Monday, September 30, 2013

Managing Print Costs for Wide Format Ink Plotters

This comes from the popular web-site known as Print4PayHotel.

Here’s the beginning of the article:

“Over the weekend I took the time to finish one of my spreadsheets that enables us (Print4Pay Hotel members) to identify the cost per square foot for HP inkjet plotters.  

Let me tell you this was no easy task.  Why in the world is there no information from HP that states how many milliliters of black ink is used to print one square foot for a CAD drawing?

Every time I searched the HP web site for additional information about cost per page for Design jet plotters I was stymied by a notice that stated there was no information.”

Here’s a link to the complete article:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

U.S. Construction Spending - THEN and NOW

Data from U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) – Value of Construction Spending (Value of Put-in-Place Construction) – 2006 through July 2013


$1,198.0 billion
$1,161.3 billion
$1,078.9 billion
$939.1 billion
$814.2 billion
$787.4 billion
$850.2 billion
$900.8 billion

How the PDF will accelerate the paperless jobsite movement – article authored by Kyle Hughes, Project Engineer, Skanska USA

Here’s the beginning of Kyle’s article about the project that’s now underway:
August 7, 2013
As a Senior Project Engineer at Skanska, not only do I manage information related to my projects, I also share experiences and help project teams develop new digital processes to streamline and improve communication. We are constantly running towards the goal of working smarter, faster and more efficiently, and like many other general contractors nationwide, we are working towards going paperless. To do that, we are using PDFs and tablets more and more.
Here’s some more of the article:
With support from Bluebeam Software, developers of PDF markup and collaboration solutions for the AEC industry, Skanska has formed a coalition of general contractors throughout the country around the banner of “All PDFs Created Equal Campaign.”
On August 1, in its first meeting, coalition members Balfour Beatty Construction, BNBuilders, DPR Construction, Hoffman Construction Company, McCarthy Building Companies, Mortenson Construction, Stiles Corporation and Turner Construction Company met in Los Angeles to discuss the first phase of this project: determining the PDF qualities that GCs need so that we can more efficiently communicate and collaborate on digital documents. From drawing size to file size, vector content to layer density and more, we outlined and explained why certain aspects of PDF file creation are crucial for effective use in the field.

To read the full article Kyle authored, click on this link:

FMI Forecast for 2014 in the Q3-2013 Construction Outlook Report

RALEIGH, N.C. (September 13, 2013) – FMI (, a leading provider of management consulting and investment banking* to the engineering and construction industry, releases today its Q3-2013 Construction Outlook. The markets continue to shift, reducing annual Construction-Put-Place predictions to $909.6 billion, down nearly $4 billion from previous predictions. Early forecasts for 2014 show annual CPIP continues moderate growth of 7%, rising to $977 billion.
Major market predictions include:
    Residential Construction — FMI continues to forecast traction in residential construction. However, the growth is expected to taper off to 12% in 2014. Total predicted residential forecast is $379.6 billion, compared with the $338.2 billion for 2013.
    Commercial Construction — The current forecast calls for a 5% increase in 2014. Although retail sales as of June 2013 were up 5.7% over the previous year, new bricks and mortar retail space along with commercial other construction growth will remain slow to recover.
    Healthcare —With business owners nervous about the costs of the Affordable Healthcare Act, predictions are slightly unstable. Although the healthcare construction forecast slipped 1% since last year, it is still expected to grow 6% in 2014 to $44 billion.
    Educational — The increase in residential construction and tax revenues will help bring this market back in many areas of the country. Due to budget cuts for government spending at all levels, the national market will rise only slightly in 2014 to 4% over 2013 levels.
    Manufacturing — The resurgence of the automotive industry is a big boost to manufacturing as is the continuing explorations and mining for shale oil and gas. However, manufacturing construction is expected to drop 2% by year-end 2013 before returning to 4% growth in 2014.
    Highway and Street — Passage of MAP-21 calls for nearly $38 billion for the fiscal year 2014 for the Federal-Aid Highway Program. This is a major contributor to the CPIP predications of nearly $80 billion for 2014.

While there is no singular reason for change in these markets, there are a few economic concerns that touch all of them.
    Potential conflicts with Syria
    Downsizing of government and large companies
    The implementation of Affordable Healthcare Act

To download a copy of the full report, click here. For reprint permission or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Sarah Avallone at 919.785.9221 or