Types of Formwork – Concrete Formwork Contractors

Formwork is a complex technique involved in construction which requires specialist contractors for proper use. It's the term given to specific molds or receptors into which concrete is beloved to make slabs for construction or actual components of buildings. Once the concrete has hardened to an adequate level, the forms are removed. This is known…

Formwork is a complex technique involved in construction which requires specialist contractors for proper use. It's the term given to specific molds or receptors into which concrete is beloved to make slabs for construction or actual components of buildings. Once the concrete has hardened to an adequate level, the forms are removed. This is known as 'stripping'.

There are many different types of formwork which are used in building, for many different purposes. There are three main materials for creating formwork – traditional timber formwork, engineered formwork (usually a metal frame) and stay-in-place formwork systems (usually pre-made concrete systems). Using these types of formwork, there are a variety of different ways to create slabs and structures from formwork.

How It Works

Roman engineers began using slab formwork to complete major constructs which used concrete. The engineers built their constructions using arches and domes because concrete does not have a strong resistance to stress. Concrete only became a popular material with which to build once reinforced concrete was invented.

Different Types of Formwork

Traditional slab formwork uses timber, masonry and carpentry to complete construction. The method works through tree trunks or other lumber supporting rows of strings which are placed three to six feet or one to two meters apart with joints placed between the stringers.

Metal beam slab formwork is much the same as the traditional slab formwork method, the only difference being that steel is used instead of timber and metal props are used instead of supports. This system is reusable and more methodical than the traditional method. The finish of the concrete is smoother and the formwork is easier to remove after the cement has cured.

Modular slab formwork is created from pre-made timber modules or modules made from steel or aluminum. These are usually produced in a factory offsite and added to construction once completed.

The Table or Flying Form System

Another type of formwork is table or flying form systems. These consist of slab formwork tables which are reusable. These tables do not have to be dismounted and can be used in high buildings where cranes or elevators are used to lift the tables. Once the table is positioned, the space between the wall and table is filled. Tables vary in size from eight square meters to 150 square meters. This type of formwork is a huge saver of both labor and time and is a favorite of construction engineers and architects. However, table formwork is best used in the construction of large, but simple structures.

Because the system is easily dismounted into single parts, it is transportable. The system is built in the same way as beam formwork, apart from these single parts. Joists and stringers are screwed, bolted or welded to become a deck.

Formwork should be placed at the correct height so that there is sufficient space to remove them once the concrete has set or cured. Due to this reason, the support systems of table formwork need to be height adjustable. Adjustable metal props can be used to support the systems. Some use steel or aluminum to insert strings and supports into the systems, while others use metal frame shoring towers to attach the decks to. Others attach the decks to walls or columns that have been pre-cast which means that contractors do not need to use vertical props, simply support shoes bolted through holes.

Crane Lifting for Table Formwork

Tables produced which are five to seven meters wide with a potential length of over 100 feet are lifted by crane. The decks and formwork are moved to the edge of the building once the concrete has been cured and the crane lifts the protruding edge upwards, the rest of the formwork follows.

The advantages to crane-handled flying formwork include lowered labor costs and a more methodological way of functioning. However, lifting of this nature requires extremely advanced cranes to function, which can be expensive.

Elevator or Crane Fork Lifting for Table Formwork

When smaller tables are produced, such as those that are two to three meters in width and four to seven meters long, these are lifted by crane transport fork or material platform elevators which are attached to the side of the building.

Shifting trolleys are used to transport the tables horizontally to the elevator or crane platform. Crane fork flying formwork is used mostly in the US and Europe and other countries where labor costs are high as this technique is labor reducing, therefore cost reducing. Smaller tables can be customized to suit buildings of a more complex design. The disadvantage of this type of forming is the cost of raw materials and cranes.

Formwork should always be undertaken by a professional contractor who is experienced and certified in their knowledge and services. Because formwork involves concrete which is heavily affected by a number of stresses, the incorrect use can be dangerous as the concrete may collapse. Formwork has however allowed people to build structures never before dreamed possible and paving the way for future construction.

Form Versus Function, 6 Steps to Brilliant Architectural Marketing

You may have a hard time believing this … just as I do writing it, but I recently found myself in a conversation with a friend at his office about the concept of “form versus function” … you know, the old architectural standard. For those notchooled directly in the architectural arts (like myself), the principals…

You may have a hard time believing this … just as I do writing it, but I recently found myself in a conversation with a friend at his office about the concept of “form versus function” … you know, the old architectural standard. For those notchooled directly in the architectural arts (like myself), the principals states that there are two ends of the spectrum for building … one end for functionality, the other end for aesthetics or “looks”. The debate centers around which point of the spectrum is optimal.

Function ————————————————- –Form

(The old, dry architectural principle)

Now this is not probably the most interesting conversation I've had in a while, but since it seemed cerebral and I really have not been in one of those in a little while, I hung in there. I made it a point to make sure my friend did not think I came below from 'steerage' by suggesting that despite the two concepts did not have to be at odds with each other … that they could possibly even be inclusive of each other. After all, why can not you have a solid foundation and a beautiful building?

I stand up a little straighter with the thought that that little nugget would revolutionize the field … until I learned that this already been discussed and resolved by architectural academia decades before! He politely shared with me that indeed the concepts, form and function, can work together nicely. In fact, the solution now is that “form follows function”. That is, that the shape of a building (or object) should be predicated by or based upon its intended function or purpose.

Feeling more foolish than the ancient surveyor of Pisa, I had to redeem myself. What did I know about that guy and other architects did not? Probably not a whole lot (those guys are pretty sharp with their big, fancy diplomas).

