Category: building

How to Protect Construction Sites during Hurricane Season

How to Protect Construction Sites during Hurricane Season

By Chris Tilton, co-founder, Dewitt Tilton Group

Hurricane Irma is probably a memory to most, but hurricane season lasts until November 30, and for builders, the weather plays a major role in any construction plan.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to put a hurricane safety plan into place for any construction site. Having a clear strategy ready to go reduces the risk of unnecessary damage, helps prevent injuries on the site and gives you peace of mind.

Let’s start with the basics.

A hurricane watch is issued when a storm is expected to arrive within 48 hours, and a warning is issued when tropical storm conditions are within 36 hours. When a hurricane watch is announced, it’s time to put your plan in place and prepare the construction site.

Steps for Creating a Contingency Plan
The first step is to create a checklist for areas and equipment in need of protection. This list will most likely include tools, heavy equipment, generators, fuel tanks, portable toilets and other materials that cannot be moved to an inside location. Be sure each item on the check list is assigned to a specific member of the team and take time to review the checklist prior to any potential threats.

Your contingency plan should also include a communications piece. In addition to notifying your on-site team, subcontractors should be notified that the site is halting all work until further notice.

Planning for large amounts of water is key to any plan. Heavy rains and flooding are leading causes of damage to construction sites. It is imperative that any construction site is equipped with permanent and temporary drainage systems to maintain the structural stability of the area.

If there are vehicles on the site, they should be moved to higher ground and away from structures that could be damaged. Plus, consider filling the tanks on these vehicles prior to any hurricane or storm.

One of the last but most crucial steps is to turn off access points for all utilities. Now is also the time to remove any project documents from the construction trailer and secure them to an offsite location. As you leave the site, snap a few photos on your phone for future reference. These may come in handy if any items are missing or damaged after the fact.

After Effects
Any good contingency plan will include necessary steps for clean-up and getting back in business after a hurricane. Once you return to the site, assess and document any damage, giving special attention to downed power lines, unstable structures or wet electrical panels. Items to have on hand include cleaning supplies and fuel for vehicles. Finally contact the appropriate utilities and contact your insurance carrier for any assessment needs.

It’s important that all construction companies have a written hurricane preparation plan. Ideally, the plan will be detailed with specific assignments and action deadlines. And during hurricane season, be sure to monitor the weather on a regular basis.

This type of preparation does require added cost, effort and time but can be extremely valuable in the long run and may be your best investment. If construction managers follow these outlined steps and provide clear communication, any site will be up and running considerably quicker and suffer much less loss.

Chis Tilton of the Dewitt Tilton Group

Chris Tilton, co-founder, Dewitt Tilton Group

Chris Tilton is the co-founder of the Dewitt Tilton Group, a Savannah area commercial construction company. For more information or to contact Tilton, call 912.777.3404 or email chris@dewitttiltongroup.com.

Commercial Construction: Workload Rising, Workforce Declining. Inspiring Young Americans to Choose a Career in Commercial Construction

Commercial Construction: Workload Rising, Workforce Declining. Inspiring Young Americans to Choose a Career in Commercial Construction
By Chris Tilton

Chris Tilton

Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group, a Commercial Construction Company

There’s been a lot of talk recently about how automation may soon replace people in the workforce in areas from transportation to financial sectors and others. Some academic counselors are even advising students not to pursue certain fields of study once thought to be sure bets for good future employment because a job may not be waiting for them when they get out of school.

One exception is the commercial construction industry.

Although it has benefited from many advancements in robotics, the commercial construction industry still needs skilled tradespeople to fill positions now and into the future. They include, among others, carpenters and concrete mixers, crew leaders and office managers with an immediate and ongoing need for qualified workers from entry level to management.

But the industry workforce is not growing as it should, so its leaders must do a better job of inspiring young people to seek careers in commercial construction.

Since the end of the 2008 recession, the workload has been steadily rising, but the workforce has failed to keep pace with qualified applicants needed for mid-level management positions and skilled labor jobs.

A recent study by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 73 percent of construction firms in the U.S. plan to expand their payrolls this year to meet project demands, but those surveyed also expressed concerns about the availability of qualified workers to fill those positions.

Europe is experiencing similar issues. According to a recent report in the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph, the construction industry will create nearly 200,000 new jobs over the next five years as demand for new homes fuels a boom in the sector.

