Hurricane Irma’s Wide Path to Impact Outlook for Florida Construction

BEDFORD, MA – September 18, 2017 – The one-two punch of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast over the past month. Once all the damage is tallied, Harvey is likely to be the costliest storm to impact the U.S. Irma’s path through the Keys, then up the west coast of Florida, took it away from a direct hit to Miami. And while the storm itself was as wide as the entire state, the turn to the west likely lowered the severity of damage in terms of total dollars. Estimates from Moody’s Analytics places the total cost of Irma in the range of $60-90 billion – a significant event that will certainly impact the region’s economy, but still below Harvey’s expected destructive toll of over $100 billion.


Irma’s wide path could also profoundly affect construction starts in Florida, a state that has seen significant growth since the recession. In 2011, starts in Florida reached a cyclical low of $22.8 billion. By 2016, total construction starts in the state reached $55.1 billion, with broad-based growth in residential and nonresidential buildings, as well as public works and utilities.

Prior to Irma, 2017 had been shaping up as another strong year for starts in Florida. Through the first seven months of the year, nonresidential building starts had risen 32% from the same period of 2016, while public works and utilities starts were 21% higher. Residential building starts were up a more modest 1% year-to-date through July. Based on historical data through the second quarter of 2017, Dodge Data & Analytics had predicted Florida’s total construction starts would rise 9% for the full year to $60.3 billion.

That forecast is now under review as restoration and repair efforts begin. Water and sewer facilities, as well as roads, will be the initial driver of reconstruction growth in the coming months. An initial round of federal disaster relief should be quick to materialize, much like the $15 billion approved for Harvey in early September.

Residential construction starts in Florida will likely slow over the next few months as the focus shifts towards cleanup and damage assessment. Once estimates are completed, rebuilding will still likely be slow as individuals wait for insurance checks and federal relief to appear. Over time, however, residential starts in the state will rise above the norm, particularly in the Keys where reports suggest that 25% of homes were completely destroyed and far more were badly damaged.

As with the effects of Harvey on Houston’s building outlook, once cleanup is completed, nonresidential building reconstruction will likely focus on institutional structures such as schools, healthcare buildings, and public safety facilities in Florida. Unlike Houston though, the rebuilding of commercial structures will likely not be far behind as real estate fundamentals for warehouse, office, and hotel buildings are generally healthier than Houston’s.


By Richard Branch, Senior Economist, Dodge Data & Analytics

About Dodge Data & Analytics

: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, Dodge makes the hidden obvious, empowering its clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. Dodge is leveraging its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit

What is “Short Interval Scheduling”

Short-interval scheduling, or SIS, predates WWII and has been acknowledged as a part of the foundation for lean, JIT, and agile workplace concepts. At its core, SIS is a process that frequently assesses progress toward daily goals to identify problems, execute corrective actions, and ensure utmost productivity. It requires detailed expectations be set ahead of time so planned vs. actual work completed can be closely monitored at various intervals.

TRESTELS - SHORT INTERVAL SCHEDULING PAPER EXAMPLE Continue reading “What is “Short Interval Scheduling””

Never Forget: Remembering The Victims Of 9/11

Today, we remember those who fell victim to the devastating attacks on 9/11 #NeverForget


12 Construction Apps To Improve Productivity

There’s no question that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have made our lives easier. Mobile construction apps allow you to get instant access to project information in the field and communicate real-time data back to the office or your client.
Whether you are looking for a single solution like daily reporting, plan viewing, time sheets or a complete project management solution, there are a ton of mobile construction apps available for your Apple or Android devices.

We’ve selected 12 construction apps that can help improve productivity and facilitate better communication with all members of the project team and other stakeholders. Continue reading “12 Construction Apps To Improve Productivity”

History: Thank Construction Workers for Labor Day!

Long before Labor Day’s association with the end of summer, BBQ’s, and outdoor festivals, Labor Day was originally established as “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being” of the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.


Continue reading “History: Thank Construction Workers for Labor Day!”

