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Amplified Perspectives

Today’s trending topics explored by key industry leaders.

Beginning the Journey to Project Management Excellence

From huge data centers and the growth of electric vehicle usage to renewable integration and distributed energy storage, the demand and operating dynamics for delivering sufficient and reliable electricity have never been greater. Utilities that embrace strategic project management principles...

Guiding the Management of Organizational Change

Change management refers to the many approaches used to prepare and support a business in making organizational change. Unfortunately, it’s usually associated with convincing people to shift from where they are to somewhere they don’t necessarily want to be. The entire concept is predicated on...

Drones Elevate Efficiency for Building Owners

As with most emerging technologies, it often takes time to identify and embrace the possibilities of how new tools will impact operations. This has been the case for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, and for building owners and...

Collaborative Contracting Approach Brings Cost and Schedule Efficiency

Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) provides the framework to help simplify and manage large capital projects in the construction industry. But it’s the early integration of construction with engineering and procurement resources that unlocks the real potential for how AWP can impact project...

For Large, Complex Initiatives, Program Management Is Hard to Beat

A program management (PgM) approach isn’t appropriate for most projects. But when the conditions are right, it’s almost always a good idea to utilize it.

Bolster Resources and Achieve Goals Through EPC Project Delivery

It’s no secret that electric utilities are facing many changes. From big data to distributed energy resources to increased regulatory management, new initiatives are affecting every part of the industry. 

Co-Location Brings Project Efficiency

There can be moments of clarity in the midst of a project when lessons learned make a lasting impression — and have the potential to positively guide future projects.

Skilled Mitigation Planning Streamlines Permitting, Offsets Impacts

Successful project permitting sometimes requires environmental mitigation or ecological restoration efforts to offset impacts to wetlands, wildlife or other resources. However, identifying those impacts and selecting appropriate mitigation solutions can be complex. Developers have knowledge and...

Potential Risks and Unintended Consequences of the AWP Trend

Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) has been shown to improve communication, safety and efficiency on industrial construction projects, but it also risks taking the planning out of the plan.

Moving Toward a Data-Centric Workflow in the Construction Industry

Large-scale construction projects require collaboration from many different parties. Engineering, procurement and construction need to integrate seamlessly to deliver projects on time and on budget. But bringing all the necessary data and methodologies into alignment has always been a challenge.

Break Projects Into Defined Work Packages for Construction Efficiencies

Using 3D modeling alongside the Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) process has helped complex construction projects become more streamlined, easier to visualize and simpler to construct. By marrying technology with existing high-quality project planning practices, AWP offers the potential to...

The Safety Advantage of Advanced Work Packages

Well-planned work areas, an informed construction crew and clear work assignments reduce the chance of safety incidents on the work site, which is the No. 1 goal in complex construction project execution. Using the Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) process helps facilitate an improved safety culture...

Reducing Solar Project Risk in a Supply Constraint Market

The federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been driving solar energy technology adoption in the U.S. since it was enacted in 2006. The ITC has been modified and extended over the years, and now the phaseout of the program has begun, with the reduction of the 30% credit to 10% by 2022.

Illuminating Ways to Manage Solar Manufacturing Quality Risks

The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) phase-out and Section 201 Solar Tariffs on the import of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are creating a perfect storm for increased risk to U.S. utility-scale solar projects. As utilities, developers and owners accelerate activity to secure the maximum...

The Changing Landscape of Solar Siting and Permitting

At the onset of solar, projects were typically developed in warm or desert climates. Policy advancements and new technologies are changing the scenery of solar farms. Solar installations have been popping up along mountainsides and in cool northeastern winds. As new landscapes expand the...

For High-Quality Solar Installations, Start With High-Quality Evaluations

From customer demand to the investment tax credit (ITC), many factors are fueling an increase in utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects across the U.S. These trends are also bringing new solar construction firms into the market. As the benefits of solar come to light, utilities should...

Geotechnical Studies Reveal Site Obstacles, Reduce Unknowns on Solar Projects

A successful solar project needs the sun, but nearly half of solar installation construction happens underground. This makes what happens under the surface critical to a project’s success. On a job with thousands of foundations, every foot of embedment affects the project cost and schedule....

