2011 March :: The Construction Management Pro

DOE and Partners to Host Webinar April 4: Fuel Cells for Supermarkets

March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program will host a webinar with the Clean Energy States Alliance and the Technology Transition Corp. titled “Fuel Cells for Supermarkets” on Monday, April 4, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The webinar will focus on the use of fuel cells by supermarkets and will detail the experiences that supermarkets in four different states have had with stationary fuel cells. According to UTC Power, a 400 kW fuel cell at Price Chopper in Albany, New York meets 85% of the supermarket’s energy needs, reduces the building’s carbon footprint by 71 tons, provides reliable energy for perishable items, and saves more than 4 million gallons of water each year.

The webinar will also explore the reasons why supermarkets are an especially attractive venue for fuel cells. Using fuel cells as a combined heat and power application allows supermarkets to not only power lighting, refrigeration cases, freezers, and air conditioners, but also allows operators to use the thermal energy for cooling, space heating, snow and ice melting, and desiccant dehumidification. Having a reliable supply of electric power is critical to supermarkets because their refrigerated inventory needs constant cooling, and downtime due to power outages affects sales revenue.

Featured speakers will include:

  • Frank Blake, Electrical Specialist, Price Chopper
  • Scott Larsen, Project Manager for Industrial Research and Development, NYSERDA
  • Kathy Loftus, Global Leader for Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance, and Energy Management, Whole Foods Market
  • Benny D. Smith, Vice President of Facilities, Golub Corporation

There will be time after the presentations for Q&A. Reserve your webinar spot now.

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DOE Readies Energy Test Score for Existing Homes for the End of 2011

March 28, 2011

March 21, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Energy continues to make headway in its effort to create a standardized Home Energy Score for every existing home, Joan Glickman, the department’s special assistant for renewable energy, reported recently to the housing industry.

DOE began the effort in the fall of 2009 and its goal is to roll out the program by the end of this year.

The Chicago area has been added to nine other areas where pilot programs are being conducted – including Allegheny Co., Pa.; Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; greater Charlottesville, Va.; Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.; Portland, Ore.; and the states of Indiana, Minnesota, South Carolina and Texas. Colorado was originally on the list but has dropped out.

Although they are not part of the pilot program, other jurisdictions are providing additional data, Glickman said.

Projects have been chosen over various climate zones so that the scoring tool will be able to take differences between cold and warm climates into account.

So far, Glickman said, 43 assessors have been trained to collect and analyze data on existing homes in the pilot program areas. That data will be compared to more comprehensive existing data for similar buildings and to other scoring tools, to ensure that the Home Energy Score data is reliable.

Testing results also will be compared to utility bills to see how well they reflect the actual usage of energy in the home.

At some sites, home owners will be asked to provide information from the previous four months’ worth of utility bills, the number of people residing in the home, the age of the residents and how the family uses the home.

The scores will be adjusted to reflect an assumption that two adults and a child live in the home, and that the thermostats for all the homes are set at the same level.

DOE is considering labeling each score with the types of energy used – electric, gas, oil and other sources.

The homes will be grouped into two size categories – less than 2,200 square feet and greater than 2,200 square feet for comparison purposes.

The scores for individual homes will be able to be compared to the range of scores for the top 20% most energy-efficient homes.

Glickman stressed that the home energy score is not the same as a more comprehensive home energy audit, which it will recommend home owners conduct to obtain more detailed results.

For more information, click here.

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Three Keys to Controlling Project Costs

March 25, 2011

How often have you heard an investor or homeowner say, “Why is this costing me more than your estimate.” There is no easy answer to that question. There are a lot of factors that go into a project cost and what the original estimate is. There are however a couple of things you can do to control project costs.

The first thing is to establish a comprehensive Scope of Work. We went over this in a previous post. The bottom line here is to know what is and what is not in the contract amount. Once that is established there should be less chance of a misunderstanding regarding what should be done and how much it should cost. Many contactors make huge profits on Change Orders. Things they knew would have to be done, but were not included in the contract. It is imperative to make sure as much of what you believe will be needed is in the base contract.

