Congratulations to the AGC/UAF Student Chapter on the completion of the 2017 University of Alaska Fairbanks Ice Arch. Truly an inspiring work of art that is worthy of the 100th Anniversary of the University of Alaska Fairbanks!
Congratulations to the UAF AGC Student Chapter for their outstanding successes at the 2016 Regional Concrete Canoe Competition, the Regional Steel Bridge Competition, and for taking 6th place overall at the National Steel Bridge Competition!
Click here to read a write-up of the student chapters' activities throughout the year, and watch their video below to get an idea of the hard work these students put in, and the way that AGC members truly make a difference in the education of the next generation of construction professionals in Alaska.
The students at UAF have done it again! Every year hardworking students in the construction and engineering programs research, design, and build a beautiful and unique Ice Arch on the UAF campus. See pictures of the 12-foot arch and read the write-up of the project by the President of the UAF AGC Student Chapter, Elliott Anderson, below!
The 2016 Ice Arch was designed primarily to utilize transparent ice blocks, as this design has not been used since the 2012 arch. Instead of constructing one arch, the design included both an upper arch and lower arch which were connected by steel cables supporting a steel ornament. The upper arch stood at 12.5 feet and the lower arch at 5 feet. Constructing with block ice eliminated the need for constructing forms, freezing the ice, and tipping the structure once completed.
Structural analysis of the arch was conducted and the design was found to lie well within the maximum stress tolerance for ice. Ice cannot retain its structure in tension, therefore it must be in compression. The catenary curve design ensures that the stress on the ice is largely in compression, mitigating destructive forces.
The catenary arch design was analyzed in SAP, a finite element software, and indeed showed that very little axial stress was applied to the points along the arch. No moment analysis was necessary since the arch will be built using false works of which were only removed once the entire construction of both arches were completed.
The informative presentations below give a good overview of Alaska's budget challenge and the realistic options available to us to fix it. For even more information, explore the full website www.akfuture.org.
Want to explore the budget options in an interactive hands-on way? Click here to view the fiscal model!
The Rasmuson Foundation's Plan4Alaska presentation has great information on the opinion and response of the general public to the budget challenge. To view that, click here.
After reviewing these presentations, facts, and figures, the Executive Board of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska drafted and signed a resolution in support of a long-term solution to Alaska's financial crisis. Read it in it's entirety here.
Have questions about the Race-Neutral DBE program? Take a look at this FAQ released by the DOT&PF Civil Rights office. Want to download the PDF? Click here.
1. What is the difference between a race-neutral DBE program and a race-conscious DBE program?
A race-conscious DBE program is one where there is an overall DBE goal reflective of DBE utilization across all projects, which DOT&PF and its contractors must meet, and where DOT&PF will use DBE contract goals on individual projects as a means to meet it. A race-neutral DBE program is one where there is an overall DBE goal that contractors and DOT must meet; however, the contract is NOT reliant or restricted based on this goal.
What this means for contractors is that while you will not have to meet a DBE contract goal as a condition of award, it is yours and DOT&PFs responsibility to meet the annual overall DBE goal of 8.46% DBE participation.
2. Does the change from a race-conscious DBE Program to a race-neutral DBE Program affect existing contracts?
No. Only contracts advertised after July 1, 2015 are affected by the change to a race-neutral DBE program.
3. Do we still need to report DBE Commitments and DBE Utilization under the new race-neutral DBE program?
Yes, DBE commitments and DBE utilization are still required under a race-neutral program. Collecting data on DBE participation is a federal requirement, and will allow DOT&PF to continue improving the DBE program.
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The Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is hosting the Alaska Procurement and Business Trade Fair scheduled for March 9 & 10, 2016 at Pikes Landing in Fairbanks, AK. “Building Strategic Relationships” is our event theme. Vendors and attendees don’t miss this opportunity to network and strengthen relationships with the business community.
New this year will be a learning lab that will run for 30 minute sessions to provide hands-on demonstration of procurement tools and products or specific information on contracting issues. Day Two will provide several workshops on selected topics on relevant government contracting issues.
