Construction Process, Food Processing

Safe Food Processing Plants

It’s no surprise that safety is one of the most significant concerns for food processing plants. And today, it’s never been as essential to ensure that your food processing plant is safe and clean.

One of the most accessible and most proactive approaches to manufacturing plant safety is the facility’s construction and design. If a food processing plant’s layout isn’t optimized, efficiency and safety are at risk. Having an expert build a processing facility’s plant and implementing an efficient layout can lead to fewer safety hazards and an improved workflow.

How to Optimize Your Food Processing Plant

First, you should research the constantly changing regulations and trends in the food processing industry. 

Over the last year, workplace safety standards have changed drastically, and food processing plants have stringent guidelines they must accommodate to maintain safety standards.

Some considerations you must take into account:

  • Regulations from governmental entities, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture
  • Applicable local and state environmental and building permits
  • Ecological safety (food storage and disposal) and local weather conditions
  • HVAC system sanitation and odor-controlling functionalities
  • Your return on investment

It’s also important to ensure that you’re meeting the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) layout practices for safety and handling requirements.

Next, ask yourself what your personal needs are. Are you planning a completely new facility? Or are you renovating an existing food processing plant? Regardless, your plant layout should minimize the risk of biological, chemical, and physical working hazards.

As soon as you’ve considered the above factors, you can begin the actual pre-design phase.  If these steps are skipped in the planning phase, food hygiene issues can lead to significant financial losses and sometimes legal prosecution.

An Optimized Food Processing Plant Layout 

To build a food processing plant that increases safety and efficiency, it’s important to:

1. Take measures to reduce the possibility of microbial contamination around food items.

2. Discover which areas in the food production process are most prone to contamination.

3. Establish a plant layout that:

  • Minimizes worker traveling and food movement distance
  • Enhances production efficiency
  • Encompasses an easily accessible waste generation system

4. Determine which areas in your facility call for differing levels of temperature and humidity control.

5. Optimize the lighting in each area of your plant to reduce the risk of physical hazards.

6. Ensure that your facility is resistant to pests. 

7. Consider the placement of floor drains and proper ventilation in food processing areas.

8. Group storage spaces for food products that require refrigeration to maximize energy efficiency.

9. Create a list of the equipment in your facility that will require protective surface coatings.

10. Review the standards for cleaning and sanitizing your facility and optimize the layout to decrease the time spent on housekeeping tasks.

Make sure your team also considers where your suppliers will deliver raw ingredients to your facility and where the finished goods will leave your processing plant.

Expert Food Processing Plant Construction with GALBRAITH

If you’re still not sure where to start, don’t worry. Developing a food processing plant for safety is a task with many moving parts and considerations. The GALBRAITH team is ready to help, spending the last several decades providing the highest-quality food processing facilities for industry-leading manufacturers.

Whether you’re looking to remodel your existing space or build an entirely new plant, our team is happy to help answer any questions you may have about the process. Contact us, and schedule your free consultation today!

Construction Process

Construction Material Costs

We’re sure you’ve heard about the current shortages, long delays, and price spikes in construction materials as a result of the pandemic. 

At the end of 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index reported that an astounding 71% of contractors were facing a shortage in at least one type of material. Looking further, 52% of 1,489 AGC member contractors have reported a project delay due to a shortage of construction materials, parts, or equipment. And some materials, such as lumber, have increased as much as 170% in price throughout the process.

The issue has grown unexpectedly and quickly, and many industry professionals are unsure of where to go next in dealing with the shortages and price spikes while demand is only growing. It’s important to understand everything that is contributing to the problem to recognize where we can go to help remedy it.

Why the Construction Materials Crisis is Happening

From the outside looking in, it may be easy for one to think that the increase in price of construction projects is to make up for a lack of business as the economy took a big hit since the start of the pandemic. However, it’s quite the opposite.

The industry is trying to find a balance between the surge in demand for new projects and supplies becoming more limited and therefore, more expensive. Contractors have to bill in reflection of the price of the materials that the project requires.

