Category: Managing Your Business

New MCAA Change Order Publication Update Provides Valuable Guidance During COVID Crisis

MCAA members can now download the 2020 edition of MCAA’s Change Orders, Productivity, Overtime—A Primer for the Construction Industry. The revamped resource provides guidance to contractors that are looking to measure the impact that delays, PPE and manpower limitations have on the construction sites that they are working on. The guide helps contractors identify and quantify activities before and after the start of the pandemic in order to build change orders correctly.

As the guide’s lead author, Paul L. Stynchcomb, CCM, PSP, CFCC of Vero Construction Consultants Corp. puts it, “One way that you are going to have to address this issue is measuring time impacts. So the starting point is to measure any schedule time impacts as of the commencement of the impacts of the pandemic on your project site. That means you need to identify any pre-existing delay conditions.”

As an additional resource, Paul Stynchcomb was joined by Douglas Patin and William Ibbs from the Ibbs Consulting Group on April 15, 2020 to address the Construction Management Consequences of the Coronavirus and Legal Responses. MCAA members can review the webinar for free at any time.

New Chapter Highlights Benefits of Sharing Native CPM Schedule Files

As some of the most labor-intensive trades on any project, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and sheet metal contractors are intently interested in project planning, activity sequencing, timing of the work and efficient crew flows. In a new chapter for the 2020 edition of MCAA’s Change Orders, Productivity, Overtime—A Primer for the Construction Industry, lead author Paul L. Stynchcomb, CCM, PSP, CFCC of Vero Construction Consultants Corp. discusses the essential concept of sharing the critical path method (CPM) schedule in its native form between all of the major trades on a construction project as a tool for enhancing cooperation, profitability and timeliness.

Only the prime or construction manager’s CPM schedule for the entire project scope of work provides the full picture that will enable these contractors to deliver projects to the benefit of all parties, Stynchcomb posits. He notes that printouts, bar chart graphics and PDF files of the CPM schedule are a poor substitute since they provide only a snapshot of the plan at a specific point in time.

Shared access to the native CPM schedule files adds transparency to the construction management and scheduling process, which is key to effectiveness on today’s complex and challenging construction projects. In most cases, projects that have a cooperative and interactive management style are more profitable and timely, and efficiently, completed. This means bottom line benefits for all involved.

Lawrence M. Prosen, Esquire of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP provided the case citations and some general commentary contained in some sections of the chapter.

Peer Reviewers Add Industry Expertise

This latest chapter, like the others in the publication, was peer reviewed by a panel of industry professionals. Peer review was performed by Robert Beck, President/CEO of John W. Danforth Company in Tonawanda, NY; Rick Freeman, Executive Vice President, Southern Insulation, Inc. in Hyattsville, MD; Brian Helm, President of The Helm Group in Freeport, IL; and Denis St. Pierre, Executive Vice President & COO of Alterman in Austin, TX.

Endorsing/Supporting Organizations

The publication’s full contents have once again received the endorsements of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) has also renewed its full support for the contents of this publication as applicable to their particular trades.

Other Topics Addressed

In addition to the new chapter, the publication assists labor intensive contractors and subcontractors in concepts of proactive project management such as CPM scheduling, labor planning and productivity tracking, change management and settlement negotiations, dispute resolution, claims avoidance and, if necessary, claims preparation and presentation.

The object of this publication is to sensitize construction professionals of all trades to enable the early identification of obstacles to a successful project, and to proactively manage such obstacles to mitigate or eliminate their impact to the bottom line, to the benefit of all of the project participants.

MCAA Members – Download Your Free Copy!

MCAA members can download the publication free as a benefit of membership. Printed books are also available for purchase at a discounted rate.

If you have questions about the book, contact Adrienne Breedlove.

Advanced Leadership Institute Course 20 Now Accepting Applications

MCAA is currently accepting applications for its flagship executive education program, the Advanced Leadership Institute. Designed specifically for mechanical contracting executives, the ALI is focused on developing the talents and business networks of leaders in the industry.

The intensive, team-oriented, two-week residential program includes lecture, individual coaching sessions, and the development and presentation of final a team project.

The ALI is offered annually at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. The dates for ALI Course 20 are September 13-17, 2020 and November 1-6, 2020.

The application process is competitive, and applicants must provide the endorsement of their CEO/President. While the deadline is May 29, 2020, the course fills up quickly, so early submission is recommended.

