Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Look Inside Demolition and Site Clearing

Over the years, contractors have been hired to tear down buildings and other structures in order to pave the way for a new building to be constructed on that vacant property. There are several common methods to demolish a building: manually, implosion and deconstruction.

The demolition process is a lot simpler for smaller buildings because all it requires is a pull through manual labor or mechanically through the means of large hydraulic equipment, such as bulldozers, excavators, cranes and elevated work platforms. For larger buildings, a wrecking ball is needed.

What was the largest building to be demolished in history? In 1967 and 1968, the 47-storey, 1908 Singer Building in New York City was torn down and replaced by One Liberty Plaza.

Demolition and site clearing involve extensive planning. It is imperative that a site plan is developed that provides details about all of the landscape elements that are to be removed, relocated or modified. The plan should also ideally include the location of dumpsters, site entrances and exits, construction limit lines, fences, staging areas and so on.

If any trees are to be removed from the site in question, information about it should be reviewed one year in advance. If any landscape plants and trees are going to remain on the property, they must be properly protected. This could be done through non-movable construction fence.

Any site materials that will be reused, such as topsoil, subsoil and gravel, must be specifically stated. When a site is being cleared for demolition, it is mandated that signs must be put up to help control and detour traffic. These signs should meet the specific requirements with respect to size, design, type and location. The contractor performing the site clearing and demolition services also holds the responsibility of clearing up and disposing off the debris according to the laws and ordinances of that particular region.

It is also the contractor's responsibility to ensure that adjacent sidewalks and streets are not damaged and if this occurs then the damage caused by the contractor will be repaired to its original condition by the contractor at his expense. It is also important to ensure that all utility services such as water, gas, electricity, steam and telephone are disconnected before the demolition begins.

It is imperative that these tasks are completed since no work can commence on a property before all utilities are disconnected. All storm and sanitary sewers must also be sealed before the demolition. Once demolition begins, the contractor should ensure that the process does not interfere with adjacent property and does not hinder people that are using the adjacent property or any free passage around the property that is being demolished.

To take a look at some of the most impressive demolition projects, one doesn't have to look any further than YouTube. There are numerous first-hand videos - or secondary video from news broadcasts - that depict these demolitions. Here is a video consisting of the best building demolitions so far this year.

What Is the Process of a Property Transaction Screening?

Property transaction screening helps to identify potential environmental concerns with a property. It is mainly used by parties who are interested in fulfilling the Small Business Association (SBA) environmental due diligence requirements and to ensure that a property is cleared for a real estate transaction. The goal is to determine whether a particular property has the potential for contamination. The assessment is generally conducted before a property is bought or sold and before a loan is issued against the property.

During the property transaction screening process, owners and the occupants of the property are interviewed. In addition, the property site is thoroughly inspected and government records and historical sources are reviewed. The interviews are based on questions from a transaction screen questionnaire and the directions for the site inspection are also provided in this questionnaire.

Any transaction screen would consist of a site inspection with digital photo documentation, underground tank agency record search and review and a report filled with recommendations and conclusions. These measures are specifically designed for residential properties, commercial establishments, such as offices and retail stores, and undeveloped land.

Fannie Mae actually published a snapshot about a decade ago of what a property transaction screening questionnaire would look like. Here is a brief look at some of the questions:

- Is the property or any adjoining property used for an industrial use?
- Is the property or any adjoining property used as a gasoline station, motor repair facility, commercial printing facility, dry cleaners, photo developing laboratory, junkyard or landfill, or as a waste treatment, storage, disposal, processing, or recycling facility?
- Are there currently, or to the best of your knowledge have there been previously, any flooring, drains, or walls located within the facility that are stained by substances other than water or are emitting foul odors?
- Does the property discharge wastewater on or adjacent to the property other than storm water into a sanitary sewer system?

The historical evaluation reveals how the property has been used in the past and whether oil or other hazardous materials have been stored or handled at the property in question. Information about whether the property is listed in the State or Federal Environment related database is also assessed. Any spills or releases or information about hazardous materials on nearby properties is also obtained. The property transaction screening process does not include soil or water sampling.

