Site Planning As The Cornerstone to Construction Management Success

Construction management can a difficult and hazardous business. Every contractor and subcontractor wants their own slice of the project costs, but their safety usually rests formally on the shoulders of the project manager. The materials, tools, and environments that these construction workers often have to work with can be dangerous and can cause life threatening…

Construction management can a difficult and hazardous business. Every contractor and subcontractor wants their own slice of the project costs, but their safety usually rests formally on the shoulders of the project manager. The materials, tools, and environments that these construction workers often have to work with can be dangerous and can cause life threatening injuries if actions are proven to be irresponsible.

It there before makes it all the more important that the building project management team, plan and implement a solid site management plan. The application of doing efficient site planning needs to correspond with the level of risk to which the workers are exposed to. In doing so, the contractor management should in theory not be a project variable that hinders the progress of the project, but a standard protocol of responsibilities that keep site workers safe and their efforts focused on achieving the desired results.

So how does one implement effective site planning? Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex in nature and as a project manager, how do you control the behavior of such a diverse group of workers?

1. Start by creating a well-understood Safety Management Plan. If you are the senior project manager on site – this is your baby! Each contractor needs to submit a hazard compliance document, and supporting correspondence on how they plan on mitigating these hazards. That way, you do not only have a good looking document to pass onto the worksafe inspector, but the onus is then on the contractor to enforce that list. That is not all. You need to make sure that the building construction site complies to the health and safety briefings – is clearly fenced off, personal protective clothing is worn at all times and workers are not using jackhammers when its beating down with thunder and lightning (joke, but you catch my drift).

2. Update your Risk Register. That is seriously important. Best project management practice is not about stumbling onto project risks, but planning for them and creating mitigation strategies to minimize their unwanted effects. I know it could be much to take in, but the safety management plan will indeed be part of this register. The rest of the risk management plan will consist of the variables that are most likely to change the project scope (time, cost, resources and specification).

3. Do not neglect your communications plan. The common fact is – Most project fail due to poor communication. Everyone needs to understand the protocol with matters of scope and safety. And when I mean scope, I mean the project manager communicating EXACTLY what is expected of the main contractor and consistently reviewing their performance.

Each and every project is different, but these are some important lessons that you need to enforce if you want to conduct effective site planning as part of a building construction management team.

Water Saving in the Commercial Washroom

A growing population and ever changing lifestyles means we are using approximately 55% more water now than we did 25 years ago. As a result we are putting an increasing strain on our water supplies and at the same time needlessly costing our businesses, schools, hospitals and commercial concessions money which could be spent elsewhere.…

A growing population and ever changing lifestyles means we are using approximately 55% more water now than we did 25 years ago. As a result we are putting an increasing strain on our water supplies and at the same time needlessly costing our businesses, schools, hospitals and commercial concessions money which could be spent elsewhere. By planning the content of a washroom to include water saving initiatives significant savings can be made. Eco Washrooms (UK) has put together the following fact sheet to help our customers learn how:

Toilets / Cisterns:

Water Saving Cisterns – Current water regulations requires toilets to flush on a maximum of 6 liters. However over 60% of WCs installed in the UK still have cisterns that flush on 7.5, 9, 11 or even 13 liters. Installing a 6 liter WC and cistern could save anything from 20% to 50% of water per year. In addition 4.5 liter cisterns are now available meaning further water savings can be made.

Dual flushing – Because you do not always need a full flush every time you go to the toilet, dual flush cisterns provide the option of delivering 2 flush options. A small button delivers 4 liters for a short flush; a large button delivers 6 liters for a long flush.

Delayed flush cisterns – This technology prevails the toilet cistern from filling with water before the flush is complete, guaranteeing no additional water is wasted. This is particularly suitable in high water pressure situations.

Urinals:

Waterless Urinals – Waterless urinals achieve 100% water savings compared to a regular cistern fed option. Just one waterless urinal can save over 87,000 liters of water per year. In addition to the obvious water saving benefit additional advantages include:

– Ease of maintenance – no cisterns and pipe work to leak.

– Less blockages – no water and urinate mix means no uric acid which causes blockages.

