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  • Tue, May 26, 2020 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The lasted feedback from the CIRT members has been summarized in the second Bi-Weekly Report, that shows an interesting set of opinions as to most critical or valuable elements in any federal pandemic aid bill that contains infrastructure spending stimulus (see, page 3).

  • Wed, May 20, 2020 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In an unprecedented “virtual” final round program, presentations were made before a remote audience of over 130 and five judges to vie for top honors in the 2020 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition. ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York/Team 30 emerged to take home top honors as National Champions in the fourteenth annual CIRT competition. The three finalist had survived a grueling preliminary round that included 52 entries, from 24 ACE Mentor Program of America Affiliates, with over 400 students from 170 high schools, and 238 professionals (mentors) involved. Due to the pandemic and shutdowns the presentation round was conducted remotely using the Zoom meeting platform before a distinguished panel of judges headed by Thomas F. Gilbane, Jr. (Gilbane Building Company) that included: Tom Reilly (Turner Construction Co.); Lisa Chong, Associate, PE (Thornton-Tomasetti); Scott Seltz (Publisher, ENR); and Jenni Mushynski (Chicago Architecture Center).

    The order of finish for the competition was:

    • First Place and a prize of $5,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York (Team 30) for their Water Resource Management & Preservation entry: “the belt;”  
    • Second Place and a prize of $3,000 went to: and ACE Mentor Program of Illinois (Chicago Team 5): for their Gastronomic Center entry: “Food Bank;” and
    • Third Place and a prize of $2,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Washington, DC Metro Area (Washington Liberty H.S. Team) for their National Pavilion entry: “The National Star.”
    It took the judges two ballots to ultimately determine a winner after carefully analyzing the presentations as well as the underlying entry’s design/construction approaches within the project’s objectives. In the end, the judges balanced the outcome on the basis of the two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry. The winning entry exhibited extraordinary versatility and responsiveness to the criteria of the water management challenge, by incorporating three major elements in their solution/response: (i) flood and sea rise mitigation, (ii) combined sewer and storm surge water overflow containment, and (iii) use of tidal flow to generate energy. The cost, spread over 15 years, was estimated at $12.7 billion; compared to the greater NYC damage from Hurricane Sandy that was estimated at $19 billion in 2012.

    Six other teams were also recognized in the 2020 competition as either First Runner-Up ($1,000 prize) or Second Runner-Up ($500 prize) in each of the three different design challenges or options. Among this elite group were:

    National Pavilion Challenge (9 entries):
    1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Illinois/Chicago Team 9; 
    2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Phoenix Area/Team P3;

    Water Resource Management & Preservation Challenge (18 entries):
    1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Philadelphia/Team 10;
    2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Washington, Inc./Seattle Technology Team;

    Gastronomic Center Challenge (25 entries):
    1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Illinois/Chicago Team 1;
    2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of Illinois/Chicago Team 6

    The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Center


  • Fri, April 10, 2020 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest results from CIRT’s 2nd Qtr 2020 Sentiment Index confirm the tsunami-like shock wave that has hit the design and construction community as result of the economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 (Wuhan virus) pandemic.

    The report found that the CIRT Sentiment Index had experienced an unprecedented plunge from 63.6 to 21.6, with the Design Index seeing a similar drop from 62.7 to 39.8; indicating fewer opportunities are likely in the coming quarter.  [For details on market segment impacts, and steps firms are taking, see the CIRT Sentiment Index 2Q Report].


  • Tue, April 07, 2020 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the wake of the extraordinary disruptions to social and business endeavors brought on by the pandemic, the nation-wide “Infrastructure Week” program has been postponed until the week of September 14-21, 2020.  CIRT, along with a large number of our member firms, have either been active participants, sponsors, and/or supporters of this week long effort to draw attention to the vital needs in our country for infrastructure improvements, spending, and priorities. 

    • This year the program has been named:: United for Infrastructure 2020: A Week to Champion America's Infrastructure
    • Firms can follow the program on Twitter at: @United4Infra
    • For information on: affiliating, partnering, and/or registering to attend or receive information about the program go to: www.unitedforinfrastructure.org

    Read CIRT's “Vision for Infrastructure”

  • Thu, April 02, 2020 9:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CIRT members were invited to join a webinar on Thursday, April 2 to discuss the global financial implications of the pandemic. The session, titled “Economic Endgame: Recession Resilience; Responding to Stimulus; Rebounding Stronger” featured an expert panel including:

    • Steve Bartlett, former president of the Financial Services Roundtable and former member of the U.S. Congress
    • Beth Brooke, former global vice-chair of public policy at EY and a member of the firm’s Global Executive Board
    • Terry Graunke, chairman and CEO of Erie Street, is an industry-leading business builder, operator and investor
    • Nick Redman, Oxford Analytica's Director of Analysis and the Editor in Chief of the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief
    • Georges Ugeux, former president of the European Investment Fund and former head of the international group of the New York Stock Exchange

    WATCH the webinar here:  https://apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus/

    Once you are on the website page above, scroll down the page until you see the Vimeo video for the webinar:  Economic Endgame with Oxford Analytica

    This virtual discussion addressed government stimulus packages in leading global economies, their economic effect, and how they are being administered; economic scenarios for business in 2020, focusing on the most impacted sectors and markets, and longer-term effects; insights from the frontlines of the corporate response across the EU, China, the Gulf and the United States; newly released APCO research into attitudes of the U.S. public towards COVID-19 and how business and government should respond, and; longer term considerations for corporate positioning in the wake of the pandemic.

