GET: Jobsite appropriate shirts for sale at The PDCA Store

If you haven't visited The PDCA Store, online at PileDrivers.org, stop by to see what logo merchandise is available to you and crew. Among the variety of clothing items are two different styles of t-shirts, jobsite appropriate safety green (pictured, left) is among the color options. Additionally, another shirt that features the likeness of the American flag is a popular seller, and just in time for the Fourth of July.

Don't stop at the t-shirts; other logo items including stainless steel mugs, a Nike gym bag, umbrellas, camo trucker hats, flashlights, golf shirts, and a limited edition 2019 PDCA Annual Conference coaster - consider a set of four! The summer months are here, but cooler days are ahead for 2020 and The PDCA Store also features a quarter-zip pullover for your trip to the jobsite on a cool, early morning.

In addition to logo merchandise, you will also find educational materials for your company library. Three proprietary guides on Steel Sheet Piling techniques and best practices can also be purchased in either hard copy or electronic formats. The e-guides are available to PDCA members in good standing at no cost as a benefit of your membership.

While The PDCA Store is available online around the clock, watch future PDCA and Chapter events when this merchandise will be on display for in-person, live purchases. Happy shopping!

A Pile of News - June 2020

 

A Pile of News: June 2020

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
From the Association & Chapters
Sheet pile education, available on demand! If you missed the "Steel Sheet Pile Guides Review" webinar held May 19, a recording of the program will soon be available to PDCA members at no cost. Non-members can also obtain the PDH and discounted Steel Sheet Pile Guides for a $50 registration fee. Watch your inbox. 
  • Special thanks to Dr. Dick Hartman of Hartman Engineering, Gerry McShane of Service Steel Warehouse and Richard Morales of L.B. Foster, who served as distinguished faculty for the virtual learning event. More than 100 practitioners registered for the one-hour webinar; PDCA members received the education credit and proprietary Steel Sheet Pile Guides as a membership benefit. In the absence of educational conference events in 2020, watch for future announcements about additional PDCA virtual learning events coming soon.
Silver Pile Tips: 2020 marks PDCA's 25th anniversary help us brand the pile driving industry by adhering PDCA's special edition logo to your website, social media or other collateral materials!

PDCA of South Carolina educational partner The Citadel offers a valuable, virtual summer curriculum for practicing civil engineers to consider. Read more.
 
People on the Move
After 52 years, Bruce Gilbert steps away from Ohio-based The Great Lakes Construction Company. More than a half-century ago, he began as an entry level engineer with an MBA from Harvard and quickly rose in the ranks to eventually become president and CEO. By the late '90s, he had handed off the presidency to George Palko, however remained chairman of the board until May 1, 2020 (President Palko is now the new CEO). Congratulations to Bruce on a storied career.

Mark Haley, son of the Haley & Aldrich co-founder bearing his name, reached 45 years with the company. He challenged colleagues to give to food programs for the disadvantaged around the country. Staff donated more than $15,000, which H&A matched.

Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) promotions include David Spangler and Christopher Egan, both in Florida; David Huggins elevates in Virginia; new hires include Walid Sobh in Charlotte, Robert Haney and Che-Hung Tsai in Dallas. Also, Michael Batuna of ECS in Dallas named 2020 Texas Engineer of the Year, Katelyn Foster, account manager at ECS Mid-Atlantic earns community recognition for commitment to volunteerism.
 
GeoStructures, Inc., along with partner Geopier, announces new regional support through engineers Steve Maher in South Carolina and Steve Yassem and Mat Klucina in West Virginia. Also, GeoStructures names Justin Smith the new sales engineer serving the Philadelphia region.
 
S&ME, Inc. announces changes to its geotechnical leadership team: Angela Musselwhite is director of geotechnical services and new member of the board of directors; Kasey McWhorter is the client development leader; Adam Browning, Jeff Doubrava, Matt Moler, Bethanie Meek and Kyle Murrell are all designated area managers and Timothy Cleary leads all field exploration.
 
Elsewhere Emily Kay promoted to VP at Balfour Beatty in California; Todd Parkington joins Haley & Aldrich in Denver; and Forrest Savel onboards at PND Engineers in Anchorage, AK.
 
Tiffany Harrod is promoted to shareholder at Texas law firm Munsch Hardt. The contributing legal author to PileDriver magazine is also the chair-elect of the Construction Law Section of the Houston Bar.
 
Other notes of interest:
 
David Harwood, SVP at Terracon, was named by Governor Kelly to the taskforce leading Kansas economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Also, Cale Wilson is recognized in Ingram's 40 Under Forty list of Kansas City young professionals.
 
J.W. Lodge at Lodge Lumber encourages support for those displaced by the health crisis; donors of $100 to this GoFundMe get a limited edition print from a Houston photo studio's popular "Astrodome Series."
 
Nigel Desert, an estimator at California-based Foundation Constructors, struck the pose on the winner's podium following a race that he won during an employee appreciation event.
 
Julia Cadman, an incoming graduate engineer at Dewberry, has been named "first in class" for the Virginia Tech Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Stephanie Calhoun of Clark Construction named to list of Notable Women in Construction and Design. Also, Emma Farrell soon begins her career as an engineer at Clark. She recently represented Carnegie Mellon University on Jeopardy! Read her story and see the pic with icon Alex Trebek.
 
