CONSTRUCTION

MetroNet Launches Virginia Construction in Norfolk, VA

MetroNet | January 11, 2022

MetroNet Launches Virginia Construction
MetroNet  announced that construction has begun on its fiber optic infrastructure in Norfolk, Virginia. MetroNet will fully fund the $90 million construction project that will provide Norfolk residents and businesses with access to 100 percent fiber optic internet. The City of Norfolk marks the first city in Virginia that will have access to MetroNet’s services. Upon completion, the City of Norfolk will be named a Gigabit City with MetroNet’s future-proof fiber optic network.Construction has begun near the Five Points Neighborhood Spot and will expand rapidly over the next two years with the first customers online in the fall of 2022. Residents and businesses may visit construction.metronetinc.com to receive updates on construction in their area.

“As we welcome MetroNet as a member of our community, Norfolk is proud to be the first Virginia community that will have access to this modern technology, We understand the tremendous impact that MetroNet’s services have on the communities they serve, and we look forward to providing our residents with those same services that will improve the quality of life and work here in Norfolk.”

-Mayor Kenny Alexander

MetroNet brings 100 percent fiber optic internet and local and long-distance phone service directly to homes and businesses in underserved communities in America with affordable, symmetrical speeds up to 10 Gigabits with no long-term contracts. The company expects its network to be available to more than one million residential households and business locations in the near term, providing more service options to hundreds of communities.

“We’ve experienced a warm welcome from Mayor Alexander and the City of Norfolk since we began discussing this project, It’s clear that this city is rich in diversity and opportunity, and we’re excited to be a part of that as we move forward together. We can’t thank the Mayor and the Council enough for the invitation and we look forward to servicing Norfolk.”

-John Cinelli, MetroNet CEO.

Residents in construction areas will receive communication by mail about construction activity in their neighborhood 30 days prior to beginning and the company provides additional messaging, such as yard signs, to let residents know when the temporary construction process is beginning in their neighborhood. MetroNet crews are marked by ID tags and branded vehicles.

MetroNet is one of the fastest-growing providers of fiber optic high-speed services in the nation and is known for its outstanding customer service provided by a strong local presence. MetroNet will establish a retail storefront located in the Norfolk area for customers to have direct access to customer care associates, sign-up for services and schedule installation.

About MetroNet:
MetroNet is the nation’s largest independently owned, 100 percent fiber optic company headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. The customer-focused company provides cutting-edge fiber optic communication services, including high-speed Fiber Internet and full-featured Fiber Phone. MetroNet started in 2005 with one fiber optic network in Greencastle, Indiana, and has since grown to serving and constructing networks in more than 120 communities across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, and Missouri. MetroNet is committed to bringing state-of-the-art telecommunication services to communities — services that are comparable or superior to those offered in large metropolitan areas. MetroNet has been recognized by PC Mag as one of the Top 10 Fastest ISPs in North Central United States in 2020 and Top 10 ISPs with Best Gaming Quality Index in 2021. Broadband Now has recognized MetroNet as the Top 3 Fastest Internet Providers and Fastest Fiber Providers in the Nation in 2020, and #1 Fastest Mid-Sized Internet Provider in two states in 2020. In 2020, MetroNet was awarded the Vectren Energy Safe Digging Partner Award from Vectren. For more information, visit www.MetroNetinc.com.