For additional program details and application criteria, download the application form.

New Management Methods Bulletin Compares UA Labor Agreements

The Management Methods Committee’s newest WebBook summarizes and compares the various United Association national labor agreements. With our new WebBook platform, MCAA members can access some of our more recent bulletins on current topics. You will be able to read new Management Methods Bulletins, take notes, print sections, and share with colleagues. And most importantly, when we have updated content, unlike a downloaded pdf, our WebBooks will be updated behind the scenes while your notes are preserved securely on your computer.

Have questions or need support? Contact us at

Clarifying the Process of Selecting Labor Inefficiency Factors

The 2018 Edition of MCAA’s Change Orders, Productivity, Overtime features new material that clarifies the process of selecting labor inefficiency factors. A new chapter devoted to the subject of concurrent delay has also been added. This resource is a must-have for mechanical and other specialty contractors, attorneys in construction practices, and consultants.

The new material within the chapter on How to Use the MCAA Labor Factors clarifies the process of selecting inefficiency intensity factors. This information will prove useful for those using the MCAA Factors to prepare loss of labor productivity equitable adjustment requests.

In the concurrent delay chapter, authors Doug Patin, Esquire and Paul Stynchcomb, CCM, PSP, CFCC, explain how you can avoid being cited for potentially costly concurrent delays to a project. The chapter also provides information to assist you in defining and identifying concurrent delay in a project schedule.

Make sure your construction attorneys and consultants have this book! Look for the share icon under the story title to let them know it’s available. Can’t find it? It’s three dots connected by lines, to the left of the print icon.

Download or Purchase Your Copy

Contacting Congress for the First Time? Help is Here!

Congress is back in session! This is your chance to get in touch with your House representative or Senators about the industry and business issues that concern you. If this is your first time advocating for a cause, a newly revised Management Methods Bulletin is available to show you the ropes.

Business and Politics has been updated to provide you with advice, tools and information about the federal legislative process to help you be effective in presenting and discussing industry issues with your House and Senate representatives. From sending electronic messages to arranging personal meetings, the bulletin suggests how, when and where to communicate your concerns about legislation and/or regulations to your elected Members. Useful tools on MCAA’s website under the Advocacy menu, the MCAA PAC and the National Issues Conference direct your path to the legislators you need to reach. And, helpful information included in the bulletin will guide you through the bill making process.

The advocacy menu on our website also has a direct link to, where you can research current legislation and follow its progress through Congress.

Download your copy and start contacting your Congressional representatives today.

With New Tax Legislation, MCAA Contractors are Still Able to Claim R&D Tax Credits for BIM and Design

During the negotiation process of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017, the tax credit for R&D spending was temporarily removed. Fortunately, MCAA and others worked hard to ensure that the final bill re-inserted the language for the Research Tax Credit (“RTC”) and made changes that potentially increase the credit by more than 20%. With the RTC in place, contractors are able to continue to claim tax credits for qualifying BIM and design work. Unfortunately, many mechanical and plumbing contractors are unaware that they can even claim part of their design and bid work for these tax credits.

This article is intended to offer an overview of the Research Tax Credit for mechanical contracting personnel presented in general non-tax terms, wherever possible. The credit is, however, “tax based”, and as such, the inclusion of all of the applicable rules for every situation is not possible in a brief discussion.

In order to qualify for the research tax credit, activities must pass several tests. Although these tests are fairly specific, “qualifying activities” are generally much broader than many people think. When contractors hear the term “research” they often associate the term with scientists wearing white lab coats who are mixing chemicals in beakers. However, the Internal Revenue Code definition of research, as defined under IRC §41, is much broader than this traditional definition. As a result, many contractors may typically associate a large portion of their research activities as “routine” or “ordinary”, when in fact many of these activities might qualify for the Research Tax Credit.

To successfully build a structure, there may be experimentation or an iterative process on technical design issues and the installation process to properly build it. Although it might seem complicated if you are not claiming these credits, many contractors have been doing so for years. Before you begin, it is recommended that MCAA members contact their tax professionals to ensure that they are properly claiming the appropriate costs and activities under the RTC.