Who is John James Audubon? Apparently Michael Garvey of Universal Engineering Sciences in Charlotte favors the famed, 19th century ornithologist with his knack for capturing a bird picture.
 
News from PDCA Companies
J.D. Fields & Company, Inc. acquires California-based Alameda Pipe & Fab, positioning the company into the steel manufacturing sector; read the announcement from president Jay Fields.
 
Junttan opens Helsinki, Finland office.
 
Universal Engineering Sciences based in Orlando forms new partnership with Nevada firm NOVA Geotechnical & Inspection Services.
 
Atlas Tube created some industry "buzz" when it announced the new Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) tube mill it is building in Blytheville, AR. The company created a blog post to address some of the FAQs they've received since the July 2019 announcement.
 
Shannon & Wilson, Inc. project teams involved in two award-winning projects in Washington state.
 
The Great Lakes Construction Company awarded the 15th Annual Vince Strazzo Scholarship to students interested in pursuing a career in heavy civil construction; the 2020 winners are Danny Groudle from THE Ohio State University and Justin Thomas from Case Western Reserve University.
 
The new intranet system at Samuel Roll Form Group is also an extensive case-study for the web developer; take a look "under the hood" at Samuel's internal operations.
 
Several PDCA member companies appear in recent multi-media productions. If you have some time between your Zoom meetings, you can check out project and work site videos from the following:
  • With some impressive time-lapse videography, check out this great footage of Powell Foundations replacing an Ontario bridge
  • Pile Driving 101: check out new PDCA member Premier Geotech and Testing giving an online video tutorial on how to drive a pile
  • Sealevel Construction gets some love from Friends of Bayou Lafourche, a non-profit dedicated to beautification efforts in the Louisiana region; see the dramatic construction video
  • Shannon & Wilson shares video footage of the Colman Tunnel Rehabilitation project in Colorado on which they collaborated with Dewberry
 
Public Service Announcements
For our readers who live and work in coastal and/or southern regions of the U.S., today begins the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Sunbelt Rentals provides a hurricane preparedness checklist. Further, Orlando-based Ardaman and Associates has developed a set of safety guidelines for working in alligator habits.
 
Look who's in the news
The Charleston Post and Courier covers a seawall modification project in the historic South Carolina city on which Soil Consultants, Inc. is collaborating.
 
Composites Manufacturing quotes Dustin Troutman of Creative Pultrusions on an expanding market.
 
ENR quotes president Robert Boh of Boh Brothers Construction in story about potential economic stimulus for Louisiana through infrastructure projects [subscriber content].
 
The Enterprise: Utah's Business Journal gives an overview of significant development taking place in the St. George area (locally known as Dixie). Sunroc Corporation is involved in several of the listed projects and the article quotes company vice president Russell Leslie.
 
The Flathead Beacon writes about a Shannon & Wilson, Inc. study for the Montana Department of Transportation which is working to optimize travel to Glacier National Park.
 
The National Law Review includes a story about safety considerations for companies as employees return to work; Brett Cox and Brian Godfrey of TRC Companies appear in the article.
 
New Pittsburgh Courier highlights partnership between Koppers and the Urban League; quotes CEO Leroy Ball and director Lance Hyde on campaign to help underserved neighborhoods amid health crisis.

Balfour Beatty media hits include The Charlotte Business Journal coverage of a project in Downtown Charlotte [subscriber content] and a D Magazine interview with Executive VP Eric Krueger on COVID-19 in Dallas.
 
Dewberry media hits; South Jersey Biz depicts a volunteer effort, Civil + Structural Engineer prints article from Leslie Barksdale on Virginia project and SNJDC's The Chronicle talks ports with Ken Spahn.
 
Nucor media hits include an annual Fortune Magazine list, CEO Leon Topalian talking "state of steel" on CNBC Mad Money and CFO Jim Frias on impact of pandemic in the Wall Street Journal [subscription].
 
COVID-19...more notes from the field
Calsak Plastics inside sales rep Peuv Lalani at the Los Angeles headquarters was contacted by a longtime friend who worked in a hospital within the Yale New Haven health system and who said their PPE was insufficient to protect them from the high-risk COVID patients; after sharing the issue with company leadership, Calsak crafted several face shields to donate to the group on the frontlines of the pandemic.
 
Corman Kokosing Construction proudly contributed $3,500 to the Community Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia fundraiser to provide 1,000 meals to area families challenged by the health crisis.
 
GeoStructures, Inc. gets new wellness support through senior project manager Stewart Staton's kids.
 
Seyfarth Shaw law offers a Return to Business and Post-Pandemic Planning Checklist for download.
 