The information that is derived from this assessment indicates whether further inquiry is required or not. The primary purpose of transaction screen assessment is to assist clients in identifying potential environmental concerns. These could include the presence of any hazardous substances, petroleum products or possibility of release of these hazardous substances into the property area, the ground or the surface water.

The Environmental Property Transaction Screen Assessments are widely accepted and are essential to meet the ATSM 1528-06 requirements. This assessment also helps gives more credibility to a real estate property that is up for commercial transaction.

Cabinetry Businesses Innovating Industry After Economic Slump

Has the economic recovery slammed the door shut on the remodeling industry decline? Apparently so, but experts say that it must innovate in order to survive moving forward and move past the economic downturn.

Anyone who has followed the remodeling industry, specifically the cabinetry market, will realize that it has gone through a slump since the collapse of the housing bubble from 2006 to 2008. Although industry reports show cabinetry sales are on the rise again, the recession still hurt business overall.

Take for instance the case of Cardell Cabinetry, once considered one of the biggest manufacturing businesses in San Antonio for the past 10-plus years. It was reported that the three-decade-old company shut down its manufacturing facility in early September and laid off more than 900 employees.

Despite the difficult times for some businesses, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association monthly Trend of Business Survey discovered cabinet sales for June of this year grew 16.2 percent, stock cabinet sales jumped 21.3 percent, semi-custom sales increased 11 percent and custom sales received a boost of nearly 20 percent.
As a response to the positive trends, some cabinetry enterprises are establishing new locations and creating jobs. In September, Smart Cabinetry confirmed it is relocating to a new location in Michiana and generating about 90 new jobs. It plans to construct a 200,000 square-foot building to service approximately 400 distributors across the United States.

Other companies are innovating their services; an aspect that sector professionals say is a must. Woodworking Network profiled Leedo Cabinetry's introduction of industry-leading technology that will certainly enhance customer service.

Last month, it launched a new program that provides real-time updates in the field. The custom software program was created by the company's IT department. As the workers on the job utilize tablets to insert the updates, customers located anywhere in the country can track the updates about their project(s).

"Five years ago, we realized that the same need exists from an installation standpoint. We recognized that the information deficit between field conditions and manufacturing was causing serious delays in job completions. It became a corporate priority to improve communication between installation services and project administration," reports Darryl Preen, Chief Information Officer of Leedo Cabinetry.

"The tablet we chose had to bring together the ease of use of our paper system and the intersection of the design systems with the order and manufacturing systems we use. We had many paper hand offs and data translations; building a platform that allows us to capture the data and distribute it throughout our business has had a measurable impact on our efficiency."

Preen noted that Leedo is projected to install 50,000 units, or close to 600,000 cabinets, this year and using the latest technology can allow the company to focus on the projects and their customers' needs rather than having their attention on administrative elements.

"Now that the data is instantly uploaded to our servers, we can monitor the install status of any given job on any given day and effectively engage all Leedo departments in getting units to a completed state; which is ultimately why we are all in this business," the Leedo CIO added.

The U.S. cabinetry market is now valued at nearly $7 billion. Can it keep up that momentum? If it can continue its competitive and innovative actions and the economy remains relatively healthy then most analysts say it can.

Latin America Infrastructure: A Market to Reckon With

These are the most exciting times for infrastructure in Latin America, the region has finally reached political stability and it has navigated the financial crisis and subsequent economic recession well and they are immersed in ambitious development programmes which require substantial investment capital.

This may sound already familiar, it is true that Latin America has been a promising market for most of the 20th century and then failed to deliver when politics got in the way. This time things are different, though.

The region has attracted a great deal of attention in the media, and all for good reasons. There are specialist in financial information providers who have valued Latin America as the region to invest in Infrastructure as one of the sectors to mobilise more investment and political risk. And here is why.