But wait; there was something that many in this field did not seem to get. Or despite they got it but just did not choose to do it … marketing! Yep, I turned to him and wondered out loud why architects did not seem to follow the simple application of 'form following function' yet … that of marketing their business. I think I got him with that one … and resumed standing up straighter and even added a kick to my step.

The truth is that form and function rear their heads all over the discipline of marketing an architectural firm. For those architects who know where to draw the line and order the two, marketing should be easier than an isosceles triangle.

So how does the principle show up through marketing specifically? Well, at a high level perspective, function consistors of the metrics behind growing … the goals, the tactics, the tracking and measurements; while the form consistors of the aesthetics … the branding, the messaging, the relationship-building activities.

The first is quantifiable, the second large qualitative. So marketing, much like architecture, is both science and art working together towards an objective. Pretty cool, huh? Breaking down the steps into 'function then form' helps us to understand further-

Planning

We're talking about developing a marketing plan here that is in concert with the direction of the organization. Frankly, I've found that most architectural firms waive the idea of ​​actually planning their growth … expecting it to grow solely on relationships that they've developed over the years.

The relationships are great … and should be nourished. But architects know all too well the pitfalls of failing to plan. And they also realize that we've entered the era of proactive marketing. This consists of setting goals, identifying a target market, developing a niche, tracking competition, and course-correction where needed. This is function at its finest.

Marketing Kit

Proactive architectural firms know that the basis of any ongoing marketing effort lies in its communications foundation, or “marketing kit”. This kit is what some architecture firms have been paying to the expensive advertising agencies for years.

Effective marketing materials and ad concepts today are information-driven. That is, the business is presented around a single theme in a number of ways that reach the spectrum of prospects most effectively. Consumers, both business and personal, are savvier today … so the messages need to display heart, passion and experience. The marketing kit is where function and form meet.

Advertising

There are a myriad of advertising tactics available today, which would fall under 'form'. But which one to choose? Are contractors turning more to the internet for architectural services? How about more traditional print tactics? Are prospects even affected by architectural advertising?

The studies show that they are … assuming that the effort is combined with tactics that have been successful in this industry. Which leads to …

Referral Marketing

Ah yes, referral, or 'word-of-mouth' marketing. The oldest marketing tactic is still the most effective. And that's certainly true in the architecture world. Without influential contacts, we all know that the business is in trouble.

Well, how about taking referral marketing to the 'next level'? What many fail to realize is that this tactic can be transformed from a reactive (waiting for the phone to ring) to a proactive (identifying and targeting strategic partners) one.

The question to ask is how do we develop stronger and broader-reaching relationships? And how do we organize our clients and strategic partners to talk about us? If you do not have a plan for this, you need to create one, because increasing referrals is one of the most effective ways of increasing the visibility of the business.

Public Relations

Another strong tactic if proactively pursued. Again, most wait for the journalist's call … you know, the one that almost never happens. Waiting is a mistake.

Your new project is news worthy. You are affecting your community. An article in the local newspaper, a TV interview, or a positive blog creates credibility that just can not be bought.

Tracking

What is working? It's shocking how many businesses fail to get feedback on their marketing efforts. And it's a shame that those who do do not act on it. The usefulness in finding what works, is simply to do more of the same. If a marketing effort is not working, then can it be fixed? Sure. But if you can not see that it's not working, how would you know?

Tracking helps you find the activity that works for you. The combination is out there waiting for you. Seek it out.

Brilliant marketing is an example of simple design planning and execution … a union of form and function. Embrace this principle for marketing the business as you do for the services you provide and you'll witness the business take off.

Large Building Containers Their Uses and the Proof!

When you go to most building sites you see large storage containers placed around the site to keep the site materials safe (tools, cement mixers, oak beams and anything worth stealing) and provide the staff with a place to go for lunch breaks or when the heavens open. Most of these containers mount up on…

When you go to most building sites you see large storage containers placed around the site to keep the site materials safe (tools, cement mixers, oak beams and anything worth stealing) and provide the staff with a place to go for lunch breaks or when the heavens open. Most of these containers mount up on the back of some large MAC truck are either craned off or the MAC truck has its own lifting gear.

These large containers are so versatile as not only are the containers secure they can provide a large variety of services including, On Site Accommodation, secure storage, secure workshops, extra classrooms, COSHH storage facilities, Smoking shelters and Mobile homes.

I have found that you can find these containers for sale through reputable firms that they give you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to New builds or more to the point self builds. My plan is to purchase a container that has been made specifically for my needs shower and toilet, kitchen, bedroom and storage area with heating, lighting, power supply, external lighting and steel shuttered security windows.

This will enable me to have on site accommodation when I start on my new build, that can be craned in for the duration of the build and which I can then sell at the end of the build. The thing about Container buildings is that they work, that is why they are used so often.

I know that is a strong statement but if you have ever worked in the building industry you will know that if something is not working it wont get used. Every building site has one of these containers on it because of their reliability, security and ease of use.

