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Blogs (135)


Not 'Equal,' Just Equivalent

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Specification marketing is second only to continuing education presentations as the m...


On Plane Crashes and Corrosion Mitigation Procurement

by Warren Brand

I’m fascinated by failures. Some would say obsessed. While Chicago Corrosion Group’s ...


Project Compaction: Not Just for Soil

by Letsfixconstruction.com

I sat through a pre-construction meeting via conference call today to go over the ins...


Caution: Flooring and High Fly Ash In Concrete

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Is there a problem with flooring glued to concrete with a high fly ash content? Fly a...


Misconception Series—Drawings, Specs Are Complementary

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Recently, I was preparing a masonry architectural specification section for a remodel...


Floored: Advance Actions Assure Acceptable Conditions

by Letsfixconstruction.com

The flooring industry is constantly challenged by the same repeating issues: installi...


California Lead Paint Ruling Deserves Review

by Industry Professionals

Significant First Amendment rights are at risk in a recent California Court of Appeal...


Learning to Serve

by Warren Brand

When I started my corrosion mitigation consulting firm in 2010, I had one fundamental...


Developing Specifications With a Partner Firm

by Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Many firms find themselves at some point partnered with another firm on a project tha...


Is All of Construction on a Fast Track?

by Letsfixconstruction.com

While hosting a Let’s Fix Construction workshop at the 2018 AIA Conference in New Yor...


Why We Shouldn’t Try to Change the Image of Construction

by Letsfixconstruction.com

For as long as I’ve been involved in and around the construction industry, there’s be...


Thermoplastics: The Genie is Peeking Out of the Bottle

by Warren Brand

You heard it here first, folks. Paint is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.


Fire-Resistive Tests, Specs Challenge Industry

by Allen Zielnik

Certainly, the concept of integrated fire safety doesn’t rest only with the building ...


Everyone Needs Coaching, Mentoring

by Letsfixconstruction.com

It is a growing trend for busy professionals to spend some time each week with a coac...


Fighting Ice with Specialty Coatings

by Allen Zielnik

Whether you’re a climate change believer or denier, the predictions are that our weat...


Controlling Corrosion on Offshore Turbines with Coatings, Part 2

by Lee Wilson

There are a number of different turbine types and structural configurations and desig...


Architects Have a Duty of Professional Service

by Letsfixconstruction.com

There is some misunderstanding, both inside the profession and among the population a...


Controlling Corrosion on Offshore Turbines with Coatings

by Lee Wilson

Corrosion is a major risk for offshore wind foundations: Its effects could mean costl...


Things to Consider When Dealing with Submittals

by Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Submittals are the bridge between contract documents and construction. They are also ...


Different Forms of Corrosion Require Various Coatings Systems

by Allen Zielnik

Globally, the corrosion of metals accounts for trillions of dollars in annual costs. ...


Are We Learning from Our Mistakes?

by Lee Wilson

Health and safety in the corrosion-control industry has always been a major priority ...


In Favor of Mass Timber Construction Systems

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re probably aware of the growing i...


Tiny Houses: Emerging Trend or Passing Fancy?

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

It’s important to note the interest in tiny houses as a viable housing alternative, a...


OSHA Civil Penalties On the Rise Again

by Eric J. Conn

As of Jan. 2, civil penalties for workplace safety and health violations issued by fe...


Get Engaged: Visit Your Nation's Capital!

by Robert Ikenberry

Every member of the electorate needs to spend some effort to be informed about critic...


Financial Safety: Insurance, Bonds, Warranties

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Construction insurance, bonds and warranties are among the most confusing and inscrut...


Is It Time to Abandon the PEL Approach to Occupational Exposures?

by Kevin Guth

Let's face it: Our regulatory process to protect the health of workers is broken. Thi...


The Misconception Series — Spray-Applied Fireproofing

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Fireproofing, as covered by this specification section, typically refers to an applic...


The Misconception Series: Gypsum Board

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Misconceptions can be found across the spectrum, in every product category and in eve...


Understanding MIC (and the H2S Connection)

by Warren Brand

Understanding run-of-the-mill corrosion on steel is complex enough. I remember my co...


What Does the Future Hold for Specifiers?

by Letsfixconstruction.com

In the last few years, it has been proposed that owners might benefit from hiring spe...


Can the US Stop the Worker-Safety Yo-Yo?

by Michael Halliwell

Seeing just how political workplace safety in the U.S. has become, one can’t help but...


Looking East to Make America Great

by Robert Ikenberry

As anyone who works in construction knows, projects are built on cooperation, even th...


