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Volume 9, Issue 6 November | December 2013

GPTQ AWARDS story on page 6



Georgia Contractor



w w w. t h e g e o r g i a c o n t r a c t o r . c o m Editor-in-Chief: Roland Petersen-Frey Managing Editor: Daniel Simmons | (770) 521-8877 Art Director: Pamela Petersen-Frey | (770) 521-8877 The Georgia Contractor is published bi-monthly on a calendar year basis. It is a magazine designed around the construction industry associations and their members. It is supported by associations and their members. Executive, editorial, circulation, and advertising offices: 1154 Lower Birmingham Road, Canton, Georgia 30115 • Phone: (770) 521-8877 • Fax: (770) 521-0406 e-mail: Send address changes to your association and/or to A4 Inc. Opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of any of the associations or publisher nor do they accept responsibility for errors of content or omission and, as a matter of policy, neither do they endorse products or advertisements appearing herein. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced with the written consent of the publisher.


On The Cover ~ Nearly 700 construction companies participated in a survey last month by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. Seventy-four percent reported trouble finding qualified workers. See the story on page 17.

Albany Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Atlanta Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Deemer Dana Froehle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Engineered Restorations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Georgia 811 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover Georgia Power Company . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Georgia Trade School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Go Build Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover IEC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 JAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 MetroPower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Middleton House & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 New South Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 RHD Utility Locating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 S&ME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 November | December 2013



GPTQ Awards 2013


School of Engineering Graduation


Here to Stay


Milestones for Transportation Investment Act


It’s not Just a Skills Gap; It’s an Interest Gap


Staying Ahead of the Regulatory Curve


The Scalable Workforce


Designing a Workforce Development Plan


State Buffer Variance ~ Revisions to Georgia Rule 391-3-7


Technical College System of Georgia ~ Office of Global Initiatives


Construction Management Managing Change


Contractor News


Hands-on and Worlds Ahead


Lessons Learned ~ Cold Weather Concrete


Georgia Contractor

Construction Management


Managing Change Construction projects will change. They should change. The change can and should be a positive experience for the project. The successful construction manager is one that can implement a healthy change management system and help the project owner end up with both the best possible project experience and the best possible end product.



It’s not Just a Skills Gap; It’s an Interest Gap Indeed, before someone can acquire a skill, they have to have an interest.

Here to Stay

17 15

For a long time, careers in skilled trades have endured some pretty tough accusations. It’s time to hear the Blake Ashbee other side of the story.

The first graduates of Jenkins High School’s School of Engineering. November | December 2013



wards for outstanding design of transportation projects were presented at the annual Transportation Summit Conference held in Atlanta on November 7th. The Conference was organized by ACEC and co-hosted with Georgia DOT. The Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality is a collaboration between DOT and ACEC that focuses on specific aspects of the relationship between GDOT and professional service firms (engineering, environmental, public participation, etc.) that assist GDOT iN executing its work program. Special task forces, composed of representatives from ACEC and GDOT, meet throughout the year to discuss policy issues and suggest ways to improve them and enhance efficient implementation. The awards program is managed by GDOT and is intended to recognize the best firms/projects in a variety of categories. GPTQ is focused on ’preconstruction,‘ but is a successor to several similar partnerships that included GDOT, construction contractors, and design firms. 6

Georgia Contractor

GRAND AWARD: St. Sebastian Way/Greene Street Extension - Heath and Lineback Engineers Inc. City of Augusta - GDOT PM | Highway Design - Urban

This project exceeded design expectations because of exceptional effort by the Heath and Lineback design team during the design to ensure stakeholder involvement, context sensitive design, and then the finding of innovative solutions. The design was developed through a consistent stakeholder coordination effort involving multiple meetings of a varied shareholder group representing business, hospital, utility, railroad, historical society, and citizen groups. These facilitated meetings sparked ideas which the designers turned into reality, using flexibility and innovation to create solutions that met all needs and desires with minimal impact on the constraints and the environment. A major four lane divided highway-grade separated over the railroad, connector road to the interstate, and the canal were fitted seamlessly into an important historic neighborhood by careful layout of the roadway system and attention to detail. The location of the project required exceptional coordination by the Heath and Lineback design team because the project limits include the Augusta Historic Canal, a National Heritage Area, the Historic Enterprise Mill, the Broad Street Historic Homes, and the CSX Railroad. The design includes bridges with four crossings of the canal, two crossings of CSX, a grade separation of Riverwatch Parkway and St. Sebastian Way, paths along the canal, and eighteen walls. The new facility offers a solution to all the pre-existing operational failures and ensures that access is excellent. The Heath and Lineback design team respected the history and culture of the surrounding neighborhoods by an appropriate selection of design methods and materials. Bridges were designed as short span arches with a minimalist profile to avoid visual obstruction and to mimic the existing canal bridges. Red brick was used as the fascia material for all arches and walls to mimic the existing industrial-era cotton mill buildings. The arch bridges were designed to accommodate the Petersburg Canal style boats that now ply tourist trade along the canal. The Heath and Lineback Engineers Inc. design team provided a new facility that meets the mobility demands of a modern hospital complex surrounded by multiple small businesses, while preserving a vital history, and culture dating back to the Industrial Era. v Honorable Mention Projects: Barrett Parkway Thoroughfare Improvements - HNTB - Cobb County DOT CR 779/Sixes Road at I-575 - GDOT Office of Roadway Design ~ Winner & the 2013 GPTQ November | December 2013


in the project area, including the existing bridge. The removal of the existing bridge was an adverse effect, and a detailed mitigation plan was developed. The bridge was significant not only for its architecture, but also because it was constructed by WWI veterans. Several commemorative plaques from WWI were installed in the bridge support walls. The public was very interested in saving parts of the bridge, and the SHPO was an advocate for the local preservation desires. An innovative mitigation plan was prepared to preserve the history that the bridge represented, and the plan garnered public and agency support. v

Category: Design of an Alternative Mode Transportation Facility

Winner: Category: NEPA, Environmental Protection, Preservation, Restoration, and/or Enhancement

Winner: Broad Avenue Bridge, Albany GeorgiaEdwards Pitman Environmental Inc.- GDOT PM Clinton Ford Honorable Mention Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail- RS&HDouglas County Edwards Pitman was tasked to deliver a NEPA document for the replacement of Broad Avenue Bridge, a structurally deficient bridge which had been closed due to safety concerns within 18 months. Broad Avenue connects downtown Albany with the predominantly disadvantaged neighborhoods in east Albany across the Flint River. Numerous environmental constraints were present that would affect not only the design of the project, but also the pace at which the project could move forward. The existing bridge was historic and had significance as a local landmark. The project setting was constrained by the presence of protected species in the Flint River and the presence of park land, con8

taminated soils, and archaeological deposits adjacent to and underneath the bridge. Successful project delivery was made possible by a NEPA process approach that centered on collaboration among the various disciplines and stakeholders to guide the design process. The project team developed solutions into details that met the goal of a fundamentally sound and efficient bridge design with protection of the environmental resources. The federally endangered purple bankclimber mussel was found in close proximity to both the upstream and downstream sides of the bridge, and the entire area was designated as Critical Habitat for several other protected species of mussels. Formal Section Seven consultation procedures and a biological assessment were required. This process was the critical path and had to be completed on time. The design and environmental team collaborated extensively to develop an acceptable solution. A fundamental decision was to develop a design that clear spanned the river with a main span of 320 feet and set piers on the rocky banks to either side. This eliminated most work in the river and the need for work bridges. Numerous significant historic resources were present

Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail- Reynolds Smith & Hill - Douglas County The Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail – Douglas County pilot segment was constructed as a demonstration project to showcase the potential of the proposed 98–mile trail to be extended through four counties and numerous municipalities. Due to the overall vision of the trail, the team was tasked with utilizing innovative design and construction techniques on the 0.75 mile section to illustrate aesthetics, functionality

Georgia Contractor

ment of the Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail provides a glimpse of what this trail system will look like, and builds excitement for what is to come. v

Category: Innovative Solution to a Design Problem | Best Use of New Products

Winner: I-85 Diverging Diamond Interchange at Pleasant Hill Road URS ~ Gwinnett Place CID & Gwinnett DOT

and the unique trail identity of the proposed 98‐mile trail network. The Greenway Trail—Douglas County segment was built in an existing Douglas County Mega Park to maximize security by placing it in an area currently patrolled by park security, in close proximity to staffed facilities, and frequented by numerous visitors. The design of this segment was based on AASHTO’s Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities and GDOT’s Pedestrian and Streetscape Guide (2003). It was completed in accordance with the 98‐mile Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway master plan that was developed by the Path Foundation. The pilot segment was designed to facilitate connections toward the northeast and southwest connecting many parks, public facilities, and major activity centers including enhanced access to the Chattahoochee River which is currently utilized for kayaking, canoeing, and other recreational activities. Looking long term, identity features such as mile markers and trailblazer signage assemblies were designed and installed to enhance the seamless transition between the different segments as they are constructed. This pilot segment also developed the typical sections which will be incorporated November | December 2013

into future segments as the overall trail system develops. Another goal was to provide access to mobility‐challenged people who previously couldn’t access certain areas of the park. By constructing this trail according to guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act, the team created enhanced access for previously underserved users. In addition, as future phases of the trail are constructed, it will integrate state routes, arterial streets and state Bike routes. Integration with major roadways such as SR 16, SR 70, SR 92, SR 154 and SR 166 will be integral in successfully connecting the trail system with the region, including easy and safe access to trailheads, adequate parking facilities, and enhanced future transit opportunities. This project exceeds the criteria of the nominated category by initiating a true regional trail system that is meant to facilitate alternative methods of travel. Conceptual alignments of the entire 98‐mile CHCRGT system were chosen to link key activity centers throughout a four‐county region that will enable residents and visitors to make essential and recreational trips without having to get in their cars. The Douglas County Pilot Seg-

