While it’s the U.S. Green Building Council that sets the standard for LEED certification, two cities in the Middle East are quickly emerging as the world leaders in sustainable cities, or cities with a goal of net zero energy and waste. That means they produce as much energy, resources and waste as they consume.
Population and economic growth due to the Middle East’s oil reserves are the primary drivers in its aggressive push toward sustainability. With population expected to grow exponentially in the next 25 years, sustainable cities can offset the gradual depletion of the natural resources and with them, the region’s primary export and profit center. Here’s a look at innovative projects currently evolving in the region.
Great news on job creation last week was offset somewhat by surprising employment losses in construction. While the national economy added 165,000 jobs, construction was actually down 6,000 jobs in April. That’s the first time since October 2012 that construction saw a decline in new jobs.
Dow Jones reports that blame for April’s construction industry stumble should be left on the government’s doorstep. With various budgetary cuts at the Federal level attributed to the Sequester, funding reductions are now making their way to the state level, and adversely affecting local infrastructure projects.
Construction added 18,000 jobs last month, driving industry unemployment down to 14.7 percent according to the recently released Jobs Report. It was the 10th consecutive month of increases in construction jobs, and a three-year national high.
Analysts for the Associated General Contractors of America maintain a tempered optimism however, as strong growth in the residential and non-residential sectors is contrasted by flat or falling trends in public works construction. Officials noted that, for policy makers to benefit, they must focus on improving infrastructure for the entire construction industry.
You don’t have to look far to find contradicting reports on the current and future state of construction. On their own, the numbers usually speak for themselves. Putting them together for a clear view of the industry and where it’s headed is the challenge.
The Department of Energy, the EPA, and the U.S. military are among the federal and construction programs now feeling the effects of the Sequester’s $4 billion in mandatory budget cuts that began on March 1st, according to recent article on ENR.com.
Hardest hit by the cuts are the states still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, with the $50 billion already approved by Congress for natural disaster relief earmarked for reduction. Specifically, New York, Continue reading →
236,000 jobs were added in the U.S last month driving the jobless rate to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, according to a Friday March 8 report from the Labor Department.
Construction led the way with 48,000 new jobs, the single largest gain since March 2007, as reported by Reuters. The report is a good indicator that low January numbers could be indicative of Fiscal Cliff and Sequester fears. As industry experts continue to gauge the impact of changing federal policies and the soaring stock market, it seems, at least for now, that construction is on track for a positive 2013.
The Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-profit organization created in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George J. Mitchell, recently convened a group of industry professionals, environmentalists and law makers to evaluate the current energy boom and make recommendations for a balanced approach that secures a better future for America. Here is a brief list of those recommendations as reported in a recent article by CNNMoney.com:
Fracking should continue, but tighter regulations on the practice should be imposed, particularly at the federal level