These materials are increasing in price for their own set of reasons:

  • Delivery methods have become limited. Container and trucking shortages across the nation have also contributed to a decrease in avenues for construction materials to get from one place to another, causing significant lead time issues. 
  • The supply chain is turning to regional sources. Many local contractors rely on global manufacturers to provide specialty materials for their projects. But in today’s world, these sources are either heavily delayed or unavailable, so contractors are turning to regional suppliers who already offer limited availability and putting a heavier demand on their resources.

Another large underlying issue that the industry is currently facing involves the extreme labor shortage. Timelines are being pushed with the limited amount of manpower available on the jobsite, in addition to the problems mentioned above. 

What Contractors Can Do

To help in the current situation the construction industry is facing, a main driver in sticking to scheduled project timelines, efficiently maximizing your available labor, and utilizing your resources and supplies effectively is prefabrication, or modular construction.

The prefabrication process in the construction industry involves constructing subcomponents of a structure within controlled environments and bringing them to the jobsite as whole pieces for further completion of the project.

The benefits of using this method include:

  • Significantly less waste. Building materials are stored, used, and put together without being exposed to weather elements that could cause damage and leave them to be wasted. 
  • Accelerates timelines. Similarly, weather can negatively impact turnaround times and steps in the process by causing unwanted delays. When working exclusively out of these conditions for a large portion of the project, this is avoided. Other parts of the project can be happening at the jobsite or at another facility at the same time, as well.
  • Maximizes labor availability. Prefabricated processes typically offer much safer environments for construction workers, avoiding injuries that could decrease their availability. Working in controlled environments also leads to an increase in efficient labor.

All of these factors can easily contribute to keeping your construction project on the right track, the whole way through, balancing some of the current issues that are tipping the scale in the wrong direction.

What the Supply Chain Can Do

Before COVID-19 struck our nation, many of our supply chain organizations were utilizing a “just-in-time” business model. They were used to the steady demand in resources and materials without expecting a major spike to happen.

This past year has put a spotlight on the need for resiliency in the supply chain. We have a unique opportunity to learn from this experience. Building a resiliency plan is essential in being prepared for major disruptions to occur. This includes reevaluating business models, processes, and workflows and building manufacturing and distribution facilities to help alleviate the vulnerabilities that led us to this major shortage in supply for construction materials.

How to Guarantee a Secure Construction Project

Despite the challenges that the construction industry is facing, GALBRAITH/Pre-Design, Inc. is devoted to providing the highest quality service, efficiency, and trust in each of our construction, renovation, or pre-design projects. We’re proud to utilize sustainable, efficient, and cutting-edge technologies and processes to stick to timelines and exceed expectations, while developing relationships with the most-reliable suppliers on the East Coast. Contact us today for a FREE consultation!

Construction Process

Sustainable Construction
As a whole, the construction industry uses large amounts of global resources and contributes heavily to pollution. It is reported that building and construction companies can contribute up to the following amounts across various industries within a single economy: 

  • 25-40% of total energy consumed
  • 30% of raw materials used
  • 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions used
  • 30-40% of solid waste generated

It’s clear why sustainability has been deemed a major goal and responsibility for the construction industry. 

Sustainable construction has been developed as a solution and entails utilizing renewable and recyclable materials and resources, reducing waste and energy consumption where applicable, and protecting the natural environment at each job site. End results of sustainable construction projects provide a structure that is environmentally-friendly in the long-term.

How Sustainability Fits Into the Realm of Construction

As an upfront barrier, various sustainable efforts or resources can come with a higher cost. What’s important to recognize is that this initial cost that may be higher than typical usually leads directly to less expensive ongoing costs throughout the rest of construction and the building’s lifetime.

Ways of Implementing Sustainable Construction

There are a few processes and opportunities that construction companies have in the U.S. to achieve higher sustainability:

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): Registrations for this certification/rating system have increased every year since the program was established in 1993. As of the end of 2019, the number of registrations had amounted to roughly 70,000. Learn more about the green building initiative and certification.
  • Minimize waste: Although construction waste can be inevitable, the amount that can be minimized may surprise you. A simple step is to use materials or suppliers that don’t require an unnecessary amount of packaging. Utilizing recycled materials for various components can also reduce the amount of waste produced. It’s additionally important  to train your employees to separate and categorize project waste as it’s developed. Using renewable energy to power operational components or using onsite water treatment plants are another two ways of reducing the waste at your construction job site.
  • Green building materials: It can be very helpful to establish a network of vendors that use green building materials that support sustainability efforts. Some of these building materials include wood, recycled metals, sustainable concrete, mud or wool bricks, or even straw bales. 
  • Prefabrication: Modular construction has gotten popular in recent years within the industry. Building individual parts of an overall project or structure within a controlled environment and then transferring it to the job sites keep projects on track for timing, budgeting, and materials used—all contributing to a sustainable build.
  • Standardized processes: If you approach each construction project differently, your team could spend unnecessary time getting up-to-speed on the process for that particular construction. No need to reinvent the wheel—you can still accomplish completely custom builds, specific to your client’s needs while using a standardized process. Your projects can get completed more quickly, efficiently, and with less waste due to errors.
  • Optimal equipment performance: Plan your team’s workday to optimize each piece of equipment and exactly when it should be used—every minute that a piece of machinery is idling or used inappropriately contributes to higher energy costs and carbon emissions. Looking for ways to reduce the use of heavy machinery where applicable can help for long-term effects.

Benefits of Sustainable Construction

Implementing sustainability measures in your construction process has far-reaching benefits for both your business and external factors:

  • Environmental: The use of renewable energy, green building, and sustainable resources helps in fighting against climate change and improves waste management and high carbon footprints. The World Green Building Council stated:
      • “Green buildings can not only reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment, by using less water, energy or natural resources, but they can—in many cases—have a positive impact on the environment (at the building or city scales) by generating their own energy or increasing biodiversity.”  
  • Financial: Despite the initial cost being higher on some fronts of sustainable construction, green buildings are reported to see a 7% increase in their value versus traditional buildings. Utility bills are also likely to be cheaper.
  • Social: Sustainability is a high priority across virtually every industry in today’s world. Your team can rise above the competition if your construction process involves sustainable methods. Worker productivity is also likely to increase with these measures in place. 

Looking for another way to save time and money on your next construction job? Design-build. Learn how the process works here, and give us a call today to get started on your next project!

Commercial Design, Construction Process, General Contracting

Hybrid ConsructionFor generations, building owners have debated over the advantages of one construction method over the other. Conventional wisdom was that traditional construction could meet requirements for irregular layouts, heavy loads, and multiple stories; while pre-engineered construction introduced advantages of shorter construction time and consistent engineering standards.

Today you can get both in one building—not an imitation of one embedded in the processes of another, but a true hybrid construction process that allows the strengths of each to play a valuable role.

This works because our partner, Butler Manufacturing™, takes a unique approach. Butler provides the necessary value engineering that brings these construction methods together for maximum efficiency and savings. The company manufactures all the parts in one manufacturing facility, so you receive a completely integrated product from a single source. A hybrid building solution integrates three types of primary structural steel (mill beam, three plate members and truss girders or hybrid combinations) with secondary structural members—either Zee purlins, truss purlins, or bar joists. Mezzanine or multi-story floor members are also included in a comprehensive structural design.

The Butler hybrid building solution integrates any wall material—such as masonry, EIFS, brick, glass, concrete, or metal wall systems—with a conventional or structural system to create the desired architectural effect.

Our partner manufacturer’s high performance, standing-seam metal roof system (MR-24® Roof System) is easily integrated into a hybrid building design. The MR-24 Roof System has a documented life of up to 60 years and is virtually maintenance-free. The Butler hybrid building solution can also accommodate building designs that call for a roof solution using a metal deck.

The Advantages of True Hybrid Construction

  • An engineering consulting approach ensures better results and fewer problems in construction
  • Upfront planning allows for more flexibility to design
  • Allows for a true design/build approach
  • Reduces complexity by using the best construction method to fit the building design
  • Provides a single source for manufacturing and engineering

 

Design-Driven

By using our fast-track design/build construction services, clients of GALBRAITH/Pre-Design, Inc. are able to occupy their finished facilities well ahead of standard design/bid/build construction timelines. Our design/build capability alleviates anxiety caused by the coordination and interaction of disciplines required to achieve a finished structure. At the same time, we give you the ability to remain involved at any level you desire.

