Archive for August, 2015


Precision Auger Boring

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Installing pipelines can be a very daunting task. It requires precision familiarity and calculated decisions since the risks involved are simply too great. Columbia Gas is the largest utility in the state of Ohio with a clientele of about 1.4 million in both residential and commercial users. Last summer, this company had a very challenging project in front of them, and recruited the help of Miller Pipeline Corp. to install a pipeline through an existing line in Columbus across a 280-foot main gas line and had to cross the heavily travelled I-71. The project required precision drilling and the team has decided to do an auger boring method over the horizontal direct drilling. Due to the nature of the area, a trenchless method was necessary. Any wavering in the straight line could be very risky and might cause the operation to stop. Ground conditions were studied and precise auger boring was recommended as the best method to use. Ray Kennedy, the supervisor on the job, knew they only had one chance, and that if they failed the entire project would have to be shut down. They needed a clear view of the bore path so they used an On Target Steering System, a guidance system so they would be able to track what the rig was doing at all times. Read the full article here

Trenchless pipe repair

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Trenchless pipe repair technology is not only an advanced way of repairing and correcting sewer lines but also an economical one. It requires innovation since each repair is different and requires customization to meet client and market needs. Rehabilitating, replacing and installing underground structures can be done faster and cheaper using this procedure. Trenchless pipe repair technology involves several methods such as cured in place pipes (CIPP), pipe bursting thermoformed pipes, slipligning, gunite and more. Trenchless pipe repair has become a leading method in the civil engineering and construction sectors due to its numerous advantages. The development of modern repair equipment made previously complicated sewer repairs possible in a shorter amount of time. There are now sewer cameras that can help you identify cracks faster and easier, allowing teams to easily target damages and focus repairs. With these robotic trolley-cameras, routine checks on homes and industrial pipes can now be done without disrupting the surrounding environment.
Link Pipe is a manufacturing company that provides full range municipal and industrial repair and allied services. They have 35 years of experience in the industry making complicated repairs using all sorts of applications on both industrial and home repairs. Read the full article here

Life Underground: Working in Tunnelling

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Tunelling is something that is most likely not among the top career choices for a lot of people since the job requires you to work underground in hot, cramped and dangerous working conditions. But tunnelling plays a very vital role in any major infrastructure construction. Maple Resourcing interviewed four men to share their experiences in tunnelling.
Frank Mimnagh has been a tunnelling engineer for the past 25 years. One of the highlights of his careers was working on the Cross Tunnel Rail Link. He is involved in giving insights and ideas on tunnel progress, assessing risks and commenting on the design.
Yoseph Ghetto is a materials engineer, and his first job was a tunnel geologist on a project in Ethiopia. He shares that safety is the most important part in tunnelling.
What Aimi Elias (a civil engineering graduate) enjoys about tunnelling is that you can go to unusual and unseen places.
While Caesar Entres, an implementation engineer, believes that tunnelling is not just a job. Even though the work is time-consuming, he finds it very rewarding. It is like building the foundation for the community.

All four agree that people in tunneling often form a community and support each other the way the tunnels they build support the infrastructures above. Click here to read their full stories…

Contractors Share 6 Considerations For Designing and Constructing Large-Diameter Urban Pipelines

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Contractors often complain about the hassle of bringing in and out large construction materials. Freese and Nichols gathered experienced contractors and observed 6 challenges and found ways to address them. These are trucking, traffic control planning, working room, depth, existing utilities and overhead obstructions.
Moving construction materials such as large pipelines can be very difficult. They require filling and embedding. Access to the construction site is very important as the project’s cost and schedule depend on it. Recycling and the use of native materials can help mobility a lot.
Communications and coordination reduces rescheduling issues. Plan detours and street closure to speed up overall construction and traffic. Excavation depths may be reduced to increase workroom and lessen wastage of imported materials. Utilities must be identified in the work site to lessen risks and costs.
Overlooking overhead constructions (such as power and signalized intersection) may prove a safety hazard and cause delay on project completion. The lack of the proper equipment is a safety concern but working closely with contractors makes it easier to overcome these challenges and contributes to a project’s timely and cost efficient completion. For the full article, click here

Alaska Pipeline Cuts Through Last Frontier

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Alaska, the last frontier with its wide mountain ranges, also holds a very vast oil field. In 1968 large oilfields were verified there, and oil companies rushed to drill the field. Building pipelines for oil refineries was and still is a large construction business.

Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now EXXON Co.) joined in an 8 billion dollar 2-year project in 1968. They had everything from backhoe loaders, trucks and all types of earth-moving machines. At first they thought they would just get 9 million barrels of oil, but they were wrong. The find turned out to be the 18th largest reserve in the world and the largest in America. After the 1968 discovery, oil firms proceeded to plan, design and engineer the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Systems. It took 6 years to finally complete the pipelines. Since 1977, North Slope oil field has pumped up to 15 billion barrels of crude oil. Most of the revenue of Alaska comes from oil tax. Having such a large facility requires a huge and meticulous maintenance against natural and manmade damaging effects such as sabotage and spillage. For the full article, click here

Ad Campaign Looks to Honor the American Construction Worker

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Ozinga Bros. Inc. (a fourth-generation family-owned ready mix concrete producer and supplier founded on the south side of Chicago in 1928) has launched the “Born to Build” ad campaign last spring to honor the American construction workers and those in the related trade. The idea was conceived in 2013 by company president Marty Ozinga IV and is launched in partnership with creative agency Cultivate Studios. The company is a huge supporter of the construction workers and has received the ‘Top 100 Workplaces” award in 2014 from the Chicago Tribune. This campaign aims to challenge the stigma that being involved in construction is not a good vocation and to redefine what it means to be a part of the construction industry, helping these greatly underestimated workers get the respect and recognition they deserve. The ad was produced with the support of local general contractors with footages taken at construction sites and local tradespeople being filmed while working.
The next phase of the campaign will focus on finding a way to maintain the drive and imagination children have about constructing and creating buildings and objects, and encouraging them to view a career in construction as something good to consider pursuing in the future. Read the full article here

Valves: Block, remote, automatic – which is best?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

There are three basic types of valves found in pipelines: manual valves, remotely controlled valves (RCVs), and automatic shutoff valves (ASVs). The manual valves needs direct manpower to shut off valves on location. The remotely controlled valves can be turned off from an offsite control room. Lastly, the automatic shutoff valves are valves that can shutoff automatically without human assistance when the pipe malfunctions. These types of valves have been put on the spotlight when different types of pipelines encountered problems like leakages which resulted to massive damages to infrastructure, environment, and people. The San Bruno tragedy (a natural gas pipeline ruptured which caused lives and property to be lost) pushed National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to recommend the installation of automated valves on natural gas pipelines but it authorized the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the industry operators to further study which type of valve is most effective. Their study resulted in diverse opinions which boiled down to the fact that there are no hard and fast rules on which valve (ASVs or RCVs) is better because several factors need to be considered including the pipeline system, operator training and the topography. Looking for the best type of valves and developing the best regulations for ensuring everyone’s safety is still a work in progress. For the full article, click here

When Construction Employees Turn Out to Be Superheroes

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

In July, two construction workers from different parts of the US performed lifesaving acts of bravery and became heroes. One of them was Derrick Johnson of McCrossan Construction Company in Minnesota. A young boy came into their construction site asking for help when he saw that an elderly man was being attacked by a pit bull, and Johnson immediately rushed to the scene and wrestled the dog off the man and subdued it until the police arrived.
The other inconspicuous superhero was Kevin Huntington in Virginia, where a young woman jumped off a car near a construction zone along I-95 and shouted for help. Huntington responded to her distress call alerting 911 upon the young woman’s request and proceeded to protect her when she informed him that a man was trying to kill her. He stayed with her until authorities arrived. The police later arrested the alleged assailant for kidnapping and sexual assault charges. These two men responded heroically without a moment’s pause. And though not all construction workers are like that (and frankly, not all men are like that)– but these two ordinary construction workers chose to respond to the circumstances extraordinarily. Read the full story here

Five Ways to Improve Your Employee Hiring Strategy

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

According to Ann Torry, Vice-President of BirdDogHR (a talent management service in Des Moines, Iowa), the trick to hiring good employees nowadays is to demolish stereotypes about construction contractors and discarding outdated recruitment methods to find the good candidates that one seeks. She suggested five points to consider to improve the recruitment and talent acquisition process.
First is creating some excitement in jobs ads and shifting from the standard job descriptions to focusing on the skills, interest and passion needed in the business. Second is making use of social media (Facebook, Linked, Google+, Twitter) to post your employee needs and appeal to the more technologically-inclined generation. Third, using local employment/community job boards and websites is advantageous because such sites were setup to connect the jobseekers with potential employers. Fourth is building a referral network with the movers and shakers in your locale (career counselors, civic groups, social service agencies, community leaders, elected officials, etc.) and sending each contact a simple recruitment kit with the company’s profile and candidate requirements to let them know and remember the important details. And lastly, using every available technology to your advantage especially in screening and interviewing as well as in maintaining a positive impression of the company. Click here for the full article…

High-tech wind alert system keeps construction debris from plummeting

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Weather can be a real problem in construction especially in Calgary. A strong gust of wind could send debris to the ground and hit innocent people. But construction companies are thankful now that they can secure materials before the strong winds hit.
Calgary City now has an electronic wind warning system officially known as the Advanced Weather Forecasting System that sends contractors height-and site-specific information on how wind gusts will hit and impact their construction project and send forecasts of heavy wind gusts through e-mail alerts. Before this technology was introduced, fatalities have been recorded of debris plummeting and hitting civilians on the ground. Now with this forecast system, construction companies can now secure their materials long before bad weather can hit them and prevent serious damage to lives and properties.
Calgary’s weather this summer reported tornadoes inside and outside the city. Such strong and powerful wind can send construction debris flying into the air and landing on people’s houses, animals and people too. Since the introduction of the new system there have been fewer serious calls about construction debris being blown and landing way off site. To read the full article, click here