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Donley's recent collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio University and the DesignGroup was highlighted in the December issue of Properties Magazine.  You can find out more about the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at South Pointe Hospital here.

Noise is unwanted sound that can effect job performance, safety, and your health. Psychological effects of noise include annoyance and disruption of concentration. Physical effects include loss of hearing, pain, nausea, and interference with communications when the exposure is severe.

Hearing protection is essential when noise exposures can't be controlled at their source. Both earplugs and earmuffs provide a physical barrier that reduces inner ear noise levels and prevent hearing loss from occurring. However, people often resist wearing these or use them incorrectly. Employees resist wearing hearing protection more than any other type of personal protective equipment.

One reason is that they don't think they really need it. But hearing loss occurs so gradually (even in intense exposures) that by the time you notice it, irreversible damage has already occurred. Another reason for not wearing hearing protection is that it can feel uncomfortable. Sometimes workers "spring" the muffs so they don't seal properly against the head, or snip off the inner portion of ear plugs leaving only the outer end to fool their supervisor. If you feel the need to do this, see your supervisor about obtaining a different type or style that fits you comfortably and correctly.

Slight initial discomfort may be expected when a good seal between the surface of the skin and the surface of the ear protector is made. The amount of protection you obtain depends on obtaining a good seal and even a small leak can substantially reduce the effectiveness of the protector. Remember to check the seal several times each day. Protectors - especially ear plugs - have a tendency to work loose as a result of talking or chewing, and must be resealed occasionally.

There are many different styles, types, and brands of ear protectors available, but when correctly fitted, they all provide similar levels of protection. The best hearing protector for you is one that fits correctly so that you can wear it properly.


1. If it is necessary for you to speak in a very loud voice, or shout directly into the ear of a person to be understood, it is likely that the noise level is high enough to require hearing protection.

2. If you have roaring or ringing noises in your ears at the end of the workday, you have probably been exposed to too much noise.

3. If speech or music sounds muffled to you after you leave work, but it sounds fairly clear in the morning when you return to work, you are being exposed to noise levels that are causing a temporary hearing loss. In time, this can become permanent so please take care and use hearing protection.

Donley's Concrete recently placed enough concrete to cover 6.5 football fields with a thickness of 4” at the Health Education Campus (HEC).  The new 485,000 sq. ft. HEC is a collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University to create a campus that will reimagine the preparation of healthcare leaders for the 21st century. This volume of concrete could pour a 5’0” wide sidewalk that is 61,236 ft. long, or 11.60 miles.  Here are some other facts about the recent concrete placement.

Area/Size – 30” thick, 34,868 sq. ft.
Cubic Yards of Concrete – 3,713 cubic yds.
370 (10) yard concrete trucks of concrete
42 ready-mix truck drivers servicing from 3 separate batch plants
Roughly 9 hours of placement at +/- 420 cubic yards per hour utilizing 3 concrete pumps
350 tons of reinforcing steel

Donley's is also providing Construction Management services on the HEC project.  We are delighted to be working with Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and our joint venture partner, Turner Construction Company, on this transformative campus.

Quick Quiz - Where is the nearest fire extinguisher right now? Where is the closest portable fire extinguisher to your work area?

It is very important that we are aware of the locations of portable fire extinguishers because if a fire were to occur, in the panic of the moment seconds count.

More importantly, when is the last time you actually looked at the portable fire extinguisher in your work area?

  • Is it charged fully?
  • Is it damaged?
  • Is it the proper type for the hazards in your area?
  • Is it hung properly?
  • Is it blocked?
  • Has it been hydrostatically tested in the past 5-12 years?

In the construction industry, fatalities have been known to occur because corrosion build-up on the bottom of the fire extinguisher was serious enough that the extinguisher case ruptured when it was activated. The parts struck the employee in the chest.

 A similar incident occurred in 1988. This fire extinguisher had a rubber boot or cap to protect the bottom of the cylinder case. Moisture had seeped in between the rubber and outside cylinder wall and caused the cylinder to corrode inside the boot.


Over time, this corrosion weakened the cylinder and it ruptured when the internal CO2 cylinder was activated. Other extinguishers of this type have been found to have the same type of corrosion underneath the rubber boot.