You might recall that both the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed flyovers of several U.S. regions in early May to show support for health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Several PDCA companies captured dramatic imagery of the event, including:
 
Thanks for reading 2020's sixth installment of A Pile of News; please keep sending and posting your company announcements. And don't forget to include #PDCADriven on your social media, you might be randomly selected to win PDCA logo merchandise from The PDCA Store
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PDCA DICEP 2020
Sept. 23-24, 2020
Virtual Conference
IFCEE 2021
May 10-15, 2021
Dallas, TX
   

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

Special Edition PDCA Logo Marks 25th Anniversary


Throughout 2020, the Pile Driving Contractors Association is celebrating a quarter century providing one voice for the driven pile industry. In recognition of its 25 year anniversary, PDCA has unveiled a commerative logo marking the 1995 inception of the deep foundation construction trade association. As seen above, it is the traditional association logo with the likeness of a pile tip flanking the right side, the pile tip is silver to align with the anniversary symbol.

The commerative logo is on display in PileDriver magazines all year; watch for an upcoming issue observing the significant anniversary. Additionally, the PDCA website, social media and various other forms of electronic media are also displaying the logo. PDCA members are invited to use this logo on any electronic or print marketing material on which they list their affiliations. It is available in various sizes and formats for a free download at this link. Thank you in advance for helping brand the driven pile industry and for your support of PDCA.

Summer Professional Development for Engineers

Charleston, SC:  PDCA of South Carolina educational partner Dr. William J. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., Department Head & D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering at The Citadel announces they the institution will be offering online graduate courses that can be taken pass/fail or audited this summer.  Dr. Davis cites several reasons why a practicing engineer should consider these courses, including: 

  1. Practicing engineers who would like to learn about advanced GIS methods

  2. Practicing engineers who would like to learn about new structural design codes

  3. Practicing engineers who are seeking high-level professional development hours

  4. Practicing engineers who are looking to expand their analytical skills and capabilities in the job market.

  5. Practicing engineers who may be interested in pursuing a MSCE degree or certificate.

 Here are the graduate course offerings:
 
Online Summer II ( June 29- August 13, 2020)
CIVL 506 81 Geographic Information Systems MW  1700  2000  Dr. Kweku Brown, PE pending
CIVL 608 81 Structural Loads and Systems TR     1700  2000  Dr. Timothy Mays, PE
 
CIVL 506 Course Description: Course focuses on data analysis and application methods for engineers, planners and related professions. Topics include spatial analysis, geostatistical analysis, 3-D modeling, and vector/raster modeling. Focus is on spatial data structures in GIS, geo-spatial data acquisition, geoprocessing, geostatistical methods; visualization, exploration of spatial data; network analysis, terrain mapping, spatial analysis, and modeling.
 
CIVL 608 Course Description: The course will provide a comprehensive overview of load determination procedures for building systems. Dead, Live, Flood, Rain, Snow, Wind, and Seismic load determination procedures will be presented in accordance with ASCE/SEI 7-16 and the 2018 International Building Code. Seismic design will include standard practice modeling and analysis procedures for buildings, diaphragms, structures similar to buildings, and foundation systems.
 
If you are interested in pursuing any of the these educational opportunities, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Davis or the staff at The Citadel Civil & Environmental Engineering, Construction Engineering Department. You can reach them by phone at 843-953-5083. 

                                                                                 ###

Webinar: Steel Sheet Pile Guides Review, May 19th



PDCA invites you to attend the webinar presentation titled, PDCA Steel Sheet Pile Guides Review to be held on May 19, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT.

Attendees will obtain a comphrensive introduction to the three technical guidebooks and have the opportunity to engage with two of the co-authors, Gerry McShane of Service Steel Warehouse and Dr. Dick Hartman of Hartman Engineering. Upon completion of the webinar program, you will reveive 1.0 Professional Development Hours (PDH), as well as direct download access to the publications. You can register for this program when you click here.

Associate Member Council Keeps Focus on Membership

PDCA Committee Update: Associate Member Council
By Diane Fischer, Chairwoman


The April meeting of the PDCA Associate Member Council recapped 2019 initiatives, and discussed new initiatives for 2020.  Chairwoman Diane Fischer (pictured, left) presided over the meeting where the participants reached a consensus to continue assisting the Association increase its membership. In addition to building new membership, the committee members also talked about encouraging other PDCA members to participate in the standing committees. 

 The committee discussion turned to PDCA's response to the ongoing health crisis stemming from the Coronavirus Disease. It examined the steps the organization has put forth to provide members support, information, and resources. One committee member went so far to say that "during these times, being a  PDCA member is more valuable than ever."  The Associate Member Council Committee meets quarterly; if you would like to join, please email kathy@piledrivers.org.

A Pile of News - May 2020

A Pile of News: May 2020

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
The coronavirus pandemic continued to significantly impact humanity throughout April. In too many instances, it has resulted in illnesses, fatalities, furloughs and job losses. PDCA proudly and resiliently stands together as a united community. The following section is dedicated to the ongoing health crisis and highlights several examples of PDCA member companies contributing to easing the burdens that society has endured. We collectively tip our hard-hats to you.
 
COVID-19
Calsak Plastics manufactures aggregates for construction, but quickly pivoted in response to the health crisis. It launched production of a key safeguard for essential businesses like grocery stores.
 
CBS-2 Chicago carried an exclusive that quotes Dave Trolian and Ryan Jennings of Clark Construction, which is retrofitting a shuttered hospital in Chicagoland to house COVID-19 patients.
 
Nucor engineers in Seattle set an admirable example by repurposing company 3D printers to make face shields. Inspired volunteers from the community joined the effort to dramatically increase output.
 