Custom Water Fountains For Commercial Use

Water Fountains for Commercial Use When considering lobby design for your office, clinic or hotel, a commercial water fountain provides surprising benefits. A custom water fountain can be as large or as small as your space allows. For hotel lobbies, a tall free-standing fountain will look stylish and impressive. For a small law office, a…

Water Fountains for Commercial Use

When considering lobby design for your office, clinic or hotel, a commercial water fountain provides surprising benefits. A custom water fountain can be as large or as small as your space allows. For hotel lobbies, a tall free-standing fountain will look stylish and impressive. For a small law office, a custom wall fountain will conserve space, while adding pleasant ambient sound. For employees, a water fountain will provide moist air even in the presence of constantly running air conditioners. Water fountains help to reduce the presence of negative ions in the air caused by computers, televisions and electronics. Providing your employees with pleasant and healthy air will likely improve workplace output and worker satisfaction. Whether you are designing for a hotel or a bank, a water fountain will add distinct benefits. Below are some suggested uses of custom water fountains by industry.

Hotels

In the case of hotels, the lobby is the first impression of your establishment. If designed well, your lobby can tell your guests that your hotel is stylish, luxurious and comfortable. Adding a fountain to your hotel lobby will enhance the look and feel of your hotel immediately. Visually a fountain provides instant impact, as the water rushes and moves. This interactive experience keeps your guests focused on the pleasant design of the lobby. Keeping your guests visually stimulated will help to calm nerves of anxious travelers and guests who may be waiting in line for check-in. Also, the sound of rushing water helps to drown out ambient noise. Your lobby will seem calm and under control, giving the impression that your business works like a well-oiled machine.

Medical Offices

Comfort is a paramount consideration in dental offices and medical clinics. Medical environments are often racked with stress, tension and even pain. A custom water fountain is an excellent piece to add to your clinic lobby or waiting area. The soothing sound of the water will mute excess noise from ringing phones, nervous children and busy staff. The fountain can also serve as a welcome visual distraction to those waiting for an appointment. Clinics and medical offices that add a water fountain to their décor are sending a signal to patients that they are safe and cared for.

Banks and Law Offices

Where privacy is a key concern, a water fountain is an easy way to establish a noise barrier. In banks and law offices, confidential information is shared constantly. A stylish way to keep personal conversations private is by adding a water fountain to your lobby or reception area. The sound of rushing water quiets conversations without unsightly barriers like walls. Another great water fountain benefit is brand enhancement. A customer will see a beautiful water fountain with your bank's name etched into it as a sign of prestige. In the financial, law and other corporate industries, prestige is essential to closing sales and refining your institution. A custom water fountain can go a long way in underscoring your business as strong and respectable.

A custom water fountain can fit any budget or space, and can include your company logo and name. Consider a custom water fountain for your lobby or office design. The benefits of noise reduction, increased privacy and a soothing atmosphere will impress your clients and employees.

Know More About the Commercial Real Estate Market

Prescott, Arizona has credit to be the foremost capital of Arizona. It was previously known as the Arizona territory and was formed in the year 1863. Phoenix may be the present capital and greatest city of Arizona. Neverheless, the real estate market of Prescott is unduly an ideal place for investments, since people all over…

Prescott, Arizona has credit to be the foremost capital of Arizona. It was previously known as the Arizona territory and was formed in the year 1863. Phoenix may be the present capital and greatest city of Arizona. Neverheless, the real estate market of Prescott is unduly an ideal place for investments, since people all over the world come here for reaping monetary profits.

This region also has generous historical value. It attracts worldwide tourists since the region is famous for ancient monuments and has featured in the prestigious National Register of Historic places. The province itself enterprises of five hundred and twenty five constructions stated in this register. Although multiple instances of Victorian architecture are still present in this region, it is not the only reason why this region is so popular. The actual reason of its popularity is its ultra Mid-western appearance, even though it is located in the Southwest region.

The regions in and around Prescott are called the “Quad Cities”. It enterprises of Chino Valley, Dewey, AZ, Prescott Valley and Prescott. This province falls easily among the most rapidly developing sectors in the entire state. The primary reason can be attributed to the suitable climatic conditions of the region. In Phoenix, it is comparatively cooler than other regions of the state. This region does not have extremely cold winter, as in Williams and Flagstaff that are located in northward. Thus this region is very comfortable and suitable for living.

Another rapid evacuation region of Arizona is Yavapai County. Prescott City is undisputedly the greatest urban sector of this county. Its development has been recorded as very stable, at around four per cent annually in the last ten years. This development is predicted to carry in this manner for the coming years. The residing population of this Quad-City region exceeds 100,000. The figure is expected to increase in the near future.

This sector has managed to set up a solid industry foundation. This is primarily due to the presence of local principal employers such as ACE Distribution, Wal-Mart, Prescott Unified School District, Yavapai County, Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Lockheed Martin. The weather conditions are very mild and favorable in this region. There are very few instances of natural calamities. These factors make it an ideal location for setting up an IT hub. This in turn attracts many businesspersons and entrepreneurs to set up their industries and factories here.

There are many people who want to relocate to a region of the real estate market of the Prescott, Arizona. They can avail many facilities found in this region for their family. For instance, children have many options to receive high quality education. There are many reputed and acclaimed educational institutions here also. These include Prescott High School, Abia Judd Elementary, Tri-City Prep High School, Taylor Hicks Elementary, Granite Mountain Middle School and Washington Traditional School. Most of these schools have gained place in the “Excelling” group that is decided by the Department of Education. With respect to colleges the Yavapai College is in greatest demand. It has many campuses located within this belt. Around nine thousand candidates take admission here every semester annually. This reflects the popularity and high reputation of the colleges.