These stories remind us of the importance of In-depth inspections and routine testing of these devices. Especially if your fire extinguishers have rubber or plastic boots or caps and are located in potentially corrosive environments such as:

  •  outside, unprotected from the weather
  •  wet or damp environment, or
  •  near marine facilities or other waterfront buildings, especially those located near salt water

Many contractors have a third-party service inspect fire extinguishers monthly or on another periodic schedule. However, we also recommend taking personal responsibility because safety is everyone's responsibility. Have you looked at the extinguisher in your work area? Are you sure it has been looked at recently? Are you sure it wasn't missed during the last formal inspection? 

We urge you to take a moment today and take a look at any extinguisher in your area. Let your superintendent or supervisor know if you see signs that it is damaged or uncharged so it can be taken out of service and a replacement installed... it may just save a life.

There are a couple of frequently used sayings concerning this type of behavior, such as, “Haste Makes Waste” and “The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get.” Another one which is more closely associated with safety on the job is, “Hurrying-Up Can Hurt.”

These types of accidents are easy to identify, but there are others resulting from being in a hurry that we should consider for a moment. For instance:

  • Using the wrong ladder for the job just because it is closer than the one that is the right height.
  • Not wearing safety glasses because the job will only take a second.
  • Not taking time to properly lock-out and tag machinery you want to make repairs on.
  • Carrying a heavy object without first planning a safe route.
  • Leaving water or oil on the floor for someone else to wipe up—probably with the seat of their pants.
Sometime, think back to an incident when you nearly got hurt. When you review the circumstances of the near-miss, there is a good chance that hurrying was part of your difficulty. If you took a shortcut, you probably realize, as most of us do sooner or later, the shortcut really didn’t save any time and was not worth the risk involved.

However, it should be pointed out that while hurrying unnecessarily is frowned upon, faster ways of doing things may be beneficial at times. If you think that there is a better way of doing a certain job, by all means bring it to the attention of your Supervisor. But do not proceed to use the new method or make any changes without first getting them approved.

One of the safest means of speeding up operations is through experience. As we become more familiar with our jobs, our efficiency and speed increase. But this is taken into consideration in planning jobs and how they should be handled; and then, of course, we all reach a point where increased speed through experience becomes negligible, and the danger of not remaining alert on the job grows.

Obviously, accidents cost money. So if you think that meeting the cost of living is rough now, just imagine what it would be like if you had to face expenses without a full paycheck because of a work injury. So, both physically and financially, hurrying can hurt.
In recent years women have more than proven they can drive changes in construction—which is why Constructech magazine has just announced the winners of their first annual Women in Construction award program. The award recognizes women showing leadership through: 1) involvement with technology within the construction industry, 2) contribution to helping their company grow and progress via the use of cutting edge-edge solutions, 3) influence in the growth of technology within the overall construction industry, 4) inspiration for other women in industry, technology, or her local community. 
Two Donley’s team members: Katie Robbins, Finance Director and Courtney Moore, Project Manager were selected as winners of the award.

