Top Resources of 2018: Building Insights

This year, we clearly defined our mission:

Gordian is where the people who plan, build and maintain facilities and infrastructure find data-driven solutions, insights and expertise to make smarter decisions that save time and money.

This mission was front-and-center in our minds when creating resources for you throughout the year. As we prepare for a new year, we want to countdown our top ten resources for 2018, to make sure you didn’t miss out on our most popular topics and insights. We put our hard hats on, counted on the data and asked a lot of questions to provide you with more answers than ever before.

10. Reporting the State of Facilities in Higher Education

Each year, our Sightlines team takes a deep-dive into their ocean of verified facilities metrics to find critical answers about the condition of our institutions. The State of Facilities in Higher Education webinar gave us the first look at emerging trends and best practices by charting where the world of higher ed facilities is going. This analysis wouldn’t be complete without practical advice about what colleges and universities can do to maximize your facilities return on investment. Download this definitive report to explore the trends and best practices that will continue to influence campus facilities across North America in 2019.


9. Discover the Power of Predictive Cost Data

That’s right. We’ve made a crystal ball for construction estimating! Now you can build your reputation on extremely accurate construction costs for projects that are years away from breaking ground. We created a predictive data algorithm to analyze changes in costs over time to help improve accuracy on future builds. Developed by data scientists and powered by machine learning, look three years into the future with predictive costs.


8. Views from our Veterans at Gordian

Our military personnel are deserving of our upmost appreciation and support. We are lucky to have some of those dedicated veterans continuing their legacy of service and leadership at Gordian. Learn more about our military veterans as they discuss their decisions to join the military, what they appreciate most about military service and how it impacts their lives and careers.


7. What the Data Says: Construction Cost Trendcasting

We constantly monitor current events, including tariffs, natural disasters and other external factors that impact material costs. RSMeans data accounts for these factors to ensure our customers always stay up-to-date. Talk of increased tariffs caused uncertainty in the construction industry, so our data-lovers turned to the one thing they can literally always count on – the numbers – for answers in a new blog series called “What the Data Says.”

In our first blog of the series, we examined steel costs from 2011 through August of 2018 to measure the impact U.S. steel tariffs have had on costs. Our analysis showed growth every quarter of the year, a break from the historical pattern. We took another look at steel costs through the third quarter of 2018 and saw what may be a bright spot in the data.

Our most recent addition to the series focuses on concrete material cost changes from Q3 of 2014 through Q2 of 2018. We will continue using our cost database to monitor material prices and share what the data says to help you make plans for 2019 and beyond.


6. Changing Lives Through Job Order Contracting

“Last year alone, we’ve issued $80 million of work to the Section 3 JOC program… We’re putting people to work. That’s what helps people change their lives.”

Jose Alvarez – Chief Operating Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority

Using Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) program, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is creating jobs for its low-income residents and mentoring them for continued success while meeting Section 3 HUD requirements. Gordian President, Pollak says of the program, “Our work with the Chicago Housing Authority is incredibly gratifying. It not only plays to one of our core competencies – managing Job Order Contracting programs – it also makes an important contribution to the community by helping to build up small businesses and put local CHA residents to work.”


5. Emergency Preparedness Case Studies

Given the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, governments are facing an unprecedented need to create resiliency plans to protect residents and infrastructure. Common construction challenges that arise after an unexpected disaster include a lack of quality contractors, sudden increases in equipment and materials prices, inflated repair timelines and complex federal and state compliance rules.

Fortunately, government agencies and educational institutions can address these challenges now and prepare to bring facilities and infrastructure back online with the use of alternative construction procurement methods. Public agencies across the nation have used Gordian’s JOC programs to help speed project delivery and rein in costs after disasters.

Here are two of our most popular case studies in 2018 about how local governments used JOC to jump into action and repair critical facilities following a disaster.

1. The City of Miami Beach and the Florida Department of Transportation wanted to keep the Indian Creek Corridor open during the annual “king tides”—the period from September to December when water levels rise and threaten to cause substantial property damage. Facing the prospect of a major project that would take many months and cost millions of dollars to complete, read how government officials found a solution to make optimal use of public resources without sacrificing construction quality.

2. After relentless winter rainstorms washed part of a major section of Monterey County’s frequented Elkhorn Road down the hillside, they needed to act fast. Looking for a cost-effective and quick resolution, the county turned to their Gordian JOC program. The County of Monterey, CA, received the prestigious APWA Public Works Project of the Year Award for their emergency response and reconstruction to Elkhorn Road. You can hear more about this project by watching this short video.


4. Procurement Insights from Industry Experts

Throughout the year we’ve interviewed industry leaders and innovators to glean their insights into facility management and construction procurement trends, best practices and success for our Executive Interview Series. The series features a collection of 12 professionals from public works, facilities management, higher education and more, discussing challenges their organization is facing and providing solutions based on their experience. Find out why Terry Lusby, Jr. of the Village of Tinley Park feels like Gordian’s ezIQC® solution is “pretty much the best thing since sliced bread,” and get tips on how to build relationships with your contractors from Theresa Bauccio-Teschlog of the City of Everett, WA.


3. Best Practices for Building a Construction Estimate

This summer, Certified Estimating Professional Rory Woolsey presented “Step by Step: How to Build a Better Estimate,” a webinar sponsored by Gordian in partnership with Engineering News Record. Rory brought more than 40 years of construction industry experience to the presentation. He walked attendees through estimate creation best practices and provided practical tips for addressing challenges. We learned success depends on the details, and a poorly planned estimate will doom a project, among other things. Our favorite piece of advice from Rory? “You have to build the project before the project is built.”


2. Award Winning Construction Projects

Named for the creator of JOC, the Harry H. Mellon Job Order Contracting Awards honors the building owners, managers and contractors using best practices to successfully complete unique projects. This eBook showcases award-winning projects and creative uses of JOC from a variety of sectors.

Congratulations to this year’s Harry H. Mellon Award of Excellence winners – the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and contractor Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. In January of 2017, a major artery to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was closed after a mobile car crusher crashed into a bridge, destroying four of 14 load-bearing girders. Needing to act fast to have the bridge re-opened by the weekend of the Indianapolis 500 race, INDOT turned to Job Order Contracting to respond quickly to this emergency.

The response was swift and effective.

“This was a case where something had to happen quickly, and we were able to pull out all the stops and go get it. Being a construction guy, that’s what you love.”

Roland Fegan – Deputy Commissioner of Construction at INDOT


1. All You Need to Know About Job Order Contracting

If you’d like to learn more about Job Order Contracting, you’re not alone! Our most popular resource this year has been our introductory video series to the basics of JOC. This free, four-part video series covers everything you need to know and how you can get started with Gordian.


Can’t get enough? We have dozens of resources available in our growing Resource Center. We look forward to adding more value throughout 2019, with a new interview series, helpful eBooks to download and infographics to share with your social networks and peers. Speaking of your peers – join thousands of them, and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, news and insights by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, Building Matters.