Specifying Joint Sealants to Maximize Performance

by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

The specification of joint sealants used as weather seals in building construction is...


Material Challenges in Historic Buildings

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

Preserving and repurposing existing buildings is supported by most current green buil...


Correlation and Intent in Contract Documents

by Letsfixconstruction.com

Although it didn't seem like it at the time, one of the best parts of my CSI chapter'...


Extending the Service Life of Elastomeric Joint Sealants

by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.

Elastomeric joint sealants are most commonly used in building construction as a prima...


Writing Specifications in a Vacuum

by Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

A 19th century Scotsman said, “Do not isolate yourself. Be among men and things, and ...


Trump's Budget and the Department of Labor

by Eric J. Conn

The Trump Administration submitted a blueprint budget for 2018 to Congress proposing ...


Containment: A Time to Think Ahead

by Robert Ikenberry

Typically, the two biggest costs for projects involving abatement of hazardous paint ...


The Questionable Promise of Superhydrophobic Coatings

by Warren Brand

Imagine for a moment painting a surface that never gets dirty. Or one that’s perfectl...


Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 3

by Lee Wilson

Why, when the joint standards supply so much more information, are specifiers still c...


Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 2

by Lee Wilson

How does a SSPC/NACE joint standard on surface preparation differ from the equivalent...


Are All Surface Prep Standards Created Equal? Part 1

by Lee Wilson

Some say the ISO standard for dry abrasive blasting is in need of a revamp. Is it? An...


The World’s Largest Movable Structure You’ve Probably Never Heard About

by Warren Brand

It’s called The New Safe Confinement (NSC). Picture a massive, movable hangar-like do...


Sandblast Nozzle Selection

by Patrick Harmon

When it comes to sandblasting, the blast nozzle you use is critical. Blast nozzle sel...


The 'Fatal Four' and Your Worksite

by Michael Halliwell

I recently took the time to look at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administr...


OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 4

by Eric J. Conn

Following the enactment of this controversial rule [the Recording and Reporting Occup...


Color Benefits Schools

by Jill Pilaroscia

The school environment is a clear example of how color shapes human experience and be...


Normalization of Deviance

by Warren Brand

It brought down both Space Shuttles, is responsible for the disaster at Deepwater Hor...


OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 3

by Eric J. Conn

OSHA has expressed particular concern with the supposed chilling effect and retaliato...


OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 2

by Eric J. Conn

The new “workers’ rights” anti-retaliation provisions of the updated Recording and Re...


OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Recordkeeping Rule, Part 1

by Eric J. Conn

OSHA’s recent reform to its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness...


No Two Alike

by Amy Gibson

Have you ever been in a class or a training session with an individual who asked too ...


Getting Along

by Michael Halliwell

A lot has been going on recently that draws my attention back to the social side of o...


How About a New 95:50 Rule?

by Robert Ikenberry

I think we should have a new way of looking at quality. We don’t have to settle for “...


Outgassing: It’s Not Just Hot Air

by Warren Brand

I am intimately familiar with the fine art of “eye-rolling.” As the followers of my b...


Colorful Destinations

by Jill Pilaroscia

Wanderlust runs deep in summer, so this month we’ve rounded up some of the most color...


OSHA Civil Penalties Spike

by Eric J. Conn

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Interim Final Rule to implement th...


Blast It Fast: Factors that Contribute to Sandblasting Speed

by Patrick Harmon

As a contractor, the speed at which you can prep a surface or remove contaminants can...


A Matter of Degree: Nothing Is Black or White

by Robert Ikenberry

We, as a society, seem to have a hard time with “facts” and “truth.” As a self-descri...


The Development of Protective Pipeline Coatings, Part 2

by Lee Wilson

The 1980s really did see the birth of the three-layer systems comprised of a polyolef...


The Development of Protective Pipeline Coatings, Part 1

by Lee Wilson

This is the first in a two-part series chronicling the history of protective pipeline...


Be Ready for What May Come

by Michael Halliwell

Kay Redfield Jamison once said, “There is always a part of my mind that is preparing ...


Between a Rock and a Rusty Place

by Warren Brand

My eldest daughter, Jessica, 21, excitedly called me a few months ago to tell me abou...


The Importance of Your Learning Culture

by Amy Gibson

First things first: What is an “organizational learning culture”? Your organizational...


OSHA’s Enforcement Weighting System

by Eric J. Conn

Over the course of this year, employers can expect to see longer, more comprehensive ...


Infrared vs. Convection Curing

by Patrick Harmon

Many manufacturers face the challenge of product piling up around their painting depa...


