1Call2Build—Our Blog

Here are some thoughts and insight on our business and the construction industry in general. We update our blog regularly to keep you informed and entertained.

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May 10, 2016

Ask a Pro: Why is Contractor Safety Important to a Project Owner?


Q.  Why is contractor safety important to a project owner?

A.  First and foremost, job site safety is paramount to ensuring that every individual in and around the project returns home safely to his or her family each night. It’s the right thing to do at any cost. Fortunately, projects with high safety standards and high profitability are not mutually exclusive. Contractors and project owners that demand a comprehensive safety program see safety as a cost driver and a critical element for budget success. Contractors that have excellent workers compensation safety records are more efficient at reducing risks, being profitable, and completing projects on time.

To select a contractor with a good safety record, implement a pre-qualification process that includes the contractor’s workers’ compensation history and three years of historical safety data. Obtain references from past clients and gauge their assessment of the contractor’s safety program. You can also request the contractor’s organizational chart to see that the necessary leadership structure is in place to support an active safety culture.

Although the project owner may hesitate to “interfere” in a contractor’s safety program, it’s a big mistake to be complacent. Without participation in the process, the owner is passively giving control to the contractor, assuming greater risk, and generally adding unnecessary expense.


March 3, 2016

A Hands on Approach to School Construction with “Student Construction Manager of the Day”

Recently, Consolidated Construction began working with local architects and government officials to provide a solution to this rise in overcrowded schools. Teams are helping build additional schools in the state, but also remodel existing facilities to better accommodate their students and staff.

One school that Consolidated has been working with recently is Oakes Public School in Oakes, ND.  The school leadership and Consolidated teamed up to make this seemingly simple and straightforward construction project into an opportunity for learning, teaching and exploration for the student body.

Trades, construction and architecture are all at play on the job site, working hand in hand, and have provided a wealth of knowledge for the students to observe up close what this industry is all about. They have dubbed the honor of touring the job site, “Student Construction Manager of the Day”. A child is selected from the student body and paired up with the superintendent of the building project and is given a behind the scenes look at their school and how it is built.


February 9, 2016

Ask a Pro: What Are Some Important Features in Senior Living Today?



As one of the Midwest’s leading hotel and multi-family residential design-builders, Consolidated Construction has had the privilege working with many world-class hoteliers and developers. These experts know how to attract guests, operate smarter and deliver a great resident experience. So, it’s no accident that the senior living providers offering excellent healthcare in an environment that’s inspiring and cost effective to operate have the highest census and far outperform other communities.

Here’s a lesson learned you may want to consider when building, expanding or renovating your next senior community:

Insist on Delivering Privacy and Dignity. Make sure rooms are large enough with their own private bathrooms. Bathrooms should feature a sink, toilet and a shower. Opt for quality doors, finishes and fixtures. They will look better, clean easier perform better and last longer.

Keep this in mind when planning your next facility. If you feel like you’re living in a resort hotel than life is pretty darn good. Tim Rinn has over 20 years of design‐build healthcare and senior living experience, and has assisted clients throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. Consolidated Construction’s Assisted Living Team is ready to help you plan, fund, design, build or renovate your next senior living community.

Questions? Contact Tim Rinn at (920) 882-2666 or


September 28, 2015

Solving the Crime of the Construction Site Killer

Solving the Crime of the Construction Site Killer
Construction Worker Fall Prevention

Every construction job comes with the risk of injury or death, which is why safety is one of the most important topics that should be discussed on a continuous basis. Based on the latest available reports from OSHA, in 2013, there were around 88 construction worker fatalities per week, on average. With advances in safety training and a focus on safe daily work habits throughout the industry, the numbers of fatalities have significantly decreased within the last decade. But for the fatalies and accidents that remain, we must not lose sight that the majority of these incidents could have been prevented and take action to eliminate them completely.

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Falls are the number one killer on construction sites, accounting for 36.5% of all construction deaths.  And, the number one most frequently cited violation of OSHA standards in 2013, was fall protection safety. Every injury or death is preventable, and these common violations, that are easily managed with the use of proper fall protection equipment, should not continue to be a common occurrence.