Koppers, Inc. lab tech Siw Kruse whipped up a batch of hand sanitizer to replenish dwindling company supplies. The Stickney, IL office coordinated with a local hospital to donate more than 1,500 pieces of PPE.
 
Golder associates helped replenish blood banks in hard-hit New Jersey.
 
Derek Clyburn of ECS Limited leads advocacy in North Carolina to encourage designation of engineers as "essential" during the COVID-19 lockdown. Tectonic also lends support to this ASCE movement.
 
International Construction Equipment (ICEĀ®) in Charlotte, NC compiled a web-based resource page with continually updated material related to COVID-19 impacts on the manufacturing sector and American infrastructure construction projects; it includes state by state public project breakdowns.
 
Maury Gaston from AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe in Birmingham submitted a commentary about the coronavirus disease and its impact on the manufacturing sector in Business Alabama.
 
Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal published an advisory on best practices for facility cleaning and disinfecting practices by Mark Hudock, SVP at GZA Environmental. Heather Shoemaker and Marianne Payne of GZA in Philadelphia discuss how facility managers can begin adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic for InSite Newsletter.
 
New member shout-out! A proud small business itself, Premier Geotech and Testing, makes a point to encourage everyone to support Louisiana small businesses during the health crisis. Or maybe they were just hopeful to get a selfie with Drew Brees?
 
John King of Pile Drivers, Inc. is a known PDCA prankster. The South Carolina contractor also quietly epitomizes association goodwill, solidarity and loyalty. He recently spearheaded an intercontinental caper to send needed assistance to Jill Harris, publisher of PileDriver magazine, who was unable to obtain critical supplies for her toddler due to presumed consumer hoarding. Read Jill's touching account of John's gesture.
 
A Coronavirus Commentary...
In our "new normal," we can expect things will be hoarded. Also, our kids will be home schooling, (thanks ECS who shares these free and fun home-based engineering activities). In many cases, you are working remotely which means video web-conferences with colleagues, clients and customers. But you've gotten creative and tested the boundaries of Zoom and others; the folks at GZA Environmental experimented at home by combining beer and Zoom. TRC Companies, Inc. also embraced the morale boosting value of a Zoom #virtualhappyhour.
 
On a break, you might watch something on Netflix or Amazon Prime; Atlas Tube shares what they consider a collection of "binge-worthy" documentaries on architecture and design if you are seeking enriching entertainment during quarantine. Finally, our wardrobes have been modified with the addition of face masks and rubber gloves. But Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) reached back into company archives and found evidence of their employees who overcame the homemade clothes pandemic of 1919; PDCA concurs with ECA's sentiment that together, we can survive COVID-19.
 
From the Association & Chapters
Remember January when coronavirus was just a mention in an occasional news report? That's when PDCA past president Scott Callaway of Cajun Industries in Baton Rouge recorded Between 2 Piles [WATCH 5:14], a multi-media, interview transcribed in PileDriver magazine Issue #1 2020. The video contains material not in print, like when Scott accidently disrespects country music legend Garth Brooks. Production credits: set design by Scott Nigels who crafted the makeshift studio in the South Carolina yard of Palmetto Pile Driving, videography by Emmett Waggenspack of Coastal Contractors in Baton Rouge who operated the i-Phone camera, and post-production by The Ranch studios in New Orleans.

The PDCA COVID-19 Resource Center now includes a full list of Executive Orders for each U.S. State.

Save the Date: PDCA will host the webinar, Steel Sheet Pile Guides Review on May 19th at 2 P.M. EDT. Two of the co-authors, Gerry McShane of Service Steel Warehouse and Dick Hartman of Hartman Engineering will present a review of all three guides; Installation Guide, Corrosion Guide and Retaining Wall Cost Comparison Guide. Forthcoming registration is free to PDCA members; non-members can join for $50. All attendees will receive 1.0 Hour PDH and direct download access to all three publications.
 
People on the Move
Engineering Consulting Services, Inc. (ECS) promotes Tony Fiorillo to President as Henry Lucas steps down, he will finish 2020 as CEO and Chair the Board through 2022; ECS also names Evan Landis, P.E. to the Chantilly, VA office. Nucor Executive Vice President Ladd Hall sets a June retirement date after 39 years on the job; Alan Behr of Nucor Steel Texas will succeed him. Dan Brown and Associates announces recent transitions; Dan Brown, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, assumes the role of Chief Engineer, Tim Siegel, P.E., G.E., D.GE elevates to Chief Executive Officer, Paul Axtell, P.E., D.GE becomes Chief Operating Officer,Robert Thompson, P.E., D.GE has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer, and both David Graham, P.E., and Ben Turner, Ph.D., P.E., ascend to Senior Engineers. 
 
Jeremy Cox, named AET, Inc. West Region Manager, will oversee operations in Wyoming, North Dakota, and western South Dakota; Robert Temme, becomes West Region Director of Business Development. AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe has placed four new sales professionals: Dustin Covington, Zach Miller, Wyatt Robinson and Stu Sanders. Dewberry elevates Ben Revette in Boston, adds Siamak Esfandiary in Virginia and Wael Youssef in New York. Haley & Aldrich, Inc. names Lynn Gresock to the Boston office, Athena DeNivo to the New York office. Gary Mang joins Holland LP as new Northeast Regional Sales Manager. Kirt Jackson is a new Project Manager at Patriot Construction & Industrial in Duson, LA.
 