Our Industry’s Aversion to Risk: Nothing Is Risk-Free

by Warren Brand

I was 18 and SCUBA diving off a pristine, white, sandy beach in the Red Sea. My dive-...


OSHA vs. DC Court: Statute of Limitations

by Eric J. Conn

Late last year I wrote about a significant rulemaking to amend OSHA’s injury and illn...


Coatings Safety On and Off the Job

by Michael Halliwell

As anyone who reads my blog knows, my job involves sampling paints for lead, conducti...


Are Your Clients Arguing from Ignorance or Authority?

by Warren Brand

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know I live with four women—three daughte...


Old-School vs. New-School Learning: Which Do You Prefer? (You Might Be Surprised!)

by Amy Gibson

Learning occurs every day, but when we think of learning, many of us have a nostalgic...


OSHA Withdraws Long-Planned Rule to Reduce Slips, Trips and Falls

by Eric J. Conn

In what can only be viewed as another example of OSHA’s inability to effectively adva...


A Tale of Two Contractors:
The Hidden, Staggering Costs of Inefficiency

by Warren Brand

It was early spring of 2007 when my old coating company got the call from Grainger Wo...


OSHA Criminal Cases on the Rise

by Eric J. Conn

In the 40-plus years since Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act, t...


Electrostatic Painting: What You Need to Know

by Patrick Harmon

Electrostatic painting is often not well understood in the paint and coatings industr...


Unwelcome Surprises

by Michael Halliwell

A recent article in The Globe and Mail brought to light a disturbing trend in work-re...


OSHA’s Web Reporting Tool: Use with Caution

by Eric J. Conn

In addition to employers’ longstanding obligation, as of Jan. 1, 2015, to report to O...


Kindness: The Missing Ingredient in Any Successful Coating Application

by Warren Brand

It was 2010 and I had just turned 50 when I walked away from a family business. In do...


Asset Integrity and Fabric Maintenance

by Lee Wilson

Asset integrity can be defined as the ability of an asset to perform its required fun...


A Perspective on Learning

by Amy Gibson

Former CEO of GE Jack Welch said, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate ...


5 Tips to Reduce Solvent Use in Your Finishing Work

by Patrick Harmon

I was recently with a customer who wanted to reduce solvent use. His company currentl...


A Tale of Two Clients

by Warren Brand

There’s a concept in martial arts that the first time a student sees a


Should You Demand an OSHA Warrant?

by Eric J. Conn

Perhaps the most common question I am asked about OSHA inspections is


Deep Dive into Subsea Coatings

by Lee Wilson

I was approached recently by a fellow coating inspector who had applied for a positio...


Confined Space, Common Sense

by Michael Halliwell

As I write this, it’s October, which means that the new OSHA confined space standard,...


Beyond Compliance: Inspired by Confined Space Rules

by Robert Ikenberry

In the works since 1980, federal OSHA recently published new construction-specific co...


Can We Save Our Corroding Infrastructure?

by Warren Brand

It's time for a new way of thinking. Let’s first start with a story from a 60 Minu...


OSHA’s Full-Time Enforcement Policy for Temporary Workers

by Eric J. Conn

In April 2013, OSHA declared that protecting temporary workers would become a top pri...


Groups Respond to Call for Green Code

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and AS...


No Room for Painters

by Lee Wilson

Way back in June 2011, I wrote an article that was published in a European coatings j...


Giving Back

by Michael Halliwell

Isn’t it amazing how many lives we touch in our day-to-day work? Or even when we are ...


A Pleasant Surprise in the Permian Basin

by Warren Brand

The three-hour drive through the scrub of the Northwestern Shelf of the Permian Basin...


All About Adhesion

by Lee Wilson

As I have stated time and time again, if a protective coating does not stick to the s...


Embracing Your Inner Geek

by Robert Ikenberry

PLEASONTON, CA--When you read the news, it seems there’s always a war on, over just a...


Sex and the C-Level

by Cynthia O'Malley

PITTSBURGH--In Corporate America, balanced representation of women in leadership (wit...


Battling the Employer Blacklist

by Eric J. Conn

On July 13, 2014, President Obama executed Executive Order 1376: “Fair Pay and Safe W...


Safer Materials: What Will It Take?

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

The nature of building materials and products has been part of the LEED rating system...


Specifications: Does Anyone Still Care?

by Warren Brand

When I was nine or 10, my summers were spent with gun-toting workmen, driving around ...


Facility Manager’s Rx for Building Success

by Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

Maybe you just joined a health-care facility and are taking on a new construction pro...