A Community Outreach Strategy Can Drive Project Success

Vehicle traffic, pedestrians, underground utilities and limited space make urban infrastructure improvement projects complex, but failing to properly engage utility customers and community stakeholders in the process risks stopping a program before it begins.

Navigating Urban Infrastructure Project Constraints

Vehicle traffic, pedestrians, underground utilities and limited space make urban infrastructure improvement projects complex, but failing to properly engage utility customers and community stakeholders in the process risks stopping a program before it begins.

Three Steps to Tackle Urban Infrastructure Project Complexity

Accelerated gas main replacement programs (MRPs) are in progress throughout the U.S. as utilities across the country work to upgrade, replace and repair aging underground distribution infrastructure. While all projects can be complex, programs in urban areas face some specific challenges.

Factoring Constructability into Offshore Wind Development

The planning and permitting complexities associated with bringing offshore wind projects to fruition are why such projects are often four- to six-year endeavors, with construction accounting for the last 18 to 24 months. However, the financial success of any project centers on planning and...

How to Blend STEM Knowledge and Experience to Get More Affordable Solutions

Today’s experienced science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce presents both opportunities and challenges for engineer-procure-construct (EPC) companies and their clients. Knowledge and experience acquired over decades of hands-on engineering work is invaluable, but hiring such...

Managing the Environmental Handoff: Tips for a Seamless Transition

The transition from the construction phase of an oil and gas project to startup and operation is like the handoff in a relay race. You want it to be smooth and seamless. If the baton gets dropped, it can usually be pinned to a communications breakdown.

Early Start on Process Safety Management Smooths Transition to Operations

Process safety management (PSM) is a critical component of any facility’s operations that should begin during construction to pave the path for a smooth transition between construction and operation.

SPCC Plans Can Avoid Liabilities, Schedule Risks on Construction Sites

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans have become routine for operational facilities, but they are often unheeded during construction phases, opening contractors to unnecessary liabilities. These plans are critical to the construction phase and can slow a project's timeline...

Streamlining the Air Permitting Process on Construction Projects

The process for obtaining a construction air permit is different in each state and region. If there’s one thing that is nearly universal, it’s that you can’t start building an industrial project without reviewing the applicability of one.

Retirements Challenge Airport Executives to Build Succession Plans

Airports often have only one point of contact for certain systems on their airfield, the one person who runs all the operations for that system. When that individual retires and takes their knowledge away from the airport, the remaining staff is left scrambling to understand how everything...

Countering the Impact of Workforce Consolidation on Design, Construction

When companies are involved in mergers or acquisitions, the impacts can be wide-ranging. Multiple workforces are often consolidated in the name of strategic synergy. Staff who remain may feel overwhelmed and anxious, wondering if their jobs are secure. Morale can suffer.

Finding Solutions to the Skilled Labor Shortage

A strong construction market is a wonderful thing — until you can’t find the reliable, skilled labor needed to complete your project.

Dispelling the Fear of EPC Project Delivery

It can be difficult for pipeline project owners to determine which delivery method is best suited for specific project needs. One approach to consider is engineer-procure-construct (EPC) project delivery.

Utilizing Prefabrication to Increase EPC Project Efficiencies

Before any project, a decision must be made on what path to pursue in terms of an appropriate delivery method. For those considering the engineer-procure-construct (EPC) route, they’ll find that integration of the design, procurement, construction, startup and commissioning work supports timely...

EPC Is Accelerating Its Impact on the Transportation Industry

In private industry, owners recognize that being nimble in their design and procurement processes can yield great cost savings and schedule improvements. To achieve these benefits, they have adopted design-build delivery strategies such as engineer-procure-construct (EPC).

Tackling Job Site Challenges with the Advantages of Modularization

In today’s competitive business environment, oil and gas projects often must be completed on compressed schedules and in less-than-ideal conditions — tight footprints, reduced labor availability and elevated work requirements. These challenges can create schedule delays, negative project cost...

Going Into the Deep Freeze for Collaborative Project Success

About 600 km (186 miles) northeast of Calgary, in the boreal forest of Alberta, Canada, Ipiatik Lake is a challenging place to work. Working on the surface of a muskeg formation requires that construction be restricted to wintertime. With the cold winter weather, in which temperatures can fall...

