Drone Startup, PrecisionHawk, Sued for Breach of Contract and Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices

prnewswire | August 26, 2020

PrecisionHawk, a leading company in the commercial drone services industry, has been sued for nine breaches of contract and for unfair and deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Wake County, North Carolina Superior Court by the law firm of Thomas K. Lindgren, on behalf of the plaintiffs, JP Business Group and Terravative. PrecisionHawk acquired Terraserver.com and other assets from the plaintiffs in 2015 under an agreement which required PrecisionHawk to use best efforts to generate and pay commissions to the plaintiffs for six years on the sales of commissionable products and services through Terraserver.com and all other PrecisionHawk sales channels.

Spotlight

Women have made great advances in the world of work. The employment rate for women continues to rise and today there are more women in work than ever before now accounting for just under half of the workforce. But, in construction - still one of the largest employers in the UK - progress has been abysmally slow. As the authors of this report point out, women account for only 11 percent of the construction workforce and just 1 percent of workers on site.


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MATERIALS

Euclid Launches Three New Admixtures at World of Concrete

Euclid | February 17, 2022

Euclid Chemical, a leading manufacturer of concrete and masonry construction products, announced the launch of three new concrete admixtures at this year's World of Concrete—the concrete industry's largest event for building professionals. The following high-performance admixtures were developed to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of construction and concrete professionals: EUCOSHIELD™ An integral finishing admixture, EUCOSHIELD is a ready-to-use liquid admixture designed to be used as an integral finishing aid that prevents rapid moisture loss from the concrete surface by binding the internal water in the pore structure. It is especially effective when concreting operations must be performed in direct sun, wind, high temperatures or low relative humidity. EUCOSHIELD can also be used to reduce excessive bleeding and segregation of concrete or mortar. Containing no added chlorides or chemicals known to promote the corrosion of steel, EUCOSHIELD is compatible with most other admixtures commonly used in concrete, including air entraining admixtures, polycarboxylate-based HRWR admixtures (superplasticizers), conventional water reducers and retarders. EUCON ECO-STRENGTH™ A strength-enhancing admixture, EUCON Eco-Strength improves both early- and late-age strength development in concrete. Based on a highly engineered admixture technology that facilitates cement hydration, EUCON Eco-Strength enhances strength development and allows for sustainable construction practices to be achieved through possible total cementitious content reduction. Maintaining compressive strength development equivalent to that of a reference mix containing more cementitious is important in all construction projects requiring CO2 emissions and total embodied energy reduction. EUCON Eco-Strength is particularly effective where heat is present while curing, allowing earlier stripping of forms or restoring the serviceability of concrete repairs. EUCON® AM-10L A liquid integral crystalline waterproofing admixture, Eucon AM-10L is formulated to interact with concrete capillary pore structures to provide a system that greatly reduces the permeability of concrete through the formation of tiny crystals that block the pores. It can also seal microscopic cracks and work in tandem with other products like sealers to create a structural waterproofing system. EUCON AM-10L can be used in both above- and below-grade applications. About Euclid Chemical Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Euclid Chemical has served the global building market for more than a century as a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty products and technical support services for the concrete and masonry construction industry. Euclid Chemical's expansive product line includes admixtures, fiber reinforcement, concrete repair products, flooring materials, decorative concrete systems and more. Learn more at www.euclidchemical.com.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Primergy Selects Supply and Construction Partners for Highly Anticipated Gemini Project