Honorable Mention Projects Gulfstream Road and Robert B. Miller Road Widening- Parsons Transportation- GDOT Midtown Roswell Corridor Improvements- QK4- City of Roswell The existing Pleasant Hill Road and I‐85 Interchange was a tight urban diamond. An interchange modification report (IMR) completed in 2007 recommended a single point urban interchange as the preferred alternative having a conceptual cost estimate of $56 million. The URS team, under the direction of Gwinnett Place CID, considered other alternatives including the DDI. The DDI had an estimated cost of only $7 million. The DDI configuration is an innovative approach due to its high benefit‐to‐cost ratio and minimal impacts to surrounding properties during construction. Since the existing bridge is in good condition, only minor structural modifications were required to accommodate the DDI configuration. The lower cost was realized in both right‐of way and construction staging activities as compared to the cost of a complete bridge replacement. This project exceeds the criteria for innovative solution in the $49 million that the tax payers of Georgia saved. The Pleasant Hill Road DDI is the second operating DDI in the state of Georgia and one of only a dozen that have been constructed in the United States. 9

The project has not only improved the interchange’s operational deficiencies and geometric configuration by reducing the number of vehicle conflict points from 26 to 14, but has also increased capacity, and provided safety improvements for pedestrians. The DDI geometry allows for the reduction of signal phases, thereby reducing the delays that result from the transitions from one phase to another. While the DDI is innovative, the safety improvements that it provides should be noted. v

Category: Traffic Safety & Intersection Design

Winner: Douglas Road Roundabout ~ Michael Baker Jr. Inc. City of Alpharetta Honorable Mention Mansell Road at North Point Parkway, Triple Left ~ Michael Baker Jr. Inc. ~ North Fulton CID SR81 @ Lake Dow Road, Henry County ~ GDOT District 3 Douglas Road between McGinnis Ferry Road and Jones Bridge Road was primarily access to a number of residential neighborhoods. But over the years it had become a heavy cut through for commuters and truck traffic. Drivers from South Lake Drive and Leeward Walk Circle had difficulty safely crossing or entering Douglas Road. The Michael Baker design team was challenged with maintaining the residential character of the area, encourage slower speeds, improve sight distance for vehicles turning onto or crossing Douglas Road, and discourage truck traffic while minimizing the impact to traffic flow of Douglas Road. The Michael Baker team designed a roundabout for the intersection of South Lake Drive and Leeward Walk Circle on Douglas Road which included lighting and landscaping. The grade of the intersection was raised to eliminate impacts to the subdivisions avoiding impacts to the Leeward Walk subdivision swimming pool, tennis courts, and parking lot adjacent to the in10

tersection. Since these facilities were not impacted during construction, they remained open during the summer. Raising the intersection grade also assisted with speed reduction for vehicles traveling northbound on Douglas Road. Michael Baker also tied the roundabout design into

a bridge replacement project over Caney Creek. With this tie-in, continuous bike and pedestrian connectivity was completed along Douglas Road. It was imperative that the work be completed during the summer months; hence, the Michael Baker design team ob-

Georgia Contractor

tained authorization from the city of Alpharetta to use a design-build delivery method to meet this requirement and to reduce costs. The design-build technique allowed the design and right-of-way acquisition to be completed within two months. The design allowed for the effective maintenance of traffic and local access to subdivisions during construction. Completion of the roundabout ahead of schedule and prior to the beginning of the school year also allowed access to the subdivisions by school buses. Since completion of the project, the city of Alpharetta has received very positive responses from residents and has noted an improvement in operations and a decrease in crashes at the intersection. v

Category: Bridge | Structural Design

Winner: Sixth Street over SR 155, Broad Street and Norfolk Southern R/R in Griffin, Georgia ~ GDOT Office of Bridge Design ~ GDOT PM Kimberly Nesbit Honorable Mention Bridge Replacement on SR 25 | Ocean Highway over Norfolk Southern Railroad ~ Parsons Transportation ~ GDOT The department determined that the Sixth Street Bridge over SR 155, Broad Street, and the Norfolk Southern Railroad in Griffin, Georgia needed to be replaced because it was structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. Operational problems included narrow travel lanes with no sidewalks or shoulders to allow pedestrian movement, unprotected trusses in the center of the bridge, and the insufficient vertical clearance on SR 155, Broad Street, and an active railroad. The pin-connected, Warren truss bridge was located in the Griffin Commercial Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. In addition to this designation, the bridge maintained strong community identification as a local landmark. The basic purpose of the projNovember | December 2013

ect was to correct deficiency, but because of the distinction of historic bridge and its location within the historic downtown, a design that would possess elements of the historic truss bridge was completed. The project would also improve the bridge approaches, construct sidewalks, and provide lighting across the bridge. This project illustrates several qualities of excellence in transportation design. First, the project satisfied the needs of stakeholders by preserving the appearance of a truss bridge. It was attention to, and the interpretation of, this public concern that made the design a success. In addition, bridge meets all current safety standards, pedestrian access, and provides

clearance for the railroad and two adjacent streets. Second, this design was considered an accurate interpretation of the historic bridge. The design, agreed upon early in the project development, included portal and sway bracing to reduce the trusses on either side of the middle span. Third, the project involved efficient and effective use of the department, Norfolk Southern, and the city of Griffin’s resources by being delivered on time and within the budget in construction. Fourth, the City wanted to preserve its historic identity in a meaningful way. This project has exceeded the expectations of all stakeholders and is seen by the community as having added lasting value to the city of Griffin. v 11

Category: Context Sensitive Design | Public Participation Plan

Winner: Big Creek Parkway ~ Gresham, Smith & Partners ~ City of Roswell Honorable Mention Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail ~ RS&H ~ Douglas County Big Creek Parkway has been discussed on a planning level by the city of Roswell for more than ten years as a solution to the congestion surrounding SR 140/Holcomb Bridge Road, one of the most congested roadways and interchanges in the Metro Atlanta region. Gresham, Smith and Partners developed a context sensitive corridor solution connecting the eastern and western portions of Roswell to improve local access and emergency response times at a much lower cost than the further widening of Holcomb Bridge Road and reconstruction of the interchange at SR 400. Over the years, the city and its consultant team have undertaken a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional methods to develop a transportation facility using active participation by nearby property owners and other stakeholders. GSP put together a plan of extensive public involvement including multiple public workshops, outreach to large residential development residents including Spanish speaking residents, and the city’s largest employer, Kimberly-Clark. Additionally, the team developed a fifth-grade-level lesson plan on transportation and delivered it to 140 students at Mimosa Elementary school, located near the corridor. Bilingual project information was developed, and the public was engaged via social media outlets such as facebook and twitter. Approximately 3000 comments have been received so far about the project’s planning and design. GSP has developed conceptual solutions suggested by the community and their own engineers as the locally preferred alternative for the roadway alignment and bridge over SR 400. The preferred alternative includes a signature ‘look’ for the 12

roadway and bridge, new sidewalks and bike lanes, multi-use trails connecting to regional parks and trail facilities, pedestrian amenities, a roundabout, and a suggested ‘road diet’ for part of the corridor to allocate space to accommodate more bicycle and pedestrian usage. v

Category: Design Build

Winner: 1-20 Eastbound C-D Operational Improvements Between 1-285 & Panola Road in Dekalb County ~ GDOT Preliminary Design Arcadis Inc. Final Design Michael Baker Jr. Inc. GDOT identified a need for a quick-response (12-18 months) project to provide short-term, safety, and operational improvements to address high crash rates and a low level of service on I-20 East between I-285 and Wesley Chapel Road. GDOT utilized data that had been collected from the long range I-20 HOV/Managed Lanes

and a full CD system projects. Arcadis provided the preliminary design and environmental documentation. Their design minimized environmental impacts and required no right of way resulting in approval of a Categorical Exclusion (CE), preserved the Wesley Chapel Road bridge, completed in 2009, identified and received approval of Design Exceptions needed to avoid replacement of the Snapfinger Creek and Miller Road bridges, and eliminated the need to reconstruct a multi-barrel culvert by specifying light weight fill material over the existing culvert because it was not originally designed to carry the proposed roadway elevation. The DB team of CW Matthews and Michael Baker, Jr. Inc. was responsible for final design and construction. This design team avoided all identified utility relocations, reduced all identified stream and wetland impacts resulting in expedited approval of the CE re-evaluation, optimized sound barriers and retaining walls with special designs for mounting sound barrier to cast in place walls, resulting in significant reduction in fill required while constructing access doors for maintenance behind the sound barriers. The DesignGeorgia Contractor