Most problems that occur during construction are linked to design. By taking a more active role in the design stage, Butler Manufacturing and GALBRAITH can use a true hybrid process to reduce the chances of these problems occurring. The preliminary design stage is the critical portion of your project. That’s when the value engineering associated with the hybrid process can have maximum impact. 

The Right Combination

When your needs exceed the ideal conditions of either traditional or pre-engineered construction alone, we can bring the two together in ways that no one else can to deliver a building that meets your needs.

With decades of experience in successfully completing hybrid design/build projects in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, GALBRAITH is your single source solution for commercial, industrial, and institutional construction projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Here are some of the reasons our clients appreciate working with GALBRAITH/Pre-Design, Inc.:

  • Over the past 25 years, we’ve developed systems and processes to deliver projects on-time and within budget.
  • We adapt to your schedule and workflow to minimize disturbance to your operations.
  • We focus on preventative problem-solving.
  • We have experience in 8 states.
  • We primarily use our own crews to control project timeline, budget, and quality.
  • We build relationships not transactions.
  • We use quality assurance checklists.

For more information call 717-776-6337 or send us an email at build@gp-inc.com.

General Contracting, Roofing Repair

Extending the Life of Your Metal Roof

Studies show that a properly installed and maintained metal roof system has a service life of 60 years or more. A preventative maintenance program is a key factor in maximizing the life expectancy and dependability of your roof system. Periodic inspections should begin as soon as your building is complete and continue throughout its service life.

 

Roof Repair or Maintenance Safety

Whenever you perform maintenance on your roof system, safety must be the primary concern. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires fall protection and personal protection equipment (PPE) for all maintenance personnel, and your state and local regulations may impose additional safety requirements. Failure to follow these laws can result in serious injury and substantial fines.

A completed metal roof is a safe walking surface except near the edge of the roof and when any moisture (dew, frost, snow, ice, etc.) makes the surface of the roof very slippery. Steep slopes can also make the roof tough to navigate without proper safety equipment. Appropriate safety measures and extra caution should be exercised whenever these conditions are present. When performing building maintenance, the following precautions should always be taken:

  • Always use fall protection
  • Do not walk on skylights
  • Do not walk on wet roof panels
  • Do not walk, step or sit on skylights or the ridge cap
  • Do not walk in gutters
  • Guard all roof openings and skylights

Roof Inspections

Metal roof systems should be inspected semi-annually. In addition to scheduled inspections, roof inspections should be conducted after the following events:

  • Exposure of the roof to severe weather conditions, such as strong winds, hail or continuous heavy rain. Examine the roof for severely ponded conditions, debris, and any other damage to the roof components that may allow moisture to infiltrate. The roof panels should be carefully examined for punctures or loose fasteners.
  • After repair or replacement of rooftop equipment, rooftop work by other trades and after any excessive foot traffic.

Foot traffic should be kept to a minimum. Where frequent or heavy traffic is anticipated, you should install a roof service way to protect the roof. This is necessary where regular servicing of rooftop mechanical equipment is required.

Roof Damage from Equipment Drainage

Corrosive conditions can occur when water from air conditioner condensate lines, copper flashing, lead and other heavy metals is drained directly onto aluminum, aluminum-coated steel, and/or aluminum-zinc alloy coated steel roofs.

Common causes of the damage include:

  • Copper in direct contact with roof
  • Drainage from copper onto the roof
  • Condensate drainage from air conditioners
  • Copper cable from lightning rods
  • Rust particles
  • Lead flashing on vent pipes
  • Black steel from gas pipes or RTU supports

If any of these conditions occur on the roof, special coatings may be required on adjacent panels to maintain the life of the roof.

Restore Sealants Around Roof Openings

Sealants around roof openings for mechanical equipment, vents, and flexible pipe flashings are

particularly susceptible to deterioration from weathering. These areas should be inspected frequently and resealed as needed.

Ice and Snow On Your Roof

Excessive ice and snow build-up should be removed from the roof immediately to prevent damage from the freeze/thaw cycles and possible overload. Heavy and/or repeated snow storms can create packed snow that imposes unusual and excessive loads on any building structures.

It’s important to keep drains and gutters clear of ice and snow to facilitate melting runoff. Heat tapes in gutters and downspouts may assist in preventing ice buildup.