Urinal Flush Controls – A urinal cistern left to drip and flush will do so approximately once every 3 to 4 minutes leading to significant water wastage, particularly in a low use washroom. Flush controls have been developed to reduce the amount of times the flush is activated. This can lead to urinals flushing either after every use or every 30 minutes, depending on preferences.

Direct Flush – A direct flush valve installed into a commercial washroom is fed directly from a mains supply and means there is no need for a cistern. This enables the facilities manager to pre determine the water volumes going through the urinal system. Ideal for heavy use washrooms, particularly public toilets, airports, pubs etc.

Taps & Mixers

Self closing taps – Self closing taps, also known as non-concussive taps, can be set to run for a pre-determined amount of time – typically 10 to 15 seconds. This is carried out at installation. This means taps are not left on by accident as well as ensuring washrooms are not flooded. Ideal for schools and high uses areas such as airports.

Automatic Sensor Taps – Operated by either mains electrical supply or from a replaceable battery an infrared motion sensor opens and closes a solenoid valve which starts and stops the water flow. This means delivering the exact amount of water at the right time leading to minimal water wastage.

For further information and to purchase any of these products please visit Eco Washrooms website or call us directly on +44 (0) 1202 606102.

Housing Development Supported by Alaska Grant Program

Late last summer, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) announced that it was accepting Notice of Intent applications for developers interested in pursuing special needs / affordable housing. Notice of Intent applications are typically required for projects wishing to receive funding from Alaska's Special Needs Housing Grant Program, which has become an important funding mechanism…

Late last summer, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) announced that it was accepting Notice of Intent applications for developers interested in pursuing special needs / affordable housing. Notice of Intent applications are typically required for projects wishing to receive funding from Alaska's Special Needs Housing Grant Program, which has become an important funding mechanism for affordable homes.

The Special Needs Housing Grant (SNHG) Program was created to provide incentive for the development of affordable housing for people with special needs – especially those who receive assistance through the Alaska Mental Health Trust. Grant funds can be used for property acquisition and rehabilitation or new construction of rental properties. In addition, HOME Investment Partnership funds are often made available specifically for rental property that meets both special needs and affordable housing requirements.

Projects that receive SNHG funding are expected to submit to a post-project audit in which financial expenses are reviewed to ensure that grant money was used for special needs housing. The SNHG Program application is a two-step process. First a Notice of Intent to Apply for SNHG Program Resources Form must be filled out and submitted via email. Next, an application must be submitted through the AHFCs online system. Typically, both applications are due on the same day.

Last fall, the AHFC announced its Notice of Funding Availability for the 2011 fiscal year. Both zero-interest loans and grants were made available. There is no indication yet whether a second round of funding will take place this year. Additional information is available on the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation web site.

The SNHG Program is just one of the ways that cash-strapped states are continuing to fund affordable housing projects.

Wall Paneling Is at Home in Supermarkets

From leisure centers to primary schools, wall paneling has truly conquered the world. It seems ideal in so many places, but perhaps we may suggest that its true home is when it is covering the walls of supermarkets. With the decline of specialist high-street grocers and the rise of the all-under-one-roof supermarkets, wall paneling has…

From leisure centers to primary schools, wall paneling has truly conquered the world. It seems ideal in so many places, but perhaps we may suggest that its true home is when it is covering the walls of supermarkets.

With the decline of specialist high-street grocers and the rise of the all-under-one-roof supermarkets, wall paneling has grown in prominence to become a key feature of the modern day grocery store. Here's why wall paneling has found its true home in the supermarkets of the world.

The Shop Floor

Most will be familiar with its use on the shop floor of a supermarket. It is common you will see it in most major supermarkets, usually in the colors of the supermarket's brand. The supermarkets have several motivations for using wall paneling, as we will explain.

Let's face it: we can all be quite laissez faire with the shopping trolley from time to time, especially when our minds are on our shopping. This might mean we bang it or scrape it against the wall of the supermarket. When paneling is used, the supermarket need not worry about any damage being done to the walls of the supermarkets. Shopping trolleys are notoriously difficult to control. Wall paneling takes the worry out of both the mind of the customer and the proprietor of the supermarket.