Build team of CW Matthews and Michael Baker also identified the minimum pavement needs and eliminated significant full depth sections resulting in cost savings to GDOT, innovatively utilized geo-foam in conjunction with the MSE wall over the existing culvert, and avoided all construction delays. Construction primarily occurred at night and on weekends to prevent excessive traffic impacts. The project was completed on time and at a cost significantly lower than the preliminary estimate. A post-construction travel time survey indicates that it is performing slightly better than preliminary traffic models predicted. v

Category: Highway Design ~ Rural

Winner: US 27/SR 1 Widening and Reconstruction (Early County)~ GDOT Office of Roadway Design Honorable Mention Fall Line Freeway ~ North Gordon Bypass (Wilkinson County) ~ GDOT Office of Roadway Design This project is the widening and reconstruction of US27 / SR1 from the Blakely Bypass to just north of the Clay County line in Early County. The project provides two 12 foot lanes in each direction with 10 foot outside shoulders (6.5’ paved, 3.5’graded) and a 44 foot wide depressed median including six-foot inside shoulders (2’ paved, 4’ graded). This project was of major concern to the local community and business owners. As a result, the GDOT Design Team coordinated with local business owners to facilitate a design for construction that best fit the needs of the local community. For instance, a recently developed, several hundred acre marksmanship academy and shooting range located along the project indicated their experience of drainage ponding in the area of the shooting range. Although this drainage ponding was a long-time issue for the area, the GDOT Design Team revised the project to include drainage retention structures, correcting November | December 2013

the ponding problem. Another instance of community participation involved a large cattle raising operation located at the north end of the project. A necessary impact of the project resulted in the splitting/separation of a large cattle farm and process facility. The split was of major concern to this local business because it could severely cripple cattle production. In recognition of these concerns, the GDOT Design Team de-

signed the project to incorporate the construction of a crossing for cattle and other large farm equipment. As part of the Governor’s Road Improvement Program which provides for the economic development of Georgia by connecting nearly 95 percent of all Georgia cities with populations of 2,500 or more to the Interstate Highway System, this project is a key force for economic development within Southwest Georgia. v


School of Engineering Graduation By Cindy Theiler


hen Georgia Power—like other industries and businesses—had difficulty back in 2007 finding qualified co-ops who would work and live in Savannah, it kicked its workforce development strategy into high gear. Earlier this month that situation was turning around as the first 14 students, who completed all four sequence courses in the Energy Pathway, graduated from Jenkins High School’s School of Engineering. Since Georgia Power initiated a partnership in 2008 with Jenkins High School to help ‘grow’ future engineers for the area, 34 other area companies and post-secondary educational institutions are now part of a Business Education Advisory Committee (BEAC) and also support the program. These businesses include Gulfstream, International Paper, El Paso Corp., O’Brien & Gere; SAGIS; U.S. Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, Georgia Army National Guard, Mitsubishi Power Systems, and the city of Savannah. “Through this engineering program, we are growing future engineers for Savannah and our industry and ensuring we have a workforce ready to meet the demands of the 21st century,” said Debra

Howell, Georgia Power’s workforce development manager. “Our company’s investment in workforce development through the School of Engineering reinforces our commitment to helping our customers and communities succeed,” said Cathy Hill, Georgia Power’s Coastal Region vice president. “Our involvement with the BEAC also provides an opportunity for us to partner with some of our largest customers and opinion leaders.” “Business partners are essential to the growth and effectiveness of the program,” said Grace Herrington, director for Jenkins’ School of Engineering. “Our business partners provide the applications for the classroom lessons and also opportunities for students to see/experience the various disciplines within engineering.” As a sponsor for the last five years, Georgia Power has served as a catalyst in building and chairing an active BEAC, sponsored summer camps for incoming freshmen, hosted upper classman camp for tours of plants Kraft and Vogtle, sponsored the FIRST robotics team and multiple activities, including Girls in Engineering, Science Olympiad, Get into Energy Week, and teacher development, and provided summer internship experiences for rising

or graduating seniors. With a mission to provide a stimulating curriculum enriched in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics and a goal to produce graduates who are successful in their pursuit of higher education within these fields and serve the coastal region of Georgia, the School of Engineering seems right on track. According to Herrington, 11 of these students have been accepted into college engineering programs. Seven of them have or will complete an engineering internship prior to college, including two who are serving as interns this summer for Georgia Power in the Savannah area. Each year, a maximum of 63 students from Chatham County who meet program eligibility, may be accepted into Jenkins’ School of Engineering. The 150 students currently enrolled have the opportunity to participate in advanced engineering courses, including introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering, digital electronics, and engineering design. “Georgia Power and the other partners are all dedicated to the success of this school,” Howell said. “There’s nothing else like it in Georgia.” v

The first graduates of Jenkins High School’s School of Engineering, who completed four sequence courses in the Energy Pathway, pose with their special graduation cords.


Georgia Contractor

Here to Stay By Blake Ashbee | Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development or a long time, careers in skilled trades have endured some pretty tough accusations. It’s time to hear the other side of the story. Through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD), the Go Build Georgia campaign works to educate high school students about the wide variety of rich opportunities in five sectors of skilled trades: manufacturing, industrial construction, energy, telecommunication, and transportation. One of Go Build’s core objectives is to dispel misconceptions regarding skilled trades, myths that blind young people to prospects and possibilities with the potential to provide financial stability and professional pride. Too many young people never consider a career in trades because information about those careers was never made available to them. The disconnect between citizens’ skills and the abilities required by opening positions presents a pressing dilemma. In 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers reported that 67 percent of manufacturing companies are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. Perpetuating the problem, many tradespeople are approaching retirement age, and for every four employees leaving the industry, there is only one stepping in to replace them. Skilled trades play a vital role in our economy. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, manufacturing alone has made up 26 percent of U.S. economic growth since 2009. Recently named the No. Two place in the nation to do business, Georgia has a reputation to maintain. This cannot be accomplished without giving significant attention to the trades which means it is imperative that we distribute factual information about trade careers and address some of the misconceptions surrounding them.


November | December 2013

Blake Ashbee One of the major myths concerning careers in skilled trades is that these careers don’t pay enough, that the only way to establish enduring financial security is to attain a four-year degree. The truth is that some skilled workers make more money than many who hold positions which require a four-year degree, without all of the debt. The median hourly wage for a boilermaker is $26.97. Kindergarten teachers and graphic designers, both holders of respectable roles in society, often make far below that. Another common misconception is that those who work in skilled trades are picking a ‘lesser option.’ Well, I definitely don’t know how to weld together a structure that is responsible for maintaining the daily, critical imports and exports from the Savannah port. Many laborers choose their profession because they enjoy and excel at a craft. Skilled workers have original minds, particularly adept at taking things apart and putting them back together. These workers enjoy working with their hands and are expected to execute tasks with expertise and precision, because one missed detail can mean a broken bridge or a collapsed building. The world contains too much diversity for us all to squeeze into one mold of higher

education. Several first-rate career and technical programs located throughout the state are well-suited to hone the unique abilities of those intrigued by a trade. More than 185,000 new construction tradesmen are needed every year. With many labor industries seeking employees and many Georgians seeking employment, it is necessary that we bridge the gap between the two. Skilled trades are not for everyone, but neither are universities. For some, welding, carpentry, civil engineering, and a variety of other crafts could provide the path that is perfectly fit to individual talents and strong suits. Our office recently facilitated a tour of the Port of Savannah. If there was one thing most obvious there, it was the monumental importance of tradespeople and the connection that trades have to a variety of other industries, such as logistics. Without industrial construction, we have no ports, no ships, no schools, no offices, and very little of anything else. Skilled trades professions are professions with a purpose, necessary to each and every American’s daily life. Everyone wants to know that what they do makes a difference. Everyone wants to make a mark on the world. Skilled tradespeople have that level of impact. v


Milestones for the Transportation Investment Act

By Mike Dover | State TIA Administrator | Georgia Department of Transportation

t is just shy of a year since we saw the first penny of the transportation tax levy collected in Georgia. The three regions —the Central Savannah River Area, Heart of Georgia Altamaha, and the River Valley—where voters approved the tax referendum as a result of the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) will eventually benefit from about $1.8 billion for 871 regional transportation projects over the next ten years. And this does not even include the discretionary funds disbursed directly to local cities and counties in the three Regions. Despite the short time since the department of transportation began implementation of the program, the accomplishments are significant. Numerous projects are underway, and some already completed, including the start of construction on one of the largest TIA projects—the $31 million four-lane widening of US 27 in Randolph County – and so many more projects are in the works that will bring long-term benefits to local communities in the 46 counties that passed the tax referendum. The staff in Georgia DOT’s Office of TIA Delivery, including myself and Regional Coordinators Tim Matthews and Kelvin Mullins, along with the assistance of program management from AECOM, see the program expanding each day through personal involvement like visits to all the local governments in the regions, speaking at numerous community meetings, leading forums for the consultant and contractor industries and establishing solid working relationships with the Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC). Early in the development of the TIA program, my team identified some areas that would prove to be crucial to the longterm success: understanding that tax collections would be slower in the beginning,