To begin, the Internal Revenue Code states that the activities “must be intended to discover information to eliminate technical uncertainty concerning the capability or method for developing or improving a product or process, or the appropriateness of the product design”. The Code also requires a “process of experimentation” involving the evaluation of alternatives, confirmation of hypotheses through trial and error, testing and/or modeling (this can include iterative steps in evaluating design alternatives, alpha/beta tests, pilot trials, scale-up testing, marketing/field tests directly associated with the R&D efforts, qualification Trials, etc.). Finally, wages, supplies, and contracts associated with qualifying activities qualify. The expenditures can also be either capital or expensed items.

Broadly, this includes any activity where there is some technical uncertainty involved in the development or improvement efforts- i.e., is there a technical problem that needs to be solved before you can effectively launch/implement this equipment design, software, product, process, prototype, etc.? Personnel who are directly engaged in resolving the technical issues will qualify and those individuals who have a support role will also qualify (i.e., performing alpha/beta/unit testing, collecting data or writing programs to collect data, supervision, technical project management, etc.)

Uncertainty exists if the information available to the contractor does not establish the capability or method for developing or improving the product/process or the appropriate design of the product/process. The required level of uncertainty may be established in instances where your work requires the resolution of technical issues when either designing the mechanical and plumbing system or working from a set of drawings that are incomplete or need modification to function.

The definition of activities that qualify for the credit is fairly broad and the driver for the effort can be to produce a new, better or more competitive product/process, to increase reliability/quality, to increase general product/process safety, to respond to new federal/state requirements, to reduce costs or increase speed/efficiency, etc. Furthermore, the success or the degree of technological advancement is not a factor.

Below is a representative sample of activities a taxpayer would typically perform, which often times are misclassified as “routine” or “non R&D” related:

  • Evolutionary advancements to the functionality, performance, reliability or quality of an existing product (Change orders for process improvement);
  • Development of prototypes or models to prove out conceptual ideas (Including BIM);
  • Experimentation to verify if an existing construction technique or process can support a new product with differing characteristics (Testing point loads);
  • Experimentation to verify if a new or existing construction technique or process can be implemented in a new or different geographic region, new environment, or different industry/application;
  • The design and development of custom equipment, tooling, molds and/or dies;
  • The development of microcode used within machinery or robotics;
  • The redesign of an existing construction or building process to improve efficiencies, increase safety or reduce operating expense;
  • Testing to prove out the use of new materials in existing products;
  • Plant and/or Process scale-up activities;
  • Qualifying “Bid and Proposal” efforts; and
  • The development of custom software that is either intended to be used internally or sold, leased or licensed to third parties as a commercial product offering.

However, simply because some items may be new, unique, customized or involve special problems does not mean that they will automatically qualify for a credit. For instance, there may be options or choices in regard the application of standard engineering techniques, but no uncertainty in regard to the resolution of a technical issue facing the project team. Qualifying activities that are intended to resolve technical uncertainties should also involve some iterative type of testing, experimentation, the consideration of alternatives, trial and error evaluations, prototyping, validation, etc.

Thus, although no qualifying activity might occur for most HVAC systems (even where custom designs are involved), technical uncertainty might arise on mechanical engineering and/or design efforts in instances where there are unusual requirements involving, for example: complex temperature, humidity, pressure, ambient air ratio range controls with differing protocols for numerous chambers/rooms; the need to design for particulate and/or chemical fume control/mitigation where the chemistry might require special construction materials; unusual space limitations, local regulations, cost mandates, etc.; instances where numerous alternative methodologies for technical solutions are necessary; development of technical alternatives to address repeated system failures; etc.

The PATH Act of 2015 made the Research Tax Credit permanent but also broadened the impact of the credit for many small to mid-sized businesses. Starting January 1, 2016, small businesses that meet certain criteria can also use the Research Tax Credit to offset the FICA employer portion of payroll tax, with a credit cap of $250,000 for each eligible year.


– – –


Mike Foley is the Managing Partner at Foley & Smith, LLC, a firm specializes in Research Tax Credits.

Mike D’Allesandro is the Managing Director at Research Tax Credits, LLC



Use Credit Cards to Pay for Projects, Equipment and Supplies…Why Not?

The use of credit cards to settle financial obligations between contractors and their clients and contractors and their vendors is becoming an increasingly popular payment option. The Management Methods Committee’s latest bulletin – Credit Card Payments – explains how to establish this payment option and its advantages and disadvantages.

Credit card transactions used to cover the cost of goods and services involved in construction projects offer substantial advantages over more traditional payment methods. Improvements in cash flow due to faster payments (within 30 to 45 days) and electronically deposited funds and in customer relations and simplified administration results in greater cost savings. Vendors realize additional benefits in increased sales due to B2B payments, online transactions and the opportunities to gain “preferred supplier” status.

