The Skilled Labor Shortage
Looking back, 2017 will be the year that construction returned to the national spotlight, as infrastructure spending, pre-recession levels of construction activity and the skilled labor shortage dominated headlines. With skilled labor aging out of the workforce, and younger workers abandoning the trades for traditional four-year college degrees, contractors have been forced to figure out how to accomplish more with the same — or fewer — resources.
With experts predicting a growth ... read more
As media outlets continue to report, there’s an ongoing commercial construction labor shortage that is impacting everything from availability of skilled subcontractors to the increasingly competitive hiring market for construction management professionals. The building and construction industry requires a wide range of skilled professionals to make it tick.
Apprenticeships can offer a precise match between the skills employers want and the training workers receive, says Robert Lerman, an economics professor at American University, i... read more
Implementing them into your building design…
Why you need them:
Over the past 10 years, building surveys have shown that people have been dissatisfied with the level of sound absorption and overall privacy between rooms that buildings provide. Noise is the number one complaint in areas like offices, medical facilities and schools. In one example, students are currently not able to understand one out of every four spoken words in classrooms due to inadequate ceiling acoustics.
People have come to exp... read more
Rockfon’s newly published catalog features their stone wool ceiling products for North America. Known for their design, aesthetics and ease of installation, ROCKFON® stone wool panels inherently provide the unique performance attributes of acoustic control, fire protections and humidity resistance.
What is Stone Wool?
Stone wool is a material produced by a patented technology of melting volcanic stone, or basalt, and recycled materials which give stone wool a number of superior performance characteristics and... read more
Despite the seemingly basic nature of bidding, the process can be complicated for projects of all sizes. Having a clear and targeted bid will make sure you are not eliminated from competition, without being able to bid fairly with other contractors.
Whatever type of project you are bidding on, there are a few basic tips to keep in mind.
Keep it simple. Be straight to the point, presenting facts not ideas. The wording that you use will be the key for someone to keep reading your bid or to put it aside. ... read more
In an ideal world, every construction project would perfectly match its expected timeline and budget. In the real world, construction projects involve many moving parts that don’t always go according to plan. When obstacles arise, the way contractors, project managers, and others handle the situation can make or break the construction experience.
Here are some of the most common delays in building projects and the techniques professionals can use to overcome them:
Change orders. Along the way, client... read more
For over two decades, national chain retailers have been expanding at an alarming rate, displacing locally and independently owned material suppliers and hardware stores. While these mega-stores claim to have bargain prices and a huge inventory, buying your building products from local suppliers has many advantages for your community.
Studies conducted by Civic Economics found “that the local retailers return a total of 52 percent of their revenue to the loc... read more
“Going green” simply means building with sustainability and environmental responsibility in mind. Making ecologically responsible building choices helps protect our environment for future generations. Additionally, contractors, builders, and construction companies are heavily incentivized to build sustainably, especially from social pressure from an increasingly environmentally conscious public.
If you’re thinking about how to build sustainably, keep a few things in mind. Ultimately, your goal should be to minimize the environme... read more
Any jobsite can be loud and busy, but it’s imperative to keep the lines of communication open among all the parties involved in a project. Communication breakdowns can cause serious problems including missed deadlines, misallocated resources, slowed progress, and wasted labor hours. Thanks to modern technology, we have access to countless ways to communicate with everyone working at a jobsite.
Coordinate and Execute
There are lots of moving parts to any construction project. The architect, contractors, foreme... read more
As a premier supplier of building materials in Boston, we at Merrimack Building Supply, Inc. have a deep admiration for the city’s founding fathers and modern architects. Both have shaped the city by creating beautiful buildings for centuries, each of which has added a great deal of character to the community. Here is Part II of our favorites:
One of baseball’s iconic stadiums is also one of Boston’s iconic destinations. Fenway is small, but exceptionally quirky (s... read more
As a premier supplier of building materials in Boston, we at Merrimack Building Supply, Inc. have a deep admiration for the city’s founding fathers and modern architects. Both have shaped the city by creating beautiful buildings for centuries, each of which has added a great deal of character to the community. Here is Part I of our favorites:
JFK Presidential Library and Museum – The library built in honor of our nation’s 35th President was designed by I. M. Pei and dedicated in 1979 by then... read more
Officials in Marshall County, Mississippi broke ground on a $42 million addition, which upon completion will become North America’s first ROCKFON plant. ROCKFON is the world’s leading provider of acoustic stone wool and metal ceiling solutions and suspension systems.