A common myth that many workers believe is that you have to fall from a large distance to sustain injury or death.  The truth is, injuries and fatalities can occur at any height, especially if a head injury results.

Earlier this year, Consolidated conducted its own on-site “National Stand-Down Training to Prevent Falls in Construction” using OSHA’s Safety Stand-Down curriculum. At our Werner Electric construction site in Grand Chute, approximately two dozen workers from Consolidated and its subcontractors participated in a morning of activities to discuss OSHA’s startling fall-related statistics, prevention of falls using safety equipment, and train workers on inspection of equipment, rescue plans, and job-specific hazards.

The number of participants in this nationwide campaign surpassed OSHA’s expectations, and over a million workers across the country have participated in the event. The fall prevention campaign began two years ago, and will continue for years to come in hopes of reducing the number of falls.

“On every level, the participants gained some knowledge from reiterating this information,” said John Meulemans, Safety Manager at Consolidated Construction. “It was eye-opening for the newer guys, but our veteran workers received just as much, if not more, benefit from hearing these statistics and consequences again. It brought it back to the forefront. They will be approaching every elevated job with more procedure and caution.”

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Key tips to prevent falls:

  • Use cones & warning signs to alert everyone of hazards on site
  • Utilize ladders properly, inspect condition, and ensure they are secured in place
  • Bad accidents are related to bad housekeeping; ensure a clean work zone
  • Supervisor Checklist
  • Conduct toolbox talks with construction staff often!
  • More tips provided by OSHA


February 19, 2014

What is Design/Build?

Why Should I Choose Design-Build Construction?

Consider the following trend in non­residential design and construction in the United States: over the course of the last 25+ years, traditional design­bid­build construction has continually declined while design­build has increased. According to the Design-Build Institute of America, the design-build process accounts for nearly 40% of nonresidential design and construction. When comparing to other building processes, the trends are much more favorable towards design-build (see graph).


Why the growth of Design­Build and corresponding decline in the “traditional” method of architectural design, bid, and build?

• The owners’ demand for a single point of contact and responsibility
• Accelerated project completion
• Guarantees price and schedule
• A positive partnering approach to project delivery


What are the benefits of Design-­Build?

1) Single Source of Responsibility
With both design and construction in the hands of one firm, there is a single point of responsibility for quality, cost and schedule. The design­builder is motivated to fulfill all owner objectives – financial feasibility, marketability, functionality, quality, budget, and schedule. With design-­build, the owner is able to focus on scope/needs definition and timely decision ­making, rather than on coordination between architect, engineers, and builder.

2) Quality
The owner’s requirements and expectations are expressed in performance terms and it is the design­builder’s responsibility to produce results. If the design­builder’s plans and specifications are deficient, it does not create a change order for the owner. Because the design­builder is accountable, the entire process is carefully managed, so no misunderstandings occur. If there is a performance issue, the design­builder must take responsibility. That responsibility is a powerful motivator to deliver quality.

3) Cost Savings
Ninety percent (90%) of project success is determined in the planning or feasibility phase, when project scope and layout is being determined by the owner and design­build team. The design-­builder brings architecture, engineering, cost estimating, scheduling, and construction expertise to the owner’s team at the earliest stages of a project, charting the course for success.

4) Time Savings
With design­build, construction can begin prior to the completion of the plans and specifications, without risk to the owner. Materials are ordered early in the process, enabling construction time to be minimized. Competitive bidding can be phased, so cost controls are maintained.

5) Early Knowledge of Firm Costs
It does not require a significant investment by the owner to get a firm cost from the design­builder. Cost information is developed in parallel with the preliminary design, and once the costs are established, the project team guides the design within the budget constraints.

6) Teamwork
You should expect your new facility to change your business world. Everyone’s perspective must be valued in the design and construction process for the owner’s ultimate goals to be met. The design­builder’s team meets with your business leaders, departmental and facility managers to deliver outstanding project results.