As with any financial transaction involving credit, banks impose fees to cover the processing of payments, which range from 1% to 3% of the transaction amount.  The party that accepts the payment must also absorb the fee, which may affect the negotiated price for the goods or services.  And, if a contractor accepts a credit card payment for a project, the fee will affect his/her profit margin.

Before adopting credit card payments as a transaction option, be sure you understand the bank account requirements and conditions to avoid additional fees.


Looking for Another Management Methods Bulletin?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page. There, you’ll find the bulletins listed by category with links to help you get what you need quickly.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Managing the Human Side of Your Business Can be Tricky…MCAA’s Management Methods Bulletins Can Help

Finding and retaining well-educated, skilled, trained and credentialed personnel to manage your field, shop and office operations is likely one of the toughest challenges of your business. MCAA’s Management Methods Bulletins and our Guide to Human Resources Policies can help you meet and overcome this challenge.

If you’re planning to hire a student intern, be sure to read How to Find, Hire and Manage Student Interns. A well-qualified, well-educated and energetic college student with a strong interest in our industry is a valuable asset who could prove to be a future full-time hire. This bulletin will help you find interns (visiting is a great start). It also explains the best time to recruit top candidates and how to effectively manage interns.

The performance review is possibly every employee’s least favorite meeting. The stress is not one-sided; all parties involved in these discussions feel the pressure to be fair and reasonable so the employee learns about his or her strengths and areas that need improvement. Employee Reviews can help you and/or your Human Resources staff prepare for employee performance evaluations and meetings and bring them to a satisfying closure.

Employees’ use of company cars and/or trucks can present some issues, not the least of which is liability from an accident. Injuries to the employee and damage to the vehicle are serious matters on their own, but determining who and or what caused the accident and who pays can lead to protracted legal challenges.  Avoiding Potential Liability from Employees’ Use of Company Vehicles discusses the potential liabilities that could result when an accident involving a company-owned vehicle occurs and how to minimize them.

If you could use a comprehensive guide to help you organize a human resources program and policies, the MCAA Guide to Human Resources covers the issues all the issues from the welcoming a new employee, benefits management, vacation and other leave policies, internet usage, travel reimbursements, smoking, substance abuse and more.

Looking for Another Management Methods Bulletin?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page. There, you’ll find the bulletins listed by category with links to help you get what you need quickly.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Your Business is the Best…Tell the World!

Your business provides the highest quality mechanical, service and plumbing services to all commercial establishments in your market area…but are you getting the word out? With help from MCAA’s Management Methods Bulletins, your company could be the first one called when a project or service is needed.

Public Relations: An Important Marketing Tool for the Mechanical Contractor offers a wide variety of ideas to help you reach out to existing and potential customers about the range of services your company provides. Direct advertising ideas range from television and radio ads to fliers, circulars and newspaper inserts. Your involvement in the community through civic groups, sponsorships of special events and contributions to local charities increases your company’s name recognition and broadens your prospects for new business.

Social media has added to the possible avenues for business marketing.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others have become popular venues for advertising because they reach a huge audience. Guidelines to Using Social Media in Your Business helps you sort out the best options for your company and issues you should consider when choosing them.

Another tried and true way to connect with your customers is with a newsletter.  A well-written and designed company newsletter keeps your customers—old and new—up to date on project developments, changes to your services, staff, equipment and much more. Creating a Readable Corporate Newsletter provides valuable tips on how to produce an attractive, informative publication that your customers will want to read.

Less tangible but equally important marketing tips suggest ways for you and your staff to promote your company’s name as a service- and people-oriented business. Listening to Our Customers and Why Mechanical Contractors Should Furnish Equipment will help you build your company’s positive reputation and spread the word about its “customer first” culture.

These and many more valuable Management Methods Bulletins, designed to help your company address and overcome a myriad of business challenges, are available for download at no charge as an MCAA member benefit.

And, for complete information about branding, advertising and how to design your own promotions, take a look at Guide Marketing Your Business. It’s also available as a free download to MCAA members.

Looking for Another Management Methods Bulletin?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page. There, you’ll find the bulletins listed by category with links to help you get what you need quickly.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Planning a Joint Venture? Read All About it First!