Prescott has received tremendous national recognitions. These may be enlisted as the following, in descending order of date –

o Augt'06- Money magazine Recognizes Prescott as among the five leading towns in an article having the title, “Best Places to Retire”.

o June'06- MSN Real Estate mentions this belt among one of eight locations that US citizens want to stay at, due to its comparatively lower incidences of crime and deviant behavior, good educational facilities and booming economy. Citizens outside US also seek to relocate and get settled in this place.

o May'06- According to the INC Magazine, the region has featured in the category of twenty five small cities that are hot property and in great demand possessing employment strength of severely 150,000. This is quite a rarity.

o April'06- The National Trust for Historic Preservation selects the region among the Dozen Distinctive Destinations in the United States. It was also short listed amidty ninety-three locations from thirty-nine states that received a nomination for this category of award.

o March'06- Bottom Line enlists this belt among the seven Best Locations to Reside. This encouraged citizens from far and wide to relocate here.

o Feb '06 – Milten Institute accredits this region with an all-round ranking of the third spot in terms of 2005's finest performing Cities.

o January '06 – True West magazine recognizes the province among the leading ten towns of the Western region.

o Jan '06 -The Business Journal notes that although Prescott is more famous for its agriculture and historic value, it has ranked as fifth in terms of the survey that the American City Business Journals has carried out. Comprising a population of 100,000-500,000, the province had surpassed Phoenix by a consider margin. This is a great achievement.

o July '04 -An issue of the Business Week highlights this province among the best five 'Recreation Havens' of the United States. It reflects its rapid pace of development.

o '04 Boom Town USA- The 7 Ke Keys to Big Success in Small Towns “Recognizes Prescott among the best small cities of the nation.

o '04 – Many shows of various Cities ranked and rated, and even showcased this province as number six in terms of evolving and rapidly developing cities.

Thus, with its high standard of living combined with a favorable climate and small-town environment, this belt is unduly the most ideal location to stay with one's family. The citizens of this region avail multiple facilities that are available here and are similar to larger and more developed cities. This allows the region to maintain economic stability even during times of the nation's crises. One can say that Arizona Commercial Real Estate, located in Prescott, AZ, has a carved niche in the market of Quad-City.

Understanding Painting Preparation – A Facility Manager’s Guide to Preparing Painting Surfaces

Proper painting surface preparation is one of the most critical factors to getting high quality results. It does not matter whether the job is complete repainting of a 1,000,000 square foot warehouse complex or a simple touch up job in the gymnasium of a small elementary school. Proper surface prep sets the stage for success.…

Proper painting surface preparation is one of the most critical factors to getting high quality results. It does not matter whether the job is complete repainting of a 1,000,000 square foot warehouse complex or a simple touch up job in the gymnasium of a small elementary school. Proper surface prep sets the stage for success. Here are some tips for perfect surface prep that you can take care of, and a guide to the prep work that you should leave to your contractor.

Dry Painting Surface: You or Your Contractor First and foremost, your the surface should be dry. So long as safety permits, you can make life a lot easier for your painting contractor by drying the painting environment beforehand. Dehumidifiers and fans can be employed to speed air circulation. Mop up standing water if necessary to improve the safety of the project site.

Clean Painting Surface: You or Your Painting Contractor Surfaces have to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure good paint adhesion. Your contractor will often include an estimate for prep work in a project bid. You may be able to perform some of the work and thus reduce the estimate; however, some tasks must be performed by a professional. Get rid of old flaky paint, sand down blisters and other imperfections.

IMPORTANT: You should consult with your painting contractor and determine if lead-based paints or other hazardous materials are present before cleaning the painting surface. If a hazardous material issue exists, the surface will need to be cleaned by a certified professional for safety reasons.

Sand or Blast Painting Surface: Your Contractor The actual sanding of the surface should be left to your painting contractor. Depending on the types of coating products that will be applied to the surface, the contractor may have specific manufacturer's recommendations for sanding. Plus most painting contractors hold to a high standard for surface prep because it is such a huge component of a quality job.

Prime Painting Surface: Your Painting Contractor After the drying cleaning and sanding, the surface is ready to be primed. A primer coat acts as the foundation for the coating. All identical layers of paint depend on the adhesion between the primer and the bare surface. Most painting contractors will insist on applying the primer coat to ensure that it is properly done and capable of producing a good finished product.

For more information and advice on preparing a surface for painting and coating, please contact a professional painting company.

What Product is Right For Your Painting Project? – A Brief Look at Commercial Painting Products

The commercial painting product market has literally hundreds of applicators, paints, sprays, and types of coatings. If you are in charge of a facility, knowing a little bit about the types of products contractors use can help you make better maintenance decisions about your commercial building. Commercial Painting Delivery Systems Airless Spray Airless spray systems…

The commercial painting product market has literally hundreds of applicators, paints, sprays, and types of coatings. If you are in charge of a facility, knowing a little bit about the types of products contractors use can help you make better maintenance decisions about your commercial building.

Commercial Painting Delivery Systems

Airless Spray

Airless spray systems offer versatile and modular functioning. Airless systems can be used to apply lacquers, elastomerics, stains, and other coatings, and may be outfitted for either indoor or outdoor use. These sprayers are available in gas or electric powered models. The gas powered models are powerful, but are more suited to outdoor projects. Inside jobs are best handled with the quighter electric airless spray.

High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP)

HVLP systems use a large volume of air reduced to a very low air pressure to turn a liquid paint into a spray. This commercial painting delivery system is often used to coat detailed woodwork and for ceilings. Spray painting works by either combining the paint with air, or convert the paint to tiny droplets and accelerate these out a nozzle. Commercial examples of this include the popular product the Wagner PowerPainter.

