Welcome project: An artist’s impression of how the Emergency Department will look as seen from Point Finger Road. *Photo courtesy of Bermuda Hospitals Board
Welcome project: An artist’s impression of how the Emergency Department will look as seen from Point Finger Road. *Photo courtesy of Bermuda Hospitals Board
Bermuda has gone from approximately seven tower cranes to one. Work has stopped at Belvedere Place and W.R. Kempe House sites. Lay-offs have occurred across the construction board.

The Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Kim Wilson has hosted a get-to-know-the-contract’s-requirements meeting for subcontractors wanting work on the new hospital building.

Gone are the days of a superheated construction industry. In its place are companies desperate for relief.

In this first of the 2011 bi-annual Construction Supplements, the Bermuda Sun addresses the currency of the situation and its impact on local businesses.

Construction Associ-ation of Bermuda president Andy Pereira provides an overview of the industry. He notes the downturn and corresponding need for everyone to pull together and in the same direction.

We speak with Minister Wilson about the hospital’s reconstruction and the competing interests of Bermudians requiring work versus the buildings going ahead with an also-required contingent of foreign labour.

Owner of Greymane Contracting Alex DeCouto discusses his company’s situation in light of the economic realities. He notes the difference between variable and fixed costs and explains the challenges associated with the necessary reduction of these.

We feature an article by Tim Madeiros, founder and CEO of Alternative Energy Systems. Mr Madeiros defines a uniquely engineered residential installation in which solar energy panels are built right into the roof structure.

Sustainable Development Unit officer Lynniece Nisbett Garnett highlights the initiatives required of 21st century construction and discusses how these can aid business and tourism, as well as the environment.

We offer a detailed view of the Corporation of Hamilton’s new Works Depot with an account of a walk-through the Bermuda Sun did in early March. Coldwell Banker’s Susan Thompson relates the plans for the under-construction Waterloo House and notes how sustainability will be built into the product.

Landscaping — is it a luxury or a necessity? Sousa Landscape Management’s Jeff Sousa addresses the importance of landscaping in an article that lists function, beauty and value among the benefits.

Randy Stafford of Stafford Flooring provides our readers with a look at the flooring business, its operation, challenges, installation and ‘popularities’ and describes the degree of difficulty in re-flooring an existing home versus first time flooring in a new build.

Bermuda Container Line’s Oleander, a combination container and roll-on/roll-off vessel maintains a premium service, particularly for the local construction industry. Learn how this 90 per cent Bermudian-owned lifeline underwent an extensive refit.  We learn from Pembroke Paint about preparation for a do-it-yourself painting project, pre-testing of the paint, wearing of the proper clothing and positioning according to sun and shade.

We’re also told to keep the essentials within reach.

Bermuda Gas and PureNERGY note the increasing awareness of alternative energy technologies and discuss the resulting lack of dependency on fossil fuels through the use of solar, wind and propane power.

And we read about a joint alternative energy development project between OWC Contracting and Solar Bermuda Ltd. OWC Contracting’s Jamie Smith takes the reader through the installation of alternative energy sources to homeowners’ subsequent sale of excess power to the BELCO energy grid.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Honey Adams directs her comments to consumer expectations of construction work and what the buyer should beware of.

Michele Smith, interior designer and managing director at OBM International, discusses the latest design features for urgent care facilities.

And Butterfield Bank’s Shawnette Griffin helps the reader understand the benefits of a Butterfield home equity loan and a Butterfield personal home equity line of credit.