Entering into a joint venture with another company on a project can bring many benefits—sharing of costs, spreading the risk, pooling equipment, increasing labor, among other advantages. Like most other business arrangements, however, there are issues that may complicate a joint venture. Two Management Methods Bulletins bring these to light.

Basic information that you should know when you consider a joint venture arrangement is laid out in Joint Ventures. Along with the many pluses that come with a joint venture are some suggestions about how to approach the arrangement, when and how to organize and finalize the agreement and the protections that are necessary to ensure a productive and profitable relationship.

Becoming involved in a business arrangement with another company that’s not in the state where your company is incorporated can be complicated. State laws consider out-of-state companies to be “foreign corporations” and therefore must meet certain qualifications to legally transact business. Failure to do so will bring severe penalties to your company as well as the other company in your joint venture. Failure of One Corporate Member of a Joint Venture to Qualify as a Foreign Corporation May Penalize All Venturers alerts you to the issues that you may face when you embark on an out-of-state joint venture.

Joint ventures can be very beneficial business arrangements for all parties involved, but make sure you are fully aware of all the issues involved in such agreements before making a commitment.

Looking for Another Management Methods Bulletin?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page. There, you’ll find the bulletins listed by category with links to help you get what you need quickly.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Is a Project Giving You Headaches? Management Methods Bulletins Can Help!

When a project goes off-track or your plans for a new project hit a snag, where or who do you turn to for help? One resource is MCAA’s Management Methods Bulletins. A series of bulletins are available to help you solve troublesome project management issues.

The Job Management bulletins cover a wide range of issues from organizing and managing a project team to scheduling to controlling project costs to pre-project planning, just to name a few. For example, several bulletins are designed to help you organize and plan your project more efficiently and effectively at the outset.

Pre-Job Conferences lists the people and items that you should pull together to discuss project design, scheduling issues, equipment needs and crew coordination. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Design-Assist Project Delivery and Why Contractors Should Do LEAN describe project management strategies that have resulted in more trouble-free, efficient and productive projects.

The information contained in these bulletins may just have the answers you’ve been looking for to solve your project management challenges.

Want The Rest of the Job Management Bulletins?

You can find them under the Job Management category on our Management Methods Bulletins page. While you’re there, browse the other bulletins, all listed by category with links to help you get what you need quickly.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Cut the Legal Red Tape with Management Methods Bulletins

Legal challenges are bound to arise in a mechanical, service or plumbing business…and they often do. That’s why MCAA’s Management Methods Committee has compiled a series of bulletins that cover a wide range of legal issues from protection of lien rights to contractual provisions to pension issues to tax questions.

Bulletins are now available to provide basic information about an issue that’s confronting your business. Their content is not intended to equip you to resolve the issue on your own, but rather to provide you with enough information to consult with an attorney about strategies for moving forward. For example, Multi-Employer Defined Contribution Plans—Are You Liable for Another Contractor’s Delinquency? concerns situations where members of a bargaining unit may be held financially responsible for a contractor’s non-payment of pension contributions. Contract Clauses, Liability of a Prime Contractor for Interference with a Subcontractor and Employers’ Liability When Contributing to Union Testimonial Dinners will brief you on issues to consider when situations arise.

Knowing the basics of federal laws affecting your business is critical to its success. For example, you should review Purchases and Sales of Goods Under the Uniform Commercial Code, Tax Requirements Applicable to Travel Reimbursements, Advances and Bargaining Units Subsistence Allowance and Federal Prompt Payment Act to ensure your transactions and tax preparations are consistent with current law. And, be sure to review Records Retention, which offers guidelines on which business records to keep and when and how to properly dispose of those records.

These are just a few examples of bulletins that can help you get a handle on a legal issue. While all of these bulletins offer valuable and helpful information on a variety of legal matters, always consult with your attorney before entering into a legal proceeding.

Want More Management Methods Bulletins?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page, where they’re listed by category with links.


Or, find them in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


Need Help Managing Your Business Finances? Check Out These Bulletins!

Staying on top of your company’s finances can be challenging, especially during periods of economic volatility. With that in mind, MCAA’s Management Methods Committee produced bulletins that address the most critical accounting and financial issues facing your business.

The bulletins cover a wide range of topics from general guidelines—Tips to Help Contractors Manage Through an Economic Downturn, Guide to Financial Statements and Credit Policy Criteria—to more specific issues, such as Cash FlowService Mark-ups vs. Construction Mark-ups and Other Direct Job Costs (ODJC’s) and Indirect Job Costs. Each bulletin provides detailed, current information that will not only help you keep your finances in balance but may also streamline your company’s accounting processes and improve your business relationships with your customers, project associates and equipment suppliers.

