Low-Carbon Concrete

White House Launches Low-Carbon Construction Initiative In mid-February the White House announced that it will establish a “Buy Clean” task force to focus on the production and purchase of low-carbon materials made in the U.S. for use on federal construction projects. 

New York Governor Signs Low-Embodied-Carbon Concrete Bill A new state law in New York promotes low-embodied-carbon concrete for public projects, and activists are hoping to get another bill passed this year that will push it further to meet carbon emissions goals.

Lendlease Chicago High-Rise Employs Low-Carbon Concrete In Chicago, new high-rise buildings going up near the Loop is nothing unusual. But one tower currently under construction is getting attention for its innovative construction material: low-carbon concrete. The new mix uses 60% less Portland cement and could last 30 years longer than conventional concrete, according to its creators.

In New Jersey:
In November 2021, Governor Murphy signed S3091/A4933 which requires builders to offer unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology as an option in new construction; establishes tax incentives, and State and Local purchasing requirements, for unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint. 

The new law also requires the Environmental Protection Commissioner to establish standards and procedures for certifying a concrete product that generates at least a reduction of half the carbon of traditional concrete. 
The Top OSHA Violations of 4th Quarter 2021

The past quarter saw repeat offenders and fines that eclipsed $400,000, and incidents that included failure to provide fall protection and a worker electrocution and fall. Read more here.
Dodge Data & Analytics

Total Construction Starts Increase in February 9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.013 trillion, which is 16% higher than February 2021, after a 4% increase and a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $923.4 billion in January. For the first two months of 2022, total construction was 14% higher than in the same period of 2021.

Dodge Momentum Index Recovers in February with an increase of 4% to 158.2, up from the revised January reading of 151.9. A total of 22 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in February. Much of the month’s gain was due to a sizeable jump in the institutional component, as more education and healthcare projects entered planning. This Dodge Momentum Index increase suggests that the construction sector, despite higher material prices and labor scarcity, continues to hold strong. More recovery in construction starts will be seen as upcoming projects awaiting groundbreaking begin.
Architectural Billings Index (ABI)
The February ABI Billings score increased to 51.3 from 51.0 in January and December, marking one full year since the recovery began at architecture firms. The value of new Design Contracts is down to 55.2 from 56.1 in January and 55.5 in December.
Architecture firm billings continue to increase at a moderate pace with a February ABI Billings score of 51.3, which is up .3 from the previous two months. Most firms continue to report steady growth and show inquires into new projects and the value of new design contracts both remain strong.
New Jersey's Unemployment Rate Decline Continues

New Jersey records 15th consecutive month of employment gains with a total nonfarm wage and salary increase of 25,900 jobs in February and the unemployment rate falling to 4.6%. The numbers include the preliminary estimates for January since the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) does not issue a monthly unemployment rate release in February.
New Jersey has now recovered 658,300 jobs or 90 percent of those lost in March and April of 2020. 8 out of 9 major private sectors saw employment increase in February 2022, with construction showing a job gain of 1,300.
ICE's VOICE provides short updates of issues of interest and links to more in depth articles.

Visit ICE's website for the March 2022 VOICE
and more about ICE.
Some highlights from the March 2022 VOICE:

9th Annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: The OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR Stand-Down to Prevent Falls takes place May 2-6, 2022. The Stand-Down is a week-long event to raise awareness around fall hazards and the importance of preventing them. Employers across the country are invited to pause work on their job sites to inspect fall protection equipment, conduct training, join one of the Falls Campaign’s webinars, or any other Stand-Down activities that emphasize and improve fall safety. For more information watch this Falls Campaign webinar on the importance of a year-round fall prevention program and check out CPWR’s One-Stop Stand-Down Shop 

OSHA Proposes Recordkeeping Amendments: On March 30, 2022 OSHA issued its proposed amendments to its recordkeeping regulation. The current regulation requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA. The most significant change is that covered establishments with 100 or more employees in certain high-hazard industries—including construction—are now going to be required to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300, 301 and 300A to OSHA once a year (rather than just the 300A), and the data will be posted online by OSHA. 

DOL Publishes Proposed Rule to Amend Davis-Bacon Regulations: Read more here

New Data Bulletin Examines Construction Employment: Read more from CPWR here

DOJ and DOL Cooperate on Misclassification: Read more here

Don’t Just Train Your Workers: Build Construction Intelligence: Read more from FMI here.

IMI offers a Contractor Education Webinar Series exclusively to BAC signatory contractors.

Visit Resources for BAC Signatory Contractors for upcoming and on demand webinars. Feel free to contact the Association Office for your password.

The International Masonry Training and Education Foundation (IMTEF) also supports contractors by providing training for your employees, including on specific skills of certifications needed for a job you're bidding or have won. View IMI and IMTEF’s full suite of services
Welcome Bloc Masonry, LLC
Bloc Masonry, LLC
325 Johnston Avenue | Plainfield, NJ 07062 | tel (908) 367-1600
Brian Hart, Owner | (908) 367-1600 | Arletha Edwards, Administrator | (973) 917-9874
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then select Contractor, Associate, or Architect and Engineer for company details.  
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Some very famous people you see on television, the big screen, or concert halls actually started off in the trades as bricklayers. Here’s a few:

Arnold Schwarzenegger – What started as working out and body-building turned into a construction business when he migrated to the US. He used his winnings from body-building competitions to open a bricklaying company. It did not go well because of his rock bottom prices. Even after partnering with a body-building friend they still couldn’t make ends meet so they changed their business model to “Specialty European Bricklayers” and business began to boom! Then he landed his first role in Conan the Barbarian and the rest is history.

Ozzy Osbourne – He may be well known as the lead vocalist from Black Sabbath and a solo career, but he was not well known for being a world-famous construction worker. Ozzy's father pushed him into the trades and he went from being a bricklayer to a laborer but didn’t fit either position well at all. It was around the same time he was introduced to the Beatles and began his work as a musician.

Whoopi Goldberg – Before Whoopi won the academy award for The Color Purple, she took multiple jobs to make ends meet, one of which was a bricklayer. Due to her skills, the bricklayers union invited her to join the union and she took part in building part of the San Diego Zoo. While being a bricklayer she was able to afford acting classes and developed her craft.
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