October 2021 - Sachse Construction

Contractors Find New Ways to Cope With Elevated Lumber Prices

Although material price fluctuations have wreaked havoc on construction, labor has become the dominant source in driving costs, experts say.

U.S. commercial and residential builders breathed a sigh of relief last month when softwood lumber prices dropped more than 30% after reaching an all-time high in May.

Although prices still remain elevated, they have come down to a more manageable level, experts told Construction Dive.

These fluctuations in the price of lumber are related to the supply chain, said Daniel Pomfrett, vice president at Cumming, a project and cost management firm. Now that lumber prices have started to decline, Pomfrett said contractors should not expect the upward spikes that characterized earlier pandemic stages.

“I think we’re now starting to see that demand rise above as some people held back their projects in that pandemic period,” said Pomfrett. “But the supply chains, in actually getting that raw material, that’s really where we’ve seen that sort of pressure that’s being built up and so, as that pressure is being released, what we’re seeing is that the prices are coming down.”

Lumber prices remain above pre-pandemic levels, despite dropping below the peak price observed in May 2021, according to Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. Though massive spikes are unlikely going forward, Basu said there continues to be “significant volatility.”

This is an excerpt from Construction Drive, authored by Sebastian Obando.

Read the full article here.

Start Prepping Now for the Next Normal in Construction

Construction is the largest global industry that accounts for 13% of global GDP. It encompasses infrastructure, industrial structures, and real estate and today many companies are adjusting their business models to embrace the next normal in construction.

It is a fact COVID-19 served as a catalyst for tech uptake for construction firms. The need to collaborate in real-time as well as relying on technology to maintain better business control was brought to the forefront during the pandemic. Contractors soon realized the importance of switching to construction technology to improve performance and productivity in uncertain times.

So, the question many seem to be asking is what is the future of the construction industry after COVID-19. Well, a significant shift has already happened but what is in store for construction players is something we will discuss at length today.

Be Prepared for Industry Overhaul

All those wondering what the next normal in construction will look like should be prepared for industry overhaul and be ready to brace a changing marketplace. With technological progress gaining ground, and disruptive new entrants keen on technology uptake, the construction ecosystem is in a perfect storm.

This is an excerpt from Construct Connect, authored by Ed Williams.

Read the full article here.

Bricks Return With Style in New High-End Buildings

Masonry is having a moment. Perhaps it’s a symptom of glass tower fatigue, perhaps it can be attributed to a desire for a building material that has warmth and texture. Or maybe it’s the hard pull of nostalgia.

Around the city, in TriBeCa, Chelsea, Brooklyn and Queens, on the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side and elsewhere, new developments are sporting brick facades, often with custom-crafted bricks, in some instances with those couture bricks arranged in eye-catching patterns.

It used to be that brick, generally red, was the material of choice for affordable housing, said Howard L. Zimmerman, head of the architecture and engineering firm that bears his name. “Now,” Mr. Zimmerman said, “architects at high-end projects are reinterpreting brick in terms of its style and size and in the design of the facade.

The Grand Mulberry in Little Italy, a seven-story 20-unit condominium at 185 Grand Street, designed by Morris Adjmi Architects and scheduled for completion early next year, is clad in specially-made red-orange bricks. The overlay of hand-molded dome-shaped bricks is arranged in a pattern that could have emerged from a dot-matrix printer.

This is an excerpt from The New York Times, authored by Joanne Kaufman.

Read the full article here.

Louis Vuitton Store at Somerset Collection to Unveil Expansion Friday

The Louis Vuitton store at the Somerset Collection in Troy will unveil its newly expanded space on Friday, Oct. 15, which will feature women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, watches and jewelry, and a VIP room.

The new space will join added selections of women’s and men’s accessories, shoes, leather goods, lifestyle offerings, gifting, travel offerings, and fragrances. The store is located on the first level of Somerset Collection South, immediately adjacent to Neiman Marcus.