Secondly, minimize “Scope Creep”.  One of the three pillars of project management is controlling the scope of the project. Scope Creep is when the scope of the project enlarges incrementally. Just one small change or addition leads to another and another. Soon the project is much larger than originally planned. As a contractor and consultant, I often have to remind clients of the original scope of the project and their decisions will increase not only the scope of the project, but it’s time to complete and budget!

Lastly, one must keep a handle on payments. Now you would not think that should be a problem. But how often have you heard of a contractor requiring 25% or a third of the project cost up front! Once you start down that road there is the potential for trouble ahead. Many small contractors have cash flow issues. They rely on the upfront payment to pay for materials and have funds on had to pay for labor. Plus they don’t want to pay for a job out of pocket and then have to chase the client for what is owed them.  That’s understandable; however this is a matter of trust. As the client, you are putting yourself in the position of trusting that what you have advanced will be done some time in the future. Not a position I want to be in. Remember the Golden Rule, “He Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules.” It’s your money spend it only when it is earned. If you have a problem with a contractor, but have advanced them a significant amount, you either have to eat that cost when you terminate the contract, or chase them and hope they will complete the job in a satisfactory manner; good luck.

If you keep an eye on these three issues, you will have increased you prospects of getting your project done on time and within budget.

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How to Keep Your Retirement Safe Using Real Estate Webinar

March 22, 2011

Wednesday March 23, 2001 at Noon Entrust CAMA will present’s a Webinar

Learn about a Debt-Free, Hands-Off, approach to Real Estate Investing from Vincent Minervini, President of V.M. Holdings, LLC.

Attendees will learn the following:

How to Keep Your Retirement Safe Using Real Estate

How to be totally Hands-Off and never deal with tenants and toilets

How to Capitalize on a Profitable Unique Niche we discovered 7 years ago

How to generate residual Passive Income with no work on your part

How to earn Better Returns than savings, cd’s, and money markets

How Real Estate can be a solid alternative to the stock market roller coaster

Register for this Webinar Here:

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So You Want to Invest in Real Estate?

March 22, 2011

Are you interested in investing in real estate but don’t know where to get started?
Do you have questions about the real estate investing process? Do you know how to make an offer when you find that dream investment property?
Did you know you can use your IRA to invest in Real Estate?

Join
Carl Fischer, CAMA Self Directed IRA
and
Rick Stein, Sales Manager/
Vice President of Prudential Fox

Saturday, March 26th
10:00 – 11:30 am
CAMA Academy
5 Valley Square
512 E. Township Line Road
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Click Here for more information

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Lehigh Resort Club Timeshare Rental Available

March 22, 2011

 
Thurmon A. Cohen, PMP, CGP | TCAI, LLC | (609) 575-8564
231 Joel Boulevard, Lehigh Acres, FL
Get out and experience Florida – then escape to the seclusion of Lehigh Resort Club. Situated within the quiet community of Lehigh Acres, this lovely
Furnished Studio/1BA Vacation Townhouse
 
$500/week
Bedrooms Studio
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Sq Footage Unspecified
Parking 3+ dedicated
DESCRIPTION

At Lehigh Resort Club, golfers delight in the nine holes at their doorstep, not to mention the more than 10 courses just a few minutes’ drive away. Each Golf Villa has a magnificent view of the on-site course. The beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Island are a 40-minute drive away.
 
see additional photos below
RENTAL FEATURES

- Air conditioning - Dining room - Refrigerator
- Stove/Oven - Microwave - Jacuzzi/Whirlpool
COMMUNITY FEATURES

- Guest parking - Clubhouse - Fitness center
- Swimming pool(s) - Tennis court(s) - Golf course
- Lake    
RENTAL RATES

$500 for the week!
Contact info:
 
Thurmon A. Cohen, PMP, CGP
TCAI, LLC
(609) 575-8564

 

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Mar 22, 2011, 11:18am PDT

 

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Shadow Inventory, Negative Equity Impacting Home Price Recovery

March 19, 2011

By: Carrie Bay

Home prices in January were down 5.7 percent from a year earlier after factoring the month’s REO sales and short sales into the mix, according to new data from the research and analytics firm CoreLogic. January marked the sixth month in a row that the company has recorded a year-over-year decline in U.S. home prices. CoreLogic says the industry’s ominous shadow inventory of distressed properties and rising negative equity, combined will still high levels of unemployment, all contributed to the continuing slide in home prices during the first month of this year.