4 months before the ceremonial shovels hit the dirt, ROCKFON announced plans to construct the 130,000-square-foot addition to the existing ROXUL USA facility. The expansion will bring roughly 90 job... read more
It’s essential for any contractor, supervisor or project manager to be a master communicator on the job site. Delegating tasks and managing tradesmen can be a challenging proposition, but luckily the construction industry employs some of the happiest employees in any line of work. The truth is that it takes lots of skill at the top to cultivate an environment with both camaraderie and productivity.
In many cases, the old adage applies: it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. So by allowing a single employee to get ... read more
Whether you’re new to supervising or a seasoned pro, it’s always important to learn and develop leadership skills to ensure a successful construction project. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from Merrimack Building Supply to implement for your next build.
Communication – A Two Way Street
Your project undoubtedly has many moving parts. And your role as superintendent is foremost to coordinate all aspects of the job. From quality assurance to ordering materials to scheduling, how you effectively delegate th... read more
Budgeting for your next residential remodeling project depends on many factors. Where you live, however, is one of the greatest determinants of price.
Sure, quality of materials, the scope of work, and premium on skill will always be taken into account when it comes to price. But comparing remodeling costs in Boston versus the rest of New England illustrates the importance of one’s locale.
If you study Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, you’ll find ... read more
Implementing accessible means of egress when designing a building is critical to the safety of its occupants and also ensures your building is staying compliant with construction codes from the International Building Code (IBC).
What is a means of egress?
A means of egress is a continuous and unobstructed path designed for a person to exit a building, space or structure.
What qualifies as an accessible means of egress?
For a means of egress to be deemed accessible, it must have thre... read more
We at Merrimack Building Supply want to commend the Door Security & Safety Foundation (DSSF) for their success of their recent Opening the Door to School Safety campaign. Launched in 2016, the campaign advocates against the use of classroom door barricade devices.
The controversial topic of barricade devices in schools is a very difficult one to tackle, but ultimately banning these obstructions is the right move, as they potentially do more harm than good.
Here is a quick overview of the issue:
Safety is paramount in creating places of public or private habitation. So when planning your next construction project, it’s critical to abide by proper building codes.
There is a litany of information regarding building code specifics, but we at Merrimack Building Supply figured it would be wise to educate you on what Building Codes are and why their existence is critical to a safe society.
What are Building Codes
According to FEMA, building codes are any sets of regulations governing the design, ... read more
Did you know that the U.S. Government has an illustrious history of regulating building noise?
How It Started
Citizens across the country in the late 1950s and early 1960s recognized their right to protect themselves against high decibel levels. What started as a ragtag group of Americans protesting specific work sites (such as airports and construction sites) quickly turned into actual legislation. In 1969 the US passed the National Environmental Policy Act, which preempted 1972’s Noise Control A... read more
We’ve come a long way in the last hundred years regarding how offices are set up. From rows of desks in the early half of the twentieth century to the advent of cubicles in the 1960s, the average workplace today has certainly made quite a bit of progress.
Nowadays, the expectation is for an office to be as comfortable as your home. But how exactly does your business keep up with Joneses? Here are a few must-haves in creating an appealing office.
Flexible, Versatile and Open
For a multitude of reasons, businesses around the country are switching to acoustic ceilings to reduce traveling sound. Beyond obvious answers to why peace and quiet can are beneficial, Scientific evidence strongly suggests that by drowning out noise, your office can achieve greater productivity. Here are a few reasons to transform your workplace from a boiler room to a sanctuary.
Privacy for your Thoughts
Having a quiet thinking space can make your staff feel far more comfortable in their s... read more
Certain Teed Gypsum® has recently solidified its position in the wallboard market with a new line of high quality drywall corner solutions. The addition will benefit both industry professionals and end customers with its superior look, durability and efficiency. With practical applications for both residential and commercial buildings this new corner product is destined for success.
Following the acquisition of Structus Building Technologies in 2015 CertainTeed® quickly identified the company’s innovate corner solutions — No-Co... read more
New home production rose 4.8% nationwide in June according to data from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
NAHB Chairman Ed Brady says “This month’s uptick in production is an indicator that the housing market continues to move forward, at the same time, builders are adding inventory at a cautious pace as they face lot shortages and regulatory hurdles.”
These reports are consistent with forecasted growth recovery of the housing market and single-family production s... read more
In order to effectively block sound from one room to another, the material or ceiling system used must have enough mass and be free of penetrations that allow sound to pass through. Most traditional lightweight modular ceilings alone do not have enough mass to block sound compared to other components such as walls etc. Ceiling systems always have substantial noise leaks created by light fixtures and air devices that cause them to be less effective at blocking sound.
“There is a misconception that ceilings alone can block sound betwe... read more