Katie joined the Donley's team in 2011 serving as its Financial Planning and Analysis Manager. In April 2015, Katie was promoted to Finance Director and is now responsible for financial planning analysis, budgeting, forecasting and cash management, as well as strategic planning.  Additionally, Katie oversees the ConstructAssure subcontractor default insurance program and works closely with Donley's Chief Financial Officer to manage the Contractor Controlled Insurance Program and other Risk Management programs.
As a self-described "Process Junkie" Katie starts every project with three questions: 1. How can I make this process better? 2. How can I make this process faster? 3. How can I make the results more meaningful?
By looking at each project from this unique perspective, Katie has been able to extract data in ways that allow Donley's leadership to better understand what the data means which ultimately leads to better business decisions. One such area  that has seen significant growth is job-cost reporting. Advocating the use of the SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) platform, Katie, working side-by-side with IT, demonstrated  to Donley's leadership the power of the service. Today, Donley's is able to conduct up-to-the-minute job reports measuring productivity, quality and cost as well as monitor business cash flow.
Another area of data analysis and review that Katie has developed has been Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting. One of the first projects Katie was tasked with, she mined and analyzed all available data to come up with appropriate indicators to measure  company performance. Today, KPIs measure Safety, Quality, Schedule and Cost across all jobs and is now a standard in Donley’s process library.  Donley’s ownership utilizes the KPIs to identify challenges and to plan for the future.
Finally, Katie developed a Weekly Executive Dashboard to monitor billings, retainage, outstanding receivables and job cost variances. This snapshot report identifies financial target areas Donley’s leadership indicated they wanted to review each week. This snapshot report has been instrumental in raising awareness of how cash flows and how the organization operates.
Courtney began her construction career in 2004 as a senior project engineer with a construction firm in Santa Monica, California. In 2009, she accepted a position as project manager for a Northeast Ohio-based construction manager specializing in higher education and healthcare projects. Since joining Donley’s as a project manager in 2011, Courtney has worked on high-profile projects for the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.
Courtney's philosophy regarding technology is to embrace its use in order to standardize and streamline processes to improve the client's experience with the project. She shares this philosophy by serving as a member of Donley's Technology and Process Improvement Committee. This committee is focused on investigating new construction-related hardware and software in order to provide new resources to employees to make task-management easier and to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Through the use of online, virtual meeting software (e.g., Blue Jeans and GoToMeeting) Courtney has been influential in opening the channels of collaboration between Donley's regional and corporate offices in order to standardize many corporate procedures. This collaboration has ultimately led to the standardization of client care provided throughout the organization.
Courtney openly shares her knowledge of Viewpoint by assisting/training project engineers and other project managers on ViewPoint's ERM modules such as cost accounting, subcontracts, and RFI submittals. In addition, Courtney brings this knowledge to the subcontractor community. Courtney explains, "Every day there is some level of training within the subcontractor community to get them up to speed on the software we [Donley's] use." Web-based applications such as Submittal Exchange, PlanGrid, Newforma are all utilized by Donley's and make document processes/exchange easier, but require that all team members--including subcontractors--understand the applications. Courtney works with each subcontractor to ensure they are adequately trained.
We are proud of the recognition that Katie and Courtney have received.  At Donley’s,  genuine people providing innovative solutions in support of our clients’ vision, budget, and schedule is part of our work.
The full list of 2015 Women in Construction winners can also be found in the Sept/Oct issue of Constructech magazine. The issues are available in print or by downloading the Constructech app in the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Constructech magazine is where construction and technology converge. The publication influences construction professionals to unleash the business value of technology.
This award recognizes companies with a broad use of technology in order to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. The results must be measurable and driven from effective, innovative use of technology. Donley’s was recognized, in part,  for use of technology in the on-boarding of new employees, use of competency-based training, a recent launch of "Project Management Community" for the construction management business unit, as well as use of the new online performance management module.
Special thanks to Cheryl Brant, Director Human Resources (shown here holding the award) for leading the charge to develop and foster a culture of learning throughout the organization. Thanks also to Rachel Moviel, Executive Assistant for such efficient behind-the-scenes administration of the program.
Last week at the Ohio Society for Healthcare Facilities Management Fall Conference, Donley's teamed with our client Mercy Regional Medical Center and architect levelHEADS to discuss the successful Integrated Project Delivery approach recently employed at Mercy.  

The presentation highlighted the lessons learned on the project.  It also focused on the do's and don'ts to successfully implement an IPD approach.  

Interested in learning more?  You can access the full presentation here.
DonleysIPDinACTION.pdf (1.5MB)
What makes The University of Mary Washington’s Campus Center Atrium Smoke Control System noteworthy is that the Fire Alarm/Atrium Smoke Control System was demonstrated to ‘Operate As Intended’ on Virginia's Bureau of Capital Outlay Management's (BCOM’s) initial visit to observe the system. This is a first in BCOM observation history! It took a well-coordinated and concerted effort by UMW, Donley’s, StantecColonial WebbConvergint TechnologiesM.C.Dean, and Bala Consulting Engineers to reach this achievement.

A technically sophisticated system, the Atrium Smoke Control System is integrated with the Campus Center’s architectural, fire protection system, and mechanical system components.  Due to the complexity in integrating these numerous components together, multiple tests and adjustments are typically required in order to demonstrate that the Fire Alarm System/Atrium Smoke Control System “Operates As Intended.”  In addition, there is a specific order, known as Sequence of Operations, that must occur for the system to be considered “Operational as Intended.”

The new University of Mary Washington’s Campus Center is being touted as the “living room” of the campus. Located along College Avenue on the Fredericksburg main campus, the building features a three-story atrium with a sculptural monumental three-story stair, a working fireplace, a ball room, dining center, student organization offices, and plenty of meeting spaces for students to gather and relax.