Standard Commercial Painting Paints
Standard commercial paints, such as the various paints, primers and stains produced by companies like Benjamin Moore and Cabot, are used for general purpose coverings. Commercial painting products have a wide range of properties, so you should discuss your needs and immediate requirements with a knowledgeable commercial painting contractor company.

Specialty Commercial Painting Paints
Specialty commercial paints offer radically different coating properties for a demanding commercial painting environment. Here are a few examples of products that are designed for heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications:

  • Covercrete, a specialized concrete coating
  • Griggs Paint, unique aerospace ready coatings
  • Polymerland, special engineered resins for use with polymers
  • Armorpoxy, a tough floor coating system

Final Words
If you have a commercial project coming soon, please contact a professional painting company. A skilled and experienced commercial painting contractor will be able to suggest the various products and coating techniques that are right for your building project.

Building Great Client-Contractor Relationships – A 5 Step Guide For Clients

Building a long-standing relationship with your commercial painting company can pay off big time. Here are five important tips to keep your relationship open, honest and good for you and good for your business. Step 1: Share Your Priorities Share your priorities with your commercial painting company contractor. Communication is essential to building long lasting…

Building a long-standing relationship with your commercial painting company can pay off big time. Here are five important tips to keep your relationship open, honest and good for you and good for your business.

Step 1: Share Your Priorities
Share your priorities with your commercial painting company contractor. Communication is essential to building long lasting business relationships. Your contractor can not read your mind. You need to lay out your priorities, objectives and expectations as precisely as you can – as early as you can in the painting process. Do not worry if things come up – just make sure to communicate why and how they need to be changed or fixed and how that should impact the painting contractor's process.

Step 2: Negotiate Terms and Listen
A commercial painting company contractor can be a great planning resource. A painting contractor may be able suggest an otherwise overlooked solution to a difficult commercial painting project. Treat your contractor as an interested partner by soliciting opinions, listening to his or her recommendations, and adjusting your expectations and budget (if possible) to accommodateate needs.

Step 3: Make a Written Contract
Establish a written detailed contract with the commercial painting company before the contractor preps a single surface or spray paints a single girder. Contracts help to clearly define the business relationship and – in a sense – liberate it. If you and your contractor are not clear on the terms of your mutual arrangement, it's easy for frustrations and bad feelings to spoil a working relationship.

Step 4: Touch Base Often
Schedule regular meetings to discuss progress. By putting a meeting on the calendar, you and your contractor commit to maintaining an ongoing dialogue. Ongoing communications as a project develops is absolutely essential to maintaining a good working relationship. These meetings do not need to take very long, nor do they need to be face to face. Figure on fifteen minutes a week for a routine progress meeting. Follow-up your meeting with an email to the contractor to clarify any significant issues.

Step 5: Trust Experience
Your commercial painting company contractor should know his or her business. Once you have found a painting company with the experience that your facility needs, stand back and let them take care of your projects. Trust your contractor's experience.

Looking Ahead
Like a personal relationship, a business relationship evolves over time. Periodically review your relationships with contracting firms and outsourcing organizations and discover if there are areas that need touching up and improvement.

Painting Versus Replacing – A Guide to the Economic Advantages of Painting

The Costs of Replacement: High Direct Costs and Indirect Costs When you are planning to refurbish a manufacturing facility, municipal building, office building or warehouse, you always have to consider the costs of painting versus the costs of replacement. While it is true that replacement is a very long term solution, it is also a…

The Costs of Replacement: High Direct Costs and Indirect Costs

When you are planning to refurbish a manufacturing facility, municipal building, office building or warehouse, you always have to consider the costs of painting versus the costs of replacement. While it is true that replacement is a very long term solution, it is also a very cost effective solution, both in direct costs and in indirect costs.

The direct costs of replacement are obvious. Materials, man-hours and installation eat up most of the project budget. Unfortunately, the project budget only shows part of the true costs of replacement. Structural components are by definition linked together. If you remove one component, you affect the remaining components. This drives up direct costs, usually after a project budget has been approved.

Compared to indirect costs, though, the direct costs of replacement are strictly minor league. Often, replacement strategies require downtime, and for an industrial facility, downtime is extremely costly. While machines and workers are idled, a company can lose tens of thousands of dollars or more every minute of every day.

The Costs of Painting: Lower Direct Costs and Greatly Reduced Indirect Costs

Painting usually has lower manpower costs. However, if a surface needs to be specially treated or prepared, the manpower costs for painting can be comparable to the costs of replacement. Material costs of painting are usually far lower than replacement costs. An experienced industrial painting company is able to deliver a refurbishment solution to a facility with lower direct costs.
Indirect costs are lower as well. A good industrial painting company is often able to fit work schedules around your production schedule, minimizing downtime, and saving the company a fortune in indirect costs.

Industrial painting can be a very cost effective part of your building refurbishment strategy. Contact your industrial painting company to ask about industrial painting costs and services.

Whether completing emergency repairs or a major project, industrial operations require a contractor who gets the job done quickly and at a competitive price while causing minimal disruption to on-going facility operation. Moreover, work in most facilities requires a contractor who responds quickly and innovatively to unforeseen problems and roadblocks.

Contact an industrial painting company who will partner with you and your facility engineers to provide value engineering before your project begins, find solutions to your problems throughout the work, and deliver a project that works for your operational and maintenance teams.