Other notes of interest:
Happy Retirement to Larry Brewer who departs Holland LP after 40 years with the company.
 
Marvin Barker at Duson, LA-based Patriot Construction and Industrial named 'Safety Champion.'
 
"I never said most of the things I said." Noting his quotable nature, Junttan must consider John King of Pile Drivers, Inc. as the Yogi Berra of the pile driving world. We can think of less flattering comparisons!
 
Pro sports have been deemed non-essential, but moving pile and other goods is critical. When Captain John Lowery of Canal Barge Company, Inc. in New Orleans saw the NFL pass by 12 years ago, he embarked on a career trajectory in river transportation. Today, he regularly visits with students from his old high school to advocate exploring careers on the water.
 
Holes, Inc. in Houston hit the jackpot four years ago when they hired equipment operator Brandon Mullens; unbeknownst to HR at the time, they also secured their very own visual marketer. Brandon has been doing photography and videograpy for years; he owns Texas Style Photography. While he is comfortable with many subjects, his passion is construction project photography. Check him out!
 
 
News from PDCA Companies
Tectonic Engineering Consultants establishes Mountainside, NJ office to replace Short Hills location; adds East Brunswick, NJ office.
 
Lodge Lumber Co. in Houston reaches 80 years in business; it offers a philosophical sentiment about the ongoing health crisis. Congrats to the company and thanks for the optimism.
 
Atlas Foundation celebrates an end to dial-up Internet; that should improve the download speed of the electronic version of the next PileDriver magazine. 
 
Cape Romain Contractors subcontracted and Insight Group consulted on the award-winning Drum Island restoration project in Charleston, SC.
 
Clark Construction earns three 'Build America' Awards.
 
CZM-US Foundation Equipment UPDATE: we shared video of the groundbreaking last year when they began construction on the new Savannah, GA corporate office. Fast forward to today, move-in is complete and production is underway in the factory; congratulations... By the way, Happy 97th Birthday (4/26) Loris Clo, Founder of CZM!
 
Deep South Construction is armoring a ridge to mitigate pending damage from sea level rise and erosion; a delegation of local officials visited the jobsite near Delacroix, LA for a progress update.
 
Same issue, different waterfront Dewberry will lead resilience planning for the City of Virginia Beach as it battles sea level rise. In a different agreement, the firm continues to assist City adaptation efforts.
 
GeoEngineers, Inc. of Redmond, WA participated in an award-winning coastal restoration project.
 
Giken earns international recognition.
 
Group Industries snags hardware; a safety award and an excellence award head to the trophy case.
 
Haley & Aldrich, Inc. helps rehabilitate Navy's oldest, operational ship USS Constitution in Boston.
 
The John Lawrie Group steps up to support youth golf development in Scotland.
 
Service Steel Warehouse in Houston is a proud sponsor of the Sweet Heat Elite Mont Belvieu, a premier youth softball league for girls.
 
Newsmakers
Geostrata Magazine features an article co-authored by Ross McGillivray, P.E. of Orlando-based Ardaman & Associates which discusses controlling foundation risk in design-build projects.
 
New Orleans City Business newspaper includes Canal Barge Company, Inc. CEO Merrit Lane as one of the city's "Driving Forces," a compilation of 40 influential business leaders in the Crescent City.
 
Construction Dive published a Q&A with Monique Holley of Clark Construction, the project superintendent on Arlington, VA's highly anticipated HQ2 for Amazon.
 
Construction in Focus highlights Golder's 60-year history in consulting.
 
Albany Business Review names Tectonic to its list of top engineering firms in the New York region.


That's all for this installment of 'A Pile of News;' PDCA wishes all Members health, safety and prosperity.
 
Thanks for reading 2020's fifth installment of A Pile of News; please keep sending and posting your company announcements. And don't forget to include #PDCADriven on your social media, you might be randomly selected to win PDCA logo merchandise from The PDCA Store
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PDCA DICEP 2020
Sept. 23-24, 2020
New Orleans, LA
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May 10-15, 2021
Dallas, TX









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Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

PileDriver Magazine Legal: Managing Risk

Managing Risk:  Liquidated Damage Clauses For Delay In Construction Contracts

By Tiffany Harrod, Attorney at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C., Houston, Texas
Chair-Elect, the Construction Law Section of the Houston Bar Association and
Carrie Schadle, Senior Attorney at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C., Houston, Texas