Snow/Ice Removal

Every situation is different, so careful planning is necessary before snow removal can begin. It is

important to remove the snow in a pattern that will not cause an unbalanced load condition on the roof that could lead to a damaged roof or a roof collapse. Also, sliding snow and ice can create a safety hazard for both personnel and equipment.

GALBRAITH/Pre-Design, Inc. is a commercial general contractor with extensive experience providing building maintenance services for hospital and medical facilities. Several members of our team have the Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) and Infection Risk Assessment (ICRA) certificates. For industrial and plant maintenance, the GALBRAITH team holds Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certification.

GALBRAITH/Pre-Design, Inc. is an authorized Butler Builder. With decades of experience in successfully completing design-build projects in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, GALBRAITH is your single-source solution for commercial, industrial, and institutional construction projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

 

For more information on the Butler MR-24® Roof System, visit www.gp-inc.com

Construction Process, General Contracting

Construction Project TipsHow to select your project delivery method, contractor, and construction method.

A construction project can be a long and arduous process. But there are three things you can do today to get started in the right direction. These basic steps, with some research and planning, will prepare you for future success.

Every construction project begins with these three decisions:

  1. Selecting a delivery method
  2. Selecting a contractor
  3. Selecting a construction method

 

Project Delivery Methods

The three most common project delivery methods available include:

  1. Design-Bid-Build – The owner solicits proposals and pricing from architects and/or engineers to design the project. Once design is determined, the owner bids the project to contractor to construct the building. The owner must manage two separate contracts which often creates an adversarial relationship between the designer and contractor. The process is time-consuming and requires the owner to be involved in day-to-day project management.
  2. Construction Management at Risk – Construction Management at Risk is a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price based on the construction documents and specifications at the time.  An adverse relationship between the construction manager and the architect can lead to some of the same issues that arise in the design-bid-build method.  Incomplete and/or inaccurate drawings can result in changes orders that exceed the guaranteed maximum price.
  3. Design-BuildThe design/build method is simply the fastest, most efficient, most cost-effective building process you can use. The owner selects one company, the design-builder, as the single source for design and construction. The designer and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing project recommendations that fit the owner’s schedule and budget.  Any changes can be addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem solving and innovation.  More than half of all projects today are built using the design/build method.

 

Selecting a Construction Contractor

The most important criteria for selecting a general construction contractor are a good reputation and the use of high-quality construction methods and materials. Consider construction companies that can handle every phase of your building project, as well as offer complete design-build expertise.  Your contractor should be able to balance risk and responsibility appropriately and clearly define expectations regarding costs, schedules, quality, and safety compliance.

With decades of experience in successfully completing design-build projects in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, Galbraith is your single-source solution for commercial, industrial and institutional construction projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Here are some of the reasons our clients appreciate working with Galbraith/Pre-Design, Inc.:

  • Over the past 25 years, we have developed systems and processes to deliver projects on time and within budget.
  • We adapt to your schedule and workflow to minimize disturbance to your operations and your bottom line.
  • We focus on preventative problem-solving.
  • We have experience in working in 8 states and are familiar with local regulations.
  • We use primarily our own in-house crews and do not subcontract every aspect of your project
  • We focus on building relationships, not transactions.
  • We use quality assurance checklists throughout your project.

 

Selecting a Construction Method

There are three construction methods available.

  1. Conventional Construction – Requires the building components to be cut, fitted, welded, and assembled on-site. This process is time-consuming and can be more expensive.
  2. Systems Construction (Pre-Engineered) – The steel building components are pre-engineered at the factory to fit together precisely. Systems construction components include structural, roof, and wall systems. The pre-engineered facility is designed to your exact specifications and delivered to the job site ready to be assembled.  The process is quick, efficient, and usually less expensive.
  3. Hybrid Conventional – Uses the best advantages of both the conventional and systems construction to provide the flexibility and efficiency needed to meet the needs of the project.

GALBRAITH partners with Butler Building Systems, the world’s leading producer of engineered steel building solutions. For more than 100 years, the name Butler has been synonymous with building innovation. Every Butler Building is designed, engineered, and manufactured to exact specifications, assuring fast assembly and long-term performance. Here are some of the highlights of our partnership:

  • Materials made from 30%-70% recycled steel
  • Minimal waste with made-to-order building systems
  • Energy-efficient roofing and wall systems
  • Durability from a 60-year roof system (MR-24®)
  • Reduction of the heat island effect with cool roof colors
  • Streamlined construction schedules
  • Design flexibility to accommodate any wall system
  • Hybrid building solutions combining conventional and pre-engineered structures

For more information, contact us today at 717-776-6337 or email build@gp-inc.com.