So why is there such a large gap in the construction workforce? There are a number of reasons. Those who are in the profession are getting older and many mid-level professionals left during the recession to pursue other careers. Our industry must do more to retain the workers we have and lure back those who left, such as offering incentives like project completion bonuses.

But the big problem is that too few young people are pursuing construction jobs out of high school or college. That’s partly because the construction sector has an image problem and millennials tend to view the industry as old fashioned and not very dynamic. They also want security and variety in their careers and want to be challenged and valued.

So the construction industry has work to do to convince millennials of the value of working in construction. In reality, it has something for virtually everyone, from project management to 3D design and modeling, historic preservation, masonry, carpentry and more.

If we want to attract graduate-level talent from our colleges and universities, we need to change perceptions of our industry. As an example, a study by the National Association of Home Builders found that only three percent of young adults were interested in construction trades, citing the physical demands of difficult work as deterrents.

They also generally underestimated the financial benefits of a career in the construction trades. While it’s only one piece of the total employment package, competitive compensation is important. Normally, base salary is determined by the scope of the employee’s responsibilities, qualifications and years of experience. Construction workers earn an average salary of $31,910 per year. The average salary for a construction manager is $73,087 per year. Most companies offer a variety of programs that expand upon your benefits and compensation package too, and this information needs to be shared with our young workforce.

We should work closely with academic and technical colleges, as well as high schools, to provide information about the benefits of a career in commercial construction and its promising future. We should also offer more internships and apprenticeships that encourage young people to try construction and gain work experience while they learn a skill. By working with educators, we can help them define and streamline their programs to better focus on developing skill sets that are critically needed in the commercial construction industry.

Chris Tilton is the co-founder of the Dewitt Tilton Group, a Savannah area commercial construction company. For more information or to contact Tilton, call 912.777.3404 or email chris@dewitttiltongroup.com.

Kim Thomas joins Local Chapter of National Association of Women in Construction

Kim Thomas joins Local Chapter of National Association of Women in Construction

(SAVANNAH, GA) Kim Thomas, Director of Operations at Dewitt Tilton Group, a Savannah area commercial construction company, has been elected to serve as Vice President of The Savannah chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) as NAWIC #380 announces the new 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

NAWIC was founded in 1953 to create a support network for women in the construction industry and to continue to grow the influence and presence of women in the industry. It received its national charter two years later. Today NAWIC serves chapters in 14 regions, partnering with leading construction firms to provide its members with mentoring, networking, leadership development, skill advancement and education on the latest industry trends. The Savannah Chapter has been active in this region for 15 years and boasts members from many local and national organizations related to the construction industry.

NAWIC presents a wonderful opportunity for me to connect and share ideas with industry leaders and educators both in Savannah and nationally,” said Thomas. “I am thrilled to take on a leadership position that will allow me to influence the growth of an organization so dedicated to supporting women in construction.”

Thomas joins newly-elected board members Laura Lee Bocade of DIRTT Environmental Solutions as President, Brandy Davenport of Savannah Construction & Preservation as Treasurer and Erin Clay of Guerry Lumber as Secretary. New Board Directors include Marilyn Blome of Blome & Associates and Tess Stuber of Atlanta Gas Light. The immediate past president, Tonya Reed of Henry Plumbing Company, will remain an active member of the board.

In her role at the Dewitt Tilton Group, Thomas works closely with clients to ensure that their desires are met at every juncture, from drafting plans and working closely with architects and engineers, drafting the metal building layout (if required), to obtaining bids from subcontractors, to final approval.

Before joining the Dewitt Tilton Group, Thomas worked for six years with Chris Tilton as a Residential Project designer and office manager at John Tilton Homes & Tilton Commercial Group in Ridgeland, SC. Thomas’ previous positions include assistant project manager at Norsouth Construction Company of Georgia in Savannah, construction administrator with TMX Finance in Savannah and office administrator at 14th Circuit Solicitor (District Attorney) in Walterboro, SC. She also served eight years as the Chairman of the Jasper County, SC Planning Commission.

To learn more about NAWIC, visit http://www.nawic.org/nawic/default.asp. For more information or to contact the Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit www.dewitttiltongroup.com.