be cyclical, and potentially increase over the life of the program; realizing the need for detailed schedules of projects to not only cover construction timelines, but also the flow of revenue necessary to match contractor milestones for payments and productivity; and, preparing for contingencies and constraints of staff time and resources to ensure that projects on the voter approved lists could be delivered. We examined each detail individually and as part of the larger picture, to ensure every intricacy of this complex program was considered. Working in conjunction with other offices at the department of transportation, the TIA team integrated the bidding procedure to post TIA projects in the regular GDOT bid site to take advantage of a system already known to contractors and consultants. TIA projects are also included in the letting forecasts for appropriate planning by contractors. The team developed a TIA Manual, which is currently being updated, for all aspects of the program and projects being delivered from tax collections for use as a guide by anyone from local governments to design consultants to contractors. I believe one of the earliest accomplishments for the TIA implementation was the development of a dedicated webpage ( that provides access to relevant and necessary information regarding TIA, including specific project fact sheets, budgets, project photographs, revenue collections, and information for small, veteran and disadvantaged businesses and media. This webpage ensures that the public, local governments and contractors can access the latest information on every aspect of the TIA program, providing transparency and accountability. Another feature of the program established initially is the local government delivery option. This provides an opportunity for local governments with experience in transportation projects to apply to deliver TIA projects on the investment lists themselves,

thereby directly managing the project and its success. Governments receiving approval for local delivery of projects have the advantage of moving the project at an accelerated pace, which could mean that citizens see results from their tax dollars ahead of schedule. In these cases, local governments would receive reimbursement at a later date. The law that enacted the tax referendum also provided for clear oversight of the program and the efforts of the department of transportation. One aspect of that oversight is the five-member Citizens Review Panel for each region that does an annual assessment and report on the budget and progress made for each project. The TIA Office has participated in the Citizens Review Panel meetings and provided relative information on project status and budgets. In December of each year, the panel must issue a report on the projects in each region for review by the public and members of the General Assembly. Clearly, we will see the real success of the program in the years ahead, but there are already many to be excited about for my office. A solid team is in place, working each day to review and analyze every project, create a schedule of delivery for each, and making that timeline work with anticipated revenue collections to keep projects moving forward at a steady pace. Since late spring, GDOT began letting TIA projects, some smaller than others, but all important and necessary to delivering the program as promised to voters in the regions. There is still much more to do, but the reality is that much has already been accomplished in a short time period. The department’s TIA staff continues working on it, and remains dedicated to achieving success of the ten-year program and the effort and resolve required in reaching that goal. v Georgia Contractor

It’s not Just a Skills Gap; It’s an Interest Gap By Scott Shelar | CEFGA | Executive Director


early 700 construction companies participated in a survey last month by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. Seventy-four percent reported trouble finding qualified workers. The Skills Gap is real, and this survey is the most recent reminder of the trouble companies are having finding skilled workers. You may view the full results of the survey on our Web site at But skilled labor champion and spokesperson for Go Build Georgia, Mike Rowe, recently shared another, equally troubling gap. “It’s not just a skills gap,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “It’s an interest gap.” Indeed, before someone can acquire a skill, they have to have an interest. That’s the reason ten years ago our organization, CEFGA, started the annual CareerExpo. The first step to getting more young people into the construction industry is making them aware of the opportunities. The CareerExpo is one big event that does just that. On March 13-14, 2014, more than 7,000 people will gather for the Tenth Annual CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. Regarded as one of the nation’s top construction and SkillsUSA events, the CareerExpo attracts more than 300 companies and thousands of students from all over the state. The CareerExpo is Georgia’s largest interactive career exploration event, designed for middle school, high school, and technical college students. The event is an opportunity for construction companies to meet thousands of students interested in the industry and help them experience our industry in a hands-on way. November | December 2013

The event features ‘Worlds’ or designated spaces for the following sectors: Architecture & Engineering Heavy Equipment Operations Utility Contracting Electrical Contracting HVAC & Mechanical Contracting Concrete & Masonry Energy & Industrial Construction Finishes & Tile Contracting Green Building Construction Management Safety & Health Highway Construction The SkillsUSA State Championships highlight the best skilled, new talent in Georgia. Hundreds of students enrolled in carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, welding, and other construction training compete for the title ‘Best in Georgia.’ More than 20 skilled trades competitions featuring new talent from across the

state are on display on the floor of Georgia’s second largest convention center. Each competition is organized and judged by industry professionals. The students’ ultimate goal: a Gold Medal and the opportunity to represent Georgia at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Kansas City in June of 2014. The solution to the skilled worker shortage is at this event. The construction industry’s future workforce is here. Whether you are seeking new talent to grow your company or an opportunity to brand your product or service, come see why more than 300 companies choose to sponsor and participate in this event each year. And, with more than 800 industry professionals, the business to business networking is some of the best in the state. For more information on the 2014 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships, visit or contact Executive Director Scott Shelar at 770-313-7938. v 17

Staying Ahead of the Regulatory Curve and the Role of Workforce Development in the Future of the Construction Industry By Mark Hornbuckle | Senior Vice President | HB NEXT


he construction industry’s growing shortage of skilled craft workers during the past two decades has been well documented. While many studies indicate economic factors as a root cause of this issue, the decreasing availability of industry related workforce development such as high school based and other craft / trade instruction programs as well as the evolved stigma of not attaining a four year college degree have also played a major role. The growing problems with our secondary and higher education infrastructure are a completely different subject for discussion, however. Workforce development in the construction industry was born from the necessity for companies to strategically plan for the replacement of their aging and retiring workforce. Traditionally, the journeymen taught the apprentice everything from the craft to what you needed to watch out for from a safety perspective. When the journeymen retired, the apprentice carried on the work and over time the cycle repeated. Most apprentices learned how to do their jobs not necessarily


through the corporate safety manual, other corporate based education / training or regulatory code manuals. They learned in the same way their bosses did in the ‘good old days’ … they were mentored by the journeyman and eventually became a journeyman themselves. In the not so distant past, construction companies’ requirements, or failure thereof, for implementing occupational safety did not necessarily render the company or individual (financially) responsible to their federal or local government. Projects had to be executed quickly and often times the focus on workplace safety and/or other regulatory compliance took a back seat to increasing profits. With growing consumer advocacies and both federal and state governments driving massive expansion of the regulatory environment, from job related safety to financial reporting and tax, the complexion of the construction and other industry as well as the workforce compliance requirements have changed drastically. Current construction projects must be profitable in order to sustain the industry and support growth across this nation. However, these companies must operate in

an ever evolving and complex web of regulatory requirements under OSHA, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, etc. Unfortunately, ‘higher education’ institutions are traditionally focused on the four-year degree programs geared toward business management, marketing, and accounting and do not produce the highly specialized and skilled workers the construction and other industries need to actually do ‘the work.’ Workforce development through revamped high school or youth related programs (i.e. SkillsUSA and CEFGA), as well as restructured technical college programs or private company education / training offerings (i.e. NCCER based) is the only way to successfully replenish our retiring workforce. Fortunately, formal workforce development programs like those listed above are again emerging as the standard. With increased regulatory / compliance enforcement in the construction industry workplace environment, rapidly advancing construction related technologies and the rate of workforce retirement, the need for skilled craft workers is greater than it has ever been. The recent economic crisis

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that formally began in 2008 did not help as many skilled workers in construction were forced to find work elsewhere and have left the construction industry altogether. Uncertainty and doubt throughout the industry have exacerbated the development gap in skilled workers as young talent willing and able to assume future careers in construction have continued to rely on a college degree for ‘better’ and more secure job opportunities. Many of these college graduates are beginning to see that some of their contemporaries who, for example, chose to become a welder under a corporate sponsored training program, are not only easily able to find work, but are making significantly more per year than most college graduates. The welder is also not saddled with the average $60,000 in college loans that post graduates now face. With the expectation that the industry’s skilled workforce shortage will get worse before seeing tangible signs of improvement, companies should act now on ‘strengthening their bench’ with a plan to stay ahead of an everchanging regulatory curve. So, how do you stay ahead of the curve? Having a substantial pool of skilled, credentialed craft workers is mission critical to the longevity and success of the construction industry. This requires careful planning, however. Education, credentialing, and compliance are among the chief weapons at a company’s disposal to combat an impending deficit of skilled craft workers in an industry that is both highly demanding and dangerous. Here are some simple truths we must face: Regulations in the construction industry require employers to reasonably educate, but also to continuously update their employees about all aspects of the activities in which they are expected to engage. Failure to comply with industry regulation is a very effective method for disposing of a company’s hard-earned profits. Worker requirements in the construction industry are ever changing. With the adNovember | December 2013