Click here for Vendor registration $75 (includes attendance for two with lunch)
Click here for Attendee registration $45 (includes lunch)
There is a discounted room rate of $75 at Pikes Landing if you plan to stay overnight. Reservation has to be by phone: 907-456-4500 ext 0 and state that you are with UAA/PTAC when you book your registration.
Please contact PTAC if you have any questions at 907-786-7201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alaska Economy Choices is an Excel model developed by GCI showing the fiscal impacts of spending, revenue, and structural choices affecting Alaska’s Unrestricted General Fund (UGF). The model forecasts Constitutional Budget Reserve balances, Permanent Fund balances, and Dividend levels both for a Status Quo case where no changes are made to spending and revenue sources and also for a Solutions case where fiscal gap solutions such as Senate Bill 114, new taxes, and spending cuts are enacted.
This presentation was given in full at the 2015 Annual Conference.
Please review the instructions and powerpoint, then enjoy the insights available to you through the model. Let us know what you think!
Alaska Economy Choices Fiscal Model Instructions
Alaska Economy Choices Presentation
Alaska Economy Choices Model
Pay Attention to the Details
By Ashley J. Sherwood, Esq.,
Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP
Contractors and suppliers working on federal government projects are likely familiar with the trials and tribulations associated with preserving and exercising rights under the Federal Miller Act (40 U.S.C. § 3131–3134). Whether a claim was timely, what costs may be included in the claim, and whether notice was in the proper form are frequently litigated issues that can make or break your Miller Act claim. However, there is a significant threshold issue that some contractors and suppliers may be overlooking — who may exercise Miller Act rights?
The canned response is that the Miller Act protects only those persons who have a contractual agreement with a prime contractor or subcontractor on a federal project. A person supplying labor or materials to a subcontractor in a Prime Contractor – Subcontractor – Supplier relationship has Miller Act rights, while persons supplying labor or materials to a materialman in a Prime Contractor – Materialman — Supplier relationship do not.
But how do you know whether the party you are supplying materials to is a subcontractor or a materialman? Does labeling someone a “subcontractor” in the contract documents automatically make them such under the Miller Act? What if the materials provided constitute a significant portion of the overall contract price? Whether the “middleman” is a subcontractor or materialman is a crucial determination which directly impacts whether a supplier may pursue a claim under the Miller Act.
In an effort to create consistency, federal courts have adopted a list of twelve factors to be used in
determining whether a party qualifies as a subcontractor or materialman. The more “YES’s” a court can give to each question, the more likely a party is considered a subcontractor.
1. Is the product supplied custom fabricated?
2. Is the product supplied part of a larger, complex integrated system?
3. Is there a close financial interrelationship between the prime and the middleman?
4. Is there a continuing relationship between the prime and the middleman – i.e., periodic shop drawing approval or a requirement that a representative be on-site?
5. Is the middleman required to perform work on-site?
6. Is the term “subcontractor” used in the agreement?
7. Does the middleman’s contract constitute a significant portion of the prime contract (i.e., 15% or more)?
8. Is there a contract for labor in addition to a contract for materials?
9. Is the middleman responsible for furnishing all of the particular material?
10. Is the middleman required to post a performance bond?
11. Is there a contractual mechanism for back charging the middleman for the cost of correcting
12. Is payment made on a progressive basis (i.e., payment applications)?
No one factor is dispositive and there is no minimum number of factors a party must meet in order to
qualify as a subcontractor. Rather, the court’s inquiry is a factual determination and courts examine the nature of the prime contractor - middleman relationship on a case by case basis. Such a circumstance-specific approach should be a warning to both contractors and suppliers. Before challenging a claim or abandoning your rights under the assumption the middleman is considered
a materialman, consider the above factors and determine whether the situation may truly afford protections under the Miller Act.
Interested in more legal tips? Don't miss our Legal Bites & Bagels session this Wednesday from 7:30 - 8:30 AM at our offices. Breakfast and updates in construction law will be provided!