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced%2C Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

(LEFT to RIGHT) NAWIC’s Newly Elected Board Members: Laura Lee Bocade of DIRTT Environmental Solutions as President, Kim Thomas of The Dewitt Tilton Group as Vice President, Brandy Davenport of Savannah Construction & Preservation as Treasurer, Tess Stuber of Atlanta Gas Light as Director, and Marilyn Blome of Blome & Associates as Director. Not pictured: Erin Clay of Guerry Lumber as Secretary.

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

NAWIC Savannah Board Announced Kim Thomas of the Dewitt Tilton Group

MORE ABOUT THE DEWITT TILTON GROUP:
The Dewitt Tilton Group, a premier construction firm located in Savannah, Ga., specializes in commercial construction. The principals, Andrew Dewitt and Chris Tilton, have over 50 years of combined experience in the local construction industry. The firm manages every aspect of a commercial project from pre-construction to the final walk through. Known for using only highly reputable contractors, the Dewitt Tilton Group brings to the table design, engineering and construction capabilities which guarantee a smooth construction process for each client. The firm is located at 2807-A Roger Lacey Avenue, Savannah, GA 31404. For more information or to contact the Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit www.dewitttiltongroup.com

CONTACT:
Kim Thomas
Director of Operations
kim@dewitttiltongroup.com
912-777-3404

MEDIA CONTACT:
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR
912.844.9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

Peacock Automotive Breaks Ground on Audi Dealership

Peacock Automotive Breaks Ground on Audi Dealership

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) Peacock Automotive has broken ground on its new 30,000-square-foot Audi dealership at the New River Auto Mall on U.S. 278. The estimated cost of the new facility is $6 million, and it’s expected to create 20 new jobs in addition to the approximately 600 people Peacock Automotive currently employs.

Peacock Automotive Breaks Ground on Audi Dealership

Photo Caption: LEFT TO RIGHT:
Barbara Clark, Jasper County Council
Henry Etheridge, Jasper County Council
Carolyn Kassel, Hardeeville City Council
John Lyons, Peacock Automotive Lowcountry Platform Director
Marty Sauls, Jasper County Council Chairman
Harry Williams, Mayor of Hardeeville

Construction on the building will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.

The architecture firm contracted for this project was Hansen Architects, and Thompson-Turner is the contracted construction firm. Many local elected officials and organizations attended the event, which was held on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the site of the new building.

The new dealership will be located two blocks down the street from the current Audi Hilton Head facility that is paired with Hilton Head Volkswagen. When it’s ready, Audi will move into the new building and the Volkswagen outlet will grow to occupy the vacated space. That facility then will be renovated according to current VW design standards.

“This expansion is made possible by the overwhelming demand for Audi and VW brands in our market,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive. “With this new facility, we are expecting to bring new inventory, new jobs and economic growth to one of the Southeast’s largest auto dealers in the South Carolina Lowcountry.”

The new Audi dealership will feature a state-of-the-art repair center along with convenient features such as a free coffee, beverage and snack bar. Audi Hilton Head will also be a dedicated Audi sport facility, which will expand its inventory of high-performance sport models and offer more sport factory parts and accessories.

“Our auto mall is a hub of quality vehicle brands at competitive prices,” said Peacock, “and this expansion puts every option and every service right at the fingertips of our valued customers.”

For more information about Peacock Automotive or the Audi dealership, visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/ or call (843) 208-1258.

ABOUT PEACOCK AUTOMOTIVE
Peacock Automotive owns and operates 20 automotive franchises in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, and employs more than 600 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at the New River Auto Mall that covers 45 acres on U.S. 278, five miles east of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 in South Carolina. At the NRAM location, 13 brands are featured, including Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Genesis, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Porsche, Ram, Subaru and Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Savannah Volkswagen and Alfa Romeo & Fiat of Savannah; Jaguar Land Rover Columbia in Columbia, S.C., and its subsidiary Peacock-Griffey Automotive owns Peacock Subaru and Peacock Ford in Orlando, Fla. Peacock Automotive also owns and operates the NRAM Collision Center and the New River Wellness Institute in South Carolina. In September, NRAM will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the launch of a new name and logo. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/

GPS Direction use: 265 Drivers Way, Hardeeville, SC 29927

MEDIA CONTACT
Jill Jauch
Advertising and Marketing Manager
912-507-7171
jj@peacockautomotive.com

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR
912.844-8880
www.carriagetradepr.com
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com