You Have 90 Seconds to Give a Budgetary Estimate ...

by: Jake Ortego, PE, CCE, CCP, CCA | HPM Audit and Contract Services
Antonio Fratangelo, CCE, CAA | HPM Audit and Contract Services

Elevator conversation is usually, quick, direct, and to the point. Imagine yourself in the following situation. 

You are in an elevator with a colleague, your boss, or a client.  What seems like a simple and direct question is directed at you and goes something like this; “We are thinking of constructing a new facility for [Insert your industry here].  If it is [some quantity] large, how much do you think that will cost?” 

As experts in the capital improvement industry, we know this is exactly the type of answer that should be avoided.  These statements have the very real possibility of becoming the basis of a budget expectation for some future project.  

Tough question...tough situation… How should the “Elevator Question” be answered?


Wanted: Core Skills to Take AEC Sector Employees to the Top

by:  Debra K. Rubin | Reprinted courtesy of ENR

As construction projects grow in size, complexity and risk—and industry talent tightens—employers want staff with broad skills and real world understanding who can handle challenges beyond the technical prowess gained from a degree.

Technology adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic added many innovations to the industry workplace, but also forced changes in delivery of needed skill-building programs in such areas as communication, decision-making, team dynamics, networking, project management and leadership that have not been universally beneficial, particularly for early-stage employees.

Editor's note:
The link below will take you to the full article.  Please also note that COAA and Ripple Intent have partnered to launch a new Owner Training Institute® (OTI) course on Human Skills, available now to bring onsite for your organization.


Protecting America’s Investment:
Surety Bonds Play Critical Role in Delivery of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

by: Lee Covington, Surety and Fidelity Association of America

America’s new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will pump over $550 billion into an estimated 20,000 construction projects in communities across America. The funds will finally address long-standing needs like highway and bridge repair, school construction, and significant upgrades in transit, aviation and other vital infrastructure. But securing funding is only a first step in a successful project – and critical questions remain. 

How can state and local leaders help ensure projects are finished on schedule and on budget? How can taxpayers be protected against expensive, burdensome delays?  How can small businesses – the subcontractors and suppliers that drive every project – be guaranteed they will get paid for their work if the project runs into trouble?


What You Need to Know About GenZ - Your New Employees

by: Nanette Miner, The Training Doctor

You’ve heard it enough in the last few years: The newest generation to enter the workforce (GenZ; defined by Pew Research Center as those born between 1997 + 2012) is upon us and they have their own way of thinking and doing things. The good news is, this generation is motivated, creative, pragmatic, tech-savvy, and innovative. The bad news is those words aren’t often used to describe the construction industry. 

In order to attract this generation, and keep them, here are eight things you should know about the way they think about and approach work. 


Chapter Spotlight: Maryland/DC

by: Justin Peak | Jimmy Patel | Ashley Dale | Howie Ferguson

In 2008, COAA launched a joint chapter between Washington, D.C. and the state of Maryland, an area about a quarter the size of Virginia. While small in size, we are mighty and have a rich history of construction Owners, which helps our chapter thrive. 

In our 15-year history, we’ve been fortunate to have strong and intentional leadership to grow membership and consistently provide networking and learning opportunities. Past chapter presidents include Ben Clarke, University of Maryland College Park; Eric Burdine, Carroll County, MD; John Zahor, University of Maryland Baltimore County. Currently, the chapter is led by Jimmy Patel, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Chris Tenneson with the University of Maryland (College Park).


COAA Celebrates 30 Years | 1994-2024

by: Ashley Dale & Howie Ferguson | COAA

Thirty years brings much to celebrate. We've weathered storms, experienced highs and lows, and are still here, thriving, growing, and as committed as ever to our mission of "promoting facility Owner leadership and continuous improvement in the planning, design, and construction process through education, collaboration, and information exchange."

Over the coming months we will be providing sneak peeks and updates to related to a full calendar year of celebration in 2024. We also want your input, perspective, stories, pictures and more.

Here's just a taste of what's to come...