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Weekly Poll (66)


PPG recently announced the launch of PPG Services, a “digitally-enabled service platform” that aims to allow businesses to identify and connect with painters and then manage and schedule general painting maintenance project. Do you think the platform will prove beneficial to commercial businesses with multiple locations, as intended?


Earlier this month, crews began dismantling the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge (located in the Oregon Inlet of North Carolina) with guillotine-like saw blades in order to use concrete portions for an existing offshore artificial reef. Slated to be complete by 2020, do you think this method of removing the bridge’s piles and spans will prove to be financially effective?


According to a survey released from the Associated General Contractors of America, along with Autodesk, 80% of construction firms reported to struggle with filling hourly craft positions. Since the survey’s findings were released, the AGC has called on the federal government for help. Which, if any, of the federal requests to aid in filling craft positions do you think will be the most useful?


The Mackinac Bridge, located at the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan recently received a new paint job with help from a Ruby+Associates-designed movable scaffolding system. Without the innovative equipment, do you think the project would have been able to reach completion within a year?


In a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, misclassification of employees as independent contractors no longer violates the National Labor Relations Act. However, some claim that the ruling will further hurt the industry as misclassification already points to lower operational costs and further inconveniences contractors who correctly classify their workers to be competitive against others who don’t. Do you think the rule will help or hurt?


In August, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings announced the reestablishment of its Pittsburgh chapter, known as the SSPC Steel City Chapter. Do you believe the chapter will attract new members from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, as well as western Maryland and other northeastern states?


At the beginning of September, it was reported that a panel of independent experts approved a $100 million fix for the sinking and tilting 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Do you think the installation of 52 new piles, extending twice the distance into the bedrock of the north and west sides will prove to reduce future sinking and improve the structure’s seismic performance?


The comment period ends next week for U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s August request for feedback on its current respirable crystalline silica standard as it applies to construction. In receiving feedback on “the effectiveness of engineering and work practice control methods not currently included for the tasks and equipment,” do you think appropriate control measures for pieces of equipment connected to silica exposure will be revised?


Last month, a new report from GlobalData—a research firm that breaks down construction projects in the United States—found that nearly 60% of the construction market is occupied by just 10 states. The report aims to provide an assessment of the current construction project pipeline, based on various data collected from the 10 key states over a five-year span. Do you think the study will help improve future construction methods?


In August, researchers based out of the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, India, announced the development of a new way to protect ships from corrosion using a compound from mango leaves. Though further testing still needs to be conducted, do you think the technology will be used in future industrial coating products?


Over the summer, Danish architecture firm COBE was tapped for a new science center, planned to be built in the Swedish university city of Lund. With plans to be fully carbon-neutral, do you think the potential icon of sustainability and durability will inspire a future generation of architectural projects?


Lake Charles, Louisiana-based SOWELA Technical Community College recently received a $1 million donation for the development of a pipeline academy from TC Energy. Do you believe the regional learning center will positively affect the oil and gas industry?


At the beginning of August, a “waste-to-energy skyscraper,” ideally to be housed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, was proposed by United States-based designer Honglin Li. Given an honorable mention in the 2019 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, do you think the design has the potential to become an actualized project?


In July, a ceremony was held to celebrate the competition of the 1.5-billion-euro Chernobyl New Safe Confinement. The infrastructure—known as The Arch—is reported to be the largest moveable land-based infrastructure ever built and took a combined 33 million working hours to construct. Given a lifespan of 100 years, do you believe the essential structure for proper disassembly and decommissioning of radioactive materials will pay for itself?


In July, an Italy-based project titled, “Urban Flying Opera,” used drones to paint a large-scale graffiti project with the aim to beautify the city of Torino. With more stories of drones being utilized for this type of coatings work, do you think the technology has the potential to eventually replace commercial painters?


Toward the end of July, President Donald J. Trump signed an order that would promote the expanded use of American-made iron and steel in federal projects. The “Buy American” platform is slated to push the domestic content threshold from 50% to 95%. Do you believe this will help to boost the U.S. industrial economy?