vent of technology platforms such as ISNetworld, Owners and Contractors are now requiring proof of or certification based training for other qualifiers for specific job / project consideration. As a result, companies are now requiring credentialed craft and/or management training to qualify personnel for not only advancement opportunities within their own organizations, but also on job opportunities for those outside the organization. Credentialed training offers nationwide recognition and portability of acquired skills that many otherwise legitimate training courses cannot and historically, have not been able to provide. On the surface, a successful formula for keeping ahead of the curve seems pretty simple since everything is clearly spelled out, right? … WRONG! Educating the workforce through credential based training, following a sea of complex rules and regulations from OSHA, DOL, HHS, IRS, etc., meeting the budget in an economy putting more and more pressure on profit margins, maintaining quality control, and having absolutely no accidents on the jobsite is a daunting prospect! Positioning your organization for success has become an uphill battle as the cost of properly educating and training your workforce as well as ensuring regulatory compliance with several government agencies has a significant financial cost. To economically overcome these hurdles, workforce development must be carefully planned, highly organized, and efficient from a time and cost perspective. When a company assumes the cost paying an employee to attend job-specific training, paying for that training, and absorbing lost productivity of that employee as a result, there must be a benefit as well as a way to recoup that ‘investment.’ This is one of the main reasons why credentialing will play such an instrumental role in the way companies develop and retain their workers moving forward. Innovations in construction based education and training are making it possible for companies to find and hire talented candidates from different age groups and with varied skill sets. These candidates can then be developed into productive mem-

bers of the industry. Many of the credentials received can also be converted into college credits. While either a two-year or four-year college education will invariably be a prerequisite for certain positions within certain companies, industry workers who do not yet hold college degrees can still enter the workforce and make an immediate impact with craft training credentials on their resumes. Apprenticeship programs are also gaining in popularity as they offer a blended approach of classroom instruction and the practical application of learned skills and competencies. Earningsconscious employers are realizing the longterm benefits of having their employees taking a vested interest in their personal growth and marketability which these apprenticeship programs help to accomplish. Incidentally, apprenticeship programs can and should include credentialed curricula. The threat of a prolonged workforce shortage is real but does not have to be a reality. Therefore, when companies consider the role of workforce development as it relates to their future and in the future of the construction industry in general, they must consider their role in developing their future workforce … Given all this, there are several questions you need to ask yourself while preparing for the future: • What is your plan for educating your employees in a changing industry? •

How will you keep your company profitable and in regular compliance with increased regulatory enforcement on the horizon?

How will your company prepare for the expected drought of available skilled workers?

Answers to these questions are critical to the survival of your business during a potentially tumultuous period for the construction industry. Again, staying ‘ahead of the curve’ requires advanced preparation / planning and a cogent strategy. The most important requirement is having an educated, compliant, continually developing and stable ‘bench’ / workforce. v 19

The Scalable Workforce More and more Georgia contractors look to contingent labor for flexibility and nimbleness By Patty Musolf rowth during a recession isn't usually a top priority for contractors. Survival is. When the recession abated in 2009, Georgia contractors were eager to invest in their businesses through organic growth or by expansion into new geographies, but they were cautious about adding employees to their payroll. Enterprising contractors used specialty staffing firms to allow for low-risk expansion as a way to deal with the peaks and valleys in construction cycles. Changes within the contingent workforce can be a bellwether for the economy as a whole. At the beginning of a recession, firms will typically lay off temporary workers before laying off their own workers. Similarly, when the economy is recovering from a recession, employers tend to hire temporary workers first. Many contractors in Georgia have come to love the advantages of flexible, qualified contingent staffing. In fact, many that brought on temporary workers during the end of the Great Recession of 2007– 2009 have kept more of those temporary workers on their teams. Contractors can use contingent labor to deal with the dayto-day ups and downs of the business cycle —not just to test the stability of the economy’s recovery. As a result, temporary employment is one of the few sectors of the labor market that is growing. What do these contractors see? They see a way to keep doing business, even when business throws them a curveball. For example, you can quickly ramp up production when demand starts to turn around, increasing capacity without increasing fixed costs. On the other side of the equation, temporary labor will not be on your books during slow times. You pay for what you use, in essence. The knowledge that you have the flexibility to add staff on short notice really helps contractors that want to position themselves as



nimble and responsive to their customers. As your company's workflow returns to normal production, you will know which proven temporary workers you may wish to hire full time. Temporary workers can be evaluated on how they integrate with your company culture, how well they learn job responsibilities, and how they deliver value to your company. You can boost the effectiveness of your core staff by allowing temporary employees to handle lower-skilled or administrative duties. Readily available temporary labor can free your staff to focus on what they do best—so they can be their best. Contractors will ask specialty staffing firms to bring in lower wage temporary laborers for clean-up duties. Otherwise, their high-paid electricians would perform that manual labor—taking the electricians away from where they can add the most value. Peak demand can leave your business under-staffed. Using temporary workers can eliminate bottle-necks and will help you keep your commitments to your customers. Also, if you have established a relationship with a temporary staffing firm with a large geographic footprint, you have a powerful partner that can help you expand into new markets. Out of necessity, many contractors in Georgia look to expand in new markets to grow their businesses. If this description fits you, wouldn't it be great to know that you have qualified labor at your command? Finally, you can use temporary labor to eliminate overtime and prevent worker burnout. Overtime can often be very stressful on your workforce, leading to burnout and lowered productivity. Higher turnover is costly. By using contingent labor, you can reduce or eliminate the need for overtime. The case is strong for hiring contingent labor. So if you think temporary workers may make sense for your com-

pany, what do you do now? You could hire temporary workers on your own. This route presents some difficulties, though. Do you understand and want the costs of hiring your own temporary workers: advertising, interviewing, qualifying, verifying, training, and compensating? Consider that if you bring temporary workers in and out as your production levels ebb and flow, the costs rise even faster. Does your company’s core human resources expertise include a current understanding of the rules and practices of hiring temporary workers? Classifying workers correctly—for example, ‘contract’ vs. ‘permanent’—is very important to avoid costly back taxes, interest, and penalties for misclassified employees. A third route would be to utilize a temporary staffing firm. Most staffing firms absorb the costs associated with recruiting, screening, hiring, disciplining, and terminating temporary employees. The $100 billion temporary staffing industry consists of more than 20,000 companies, most of which are small businesses. The question becomes which temporary staffing company should you use? Look for a company that: 1. Understands your business and speaks your language. You want a company of staffing experts who understand your business needs and requirements and can work with you to find the right solution; 2. Wants to be a business partner with you—to help you use temporary labor to grow your business and solve your business needs; 3. Has a greater geographic footprint than you do so they can help you penetrate new markets; and 4. Has a reputation you can trust. Georgia Contractor

A contingent workforce is a scalable workforce. It allows you to grow without the risk of hiring too fast, or having to turn back staffing levels due to the peaks and valleys natural to construction cycles. When exploring this avenue, consider your options carefully and partner with

the right people to meet your current and future business needs. Patty Musolf is Senior Vice President of TrueBlue Inc., the leader in Blue Collar Staffing, and President of CLP, which provides skilled trades people to a broad range of contractors. Musolf began her career in

temporary staffing in 1990 with Olsten Staffing Services, where she was later appointed general manager. She joined CLP in 2004 and served as a division vice president for CLP’s Northeast, Southeast, Texas, and Florida regions prior to her promotion to president. v

Designing a Workforce Development Plan By Niel Dawson | Executive Director | IEC s the construction industry continues (be it tepid) to rebound, finding skilled workers will become increasing difficult. In fact, the labor shortage that we experienced in the mid 2000’s will pale in comparison to what we will face in the next several years. With that in mind, there are really only two strategies you can use to grow your workforce: train new employees or find experienced workers. These two approaches are certainly not mutually exclusive, nor is one right and one wrong; however companies tend to favor one over the other. Many contractors will say that they prefer to train the workers themselves from entry level so they have the right skills and knowledge for their company. This is a great philosophy; however, based upon your manpower needs, you may not always have the time to send them through an apprenticeship program, technical training, or even pre-apprenticeship training. If a company chooses to not invest in a training program, be it an apprenticeship program or technical school, then they must find trained workers from other sources. These ‘other sources’ are also being tapped by other contractors, so unless you start raising your rates, you may be in for some stiff competition if you go down this path. And let’s face it, when someone claims to be a ‘skilled worker,’many times their skills are almost always less than they claim, so there will still be some amount of training involved for these individuals.


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Workforce Development Strategies and Ideas Find & Train New Workers

Find (and Train) Skilled Workers

Adopt a local high school by contacting the principal (get to know the instructor: talk in class, provide suppliers, etc.

Implement a referral program where current workers get a bonus for referring new workers.

Utilize a hiring & training program that some trade associations provide

Utilize a résumé or job placement service that some trade associations provide.

Have a place on your Web site for applicants to Have a place on your Web site for applicants to apply—this should be mobile-friendly. apply & make sure it is mobile-friendly. Use a referral system with your employees

Utilize a hiring program some trade associations provide.

Utilize a staffing company.

Locate your local tech school and befriend the instructor (talk to class, provide supplies, etc.)

Create a company Facebook page aimed at job opportunities.

Place an ad on Craig’s or Angie’s List.

Attend career and job fairs at high schools and technical colleges.

Place an ad on (LinkedIn for blue collar)

Consider using YouTube to explain job opportunities—for less than $500, you can have a professional video.

Use a temp agency to pre-qualify workers.

Connect to a local school through RSS Feeds, Facebook, YouTube, or other social media.

Enroll electricians in advanced training or review programs.

Partner with to find schools and students interested in the construction field.

Explore online career Web sites, such as

Tweet job opportunities that lead back to online application/app.

Utilize a mobile app for hiring

Think Social Media—that’s how they communicate!

For higher level workers, such as PMIs, use LinkedIn.

