What’s the Weather?
Laura M. Porinchak / September 2023
Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever seems to do anything about it.—Willard Scott
I am the first to admit I am a weatherholic, a very amateurish meteorologist. I frequently check the Doppler radar and reports on one of my many weather apps when severe weather is in the forecast. A friend of mine calls upon “Radar Laura” when she wants to know if she will be able to get in her pool this afternoon or have to take an umbrella to church. I have also watched “Twister” several times—recently. So you get it: I love the weather. Mother Nature can be kind and soothing, but she also can be a badass.
Obviously it piqued my interest when some of our readers suggested a feature article on how bad weather affects job sites. In this case, bad weather is what you would expect—tornados, snowstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., but it also covers extreme heat/cold, poor air quality and other weather hazards. Are specialty contractors prepared for the worst? What measures are in place to protect workers from Mother Nature? And what about the tools and equipment that may be exposed on the job site? How are they safeguarded? The article on page 22 answers these questions and more.
The next feature article has you looking up at the ceiling (not at the sky) as we put the AWCI member spotlight on Performance Contracting Group’s work with specialty ceilings. PCG is a large company with several product lines, and their client list boasts some big names: Google, Apple, Allegiant Stadium and Caterpillar, to name just a few. In this article (page 28), PCG’s general manager in the San Francisco area discusses regional trends in ceilings, and a project manager in the same area talks about meeting California’s seismic building codes. Challenges and the company’s use of technology round out the information.
Finally, our third feature, which you will find on page 34, is what I would call a must-read. Well, everything in this magazine is a must-read; perhaps I should say, “Read this one first.” Many in our industry say that specialty contractors don’t need to get involved with some of the new automation, machinery, robotics and other technology simply because it wouldn’t complement their work. Artificial intelligence is currently getting a lot of attention, and lots of people are worried about it. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? This digital evolution is not yet over, so consider this article to be a primer for contractors to learn more about how AI can be used in your office and on the job site.
Mark Johnson scratched the surface of AI in his July “InSync” column, and this month S.S. Saucerman’s article digs deeper. AI can help streamline your company’s budgeting and accounting functions, and it can help with estimating and reduce risk. On the job AI can monitor progress, increase productivity and even contribute to your safety program. Lots of benefits and advantages. But with the good comes the bad, and this article also examines the obstacles of making AI another tool in your toolbox.