What Goes Up …

Laura M. Porinchak / May 2021

AWCI’s April board of directors meeting made me smile. Yes, it was good to see everyone even if it was virtual, but it was also heartening to hear that most of our board members’ companies are doing well despite the pandemic. As essential workers, many reported continued work and healthy backlogs. Sure, there were some exceptions (university work in Michigan has stalled, and New York isn’t doing very well), but most members continue to be optimistic and working hard.
    
The bad news? Rising material prices and limited supply were reported by several board members. More information on this trend can be found in several news stories in our Construction Trends department, which starts on page 11. It’s something to watch. (And just keep remembering that what goes up must come down.)
    
New technology is also something to keep an eye on. The feature article that begins on page 30 delves into the technology trends making an impact on construction. Many companies are slow to join this movement—mostly because of cost and high learning curves, but those who are involved are gaining a competitive edge. Some of the technology helps companies do more with fewer people, other tech increases communications and reduces paperwork. There is a lot more out there to help you build better, faster and more efficiently, so be sure to give this article a read to see what you may want to consider in the near future.
    
Our next feature (page 40) may help answer your questions if you’re feeling a little dazed and confused about marijuana laws. Medical and/or recreational marijuana may be legal in your state, but it’s still illegal on the federal level. Should marijuana still be included in drug testing programs? What about CBD products? How does CBD differ from THC? What is your company’s policy, and how is it communicated to your employees? How are your insurance rates affected? There is a lot to be considered, and this article should help safely and legally guide you and your company in this tricky matter. And again remember that what goes up must come down. ;)
    
This issue also presents you with our Spring New Product Guide (page 24), which brings you information on many of the new tools and equipment that have just come on the market—or are soon to be available.
    
Finally, I want you to be sure to have a look at Last Page (page 48). This month we take a look at the work done by AWCI member company California Drywall on the lobby of a high-rise in San Francisco that went from dark marble walls and ceramic tile to an open, airy design that welcomes visitors with linear light slots and reveals in the wall panels.
    
Enjoy!