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  • Mon, October 18, 2021 3:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Inaugural Construction Inclusion Week is here: October 18 - 22, 2021 and more than one thousand contractors have united to promote inclusion in the construction industry. In November 2020, CIRT held its first session on DEI featuring Dr. Robert W. Livingston, author of The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth about Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, as well as a panel of CEO leaders:  Mark Cain, President, Smoot Construction; Mike McKelvy, President & CEO, Gilbane Building Co.; Tom Reilly, Executive Vice President, Turner Construction; and Dan Johnson, President & CEO, Mortenson.  This was the genesis of the "Time for Change" Consortium and during CIRT's Spring Conference this past June, members of the Consortium participated in a second panel discussion addressing some of the challenges and solutions related to diversity and inclusion impacting the construction industry. You can watch the full panel discussion below. #ConstructionInclusionWeek #TimeForChange #CEOLeadership

  • Mon, September 27, 2021 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2022 CIRT National Design and Construction Competition is now open! The Competition invites high school students in ACE Mentor Programs around the country to design, plan, and present comprehensive solutions to a complex, real world construction challenge. Submissions are due March 16, 2022, and are reviewed by a jury of industry professionals. The top three submissions will present their work to a jury to compete for the top prize of $5,000 (along with other awards). 

    The 2022 Challenges respond to the real-world challenges and opportunities of the professional design and construction industry: (1) Design a sustainable city to encourage Urban Renewal, (2) Design a memorial of the future to enable gathering, reflection and knowledge sharing, and (3) Design any structure while innovatively applying the sustainable and carbon neutral properties of cement. This year’s inspiration quote from Harriet Tubman encourages teams to think -and dream- big: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

    Each year 50+ teams from across the country participate, building advanced skills and creating top-tier portfolio pieces for secondary education and professional experience. Students also gain fundamental soft skills – collaboration, creativity, self-regulation, communication – and an invaluable life experience, joining a growing network of ACE Mentor alumnus and competition participants.

    The Competition is now open through the submission deadline, March 16, 2022 (11:59pm). Online registration and the project submission portal will be activated in January 2022. The preliminary Jury Review is planned for mid-March, with the announcement of the three finalist teams on March 28, 2022. The “Worthy Finalists”* will present in Washington D.C. on April 25, 2022 to a jury of industry professionals (pending COVID safety guidelines), where the top prize will be announced. 

    All Competition information is available online at www.cirt.org/competition, including a downloadable PDF of the Competition Information Packet which holds more detailed competition rules.

    The CIRT National Design and Construction Competition celebrates the innovations and contributions the design/construction community makes to the quality of American life, while understanding the issues and challenges the industry faces to deliver on this legacy. The Competition is maintained, coordinated, and judged by Construction Industry Round Table. 

    *"Worthy Finalists" are named in honor and remembrance of Ed Worthy, who contributed to the success of the ACE Mentor Program for over 20 years.

  • Mon, September 20, 2021 3:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Don't miss this inaugural podcast / interview with CIRT President Mark Casso and Jack Kalavritinos of JK Strategies talking key policy items impacting the design / construction industry.  This fast-paced program highlights both the long-term issues facing CIRT members, as well as focusing on three recent developments around: (a) PLAs, (b) Risk Allocation related to complex Design/Build-P-3 projects, and (c) Human Resource challenges.

  • Fri, July 23, 2021 3:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CIRT’s third quarter Sentiment Index survey results show both elements of the indices are now reporting all-time highs. The optimism may be a continuation of the “V-shaped” economic climb out of the pandemic and shutdowns along with relief from health risks with wide spread vaccinations taking place. Nonetheless, the latest installment is more tempered with moderately improved optimism across both the overall Sentiment Index and the Design Index component -- which appears to indicate the outlook reflecting a return to some level of normalcy.  

    In addition, the Report also covered a number of significant “Current Trends” related to: project disruptions (comparing 2020 vs. 2021 key elements), business pricing including inflationary pressures, and heightened concerns regarding cybersecurity issues.  Each of these topical matters provide both valuable feedback, but also measures as to how fellow CIRT members have handled or approach a given concern.

    [For details see, 3Qtr./2021 CIRT Sentiment Index Report]


  • Thu, July 01, 2021 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the passing of Donald Rumsfeld this week, Art Laffer (Laffer Associates) has shared a reunion of the 1974 dinner where he, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (former Vice President), first discussed the concepts and economic tax policy that was depicted on a napkin and called the “Laffer Curve.”

    Art Laffer has been a speaker at CIRT conferences on multiple occasions.  He has stayed true to the original precepts of the napkin curve, which perfectly captured the true nature of how taxing impacts the amount of something you tax. It is a special moment in time, that changed economic policy in the nation -- enjoy.

    Link: https://youtu.be/4yBgTN5JT-Y

    The clip depicts a reenactment of the now-famous 1974 dinner between Laffer, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Jude Wanniski in which Dr. Laffer scribbled his Laffer Curve on a napkin for then-Ford Administration officials Rumsfeld and Cheney and journalist Wanniski.  The original napkin from that dinner resides in the Smithsonian Institute. 

