C+S September 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 9 (web)

often involved in the design of complex, high- risk projects including those with large basements and complex facades and cladding systems. The responsibilities of an architect typically include the coordination of increasingly complex elements of buildings including security systems, water, ventilation, fire safety, and acoustics. However, notwithstanding this current framework, should the architectural profession be placing a higher priority on ensuring that the design of higher risk elements – such as basements and cladding – have safety as a primary feature? To achieve culture change, a holistic view needs to be taken of fire and life safety from both the architectural profession and construc-

tion contracts in that process is a fundamental part of any shifts that can bring about such change. The solution to the challenge is the combin - ing of a robust regulatory regime with clear design and construction contracts which provide suitable mechanisms for quality, inspection, accountability, and enforcement.

MATT COUSINS is a Chartered Architect with the Royal Institute of British Architects, a Forensic Architect, and Expert Witness with Sense Studio, a part of J.S. Held’s Construction Advisory Services Practice . He has 20 years of experience working for architecture practices in London on complex projects, including schools, commercial projects, hotels, and government buildings. He has worked on a number of cases for Sense Studio, including the investigation of building defects and he is the author of the Architect’s Legal Pocket Book. He can be reached at mcousins@jsheld.com.

tion industry. Conclusion

Culture change is challenging and can only be realised by addressing the entirety of the processes at the core of the design and construction over the life cycle of a building. The utilisation of design and construc -

Construction Safety Programs and the Labor Shortage By Gen Simmons

construction and showing a 94 percent growth in female-owned con- struction firms over the past decade. One of the biggest boosters of employment in the construction in- dustry came from the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in mid-November of 2021. In this Act, the US gov- ernment committed to investing $1.2 trillion into infrastructure and construction over the next five years. This new bill includes $450 billion for highway and public transportation investments and new, 5-year reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs. The IIJA will deliver generational transportation investments, with 90 percent of the resources for roads and bridges distributed by for- mula directly to the states. This funding will affect everyone in the construction ecosystem, creat - ing more jobs than ever. Contractors will need to deploy technology to give them a competitive edge, or they will be left behind. While this bill will provide many new jobs, the workforce shortage is still a challenge companies will need to overcome. Empowering every em- ployee with technology that maximizes their productivity will enable

The increased demand for quality labor is one of the most significant is- sues in the construction industry these past few years. According to the Association Builders and Contractors group, “the construction industry will need to attract 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor.” According to the Bureau of Labor, the construction workforce is forecast to grow seven percent between 2020 and 2030, adding over 100,000 jobs yearly. Women are stepping in to fill more roles in the construction industry, occupying almost eleven percent of the jobs in


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