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  • Mon, April 26, 2021 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    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

    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.

  • Tue, April 13, 2021 6:19 PM | Anonymous

    A bipartisan Congressional caucus to improve the delivery of construction services is being proposed by Rep. Scott Peters (CA–52) and Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-8).  The formal launch date is Thursday, April 22nd for newly-formed, Construction Procurement Caucus (CPC).  The congressmen have stated that CPC will serve as a forum for members of Congress to “discuss ways to improve efficiency in the federal government procurement process with the goal of promoting commonsense design and construction services and procurement reforms to benefit the government, taxpayers, and businesses of all sizes.” 

    The CPC announcement comes at a time when the President and Congress are in the beginning stages of negotiating an infrastructure bill that may be as large as $2.25-2.6 trillion dollars.  The CPC lists the goals of the new caucus to: 1) simplify the federal construction services procurement process; 2) promote a competitive marketplace for federal construction services contract awards for all size businesses; 3) support greater opportunities for all size businesses in the federal marketplace; and 4) elevate procurement-related legislative opportunities.

    The virtual kickoff event is open to the public and will take place on April 22 at 12:00 PM, Eastern. RSVP here to attend.  

  • Tue, December 15, 2020 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    CIRT announced that due to the ongoing pandemic concerns it has moved its planned Spring Conference dates back six weeks to June 7 – 9, 2021.  The change will include moving the CIRT - ACE National Design & Construction Competition to Monday, June 7th.

    During CIRT’s Fall Conference last month in Arizona, the ExCom and Board discussed the possibility of moving the dates back to allow more time for the pandemic to be nearly over especially with advent of vaccinations coming online and people hopefully feeling more confident about traveling.  Fortunately, The Willard Intercontinental is able to accommodate these later dates without any changes to CIRT’s program pattern and meeting space.

    With respect to the CIRT National Design & Construction Competition, this change will allow more time for the ACE Affiliate student teams to work on their projects with a REVISED proposed schedule of:

    • April 16, 2021 (DEADLINE) – All entries/registration must be OFFICIALLY submitted as required by the CAC online platform process [DEADLINE: is (11:59pm) in your time zone on the 16th of April].
    • April 29, 2021 – Preliminary results will be announced, with Finalists being notified and plans made to bring a representative(s) from each team to Washington, DC.
    • May 17, 2021 – Finalist teams will need to have made their hotel reservations in DC. [The finalists will be provided precise hotel/logistical information upon being selected. A stipend will be available for each team to be used to help cover cost to attend the final round based on need, etc. from the requests of the teams].
    • June 7, 2021 – Finalists present to the CIRT Panel of Judges. [Exact information on date, time, and place will be provided finalist].

    If you have any questions, please let us know.

  • Thu, October 01, 2020 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    When something is important enough,
    you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

    Elon Musk’s inspirational quote sets the tone for the upcoming 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition held in cooperation with ACE Mentor of America and the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC).  Again this year, ACE Mentor teams from across the country are invited to submit entries before or no later than March 17, 2021 to be considered for the prestigious national title and a prize of $5,000.  The students will be able to select from one of three challenge options that include the following:

    CIRT is looking forward to continuing our joint efforts among CIRT, ACE Mentor, and CAC for a successful 2021 National Competition.

    Download the 2021 Competition Package HERE.

  • Tue, July 21, 2020 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    A Note from Scott Cassels, Safety Week 2020 Executive Committee Chair & Executive Vice President, Kiewit Corporation

    Safety Week Sponsors:

    We’re looking forward to our rescheduled Construction Safety Week, Sept. 14-18, 2020.

    We want to provide companies with guidance and resources to help them easily plan a safe and effective Construction Safety Week. Please see below for additional information.  READ MORE HERE

  • Wed, July 15, 2020 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    McLean, VA – July 15, 2020  – The Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT), a national business trade association comprised exclusively of approximately 125 chief executives from the leading design and construction companies doing business in the United States and globally, has elected Wassim A. Selman, PhD, PE, President of Infrastructure, Arcadis, as Chairman of the organization for a term of one year. He succeeds Paul Franzen, President of Barnard Construction.  Selman was elected by proxy vote, along with new directors, after CIRT’s Spring Conference was cancelled due to the pandemic.

    Wassim Selman, Chairman

    CIRT Chairman 2020-2021, Wassim A. Selman,
    President of Infrastructure, Arcadis.

    “I am most honored to serve you and this exceptional organization as the chair for the next 12 months. Since our last conference back in November, CIRT, our members, our families and friends, our country, and the entire world have and continue to face the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdowns.

    These are turbulent times that require all of us to rise to the challenge and to lead our businesses and this wonderful organization through uncharted territories. I am rising to the challenge and the honor of chairing CIRT and will work with you on the way to our bright future.”

    In welcoming the new Chairman, CIRT President Mark A. Casso, Esq., NAC noted, “Wassim’s calm demeanor, thoughtful insights, and commitment to inclusion, the Round Table couldn’t have selected a better leader in these trying times, even if we went to central casting.”


    The following members were also elected as Officers by proxy vote:

    • Greg Cosko, President & CEO, Hathaway Dinwiddie, San Francisco, CA as Vice Chairman;
    • Peter Emmons, CEO, Structural Group, Columbia, MD as Treasurer; and
    •  Paul Franzen, President, Barnard Construction, Inc., Bozeman, MT will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chairman.

    In addition to the executive committee elections, CIRT also welcomed the following four industry leaders as new directors who will serve on the board through 2023:

    • Ken Aldridge, Chairman, Aldridge Electric, Inc., Libertyville, IL
    • Tom Reilly, Executive Vice President, Turner Construction Co., New York, NY
    • Chris Traylor, Co-President, Traylor Bros., Evansville, IN
    • Jim Whitaker, FAIA, FDBIA, Director of Government & Alternative Project Delivery Principal, HKS, Inc., Dallas, TX

    We offer congratulations to our new officers and directors; and thank all of our current and outgoing directors for their service to CIRT and its members as well as the design / construction industry,” said Casso.

    # # #

    About Wassim Selman

    Dr. Wassim Selman has led the Arcadis North America Infrastructure Business since 2011 and he oversees all of Arcadis’ transportation and buildings business in North America. After joining the firm in 1996, his role has progressively expanded to include a variety of strategic, technical, business development, and operation management responsibilities. He has managed large, multi-discipline operations and programs covering transportation, water, environment and buildings services.

    Wassim is a change champion and a big advocate for diversity and inclusion. He believes in the power of values and culture in capturing the passions of people to collaborate and create value for themselves, clients and communities.

    About Arcadis

    Arcadis is the leading global design and consultancy for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people active in over 70 countries that generate $3.8 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. www.arcadis.com

  • Tue, May 26, 2020 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    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

    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

    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].


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