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CONSTRUCTION

Lafarge Canada to Double Recycled Aggregates Volumes Through Key Partnerships

Lafarge | April 22, 2022

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, Lafarge Canada Inc. is proud to announce the ambitious goal of doubling Eastern Canada Recycled Aggregates volumes by 2025 a set target to supply customers with over 2 million tonnes per year the equivalent to a train pulling 16,000 fully loaded rail cars. The use of Recycled Aggregates alone is a key component of Lafarge Canada’s journey to Net Zero, directly associated with the global demand for sustainable building solutions to support better living standards. “2021 was a record year. Having achieved a 19 per cent growth rate last year exceeding our original ambition of 15 per cent, encourages our teams to confidently work towards our 2025 Aggregates Strategy,” commented Peter Sanguineti, Vice President, Aggregates Eastern Canada. “In fact, we are already looking to accelerate this year’s growth rate, aiming at 25 per cent a 10 per cent annual prediction increase based on our ongoing projects with key partners in Eastern Canada.” Lafarge’s investment in the Recycled Aggregates portfolio is a clear example of the company’s commitment to the concept of Circular Economy, for instance, when producing Recycled Aggregates from demolition waste and returned concrete, Lafarge avoids the disposal of these materials in landfills and presents a sustainable alternative to virgin materials, which are non-renewable resources. “In addition, our high quality recycled aggregates significantly reduce the volume of virgin material to be transported by trucks over time,” commented Marie-Michèle Poirier, Manager, Environment & Land, Eastern Canada, “In order to reuse construction waste and turn it into Recycled Aggregates, we transport the waste directly to stockpiles at cities’ depots, which traditionally is a shorter distance compared to virgin material transportation from quarries to construction sites, resulting in a significant decrease in GHG emissions.” “Our objective is to follow the circular economy's three principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle to build more with less and preserve our ecosystems. In that sense, our efforts are focused on expanding applications for Recycled Aggregates and raising quality and acceptance standards; and at the same time, address current barriers across Provincial and local governments,” affirms Sanguineti. “When you consider the logistics benefits of being close to the market and the need for a trusted outlet for demolition waste, we have a winning recipe.” Partnerships in Eastern Canada Over the past years, in Eastern Canada, Lafarge has supplied Recycled Aggregates to multiple projects in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Infrastructure Ontario, including Metrolinx and the most recent QEW Credit River project. In addition, lately, the company has been working with subcontractors to Mosaic’s Finch Light Rail Transit (LRT) project to supply Recycled Aggregates in Mississauga (ON). These applications prove the versatility and high performance standards of Lafarge’s Recycled Aggregates portfolio in traditional applications. “In one of our most recent endeavors, we have been supplying multiple contractor partners performing the work for the various projects as part of the City of Toronto Basement Flooding Protection Program, The City primarily uses recycled concrete for trench backfill and bedding as part of the roadwork and their Flood Protection Program upgrades to water and wastewater in infrastructure. This proves that with proper processes and controls in place to guarantee product specifications, quality and consistency in addition to proper traceability, it can be safely utilized in a much broader and complex range of applications.” Mark Lambie, Commercial Manager, Greater Toronto Area Aggregates As part of the execution of Lafarge Eastern Canada Aggregates Strategy, the company has been also partnering with Concordia University, in Quebec, leading a study in cooperation with the City of Montreal to assess Recycled Aggregates performance in different applications. “Another exciting channel is our collaboration with different industries’ interest groups, such as Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC) and our participation in their World Circular Economy Forum last year,” highlighted Sanguineti. “Lastly, in February this year, we had the pleasure to sponsor the ‘Maximizing the use of Recycled Aggregates for roads construction in Canada’, a national workshop led by Circular Economy Leadership Canada in partnership with Circular Innovation Council. The event was a great opportunity to share information amongst various industry stakeholders and further our common understanding of the success stories and remaining barriers.” Technical and scientific studies According to Nicolas Ginouse, Technical Director, Aggregates & Construction Materials, Eastern Canada, “Technical and scientific studies on this topic clearly show that the complete or partial replacement of virgin aggregates by Recycled Aggregates offers unique opportunities for supply chain security, reducing natural resources consumption, and global carbon footprint while ensuring similar, and in some cases, superior performances when compared to virgin materials. In some European countries and areas, such as in Paris, where sourcing virgin aggregates is very challenging, the use of Recycled Aggregates has become the norm, as they are essential to secure sustainable and cost-effective aggregates supply, while reducing CO2 emissions.” In 2019, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) estimated that more than 6 million tonnes of Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) were being stockpiled at over a hundred facilities across the province. “If we were to reuse this amount of RAP as an industry – the equivalent of over 500,000 full dump trucks – in producing asphalt for new roads, we would be looking at saving around 15 million cubic metres of freshwater, enough water for over 50,000 households for one year, and on top of that, we would be saving 125 thousand tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions,” concludes Lambie. Industry task force However, there are currently a few barriers restricting the accelerated growth of Recycled Aggregates in Canada. One of the most pressing roadblocks is the lack of trust in performance - related to a few unfortunate events that took place in the past associated with industry players that have supplied projects with substandard material, which have resulted in quality and durability issues. “This is why it is key for us to aim to define a set of regulations or a certification system that provides the minimum quality and consistency requirements to ensure high standard performance. However, Lafarge recognizes the fact that we cannot influence this on our own and there must be consensus among responsible players,” commented Sanguineti. “With that said, we have initiated an industry task force with like minded responsible industry players, looking to standardize acceptance requirements across local governments in Ontario.” About Lafarge Canada Inc. Lafarge is Canada’s largest provider of sustainable construction materials and a member of the global group, Holcim. With 6,000 employees and 350 sites across Canada, our mission is to provide construction solutions and products that build progress for people and the planet. The cities where Canadians live, work, and raise their families along with communities’ infrastructure benefit from the sustainable portfolio provided by Lafarge, consisting of Aggregates, Asphalt and Paving, Cement, Precast Concrete, Ready-Mix Concrete, and Road Construction.