Primergy | March 10, 2022

Primergy Solar LLC ('Primergy'), a leading developer, owner and operator of utility and distributed scale solar and storage, announced today the final selection of major equipment suppliers and construction partners for the highly anticipated $1.2 billion Gemini Project located near Las Vegas, Nevada. Primergy is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (‘Quinbrook’). After a comprehensive and detailed procurement process, Primergy selected Kiewit Power Constructors Co. (Kiewit) as Gemini’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner and IHI Terrasun Solutions (Terrasun) as the battery storage integrator. Both companies have decades of experience in construction and installation, product development, procurement and systems integration in the renewable energy and power sector. Maxeon Solar Technologies was also selected to provide its high efficiency bifacial solar modules. David Scaysbrook, Managing Partner of Quinbrook said, “The final selection of equipment supply and construction partners for Gemini has been a long, detailed and thoughtful process. The Quinbrook and Primergy teams have worked diligently to evaluate each supplier’s credentials and track record from an ESG perspective in accordance with Quinbrook policies. This includes detailed supply chain investigation and materials sourcing to ensure we have procured responsibly, especially in a challenging market and regulatory environment for solar and storage equipment. We believe we have chosen the best possible technical combinations for a milestone project and applaud our respective teams for their efforts to get to this point.’ The unprecedented Gemini project is a $1.2 billion, 690 MWac/966 MWdc solar array and 1,416 MWh storage facility that will deliver power when Nevadans need it most. The project will feature over 1.8 million solar modules installed on approximately 6,500 acres of federal land and will produce enough clean energy to power the entire city of Las Vegas. During the construction phase, Gemini is expected to create approximately 1,000 local jobs, which will be sourced through union participation. Construction is expected to be completed in 2023 with operations beginning shortly thereafter. “The Gemini Project is extraordinary in its scope and scale, and we are excited to join Primergy in significantly expanding the availability of clean energy,” said Dave Flickinger, Executive Vice President of Kiewit Energy Group, Inc. “With more than 40 years of experience in developing renewable energy projects, we are well equipped to deliver an outstanding solar array and battery system while also supporting Primergy’s commitment to safety, reliability, environmental stewardship and the surrounding community.” “IHI Terrasun is proud to be part of such a historic moment,” said Jamal Burki, President of IHI Terrasun. “We look forward to bringing our advanced DC-coupled solar and storage solutions to the Gemini Project while employing our lifecycle services aimed at ensuring a smooth and reliable operations for all involved.” Primergy has invested significant resources to minimize the physical footprint of the Gemini project where practicable to both preserve and protect local flora and fauna. The company has partnered with biologists to create the industry’s first Desert Tortoise Relocation Plan, which tracks, cares for and will safely reintroduce the protected species back into their natural habitat once construction is complete. Additionally, Primergy will implement responsible and efficient construction processes, such as using alternative site preparation methods, establishing narrow road corridors into the project site, and building appropriately spaced, raised rows of solar modules to ensure nearly 80 percent of the land on site remains open to the sky. “While the size, scale and innovative integration of solar PV coupled with battery storage makes Gemini one of the most complex clean energy projects ever developed, Gemini also sets new and timely benchmarks in sustainable infrastructure development, Through Gemini, Primergy has pioneered a holistic approach to responsible project development that considers complete ecosystem management, collaborative partnerships with local and community stakeholders and undertakes careful due diligence in supply chain and equipment selection. This ensures the company procures responsibly, minimizes environmental impact and delivers lasting community benefits across jobs, training and ongoing education in the benefits of large-scale clean energy infrastructure.” Ty Daul, CEO of Primergy Primergy’s Nevada portfolio alone exceeds 1,300 MWac of solar and 3,330 MWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS) under contract with NV Energy as well as multiple additional projects in the development phase. Established in 2020, Primergy has quickly established a leadership position in large scale solar and storage projects with a growing platform now exceeding 6 GW of both operational and development assets across the US. About Primergy Solar Primergy Solar, LLC is a developer, owner and operator focused on both distributed and utility scale solar PV and battery storage projects in North America. Primergy Solar features a diverse and talented team with decades of experience in renewables project development, financing, construction and operations. It is currently managing and progressing a significant portfolio of operational and development stage solar+ battery storage projects. Primergy Solar is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and represents Quinbrook’s principal solar and solar plus energy storage investment platform in North America. About Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners is a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on renewables, storage and grid support infrastructure and operational asset management in the US, UK, and Australia. Quinbrook is led and managed by a senior team of power industry professionals who have collectively invested c.USD 8.2 billion equity in energy infrastructure assets since the early 1990s, representing a total enterprise value of c.USD 28.7 billion or 19.5 GW of power supply capacity. Quinbrook has completed a diverse range of direct investments in both utility and distributed scale onshore wind and solar power, battery storage, reserve peaking capacity, biomass, fugitive methane recovery, hydro and flexible energy management solutions in the US, UK, and Australia.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Linesight's Commodity Report Shows Volatility in Construction Material Prices to Remain in 2022