Commercial Design

Key Elements to Functional & Appealing Commercial Office Design

The Latest Trends in Commercial Office Space Design

Take a look at your office space. Is it stuck in traditional and outdated style and functionality? Maybe it’s time for a refresh, or maybe it’s time to look for a new space altogether. In any case, updating your commercial office design to today’s standards and trends is a worthwhile measure.

5 Key Elements to Functional and Appealing Commercial Office Design

When it comes to designing modern commercial office space, there are a few key elements you’ll want to keep in mind. 

1.) Sustainable characteristics. Your space will reflect who you are as a company and as a brand. With sustainability taking up such a large part of today’s conversation, it’s important for you to represent your support in the effort. With natural elements weaved into your office design such as plant life and windows to let in natural light, or fireplaces and water fountains, offer ways to break down the barrier between work and nature that your employees may feel being stuck inside each day. This is also a huge part of being able to resell the space down the road.

2.) A sense of community. You can use your commercial office space as an opportunity for your employees to collaborate productively and in an open-concept environment. A traditional office design holds 40 percent of the operations privately, and behind walls. Today’s trends call for a design that includes less than 17 percent of operations occurring behind closed doors. This design includes more open cubicles and less private offices; enhancing collaboration efforts and reducing the money and labor needed for more drywall. Instead, those efforts could be put to use to make community rooms designed for team sessions, brainstorming meetings, and more.

Brainstorming at LinkedIn Offices in New York – Photo: Eric Laignel

3.) Wood: The new norm. For similar reasons as with the sustainability movement, wood is a highly desired style and element to add to today’s office spaces. With Millennials and Generation Z becoming the largest parts of today’s workforce, they’re looking to work in places that match company values that are important to them. Wood represents a natural environment, as we mentioned before, but also adds character, warmth, and depth to an office space that is missing when white drywall and black metal make up the overall feel of the space. 

4.) Dynamic, flexible abilities. Another major trend in modern commercial office design is creating opportunities for employees to work in ways aside from sitting in front of their computers in the same chair, in the same space every day. People are looking for ways to be flexible. Today’s world comes with an increase in awareness of the unhealthy side effects of desk jobs when it comes to ergonomics, so many people are looking for places to work that offers ergonomic features such as stand-up desks. 

At ProxyClick, using stand-up meeting stations not only gave their employees more options for ways to spend their time at required meetings, but also cut down on unproductive meeting time by 34 percent. 

Going further, what’s known as the Dynamic Flexibility design trend offers moveable elements in an office space, such as walls, furniture, screens, etc. that can be easily moved around in the area to fit the multidisciplinary needs of a business’ daily schedule. Rooms can be changed in just a few minutes to be used for various projects; from meeting rooms to quiet workspaces, to video production studios, and more, when the space doesn’t allow for all of those places to exist independently. 

5.) Technology-based spaces. The modern workspace can’t exist without support for its technological needs and activities. Including power outlets and screens in several places throughout the commercial office space is now a standard requirement. This allows your employees to be able to use advanced tools in several spaces throughout the office and easily share with others.

Whether you’re looking to start a project for a new commercial office space, or just have a few questions about how you can update where you work now, we can help you find the right answers. Schedule a free consultation today!

General Contracting

How do you know it’s time for roof replacement at your building? Here’s what to look for, and why you need to act as soon as possible.

A Roof that Outlasts All Others: Go Metal

It might not be the most appealing part of your building, but your roof is certainly one of the most important. A good roof maintains the integrity of your building and protects all that’s under it from being exposed to unforgiving weather. But unfortunately, it can be one of the most costly components to repair or replace.