Let’s acknowledge that there is no one ‘silver bullet’ to solve the workforce shortage dilemma. It will take a well thoughtout workforce development plan to not only grow your company, but also maintain your current workforce. On top of this, most everyone is aware of the aging workforce, and therefore the newer work-

ers entering the market will have a different generational mind-set, skill-set, and work ethic, not to mention, how you find them, and how they find you will probably be through their mobile devices. The chart above provides some ideas to fulfilling your manpower needs in finding both new workers and skilled workers 21

already in the construction industry. No matter what strategy and methods you use to find workers, the most important aspect of the process is to have a well thought out plan for workforce development, and then give it priority by working the plan. Many of the recruitment methods listed on the chart can be used in either of the strategies —they are listed here in the most likely area of implementation. Once a plan is developed, you must be clear on who’s responsibility it is to implement all or parts of the plan. No matter the size of your company, someone needs to be managing the plan, because

without skilled workers, there is no one to get the work done. Accountability and an example set from the top down is the most likely way for workforce development to get the attention it desperately needs. As you review this chart, you will notice that many ideas are technology related because more and more, our society and job hunters, are moving to handheld mobile devices (phones and tablets) to stay connected in their everyday lives. Additionally, more companies are implementing mobile devices into the construction work setting, from apps to prints on iPads, to collaboration, which is a whole other topic beyond

the scope of this article. Remembering there is no one right way or magical strategy to developing your workforce development plan, just start now by reviewing the list of ideas on the chart provided here. Pick the ones that you feel you can implement within your company in the next 60-90 days. Then plot out the ones that you can tackle within the next six months, and finally one year. Make sure everyone on your team has bought into the ideas and plan you have outlined. It’s not that hard, it just takes consistent commitment to maintaining a high quality workforce. v

State Buffer Variance: Revisions to Georgia Rule 391-3-7 By Heidi Schneider, HNTB Corporation n the state of Georgia, buffers and state waters are governed under the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act of 1975, as amended through 2003. ‘State waters’ includes any and all rivers, streams, creeks, branches, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, drainage systems, springs, wells, and other bodies of surface or subsurface water, natural or artificial, lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the state that are not entirely confined and retained completely upon the property of a single individual, partnership, or corporation. A ‘buffer” is defined as the area of land immediately adjacent to the banks of the state waters in its natural state of vegetation that facilitates the protection of water quality and aquatic habitat.1 Rules 391-3-7.01 and 391-3-7.05 have recently been amended, effective September 5, 2013. There are some changes that engineers and environmental professionals should be aware of that affect impacts to state-protected buffers. A buffer impact is defined as any encroachment within the protective 25-foot buffer for warm water resources (e.g., perennial streams, intermittent streams, lakes, ponds, etc.) and the protective 50foot buffer for cold water resources (trout streams and connected waters). The first change is that buffer impacts



are no longer categorized as ‘temporary’ and ‘permanent.’ Rule 391-3-7.01 classifies and defines a buffer encroachment as either a ‘major buffer impact’ or ‘minor buffer impact.’ The definition for a ‘major buffer impact’ is any impact that does not meet the definition of ‘minor buffer impact.’ To meet the criteria of a ‘minor buffer impact,” the following conditions must be met: • Upon [project] completion yields no additional above-ground, man-made materials or structures within the buffer; • Maintains original grade; and Results in less than 5,000 square feet of buffer impact per stream crossing and/or less than 5,000 square feet of buffer impact per individual area of encroachment of each project.1 The second change is within the language in Rule 391-3-7.05(2). For Criterion 2a, the language has been clarified to explicitly state that this criterion pertains to an existing infrastructure project or structure. For Criterion 2g, the rule states that the single family home variance is only acceptable if the construction was initiated or local government approval was obtained prior to January 10, 2005. The previous rule did not state a date. The third change is in the list of re-

quirements for the stream buffer variance application for major buffer impact projects. Rule 391-3-7.05(3)-(4) lists the details of the requirements. For applications under Criterion 2j that are within ten miles upstream of a 303(d) listed stream, results of a model demonstration that shows no adverse impact to the pollutants of concern must be documented. This was not previously listed as a requirement. The buffer mitigation rules remain except for the addition of 391-37.05(d)(10). This rule references mitigation as described in the most recent publication of EPD’s Stream Buffer Mitigation Guidance ( Another important change is that issued buffer variances now have an expiration date. All buffer impacts must be completed within five years of the date issued on the variance. Extensions will only be granted if the impact(s) cannot be complete prior to the expiration date, and the applicant can demonstrate a reasonable need for the extension. A buffer variance extension can only be issued once. For more information on this topic, you can visit 1 Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Environmental Protection Division, O.C.G.A § 12-7-3 (2008), Georgia Erosion and Sediment Act of 1975, As Amended Through 2003. v

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Technical College System of Georgia Office of Global Initiatives he Technical College System of Georgia has developed a reputation for providing world-class education and training for international industries moving into the state. The 24 TCSG colleges, along with the system’s world-renowned QuickStart program that provides customized contract training for business and industry, have created an international brand that has become one of Georgia’s strongest marketing and economic development assets. This world-wide recognition is now drawing the attention of officials in foreign countries who are seeking the expertise of TCSG professionals to assist in developing or improving their workforce programs and higher education systems. Commissioner Ron Jackson and the state board of the TCSG sensed that this demand from other countries was so substantial that they created the system’s Office of Global Initiatives in 2011. The division, headed by Dr. Sanford Chandler, the former president of Chattahoochee Technical College, immediately secured a major partnership agreement with King Faisal University to assist in the development of programs for Saudi Arabia’s first community college. The Saudis wanted to create a college that specialized in quality, industry-specific programs capable of turning out highly-trained workers for employers such as petroleum giant Saudi Aramco. They had identified forty occupational areas where skill shortages existed throughout their country and knew of the TCSG’s excellent reputation for delivering demanddriven programs. In January 2012, a KFU delegation visited Atlanta Technical College, Athens Technical College, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rome to gain first-hand insight into how those TCSG colleges met the workforce needs of their area employers. After a visit to Saudi Arabia by Dr. Chandler and a series of high-level nego-


November | December 2013

By Ron Jackson | Commissioner | TCSG

tiations, an agreement was struck in May 2012 with officials from KFU. It laid the groundwork for a six-year plan starting with the delivery of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes on the campus of the new KFU college and then expanding into workforce training programs. Atlanta Technical College, which is the lead college for accreditation purposes, worked with Athens Technical College and Georgia Northwestern Technical College to develop the operational plans and recruit the staff and faculty to work in Saudi Arabia. Today, the Atlanta Technical College at the College of Applied Studies and Community Service at King Faisal University provides ESL classes to hundreds of Saudi students. This fall, instruction will begin in TCSG credential programs, including Health Information Technology, Information Security Specialist, Internet Specialist Web site Design, and Mechanical Inspection Technician. An additional Health, Safety, and Environmental Inspector program will soon follow. Atlanta Technical College President Alvetta Thomas credits the collaboration between the TCSG Office of Global Initiatives, the three sister TCSG colleges, and the staff and faculty working in Saudi Arabia for the project’s success. “This has been a rewarding experience for everyone involved. It could not have happened without the leadership of Commissioner Jackson and his team along with the cando attitude of the presidents, staff and faculty of our colleges,” said Thomas. In early 2013, the TCSG added another component to its global outreach by creating the International Center. The role of the center is to develop the resources necessary to support the increasing number of projects being developed overseas by the TCSG Office of Global Initiatives. The center coordinates the work of the system’s human resources department, technical and adult education divisions, and the 24 colleges in order to develop curriculum, handle accreditation requirements, recruit

and provide training for faculty and staff for overseas assignments, and assist with small business resource development. Jackson is confident that the word of his system’s worldwide outreach will attract other international partners who want to pursue training and education agreements with the TCSG. “Georgia’s reputation for quality workforce development reaches far beyond the boundaries of our state and is known throughout the world,” he said. “We’re currently in discussions with officials from China and other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe about contractual partnerships with the TCSG and our colleges. Clearly, there’s strong international interest in our customized education and training programs.” About the TCSG: the 24 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia offer affordable education and excellent training in more than 600 certificate, diploma, and two-year associate degree programs. Students of all ages take advantage of outstanding instructors and handson learning with state-of-the-art equipment to gain the skills needed for today’s in-demand jobs. In 2012, the TCSG colleges delivered 2.8 million credit hours of instruction to more than 170,000 students. The TCSG is online too, serving 85,000 students through the system’s Georgia Virtual Technical Connection. Another part of the TCSG, the internationally recognized Quick Start program, provided customized workforce training to almost 58,000 employees of new and expanding companies in Georgia in 2012. In addition, the TCSG Office of Adult Education delivered a variety of programs to 78,000 adult learners in 2012 and almost 18,000 of those students earned their GED credential. For more information about the TCSG and links to a technical college in your area, go to v 23