Linesight | May 02, 2022

Linesight, a global construction consultancy firm, expects prices for construction commodities to remain high and volatile in 2022, despite a predicted stabilization in the market many thought would come to fruition in Q1. Leading up to the end of 2021, many believed the pandemic-related supply chain issues would begin to ease off and allow for a stabilization of the market, but the Russia-Ukraine crisis has deeply affected the situation; both directly, due to the primary production of specific materials stemming from those countries, and indirectly, due to the conflict's overall effects on the global supply chain. Despite the prevalent risks at play stemming from the ongoing conflict and the materials pricing and availability issues these risks are likely to impose on the market the US construction industry is expected to grow in 2022 by 4.5%, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. This recovery in the construction industry is anticipated to be primarily fueled by an acceleration of activity within the residential sector, which will only drastically increase the demand for the materials needed in that sector, most importantly concrete, cement, and other aggregates, further driving up the prices. Other contributing factors to the expected recovery include a rising demand for new buildings and infrastructure in the life sciences, high tech manufacturing, and public infrastructure projects. In 2022, with prices and availability for essential construction materials like copper, lumber, steel, and cement continuing to remain unreliable, and directly impacting construction output, the total construction output for the US in 2022 will likely end up around $1.672 trillion. This would represent a year-over-year gain of 4.5%, after 2021 saw a total construction output of $1.599 trillion. Further findings from Linesight's first-quarter Commodity Report and price forecast, which is based on interviews with over 160 industry experts across the globe, include: Prices for lumber saw the largest quarter-to-quarter price increase from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1 for the commodities tracked in the report, starting at $8.5/cu ft in Q4 of 2021 and rising 79.5% in Q1 of 2022. It is forecasted that lumber prices will continue to rise through 2022, mostly due to the increase in tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the US, with an expected price of $16.1/cu ft. Raw material prices for steel also saw a significant quarter-to-quarter price increase from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1, with steel rebar rising 4.7% and steel flat rising 8.9%. This trend is expected to continue due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, who are collectively attributed with around 60% of the US's imports of pig iron. With construction activity ramping up, demand for steel will be high in 2022. This will probably be reflected in the price of the materials, as Linesight’s report predicts a year-over-year increase of 12.2% and 17.2% on steel rebar and steel flat, respectively, with a forecasted price of $1,177/t for steel rebar and $2,182/t for steel flat in 2022. Just as the acceleration of construction activity has greatly affected the pricing of steel, it is also expected to do the same for concrete, cements, and other aggregates, with increased demand for infrastructure being another major factor driving the prices up. Cement and concrete already saw a 3% increase in pricing from Q4 of 2021 to Q1 of 2022, and it is forecasted that they will climb another 7.7%, with a projected price of $139/t for cement and $144/cu yd for concrete in the latter half of 2022. Other significant quarter-to-quarter price increases from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1 found in Linesight's first-quarter Commodity Report included welded mesh rising 32.6%, diesel fuel rising 17.1%, and asphalt rising 8.1%. “Despite the anticipated stabilization of materials costs, due to ongoing global issues, 2022 is expected to be another challenging year for the construction industry that will bring with it many disruptions, both in the supply chain and in the overall productivity of the industry, But due to these continued disruptions, we are beginning to see major strategic changes in approach to procurement and supply chain management to minimize risk on construction projects. Many are looking to overhaul their approach, with some projects moving away from the ‘Just in Time’ model, others looking at reducing waste within the supply chain, building out back-up plans rather than being reactive to disruptions, building stronger and more diverse supplier relationships, and engaging early with all stakeholders to put in place strategies geared towards greater certainty regarding cost and schedule.” Patrick Ryan, Executive Vice President, Americas, Linesight About Linesight Linesight is a multinational construction consultancy firm with over 48 years' experience, providing cost, schedule, program, and project management services to a multitude of sectors including Life Sciences, Commercial, Data Centers, High-Tech Industrial, Residential, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Retail. Linesight's specialist project teams, each with specific skills and experience, provide better predictability of project outcomes, faster project delivery, greater cost efficiency, and maximum monetary value for its clients.

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MARKET

The Austin Company Acquires Gala & Associates Inc.

The Austin Company | February 01, 2022

The Austin Company, a design-builder established more than 140 years ago, has acquired Gala & Associates, Beverly Hills, Michigan. Founded in 1987, Gala provides architectural engineering, design, and project management services for automotive assembly and heavy industrial facilities. "Gala & Associates is an exceptional business. I have a high regard for Chuni Gala and his leadership team. The relationships and trust they have earned from the major automotive manufacturers is testament to their values and integrity. Those values align completely with Austin's, Gala has a great name, culture, and business model. We are treating this as an acquisition, not a merger." -Austin's president and CEO, Mike Pierce. The acquisition of Gala & Associates compliments The Austin Company's strategy to expand its design and engineering share of the automotive and heavy industrial facilities market. Austin expands Gala's capacity by providing additional structure and support through its network of offices, including its parent company Kajima USA. "With over 35 years of service and the creation of many treasured relationships throughout the industry, our reputation for design and engineering for the automotive industry is unparalleled. We take pride in our hands-on approach to every project and look forward to continuing to serve our clients while incorporating the resources Austin and Kajima provide to expand our market base and build new relationships," -Chuni Gala, Gala and Associates President. Austin was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878. Its headquarters remain in Cleveland, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Irvine, California; Kalamazoo, Michigan; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and London, England.

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Spotlight

Women have made great advances in the world of work. The employment rate for women continues to rise and today there are more women in work than ever before now accounting for just under half of the workforce. But, in construction - still one of the largest employers in the UK - progress has been abysmally slow. As the authors of this report point out, women account for only 11 percent of the construction workforce and just 1 percent of workers on site.

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