The company reported earlier this week that 23 percent of the nation’s mortgage borrowers owe more on their loan that the home is worth. Altogether, these underwater homeowners have negative equity of about $750 billion. As of the end of last year, CoreLogic says 11.1 million properties were in a negative equity position and another 2.4 million had less than 5 percent equity in their homes, dangerously close to slipping underwater should home prices continue to fall.

Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic, said, “A number of factors continue to dampen any recovery in the housing market. Negative equity, which limits the mobility of homeowners, weak demand, and the overhang of shadow inventory all continue to exert downward pressure on housing prices.” Fleming is holding out for a strong seasonal uptick in purchase activity, though. “We are looking out for renewed demand in the coming months as the spring buying season gets underway to hopefully reduce the downward pressure [on home prices],” he said. According to CoreLogic’s study, the five states with the greatest home price depreciation in January were: Idaho (-15.7 percent), Alabama (-12.1 percent), Arizona (-11 percent), Oregon (-9.9 percent), and Utah (-9.8 percent). The five states with the highest appreciation were: West Virginia (+5.5 percent), North Dakota (+3.3 percent), New York (+1.9 percent), Hawaii (+0.7 percent), and Wyoming (+0.2 percent).

Nationwide, CoreLogic says home prices have dropped 32.8 percent from their peak in April 2006, largely due to increased volumes of distressed properties on the market.

Recent Articles

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FHA Commissioner David Stevens to Take the Reins at MBA

March 18, 2011

By: Carrie Bay

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced Tuesday that John A. Courson, the organization’s president and CEO, will be leaving the association, effective June 1, 2011. Courson will be replaced by David H. Stevens, the current commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Stevens announced last week that he would be resigning from his position at FHA. His departure from the federal agency is set for March 31. According to MBA, he will join the trade group in May.

“David Stevens is uniquely qualified to lead the association in its next chapter,” said Michael D. Berman, CMB, MBA’s chairman. “Most recently he has had a tremendous impact at FHA, as that program faced its own unprecedented challenges.” Prior to his role as FHA commissioner, Stevens was president and COO of Long and Foster Companies, one of the nation’s largest, privately-held real estate firms.

Stevens started his professional career with a 16-year tenure at the World Savings Bank, where he began as a loan officer. He later served briefly as EVP at Wells Fargo, and spent seven years as SVP at Freddie Mac, where he created and ran the small lender channel.

During his time at FHA, Stevens implemented a myriad of changes to improve FHA’s risk management and to help the federal mortgage insurer weather the storm of increased losses during a time of elevated mortgage defaults and the rapid expansion of the agency’s footprint to include well over 20 percent of new mortgages in the single-family market.

Stevens is departing his seat, just as debates heat up over how much support the government should provide the housing market over the long term.

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ULI Philadelphia South Jersey Council Atlantic City Investment Conference

March 17, 2011

The ULI Philadelphia South Jersey Council invites you to its Atlantic City Investment Conference taking place on April 13th at the Atlantic City Convention Center.  The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) will present its plan for revitalizing the downtown of Atlantic City as the backdrop for a discussion about developing the City as both a tourist destination and one of New Jersey’s key urban centers. Focusing on Atlantic City’s unique combination of attributes, such as its beach and boardwalk, casinos, hospital and educational facilities, local arts community and a well-established and culturally rich residential population, the plan seeks to leverage these strengths and effectively change the underlying fundamentals of the local and regional economy. 

Recent state legislation intended to underpin Atlantic City’s gaming industry and bolster its position as a destination of choice will also be featured and the relationship between the to-be-formed tourism district and the downtown and their respective roles in Atlantic City’s revitalization will be discussed in detail. The forum will combine the perspectives of corporate executives, government and institutional leaders and development experts to provide a comprehensive view of Atlantic City’s future.  Panel topics include:  Institutions as Economic Drivers; The Economic and Social Impacts of Arts & Cultural Development; Entertainment and Tourism-Atlantic City’s New Business Model; Beyond Gaming-A Market Perspective; and Atlantic City’s Future Role in the Region. 

