Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

Category: Technology (page 1 of 2)

5 Things You Need to Know About Cyber Insurance

Is your firm at risk for a cyber attack?  The answer may surprise you.  Attacks against all businesses are increasing, and though smaller companies may assume they won’t be targeted, Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report found that 43% of all attacks in 2015 were against small businesses.  You can’t entirely prevent an attack, but you can protect your company by purchasing cyber insurance.  Here are a few things to consider.

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Should You Monitor Employee Use of Company-Issued Devices?

Ever wonder what your employees are really up to while they’re on the clock?  You’re certainly not alone.  Many companies place restrictions on employee activities.  According to a recent survey, 40% of companies have a formal social media policy and monitor social media activities on company-owned equipment.  Another survey showed that 76% of companies have rules regarding email use and content, and half reported that they regularly monitor workers’ incoming/outgoing emails.  Is it legal and ethical to monitor what employees are doing with their company-issued devices?

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Smart Document Retention Policies

Imagine that your architectural, engineering, or construction firm just finished a  project that generated thousands of documents including contracts, drawings, specifications, memoranda, emails, calculations, requests for information, and change orders.  Now, you’re faced with a number of questions:

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You Can Make 2017 More Successful

successEven if you enjoyed a great 2016, you can make 2017 more successful for yourself and your firm.  At this time of year, architects, engineers, accountants, attorneys and other professional service businesses plan for 2017.   You are busy – you are trying to get projects completed on time, buy holiday presents for your family, and attend parties and events.  It is really easy to take the 2016 budget and update it based upon current expenses.  You can also get out your business development plan for this year and add a few updates.  That probably will not get you where you want to go.

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The Future – Energy Positive Projects

greenInterview with Robbie Ferris

Robbie Ferris is the CEO and President of SfL+ a Architects, P.A. and a practicing architect based in Raleigh, North Carolina.  SfL+a has designed a number of successful energy positive and high performance building projects.  Mr. Ferris is LEED AP certified and is a Recognized Educational Facility Planner (REFP), and member of the American Institute of Architects.  Mr. Ferris is also a principal with FirstFloor Energy Positive, LLC which provides turnkey development solutions to educational institutions.  Recently, Mr. Ferris participated in the design of Sandy Grove Middle School in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, the nation’s first energy positive, LEED Gold public school that is projected to save the School District $35M over 40 years with $16M in electrical savings.  In South Carolina, SfL+a and First Floor Energy Positive are currently involved in the design and construction of five energy positive schools in Horry County, South Carolina that are scheduled to be completed in 2017.  To reach Robbie Ferris,

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