Want to See All of the Management Methods Bulletins?

You can find them on our Management Methods Bulletins page, where they’re listed by category with links.


Or in the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.


OPUS…Your Online Pipeline to Piping Knowledge!

The Online Piping and Usage Specification (OPUS) tool helps users dynamically evaluate combinations of pipe types, materials, applications and joining methods. Plus, the data in OPUS links directly to the world-class members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council who can provide the materials and methods to make it all work!

While OPUS is geared toward those who are new to the industry, it’s powerful enough to be used by experienced professionals who need to make dynamic combinations of systems and materials on the fly. If you just need to know what the most prevalent materials used in the mechanical contracting industry are, their most typical applications or uses, simple definitions (e.g., What is a ball valve?), photos, diagrams, and who on earth provides and can explain all this “stuff,” should be your first stop!

Developed by the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) with the assistance of MCAA contractors, Manufacturer/Supplier Council members, students and other stakeholders, this is one resource you won’t want to miss. And you can’t beat the price…it’s free to all who use it. OPUS is your online pipeline to piping knowledge!

CBCA Decision Supports the Use of MCAA Loss of Labor Productivity Factors and the Measured Mile

In a decision published on May 5, 2017, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) decided in favor of claimant Turner Construction Company regarding delays and loss of labor productivity experienced during the renovations to the National Museum of American History located in Washington, DC.  The contract required substantial structural, architectural, mechanical HVAC and electrical demolition and renovations to the museum.

During the course of construction, Turner and its subcontractors, that included the mechanical and plumbing subcontractor and the sheet metal subcontractor, both MCAA member-firms, encountered concealed conditions that critically delayed the schedule and caused a loss of labor productivity.  Turner filed a claim to the Smithsonian Institution and the parties agreed to litigate the case at the CBCA.

After hearing testimony over a period of several weeks, the CBCA issued its findings and decisions on April 14, 2017.  The Board issued several important findings:

  1. Fact witnesses from Turner and Turner’s subcontractors presented compelling testimony regarding the pervasive concealed conditions that delayed the schedule and impacted labor productivity;
  2. Turner presented a damages claim for which it was partially compensated;
  3. None of Turner’s subcontractors presented independent CPM type delay analyses and the Board denied their extended performance costs;
  4. The MCAA-member mechanical firm presented expert and fact witness testimony regarding loss of labor productivity based on the MCAA labor inefficiency Factors to the extent of a 42% impact, and the Board accepted the use of the MCAA Factors and all of the 42% loss of labor productivity; and
  5. The  MCAA-member sheet metal firm presented expert and fact witness testimony regarding a classic “measured mile” loss of labor productivity comparison and was awarded 100% of its claimed amount.

This reported decision contains clear language supporting the use of the MCAA loss of labor productivity Factors and many citations to some of the authorities that are very important to MCAA member firms.


Turner Construction Company, Appellant, v. Smithsonian Institution, Respondent. CBCA 2862, 4085, 4802, May 5, 2017.

  • Messrs. Douglas Patin and Michael Koplan, Partners, Bradly Arant Boult Cummings, Counsel to the Claimant Turner Construction Company
  • Mr. Paul Stynchcomb, CCM, PSP, CFCC, Principal, Vero Construction Consultants, Corp., testifying expert, loss of labor productivity representing the mechanical and sheet metal subcontractor claimants

Read the CBCA Opinion

Learn More About the Factors and the Measured Mile

Participate in the 2017 Benchmarking Survey

At the 2017 MCAA Convention, MCAA announced a new partnership with the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) to make benchmarking data relevant to mechanical contractors available to all MCAA members. We also introduced our newest publication: The 2016 Benchmarking Data for Mechanical Contractors (based on 2015 results). This publication, available free as a benefit of MCAA membership, provides members with data for comparing their business performance against industry averages for the mechanical contracting industry and featuring 20 key financial ratios with data segmented by region, revenue, form of business and best in class.

Download Your Copy

We are now moving into the next phase of our partnership with CFMA. As such, MCAA members are invited (and encouraged) to participate in the 2017 Benchmarking Survey (based on 2016 results). In addition to helping to collect additional relevant information making the survey even more meaningful to mechanical contractors, you will receive 3 reports analyzing your company’s financial information as a thank you for participating.