Incorporating innovative materials and architectural design, the space is a visual representation of Louis Vuitton’s heritage and craftsmanship. Inside, custom Louis Vuitton finishes carved by craft millworkers are present throughout the décor.

The interior design showcases paintings from Michigan artists, a homage to the state’s thriving cultural community: a geometric triptych by Jennifer Kroll of Birmingham speaks to precision and balance; while an inked and embroidered canvas by Frank Lepowski of Detroit reflects the stimuli of the digital age.

The local artworks are complemented by pieces from international artists, including Norwegian photographer Solve Sundsbo. Additionally, distinguished furniture can be found throughout the store, including a white stone Paul Kingma coffee table from 1981, ceramics from Studio Floris Wubben in the Netherlands, and an architecturally inspired table designed by Carlo Mollino.

The expanded Troy store will open with a special window display celebrating the 200th anniversary of Monsieur Louis Vuitton’s birth. Coinciding at Maison’s worldwide through the fall season, the windows will showcase digitized versions of the classic Louis Vuitton trunk as reimagined by 200 innovators in homage to the founder.

Hailing from all over the globe and diverse fields of expertise, innovators featured include artists, athletes, designers, musicians, performers, and thought leaders such as Gloria Steinem, Peter Marino, and BTS, among others.

Throughout the Troy store, clients will discover both new and classic Louis Vuitton styles. In addition to bags and travel pieces, the location will now offer the latest ready-to-wear collections for both women and men, designed by Women’s Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquière and Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh.

For bespoke luxury, Louis Vuitton’s historic tradition of hand-crafted customization is prevalent through an on-site hot-stamping service, giving clients the opportunity to personalize a variety of leather goods.

In addition, the full fragrance counter offers custom engraving on the Maison’s perfumes and colognes by Louis Vuitton’s Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud. On Sunday, Oct. 17, a Louis Vuitton artisan from France will be onsite to demonstrate the highly specialized craft of hand painting Louis Vuitton hardsided trunks for bespoke requests.

Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, along with the finest quality. Today, the Maison remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel” through luggage, bags, and accessories.

The Louis Vuitton is located at 2801 W. Big Beaver Road. For more information, visit www.louisvuitton.com.

Developer Targets Second Phase of West Village Neighborhood Development

Four years after opening the first $4 million phase of The Coe, a joint venture between Detroit-based developer Woodborn Partners LLC and Detroit-based North Coast Partners LLC has its eyes on a second phase next to it.

The second phase would be substantially larger than the 12-unit first phase, with 16 studio apartments and 37 one-bedroom units in one building and five for-sale townhouse units in a second building for a total of 58 residences at the corner of Van Dyke Avenue and Coe Street in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood, according to documents submitted to the Historic District Commission.

Woodborn Partners, led by Clifford Brown, expects to bring back the same team that worked on the first phase, Detroit-based Christian Hurttienne Architects and Detroit-based Sachse Construction. North Coast Partners is run by Peter Feinberg and Stephen Tobias and is new to the team.

Brown said construction should begin next year.

As part of the project, the development team is requesting HDC permission to tear down a pair of homes on the development site, one at 1514 Van Dyke and another next door at 1532 Van Dyke. The developers say that it is cost-prohibitive to renovate and/or move the homes, which has a price tag of $1.1 million for renovation, purchasing a new location for them and moving them.

In addition, the developers say SME Environmental performed a structural analysis of the homes showing “the structures are so fundamentally unsound that it isn’t even feasible to move them.”

There will be assistance with moving for the current residents, Brown said.

“We spent the last year thinking through how to do this,” he said. “The thought is they come back to the building once it’s built.”

He said North Coast owns property in the area that could accommodate the residents in the interim, or they could end up with a different landlord on a temporary basis.

“Our primary priority in this is to make sure we do right by the current residents who live there and do right by the larger neighborhood,” Brown said.

The second phase would be another new large development in the area, following the 92-unit Parker Durand, which is nearing completion at the intersection of its two namesake streets, as well as the first phase of The Coe.