             With the on-going shortage of construction workers in the industry and other factors ranging from weather to procurement problems, the threat of project delay is real.  When a contract contains a liquidated damages clause for delay, there can be real financial consequences for contractors.  Courts have long allowed parties to apportion contractual risks as they see fit, especially in the commercial context where the parties are usually considered to be sophisticated, even if their bargaining power is not always equal.  Liquidated damage provisions, such as those found for delay in construction contracts, are common, but must be crafted in such a way as to be enforceable and not against public policy.
Liquidated damage clauses in construction contracts are a common way for the parties to deal with the possibility of delay in the completion of a project and associated potential losses flowing from the delay.[1]  In their most basic form, the party in breach, which is most often the contractor, is obligated to pay the non-breaching party, usually the project owner, some fixed sum of money per set time period  that has been agreed upon in advance and memorialized in the contract.  (It is, after all, no secret that these provisions are meant to protect the owner.)  The non-breaching party is then compensated for losses associated with the delay without the time and expense of having to prove what the actual damages were, in either a civil suit or an arbitration proceeding.  This option is particularly attractive to project owners, because the money can simply be withheld from money owed to the contractor once the agreed-upon completion date has been passed. 
However, like any provision in a contract, a liquidated damages provision should be the product of negotiation to ensure not only that it is fair to both parties, but that it is enforceable in the relevant jurisdiction if a dispute about payment of the liquidated damages should arise.  Disputes regarding liquidated damages generally arise when the breaching party argues that the provision is not enforceable, in which case courts will generally consider several factors in deciding on enforceability:  the difficulty in measuring the kind of losses an owner suffers because of delay and the reasonableness of the amount of damages in relation to the anticipated or actual damages suffered.  Despite the possibility of a provision being found unenforceable, when entering into a contract that contains a liquidated damages clause, a contractor should presume that it is going to be enforceable.
Liquidated Damages Must Measure Losses That Are Difficult To Prove
Liquidated damages only apply to the exact type of breach specified in the contract.  In its most common form, a provision providing liquidated damages for delay is an agreed upon substitute for actual damages an owner might suffer but that could be extremely difficult, and probably expensive, to prove in court.  These can include many types of damages such as lost financing cost, missed opportunities, or lost rent. 
While very real, these types of damages can be difficult to quantify because questions such as what revenues were lost, the time period during which revenues were lost, and extra costs incurred or costs avoided will have to be answered.  Agreeing to liquidated damages relieves the owner from being able to prove these types of damages, and may also allow a contractor to factor the cost of the contract completion date into its bid.
In some states, liquidated damages provisions may not be enforceable after substantial completion where the owner has been able to occupy and use the project before the final completion date, as after this time period, damages are no longer difficult to calculate.
Liquidated Damage Must Be Reasonable In Proportion To Anticipated Or Actual Harm
If the liquidated damages do not reflect a reasonable estimate of the loss incurred due to delay, they may be deemed an unenforceable penalty, and could be struck down by a court as against public policy.  In short, they should reflect a loss that is based on what an owner would lose if the project could not be used as intended by the time promised.  This prevents liquidated damages from being seen as a punishment.  Whatever the amount agreed upon, in the end it must have been considered reasonable at the time of contracting or bear some relation to the actual loss, and cannot be merely an arbitrary number chosen by the owner that it thinks is big enough to ensure that the job gets done in time.  In other words, the rate must somehow be related to the contract, and not be designed to spur performance.  The downside to this for the contractor is that even if the owner incurs only nominal administrative charges because of a delay, an amount of liquidated damages that was properly established courts will still find the damages reasonable because they were based on foreseeable actual damages.
Negotiating Liquidated Damage Provisions
While it is the party challenging the validity of the liquidated damage provision, usually the contractor, that has the burden of proving that the provision is unenforceable, if a court were to find a liquidated damage provision unenforceable, the owner would then be in the position of having to prove its actual damages.  For this reason, it is in both parties' best interests to craft a fair and enforceable liquidated damages provision.  So even though these provisions are primarily designed to protect owners, contractors should remember that a liquidated damage provision also prevents them from being exposed to lengthy and expensive court battles and actual damages, which could easily exceed the agreed-upon amount of liquidated damages.  With liquidated damages, at least a contractor will know what its exposure is, and can take that into account when negotiating the rate for liquidated damages.  This is especially true if the liquidated damages are capped.
Parties should consider and try to factor in all potential costs that may be incurred if a project is delayed so that if a dispute arises, the amount will be considered reasonable.  This might include financing costs past the completion date, additional management or overhead costs, upstream liquidated damages clauses, or pre-scheduled uses to which the project has already been committed.  Parties may also agree to place a cap on the amount of the liquidated damages, whether it is a sum certain or a percentage of the final contract price or the contractor's fee.
Another important factor to consider is how the liquidated damages provision will be triggered.  This includes a consideration of whether it will be based on substantial completion, important milestone dates, a date certain, or a certain number of days from a notice to proceed, and the impact of schedule adjustments requested either by the owner or the contractor.  It is important defense for a contractor to ensure that there is a workable mechanism for contract deadlines to be extended when delays are caused by things not in the contractor's control such as delays caused by the owner or weather events.  This is why it is important to document delays and provide notice to the owner when they are not caused by the contractor.
Lastly, in some states, the liquidated damages specified for a particular breach will be the exclusive remedy available for that breach.  This means that if the breach, for some reason, caused actual damages greater than those provided by the liquidated damages provision, the non-breaching party's damages will still be limited to the amount agreed to in the contract for the liquidated damages.  In those states where this is not the automatic rule, a contractor may want to keep this in mind and specify in the contract that the liquidated damages are the exclusive remedy for a project delay. 
Flow-Down Liquidated Damage Provisions
General contractors usually try to pass some of the liability for project delays to their subcontractors.  When acting as a subcontractor, it is important to pay attention to liquidated damage provisions in the prime contract that may be incorporated by reference and flow down into the subcontract, as they may be assessed at a higher rate than those the subcontractor has agreed to.  Generally, for damages to be assessed under these provisions, the subcontractor must have been responsible for the delays, and may not be the result of either other subcontractors or the general contractor.  And to collect the flow-down liquidated damages, the owner must have actually assessed liquidated damages to the general contractor.  A subcontractor should make sure that it is responsible only for those delay damages it causes.

