MCAA Regional Report, Region I
Presented at the 2018 MCAA Convention
By Jed Olafson
Alaska - No State Chairman
Idaho - No State Chairman
Montana - Zack Anderson
Oregon - No State Chairman
Washington - Jed Olafson
Overall, the Pacific Northwest has seen marked improvement in masonry construction hours in 2017.
The masonry industry in the northwest came together in 2016 to create the Masonry Systems Guide, Northwest Edition. In 2017, we utilized the year to edit, revise, add to and research new information for the 2018 Edition which will be published in January 2018.
Eastern Washington/IdahoBricklayer hours are up about 5% from last year. Masonry school construction is booming in Spokane and Eastern Washington which is keeping all our contractors very busy. The failure to pass the construction budget in Washington State is delaying some of these projects which will likely make for a slower spring. We continue with our promotional activities at Gonzaga and Washington State University as well as the local AIA and engineering communities.
OregonCurrently there are two engineering classes sponsored by the Masonry Institute of Oregon (MIO) with books and instructors, one at Oregon State University with 35 students. The second at Portland State University has 30 students and are planning a third in the spring at Oregon Institute of Technology with an expected 10 students.
We continue to battle the wood industry initiatives and construction product mandates that create an unfair playing field.
IMI has hired an engineer, with a focus on restoration to work within the state and support the design community with masonry information.
MontanaThe Masonry Industry Promotion Group is working with union mason contractors and masonry suppliers to develop masonry programs at Montana State University in the architectural department. Design build projects, lectures, hands-on demos and plant tours have all been implemented at MSU.
W. WA (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Puget Sound)Tower cranes are booming throughout the Puget Sound with construction activity on nearly all available open land. Masonry project bidding has been at record levels – creating a severe manpower shortage across all projectories of masonry installation.
Additionally, we continue to participate in AIA, CSI and SEABEC programs throughout the Puget Sound. We developed a project tracking database that is being used to track masonry marketshare. We once again sold out our Masonry Day Annual Golf Tournament.
Challenges include: meeting the manpower need and building code infringements; wood industry legislative initiatives.
The Masonry Institute of Washington utilized addressing building envelope issues with the State Legislature and the building code council, hosting monthly new product lunch and learns as well as in architecture/GC office lunch and Learn; and the Annual Golf Tournament and Industry Meeting.
New partnerships have been formed with the concrete industry and the International Masonry Institute.
About the Author
Jed Olafson is a partner at Johnston Construction Co., Inc. He has served as Region I Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.