large databases of personal, employee information they maintain.
Mark your calendar for these outstanding GBA get-togethers, and be on the lookout for announcements about others being finalized.
Future GBA Conferences
October 19-21, 2017
GBA Fall Conference
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
January 26-28, 2018
GBA Winter Leadership Conference
April 5-7, 2018
GBA Spring (Annual) Conference
Westin Chicago River North Hotel
Future Events Supported by GBA
AEG 2017 Annual Meeting — September 10-16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO
Future Training for GBA Member-Firms
Leading Change to Improve Profitability — June 21, 2017
Creating a Profitable Culture Through Accountable Learning — September 13, 2017
Developing Superstar Project Managers — December 13, 2017
GOLD: Geoprofessional Operations Leadership Development
Space is limited — reserve spots now for October 2017 Class
GOLD Registration Here
GBA EVENTS CALENDAR
America's infrastructure is in dire need of repairs. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which is published every four years, U.S. infrastructure gets a D+ grade. It got the same grade in 2013. The ASCE estimates the U.S. needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to improve the state of the country's roads, bridges, dams, airports, schools and more.
Roads & Bridges
Less than six months after major construction began on Arizona's largest single highway project ever, progress on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway has been swift, with the project on track to be delivered sooner than originally anticipated. This was the goal when the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) green-lighted the state's first highway public-private partnership (P3) to deliver a critically needed transportation project for Valley motorists in a shorter time frame.
Roads & Bridges
Roadway construction already is a dangerous working environment with over 700 fatalities annually in work zones alone. With connected and automated vehicles beginning to launch on our roadways, workers and motorists will have even more dangers facing them each day. Because the majority of those killed or injured in roadway work zones are motorists, not the workers themselves, CAVs will eventually make our roads safer by eliminating or reducing distracted driver causes.
Public-private partnerships (P3s) have been getting a lot of positive press recently. They're increasingly being used to take on large highway projects like Arizona's $2 billion Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway project, which, according to Arizona Department of Transportation officials, will be delivered three years ahead of schedule, largely due to the P3 design team.
The prices of softwood lumber and OSB increased by 2.2 and 3.3 percent, respectively, in May according to the latest Producer Price Index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increases were a return to the 2017 norm, as softwood lumber and OSB have led building materials price gains in every month except April, when gypsum prices rose 5.1 percent. In contrast, prices paid for gypsum and ready-mix concrete fell for the first time since January, decreasing by 0.2 and 0.4 percent, respectively, in May.
Understanding "slow-slip" earthquakes on the seafloor — seismic events that occur over a period of days or weeks — is giving researchers new insights into undersea earthquakes and the subsequent creation of tsunamis. Through an ocean discovery program supported by the National Science Foundation, scientists are studying the seafloor off the coast of Japan. The region could provide vital clues.
Safety + Health
With summer only days away, the Center for Construction Research and Training — also known as CPWR — has issued a hazard alert about heat risks and precautions workers can take to avoid heat-related illnesses. Data from CPWR shows that 17 construction workers died in 2015 as a result of heat-related conditions.
Ten percent of all of the electricity generated in the U.S. in March came from wind and solar power, marking the first such milestone in U.S. history, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report. The EIA estimates that wind and solar farms likely generated 10 percent of America's electricity in April as well, which would be another first, according to the report.
It's the end of an era for coal. Production of the fossil fuel dropped by a record amount in 2016, according to BP Plc's annual review of global energy trends. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years and use dropped in the U.S to a level last seen in the 1970s, the company's data show.
San Francisco Chronicle
California regulators have approved rules designed to cut natural gas leaks from pipelines and pumping stations by 40 percent, as part of the state's far-ranging fight against global warming. The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to adopt the rules, which will require utility companies to conduct frequent inspections and fix even minor leaks within three years.
A highly combustible form of energy locked deep in the ocean finally can be harvested using a new technique, but deploying that technique on a broad scale could spell trouble for the climate, experts say. The solid material, called methane hydrate, is a form of the hydrocarbon methane that is locked in cages of ice called clathrates.
There's not much that can stand in the way of a flood — a disaster that can put lives at risk, contaminate drinking water and sweep away animals' habitats. For many coastal cities, the risks of catastrophic floods are relatively low. But not for long. A group of scientists has a dire message for coastal cities: If greenhouse gas emissions don't fall, floods that once seemed rare could become much more frequent.
Sometimes solid ground isn't as solid as it seems. This can come as particularly bad news when you’ve just built a whopping great dam on what you thought were strong foundations. On average, 10 significant dam failures occur globally every decade, often with devastating consequences downstream. Now satellite measurements are helping scientists to monitor dam movement before the damage is too great.
| || 2017-2018 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E.
(PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. / Portland, OR)
Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE
(Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA)
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
(Gannett Fleming, Inc. / Harrisburg, PA)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E.
(ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063