 
[1] Liquidated damage provisions can be used to compensate a party in the event of other non-performance or breach of contract, and the same principles would apply as those discussed here related to delay.

PileDriver Magazine: Living out a Legacy, A Career Story

A Career Story in PileDriver Magazine
Chris Pashkevich, Clark Construction
By: Natalie Pressman


Having worked for Clark Construction for 45 years, Chris Pashkevich says that friends and family are probably getting sick of him pointing out jobs he's worked on in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas.

"I did a job recently where I stood on one corner and saw ten different buildings that I had worked on," he said. "I've done a hundred or so jobs, easily, just in D.C."


Construction, for Pashkevich, is a family affair.

His father was a pile driver beginning in the early '50s until he retired in 1992, and his older brother started in 1971 until his 2016 retirement. Likewise, Pashkevich's younger brother started at Clark Construction in 1980 and still works there today.

"My family has always been here," he said. "We all drive pile."

Even with retirement on the horizon, driving pile will continue to stay in the family. Pashkevich has a son and stepson who are both foremen at Clark Construction, in addition to another stepson who works for the company as a foundation superintendent.

In spite of his long career and family legacy in the industry, Pashkevich didn't always see himself working in construction he originally wanted to be a police officer. But when he went down to the police academy in 1973, he was told that at 5'7", he was two inches too short. That's when he decided to join his family in construction.

Click here to read more in PileDriver Magazine, 2020 Issue #2 

Posted in PileDriver Magazine.

A Pile of News - April 1, 2020

A Pile of News: April 2020

A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
 
What we once considered normal no longer exists. The COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the globe is requiring cancellations, postponements, closures, quarantines and a lot of questions for us all. 
We will begin this edition of A Pile of News with guidance for employers and businesses from some of the PDCA member law firms in different parts of the U.S. that work extensively in construction, contracts and employment law because the current state of affairs presents challenges in each of these areas. Also pay close attention to the section From the Association and Chapters as various PDCA-affiliated and sponsored events have been forced to postpone or cancel. In the meantime, we encourage our membership to be safe, heed the precautions issued from federal, state, local governmental and medical leaders and contact the PDCA offices if we can assist you in any way. 
 
COVID-19
 
From the Association & Chapters
Due to ongoing, worldwide efforts to minimize human interaction and reduce opportunities for the highly contagious coronavirus to spread, many PDCA events scheduled for this spring have been either postponed or cancelled. 
(The listing below is chronological and subject to additions; event news is regularly updated online at www.piledrivers.org/events/).
  • PDCA: The Houston Social on April 9, POSTPONED
  • Gulf Coast: Chapter Dinner Meeting on April 16, CANCELLED
  • Pacific Coast Chapter: 10th Annual Scholarship Shoot on
    April 17, POSTPONED 
  • Northeast Chapter: Dinner Meeting on April 22, CANCELLED
  • PDCA: The Midwestern Meet-Up: Chicago on April 23, POSTPONED
  • PDCA: 23rd Annual Conference on May 69, CANCELLED
  • Northeast Florida Chapter: Quarterly Luncheon on May 19, CANCELLED
DFDTA, an annual pile testing, technical seminar from PDCA and Pile Dynamics, Inc. concluded March 13th in Orlando, FL. More information and photos from the event here.
Spotted: See photos of PDCA members at CONEXPO.
Spotted: See photos of PDCA Members at 2020 ASCE GeoCongress.
Taking a break from COVID-19 news coverage from this point forward, this newsletter offers you nothing but good news from PDCA. See who has been promoted, which companies served the greater good and who gets 15 minutes of fame in the mainstream media. As always, we welcome your submissions to A Pile of News!
 
News from PDCA Members
Acquisitions & Expansions
  • First acquired in 2017, the integration of GME Consulting Services into Minneapolis-based Braun Intertec has formally completed.
  • Engineering Consulting Services adds Solar Testing Laboratories of Cleveland to ECS Midwest, LLC
  • Fugro strengthens geoconsulting presence in Belgium with purchase of OREX
  • TRC Companies, Inc. opens its second office in the United Kingdom
Anniversaries
  • AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe parent company AMERICAN celebrate 95 years in business
  • GeoEngineers of Redmond, WA turns 40 this year
Dewberry Garden State Parkway Interchange project wins Distinguished Engineering Award.
Powell Foundations, Inc. in Ontario has been presented the ORBA Community Leadership Award.
Creative Pultrusions, Inc. of Pennsylvania participated in a Capitol Hill advocacy event.
TRC Companies, Inc., Tolunay-Wong Engineers and Texas A&M University partner to create hands-on learning opportunities outside the classroom.
New Member Shout-Out: Yes, Traxxon Foundation Equipment of British Columbia, posting a video of two dinosaurs in a snowball fight gets you a mention in this newsletter!
 