Construction Management Managing Change By John Kitchin, PMP, LEED UP | Senior Project Manager | New South Construction ost people working in the construction industry can quickly recite the major attributes of project management as they apply to construction projects, almost always calling out some variation of scope, schedule, and budget. Some people will replace scope with quality or tie quality in as a fourth item, but the description will in some way reflect the Project Management Triangle. Likewise, the majority of construction management professionals can quickly rattle off the major project delivery methods and can probably even give you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each one. The answers will not vary much from DesignBid-Build, CM at Risk, and Design-Build as the major project delivery methods and speed of delivery and allocation of risk as the factors in deciding which one to use. However, there is one critical aspect of construction management that transcends every corner of the Project Management Triangle and every project delivery method, but there is little consensus in the industry on how to properly implement it. It is change management. Every project changes. How the change is managed can have a tremendous impact on the overall success of the project. Projects are by nature and by definition unique and temporary, with defined beginnings and endings. They are not processes that repeat themselves over and over again and can therefore be perfected. And construction projects are no exception—every single one is different. In addition, construction projects tend to be long in duration and very capital intensive. Given these factors, why should anyone expect to tackle a lengthy, unique, and expensive endeavor without experiencing change along the way? And yet, how many times has the construction management professional heard some variation of ‘There will be no



change orders on this project’? Healthy projects acknowledge that there can and should be changes along the way and establish a change management system to effectively manage those changes. It is the height of folly to embark upon a twelve or twenty-four month construction project worth millions or hundreds of millions of dollars and not have a well defined, or at least thoroughly discussed, method for managing changes along the way. During the course of a major project, stakeholders will change, opinions will change, priorities will change, technology will change, the cost of capital will change, regulations will change, even the weather will change, but all too often the projects themselves are expected not to change. The reluctance to embrace and effectively manage change is likely rooted at least in part in the overwhelmingly negative perception of the term “change order.”

Undoubtedly, there are both general contractors and trade contractors that will intentionally price work low and rely on change orders to generate a profit on a project. The tendency for these contractors to surprise owners with unexpected and unsolicited change order requests and demands for additional funds has certainly cast a shadow on the construction management industry when it comes to the concept of change management. While there will likely always be companies that subscribe to this unfortunate philosophy of change management, projects do not have to operate in this manner. The key is to accept that there will be changes and to prepare for them and embrace them as opportunities to improve upon a construction project in progress. While building modeling systems have moved us light years ahead in allowing project stakeholders to visualize what their building will Georgia Contractor

look like at the end of the project, it is still difficult for many people to fully grasp what their building or space will look like just from reviewing plans and renderings. As the project begins to take shape, these people will inevitably have moments when they see something and think to themselves that they would have liked it done a little bit differently. As construction managers, we should be prepared to embrace that challenge, engage our change management system, and strive to deliver what the owner really wants even if the project is already well underway. So what are the key elements and characteristics of an effective change management system? Opinions certainly vary on this, but consider the following five characteristics of a healthy change management plan: communication, a common understanding of the project priorities, a capacity and willingness for unconventional thinking, documentation, and learning and adapting. As with almost every aspect of project management, and construction management in particular, effective communication is critical to successful change management. The ability to listen, understand what others are saying, and provide insightful responses is the foundation for incorporating changes into a project. We must strive to communicate openly and clearly with other project team members to have any chance of efficiently managing changes. Without effective communication, the other elements are not likely to ever be implemented successfully. Understanding the project priorities will provide the appropriate framework for creating solutions to the challenges associated with potential or proposed changes. The Project Management Triangle provides a good starting point for this framework. Knowing whether cost or schedule is more important to the owner, for example, is a fundamental factor in developing reasonable solutions in situations where change is under consideration. If schedule is the more important factor, then the best solution might include incurring additional costs for expediting materials or paying overtime to implement changes without negatively affecting the project schedule. If cost is the more important facNovember | December 2013

tor, then low cost or no cost options, including ones that may impact the quality standards on the project, may be at the top of the list of potential solutions. Understanding these priorities will help the construction manager focus on solutions that will ultimately fit the needs of the owner and the project rather than spending valuable time developing solutions that, while potentially brilliant, cannot be applied to the situation at hand. Unconventional thinking, frequently referred to as thinking outside of the box, is an excellent tool for problem solving and, therefore, inherently beneficial to the change management process. Encourage brainstorming sessions when tackling the challenge of incorporating a new change into a construction project. While some of the ideas generated may be fundamentally incompatible with the project, the process of generating original thoughts and looking at the challenge from different angles will frequently eventually narrow the potential solutions down to a few realistic options. For construction managers, a critical component of enabling this process is the removal of barriers in the process of developing solutions. When the people engaged in the problem solving process start to give reasons why something won’t work, immediately remove the constraint from consideration and see where the thought process then ends up. It is amazing to see the solutions that can be imagined and eventually implemented when conventional, but potentially unnecessary, constraints are taken out of play. Documentation is one of the cornerstones of effective construction management and it is also a critical component of change management. When the project team chooses to deviate from the contract documents, the change must be documented in some manner for a number of reasons. For one, as mentioned earlier, people and stakeholders change on projects and so changes in scope must be memorialized for those who may not have been there to witness firsthand the decision to change. Even more important, at the end of the day, construction projects are built by people on the site installing what is shown in the contract documents. Certain members of the construction

management team may develop the greatest solutions ever conceived for the proposed changes, but those solutions are not likely to be incorporated into the project if they are not first incorporated into the project documents. Last, but certainly not least, it is important to learn from each change and adapt your approach to change management to fit each situation within the project. Construction projects with a healthy approach to change management are likely to experience more changes than the average project, so the construction manager should seek to learn from the process required to successfully implement each change and adapt their approach accordingly. In summary, construction projects will change. They should change. The change can and should be a positive experience for the project. The successful construction manager is one that can implement a healthy change management system and help the project owner end up with both the best possible project experience and the best possible end product. v 25

Contractor News ASHRAE/IES Publish First Standard Focused on Commissioning Process A newly published standard focused on the commissioning process will help ensure a fully functional, fine-tuned facility. ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, identifies the minimum acceptable commissioning process for buildings and systems as described in ASHRAE’s Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process. Standard 202 is ASHRAE’s first standard focused on the commissioning process. The commissioning process as detailed in Standard 202 applies to all construction projects and systems and is an industry consensus document. “Given the integration and interdependency of facility systems, a performance deficiency in one system can result in less than optimal performance by other systems,” Gerald Kettler, P.E., chair of the committee that wrote the standard, said. “Implementing the Commissioning Process is intended to reduce the project capital cost through the warranty period and also reduce the life-cycle cost of the facility. Using this integrated process results in a fully functional, fine-tuned facility, with complete documentation of its systems and assemblies and trained operations and maintenance personnel.” The commissioning process assumes that owners, programmers, designers, contractors, and operations and maintenance entities are fully accountable for the quality of their work. The process begins at project inception and continues for the life of a facility. The process includes specific tasks to be conducted to verify that design, construction, verification, testing, documentation, and training meet the owner’s project requirements, according to Kettler. 26

The standard defines the commissioning process through 13 functional steps, each of which contains deliverables. The commissioning activities and deliverables are as follows: • Initiate the Commissioning Process, including defining roles and responsibilities • Define the project requirements, which results in the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document • Develop commissioning plan – produces a written Commissioning Process Plan • Plan design approach to Owners Project Requirements – defines the basis of design • Set contractor commissioning requirement, which are included in

the commissioning specifications Design review by the commissioning authority provides feedback and a design review report Submittals review verifies compliance with the OPR in a submittal review report Observation & Testing verifies system performance with results documented in construction checklists and reports Issues resolution coordination is done with an issues and resolution log Systems manual assembly results in a systems manual for building operation Conduct training for building operations with training plans and records

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Post occupancy operation commissioning provides an end of warranty commissioning report Assembly of a commissioning report captures all the project commissioning documentation

Other commissioning guidance from ASHRAE includes Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process; Guideline 1.12007, HVAC&R Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process and Guideline 1.5-2012, The Commissioning Process for Smoke Control Systems. ASHRAE also is working on several other guidelines related to commissioning: Guideline 0.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing Systems and Assemblies; Guideline 1.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing HVAC&R Systems; Guideline 1.3P, Building Operation and Maintenance Training for the HVAC&R Commissioning Process; and Guideline 1.4P, Procedures for Preparing Facility Systems Manuals. The cost of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202-2013, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, is $72 ($61, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 678-539-2129, or visit v

Beaulieu Group, Mohawk Industries, Engineered Floors, LLC, and Shaw Industries Group Inc. “As Georgia’s top industries continue to grow, it’s critical that the skilled trades workforce match that progression,” said Blake Ashbee, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. “With support from principal companies in the industry, programs such as this ensure that the next generation of employees has the talent to succeed in the in-demand positions that make up the foundation of our critical industries.” The partner companies in Northwest Georgia have selected qualified individuals in the local area to participate in the training, educating them to fill entry level industrial maintenance jobs in the industry. Through classroom teaching, computer based learning, and lab instruction at GNTC, participants will end the program course equipped with the mechanical, electrical, and maintenance skills to perform the jobs successfully and help these companies continue to grow in Georgia.