To begin with, there is an incipient middle class that craves stability and prosperity. The governments are now seriously committed to tackle the poverty and social inequalities which have dragged down their domestic economies and left them too exposed to foreign economic fluctuations.

The fall of the URSS and the end of the Cold War have changed the USA's foreign policy towards the region, the new rule of no direct intervention has allowed each country to find the solutions to their own problems and this has made each country stronger and more self-confident.

Power is no longer defined by the size of a country's arsenal, but by its economic might. USA now faces stiff competition as the world's first economy. The EU, even amid its worst economic crisis, is an important economic force which has invested in Latin America and has signed bilateral economic agreements to facilitate trade relations. China has finally broken its economic isolation to become one of the world's leading investors and trades. Not surprisingly he is looking at Latin America for business opportunities. Canada has the resources and expertise to exploit the regions mineral resources and it is one of the most active investors in Latin America.

The eyes of the world are in Latin America: Brazil will be organizing the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. The Pacific Alliance aims to revitalise the regional trading purpose lost by Mercosur, which has become more a forum for political squabbles. Brazil, Peru and Chile are set to become the driving motors of the economic power of Latin America and to achieve this they require to develop their transport and energy sectors. The social inequalities and the development of a strong domestic economy can only be fostered by investing in education, housing, and health building schools, hospitals and better sanitary conditions.

Infrastructure is a most important sector albeit a very expensive one. Institutional Investors, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Funds of Funds, Pension Funds and private investors will do well to look at Latin America as a market with great potential as well as safe.

Constructors, developers, and project managers should also look at Latin America for new business ventures. There are projects in the pipeline to suit every company's capabilities, large and small.

Protective Processes To Protect Materials In Industrial Services

In order for the best materials out there to maintain the qualities that they have for longer use and for them to perform to their best ability. Vacuum heat treating and vacuum annealing are some of the processes that can be used to achieve those results. Many materials have to undergo some sort of heat treatment to bring the best to customers everywhere. That is why it is important to know what those processes are and how they work.

When materials react with atmospheric gases they can pose damage to everything out there. With heat treatments in vacuum these bad effects can be minimized or eliminated altogether. You should find out more about these processes if you want your vacuums to perform to the maximum and be safe to use in all kinds of conditions. High temperature stability is also important in all kinds of modern industries and you can achieve those goals if you use the right heat treating options on your products.

Another form of protecting expensive high quality materials is by cryogenic treatment which is the opposite of heat treatment because it takes place at very low temperatures, such as below -190 C. there are many advantages of this process such as longer life of parts treated, great thermal properties, minimized walk and creep, better flatness, less electrical resistance and minimized friction. Corrosion resistance is also improved thanks to the process so it is important to consider in industries where the stress on machinery parts is pretty high and something needs to be done about it.

Thermal barrier coatings such as ceramic coatings are often used in industries as well and are very important for everyone to use. These processes are usually applied to metallic surfaces of different types of gas turbines and different parts of the aero plane industry. In other industries these processes are used to protect the materials from heat loss which is very important very often. To avoid melting and to have temperature stability these processes need to be carried out by highly qualified professionals.

When you are choosing a company to perform black oxiding and other types of materials protection procedures for you you have to make sure you are choosing quality and cost efficiency. It is not enough to have knowledge in those areas, you should also look for people who are making the most of all the opportunities to help their customers and provide after services and consultations. Prevention is better than cure and if you protect your materials well you will be able to enjoy your materials for monger and be sure that they are used in the right manner and you can always make the most of them in the future.

Avoid Asbestos Forever

Asbestos used to be a building material that was utilized in construction for many years before it came to disuse because it was learnt that it is a big health hazard and can cause many diseases in people. That was a time when asbestos began to be viewed as a danger to people and began to be eliminated from buildings. It is no long is used in construction but unfortunately there are still many places where asbestos is present because many construction materials from 19602 to 1980s contained asbestos in them. That is why asbestos control and monitoring as well as asbestos removal are extremely important nowadays, just like years ago.