A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that in many climates in the United States, the use of “cool” exterior walls could lead to annual heating, ventilation and air conditioning energy cost savings up to 11% for stand-alone retail stores, 8.3% for single-family homes and 4.6% for medium-sized office buildings. Do you believe the cost savings is worth sacrificing a building's style?


Announced in mid-July, a historic Pennsylvania bridge will be the first in the U.S. to use an electrically isolated tendon system (EIT), which helps to detect corrosion on post-tension tendons with reported minimal changes to construction schedules. Would you consider using this technology?


Last month, the New York State Assembly approved legislation establishing a PaintCare program—a paint stewardship program involving paint manufacturers and producers in conjunction with the American Coatings Association that allows consumers to recycle specific types of paint. Do you think the program will help or hurt local governments with paint collection and disposal services already in place?


In the beginning of July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $33 million contract for four miles of border wall work in Texas. Environmental regulations including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, among others, for this section of work, were waived. Do you think this is the best policy to speed up the construction?


Researchers from Columbia University have recently developed a new coating material inspired by the Saharan Silver Ant to keep buildings cool. According to physics professor Nanfang Yu and his team, the developing coating can reflect up to 99% of sunlight. Slated to require more research and testing, when do you predict the technology will be released into the market?


As reported by the Center for Climate Integrity early last month, various U.S. coastal communities are expected to pay $416 billion in seawall protection services over the next 20 years. Do you think all 50,000 miles worth of coastal barriers will be successfully installed or will we see the abandonment of waterfront communities?


In New York City, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders recently passed Senate Bill S6599, which sets a net-zero emissions economy goal by 2050. Joining six other states with zero-emission electricity goals or requirements, do you think the U.S. will eventually have similar legislation pass in all 50 states?


Last month, SSPC and NACE confirmed that merger talks were beginning to make headway. With organizations expected to host a membership vote by the second quarter of 2020, do you think industry professionals will be ready to adapt to this possible change?


In June, ground broke on the $2 billion, 170-mile passenger South Florida Rail Project, which will connect Orlando and South Florida. Expected to remove 3 million cars from Florida roadways between the points of travel, do you believe the infrastructure will pay for itself?


In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new lead standards to protect children, lowering dust-lead hazards from 40 micrograms of lead per square foot to 10 micrograms on floors and 250 micrograms to 100 micrograms on windowsills. In addition to the grant program passed in March, do you believe the EPA’s efforts will prove effective?


In June, Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis went on record to say that Pittsburgh’s International Airport couldn’t afford to not rehabilitate the facility. Although PIT only sees a fraction of annual passengers since its opening in 1992 (from 38 million to 8 million), do you agree that a $783.8M project—that includes decreasing the size and upgrading the terminals—is necessary?


The Florida Department of Transportation recently released information on an $802M infrastructure plan slated to take place in Miami over the next four years. The project involves a new six-arch bridge and rehabilitation to three major highways, all slated to be constructed at the same time. With holidays, weather, special events and unforeseen circumstances all taken into account, do you think the project will be successfully completed by fall 2023?


Recently, Louisiana’s Sunshine Bridge was struck a second time since its last incident in October. According to reports, Dank Silver (the tanker ship involved) damaged the fender system that serves to protect the bridge. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett noted that the structures themselves are designed to handle this kind of damage, however, with reoccurring instances and increased water traffic, do you think fenders are the best option for bridge protection?


With responses due for the “Building a Safer Future” by July 31—a fourth consultation on improving fire and structural safety for high-rise housing in the United Kingdom involving various revisions including: increased residential building height; revised concept of duty holders; and stronger voices for residents (to name a few)—do you think the new Implementation Plan will help to prevent future tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire?


Plans were released for what Canada is dubbing the “world’s tallest hybrid building.” With more architects and design-build contractors choosing timber for green building standards, do you think more cities should be following this model for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?


In Michigan, Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, suggested selling several state-owned transportation assets to raise money to rehabilitate various roads and highways versus raising the state’s fuel tax. Do you think this is a good idea?


