Cold Weather Masonry Construction

Masonry materials and their performance are effected by cold weather conditions. When temperatures hit 40*F Masonry Contractors should have a cold weather plan for implementing proper procedures for maximum performance of materials in cold weather conditions. Read more from IMI and NCMA - TEK 3-01C.
How Higher Rents, Rising Values Will Drive Multifamily Construction in 2022

Developers are eager to build more apartments, seeing strong performance in both rents and sales, drawing more investors in 2020 into the multifamily business from other real estate sectors. These rent increases gauge commercial real estate value.

Permits, which are a good barometer of future production, continue to rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 560,000 multifamily units were permitted in November, an increase of 6.1% from October and up 15% from last year. Read more.
Dodge Data & Analytics

Total Construction Starts Flat in December with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $879.3 billion, which is up after falling in November by 14%. Across 2021 total construction starts rose by 12% compared to 2020. “The increase in construction starts was impressive given the many challenges the industry faced during the year” stated Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “While these challenges will remain in 2022, the industry is well-positioned to make further gains fed by a growing pipeline of nonresidential projects waiting to break ground and the infusion of money directed towards infrastructure.”

Dodge Momentum Index Declines in December falling 3% to 166.4, down from the revised November reading of 170.7. Throughout the year, the overall Momentum Index increased 23%, the strongest annual gain since 2005. A total of 21 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in December. The signs continue that construction activity will improve in 2022, and show a more balanced growth than 2021. 

The economy is on the mend and growth is projected into 2022. The Construction Industry Outlook 2022 E-Book will help you plan your strategy for 2022 and beyond with the latest forecasts and insights.
Architectural Billings Index (ABI)
The December ABI Billings score of 52.0 was up from 51.0 in November. Although still down from 54.3 in October, this shows most architecture firms still reporting billings growth, but pace of growth continues to soften. The value of new Design Contracts for December remains at 55.8 from November, down from 58.0 in October.
Business conditions at architecture firms end the year on a strong note with an ABI Billings score of 52.0 in December (any score over 50 indicates billings growth). Firms continue to report a robust supply of work in the pipeline, with inquiries into new work and the value of new design contracts both remaining strong, and backlogs remaining near the highest levels ever reported since 2010, at an average of 6.5 months.
New Jersey's Unemployment Rate Continues Decline

New Jersey records 12th consecutive month of employment gains with a total nonfarm wage and salary increase of 10,100 jobs in December and the unemployment rate falling to 6.3%, following an increase of 25,800 jobs in November.

New Jersey has now recovered 561,200 jobs or 78 percent of those lost in March and April of 2020. 8 out of 9 major private sectors saw employment increase in both November and December of 2021. Construction showed a 1,900 job gain in December after a loss of 1,800 in November.
Material Prices Soared 20% in 2021

Although the prices of some raw materials fell in December, costs are still sky high. Overall, the price of construction materials jumped nearly 20% in 2021 the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently reported. Read more.
  • The index for plywood and lumber rose 17.6%
  • Steel mill products soared 127.2%
  • Index for diesel fuel increased 54.9% 
CMU has Both Initial Cost and Insurance Cost Benefits

Block shines as wood frame sees increase in both builders and property casualty costs, and gains advantage as insurers recognize the risks of wood frame buildings with new data showing the competitive nature of block construction. Read more .
CMU Checkoff Board Nominations Open!

Applications for the CMU Checkoff Board are being accepted by the Department of Commerce. Interested individuals must apply by March 11, 2022 and have been a manufacturer of concrete masonry in the past 180 days. Visit the CMU Checkoff website for more details and to access the application.
On November 15, 2021 President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684). What makes federally funded construction jobs "good" is a concept called prevailing wage, a minimum standard that federal construction contractors have to pay workers.

Labor economist at Colorado State University, Kevin Duncan, said "Because labor costs are a relatively small percent of overall construction costs, prevailing wages don’t have an impact on overall costs, while research shows they tend to lead to the hiring of more skilled workers, greater productivity and better recruiting into apprenticeship programs, which could help meet the need for construction labor.  Read more.
Prevailing Wage Citations and Back Wages Recovered

Site Enterprises, Inc. of Pleasantville and On Target Staffing of North Brunswick were investigated for $162,000 in unpaid wages due to nearly 300 workers. Read more. A&I Electrical Construction, LLC was cited for failure to pay prevailing wage on a public works project, among other violations totaling $370,418. Read more

Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said, "Our state’s wage and hour laws exist to protect workers, businesses, and taxpayers." “Performing public work is a privilege, not a right. We are making sure it pays to follow the rules."
ICE's VOICE provides short updates of issues of interest and links to more in depth articles.

Visit ICE's website for the January 2022 VOICE
and more about ICE.
Some highlights from the January 2022 VOICE:
  • RAiNA Grows in Membership and Service - The young Rainscreen Association in North America, of which ICE is a member, is demonstrating its value to the industry. RAiNA's 1st technical bulletin: Defining Rainscreen Wall Performance
  • TAUC Union Craft Labor Supply Survey - Take the Survey
  • Supply Chain Disruption: Is Now the Time for Contractors to Warehouse or Carry Inventory? Read more.
  • Op-Ed: Apprenticeships only work when there’s a commitment to the apprentice. Read more.
Single Wythe CMU Walls
from a Contractor’s Perspective
Thursday, February 10, 2022 @ 12:00 PM

Examine CMU walls from the contractor’s perspective and get ideas on how you can promote the use of these systems. Gain tips for handling construction issues that commonly arise from just a single wythe of masonry. Learn best practices related to water penetration, flashing, grouting and reinforcing, and installation. Register Here
Notes from the Field: Masonry from a Mason's Perspective - 1 LU/HSW
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Have you ever wondered what goes through a mason’s mind during the phases of a construction project? Get a mason’s perspective on common issues that increase the cost of masonry projects, constructability problems, rarely mentioned field practices, and more. You’ll walk away with new insights to improve production, durability, and aesthetics on your next project. Register Here
Visit IMI's website for more AIA Accredited Programs.

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.
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throughout the State of New Jersey
Visit our website for more information.