For more than a decade, Christopher “Chris” McNally has led Falcon Enterprises Associates as president and founder. Chris McNally and the rest of the Falcon team offer services encompassing owner’s representation and project management and are skilled at solving common construction-related problems.
Some issues commonly encountered in construction projects include the following:
1. Shortage of skilled workers.
As more and more young people are pushed toward college rather than vocational training and as many construction workers are aging out of the workforce, the construction industry has experienced a serious decline in skilled workers. To combat this, contractors and other construction industry professionals can mentor others, particularly high school students or young college students, who may not know much about the industry. Construction professionals can also mentor workers within the industry. Showing them the business side of construction may spark their interest in furthering their career.
2. Increasing material costs.
The cost of land and raw materials can rapidly change. As a result, construction projects often go over budget. Although contractors can’t change the price of raw materials, they can adopt prefabricated components. This helps the project operate more efficiently and reduces labor costs. In addition to that, contractors can reduce costs elsewhere in their operations by speeding up back-office work, improving budget management, and enforcing purchase order limits.
3. Client indecision.
It’s not unusual for owners to change their minds about what they want during the course of a construction project. These changes increase not only the risk of delays but also the risk of payment problems later on. To protect themselves, construction professionals should always request a signed change order to ensure their documents are up to date.
New York City-based Christopher “Chris” McNally is the owner of Falcon Project Quality Management, a company dedicated to advocating for building owners throughout the construction process. Aside from his work at Falcon, Chris McNally supports several not-for-profits including the High Line, one of the nation’s most unique greenspaces.
When the 1930s era High Line closed in 1980, it fell into disrepair. The once-active railroad, designed to transport goods within Manhattan’s largest industrial district, quickly became choked with plants and was slated to be demolished.
However, following the tireless efforts of Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the unsightly and abandoned railway was given another chance, this time as a one-of-a-kind elevated walkway. After three separate building phases, the High Line now provides pedestrians with a new and different way to experience the city.
The green spaces along the High Line are designed with sustainability in mind. Hardy, drought-resistant plants were selected based on the self-seeded plants that grew along the tracks in the 25 years the railroad was not in use. These plants, locally sourced whenever possible, are planted in the High Line’s green roof system, which retains as much water as possible. When additional watering is needed, an irrigation system and hand watering fill the need. Additional efforts toward sustainability include onsite composting and limited use of chemically based pesticide and fertilizer.
The High Line is the only park of its kind in the United States and has brought a great deal of economic growth to Manhattan’s West Side.
The High Line
An executive in the construction industry, Christopher “Chris” McNally provides construction, pre-closing evaluation, and project quality management services as the president of Falcon Enterprise Associates in New York. Chris McNally maintains an interest in urban spaces and contributes to the High Line, a green space built along an abandoned elevated railway in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
The High Line combines wild, natural foliage with original and restored rails to create a scenic environment where members of the public can relax and enjoy breathtaking views. Elevated 30 feet above Manhattan’s West Side, the railway stands as the first public space of its kind in the country and consists of numerous creative features that include children’s exploration areas, public gathering areas, and custom wood furniture. Additionally, the High Line is separated into multiple sections: three completed sections and a small portion still under design.
Originally constructed in the 1930s, the High Line’s railway was left unattended for years after its abandonment and became overrun with rugged trees, wild grasses, and indigenous plants. The state slated the railway for demolition during the Giuliani administration, and in 1999, two area residents established the Friends of the High Line community group to transform the High Line into an elevated park-greenway. The Bloomberg administration backed the project in 2002, and construction to convert the area into a public park began in 2006.