ABC & TRESTLES’ Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund 

Hurricane Harvey flooded southeastern Texas and inundated the city of Houston, forcing thousands of people to take cover in shelters. Many residents now face temporary displacement while the American Red Cross works to help flood victims. ABC’s disaster relief fund through the Red Cross is available for anyone who wants to help support these efforts with a monetary donation. Continue reading “ABC & TRESTLES’ Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund “

“TLMS” ….coming soon.

Update: Construction Effects of Hurricane Harvey

AUGUST 30, 2017 – As of this writing, the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey (and the deluge of rain that followed) has been estimated at $50-75 billion. This would make Harvey one of the costliest storms ever to hit the U.S., exceeded only by Katrina’s $108 billion damage and Sandy’s $75 billion. Recent estimates suggest that the cost of Harvey could even exceed that of Sandy, making it the second most costly natural disaster of the past 30 years. Moody’s Analytics estimates that $30-40 billion of this total will be for damage to homes and vehicles, $10-15 billion for businesses such as stores, offices, and industrial space, and $5-10 billion for infrastructure. The toll in terms of human suffering and loss is, of course, incalculable.


The economic impact of the storm and its effect on construction starts can be broken into two distinct phases, short-term and long-term. Continue reading “Update: Construction Effects of Hurricane Harvey”

Construction Employment Increases by in July

ABCIncLogoConstruction employment increased by 6,000 jobs in July to the highest level since October 2008, amid a tight labor market that may be keeping contractors from hiring as many workers as they need, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged local, state and federal leaders to enact measures designed to expose more high school students to high-paying careers in construction to offset growing labor shortages.

“Construction firms added employees over the past year at a much higher rate than the EMPLOYMENT MONTH OVER MONTH JULY 2017.pngpublic and private sectors as a whole, but the low unemployment rates in construction and the overall economy suggests contractors are having difficulty filling positions,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Although construction spending has slowed, many contractors are still looking for qualified craft workers and project managers.”

Construction employment totaled 6.9 million in July, a gain of 6,000 for the month and 191,000, or 2.8 percent, over 12 months. The economist pointed out that the year-over-year growth rate was nearly twice the 1.5 percent rise in total nonfarm payroll employment. The construction sector’s unemployment rate in July, 4.9 percent, was close to the 4.3 percent rate for all workers. Continue reading “Construction Employment Increases by in July”

Best Practices… Simplified. We Are TRESTLES

Continue reading “Best Practices… Simplified. We Are TRESTLES”

Outdated Construction Equipment Adds To Low Productivity 

Construction has never moved at the same technological pace as other industries. The large_galileo_10_4140_webnature of the business is that conditions change from job to job, and even construction of “cookie-cutter” restaurants and hotels present different geographic, regulatory and labor challenges.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that when a tool or system works—outdated though it may be—there’s hesitation when it comes to changing it on the mere promise of a better deal. As the old saying goes, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

However, the old way of doing things is broken. Continue reading “Outdated Construction Equipment Adds To Low Productivity “

U.S. Labor Market Resurgent in June; Construction Adds 16,000 Jobs

ABCIncLogoNational construction employment added 16,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Overall construction employment expanded 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, easily outpacing the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6 percent for all nonfarm industries.

The nonresidential construction sector added 10,300 net new jobs in June after addingconstruction-workers 4,900 in May (revised upward from 4,400 jobs), while the residential sector added 6,000 net jobs for the month.

The construction industry unemployment rate, which fell 1 percentage point in May, declined further in June and now stands at just 4.5 percent. Construction unemployment tends to decline in the summer. However, the decline in unemployment is still significant because industry unemployment now stands near lows achieved in 2006.


Continue reading “U.S. Labor Market Resurgent in June; Construction Adds 16,000 Jobs”

Construction Not Safe From the Threat of Cyber Fraud

TRESTLES - Nn industry is safe from the threat of cyber fraud - Especially Construction!The internet is an informational super-highway, tethered to how business is conducted. But like any heavily-traveled road, it can also be a place fraught with danger. Just when companies think all is well and are cruising along without a worry, with anti-virus seatbelts securely fastened, they suddenly get slammed by a big rig with the words “cyber fraud” on the side.