Just last month Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 136 and Senate Bill 231 into law. Bill 136 lowers the prevailing wage threshold amount for public projects and restores the prevailing wage for workers on those projects to 100% and Bill 231 removes language that prohibits contractors and subcontractors from entering into agreements with labor organizations while working on public projects. Do you think this will successfully help those working in construction unions reach economic recovery?


Last month a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rolled back an injunction that halted construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. According to the panel, the lawsuit was dismissed due to a new presidential permit. Do you expect we will see more exercises of presidential authority for pushes of this kind of infrastructure in the future?


In May, the French Senate passed a bill requiring Notre Dame to be rebuilt to its “last known state.” Do you think this is the rightful decision for the historic landmark, or would a proposed innovative design have been more appropriate?


Recently in South Carolina, the Ben Sawyer Bridge had to close due to heat, which ultimately caused the bridge to become stuck partially open. Do you expect we will see more of these instances throughout the summer?


Last month, President Donald J. Trump announced the lift of United States’ tariffs on steel and aluminum products for Canada and Mexico. Do you agree with this move?


Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened what is being touted as the world’s widest suspension bridge in the world. With six lanes of traffic running in each direction, the Rod al-Farag Axis Bridge is intended to shift traffic, ultimately decreasing travel time around Cairo and on various highways. Do you believe other major cities could benefit from this type of massive infrastructure?


A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge has developed the smallest pixels ever made with the help of a thin polymer coating. With hopes to one day use the product for displays on the exterior of buildings, how soon do you think we can expect to see this technology?


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, external corrosion was the culprit that caused an offshore pipeline to spill roughly 140,000 gallons of crude oil into Refugio State Beach, California. Do you think a better inspection system could be implemented to prevent these types of ocean-based hazards?


Recently, Colorado passed The Human Right to Work With Dignity Act (HB-1267) into law, which officially makes wage theft over $2,000 a felony theft. Do you think this legislation should be adopted in all U.S. states?


Researchers from the Corrosion and Coatings Engineering Branch at Naval Surface Welfare Center, Carderock Division are currently evaluating coatings that could possibly mitigate corrosion on Navy vessels. How soon do you think we could see these developing products on the market?


At the tail end of April, NYC passed a green roof bill, requiring all new commercial and residential buildings in the city to have 100% green roofs made up of plants, solar panels or small wind turbines—or a combination of all three. Do you think 100% coverage is an achievable goal?


In Dubai, a $13.6 billion Mohammed Bin Rashid Maktoum Solar Park has completed its fourth phase of construction, including the base of a concentrated solar tower (slated to be the tallest in the world). With the ability to power 1.3 million homes, cutting 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually, do you think more countries should be funding these kinds of solar-powered innovations?


AkzoNobel, along with a consortium of 13 partners, launched a new research project aiming to collect wasted solar energy absorbed by buildings in April. In a plan to create both transparent- and opaque-type panels that won’t disrupt the building’s aesthetics, do you think we will eventually see the finished product on all types of building exteriors?


In a recent report conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, just over 47,000 bridges in the United States are classified as structurally deficient or in poor condition. However, the rate at which these bridges are improved is at its lowest point since the Association began monitoring the data. Why do you believe this might be?


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with the city’s Department of Buildings, announced just last month that there would be major updates taking effect in the city’s building code, including reducing barriers to cost-effective construction and developing a wider range of materials and technologies. The changes represent the first major revisions to the standard in 70 years. Do you think other cities are in need of these kinds of upgrades?


A bill was filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, after a Florida county’s Bee Ridge treatment facility witnessed a pipe burst, releasing an estimated 900,000 gallons of wastewater, some of which flowed into a stormwater system and out into Sarasota Bay. The proposal suggests that if another sewage spill were to occur, $1 would be fined for every gallon lost. Do you think this legislation will encourage more improvements in wastewater infrastructure?


Recently, Tnemec acquired manufacturer company ProPolymer Coatings. Do you think these new products will be a profitable addition?


