Thursday, April 26, 2012

Old Is New Again

Mt. Vernon Mill project located in Baltimore, Maryland 

The Patterson project located in Baltimore, MD
Currently one of the most active development/construction markets is adaptive reuse. With most construction markets in a weakened state, the adaptive reuse project has several positive factors that are attracting developer’s attention.

Adaptive Reuse is a process for adapting old buildings for new uses while retaining their historic features. An old factory may become an apartment building. A rundown church may find new life as a restaurant.

With a huge inventory of older apartment buildings, manufacturing facilities, office buildings, closed schools, and warehouses, the potential for experienced developers is great. The value of older buildings is not in just the historic value but they offer additional incentives to developers.

Most Common Reasons for Adaptive Reuse
Location – Historic, unused buildings were often constructed in industrial settings. As cities grew around the area, hospitals, schools and retail were are developed. While the historic building may be currently unused, most are in prime locations for access to nearby communities.

Environment – While the costs of replacing a building can be similar to adapting it to another use, the environmental savings to renovating far outweigh traditional building practices. When a new building is constructed, a huge amount of energy is consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the acquisition of natural resources to product delivery, including mining, manufacturing of materials and equipment, transport and administrative functions, not to mention the demolition of the old structure. By reusing buildings, the energy used when the building was originally constructed is retained. Adapting old buildings also keeps thousands of tons of demolition waste out of our landfills.

Community development – Turning an abandoned building into something useful and beautiful creates community camaraderie and increases property values. Members of a community will often invite this new development as opposed to battling against it.

Aesthetic Value – many of the old, interesting characteristics of historic buildings, such as stained glass, brickwork, limestone, granite and ironwork, are much too costly to reproduce today. By adapting an old building, these striking features remain and create a unique and beautiful edifice.

Tax Credits – Owners of historically adapted buildings have access to Historic and New Market Tax Credits, which can help greatly in funding a project.

Speed – Most utilities are already in place, reducing the time usually allotted for installation and permit. Approvals are also expedited along with  the ability to start environmental abatement and selective demolition immediately without the long lead time for ordering new materials.

The Reading Outlet Center project located in
Reading, PA
Kinsley has over 40 years of quality construction experience and a whole practice in renovations, historic tax credits, building and site stabilization, and adaptive reuse. We know what issues can arise when working with older properties because we ask right questions and hire the right subcontractors. Our expertise will assure a better design/development plan before any construction starts. Kinsley Construction knows the issues and is skilled at resolving them. Pre-planning is critical to making an adaptive reuse project successful and we will get your project across the finish line. We can also introduce you to the value of BIM and Vela, two of the most current high tech systems used in construction today.

Kinsley is honored to have been awarded the US Green Building Council’s “Adaptive Reuse Project of the Year” for the M.C. Dean projects in Baltimore, MD. This year we are working on several new adaptive reuse projects, all with different challenges and rewards. If you are considering
Gunther Square @ Brewers Hill located in Baltimore, MD
an adaptive reuse project in the future, we would be happy to accommodate a tour of one of these projects, currently in an early stage, as well as a site visit after the project has been completed. After you see a Kinsley adaptive reuse project from start to finish, you will know that our expertise and experience with these projects will ensure that your next construction venture is a success.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What is Vela?

If you’re out on one of our jobsites and happen to see some of the staff walking around with iPads, don’t worry – they’re not playing Angry Birds or updating their status on Facebook. They’re actually deploying some of the latest technology available in the construction industry. It’s called Vela Mobile and its part of Vela’s Field Management Suite.

Vela is a web-based platform that will revolutionize construction management. Its main purpose is to bring solutions to the field. Before Vela, when field staff performed safety inspections, quality control inspections, pre-task checklists, or even daily walkthroughs, the staff member usually carried a notebook or clipboard, intending to take notes while in the field and then return to the office and type up the notes to email them to other team members.

With Vela Mobile, a superintendent can take nothing but his iPad into the field and not only have the ability to perform any one of these tasks, but also the ability to view and mark up plans. The superintendent can also attach plans, pictures, and locations to each issue that is created. After issues are created, reports can be automatically sent out on a daily basis to each subcontractor notifying them of any issues that need to be resolved in their scope. Subcontractors will have access through a special portal that lets them see all the issues they have outstanding with the project. They will also be able to post comments on open issues as well as notify Kinsley of work to be inspected. The real kicker is that all of this information is recorded into one database of information that gives a complete timeline of the project from start to finish. This will dramatically increase accountability on the jobsite and it’s almost completely autonomous.


Now that you know all the cool things that Vela can do, let me tell you how Kinsley is implementing this revolutionary new software. The first thing we have done is developed a core team of individuals who will lead the implementation. Included are a project executive, project manager, project engineer, superintendent, and safety representative. We have several large projects on which we will pilot this program: Mt. Vernon, The Gunther at Brewers Hill, Hershey Next Century, and Volvo NE Headquarters.

We have already gone through all our training with Vela and are now ready to get started. In order to ensure all subcontractors have access to this system, we will also be installing a Vela/BIM workstation kiosk at each job site. In addition to accessing Vela, we are working to give all site supervisors the ability to see the coordinated 3D model of the building.