President, The Engagement Effect
Strengthening safety culture by analyzing close calls The classical definition of “safety” is to identify and mitigate hazards. Traditional (compliance-based) safety programs are largely focused on these activities. Almost the entire emphasis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) efforts are based on hazard recognition and abatement. Most safety training is based on these concepts — certainly all compliance-based training, such as fall protection or electrical safety — but so is a lot of other training, such as the OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Outreach Programs. In fact, the stated purpose is: “The OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry teaches construction workers about their rights, employer responsibilities and how to file a complaint as well as how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job-related hazards.” Certainly the foundation of any solid safety program is having all the basic elements of compliance and hazard abatement in place. But to go to the next step, to achieve safety excellence, requires much more than that.
Developing a strong safety climate at the construction job site takes careful thought, focused efforts and lots of attention. Another way to think about safety is to get people to change their behaviors — obviously no easy task. Resistance to change is a universal human condition, but resistance to safety change seems even more deep-seated. That resistance is built over time through a number of factors resulting in most adults believing they are “safe enough.” Combine that with two other factors: Most safety messages are negative (e.g. “you shouldn’t have been doing that” or “put on your PPE”), and much safety training is boring and repetitive. The result is that most adults think they are safe enough and have little motivation to put much effort into improving their safety. It’s no wonder that trying to get workers to change their safety behaviors is quite an uphill battle. You can make workers wear personal protective equipment in front of a supervisor, but can you make workers wear PPE when the supervisor is not around? Or wear their PPE when they are mowing the lawn or working on their own roof? The answer is obviously no; only they can make that decision.
One of the ways to help people change is to help them understand that despite not having a serious injury on the job for the past 20 years, in fact, over the course of their lifetime, they have been hurt — maybe not on the job — but they have been hurt. When asked, most adults report having about three to seven major injuries, 20 or more total stitches, sprains and strains, thousands of minor injuries — not counting the close calls they have had. Developing a robust process for near-accidents can help begin the shift toward behavior change and personal responsibility. Ask a group of workers, “Suppose someone slips and falls in a far corner of the construction site, what is the first thing a lot of people do before they get up?” Many will reply, “Look around to see if anyone saw it.” Because if no one saw you, it didn’t happen, right? Or how many people have missed the last step on a flight of stairs and stumbled, then looked around to see if anyone saw them? Those little slips, trips, falls and mistakes are not life-threatening, unless of course there is enough hazardous energy present. For instance, a trip at the top of the stairs can have a much different outcome than on the last step. Or a two-second micro sleep in front of the TV set is much different than having a two-second nap while driving on the Seward Highway at 65 mph. When people can freely discuss their near accidents and close calls, they can begin to explore their states and errors. Perhaps they were rushing, frustrated or tired and failed to self-trigger on the state. Or perhaps complacency played a role, in which case we can work on our habits. Not every close call should be elevated to the level of writing up a report and investigating. In fact, probably 95 percent of the small mistakes and errors that we make daily would overwhelm any kind of tracking system, but they afford an opportunity for us to learn from our errors. Sharing those with others helps us articulate the reason for our error and lets others know of our humanity.
Listening to other peoples’ stories helps us recall our own. An example is a worker who is rushing to complete a cutting task but fails to wear eye protection. At the morning meeting, he relays the incident to the rest of the crew, which might go like this: “Yesterday I was in a big rush, and was a bit complacent, to get a piece of lumber cut. I forgot to put on my eye protection, but nothing happened. Obviously it could have been a lot worse. Next time I rush, I need to self-trigger on that and remind myself to wear PPE.” Getting people to talk about their close calls and at-risk behaviors is a great way to let them realize that there may be room for improvement in behaviors. But not everyone wants to talk about their mistakes, especially if there is a climate of ridicule or blame attached to errors. That becomes one of the primary roles of site leadership — to make storytelling and discussing error a safe thing to do for everyone. Using the power of storytelling, unlocking the opportunities we all have to analyze our close calls and encouraging a culture where people freely talk about their errors and mistakes can help build trust and make employees realize that “it could happen to me.” And when people think that, they are far more inclined to change their behavior, not only in front of the boss but when no one is looking and at home. And that translates to a safer workplace and fewer injuries, which benefits everyone.
The Engagement Effect, a division of Ross Performance Group, LLC, offers solutions in organizational results, safety and health, leadership, talent management and culture change. Learn more about us at www.theengagementeffect.com or email the author at email@example.com.
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