The Store Room

It is not just on the shop floor that paneling is put to good use in a supermarket. It is common you will find wall paneling in the store and stock rooms of supermarkets. Although these rooms do not have the same volume of people passing through them, the walls are at more risk of damage than they would be if they were on the shop floor.

Usually you will find heavy duty machinery in the store rooms of supermarkets. These may bang into the walls of the store room at some force. Paneling protects any lasting damage being done to the wall when this situation occurs. It also provides protection from when boxes are scraped against the wall, a common occurrence in supermarket stock rooms.

Orange County, New York Revises Its Housing Plan

Last year, Orange County, New York passed a revised version of its Master Plan for affordable housing. Some key changes were made, including removal of a provision that would have offered incentives to towns that built sufficient additional affordable housing to meet county and state quotas. Although that particular provision was removed, others remain -…

Last year, Orange County, New York passed a revised version of its Master Plan for affordable housing. Some key changes were made, including removal of a provision that would have offered incentives to towns that built sufficient additional affordable housing to meet county and state quotas.

Although that particular provision was removed, others remain – including a provision for towns to offer incentives to developers. Incentives include special zoning considerations and density bonuses. Mixed-use developments will be encouraged as well. Zoning incentives would allow developers to pursue projects in areas with low-density or single-family housing requirements. Opening these areas for low-income related projects could spur increased development in areas where affordable housing is currently unavailable.

The provisions issued in the Master Plan will not, however, be compulsory. Towns and municipalities will have the freedom to choose which – if any – of the new provisions that they want to comply with. Some affordable housing advocates are critical of the provisions' 'pick and choose' status, believing that enabling towns to make those choices will lead to an unequal distribution of low-income housing, and may prevent development in areas where its needed most.

A 2006 assessment of housing in Orange County found that affordable housing availability fell short by over 30,000 units. Currently, the county estimates that less than 8,000 affordable units are slated for construction, leaving a large gap between what is needed and what will be available in the short term – a problem advocates fear will not be corrected, even in the long-term . And many worry that the revised Master Plan will only make matters worse. The complete Master Plan is available on Orange County's web site.

HUD Secretary Says Affordable Housing Still Needs Improvement

While addressing the National Association of Real Estate Brokers convention in Fort Worth, Texas, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan shared some good news – in the last year, home equity has increased by $ 1.1 trillion. He also shared some difficult and challenging news, reminding the group that – while the housing market is slowly starting…

While addressing the National Association of Real Estate Brokers convention in Fort Worth, Texas, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan shared some good news – in the last year, home equity has increased by $ 1.1 trillion. He also shared some difficult and challenging news, reminding the group that – while the housing market is slowly starting to improve – there's still a lot of work to be done, especially with regards to affordable housing.

High unemployment and upside-down mortgages continue to be a drag on the US housing recovery, but HUD has plans aimed at turning things around. In recent months, most of HUD's programs have focused on loan modifications, but a lot of money has been made available for affordable housing developments as well. Secretary Donovan says HUD's commitment to low-income housing will continue to be a focus of its overall recovery plan.

Recently, an additional $ 1 billion was approved for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. First launched in 2008, as part of the larger Housing and Economic Recovery Act, NSP funding has already been used to build or rehabilitate over 20,000 housing units.

HUD's newest program is called “First Look” and aims to speed up the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed homes. Under the new program, organizations and communities that receive NSP funds will get first choice of FHA-insured homes that have been foreclosed. The program serves a dual purpose: getting foreclosed homes off the market more quickly, and making for low-income housing available.

Donovan closed his comments by highlighting how important it is for every American family to have access to safe, affordable housing and by restating HUD's commitment to achieve that goal.

Extending Tax Credits in Disaster Areas

The Gulf Coast has spent the last five years trying to dig out from under disasters. First hurricanes and then the oil spill. Although Congress has made an effort to provide monetary support for the region, some say its framework for support is prohibitive. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, Congress allocated $ 300 million…

The Gulf Coast has spent the last five years trying to dig out from under disasters. First hurricanes and then the oil spill. Although Congress has made an effort to provide monetary support for the region, some say its framework for support is prohibitive.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, Congress allocated $ 300 million in tax credits to help with rebuilding. The tax credit program, however, required that projects be completed and occupied within 12 months. Affordable housing advocates say that one year is too short a time frame, especially in a region where construction projects are routinely delayed by bad weather.