We are very anxious to implement this software and start seeing results. This is definitely a time of change within the construction industry and it’s exciting to know that we at Kinsley are on the leading edge.

Article written by:
John Clemons | LEED AP BD+C
BIM Program Manager

Kinsley's Role in the LEED® Certification of a New or Renovated Building

What role does Kinsley play in the LEED® certification of a new or renovated building? During preconstruction, the design team is responsible for approximately 60% of the available credit points and during the construction phase, Kinsley is responsible for the remaining 40% targeted credits. It is extremely important that the Kinsley team take ownership of the LEED process to assist the owner and design team in obtaining the desired level of certification. The following are a few typical construction phase credits:

Flight 93 National Memorial - Sitework
Construction Activity Pollution Prevention
This is a prerequisite involving the compliance with federal, state and local laws and requirements in addition to following the civil engineer’s project specific erosion and dust control plans. Being a prerequisite, it doesn’t count as a credit but is required to be qualified for any other credits within this category.

Site Development: Protect and Restore Habitat
During site operations Kinsley must stay within the Limit of Disturbance. The Limit of Disturbance is defined 40 feet beyond the building perimeter, 10 feet beyond surface walkways, patios, parking, and utilities less than 12 inches in diameter, 15 feet beyond roadway curbs and main utility trenches. 

Heat Island Effect: Non-Roof
Although this is mainly design driven, material cut sheets and as-built drawings may be required from Kinsley to achieve this credit. The term "heat island" describes surface areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. They can be minimized by utilizing architectural and/or site components to shade a percentage of
the site. Also, utilizing a solar reflectance index (SRI) of at least 29 on a percentage of all hard surfaces (including roofs) contributes towards the credit. SRI is a measure of a material’s ability to reject solar heat. Kinsley furnishes and installs only the specified materials having the required reflectance values.

Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning
Fundamental commissioning is a prerequisite in the E&A category that involves verifying that the project’s energy-related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the requirements set forth by the owner and engineer. In order to fulfill the enhanced credit, the commissioning process must begin early in the design phase and additional activities will be required of the contractors. Everybody, especially MEP contractors, must do their part to achieve this credit.

Construction Waste Management
Before the project begins, the Kinsley team will develop a plan that will identify the types of debris or trash that we will likely create and where it will go when it leaves the job site. We must think twice before throwing something away. The only way we can earn credit points is to keep as much material as we can from going to the landfill.

Materials Reuse (reuse of building materials, decreasing the demand for virgin materials)

Recycled Content (requirement for recycled content percentage within building materials)

Regional Materials (increasing the demand for materials manufactured, harvested or extracted within the region)

Rapidly Renewable Materials (materials that are manufactured from raw material that can be harvested within a 10-year cycle or less) – This credit usually involves more work on the designer’s part but the contractor will need to be sure to follow the plans and specifications as well as submit the necessary documentation.

Certified Wood
To earn this point, at least 50% of all the wood used on the project must be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, meaning, it has come from a forest where management practices have been held to strict standards set forth by the certifier. Also, everyone who has handled the wood before it reached the job site must have a certificate from FSC for their part in the manufacturing process.

Construction IAQ Management Plan
This plan will ensure the reduction of air quality problems that can occur during the construction or renovation, which in turn improves the wellbeing of the workers and building occupants. Smoking, protection of the ventilation system, storage of material on site, and housekeeping are all items that must be addressed within this plan. The Kinsley team develops the plan to achieve this credit.

Low-Emitting Materials
With these credits, it’s important that each contractor on site uses only the specified materials for this project. They were specified because of their relatively low VOC content. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, typically at room temperature. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long term adverse health effects.

Taking ownership of the LEED process and being held accountable for the results can be summed up by Kinsley superintendent, Mike Goodling, “After you get your feet wet and understand the process, it is not all that time consuming. Little things that you take for granted need to be documented, like taking measurements and weights of recycled materials to be reused in the building.”

Article written by:
John Clemons LEED AP BD+C
BIM Program Manager

Kinsley Education Center


In the last issue of the Kinstructor, Kinsley President and COO Jon Kinsley reminded us that communication is key to our success as a company. As we focus on heightening our communication skills, it is crucial to focus on listening, the often forgotten partner to speaking in the exchange of information. When we communicate with our co-workers, clients, and subcontractors, we are both speakers and listeners in every instance of communication.

Communication is “the act of transmitting or conveying information or ideas.” When we communicate verbally, a speaker focuses on conveying the information, and a listener focuses on receiving the information. Typically, we place a higher value on our role as the speaker because it is important to us that our ideas are heard, but our role as the listener is equally as important for useful communication to occur. As an effective listener, our role is to understand what is being said and to respond appropriately.

Instructors at Kinsley Education Center use various methods to assure that the information they are teaching has been understood. For instance, testing and feedback from class evaluations enable instructors to refine the classroom content and to develop new methods for teaching procedures, safety
practices and skills.

We encourage you to try out several of the hints below to see how making a few changes in your listening style can result in communication that is more effective.