Governor Chris Christie has been invited to discuss Atlantic City’s Importance to the State of New Jersey.  Confirmed speakers to date include:  Dr. Herman Saatkamp, President, Stockton College; David Tilton, President, AtlantiCare Hospital; Dr. Peter Mora, President, Atlantic Cape Community College; Lisa Prasad, Principal, U3 Ventures; Chris Paladino, President, New Brunswick Development Corporation; Jeremy Nowak, President and CEO, The Reinvestment Fund; Michael Cagno, Executive Director, The Noyes Museum; Steve Runk, Executive Director, New Jersey Council on the Arts; Kevin DeSanctis, CEO, Revel Entertainment, LLC; David Cordish, Principal, The Cordish Companies; Chris DiGeorge, DiGeorge Atlantic Properties; Don Marrandino, President, Harrah’s; Tom Scannapieco, CEO, Scannapieco Development Corporation; Daniel Brenna, Principal, Capital Real Estate Group; Laura Aden Packer, Program Director-Arts, The Dodge Foundation; Gerard Velazquez, CEO, Triad Associates; Pat Burns, CEO, Fresh Grocer; Vince Maine, CRE, Community Development Lending & Investing, Sun National Bank; Joe Kelly, President, Atlantic City Regional Chamber; Susan Ney Thompson, Interim Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, CRDA ….and more to be announced!

Our day will begin at 8:30 with breakfast, registration and networking to be followed by the program at 9:00, with lunch included.  This event would not be possible without support from our Title Sponsors:  Fox Rothschild LLP and AtlantiCare.  Thanks also go to Supporting Sponsors: CRDA and Stockton College; Participating Sponsor: Bertino & Associates, Inc. as well as Friend Sponsor: Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company.   And special thanks to program partner Greater Atlantic City Chamber.   This event will sell out quickly so please register before the registration deadline of April 8th!  Register and learn more by clicking here.

 

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The Community College of Philadelphia announces the 2011 Center for Male Engagement Summer Enrichment Program

March 17, 2011

This program, geared towards African American males, is a four-week intensive summer program for high school students graduating in June 2011 who intend to enter the Community College of Philadelphia for the first time as a full-time student in Fall 2011. SEE ATTACHED APPLICATION.

Deadline to Apply

All application materials must be received by the Center for Male Engagement no later than Friday, April 15, 2011 by 5pm. Please allow time for the materials to arrive by the deadline if submitting by mail. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Those students that are accepted into the program will be notified by Friday, May 20, 2011. Application materials should be submitted to:

Community College of Philadelphia

Center for Male Engagement

1700 Spring Garden Street, S1-05

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Dates of Program

•July 11, 2011 through August 4, 2011

•Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

•From Monday, July 25, 2011 through Thursday, July 28, 2011 you will participate in a mandatory overnight, off campus leadership development retreat where food, lodging and transportation will be provided.

 What Can Students Expect?

•An orientation to College and community resources.

•Presentations on topics such as career development, communication, dressing for success, leadership, male growth and development, managing your money, and time management.

•The opportunity to become engaged in the life of the College prior to the larger College population arriving on campus.

•A weekly SEPTA TransPass to provide transportation to the campus as well as lunch daily.

•A $150 stipend upon successful completion of the program.

Students who successfully complete the program will automatically become a member of the Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for Male Engagement. Through the Center, you will be assigned a Support Coach who will assist you with personal needs in addition to encouraging you to take advantage of the many academic and social opportunities at the College.

Questions? Call me: Michael Robinson, M.S. – Director, Center for Male Engagement: 215-751-8817.

Thank you.

Regards,

Michael Robinson, M.S.

Director-Center for Male Engagement

Community College of Philadelphia

1700 Spring Garden St./Office# S1-05

Philadelphia, PA 19130

215-751-8877 office

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 -

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