Designer Reinvents Aging Farmhouse

by Jill M. Speegle

Here’s a farmhouse with a modern twist, seriously. Twist Farmhouse, in Falls, PA, was...


Brutal Color: The Human Experience

by Jill Pilaroscia

As architectural colorists, we are interested in the role that color can play in crea...


A New St. Pete Pier Design Up for Vote

by Jill M. Speegle

Residents in St. Petersburg, FL, may soon see their 42-year-old iconic waterfront lan...


Unstoppable Ego v. Irresistible Force

by Michael Halliwell

As many of you know, my involvement with the coatings industry is not on the applicat...


Standards: Guidelines or Gospel?

by Warren Brand

In coatings, as in every other profession, you can go by the book or you can go with ...


Color Icon: Alexander Girard

by Jill Pilaroscia

"Art is only art if it is synonymous with living," Alexander Girard once said.


Best Practices: Make Room for Daddy

by FMI

The construction industry has a unique culture and a rich history steeped in predicta...


Seeking Sense from the Experts

by Warren Brand

It takes an enormous amount to get under my skin. But I just attended a conference fo...


When Bad Specs Happen to Good Projects

by Lee Wilson

As we are well aware, many factors can and do cause premature coating failure. The us...


The Colorful World of Tetrachromacy

by Jill Pilaroscia

A wonderful ballet of reds, blues and greens choreographs the rich colors we experien...


Wright’s ‘Hollyhock House’ Blooms Anew

by Jill M. Speegle

The Hollyhock House—Frank Lloyd Wright’s first venture into architecture in Los Angel...


OSHA Missteps on SVEP

by Eric J. Conn

It’s been five years since OSHA launched its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and...


The Business of Brand Color

by Jill Pilaroscia

When it comes to branding and business, color has the ability to communicate instanta...


Why Your Bridge Needs a Good Bake Sale

by Robert Ikenberry

Americans are great innovators. We develop the coolest technological toys. From perso...


Sales is Not a Dirty Word

by FMI

No one wants to be called a salesperson—regardless of their position in the company. ...


Game of Pros: Experience v. Credentials

by Lee Wilson

Inspectors and others in the protective-coatings field often ask me which is “better”...


The Big Deal about Asbestos

by Michael Halliwell

Once again, asbestos is hitting the headlines. There have been articles about school-...


'Green' According to Whom?

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

The ongoing evolution of green building rating systems has intensified debate over a ...


Where It All Went So Wrong

by Lee Wilson

I recently returned from inspecting a high-profile gas plant being developed by a maj...


But What about the Men?

by Cynthia O'Malley

Our industry will never achieve the benefits of gender equality with only one gender ...


Award Honors Curtain-lifting Restoration

by Jill M. Speegle

A revamped Art Deco movie theater on Long Island is basking in the glow of an award f...


When Best Practices Go Bad

by FMI

Many times, companies develop best practices and implement them poorly. This can resu...


Failure? Analyze This (or Don't)

by Warren Brand

So, I get a call from the manager of a tony high-rise condo on Chicago’s Gold Coast.


Colorscapes Serve Down on the Test Farm

by Jill Pilaroscia

As architectural colorists, we are often faced with questions about how the materials...


Beyond Cost: Pricing for Value

by FMI

In today’s market, many contractors assume that there are no longer opportunities to ...


The Art of Seeing:
Josef Albers and Relative Color

by Jill Pilaroscia

At Colour Studio, our job as architectural colorists is to please the eye—but visual ...


Beware of Stepped-Up Reporting Rules

by Eric J. Conn

This month has brought an unwelcome announcement from the Occupational Safety and Hea...


Driving Data from Disco to Digital

by Warren Brand

For nearly 30 years, I’ve watched, fascinated, as technology in the coatings industry...


Gen Y: The New Face of Construction

by FMI

From the field to the boardroom, the construction industry has a deepening labor shor...


Historic Trends for a Modern World

by Jill Pilaroscia

We have been researching historic color palettes and thinking about what exactly make...


The More Things Change ...

by Cynthia O'Malley

I recently had the rare opportunity to sit and have an extended conversation with a l...


Murphy’s Laws of Spec Writing
(With Apologies to Murphy)

by Bob Bailey, AIA, CCS

We all know Murphy’s Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will." Over the years, there h...


Do We Need One Nation Under USGBC?

by Robert J. Kobet, AIA

I’ve been involved with the U.S. Green Building Council since its early days. Over th...


Dirty Secrets of the ‘Q’ Word

by Simon Hope

Having dispensed with human competence, can we hope for any better from its inanimate...


 
 
   

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