Gender and Cultural Diversity Lead to Better Design-Build/EPC Results

Engineering is a male-dominated field. However, as women are increasingly finding their way into STEM careers and on up to the C-suite, alternative project delivery teams, including design-build/engineer-procure-construct (EPC), also are becoming more diverse.

Attention, Women in STEM Careers: Mentoring Matters!

As more studies roll in regarding women in leadership, it's becoming clear that female empowerment isn't just good for women, it's good for everyone.

Inspired by Family, Driven by Success

Possessing a strong disposition toward science and mathematics wasn’t all that drove me to attain a career in engineering. I was actually born right alongside the family civil engineering business.

Engineering Careers: Role Models, Right at Home

Your family doesn’t determine your career. But when it came to my professional calling, I didn’t have to look far for inspiration.

Get the Most From Your Black Start RFP

Maintaining a resilient, reliable power grid is on the minds of many. Utility companies, independent system operators (ISO) and regional transmission organizations (RTO) understand that preparation is key in avoiding a black start situation that might result from natural disasters, fuel supply,...

Closing the Gap with Design-Build for Water Infrastructure

Today's global infrastructure investment, estimated to be $2.5 trillion per year, falls short of the $3.3 trillion annual investment needed to keep pace with expected growth, not to mention renewal of existing aging infrastructure.

Integrated Project Delivery: Bringing Back the Master Builder

The concept of master builder dates to ancient times. In fact, the word architect comes from the Greek for chief (arch) and builder (tektōn). For centuries, the master builder blurred the lines between architect, engineer and builder. However, over time those lines grew more defined as the...

Raising Bridges With an Efficient EPC Approach

Globally, we face difficult challenges to rapidly evolve our project delivery process to meet increased demand brought on by population growth and customer needs. Though it offers much potential, worldwide growth spurs additional conversations about the global infrastructure gap and how with a...

Counting on Benefits: Design-Build for Commercial Buildings

The commercial sector is often the battleground for an essential conflict between form, function and budget. In this environment, is it possible for owners to expect quality aesthetics without compromising cost and schedule? It is with single company design-build.

Locking in Cost Advantages of Design-Build Project Delivery

Preventing capital project costs from spiraling out of control is a primary concern for most public entities, but the traditional design-bid-build project delivery model can't always provide the early cost certainty clients seek.

Augmented Tracking Promises Improved Material Management, Construction Safety

Major construction projects are massive undertakings involving thousands of parts and materials. Keeping an eye on the countless details is critical to safe, effective work and positive outcomes.

Can Smart Glasses Make Construction Sites Safer?

Builders serious about improving their construction safety records may soon be asking workers to trade in their current safety glasses for a new, “smarter” pair.

Data Center and Utility Matchmaking for a Lower Total Cost of Ownership

It’s an indisputable fact: Electric utilities need customers. Electricity sales in the U.S. have fallen five out of the past eight years, primarily due to improvements in energy efficiency. Here’s another essential certainty: Data centers are excellent consumers of electricity, accounting for...

Bringing Data Centers into Site: Choosing a Strategic Location for Data Center Development

“Will this site work?”

Clients seeking assistance in strategic site selection for data centers will inevitably ask this. That question, however, fails to get to the real purpose of strategic site selection. Finding a site that “works” is important, but finding a site with specific strategic...

A Clear Line of Site: Using Strategic Site Selection to Bring Data Centers Online Quickly

Netflix and YouTube were responsible for over half of the world’s downstream Internet traffic in 2016, according to a report from Sandvine. By 2020, analysts expect bandwidth demand from online streaming services to grow even larger. This trend, coupled with a shift to the cloud, has created...

Future of Grid-Tied PV Systems

The North American power grid is the most reliable in the world, bar none. That’s the reason so many in the power industry are working hard to avoid any erosion in reliability as more megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind generation are introduced to the grid.

Modular Data Centers: Strategy Over Building Blocks

Taking a modular approach to data center development is gaining more attention among data center operators, and it’s easy to see why. In an industry where even a highly accelerated schedule isn’t always fast enough, any strategy that increases speed to market is valuable.

Integrated Design-Build for Speedier Data Center Projects

Integrated design-build is the only form of project delivery that can keep pace with the high demands of the tech industry.

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