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CONSTRUCTION

Buildots Announces Scheduling Integrations With Planning Platforms for Advanced Progress Tracking

Buildots | April 28, 2022

Buildots, which uses AI and computer vision to modernize construction management, announced scheduling integrations that will feed data directly from construction sites to planning platforms, automating the process by which teams update and understand progress. Construction teams depend on project planning platforms like Oracle Primavera P6, Asta Powerproject and Microsoft Project, which require manual input to update progress and schedules. This means that site teams regularly and manually compile progress reports - a laborious and time-consuming process. Beyond gathering information from unaligned sources, it often requires referring back to building sites to double and triple check gathered information. Buildots provides a single source of truth for construction site activities. By collecting data with hardhat-mounted 360° cameras and processing this data with AI, its solution enables teams to keep construction on schedule and flag mistakes in real time. Buildots' new integrations create a direct sync between on-site activities and project planning platforms. This provides teams with coherent information in real time, enabling them to understand progress and better predict when projects will end. By feeding data directly to planning platforms, these integrations automate real-time progress into scheduling, enabling schedule owners to allocate more time to decision-making instead of organizing and sifting through data collected from sites. "After seeing our clients manually updating their schedules based on the data provided by our platform, we immediately saw the potential for freeing up managers' precious time on site, The highly accurate data that is now automatically fed into schedules will help planners provide better estimates and respond more quickly to developments affecting their projects." Roy Danon, co-founder and CEO of Buildots About Buildots Buildots is a Tel Aviv and London-based startup leveraging the power of AI and computer vision to modernize the construction management industry. Buildots uses hardhat-mounted cameras to capture imaging of every detail of an ongoing project during regular site walks. The data is then analyzed using AI models to transform random visual data into highly accurate, actionable insights that are correlated with the project's designs and schedule.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Fernando A. Vazquez Joins Greeley and Hansen as Managing Director

Greeley and Hansen | June 10, 2022

Greeley and Hansen, a multidisciplinary global engineering firm solely dedicated to serving the needs of the water sector, has named Fernando A. Vazquez, P.E., as the new Managing Director, Southeast Operating Group and Latin American Operations. Vazquez has over 30 years of professional experience in the planning, design, and delivery of large water sector projects for major utilities at a local, national, and international level. Most recently, as Vice-President and Senior Business Development Director, for AECOM's Water Group, across the southeast region of the United States, as well as the Caribbean and Latin America, Vazquez has developed successful strategic approaches to expand business growth and established new water practice opportunities. He has also been instrumental in delivering efficient and effective program management while extending and expanding water related services. His public and private sector background has been critical to building consensus among internal agencies, elected officials, and community stakeholders for a broad range of water and sewer projects. He has successfully operated, and managed public utilities at the Cities of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and throughout his career he has worked on major water projects for utilities in Latin America, including in Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela. In the role of Managing Director, Southeast Operating Group and Latin American Operations, Vazquez will oversee Greeley and Hansen's operations across Florida, including office locations in Tampa, Sarasota, and Ft. Myers along with the firm's Latin America operations in Bogota, Colombia and Guayaquil, Ecuador. As demand for the public supply of water in Florida increases, we're very pleased to have Fernando on our team in this important leadership role. Fernando's public and private sector leadership, client-focus and technical expertise will be extremely valuable to our organization in delivering results for customers that meet the growing, sustainable water needs across the region. His background working with a broad array of critical stakeholders is especially important as we accelerate efforts to further expand our operations and achieve continued strategic growth in the southeastern U.S. region and throughout Latin America." John C. Robak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vazquez, a registered Professional Engineer, holds a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. In addition, he is an active member of the Florida Engineering Society, American Public Works Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, and the National Society of Civil Engineers. About Greeley and Hansen Greeley and Hansen is a leading global engineering, architecture, and consulting management firm solely dedicated to providing sustainable engineering solutions for a broad range of water and wastewater challenges. The firm has built upon over 108 years of proven civil and environmental engineering experience in all phases of project development and implementation to become a premier global provider of comprehensive services in the water sector. Greeley and Hansen is dedicated to designing better urban environments worldwide.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Electreon and ASPIRE Engineering Research Center to Launch Electrified Roadway Demo in Utah

