Should You Start Your Construction in the Winter, or Wait?

With the midwest winter rearing its ugly head, companies all around are considering the same question that comes up year after year—start your construction project now in the cold, or wait for the big thaw? In the midwest, we are usually able to work through 2.5 out of the three harshest months of winter. We spoke with Greg Bohlin, Vice President of Construction at Lamp, to better understand how companies can make the best decision about whether to begin construction in the winter.

Here are a few items to think about when deciding on winter construction:

• Consider the timeline with revenue potential. If you are a manufacturer or are building a commercial business, it is important to consider the benefits of completing the project sooner. If you have income potential and could begin earning money in a space sooner, it usually makes more sense to construct through the winter. Also, if you are a commercial business working on an upgrade or expansion, you will not miss revenue during the winter months, since you can continue to operate out of your existing building.

• Time sensitive projects. Even in a situation where revenue is not a driving factor, for example a school, deadlines are extremely important. 95% of schools have to be completed by the first part of August or else there is no place to put the students. Whether this is a classroom or a dorm, this can pose a costly situation. Though the space itself does not create money, it will cost you extra money to place them elsewhere while the project is being completed.

• Labor costs increase June 1. Currently, the prime building months are April through October. On June 1st, wages increase. Union rates are increased during these summer, meaning higher labor rates right in the middle of the prime construction season. This makes it important to hit deadlines that come just before June 1. While the winter months can’t operate at full-efficiency, it does take chunks out of the construction process which help to move the project along in its timeline.

• Tools make winter weather construction viable. At Lamp, we are very familiar with working construction during a midwest winter. Tools make it possible to move forward with construction whenever possible. We own a ground thawing machine (and are one of the few places to own one—many other places have to rent one when it is needed). This allows us to excavate in the winter. We also use blankets and the ground thawing machine to keep poured concrete from freezing before it cures. (If concrete freezes during the curing process, it often has to be removed and re-poured.) We also use temporary heaters for internal construction work when the HVAC isn’t installed yet. In addition we use tents on scaffolds, install visqueen over window openings, install temporary roofs, and install temporary doors to enclose the building to keep work progressing.

* Talk to a construction expert. While you may not have the tools and knowledge available to assess whether you should start your project, we certainly do. You know your business and earning potential, and we can look at your project to help you consider the timeline and weigh the costs and benefits of starting now.

Would you like to talk to someone about whether you should begin your construction project? Contact Lamp today.

Looking Forward to the IAPD/IPRA Conference, January 28-30


Representatives from LAMP are excited to attend the IAPD/IPRA conference from January 28-30, 2016. The conference is the premier state conference for parks and recreation, forest preserves, and conservation agencies in Illinois. The conference offers workshops, educational sessions, and exhibitors where we can expand our knowledge of the best practices, products, and services in the parks and recreation industry.

Lamp has a long history of working in this industry. A few notable projects include:

Village of Algonquin Cornish Park

Park improvements including fountain, clock tower, pedestrian bridge, shelter, gazebo, playground, and outcroppings.

Huntley Park District Community Center Addition and Renovation

Renovated 71,280 SF of existing high school into childcare, fitness center, community rooms, and recreation staff offices. 18,800 SF addition to include auditorium and new main building entrance.

Pinecrest Golf Course Clubhouse Replacement

New 15,000 SF single story clubhouse with walk out basement. New clubhouse includes a larger pro shop, kitchen, bar, and dining area. New rooms include basement cart storage, golf bag storage, club repair, employee lounge, and ground level turn station. Site work includes revised parking lot, city water service, and exterior pavilion.

Dundee Township Park District Picnic Pavilion and Site Work

New park pavilion with all-season restrooms and kitchen. New shelter includes stone fire place with timber frame structure. Concrete slab on grade and well for water. Site work includes gravel parking lot and asphalt paving for handicap parking and ramp to shelter.

See more of our Parks and Recreation work here.

We look forward to staying on the cutting edge of the needs and desires of Parks and Recreation at the IAPD/IPRA Conference!

Would you like to know more about working with Lamp on a Parks and Recreation construction project? Contact us today.

What Are the Future Benefits for 3D Printing in the Construction Industry?


3d home in ChinaSince its advent, 3D printing has been on a steady path forward. And the further along it moves, the more people have been wondering how it will affect and benefit all industries. In 2015, China managed to 3D print homes and other large-scale structures, making everyone pay attention to the possibilities for 3D printing in construction in particular.

Here are some possible future benefits of 3D printing in construction:

New Shapes and Design Possibilities: 3D printers allow an architect to be totally flexible in the shape of his designs. 3D printing can build curvilinear structures (rather than rectilinear forms). Using a concrete and composite mixture, 3D printers can build these curvilinear structures, which offer the strongest structural design, especially compared to the limits of rectangular forms.

Check out a video explaining the new imaginative designs allowed by 3D printing:

Lower Costs: Costs could be lowered on both a large structure scale and with regard to parts. On a large scale, 3D printed buildings would have potential for far lower materials costs and labor. This could be especially applicable and helpful in 3rd world countries, where better homes could be built for less. And regarding parts, 3D printing would allow spare parts to be printed from any location by any manufacturing company. This could lower both the cost of the part and the time it takes to receive it.

Check out this video showing some of the low-cost 3D printed houses in China, which can be produced for less than $5,000.

3d Lunar BaseRemote Location Construction: And in a totally bizarre and out-of-this-world use of 3D printing, the European Space Agency is considering building a 3D printed lunar village on the moon using lunar soil. This construction could begin in 5 years. And it proves that 3D printing could take us anywhere—there is no application too wild.

3d construction in LondonMore Precise Building: According the managing director of Facit Homes, which is building a 3D Printed Home in London, a 3D Printed home has better and more precise results because a file is passed from a computer to a machine, and is never touched by human hands, so it is never up to interpretation. The file translates directly to an object.

As 3D Printing use in the Construction Industry is in its early stages, it is still too early to tell what will happen. But it’s exciting to watch the change and imagine the future possibilities!