Preventing Structure Collapse With the Help of Construction Chemicals

In recent years there have been a number of high profile disasters where structures have collapsed; in some cases the consequences were devastating. Many things can have an effect on the soundness of a building or other type of structure. Over time, factors such as extreme weather, earthquakes, or simple deterioration will take its toll…

In recent years there have been a number of high profile disasters where structures have collapsed; in some cases the consequences were devastating. Many things can have an effect on the soundness of a building or other type of structure. Over time, factors such as extreme weather, earthquakes, or simple deterioration will take its toll on a structure. Some recent, high profile news stories have shown us what can happen when a structure can withstand no more.

On June 19, 2008 a construction worker lost his life in Houston Texas when the scaffolding and part of a wall collapsed, trapping several workers in the rubble, and on March 4, 2008 a vacant building collapsed in Harlem New York; prompting the halt of train service in the area due to fear that the vibration from the trains may cause a neighboring building to collapse as well.

In Kenya, on December of 2006, a large building under construction collapsed, injuring dozens of construction workers, and killing more than 11. Building standards appears to be the cause of this tragedy. Another building collapse in Iran on June 30, of 2008 took the lives of 19 people; the cause of this tragic building collapse was the building's instability.

Collapsing buildings are catastrophic, but there have also been some recent tragedies relating to the collapse of bridges and tunnels. In many of these cases poor construction or erosion are to blame for the disaster.

In July of 2006, a newlywed couple would have their lives together cut short when they made the fateful decision to drive through the Boston Big Dig Tunnel, and over 12 tons of concrete fell onto their car from the ceiling of the tunnel. The husband was able to crawl out of their crushed car, but his wife was not so fortune, and was killed.

On August 1, 2007 a Minneapolis bridge on Interstate 35-W collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145. This tragic bridge collapse is just another in a long line of structure failures due to poor construction, or erosion that was not attended to.

As a result of these and other tragedies, the soundness of structures has become one of the most scrutinized elements of new construction, and the focus has shifted to methods of ensuring that new buildings and structures are constructed in a way that ensures the building's longevity.

Buildings, as well as other types of structures are designed to withstand a certain weight load, but what a building or structure may actually withstand can vary, depending on the quality of construction, as well as the quality of the materials used in the construction of the building.

If poorly constructed, any type of structure is subject to collapse, from a single family home to a skyscraper, or long bridge. In most cases the collapse of a building or other type of structure can be contributed to bad design, foundation failure, bad construction, extraordinary loads, or a combination of these factors.

In the case that a collapse is due to bad design and construction, the undering issues are not only miscalculating the stress that the structure may handle at a future time, but also the construction materials that are used when the structure was built. The cause of many collapsed buildings or other types of structures have been attributed to the use of salty sand to make concrete, the substitution of inferior steel for the steel that had been specified, etc.

No matter how well a building is designed, it will not last if the foundation is faulty, or the materials used are substandard. For this reason, using only high quality materials is essential for new construction projects, and renovations.

Today, there are construction chemicals that can be used to help increase the life and stability of new structures and for the reinforcement of old structures. There are many advantages to using construction chemicals, including increasing a structures ability to withstand environmental hazards. In many cases of building collapse, you will find that when the structure was built, substandard materials were used, including poor quality construction chemicals. To avoid this you should always use only the highest quality construction chemicals from a prominent construction chemicals manufacturer.

Construction chemicals are often used in construction projects to ensure the best end results, which include the structure's stability. Some of the construction chemicals that are commonly used included, concrete admixture, surface treatment, waterproofing, grout, floor topping, coating, sealer, and floor hardening. In particular, concrete admixture and silicone sealant can help to strengthen structures, as well as protect it from environment hazards, including severe weather and ground shifting. It is significant to remember that construction chemicals are an important element of quality construction materials.

A construction chemical supplier can ensure that you have the proper concrete admixture for your project so that you can be certain that your building's foundation will be up to code and able to withstand the elements, as well as the test of time.

Silicone sealant is also an important element to protecting a building from extreme weather. Without protecting a structure from the elements, the chances of collapse will increase as years of exposure begins to erode the construction materials, but if you protect with silicone sealant, you may be able to nearly eliminate this problem.

To get the best construction chemicals on the market, research your construction chemicals supplier and only choose those manufactures with a solid reputation for supplying only the best in the industry.

Building Contractors – Master Builders of Homes, Buildings and Roads

Building contractors or general contractors are construction professionals that contract other individuals or companies for the construction or renovation of a house, building, road or any other structure. They provide estimates to clients by studying the blueprints of the structure. Subsequently, once a contract is signed, building contractors will then be responsible for the means…

Building contractors or general contractors are construction professionals that contract other individuals or companies for the construction or renovation of a house, building, road or any other structure. They provide estimates to clients by studying the blueprints of the structure. Subsequently, once a contract is signed, building contractors will then be responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction of the house, building or road. They have to make sure that all the details of the signed contract will be met.

Building contractors, especially established ones, already have their own equipment, manpower and even construction materials to supply their clients. However, for those who are still starting out, the only way to execute the contract agreement is to contract other contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Building contractors often work 24/7 through the duration of the project to be able to immediately solve problems that may occur from accidents or those caused by the weather. Other problems that may occur are lack of materials, malfunctioning equipment and lack of manpower.

Building contractors also accept projects for different government agencies and they are often referred to as the prime contractors. They often follow the same procedures similar to contracts that they accept for private clients. In general, building contractors specialize in one type and size of construction project. Commercial contractors, however, sometimes accept residential projects and vice versa but most rarely take on large scale works projects such as building industrial sites, bridges and sewage systems to name a few.