Electreon | March 14, 2022

Electreon the leading provider of in-road wireless electric vehicle charging technology for shared, commercial and passenger vehicles, and Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE), a National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center taking on the nation’s electrified transportation challenges to the widespread electrification of all vehicles, announced today they are launching a joint demonstration project. Electreon’s in-motion (dynamic) wireless charging technology will be installed in ASPIRE’s research test track in North Logan, Utah, in summer 2022 to showcase the company’s technology for the first time in North America. The launch of the test bed comes in advance of Electreon’s first deployment on a public road in the U.S. in 2023 in Detroit––a partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), among many others. The demonstration will consist of 50 meters of dynamic in-road wireless charging hardware installed in Utah State University’s (USU) test track. Corresponding vehicle side charging hardware will be installed on the Kenworth truck, and power management and charging communication systems will also be included. This site will function as a live demonstration facility for departments of transportation, other government officials, current and potential industry partners, as well as Electreon’s potential and prospective partners and clients to experience Electreon’s in-motion wireless charging as the technology moves to market deployment in the U.S. Electreon will also use this project as a test bed to conduct future vehicle integration programs with automakers. This project marks a significant advancement in Electreon’s and ASPIRE’s efforts toward providing sustainable mobility infrastructure for the nation and the world. “So far, Electreon has already demonstrated its dynamic wireless charging technology in four operational pilots across Europe and now we are thrilled to kick off our first U.S.-based deployment with USU’s ASPIRE, displaying the viability of our in-road wireless charging infrastructure,” says Stefan Tongur, vice president business development for Electreon in North America. “We are excited at the prospect of advancing sustainable charging technology in hopes of supporting the U.S. movement toward an all-electric future. This project will allow us to engage with partners and clients to develop pilot and commercial projects in the whole nation and will allow for ongoing testing in advance of U.S. projects on public roadways, including the recently announced project in Detroit.” This demonstration project collaboration with ASPIRE, in part, aims to validate dynamic wireless charging technology solutions for several upcoming pilot projects that include the Utah Inland Port Authority (Salt Lake City, UT), the Central Florida Expressway (Orlando, FL) and developing projects in several states across the nation. “ASPIRE is excited to work with Electreon in demonstrating the electrified roadways of tomorrow, The groundbreaking work that we are doing here exemplifies our commitment to creating solutions to the issues that are preventing us from electrifying transportation. We believe that our findings will provide the blueprint for the nation’s path to deep electrified vehicle adoption and resulting energy, economic and environmental benefits through low-cost ubiquitous charging infrastructure.” Regan Zane, ASPIRE Center Director Electreon and ASPIRE are also partnering on the demonstration project with Kiewit Corporation, one of the largest and most respected engineering and construction companies in North America. Kiewit will provide expert insight into installation and construction processes for electric roads. “Kiewit is proud to continue our partnership with Electreon and ASPIRE for the deployment of this innovative technology,” says Mike Johnson, Kiewit Sr. Vice President of Infrastructure Markets & Strategy. “The ASPIRE demonstration will be essential in understanding construction considerations around installation and maintenance of dynamic and static inductive vehicle charging on public roads.” The project also includes Kenworth Truck Company, which has delivered a Class 8 Kenworth T680 Classic to USU for the integration with the Electreon system at the test track. “This collaborative effort offers an excellent opportunity to explore the potential of mobile wireless charging. We will discover the amount of energy actually generated from driving the Kenworth T680 over charging plates at various speeds, and collect data for possible real world on-road testing in the future,” said Ryan Reed, Kenworth Director of Research and Development in Renton, Washington. Electreon is one of the only active dynamic charging solutions available on the market today with projects spanning worldwide including the electrified roadways charging 200 buses in Israel as well as other projects in Italy, Germany, Sweden and now coming to Utah and Michigan. About Electreon Electreon is the leading provider of wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles (EVs), providing end-to-end charging infrastructure and services to meet the needs and efficiency demands of shared, public and commercial fleet operators and consumers. The company’s proprietary inductive technology dynamically (while in motion) and statically (while stopped) charges EVs quickly and safely, eliminating range anxiety, lowering total costs of EV ownership, and reducing battery capacity needs—making it one of the most environmentally sustainable, scalable, and compelling charging solutions available today. Electreon works with cities and fleet operators on a charging as a service (CaaS) platform that enables cost-effective electrification of public, commercial, and autonomous fleets for smooth and continuous operation. About ASPIRE The ASPIRE Engineering Research Center was launched in September, 2020 with a $50 million, 10-year grant from the National Science Foundation with its main purpose to support widespread adoption of electric transportation through developing technologies and clearing barriers leading to low cost, ubiquitous charging infrastructure. One of the key aspects of the ASPIRE research portfolio is dynamic wireless power transfer, a research and development area where USU and its ASPIRE partner universities have led advances for many years. The ASPIRE university partners (Purdue University, University of Colorado Boulder, The University of Texas at El Paso, and University of Auckland, New Zealand) are joined by more than 60 industry, government, and non-profit members from all sectors of the electric transportation ecosystem.

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Spotlight

Fifty to ninety percent of financial processes can be automated by capture and workflow automation software. But most organizations have automated far less. (How about you?) Whether you’re at 10 percent or 90 percent financial process automation, you can mind your gaps with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

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