Some companies survive the wreck, while others aren’t so lucky, but the ensuing damage is devastating.

According to an article in Forbes, cyber crime costs are projected to top $2 trillion by 2019.IBM Corp.’s Chairman, CEO and President, Ginni Rometty, recently stated that cyber crime is the “greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.Continue reading “Construction Not Safe From the Threat of Cyber Fraud”

A Look Back During The Early Era Of Skyscraper Construction 

During the early era of skyscraper construction, it was said that one worker died for every $1million spent on the building

  • 5 men died during the 1929 to 1931 construction of the Empire State Building
  • 27 workers died by the time the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883

During the incredible building boom of early 20th century, it was said that crew foremen could expect one man to die for every $1million spent on a skyscraper.


In these heady early years – when industry barons raced each other to see who could get their towers built first – workers had few protections. They wore no hard hats or safety ropes.

But even inches from peril, some men managed to laugh in the face of death. These incredible pictures show construction workers goofing off as they built some of America’s most iconic skyscrapers. Continue reading “A Look Back During The Early Era Of Skyscraper Construction “

The DMAIC Cycle – 5 Phases of Lean Six Sigma

DMAIC is the problem-solving methodology behind Lean Six Sigma. As a cycle, it consists of five vital actions:



Before beginning any process improvement project, it’s vital that you choose projects that are good candidates for improvement. This will set you up for success. A good project for improvement will always:

  • Have an obvious problem within the process
  • Have the potential to result in increased revenue, reduced cost or improved efficiency
  • Have collectable data

Continue reading “The DMAIC Cycle – 5 Phases of Lean Six Sigma”

How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry

Last year marked a milestone for the country’s youngest generation of workers, TRESTLES - MILLENNIALS IN THE 2017 WORKFORCEcommonly known as millennials: They overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce segment in America. Employers should be ecstatic that elevated rates of retirement are positioned to be offset by an influx of younger, energetic, tech-savvy workers ready to stimulate productivity.

But in the construction industry, firms continue to wrestle with skills shortages as older workers in occupational categories such as welding and carpentry retire in large numbers with their potential successors disproportionately pursuing jobs in industries such as finance, professional services and health care. In 2002, 11 percent of construction workers were aged 55 or older, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2015, this share exceeded 20 percent, per the Current Population Survey.

TRESTLES - Projected USA Population By Generation

What’s more, despite massive growth in the population of twenty-somethings in recent years, by 2015 the fraction of construction workers between the ages of 20 and 24 was around 7 percent—down from 11 percent a decade ago.

This is hardly where millennials’ impact on construction ends. Continue reading “How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry”

Nearly 200,000 Construction Jobs Added Since May 2016, ABC Says

Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 24 States

Image result for association of builders and contractorsWASHINGTON, June 28 – In May, not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rates were down in 24 states on a year-over-year basis, according to analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). At the same time, the construction industry employed 192,000 more workers than in May 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the national NSA construction unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, up 0.1 percent from a year ago.


Continue reading “Nearly 200,000 Construction Jobs Added Since May 2016, ABC Says”

70% Of All Construction Projects Are Over Budget & Delivered Late

Construction labor efficiency and productivity has decreased, while all other non-farming labor efficiency has doubled or more since the 1960s.TRESTLES - CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIVITY HAS DECREASED SINCE 1965

Currently, 70% of projects are over budget and delivered late. The industry still sees about 800 deaths and thousands of injuries per year.

Continue reading “70% Of All Construction Projects Are Over Budget & Delivered Late”

General Mills Buys 100 MW from Cactus Flats Wind in Texas

General Mills announced it has a 15-year power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems for the 150-MW Cactus Flats wind project under development in Concho County, Texas.