Building contractors often start out as construction workers mastering in carpentry, insulation, landscaping, plumbing and other similar jobs. After gaining the necessary skills, they will then work as apprentices or assistants for other contractors or developers. Before becoming a contractor themselves, they should have at least 5 years of experience in the contracting field and have certificates in mastering a construction skill. They are also required to get a degree in construction science, construction management or civil engineering. Many states require contractors to be licensed before they can work and get clients from the area. Building contractors must complete several requirements before they can be granted their licenses.

Other ways of getting a license away from taking a four year course degree is to attend training programs plus at least two years of college programs in construction science or construction technology. The American Institute of Constructors and the Construction Management Association of America often offer voluntary certification programs for aspiring contractors. Once you have completed the requirements and passed the written examinations, you will be granted your certification.

Working as a building contractor can be very demanding and stressful but can also be very fulfilling. With an average $ 69,870 annual income and with the employment rate for contractors and other construction personnel and workers increasing until 2014 (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics), there will certainly be a lot of opportunities for building contractors for the next few years.

How to Choose a Contractor

Choosing the right contractor to suit your building and construction needs is vital to ensure that the project is completed properly, professionally and safely. Every year, massive law suits are battled between companies and clients due to careless injuries, ill-constructed buildings or projects that miss deadlines. Whether choosing a contractor for construction needs such as…

Choosing the right contractor to suit your building and construction needs is vital to ensure that the project is completed properly, professionally and safely.

Every year, massive law suits are battled between companies and clients due to careless injuries, ill-constructed buildings or projects that miss deadlines. Whether choosing a contractor for construction needs such as scaffolding and formwork, or for temporary structures such as scaffolding and seating at a major event, a client needs to familiarize them themselves with what to look for in terms of outstanding qualities of a prospective contractor.

Where to Start

To begin the process of choosing a contractor, a good approach is to select at least three reputable contractors and ask them to assess the job in terms of what they can offer.

If they are a trusted and reliable company with a good work ethic, they will answer any questions asked and give advice on important factors of construction such as materials, time frame, costs and so forth. The quality of the advice which they dispense is a key indicator as to who will do a good job and who will do an outstanding job.

Always ask for a quote and make sure that it is received in writing.

Better Safe Than Sorry …

The next step in the selection process is to assess what safety standards are upheld by a contractor.

In South Africa, there is an OHS Act & SANS 100085 with which all construction companies should be certified. Construction companies should also uphold and follow the various health and safety procedures as outlined by the Act in every construction project they embark on.

Employees should be fully trained by a Construction Education Training Authority (CETA) approved college or educator. It is illegal in fact to have labourers who are not trained in accordance with the SANS 10085 as promulgated in the Construction Regulations, which is a part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act).

When standards are increased by the government, the company should train their employees immediately to meet with this standard of safety. If a client is considering the use of a construction company that is not up to par with these standards, the project may become hindered by injury of laborors or bystanders and both the construction company and developers may face serious legal action.

What You Want Should Be What You Get

Another important aspect to consider when hiring a contractor is to become familiar with the materials and the types of surface work which can be used as a decoration if your project is going to have flat areas, such as a terrace.

There are many ways in which simple effects such as decorative concrete can add a cost-effective and aesthetic benefit. It is a good idea to make sure that the contractor is up to date with these techniques before they begin labor.

The crux of whether or not a contractor is trustworthy, experienced and capable of doing the job you require correctly is how they react when asked for some local references.

Any contractor based in one location or even dispersed nationally should be more than happy to provide the addresses of some previous construction jobs which they have completed. If they can not offer any references, or their references do not seem to exist, then hiring them is going to be problematic.

It is important that those wanting to hire a contractor do check previous jobs with someone who is experienced in formwork and scaffolding, as mistakes are easily hidden from a layman's point of view.

Finally, the decision as to which contractor is right for the job should not only be based on the findings of the points discussed above, but also on gut instinct or whether you are able to effectively communicate with them. If a contractor does not “feel right” for the job, or is not respectful to you there is no point in hiring them for the contract as there needs to be a healthy working relationship between both parties.

Industrial Painting Contractors – Safety Certification For Painting Contractors

Whether you're an owner of a massive facility that's about to undergo a restoration or you're a small business manager who's contracting out a warehouse refinishing job, you want to know that your industrial painting contractor is properly trained in safe and effective painting practices . Fortunately, the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) has developed…

Whether you're an owner of a massive facility that's about to undergo a restoration or you're a small business manager who's contracting out a warehouse refinishing job, you want to know that your industrial painting contractor is properly trained in safe and effective painting practices . Fortunately, the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) has developed a standardized set of certification programs to help business owners like you make smart, safe decisions about their hires.

SSPC Safety Certificates for Industrial Painting Contractors

  • QP1: Industrial Coatings, Steel Surface Prep
  • QP2: Hazardous Paint removal
  • QP3: Indoor Facilities Surfaces and Coating Apps

The SSPC Safety Certificates break down into three main classes – QP1, QP2, and QP3. A QP1 certified individual is deemed safe to do work relating to industrial coatings and surface prep for steel work. QP2 certified painters are qualified to remove hazardous paint. QP3 certified contractors are qualified to prepare surfaces and coating applications for an indoor facility (open or covered).

SSPC Specialty Certificates for Industrial Painting Contractors

  • QP6: Thermal Spray Prep / Metallic Alloys
  • QP8: Polymer Coating / Cement Surfaces

The SSPC offers additional certificates for specialized contractors, as well. The QP6 designation deems an individual safe and capable to perform work relating to prepping thermal sprays and coating surfaces of certain metallic alloys, such as aluminum and zinc. The QP8 certification, on the other hand, relates to an individual's ability to manage polymer coating and cement surface jobs acceptably.