A proposal was submitted to Congress this year that would have extended the time line for completion to 24 months. Many argued that the 12-month restriction was preventing investors from purchasing tax credits out of concern that projects will not meet the deadline. Projects that miss the 12-month deadline are at risk of losing any tax credit they have previously been awarded, which means investors stand to lose a significant amount of money. Senator Mary Landrieu proposed the deadline-extending amendment, and worked through the year to get it passed into law.

The amendment was recently stuck down by lawmakers who insured that 12 months is enough time for developers to finish housing projects and have a least a few of the units occupied. Affordable housing advocates say they intend to try and pass the amendment again soon, and encourage fellow advocates and developers to contact their Senators and voice support for the extended deadline.

What to Consider While Renting an Office

Buying property can be tricky and may not be the most practical option in the current economy. Sometimes leasing or renting is a more feasible option as compared to outright purchase. There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to office rental. In this article we will find out what…

Buying property can be tricky and may not be the most practical option in the current economy. Sometimes leasing or renting is a more feasible option as compared to outright purchase. There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to office rental. In this article we will find out what are the things that you should consider when renting an office.

The first thing you should consider is location. They say that there are three important factors of real estate and those are location, location and location. You need to think about where you want your office space to be. The place you rent should be easily accessible by your clients and should make a good impression on potential customers. It should be in a safe neighborhood so that your employees can come and go without worry.

The second thing you need to consider is how much space you require. Sometimes the perfect location can be very expensive and you may be able to afford a very small space in the ideal location. Will you be able to function in that small a space? You need to decide how much space you require and then find a balance between space and location.

The third thing to consider and for some the most important is the price. Once you have found a place that has the perfect balance between location and space you need to check and see if it is in your price range. Make sure you set a budget for yourself before you make a commitment. Remember that the rent will need to be paid every month. Will you be able to come up with the money for the rent every month? Office rental can be tricky and you should make sure that you do adequate research before you settle on a space.

Modular Offices Built to Fit Your Time Frame, Budget and Requests

Modular offices are a beautiful way to expand your business, church, or school. The additional space is created in an off-site indoor location and the project is completed on-site automatically overnight with a quick and easy set up and delivery. Learn more about the reasonably priced options available for expansions. Add modular office space to…

Modular offices are a beautiful way to expand your business, church, or school. The additional space is created in an off-site indoor location and the project is completed on-site automatically overnight with a quick and easy set up and delivery. Learn more about the reasonably priced options available for expansions.

Add modular office space to your current facility easily and quickly with modular buildings. The addition will be built to fit your timeframe, your budget, and your specific requests. The beautiful completed space provides expansion opportunities for schools, corporations, churches, and businesses that fit their budget time restraints. The delays and hidden unexpected expenses that often accompany traditional construction are alleviated through the off-site indoor process. Unexpected promises and increases in costs due to weather and contractor changes are alleviated with this off site / indoor process. This is an economically friendly way to provide an expansion on your facility that looks and feels like a traditional construction. The modern process your expansion will provide you with any of the same options as traditional construction including: two-story gymnasiums, large open rooms that can be divided with cubicles for multiple offices or used as auditoriums for schools, two-story church sanctuaries, and more .. Ct takes the trained eye of a contractor to differentiate the difference between the traditionally built addition and the prefabricated addition. Your need for additional space can be met through this easy, time friendly option

Modular offices are designed to blend with the pre-existing structure providing a natural flow with the property and building. Adding beauty and quality to the original structure's design is easily accomplished with the modular building addition. This economically flexible option provides opportunity for growth despite the tight economic situation you may be facing. Expansion partnerships community attention and produces additional revenue which makes it easier to compensate for the expansion. Additional students, customers and congregational members will be accommodated for with the increased growth. Old time trailer modular office space expansions are obsolese and new expansions look nothing like a trailer. Select your design with a professional modular building contractor and experience growth that transforms your building and meets your needs for expansion and growth with beauty and excellence. There are many options available such as traditional worship space versus contemporary worship space and school lunch rooms as well as staff rooms. The modular building process is pain free and void of unexpected expenses. Avoid surprises that are all too common with traditional construction and have your expansion designed and completed in a state-of-the-art indoor facility off-site.