  • Wed, June 16, 2021 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Using a hybrid in-person and virtual format, three “Worthy Finalist” teams competed in the presentations round before a remote audience and five judges to vie for top honors in the 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition. The competition was part of the Construction Industry Round Table’s (CIRT) spring conference held in downtown Washington, D.C. The three finalist teams had survived the unprecedented uncertainties and challenges of the pandemic and shutdowns, in addition to a grueling preliminary round that included 27 entries, from 18 ACE Mentor Program of America Affiliates. All the teams in the final round hailed from ACE Affiliates that had never before gotten to the presentation stage. In the end, ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team emerged to take home top honors as National Champions in the fifteenth annual CIRT competition. They did so, by winning favor with a distinguished panel of judges headed by Wassim A. Selman, CIRT Chairman (ARCADIS), that included: Greg Cosko (Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction); Dave Mahoney, (Dewberry); Michael Choutka (Hensel Phelps); and Jenni Mushynski (formerly with 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 Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team for their Manufacturing Center/Zone; 
    • Second Place and a prize of $3,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Western Michigan for their Homeless Shelter entry; and
    • Third Place and a prize of $2,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee for their Retrofit School entry.

    After carefully analyzing the presentations as well as the underlying entry’s design/construction approaches within the project’s objectives, the five judge panel balanced the outcome on the basis of the two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry. The winning team’s solution exhibited a very strong responsiveness to the criteria of the manufacturing center challenge, by incorporating major elements in their proposal/response, such as: (i) advantageous site selection, (ii) use of intra-modal forms of transportation and networks, in addition to (iii) use of flexible storage and office space to meet various client needs and functionality. Realistic detailed cost estimates as well as construction work flow and calendars were also provided to complete the entry.  

    Seven other teams were also recognized in the 2021 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:

    Manufacturing Center/Zone Challenge (out of 5 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Washington Metro Area/McKinley Tech Team;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE of Northeast Florida/Creekside H.S. Team;
    Retrofit a School Challenge (out of 6 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NY/Team 15;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Omaha;
    Homeless Shelter Challenge (out of 16 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Desert Design Team; two teams tied for 2nd Runner-Up between: ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/The Hive Team and ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii/Team Trace.

    The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Center. [To watch the recorded copy of the Final Presentation round go to the following link and see JUNE 7, 2021 video]:  RECORDINGS | Cirt Spring (cirt2021spring.com)


  • Thu, June 10, 2021 1:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As part of the open conversations and discussions during breakout focus groups and program sessions, the danger of cyber-attacks including ransom-ware was revealed.  CIRT member firms are currently experiencing real time attacks that jeopardize their operations while seeking to financially blackmail their companies.  The frank exchanges among members alerted many of their CIRT colleagues and peers to the looming danger and the need to quickly address the matter while assessing their vulnerabilities and taking remedial steps. This ugly side of technology will be a topic of interest in coming meetings. 

    One CIRT member has shared the following FBI information regarding how construction companies and their clients are being scammed by hackers, etc.  (See details).


  • Mon, April 26, 2021 7:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Notwithstanding the extraordinary challenges, disruptions, school shutdowns and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, CIRT was very pleased to see the number and quality of the entries submitted for the 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition. In its fifteenth year as a collaborative program with ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Center, the competition attracted 27 entries from 17 Affiliates/Chapters. The difficult process to narrow the submissions to just three, called upon the preliminary judges to both consider the entries on their own AND also in comparison to the other entries. After being compared side-by-side, only three garnered the coveted right to go onto the final presentation stage to vie for the top prize of $5,000. This year’s Worthy FINALISTS, none of which have EVER BEFORE been named to the presentation phase of the competition, are as follows:  

    • ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team for their Manufacturing Center/Zone entry;
    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee for their Retrofit a School entry; and
    • ACE Mentor Program of West Michigan for their Homeless Shelter entry.


    Seven other teams were recognized as either First Runner-Up ($1,000 prize) or Second Runner-Up ($500 prize) in each of the three different design challenges or options:

    Manufacturing Center/Zone Challenge (out of 5 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Washington Metro Area/McKinley Tech Team;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE of Northeast Florida/Creekside H.S. Team;

    Retrofit a School Challenge (out of 6 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NY/Team 15;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Omaha;

    Homeless Shelter Challenge (out of 16 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Desert Design Team; with tie* for 2nd Runner-Up between: ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/The Hive Team and ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii/Team Trace.

    [*NOTE: After receiving identical initial composite scores from the judges, the Hive Team and Team Trace were more intensely debated and compared to determine if only one should be selected for the 2nd Runner-Up spot. However, after careful consideration it was agreed that both were WORTHY of recognition, the only difference being – one entry had a stronger “How” (technical elements) and the other a stronger “Why” (responsive elements) to address the challenge].

    CIRT is looking forward to a spirited and exciting NATIONAL PRESENTATION ROUND (among the THREE Worthy Finalists teams) during the CIRT Spring Conference in DC, on June 7, 2021. [NOTE: The presentation round will be streamed LIVE for viewing by any interested parties at DESIGN COMPETITION | Cirt Spring (cirt2021spring.com)


  • Thu, April 22, 2021 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The new 2nd Quarter 2021 CIRT Sentiment Index Report released today shows a surge in optimism to an all time record after the Index had fallen into its deepest decline a year ago (at only a reading of 21.6) as the COVID pandemic hit the nation. The Index soared from 55.5 last quarter to 79.1 (plus +43%); with the subset Design Index also jumping from 64.8 to 83.9 (plus +29%).

    These greatly improved results likely reflect the aggressive U.S. vaccine distribution programs ongoing and possibly the new government stimulus packages, along with increased consumer spending – which have contributed to improved industry enthusiasm and confidence. 

    READ the 2nd Quarter 2021 CIRT Sentiment Index Report.


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