Completion is Easy

You only need to provide your financial data – and it should only take 30 minutes or less to input!

Why Should You Participate?

We need your company’s information to best deliver the data that details the industry!

PLUS, all participants will receive, free of charge:

  • Your Company’s Performance Report – A $225 Value*
  • TWO FREE Peer Group Comparison Reports – A $198 Value*

* Based on 2017 CFMA Non-Member Pricing

What’s Your Deadline for Participating?

All Financial Survey Online Questionnaires must be completed no later than May 12, 2017.

How Do You Participate?

It’s easy! After logging on to just click on the “Online Questionnaire” tab.

REMINDER: For security and privacy reasons, you are not able to automatically log on to the Benchmarker site with your MCAA user name and password. If you have not used the site before, you’ll just need to register as a new user (takes less than a minute!) and then you are ready to begin entering your information!

Is Your Data Kept Confidential?

All submitted data is held in strict confidence and is accessible solely by those authorized by CFMA. Only aggregate data is disclosed in the Financial Benchmarker Website. CFMA will have access only to respondents’ names and company names to verify participation.

What If You Have Questions?

Need assistance completing the questionnaire? Send an e-mail to

MCAA’s ConsensusDOCS Discount Code Has Changed

We’re thrilled that so many of you are interested in ConsensusDOCS! When placing your order, be sure to use MCAA’s new Discount Code – MCAA100 – at checkout to receive the discounted MCAA member pricing.

Not familiar with ConsensusDOCS? The organization, of which MCAA is a participating member, publishes a comprehensive library of some 100 form documents drafted in a co-equal consensus process among the leading industry, owner, contractor and specialty contractor groups. Included are trend-setting contracting forms that address BIM and the newest forms of integrated project delivery.

Learn More


Update Your HR Policies with MCAA’s New Guide

Have your human resources policies kept pace with change? If they don’t address electronic communications and social media, cell phones and other technology-centric issues, MCAA’s Guide to Human Resources Policies can help fill the gap. The guide, which reflects current trends and law, provides examples of human resources policies and guidelines. These provide a starting point from which you can customize the guide to meet your company’s needs.

Download Your Copy

Tool & Equipment Rental Guide Rates Are EquipmentWatch Rates

Are you being asked to use rates other than those included in MCAA’s Tool & Equipment Rental Guide? Not to worry… EquipmentWatch prepares the rates in MCAA’s guide using the same cost formulas and methodology they use for their own rates.

Need to prove it to a customer? The Introduction on page 3 of the guide states that:

The Tool & Equipment Rental Guide is a comprehensive, current guide to cost recovery for equipment used by mechanical contractors. The rates in this guide are intended as guidelines paralleling amounts an equipment owner should charge during rental or contractual periods to recover equipment-related costs on a single-shift (8-hour) basis.

These rates are derived from cost formulas and data developed by EquipmentWatch and from analytic methods used in the construction industry. Generally, these methods consider purchase price, depreciation, maintenance and overhaul costs, indirect equipment costs, and average annual use hours. Specific market conditions, such as local supply and demand, are not considered in these calculations. These rates are not a tabulation of rates being charged nationally. They do not reflect rates charged by rental companies except by coincidence. Recognizing that costs may vary considerably from state to state, a Regional Rate Adjustment Table is provided as Appendix I.

Additional information about the guide’s definitions and methodology can be found on pages 5-6.

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ALI Course 17 Is Sold Out!

MCAA’s 2017 offering of its Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI) is now sold out.  Starting in 2014, every ALI has sold out before March for a class that starts the following September.  The 2017 class will be held at the Babson Executive Education Center, Wellesley, MA on the weeks of September 10-14 and November 5-10.

ALI 17 will be capped at 36 attendees as the rise in demand has also pushed the size of the classes ever upward…ALI 16 saw a record 39 graduates.  To insure that each graduate of each class gets the very best professional leadership experience they can receive, ALI Chair Jody Ralston (CEO of High Purity Systems, Manassas,VA) says, “We will balance the demand for the ALI with the end goals and we will cap the class size at 36. We believe this allows us to maximize the number of MCAA members through each course while maintaining ideal group sizes for various exercises and team competitions.”

A waiting list will be started to accommodate persons who may still wish to attend pending any program cancellations.  To get on the list or to learn more about the ALI, contact Dennis Langley.