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The Need for Thermal Cameras is Heating Up

Thermal camera imaging showing the temperature of a woman wearing a surgical mask.

By Network Manager Chris Thomas

As we begin to find our way back to a new normal, the safety and wellbeing of our team members and trade partners continue to be our priority. While returning to fully staffed jobsites and offices will not happen overnight, a great deal of care must be taken to keep our team members and trade partners safe each step of the way.

One such step we have taken has been the installation of thermal imaging cameras on our jobsites, along with our Columbia HQ and Northeast office. Harkins evaluated a variety of thermal imaging options and chose the Fotric 226b camera. Fotric is known for producing a high-quality camera that has become the standard for many construction companies across the country. The device utilizes an intelligent temperature calibration algorithm that automatically collects facial temperatures from different scenarios for self-learning. It adjusts the alarm threshold in real-time by adapting to changes in ambient temperature which helps prevent false positives from fluctuations in morning and evening temperatures.

These cameras employ facial recognition to detect elevated or abnormal body temperatures of up to ten people at a time from up to ten feet away. A built-in detection module uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically lock onto faces in the camera’s view for temperature measurement. It is also able to shield non-facial sources of high temperatures, such as a hot cup of coffee.

In addition to the camera, a laptop with the Fotric WLIR software is required. This software automatically counts the number of screened personnel, as well as the number of abnormal body temperature detections. Pictures of every screened person are saved on the laptop for later evaluation.

As a result of this new protocol, Harkins created a new position called Temperature Screener/Site Sanitizer. This person closely monitors each of the cameras that have been deployed to our jobsites and offices and is responsible for wiping down high-touch surfaces. Screeners are trained to use the software and protocols for handling personnel that trigger the alarm. This technology has enabled our teams to minimize exposure on our jobsites
and our offices to reduce potential contamination of COVID-19.

The thermal imaging cameras are just one important tool that we are utilizing to keep everyone safe as we continue steering our company back towards the life that we all remember from the not-so-distant past. We will continue to evaluate other options as necessary to uphold the high standards we are accustomed to.

Homes at Fountain Green Tops Out

Homes at Fountain Green team standing in front of topped out buildings
Bel Air, MD

On Monday, September 21st, Harkins celebrated the topping out of Homes at Fountain Green with a catered boxed lunch from Panera Bread.

This new affordable 72-unit community will consist of three three-story wood frame garden-style apartment buildings across 10 acres. The apartments will be made up of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, including five Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) units and two units for those with hearing and visual impairments. Kitchens will feature granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. All ground-level apartments will have patios with doors to the exterior, along with a traditional entrance from the breezeway.

The building’s exterior will be comprised of stone veneer, fiber cement siding and paneling, vinyl siding in breezeways, and pitched shingle roofs. There will be a 3,000 sf community building offering a variety of amenities for residents, including a fitness area, computer room, a lounge, and a great room with a kitchenette. A covered porch will overlook a large common green area, playground, and fenced-in dog park. The property will offer ample surface parking.

Topping Out Photos

Taking Steps for a Safer Tomorrow

Construction Safety Week 2020: Taking Steps for a Safer Tomorrow

By Project Controls Executive Russell Tipton

At Harkins, safety is the primary component of our growth, success, and well-being. We are committed to maintaining a progressive and proactive awareness of occupational and public safety in all phases of our operations. This commitment is not only exemplified by a comprehensive safety and loss control program, but it is also constantly reviewed, modified, and accentuated to be fully effective.

Harkins President and CEO Gary Garofalo initiated bi-annual safety training for all of our field personnel. These training sessions provide continuing safety education for all of our field staff, help keep us focused on the hazards we face on our job sites daily, and provides an opportunity for our field staff to share their safety knowledge, ideas, and lessons learned.

The training session topics for the next year will be centered around OSHA’s Focus Four: Fall Protection, Electrical, Struck By, and Caught-In or -Between. The majority of construction accidents can be traced back to one of these four areas of concern. With consideration taken for project coverage, Harkins field teams have been divided into three groups, and each of these groups will attend a four-hour safety training session twice per year.