If you are beginning a remodeling, a reconstruction or moving into an area that you do not know anything about you need to make sure there is no asbestos in this house to be healthy and stay on the safe side. In order to find out where there is any asbestos there a qualified expert needs to get a sample of the materials used in the building and do a test on it. The test will help you know if there is any harmful materials in it and what percentage of asbestos is in it. This will help choose the right method of eliminating the asbestos out of the building and help you live in a safe healthy environment. If you have more than 1% asbestos in that test then the asbestos is regulated and official procedures may take place which you should learn more from professionals responsible for these kinds of cases.

Trying to remove asbestos on your own is a dangerous proposition and you should never do it unless you are a qualified expert in asbestos removal. There is scientific evidence that when asbestos is inhaled it can stay in the lungs forever, and cause different illnesses in the person. Of course a lot depends on how long you are exposed to asbestos and how much the concentration of the chemical is in the air, but it is better stay safe for longer and be able to live healthy life so if you have an suspicions it is best to lay them to rest as soon as possible.

You may also check for symptoms you have with a doctor to see if the asbestos present in the building has began to affect your health. If you look at how asbestos is removed and that all the specialists wear special costumes and masks you will see how dangerous it is and how much attention you should be paying to what you are doing in order to get the best results out of it. Good luck with it and we hope you are healthy.

Benefits of Industrial Painting

When you think of painting, most often, the first thing that comes to mind is a trip to your local hardware store, color samples, and cans of paint in your home. This is normal, and the most often performed use of paint. However, when considering industrial painting, the process isn't quite the same. When considering industrial paint, there are many things that the plant or facility manager needs to consider. Additionally, there are different paint formulas that will service different industries. So when selecting an industrial painter, it is necessary to make sure that he/she has the background and experience to make sure that he/she is selecting the preferred paint for your equipment.

If you have metal piping or tanks that need paint, then the painter has to keep in mind the chemical properties of the paint, to ensure that they won't react maliciously with the chemical properties of the metal. Additionally, there are performance properties that the painter must be cautious of: the durability of the paint, how flammable is the paint, and how well it will perform under high pressure.

But before any painting can begin, the industrial painter must take the necessary steps in cleaning the "substrate." The substrate is the surface that will be coated with the industrial paint. According to The North Carolina Division of Pollutant Protection, 80% of industrial paint application problems are a result of improper substrate cleansing. It may be difficult to fathom that a simple substrate issue could cause so many problems for industrial painters. But really, any leftover residue, dirt, or debris will have a negative or even disastrous effect on the paint's ability to bond with the substrate. And when painting's purpose is to coat and protect the equipment that it is covering, then this can leave a sour taste for the manufacturer.

When dealing with substrates, or surfaces, it is often the painter's responsibility to clean up old coats of paint that is beginning to fade or strip away. This can be problematic as not all of the old paint is ready to come off the industrial equipment. However, it needs to be removed, so that the industrial paint can have a secure bond with the equipment it is coating. Paint thinning is a common trade for industrial painters. But there isn't a universal paint thinner, as paints come with different purposes and chemical solutions. An industrial painter will need to be aware if the paint is an oil or alkyd based paint. If this is the case, a mineral spirit is often enough to break down the paint, allowing the industrial painter to properly cleanse the substrate.

After the substrate has been properly cleansed, it is now time for the application. Industrial painters use industrial paint sprayers. paint sprayers are the ideal method for applying industrial paint to industrial equipment. The industrial sprayers make a clean and seamless coat that typically only requires one application. The sprayer is very efficient, allowing the industrial painter to cover a large area in a short amount of time. Industrial paint isn't immune to modern technology, as paint sprayers are continuously evolving with better application sprayers, that can adjust in the rate of spray, the PSI, and the type and viscosity of paint used in the spray.

This is a brief over view of the benefits and thought process of an industrial painter. It's not as simple as heading to a hardware store for a brush and a can of paint. There are many options to consider, and it's a job that requires a lot of experience in order for the industrial paint application to be done correctly.