Nonetheless, it’s typically a much smarter move to pay for the roof replacement cost rather than putting it off. Even though the job can cost tens of thousands of dollars in some situations, there are several reasons that prove you shouldn’t wait.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Repair or Replace Your Roof

Responding to roof damage or deterioration with procrastination can come with many excuses. Maybe it’s not wanting to spend the money, not having the time to schedule a repair, not worrying about any impending bad weather, or not being due for an inspection anytime soon; but regardless, here is what’s at stake if you wait to repair your building’s roof until after it’s needed:

  • A new living space for bugs and animals. With a roof that’s ready to retire, it’s common for holes and cracks to form, especially with asphalt shingle roof structures. This allows space for bugs and animals to infest and set up living quarters throughout the structure of your building. This can cause problems ranging from electrical issues, to plumbing issues, to damage to your building’s insulation or foundational elements.
  • Here comes the rain. With the same cracks and holes, it’s easy for water damage to find its way into your building’s structure. This can cause extreme problems including the formation of mold, the deterioration of your foundation, or property damage – all very expensive issues to fix.
  • Repair → Replacement. There’s not a lot of people who want to replace their roof, which is usually the most expensive way to fix problems with a roof. But putting off repairs that could address and fix an issue early on can cause the needed solution to then become a total replacement, at a much higher cost. When it does come time to eventually replace your roof, however; it will be a much easier task if you had kept up with repairs as they were needed throughout its lifetime.
  • Energy loss wins. Your roof is one of your strongest lines of defense against the threat of energy loss. With roof damage, air can escape through cracks and holes, therefore making it more difficult to control and keep cooling and heating efforts to a minimum at your operation.
  • A decrease in property value. If you ever try to sell your building to another owner, it will be a much harder sell if your roof is in bad shape. People don’t often want to go into buying a property already knowing that it’s in need of roof replacement. It’s better to replace it on your own and not have to worry about getting low offers if you ever attempt selling.

Commercial Roof Replacement – What to Look For

When it comes time to address the age of your roof or any damage it’s undergone, it’s helpful to know what to look for in order to make the right decision about roof replacement. Here are some tell-tale signs that your roof needs an update:

  • Interior status. If you can access an attic space or level just under the roof at your building, take a flashlight and check how your roof is protecting the interior from the outside. If there’s water leaking through anywhere or light shining through the top, you likely have cracks or holes in your roof that need to be taken care of.
  • Shingle appearance. If your roof is constructed of shingles, take a look at the top of your roof when you get a chance and look for any sections that are cracked, buckling, damaged, or growing moss (a sign of trapped moisture). If your gutters or rain spouts have pieces of your shingles in them, that’s also a sign that they’re due for repair or replacement. Also, check to see if the shape of your roof shows any overall signs of sagging in the middle and losing its rigid shape.
  • Your roof’s history. It’s important to know the age of your roof and what type of material it’s made of. Different materials come with different lifespans, so stay up-to-date on the expected timeline of your roof. For example, an asphalt shingle roof typically lasts between 20 and 25 years, and a metal roof will last roughly 60 years.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

Metal roofs have been the #1 choice for non-residential construction since they first arrived on the scene, and this is no surprise. They last much longer than other roofing materials without needing to be replaced. In addition to offering long-lasting durability, they can reduce the energy costs of cooling your building, protect against fires, and won’t corrode, crack, or become damaged when installed properly.

While they can be more expensive upfront, metal roofs can easily save money in the long run and last for decades. You won’t have to check for all of the signs mentioned previously and worry about excessive damage to the rest of your organization’s structure. There’s no sagging or deteriorating with bad weather as shingles do.

Metal Roofing Experts at Your Disposal

At GALBRAITH, we’ve specialized in metal roof systems since our very beginning. Check out all of the projects we’ve completed in recent years and some tips we’ve written regarding metal roofing for nonresidential structures. Contact us with any questions and we’d be happy to discuss your roofing needs!

Construction Process, General Contracting

Generation Z is Interested in Construction—Here’s How to Help them Get There

The construction industry has a lot to offer for those who are considered part of “Generation Z,” born between 1995 and 2010. The industry is a promising career field for them for a couple of reasons—the important thing is advertising this in a way that resonates with Gen Zers.

Why the Construction Field is Appealing to Generation Z

A few outstanding characteristics about this generation contribute to them being a good match for the construction industry.