Modular buildings are known as smart construction due to its high quality, indoor, off-site construction. This process alleviates damaged materials, weather delays, subcontractor delays, and many other common traditional construction concerns. The smart construction process is designed to meet your specific budget requests while providing you with the maximum space and beautification available. Avoid excessive traffic, hazardous construction debris, the need to close your facility during construction, etc., by turning to smart construction and relying on modular buildings to transform your current facility. Modular buildings provide expansion opportunities for schools, medical facilities, universities, businesses, corporations, churches, and more. The entire process is designed to meet your desires, your financial requests, and your timeframe. Contact a professional modular office contractor today and learn more about how this process can benefit your facility.

Various Reasons to Buy Scaffolding

These days, there are plenty of reasons available to purchase or buy scaffolding, but rather than buying them, you can either rent or borrow them, and, it is definitely cheaper than buying scaffolds. This is because, we all are living in 21st century, the technology is being improved every day and very many new designs…

These days, there are plenty of reasons available to purchase or buy scaffolding, but rather than buying them, you can either rent or borrow them, and, it is definitely cheaper than buying scaffolds. This is because, we all are living in 21st century, the technology is being improved every day and very many new designs are being invented by architects almost every day, which we all love to get in our residential or commercial building by renewing the existing ones or constructing new ones. And because of the immense rush, many a times it becomes hard to get quality scaffolding on rent and this can really ruin your image in the society. However, if you purchase your own scaffolds, it will always be with you and you can use them whenever they are required. And, there are various companies that are into the business of scaffolding sales and rent, therefore, it is not so hard to get quality scaffolding.

And, whether you rent or buy scaffold system, do not forget to take quality spanners, as they would help you in fastening and losing the scaffold nut and bolts. And, if you compare the price spent on buying and renting, then if you opt for renting, the charges could add up to many times and can really create a headache. Because, the amount you would spend on renting scaffolds, you could also use it in increasing your venture, and on the contrary, if you buy them, it would cost you for the first time only.

A tubular steel composition that is stiff and upright on a level base plate is called as scaffolding that provides a much safer platform to perform construction related activities, as it assures that the required work will get finished with ease. Also, while constructing, the labor will get a hard and solid platform on which they can walk pretty easily. Scaffold fittings and its accessories are of prime importance in the entire building process. And, after getting to know about above mentioned advantages of owning scaffolding & its accessories such as joint pins, you must buy them and avoid spending your hard earned money on taking them on rent. Moreover, you can place an order for them through any of the reputed scaffold company's web portal.

Apart from all this, whether you purchase or rent the whole scaffold system, just give importance to its quality and age, as if it would be very old and of low quality, then there are high chances of mishaps. So, always be careful while choosing scaffolds and remember that it is always better to buy them from a leading scaffolding sales company.

Portable Steel Buildings

Definition: Portable steel buildings are factory assembled structures, made from high strength, long steel steel structural framing, roof and panels. The buildings are manufactured in the controlled environment of a factory specializing in the fabrication and finishing of special purpose enclosures For an even more convenient package for the specifier or purchaser, the buildings are…

Definition: Portable steel buildings are factory assembled structures, made from high strength, long steel steel structural framing, roof and panels. The buildings are manufactured in the controlled environment of a factory specializing in the fabrication and finishing of special purpose enclosures For an even more convenient package for the specifier or purchaser, the buildings are shipped complete with factory installed electrical systems; including outlets, lighting, factory wired load centers, and HVAC. Doors and windows are located to suit and are factory installed and fully glazed per standards, or to meet project specifications. Customers are able to select their choice of paint color for the booth and can also specify tinted glass, customer countertops, and flooring.

