Monthly Archives: July 2011

Urban Development special hits the street

The DJC is publishing its annual Urban Development special today. This year’s version has an interesting article by upcoming architect Daniel Toole on alleyways. Toole recently toured alleys of cities across the U.S. and in foreign countries such as Japan and Australia.

You also can learn about what’s changed in Seattle’s multifamily code, Sheraton’s Garden Walk project and who the new apartment renters are.





Masonry Industry Steps Up To Quality Control Measures



The masonry industry doesn’t need government to step in to hold them to a higher standard. They have been willing to do so since 2005.

 There comes a time in most industries when there is a need to differentiate between the highly skilled, highest quality performers and those who have not yet achieved that level of professionalism. Masonry product installation is a direct reflection on the masonry product, the owner of the building and the architect who designed it. No designer or owner wishes to spend one, two or five years getting through the complex construction process to have a poor building envelope installation, or interior finish,  be the prize at the end of the day.


That is why the masonry industry has gone one step further like electricians, plumbers and roofers and are willing to adhere to strict quality control guidelines just like the architects whose designs they are asked to build. The Certified Mason Contractor must be certified by education and business practice. The bricklayers, marble mason and tile setter who performs the work must be properly trained and attend similar annual continuing education classes.


The WSCMC Certification program consists of twelve graduate level courses that must be attended and passed by the principal owner.  The brick mason, marble mason or tile setter must have a minimum of four years of training by a Washington State approved training program and attend annual continuing education. Additionally, each certified contractor is subjected to an annual industry practicum review by the design industry as well as an annual safety compliance visit by DOSH.


There is no requirement that a WSCMC Certified Mason Contractor be signatory to a union, but many are. It has become standard practice in many design firms to specify a Certified Mason Contractor as certification is recognized as a minimum standard criteria. (See specification language here.)


What is a Certified Mason Contractor?

Contractors certified by the Washington State Conference of Mason Contractors have the following pre-qualifications:
  • In business a minimum of 5 years
  • In good standing with the Washington State Department of Labor and all contractor registration requirements
  • Completed a rigorous 50 hour training program
  • Provided an annual bank letter of financial responsibility
  • Participated in an annual WISHA/DOSH Safety Consultation
  • 24 hour access to an experienced safety consultant
  • A registered training agent with the State of Washington
  • 8 hours of annual continuing management/safety training education
  • An annual industry practicum review
  • All job-site employees must be a graduate (or currently enrolled and supervised by a graduate) of a state-approve training program
  • All job-site employees must be a graduate (or currently enrolled and supervised by a graduate) of a state-approve training program
  • All job-site employees must have eight hours of continuing education training

 The Reason

It is time to hold Masonry Contractors to a higher standard. When you specify a WSCMC Certified Mason Contractor you’ve hired a firm that holds quality workmanship as the top of its priority list, from large commercial buildings to local shopping malls and high profile residences. Regardless of the size or the intended use, the quality of the masonry installation is visible on every project. Click here to view a list of all WSCMC Certified Mason Contractors.


Go ahead, hold them to a higher standard as their end product is a direct reflection on the beauty of the construction process.

Contractors pitch in at Yesler Terrace

Skanska, GLY Construction and others teamed up July 16 to renovate the Head Start building and Neighborhood House playground at Yesler Terrace in Seattle.

Brad Rock paints a door at the Head Start building.

Brad Rock led Skanska’s team in painting the exterior of the building. Ski’s Painting and Sherwin-Williams donated labor and paint.

GLY installed playground equipment and helped McKinstry with some electrical wiring inside the building.

The contractors worked with more than 100 volunteers from local businesses and nonprofits, such as Swedish Medical Center, Seattle University and Virginia Mason.

The Head Start program provides free education to 40 preschoolers who live in Yesler Terrace.

Once again, kudos to the construction industry!

Watch WSDOT build a fish culvert in 60 seconds

OK, the video is sped up and WSDOT contractor Eastside Corridor Constructors performed the work. BUT, this 230-foot-long and 12-foot-wide fish culvert was installed last weekend while crews performed annual bridge maintenance and other work on state Route 520.
The larger culvert will improve fish migration and is the second of eight that will be installed between Medina and Bellevue over the next three years.
ECC is a joint venture of Granite Construction Co. and PCL Construction Services.



DJC’s 50 yard line for construction

The Journal Building provides a backdrop as crews lower a rebar cage into a freshly drilled hole.

The DJC has a front row seat for Goodman Real Estate’s Colman Residence project. With such a convenient location, look for frequent updates on this blog as construction progresses.

Crews from DBM Contractors this week have been drilling and installing concrete piles that will support the 16-story apartment building. That will be quite a task because plans call for 109 drilled shafts ranging in diameter from 24 to 48 inches, reaching depths of 40 to 145 feet.

A DBM worker directs the flow of concrete into another drilled hole.

Before DBM started drilling into the earth, Goodman pulled up 20 trees that had surrounded the site for decades. DJC colleague Katie Zemtseff wrote about that in May.

The project team has Turner Construction as the general contractor, Weber Thompson as architect and Magnusson Klemencic Associates as structural engineer.

The building will have retail topped by 208 apartments aimed at young urban professionals.

I wonder if any of them will cross the street to work at the DJC.


Free green construction training — but you’ve got to hurry

Clover Park Technical College has eight openings left in its Trades Academy Pre-apprenticeship Prep for construction trades. The hitch is you must contact them immediately and be ready to start on Friday.


The 10-week class runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in Lakewood. It includes hands-on skills training and provides a close-up look at a number of trades. You must be 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED, have reliable transportation, and attend an orientation and assessment session. Enrollment preference is given to veterans and eligible veteran spouses.

Course components are:

  • OSHA 10 construction safety certification
  • First aid/CPR certification
  • Trades math (tutoring available)
  • Flagger certification
  • Forklift certification
  • HAZWOPER 40 certification
  • Lead RRP certification

For more information, contact Jon Kime, grants administrator/special projects, (253) 589-4548 or (253) 241-8937 (cell).