“Mohawk’s need for highly skilled individuals will only increase as market demand for our next generation products continues to grow rapidly,” said Joe Yarbrough, senior vice president of advanced manufacturing technology engineering. "These skills will be required for careers that include industrial maintenance, electrical and electronics technologies, and mechatronics. We’re proud to partner with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to create opportunities for individuals who have made the commitment to expand their skill sets.” “We are excited about the partnership between industry, Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College,” said Wendy Jaynes, director of employee development for Beaulieu of America. “This endeavor is a win for everyone involved.” Participants will complete content assessments at the end of the program and receive a Certificate of Completion. Contact: Hope Peterson (404) 3165509 v

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development Partners with Industry Leaders for Fast Track Training Program The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD), in partnership with carpet industry leaders across Northwest Georgia, today launched the Fast Track Innovation Program to provide technicians with on-the-job training for employment in the industry. In coordination with the Northwest Regional Commission and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), the ten-week program is offered to individuals selected by these participating companies: J+J Flooring Group, November | December 2013


Go Build Georgia At a recent reception at the Governor’s Mansion organized by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development—Go Build Georgia—Mr. John Patterson, Chairman of JCB made the following remarks: As part of the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, Gov. Deal has made it his goal to make Georgia the Number One state in the nation to do business, keeping our economy competitive both nationally and internationally. • According to a recent survey, Georgia has gained more than 177,000 new private-sector jobs since Gov. Deal took office—giving us a private-sector employment growth rate faster than the national average. • This study placed Gov. Deal's term as governor at Number Seven for job creation among current governors. • According to a CNBC article, Georgia was recently ranked as having the top workforce in the nation for the second year in a row, and we need to make certain that this stays true. The Governor has tasked Go Build Georgia with addressing the growing skilled labor gap in our state, ensuring that Georgia’s workforce is equipped with the skills to fill the in-demand jobs in our prospering industries. Go Build Georgia does just that. A public/private partnership between the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development and the Go Build Georgia Educational Foundation, it shatters the stereotypes surrounding the skilled trades, educates young people about the careers available to them in the trades and provides options for training that will help get people working quickly. Go Build Georgia also establishes a direct link between business leaders like you and the next generation of highly skilled workers. With its long history of helping when asked, Georgia’s corporate community is stepping up to support the Go Build Georgia program and Governor Deal’s jobs initiative. We need to help build the pipeline of workers armed with the skills they need so that we can continue to grow our businesses. v


IEC Offers Financial Assistance to Residents in Savannah Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Georgia is now an approved vendor for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the Savannah area. This is great news because as a WIA vendor, IEC is able to provide a financing option for underemployed and dislocated workers to take advantage of IEC’s Electrical Apprenticeship training program, and increase the quality of the workforce in the electrical industry. The WIA program is made available through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development and is another resource to help build Georgia. WIA, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, is designed to provide quality employment and training services to assist eligible individuals in finding and qualifying for meaningful employment and to help employers find the skilled workers they need to compete and succeed in business. Through WIA, IEC intends to open more doors to the electrical industry, for those who may not have a door readily accessible to them. IEC anticipates great opportunities created through the use of the WIA program. IEC has apprenticeship classes beginning November 5th in Savannah at the Georgia Coastal Center. Those that may qualify are unemployed adults age 18 and older, dislocated workers, and low income individuals. To find out more information about IEC Apprenticeship classes and the WIA program contact IEC’s Workforce Developer, Lana Frye, at 770-242-9277 or go to IEC’s Web site at IEC is a trade association for merit shop electrical contractors. IEC offers a wide array of training programs for apprentices and experienced electricians, personnel referral including loan/borrow programs, and provides a broad range of informational resources for electrical contractors in Atlanta and Georgia. Contact: Niel Dawson, Executive Director at 770-242-9277 or v Georgia Contractor

Hands-on and Worlds Ahead By the Go Build Georgia Team


he importance of education is clear, but as with everything else today, the options are unlimited and the competition is growing. Is the answer to success found with a bachelor’s degree? Not always. Is in-classroom education enough to make you stand out among employers? Not anymore. The construction industry isn’t for everyone. It’s highly technical, highly skilled critical work, and employers need employees who can meet the demands. This kind of training has to be hands-on, up-close, and personal. Post-high school education is critical, but it doesn’t have to be through a fouryear college program that ends with debt and a degree in a field that thousands of others with similar resumes are fighting to stand out in as well. Targeted training from vocational education programs means students have a specific niche in the workforce. Apprenticeship programs and on-thejob training not only give job seekers a leg up on the workforce, but they are a golden ticket for industry leaders and employers looking to further business growth. Go Build Georgia is committed to increasing both the quality and quantity of vocational education programs on both a secondary and post-secondary level. Since its launch in 2012 as part of Gov. Deal’s Competitiveness Initiative, Go Build Georgia has educated youth across the state about the value and benefits of learning a skilled trade. To target young people early on, the program launched the High School Teams project in October of last year, involving public high schools around the state in the campaign. Georgia ranks as the fifth largest overall logistics employer in the nation and is home to the fourth largest port in the country located right in Savannah. Logistics users such as Home Depot, CocaNovember | December 2013

Cola, and Wal-Mart rely critically on the services of skilled workers in the industry to keep the ports operating so goods are transferred smoothly and life continues to run as normal. Located in the hub of Georgia’s booming logistics industry, the Go Build Georgia High School Teams in Savannah have ‘teemed’ up with local industry leaders to provide students with networking opportunities for success before they even graduate from high school. With the help of these engaged educators, interested students, and an environment that demands skilled laborers, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System launched the Maritime Logistics Education Taskforce (MLET) to educate those interested Go Build Georgia students on careers in the growing local industries. Specifically, the taskforce initiative has piloted the Maritime Logistics Internship Program that equips juniors and seniors from local high schools with targeted training for future employment in the critical career paths around Savannah. A critical part of MLET, JCB North America offers an apprenticeship program for Savannah students that helps unravel misconceptions of the manufacturing in-

dustry through time spent as part of the team at the state-of the-art manufacturing facility. The three-year program offers students enrolled in Savannah Technical College the targeted training for future employment. At the end of the program, students will have the certification, licenses or diplomas to continue working fulltime. If nothing else, students in these programs are at least exposed to the potential for them to grow in this community. Go Build Georgia is dedicated to linking businesses and students across the state with programs like these. For students, apprenticeship programs offer an irreplaceable jump-start on the real-world, and for businesses, employers gain direct access to help shape a new pool of skilled workers with the necessary skills to execute the necessary jobs. It’s a win-win for the future of our students, and our critical industries. v


Lessons Learned Construction Engineering Services

Observations and Lessons from the School of Experience:

COLD WEATHER CONCRETE ith the approach of winter, it is again time to remember cold weather concreting practices. ACI 306R now defines cold weather as any time the air temperature falls below or is expected to fall below 40°F during the protection period, or the period required to prevent the concrete from being affected by exposure to cold weather. Cold weather affects concrete in many ways. For one, hydration in concrete, the process of gaining strength, is a chemical reaction. When concrete is placed at cold temperatures, hydration can be slowed—and even stop—impacting finishing and curing times. Another concern is the permanent damage that concrete may experience if it is allowed to freeze at an early age. Protecting your concrete early is important to providing a good quality product, and it’s not always easy.


Construction Practices The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has developed the following chart. It gives minimum concrete temperatures at time of placement as a function of thickness: Minimum Concrete Temperature as Placed and Maintained

Section Size, Minimum Dimension 12-36 36-72 <12 inches >72 inches inches inches 55°F

In addition to carefully monitoring the concrete temperature, formwork, reinforcing steel, subbase, subgrade, and any other items associated with the placement, the surfaces which concrete will be placed on should be above 32°F to prevent concrete from freezing at the interface. Once normal-set concrete has been placed, it must be maintained at the above temperature and moist for a 30

specified period of time, usually at least 72 hours, to allow for adequate initial curing. The use of insulating blankets, heated mats, and/or heated enclosures may be necessary. Don’t wait until the last minute to confirm that protective equipment and supplies are on site. ACI 306R contains much more guidance on the types and duration of protective measures that may be necessary for a concrete placement. The handling of field-cured cylinders becomes especially critical during cold weather operations. When used to confirm suitable field strength for formwork removal, post-tensioning, or steel erection, every reasonable effort must be made to ensure these cylinders receive the same temperature and moisture treatment as the concrete they represent.

cement (high-early strength). The addition of calcium chloride has often been used in the past as an accelerating admixture, but caution is advised. Chlorides in concrete can increase the possibility of corrosion in the reinforcing steel and other adverse effects. Many specifications and code documents limit or completely restrict the use of calcium chloride or admixtures containing chlorides. Some of the common mineral admixtures such as slag or fly ash should also be reviewed in periods of cold weather. There are numerous advantages in using mineral admixtures, but they can also retard initial strength gain. This phenomenon tends to be more pronounced in cold weather, and an accelerating admixture may be required if the delayed strength gain impacts finishing or formwork removal. ACI also recommends the use of air entrained concrete to minimize damage from freeze-thaw cycles even if the concrete will only be exposed to these cycles during construction. For more information or to contact one of our offices please visit our Web site at




Mix Design Considerations It is often worth considering modifying concrete mix designs during the winter. Using higher-strength mixes can lead to early strength gain and thereby allow faster formwork removal. Other suggestions to accomplish this include lower water/ cementitious material ratios, adding additional cement, using a non-chloride accelerating admixture, or using a Type III Georgia Contractor

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The Georgia Contractor Nov-Dec 2013  

GPTQ AWARDS: Edwards Pitman was tasked to deliver a NEPA document for the replacement of Broad Avenue Bridge, a structurally deficient bridg...