To produce the most durable and long lasting structures, assembly by welding the frame and panels together is the time proven method. While more labor intensive than using mechanical fasteners and more expensive than using less durable materials such as wood or aluminum, welded steel buildings have a much longer life cycle and stand up to the rigors of time, environment and relocations much better. There are many companies who offer portable buildings. Fewer actually produce welded steel buildings.

Applications / Applications

These portable steel buildings are commonly known as “booths” or “guardhouses” and while those two names do cover the primary uses for the buildings, the uses for portable steel buildings run an extremely wide gamut. Typical uses include park entrance admission or stadium ticket booths, campus visitor information booths, factory or warehouse entrance security gates, in plant offices or control rooms, landfill or industrial scale villas, parking or valet cashier booths, airport exit plaza toll booths, loading rack or truck driver waiting booths, equipment Shelters, and transit or smoking shelters

Some unusual applications are: resort funicular cabins, crane cabs, ski lift attendant booths, roof top security post, drive through coffee sales kiosks, train station offices, portable bank buildings, turnstile canopies, and track side VIP observation booths.

Massachusetts Town Wants to Increase Affordable Housing

The city planning board of North Attleboro, Massachusetts is considering changes to its Master Plan that would allow for more affordable housing. The city's affordable housing stock currently falls far below the Massachusetts requirement of 10 percent, and city officials know that changes are needed. The most recent assessment of affordable housing in North Attleboro…

The city planning board of North Attleboro, Massachusetts is considering changes to its Master Plan that would allow for more affordable housing. The city's affordable housing stock currently falls far below the Massachusetts requirement of 10 percent, and city officials know that changes are needed.

The most recent assessment of affordable housing in North Attleboro found that less than three percent of the city's housing stock could be deemed “affordable.” In addition, the current wait list for the less than 300 affordable units in the city is five to seven years, and that's not including the many residents who are currently at risk of losing jobs or homes, and may soon need lower-income housing options . North Attleboro's affordable housing availability was already strained, but the recent economic and housing crises have exacerbated the situation.

City officials agree that the current lack of low-income housing is unacceptable, and they're looking to make some changes to their long-term development plans to try and address the problem. Among the changes being considered are zoning changes that would require some affordable units to be included in most housing development plans. The city is also considering giving homeowners an option to add small rental units to their properties.

Mixed-use development is another option that's being explored, especially in the downtown area. The city planning board will hold public meetings to discuss possible changes and get public feedback. Developers interested in pursuing projects in this area are encouraged to share their insight and opinions with the planning board.

Commercial Property Management – How to Control Tenant Works and Fit Outs

When you manage a commercial property, you often come across tenants wanting to change their fit out or put in new fit out. There are rules to the process so things do not get out of control. When a fit out is poorly controlled the end result can significantly affect the building. Ultimately you want…

When you manage a commercial property, you often come across tenants wanting to change their fit out or put in new fit out. There are rules to the process so things do not get out of control. When a fit out is poorly controlled the end result can significantly affect the building.

Ultimately you want a building that is not inconvenienced by the fit out works. If you have multiple tenants in the building then it's an important matter. Here are some rules to help you on the way with this sensitive but frequent issue.

Ultimately you want to control the works in the property. That will involve the following:

  1. Identify clearly the building works to be performed in some form of building works agreement to be considered by the landlord
  2. Take photos of all affected areas before and after the events
  3. Create an understanding about what will happen to the fit out at the end of the tenant occupancy and decide who will remove the structure and at what cost controls
  4. Ensure that the building owner's engineers and other consultants review and approve the plans and drawings before works stay. Give special attention to how the works will impact essential services, air conditioning, fire safety systems, alarms, communication systems, electrical systems, water supply, drainage, and lighting systems.
  5. Ensure that the tenant obtains the landlords approval on all construction works before anything starts on site
  6. Ensure that the tenant obtains any necessary approvals from the local building and safety authorities regarding the construction works before works start
  7. Establish the order of works and control them to time slots that do not detract from the building use, occupants, and visitors to the site
  8. Compliance with current building codes, energy codes, and safety codes in your area and within the building
  9. Control the noise on site both in office hours and after office hours, or at times when people access and use the site
  10. Control the rubbish and waste storage and removal that emanates from the construction
  11. Control the tradespeople on site so they do not disrupt the building occupants or function
  12. Keep the tradespeople to onsite access rules and access areas away from and that do not impact other tenants and customers
  13. Have a list of approved tradespeople on site so you do not have unauthorized personnel access areas of the property and undertaking works
  14. Decide who pays for the energy associated with construction works and get it metered so that disparities do not occur
  15. Have an agreement in place with the tenant and their construction tradespeople regards risk events, insurance, damage, and workplace health and safety
  16. Keep the controls in place so that the construction works are to be done to standards that are expected in the building in colors and finishes that the landlord requires
  17. If the works are significant and large, they are likely to impact the surrounding building so you will need a dilapidation report from the buildings engineers both before and after the works are done.
  18. Ensure all bonds, leases, agreements, and guarantees are in place before any works stay
  19. Understanding how any emergency responses will be handled in the property when and if they occur
  20. Have a list of drawings of the finished tenant works that are reliable and accurate