We are dedicated to ensuring a safe and injury-free working environment and believe that there is no better place to put our resources than in training our people towards achieving that goal. As a result, we have expanded our safety program to include the following:

  • Safety orientation and OSHA 10 training for all new hires
  • OSHA 30 training for all field personnel
  • Bi-annual Harkins safety training
  • Silica safety training
  • First aid/CPR training
  • Toolbox talks
  • AHA training
  • Safety inspections conducted by our site teams using a 99-point checklist
  • Preconstruction meetings held with trade partners to review and plan upcoming scope and operations to ensure safe execution of work
  • Quarterly safety stand-downs on our jobsites and our offices

Harkins Named Excellence in Construction & Real Estate Honoree

Image that reads The Daily Record 2020: Excellence In Construction & Real Estate
Baltimore, MD

The Daily Record has selected Harkins to receive the 2020 Excellence in Construction & Real Estate Award.

Established in 2019, Excellence in Construction & Real Estate awards celebrate the individuals and companies who are changing the landscape of Maryland through design, construction, project management, innovation and more. These individuals and organizations are creating jobs, building healthy spaces, helping families and companies achieve their dreams, and leading the way toward growth and prosperity for the community.

The Construction category recognizes architects, developers, engineers, general contractors, historic preservation, interior design, LEED-certified projects, projects of the year for both nonprofit and profit organizations and lifetime achievement. Real Estate categories are commercial real estate agent, rising star, and lifetime achievement. Harkins was selected for its professional achievement and impact on the state of Maryland.

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner quote

Winners will be celebrated and honored virtually on November 9th through video storytelling. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in the program with their congratulations using social media platforms from their home or office.

Full list of honorees.

President’s Message: Construction Safety Week 2020

Construction Safety Week 2020

Beginning today and continuing throughout the week of September 14-18th, Harkins is proudly celebrating National Construction Safety Week 2020. Each day that we step onto a jobsite, we know what’s on the line: our work, our reputation, and most importantly, the lives of each employee and trade partner on-site. Construction Safety Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the promise that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that our people can return home safely.

At Harkins, we exist to improve people’s lives in our marketplace, in our communities, and in our company. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has translated to protecting the health, safety and livelihoods of our employees and trade partners like never before, mitigating or reducing operational and financial risks to the company, delivering on our commitments to our clients, and continuing construction operations on essential buildings to support the regions and the communities in which we serve.

In an effort to protect the health and safety of those on our jobsites, we have implemented a variety of safety protocols, guidelines, and measures to help keep our employees and trade partners safe. This has included using thermal imaging cameras to take the temperatures of groups of people in real-time while they are walking through an entrance point, integrating new safety practices such as social distancing and increasing signage, and employing additional cleaning stations and disinfecting measures around our projects.

I am very appreciative of all of our employees, trade partners, clients, and design professionals for helping to make and keep our projects as safe as possible. I am confident that our company will come out the other side even more dynamic and resilient than ever before.

Gary's signature

Robinson Overlook Breaks Ground

Robinson Overlook virtual groundbreaking ceremonial dig
Columbia, MD

Construction for the $18.7 million mixed-income housing development known as Robinson Overlook is now underway at 7410 Grace Drive. In lieu of a large public groundbreaking celebration, a small ceremonial event was held at the site on August 20, 2020, to commemorate the start of construction.

Nestled on a 3.8-acre site near Robinson Nature Center, Robinson Overlook has embraces the long-term goal by state and local housing experts and Howard County leaders to expand high-quality housing options for area residents at various income levels in need of affordable homes.

Robinson Overlook virtual groundbreaking quote

Robinson Overlook will consist of five residential buildings that offer single-level apartments and townhomes. Creating a mixed-income community was an emphasized goal. Of the 48 total units, 43 will be reserved for lease to residents earning a range of up to 60% of the area median income, with five more units leased without income restrictions. It will include 8 one-bedroom, 19 two-bedroom, and 21 three-bedroom units. Eight of the units will be set aside for persons with disabilities.

Virtual Groundbreaking Video

Groundbreaking Photos

Press Release