• Better understanding of assignments and expectations
• Increased rapport with co-workers, supervisors, subcontractors, and clients
• Greater work proficiency in a team-based environment
• Improved ability to resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and supervisors

• Maintain good eye contact
• Speak back what has been said by paraphrasing and get confirmation from the speaker that you have understood
• Ask questions, clarify points, and summarize speaker’s comments
• Allow the speaker to finish – do not interrupt
• Do not formulate your response before the speaker has made their original point

When information or ideas from a speaker are successfully received through good listening skills, the communication results in positive outcomes and goals being met. This is a win-win scenario for everyone.

Article written by:
Bonnie Brown

New Safety Incentive Program

SAFETY INCENTIVE PROGRAMS have always been a hot topic in the safety profession. Some feel you shouldn't have to entice employees to do what is expected of them anyway. Others feel these programs are essential to get employees to pay attention to safety policies and procedures. OSHA is the latest group to chime in on the subject. OSHA has launched a national emphasis program on record keeping and they have listed incentive programs as a possible cause for under-reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses. With increased attention from OSHA, safety incentive programs are being reevaluated by many companies. Almost all studies on the subject come to the following conclusions:
  1. Incentive award programs need to be changed periodically or they become stale and lose their effectiveness.
  2. If awards and bonuses are too easy, employees begin to view them as entitlements, not something to be earned. These programs tend to backfire and create more hard feelings rather than promote safe behaviors and attitudes.
  3. Positive recognition for a job well done is a better motivator than punishment for not meeting expectations.
  4. Awards and recognition need to be timely. Awards and bonuses distributed at the end of the year have little effect on day to day behaviors and attitudes toward safety.
  5. Safety incentives can create peer pressure among work crews. Peer pressure can be good if it encourages safe behaviors, or it can be negative if it encourages covering up work-related incidents and near misses.
In light of these findings, Kinsley will be restructuring the employee Safety Incentive Program this year. We still feel that incentives are an important part of our Safety Program, but also want to change things up a little to re-energize the program.

One of Kinsley’s new safety program incentives are the Safety Recognition Awards. The Safety Department will recognize outstanding safety performance on job sites or among work crews with these awards. Safety Recognition Awards may include lunches, gift certificates, t-shirts, or similar items. Recognition Awards will be awarded to crews going above and beyond the normal safety rules and policies.

In addition to the Safety Recognition Awards, we have also instituted Safety Prizes, a Weekly Drawing, and a Grand Prize Drawing

We hope the new prizes and awards will reenergize our Safety Incentive Program. The goal of the program is to increase employee’s awareness and participation in the safety program, not just win prizes. With safer job sites, we all win.

Article written by:
William McCaffrey, CSP
Director of Safety

Maryland Sitework Division


The Automotive Vehicle Testing & Evaluation Facility (ATEF) Phase II project is located at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland. The majority of the proposed work for this project consists of constructing a 4.5 mile asphalt track for our military to test and evaluate military vehicles prior to their use in combat. In order to construct the proposed test track, Kinsley’s top notch dirt crews will have moved over 375,000 cubic yards of dirt. A large portion of this dirt was moved economically with agricultural type tractors pulling double 18 cubic yard and 21 cubic yard pans behind them. After the controlled fills have been made and the 27 foot wide track has been constructed, it will be composed of over 170,000 tons of stone material along with over 35,000 tons of asphalt.

Along the proposed track are 19 culvert crossings to be extended, which total over 2,000 feet of concrete reinforced pipe. This project is located in a high security area which makes coordinating access for employees, sub-contractors, and deliveries a challenge. All excavated areas need to be swept for unexploded ordinance prior to beginning work and during work depending on the depth of excavation. An active Army airstrip is located in the middle of this project which requires Kinsley’s field management to be in constant radio contact with the control tower during earthmoving, stoning and paving operations. Kinsley crews must meet very stringent grading and paving tolerances in the construction of this test track. Thanks to the great teamwork and efforts or everyone involved in this project, we plan to be successfully completed in August of 2012.


Kinsley Site has teamed up with Classic Site Solutions to repair a portion of the 180-year-old C&O Canal in Potomac, Maryland. “Anglers Breach” at mile 12 of the 185 mile long historic canal is a 150 foot wide washout caused by Hurricane Hanna to the tow path and a 20 foot tall stone retaining wall separating the canal from the Potomac River. Blasted rock from the canal excavation was used to build the wall originally in the late 1920s. Any rock that is recovered will be used to face a new concrete wall to return it to its original historic appearance. Approximately 1,000 feet of tow path and canal will also be restored using a new liner and drainage system to prevent future sink holes and breaches. One of the challenges we face under the watchful eye of the Army Corps is engineering and building a temporary bridge to cross a failing bridge that goes over a 150-year-old masonry aqueduct that supplies water to Washington, DC. After the canal breach repair is complete, Kinsley Industrial will replace the existing aqueduct bridge with caissons and a reinforced concrete deck. The project is scheduled to be complete in November 2012.

Mike Royer
MD Sitework Division Manager