In April, a stress corrosion crack was to blame for a gas pipeline explosion that occurred just north of Mexico, Missouri. Reports indicate that the pipeline was previously tested in 2015, involving a magnetic field test. However, when a hydrotest was taken of the pipe following the incident, the test failed four times prior to its success. Do you believe pipeline inspections should be using hydro-technology over magnetic methods?


At the end of April, President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders announced the agreement of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. However, no agreements were made on how the plan would be paid for. In anticipation of what ideas will be brought to the table in the next bipartisan meeting, how do you think Congress will decide to fund this proposal?


Tragedy struck Paris last month when the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire, which destroyed the spire and two-thirds of the wooden roof. Since the incident, an international competition has been launched in efforts to recreate the spire and damaged areas, slated to be built by 2024. Do you think it’s possible that a design can be chosen and completed in this short five-year time frame?


Recent testing has revealed that a nanostructured chemical vapor deposition coating, which provides resistance to water droplet erosion and solid particle erosion, extends the life of steam turbine blades. With these new findings, do you expect more steam and gas turbine blades will have this type of coating?


Late last month, Saudi Arabia firm Elite for Construction & Development Company purchased The Bod 2, a modular gantry-based 3D construction printer. With the ability to produce buildings 12-by-27-by-9 meters, as well as three-story structures of 300 square meters per floor, do you think other commercial-based companies could benefit from having a similar system?


SSPC and NACE have announced that they will be discussing “synergistic opportunities” amongst one another. Do you think this is a good idea?


U.S. Rep. Llyod Smucker, R-Pennsylvania, introduced two bills last month that would create a new immigration visa system for construction and other non-farm work, as well as potentially provide more money for career training and apprenticeships. Regarding the proposal, do you think this solution will prove more useful in the current worker shortage or cause more problems in decreasing wages?


Late last month, North Dakota-based contractor claimed that his company could build 234 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border wall for $1.4 billion, a fraction of the funding requested by the president. Do you think that we will see other companies speaking up to compete for a cheaper solution?


Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, recently brought forth a bill that would set a statewide standard for those working outdoors in relation to heat illness prevention. Currently, OSHA has guidelines and recommendations to avoid heat hazards, but there is no set standard for heat exposure. Should OSHA write its standards or should warmer states be pushing their own legislation?


Last month, Elon Musk and The Boring Company announced its plans for an underground express tunnel in Las Vegas. With various tunnels already completed and others still in the making, none are officially up and running. How soon do you think passengers will be able to experience this hyperloop travel?


In March, the EPA issued a final rule to prohibit the manufacture and importing, processing and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use, but not for contractors and professionals. Based on the number of health risks, medical claims and even deaths, do you think this is fair to workers who will have to continue to work with the common chemical?


Recently, an opening ceremony was held for the debut of New York City’s $25 billion Hudson Yards development, which includes a 150-foot-tall interactive centerpiece dubbed "the Vessel." Do you think other U.S. cities will be inspired to start building more innovative structures?


Researchers from Michigan State University plan to add more data-tracking sensors to the Mackinac Bridge. With progression of the prototypes since 2016, do you think this kind of technology will make its way to assist the preservation/management of other bridge structures?


UNStudio and Monopol Colors recently announced that they've developed a new "extremely reflective white paint" that has been given a Total Solar Reflectance rating of 80—about 5-10 points above other white paints, according to the companies. Do you think we'll start to see even higher TSR scores as research goes on?


Border wall prototypes (worth $3 million) were recently demolished, after serving their purpose for the Trump administration. With an additional $20 million used to pay for prototypes and smaller mock-ups by the Dept. of Homeland Security in 2017, which have also since been dismantled, do you think the extensive testing period will pay for itself in the years after the final structure is complete?


With China’s Crystal skybridge (also known as a "horizontal skyscraper," which connects several high rises) set to open later this year, do you think we will see other dense cities making use of connecting their existing structures in the sky for more commercial and residential space?


ASTM International announced a new test method for detecting corrosion-inducing bacteria. Do you think that industry professionals will be persuaded to new techniques, or continue to practice conventional test methods?


 
 
   

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