Leon Williams Contractors’ design-build experience positions us well for the future

    Here are five construction trends to look for in 2018

    Efficiency is more than a buzzword to us. Our design-build model vastly streamlines the construction process in multiple East Tennessee construction sectors, including church, retail, restaurant and medical construction.

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    It seems the entire construction market is catching on to the need to streamline projects from the design to building phases. Efficiency – from preconstruction to modular construction – is top of mind in many predictions of top 2018 construction trends.

    Here are five trends to look for in the construction sector in 2018:

    1. Growth rates will vary by sector, but overall nonresidential construction, which we specialize in, will grow about 3 percent in 2018. That growth could be higher or lower, of course, depending on everything from the final structure of federal tax reform to whether long-awaited infrastructure spending will materialize on the local, state and federal fronts. Interest rates remain low, and if corporate tax cuts proceed, that could arguably inject more capital into the economy.
    2. Increasing costs of supplies and labor will prompt construction companies to further identify cost-saving measures. Our economical design-build and value-engineering model is ahead of the curve, and look for more companies to adopt this approach. We already have years of experience with this method, and we cut costs, not corners.
    3. Technology will continue to drive and enhance our design-build process. From project management reports via smart phones to 3-D design methods and active use of social media, we will stay on top of these tech trends to better communicate and plan your project from beginning to end. That’s yet another hallmark of our proven design-build process in East Tennessee.
    4. Technology will also continue to drive safety improvements. As the construction market roared back to life in recent years following the Great Recession, injuries and fatalities at construction sites increased, too. We follow strict protocols at every job site to ensure our employees and site workers are working as wisely and safely as possible.
    5. Look for more state and federal programs to teach construction fundamentals to younger generations to address a labor crunch in the construction market. In Tennessee, that includes Tennessee Promise, a scholarship program geared toward getting more adults a secondary education, including vocational training.

    The prognosticators may not be perfect, but one thing is clear as we head into 2018: It’s going to be another great year for our design-build construction company in Maryville, Knoxville and elsewhere in East Tennessee. Contact us today  for more information.

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    Technology: How we use it?

    How has Leon Williams Contractors,LLC integrated technology?

    The use of technology is more and more becoming the norm in the construction industry. So how is LWC incorporating tech into our day to day. We are slowly integrating tech into our company through the use of DropBox, Microsoft Outlook, Wireless Weather Stations, Laptops/Tablets, and smart phones. LWC is also currently researching construction apps to make our team more efficient.

    DropBox has proved to be a useful tool. Through this program we are able to collaborate with the job site from the office by using shared project folders. Plans, budgets, scope of work, project timelines and onsite photos are all stored here and easily accessible for all parties involved. All project information in readily available in the event one of our team members need to share information with subs and or architects. We find the use of DropBox to be extremely useful in staying on point with all our projects.

    Microsoft Outlook has proven useful in keeping communication records of all correspondents between employees, subs, and clients. While we do realize it may not be the most ideal it works for us at this time. This is not to say we aren’t open to other means to keep track of all job communication. LWC is not afraid to try new things that allows us to become a more efficient commercial contractor.

    Wireless Weather Stations. Please see our previous blog post on this piece of technology and its usefulness on the the job site.

    Everyone is familiar with the ease of use of laptops, tablets, and smart phones. All our superintendents/project managers are provided a company laptop/tablet and a phone. By incorporating these into our day to day we can make sure all our employees have the technology they need to run a more efficient project. Sure there are other technologies available to the construction industry and we are currently doing our own research on what will work best for Leon Williams Contractors, LLC. We are not afraid of technology and are open to new ideas so long as it improves, not hinders, the efficiency of our clients projects.

    Once we do a little more research into the current construction apps and software available we will share our findings and personal opinions with you.

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    Wireless Weather Stations: Useful equipment on the job site?

    East TN comes with its share of weather challenges. From the inches of ice and snow we have experienced over the past few years to the wet, soggy spring and summers we have grown to know, sticking to deadlines can prove to be difficult. As a General Contractor, working under these extreme conditions, with projects located all over the East TN area, Leon Williams Contractors tries to find ways to help keep our projects on schedule and one way we have found to accomplish this is by closely monitoring weather situations on our job sites. While we have not instituted the use of wireless weather stations at all job sites, we have utilized them on more lengthy projects. From monitoring rainfall amounts, temperatures, and wind speeds we feel like overall this equipment has been a tremendous asset.

    A few ways these systems have helped LWC on the job site are as follows:

    Accurate onsite temperatures: By having onsite temperature readings, we have been able to monitor the safety of our employees from the elements. This came in handy particularly during the freezing temperatures we experienced this past winter. We also used the information gathered by our weather station to determine if the weather was conducive to pouring concrete and whether or not we would have to incorporate additional measures once the concrete was poured.

    Job site Wind Speeds: Nothing can be more dangerous than being elevated in the air, on lifts or scaffolding, with strong cross winds. By monitoring wind conditions, our superintendents can maintain the safety of our people and make calls to keep them on the ground during dangerous weather conditions.

    Onsite Rainfall Amounts: LWC has found this helpful when looking back at lost time on projects. By having this data we can determine if project delay was weather related.

    We are currently using a wireless weather station on Blount County Eye Center located in Maryville, TN. This project is nearing completion and we look forward to reviewing data upon its completion. Overall, Leon Williams Contractors would agree that the use of these systems is beneficial in the construction industry.

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