People on the Move
Dewberry promotes Anthony Fulco, P.E. in the New Jersey office to vice president; other promotions at the firm include Lisa Peterson, Steven Benosky, Walter Bronson, Jr. and Rahul Pareb. ECS appoints Gregory Ratkowski as principal engineer in Frederinck, MD. Golder welcomes back Peter Guy who returns to the Denver office after six years. Haley & Aldrich adds Jarrod Yoder to Boston office and Steven Boyce in Nevada. 
Plenty of personnel news from Pittsburgh-based Koppers... General Counsel Steve Lacy sets retirement for the end of 2020, Stephanie Apostolou elected to fill his role; new leadership appointments are Lance Hyde to director global inclusion and diversity and Jimmi Sue Smith is named new VP finance and treasurer.
Captain Terry of Canal Barge Company, Inc. retires after 43 years in the maritime industry. His colleagues gathered to celebrate his career with the theme #JonesActStrong.
Other notes of interest:
AET's Willy Morrison is recognized by Finance & Commerce as a finalist in the inaugural Top Women in Construction Awards and Adam Bakeman earns 40 under 40 recognition.
Clark Construction VP Tim Lamson, Nashville, in the ENR Southeast 2020 class of Top Young Professionals.
Dewberry AVP Tony Buitrago named to Society of American Military Engineers Class of 2020 Fellows.
Michael Batuna of ECS in Dallas named 2020 Texas Engineer of the Year.
Jeff Harmston of Equipment Corporation of America repeats as winner of a national award in the deep foundations industry.
Dennis Loh, VP and principal in charge at Geo-Technology Associates, Inc.'s Somerset office, is a proud new grandpa following the birth of Cassidy Grace, [photo]. Congratulations!
Paul Dittrich, senior geotechnical engineer at Golder, was recently recognized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society for his distinguished career and his decades of service.
Jim Tanner of L.B. Foster has earned the Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense, recognizing him for hiring Coast Guard Reservists.
Paul Bass of Houston-based Orion Marine Group has obtained Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) certification.
Sarah Knapp, a marketing specialist at Terracon in Salt Lake City, recently won the Rising Star Award.
 
Philanthropy
Clark Construction raises more than $22,000 in the Cycle for Survival, a Washington, D.C. event supporting a local cancer center.
GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. annually celebrates the Lunar New Year by raising money for charity. This year's event supported the Norwood Food Pantry in Massachusetts.
Richard Males and Nikko Aranas from the Keller offices in Toronto participated in a Bubble Hockey Night benefitting the Sick Kids Foundation. The fundraiser brought in $420,000!
Sunroc receives appreciation from Dixie State University for the continued support of the institution.
Terracon team members in Cincinnati raised $6500 for the Special Olympics by participating in their sixth straight Polar Plunge.
 
Newsmakers
YellowHammer News, a multi-media news outlet covering all things Alabama, published an op-ed by AMERICAN manager Maury Gaston in observance of Engineer's Week.
KOLN/KGIN-TV of Lincoln, NE features video footage of crews from Minnesota-based Atlas Foundation installing sheet piling to close a breach in a Missouri River levee.
ConstructionDive features a story on a St. Louis subcontractor who released a rap video as an effort to attract young adults to construction careers; thanks for the share, Atlas Tube, yo.
Fox 26-Houston hosted Cajun Industries, LLC Intern Lazaro Platas to recognize his scholarship award.
WGNO-ABC New Orleans interviews Sarah Eleanor Lane, daughter of Canal Barge CEO Merritt Lane; she continues the family history as Mardi Gras Royalty after being named 2020 Queen of Carnival
El Paso Herald-Post covers the opening of the new military health care facility at Fort Bliss, a project on which Clark Construction co-led.
The New England Real Estate Journal runs an annual feature entitled Women Who Build Spotlight. The latest features two engineers from Haley & Aldrich: Katherine Dilawari and Jennifer Sweet.
Mark Balfe of Haley & Aldrich provides the Wall Street Journal [SUBSCRIBER CONTENT] expertise on wood piling repairs in a story that examines rising groundwaters and the impact on high dollar, Boston neighborhoods.
WomenInc. Magazine names three members of the Koppers Holdings Inc. Board of Directors to its 2019 Most Influential Corporate Directors list: Dr. Sharon Feng, Traci L. Jenson and Sonja M. Wilkerson.
The Orlando Business Journal names Universal Engineering Services as a top privately owned company. (Spoiler alert: if you don't want to pay $100 to subscribe and read the full list, UES is number 33.)
 
Aloha!
Our goal is to provide not only news and information about the pile driving industry, but we also attempt to give you some entertainment and culture. With that, here's what happens when a new bridge is built in Hawaii; another job well done by the Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company. Mahalo for reading.
 
Thanks for reading 2020's fourth installment of A Pile of News; please keep sending and posting your company announcements. And don't forget to include #PDCADriven on your social media, you might be randomly selected to win PDCA logo merchandise from The PDCA Store
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International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo, May 10-15, 2021





 
 

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.