ATAS International Receives Top Workplaces Award

ATAS International Inc. has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor for the second consecutive year by The Morning Call. The organizations who receive a Top Workplaces award are determined solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics LLC, a research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including employee engagement, leadership, alignment, and connection, just to name a few. Engaged employees are known to drive productivity and results at work, which benefit the organization’s own team members, as well as their customers.
 
“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And often times, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s important to them is a belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together”. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”
 
ATAS International is honored to once again receive this award.  Comments made by ATAS employees while completing the survey were not only shared with the owners and managers at ATAS, but with all the employees.  Some of the survey comments made anonymously by the ATAS team members include:

  • “Employees are kept informed on how well the company is performing.”
  • “There is a high level of commitment and respect that each employee shows to one another.”
  • “ATAS is fully invested in our training and personal growth.”
  • “I appreciate the honesty and integrity of the company and the employees.”
  • “ATAS values all of their employees, and it shows.”

Along with the positive feedback were suggestions on areas for improvement, which will be reviewed and considered for implementation.
 
Anne Hicks, executive assistant at ATAS International, who facilitated ATAS’ involvement in the Top Workplaces employee survey says, “I’m excited that ATAS has earned this award again in 2017.  Our company is growing and we are always evaluating how we can continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers.  Without our dynamic team of engaged employees, we would not be able to achieve our goals.  We are excited about the future of ATAS as we continue to expand and develop, and I am proud to be part of this team.”

Fleet-tracking Software Analyzes Driver Behavior

Teletrac Navman has released Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR, fleet management software that intelligently tracks assets and collects data to meet a range of business needs and drive enhanced productivity for customers.

Teletrac Navman has released Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR, fleet management software that intelligently tracks assets and collects data to meet a range of business needs and drive enhanced productivity for customers.

Teletrac Navman has released Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR, fleet management software that intelligently tracks assets and collects data to meet a range of business needs and drive enhanced productivity for customers. Offering fuel-use tracking, messaging and routing, along with driver behavior analysis tools and concise reporting features, DIRECTOR helps businesses fine tune their strategies and reduce operating costs. Its signature safety module, called Safety Analytics, scores driver performance based on company priorities and replays unsafe driving events to aid driver training. DIRECTOR’s dashboards accumulate information to show trends that would otherwise go unseen, giving companies the insight they need to succeed.

National Institute of Building Sciences to Conduct Hearing on Productivity and the Workforce

The U.S. building industry is under increasing pressure to deliver high-performance buildings to meet the needs of owners, occupants and government. Owners and contractors are looking for opportunities to improve certainty in schedule, performance and cost while managing risks. At the same time, there is an increasing concern from multiple segments of the industry on the availability of a skilled workforce, as well as the productivity of the buildings workforce today and into the future. In recognition of the impact the productivity and availability of a strong workforce has on all aspects of the building industry, the National Institute of Building Sciences will conduct a representative hearing on productivity and the workforce on Sept. 25, 2015, at the organization’s headquarters at 1090 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 700, in Washington, D.C.

Efforts are underway on a variety of fronts to address productivity challenges, including the expansion of off-site construction techniques; development of enhanced tools and processes, such as building information modeling (BIM); enhancing mid- to long-term forecasts of workforce needs; and attracting new, technology-savvy entrants to the workforce through development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

The hearing, which is open to anyone interested in attending, will provide an opportunity for representatives from the planning, design, construction, operations, ownership, finance, insurance, regulatory, manufacturing, academia and other segments of the U.S. building industry to speak about the challenges they face and offer potential solutions. The institute is particularly interested in receiving testimony from organizations that have moved beyond traditional approaches to address needs related to advancements in productivity, safety and project certainty. Case studies, best practices and data on the benefits of such approaches are encouraged.

Presiding over the hearing will be Dorothy Robyn, Past Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration; Institute president Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA; and Charles L. Greco, president of the Associated General Contractors of America and chairman of Linbeck. Sue Klawans, past Institute board member and director of Operational Excellence and Planning at Gilbane Building Co., is serving as an industry advisor for development of the hearing and resultant outputs.

Written and oral testimony will be accepted from all interested parties. The testimony the Institute receives will inform the development of a strategic vision to help the industry overcome the challenges posed by business as usual. The vision and accompanying principles and practices are intended to provide the industry as a whole, and individual participants, with a path forward to advance productivity and address workforce challenges. Results will inform activities within the Institute, including discussions during the Institute’s Annual Conference, Building Innovation 2016; development of the 2015 Consultative Council’s Moving Forward Report; and activities of the various Institute councils and committees.

Parties interested in providing oral testimony must notify the Institute of their intent by Sept. 1, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT. To view the procedures for submitting oral and written testimony, download the Guidelines and Procedures for Submitting Comments to the Representative Hearing on Productivity and the Workforce.

Cold-weather Considerations

During the next several months, it will not be unusual to see roofing crews working hard to complete projects or trying to get an early start on spring projects. Executing roofing projects during the cold months of winter creates a unique set of safety hazards and challenges for designers, contractors and building owners. Not understanding or failing to address cold-weather considerations will impact installation quality and long-term roof performance.

In many cases, designers don’t plan on specifying a roof system specifically for installation during the cold winter weather. However, anticipated funding approval and construction schedules can change, quite often forcing a designer to make changes to accommodate the cold weather. Designers should consider changes related to roof installation methods, as well as adhesive type, to ensure the roof can be installed as designed in colder, potentially snowy, wet weather.

Materials

This adhesive is not stored properly.

This bonding adhesive is not stored properly.

When choosing materials to install, it is important to remember most roofing materials are not designed to be installed in cold-weather situations, especially when ambient temperatures dip below 40 F. Membranes, adhesives, equipment and contractors will perform differently in colder temperatures, so planning ahead and considering how the cold weather will impact material selection, installation time and quality is critical.

Membrane: Storing roof membrane at the job site during warm months is straightforward: Keep the rolls off the ground and protect them from moisture using breathable tarpaulins. As the weather grows colder, the dew point and temperature typically come closer together, increasing the potential for condensation and frost forming on materials. Keep material goods warm and dry by storing them inside a conditioned space or in a heated job trailer. Keeping materials warm and dry will reduce the risk of moisture being introduced into the roof system during construction and minimize the possibility of blisters and other deficiencies in the completed roof system. In addition, material rolls will become more rigid as they get colder, requiring additional time to kick out and relax before installing.

Adhesives and asphalt: When dealing with membrane adhesives, there are generally two main categories to consider solvent-based and waterborne adhesives. Recently, the use of waterborne adhesives has been growing steadily as a result of low odor and VOC code requirements. Both types of adhesives have similar manufacturer recommendations for storage temperature, typically between 60 and 80 F.

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