You can also look to other work certification boards, like OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to determine the “safety IQ” of a given industrial painting contractor. Of course, the SSPC and OSHA are only two of many organizations designed to promote and objectively evaluate industrial safety.

If you're hiring an industrial painting contractor, get a full report on their team's safety training. Also, be sure to provide information on special hazards or potentially dangerous materials at your facility. If necessary, get a lawyer to read over your contract and advise you. Remember – a single accident or careless error could potentially lead to a series of lawsuits that can harm your business. Avoid the headaches by choosing an industrial painting contractor with an outstanding reputation for safety and the certificates to back up that reputation. Whether you are the owner of a small office building or the facilities manager at a large office complex, you want to know how to forge lasting bonds with your industrial painting contractor. Changes in personnel cost your company time and reduce the efficiency of your painting projects. One way to prevent this from taking its toll on your company is to carefully select industrial painting contractors with a stellar safety record.

Commercial Painting Budgets – Budgeting For Commercial Painting Projects

If your maintenance budget for the current operating year has a taken a hit, you may be wondering how to get a commercial painting project completed along with everything else. Two possible solutions to project budgeting are purpose driven spending and changing the contracting process. Purpose Driven Spending The most common view of a commercial…

If your maintenance budget for the current operating year has a taken a hit, you may be wondering how to get a commercial painting project completed along with everything else. Two possible solutions to project budgeting are purpose driven spending and changing the contracting process.

Purpose Driven Spending The most common view of a commercial painting project is simple maintenance and facilities up-keep. Justifying painting and coating projects as preventative maintenance is reliably easy because the surface treatment can prevent damages to the underlying structure. If the budget separates preventative maintenance funds from operating costs, you could package and combine the painting project according to its true purpose to get the funding from your management team.

However, painting and coating can be a lot more than simple up-keep. In a retail setting, the appearance of a structure can have a direct impact on the amount of business the facility is able to attract. If the current maintenance budget can not support a painting project, sometimes the marketing budget could.

Changing the Contracting Process

As a commercial painting budget solution, changing the contracting process may seem like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. However, the savings from a new way of managing contracts can be significant, especially if your facility does a lot of outsourcing. Many large organizations adapt a job order contracting system (JOC) to handle their contracting process. A JOC system is a type of indefinite demand and indefinite quantity contracting system which relates to pre-defined base prices for services. Contractors bid by multiplying the base prices by a selected co-efficient.

JOC systems are often used by schools, government agencies and other organizations to streamline their contracting process. The real savings come from reduced advertising costs, reduced administrative needs, and a quick RFP to finished project time. According to a white paper published by Centennial Contractors Enterprise, Inc., the savings associated with a JOC system can be up to 21 percent of standard costs.

The advantage of a JOC system is that once in place to cover a painting project, the system is equally applicable to virtually every other outsourced aspect of facilities budgeting. However, if you are not currently using a JOC system, you should strictly consider hiring an expert consultant to help you implement the program.

Final Words

Facility budgets are not likely to increase anytime soon, so creative solutions are a must to find room in the budget for commercial painting, construction and maintenance projects. In the end, whether your company chooses purpose driven spending or changing the contracting process, the ability to establish a companywide logical decision-making process and get management buy-in is critical to the company's success in managing your commercial painting budget.

Inspecting Finished Surfaces – Tips From Professional Painting Contractors

During the final stages of your commercial painting project, taking a tour through the area and assessing the quality of the job should be one of the first things on your to do list. Here are a few tips from professional painting contractors for a quality, professional finished surface inspection. If possible, examine the painted…

During the final stages of your commercial painting project, taking a tour through the area and assessing the quality of the job should be one of the first things on your to do list. Here are a few tips from professional painting contractors for a quality, professional finished surface inspection. If possible, examine the painted surfaces in both daylight and artificial light for better results. Different anomalies and conditions may be visible in different lighting conditions depending on the time of day.

Even Coverage of Paint
Look for paint coverage that's evenly and consistently applied. For finding uneven or patchy coverage, your best bet will be to check around window frames and adjacent corners. Make sure that the lines of the paint job are clean and even and that there are no gaps in coverage.

No Blemishes
Look for bumps, cracks, strange adhesions, and other anomalies on the surface. These blemishes are often the sign of improperly applied coats, or unforeseen complications in the painting process. If something is wrong, point out the area to your painting contractor and ask for an explanation. Ask the contractor to fix the affected area at no extra cost to you.

No Bleed Through
A properly finished painting job requires several coats of product for even coverage and good protective qualities Check to make sure that you can not see any of the old paint through the new paint layers. Similarly, watch out for primer bleeding through the fresh paint.

Looks Good Up Close and from a Distance
Finally, step back and look at the overall results of the project. Occidentally, minor problems do not reveal themselves until you take a step back and look at the big picture. If you spot something that is just a little off, it may be a sign of a flaw that slipped by a close-up inspection. Take another swing through the project to discover any hidden flaws.

Replicating Method for Surface Finish Inspection
A method of inspecting the surface finish of a component contracting providing an original surface to be inspected. A release agent is applied to the original surface and an epoxy mixture is applied over the release agent. The epoxy mixture is allowed to harden into a replicated surface. Once the epoxy mixture has hardened, the replicated surface is removed and a metallic coating is applied thereon. The covered replicated surface is then ready for inspection.

Final Words
You do not need to do a rigorous inspection all on your own. Good painting contractors will help you evaluate their work and walk through the finished project with you.