This list is not finite given that every building is unique, but it is a list of some of the most important things to consider with the construction issues associated with a fit out in a commercial, retail, or industrial building.

As a property manager you must retain control of the works to be undertaken by the tenant. Left uncontrolled, many a tenant has taken advantage of the situation and gone beyond what the landlord ever approved.

Remember that this process above is to protect the building, protect the landlord's cash flow, protect other occupants in the building, and protect the members of the public.

Colorado Shifts Affordable Housing Focus

Near the end of last year, the state of Colorado made a unique and unpresented shift in its affordable housing focus. The shift came as the result of funding that was received through a joint program between the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Earlier in the…

Near the end of last year, the state of Colorado made a unique and unpresented shift in its affordable housing focus. The shift came as the result of funding that was received through a joint program between the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Earlier in the year, HUD and DOT released a joint statement announcing a partnership between the two departments, aimed at promoting affordable, sustainable housing developments. A total of $ 68 million was awarded to cities, counties and states across the US Some of that money went to Colorado.

Colorado was awarded nearly $ 4.5 million through the new HUD-DOT program. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded grants to the cities of Denver and Aurora. The EPA grants will be used to clean up sites that are potentially developable, but can not currently be used due to hazardous materials or pollutants. Grants will only be awarded for sites that are pre-determined and proven to be viable locations for housing or commercial development.

This innovative coming together of three federal departments is being undertaken in the hopes that streamlining the application and funding processes will speed planning and development, and make more money available for affordable housing-related projects.

The majority of the funding awarded to Colorado went to the City and County of Denver Community Planning and Development (just over $ 3.1 million) and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (just under $ 1.3 million). Affordable housing advocates are hopeful that the additional funding, and easier application process, will encourage increased low-income development in Colorado.

Chicago Uses TIF Revenue for Affordable Housing

Earlier this year, the Chicago, Illinois City Council Finance Committee passed a measure that would allocate more money for affordable housing. The measure was approved by a 13-8 vote and now goes before the full Council. Some Council members are concerned that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's opposition could cause the bill to stall. If passed,…

Earlier this year, the Chicago, Illinois City Council Finance Committee passed a measure that would allocate more money for affordable housing. The measure was approved by a 13-8 vote and now goes before the full Council. Some Council members are concerned that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's opposition could cause the bill to stall.

If passed, the measure would allow about $ 100 million a year to be allocated from specifically designated “tax increment finance districts,” and be used to reserve or build affordable housing. As written, the bill requires that 20 percent of the money collected from these areas be set aside. Tax increment finance districts are areas in which the amount of money that can be collected by local governments is frozen at a pre-determined amount. Anything collected above and beyond that amount is used to finance construction projects in the area.

Several cities across the US use TIF money to promote development in areas that are either in decline or simply need to be refurbished. One common concern with TIF districts is that they will become gentrified – meaning middle and upper income people beginning moving into the area, forcing lower-income residents out. Communities often work to prevent gentrification by instituting affordable housing requirements in TIF districts.

Both Mayor Daley and the Community Development Department have expressed concern that allocating so much money for affordable housing will interfere with other development goals aimed at creating jobs.

There is no indication yet when the measure will be voted on by the City Council or how quickly the money would be allocated.