The April slow down in architecture billings was significant enough to result in a negative score for the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), released by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) on May 22, 2013. The April score of 48.6 was the lowest in almost a year. The new projects inquiry index score was 58.5.
The negative April reading should cause contractors to pause and evaluate backlog, especially since the decrease in the ABI score may possibly be a result of financing concerns, as noted by Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist. The next couple month’s scores will provide a better barometer for which way construction spending may go, and will provide your company the information it needs for short and longer term business planning.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s May 22nd press release.
As reported by Jeff Clabaugh in the Washington Business Journal, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has awarded the design-build portion of Phase 2 of the Silver Line to Capital Rail Constructors which is a joint venture between Clark Construction Group, LLC and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. The team beat out 4 other teams of contractors as a result of competitive pricing, and meeting the technical requirements of the contract.
The contract, awarded May 14, gives Clark and Kiewit the job of designing and building the 11.4-mile segment of the Silver Line with six stations from Reston through Dulles International Airport and to Ashburn. The notice to proceed is anticipated to be in July 2013 and the project is expected to be completed in 2018. Unlike Phase 1 of the Silver Line, Phase 2 will receive no federal funding for the project, and will be funded primarily by state and local governments.
To read more, please visit the original article.
All employers, including construction contractors, are required to complete form I-9 which verifies identity and authorizes employment of an individual hired in the United States. On May 7, 2013, a revised form released by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be required to be used for all new hires and re-verifications. Please ensure your contracting company is using the new forms or your company may be subject to penalties.
A recent Virginia sales and use tax ruling illustrates how ignoring basic sales and use principles can be costly for businesses. The concept is simple – a sales tax is a consumption tax imposed on the end user of a product. Thus, if your company purchases tangible personal property with the intent of reselling the property (i.e., not consuming it), it generally should not pay sales tax on that purchase. This concept holds true for leases as well. However, a purchaser must notify a seller of this intent by providing a certificate to the seller indicating that the purchased product will be resold. Otherwise, the seller is obligated to collect sales tax.
The failure to apply this foundational sales and use tax concept had a costly result for Continue reading »
The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare or Health Care Reform, has created many questions for employers throughout the construction industry.
Join Aronson LLC and Independent Benefit Services on May 8, 2013 for an informative presentation on the various provisions of healthcare reform that will have a profound impact on how healthcare is delivered and funded in the United States. Our experts will cover the major changes for 2013 and 2014, including new W2 reporting requirements, the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, The Employer Mandate, The Individual Mandate, and The Exchange. Continue reading »
The March Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on April 23, 2013 reflected another month of increases in design activity with a score of 51.9, however the rate of growth has decelerated. The new projects inquiry index score was 60.1, which also reflected a decrease from the previous month.
Despite the decrease in March, the fact that the score remains positive should be encouraging news to construction contractors, as this may indicate more work to bid on in the future.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s April 23rd press release.
Good news could be on the horizon for Maryland contractors and builders. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is slated to sign legislation created to foster public-private partnerships (P3s) between the state and the private sector. Bill 560 passed both the State Senate and House of Representatives this month with widespread support, as part of O’Malley’s legislative agenda.
The public-private partnership bill was initiated as a measure to help Maryland build capital projects by cutting through red tape, protecting state assets, and streamlining the teaming process. State officials anticipate that these P3s will help create as many as 4,000 new jobs and ultimately account for up to 10% of Maryland’s $3.1M capital budget by attracting private investment opportunities for infrastructure projects.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown commented on the partnership iniative in a public statement: “With passage of this legislation — which has the support of a broad coalition, including both the labor and business community — we’ve established a predictable, accountable, transparent, and streamlined process for future P3s. Our legislation will encourage additional private sector investment in Continue reading »
The Obama Administration’s recently released fiscal year 2014 budget contains several provisions that are less than advantageous as they relate to retirement plans. These provisions are by no means final, however, as Congress has yet to work its way through them.
The proposed budget contains two specific provisions that would greatly reduce the attractiveness of retirement plans to small businesses: Continue reading »
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released their latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) on March 20, 2013. With a score of 54.9 the ABI has shown steady growth for the past several months. The press release noted that this is the strongest growth seen since 2007. The new projects inquiry index also increased over the previous month with a score of 64.8.
The recent trend seen in the ABI index should provide contractors hope in the coming months that there will be more work to bid on with a possible return of more profitable work. Based on how this index works, the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2013 could be a time of growth for contractors.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s March 20th press release.
Aronson Systems is pleased to announce our partnership with Bluebeam Software, producer of paperless workflow solutions. As part of this new partnership, Bluebeam is hosting a complimentary, introductory webinar on Thursday, March 28, at 12:00 p.m. EST, which will feature their Revu 10 product.
Attendees will learn how Revu saves time, reduces printing costs and improves project communication with PDF solutions designed for architects, engineers, construction professionals or any technical user.
To register for this event, please visit here.