  • Mon, March 30, 2020 2:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Using wide-sweeping policing authority under the emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governors in three states (New Jersey, Colorado, and Minnesota) have ordered private sector companies (including construction firms) to provide them with a complete list of all PPE items they have on-hand.  The orders come as concerns continue to persist (notwithstanding the herculean efforts by the Trump Administration to meet the demand) about the ability of medical personnel and facilities to have adequate PPE supplies available if peak conditions should overwhelm their capacity.  [NOTE: At this time, these orders are not “confiscations orders” but, such a listing of supplies can be used later to demand or take such materials if it should come to that].  Notwithstanding, some of the businesses have raised concerns regarding if it becomes necessary to surrender the PPE supplies to the state, how will that impact them when facing an OSHA penalty for workplace safety noncompliance? [No clarification has yet been issued by OSHA].

    The three states have expressed their orders in slightly different ways, but all amount to approximately the same thing – the state governments want to know what private sector firms have by way of PPE supplies.  See below for example, (it’s been reported):

    New Jersey (Gov. Murphy): Has ordered all businesses with personal protective equipment to submit an inventory:  “Any business or non-hospital health care facility, including but not limited to dental facilities, construction facilities, research facilities, office-based healthcare or veterinary practices, and institutions of higher learning, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services should undertake an inventory of such supplies and send that information to the State by no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020.”  Murphy orders from last week also noted: “The Office of Emergency Management shall establish a process by which entities subject to this provision can submit this information.”

    Colorado (Gov. Polis): Has made a similar request ordering: “any Colorado business or non-hospital health care facility, whether veterinary, dental, construction, research, institution of higher learning, or other, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators and anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services undertake an inventory of such supplies by no later than March 26th, 2020 and prepare to send it to the State of Colorado.”

    Minnesota (Gov. Walz):  The
    inventory order requires: “Any Minnesota business, nonprofit, or non-hospital health care facility, whether veterinary, dental, construction, research, institution of higher learning, or other, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines (including any consumable accessories to these devices) that are not required for the provision of critical health care services or essential services and were not produced by the organization for the purpose of sale, must undertake an inventory of such supplies no later than March 25, 2020,” (Emphasis added), with the inventory listing to be submitted at:
    https://mn.gov/ppe.  The precise definition of what is an “essential service” outside of medical health care, etc. has not been defined, but if it is mixed with non-essential then an inventory is still expected, along with STOPPING use of the PPE supplies for these non-essential activities.

  • Fri, March 20, 2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today during the daily Pandemic Response news briefing, Vice President Mike Pence signaled out the construction industry for stepping up to donate, share, provide vitally important personal protective equipment/gear (PPE), such as N-95 face masks, gloves, etc. that they could spare from their firms.  

    Please take the survey re: "emergency supplies" by following this link.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Casso.

  • Mon, March 16, 2020 5:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Using as inspiration a quote from Winston Churchill, ““Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm,” CIRT announced today this year’s CIRT National Design & Construction Competition’s three national finalists.

    This year, 52 entries were submitted from 24 Affiliates/Chapters across the country with only three garnering the coveted right to go onto the final presentation round. The three finalist teams will have that opportunity to present remotely/virtually to a panel of judges. The three finalists for 2020 are:

    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater Washington Metro Area, Washington Liberty Team for your National Pavilion entry;
    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/Team 30 for your Water Resource Management entry; and
    • ACE Mentor Program of Illinois/Chicago Team 5 for your Gastronomic Center entry.

    Read more here.

  • Mon, March 16, 2020 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As concerns around managing the exposure to and treatment of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) continue to escalate and with the President declaring a National Emergency on March 13th, as well as the CDC’s Interim Guidance announced yesterday, March 15th,  CIRT will be canceling the CIRT Spring Conference (April 27–29, 2020).

    Unfortunately, this will also mean canceling the final presentation round of the CIRT National Design & Construction Competition.  However, we are happy to report that 52 entries have been evaluated and three national finalists identified hailing from: Greater Washington DC Metro Area; Greater New York City, and Illinois/Chicago. These teams will have a chance to square-off in a remote or virtual presentation round to determine the National Champion ACE Team!

    CIRT believes the health, safety and well-being of our members and your employees, our partners, and the communities in which you live and serve are our foremost concern as we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak.

    If you had registered for the Spring Conference, please be sure to cancel your hotel reservations directly with The Willard hotel (or other venue) as well as cancelling your travel plans.

    We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and we wish everyone well as we collectively navigate this global health challenge.

    Please let me or Jane (jane@cirt.org) know if you have any questions about future CIRT events. 
  • Fri, March 13, 2020 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CIRT members were invited to participate in a webinar hosted by APCO Worldwide on Wed., 3/11 re: the COVID19 situation and we are pleased to make the recording of this webinar available for those that could not participate when it was live.   You can find a recording of the session here: https://apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus/
    Additional resources include: 

    If you have any questions, please contact Mark Casso or Jane Bonvillain.

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