  • Older Family Experience: Gen Zers witnessed their parents, siblings, and other older family members suffer financially with the recession or paying college tuition and developed a general fear of debt, particularly from higher education loans. A study from GenZ@Work, 75 percent of the generation feel that there are other worthy alternatives than going to college to get a good education, hint hint—such as construction.
  • Desire for Career Advancement: According to Barna, 66 percent of Generation Z want to be started in a career before they’re 30, compared to just 51 percent of millennials feeling this way. There’s a very clear path in the construction industry to have a solidified career at a young age, and potential to own one’s own business.
  • Technologically-Advanced Skillsets: Today’s high schoolers and college students are growing up with technology surrounding them, offering a digitally native set of skills. These are a good match for the construction industry, which is constantly evolving with new advancements to help make the processes on construction sites safer and more efficient.

How to Attract Gen Zers

There are a few ways to effectively get your message across to these aspiring future professionals:

  • Start early. The most important part of appealing to members of this age group is to advertise to them early. With their concerns for financial success, many are already thinking about their future career field while still in high school, and paying attention to possible mentors around them. Exposing them to the opportunities the construction field has in store while they’re in early consideration and exploration phases is important. In particular, show the path of how career and skills advancement can occur for them.
  • Promote social responsibility. Members of this generation deeply care for philanthropic and socially conscious actions. Choose a fundraising outlet, charity, way of volunteering, or global mission to pledge your company to, and promote your efforts of supporting it. This can significantly resonate with members of Generation Z.
  • Use technology. Just as they are preparing to bring new technology to the field, this is how they currently get much of their information, along with the type of work they are attracted to. Advertise the usage of drones, 3D modeling, virtual reality, and more in the construction industry through social media and online communication campaigns.

Overall, we’re at a great intersection in the construction industry, where young professionals have career interests aligned perfectly with what the industry has to offer. To learn more about Galbraith’s fit in the industry, get to know us a little better.

Construction Process, General Contracting

Is Your Construction Project Reaching its Highest Potential? (Pun Intended)

Above all other sectors, drone usage is finding a comfortable home in the construction industry, growing by 239% year-over-year.

One of the main components to successful construction project management that we’ve been heavily talking about recently is being able to adjust tasks and timelines as the project goes along in order to adapt and still meet goals with the same quality achieved. Drone usage is particularly beneficial in streaming real-time data so this can happen at a jobsite.

Uses for Drones at Construction Sites

Construction companies no longer have to face the unsightly expense of using an airplane to take aerial photos of the site. This can happen easily, and as often as you’d like, for a fraction of the cost that is required to purchase a drone off the shelf. But the advantages don’t stop there—here are some advanced ways that this technology can help:

  1. Mapping and Surveying Land: Drones reduce the amount of time, labor, and human error that occurs when creating accurate surveys.
  2. Volumetrics Analysis: With specific software, drones are able to measure the amount of material in a pile and calculate the amount of truckloads that is needed.
  3. Transportation: Using drones to aerially transport goods helps to keep track of everything that goes in and out of the job site, helping to ensure positive jobsite inspection.
  4. Thermal Heat Imaging: This technology can also identify any heat loss from a building or infrastructure so leaks can be found and addressed as soon as the problem occurs.
  5. Security and Surveillance: Drones provide constant monitoring over all parts of your jobsite that may be subject to theft or vandalism.

With each of these applications, using drones also enhances the safety at your construction project. You’re sending a machine only weighing a few pounds to those extreme heights to watch over everything, instead of one of your workers.

The Obstacles Drones Have Overcome

In previous times, drone usage faced a lot of rules and regulations that served as huge obstacles to overcome. But significant changes have been made to make this technology much more accessible. For instance, the Federal Aviation Administration introduced Part 107 rules in 2016 that simplified the requirements for drone pilot certification.

Additionally, Construction Dive mentioned that: “This year, the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) opened up 99% of U.S. airspace to drones and reduced flight approval times from about 90 days to just seconds.”

I’m sure we will be seeing more strides made in the near future for deregulating drone usage and making it an accessible option to explore for construction contractors. Throughout the years in the industry, we’ve learned at Galbraith Pre-Design, Inc. that technology isn’t taking over—it’s here to help. Read our blog to learn more.

Galbraith’s Drone Footage

Check out how we used drones at a recent cold storage facility project!