The company will purchase renewable energy credits to apply toward its carbon emission reduction goals.

“As we help mitigate the impacts of climate change, investing in wind energy is the right thing to do,” said John Church, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain at General Mills. “This investment is another step towards reducing our energy footprint and achieving sustainable emission levels – in line with scientific consensus – by 2050.” Continue reading “General Mills Buys 100 MW from Cactus Flats Wind in Texas”

President Trump Signs Executive Order to Double Funds for Apprenticeships

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – President Donald Trump is ordering more money and a bigger role for private companies in designing apprenticeship programs meant to fill some of the 6 million open jobs in the U.S.


Continue reading “President Trump Signs Executive Order to Double Funds for Apprenticeships”

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017 

Image result for association of builders and contractorsWASHINGTON, June 21– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) rose to 9 months during the first quarter of 2017, up 8.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.  CBI is up by 0.4 months, or 4 percent, on a year-over-year basis.


“This was a terrific report,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “For the first time in the series’ history, every category—firm size, industry and region—registered quarterly growth in CBI. Among the big winners were firms in the western United States and those with annual revenues between $30 million and $50 million per annum.

Continue reading “ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017 “

Lean Projects 3x More Likely to Complete Ahead of Schedule 

Dodge Data & Analytics recently benchmarked the current state of capital project TRESTLES - HIGH vs. LOW INTENSITY LEAN PROJECTSdelivery performance and found a statistically significant correlation between use of Lean methods and better project outcomes. High Lean intensity projects were three times more likely to complete ahead of schedule and two times more likely to complete under budget.

To establish a benchmark, eighty-one owners responded to Dodge Data & Analytics’ Owner Satisfaction & Project Performance survey by answering questions about their perceived best project and a typical project in the last three years — providing data on schedule, budget, quality and safety performance as well as information on how the project team was organized, the commercial terms for the project and the management methods used. Continue reading “Lean Projects 3x More Likely to Complete Ahead of Schedule “

Dodge Momentum Index Falls 5% After 6 Straight Months of Gaining

The Dodge Momentum Index ended a six-month streak of gains in April, falling 5.1% to overview-safety133.8 from a downward-revised revised March reading of 140.9, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

The institutional sector, the driver of previous gains in the index, dropped 12%, while the commercial segment remained almost flat at 0.1%.

Even with this reported setback in momentum, since early 2016, the index has gained more than 20% through the end of March 2017 — Continue reading “Dodge Momentum Index Falls 5% After 6 Straight Months of Gaining”

E-Verify Could Soon Be Mandatory 

The E-Verify program is currently a mostly voluntary online system regulated by the federal government which helps organizations determine the employment eligibility of workers in the United States. Although not mandatory nationally,  it is required for most federal contractors and for all Continue reading “E-Verify Could Soon Be Mandatory “

Stay Connected: 5 Ways To Save Your iPhone Battery Life While On The Jobsite

We’ve all been there. You’re at a social occasion. You’re trying to look occupied, but not overly so. Then it hits you: your iPhone, your life crutch, is down to 20% power. There’s no way you’re going to last the duration at the rate you’re sucking screen light. Here are some useful tips to help you manage your iPhone’s battery life and keep you out of a jam. Continue reading “Stay Connected: 5 Ways To Save Your iPhone Battery Life While On The Jobsite”

8 Characteristics Of An Agile Leader 

The race to cultivate and transition leaders into executive positions is on. Is your company ready for the challenge?

With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, the construction industry is in a race to fill vacant leadership seats with candidates who are as competent as they are agile. Defined as the power to move quickly and nimbly while thinking on your feet and acting Continue reading “8 Characteristics Of An Agile Leader “

Economic Update: Strong Job Growth Driven By Construction Industry 

Businesses added 298,000 jobs in February, continuing a second month of solid job growth, according to the ADP National Employment Report. The growth was driven by intensive hiring in construction and manufacturing.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Continue reading “Economic Update: Strong Job Growth Driven By Construction Industry “