$25 billion in non-residential construction starts in March marked a 32.4% climb over February numbers according to the just released Construction Industry Snapshot by CMD Group, formerly Reed Construction Data. The positive number in March confirms an upward trend in construction spending, but falls short of the same period last year when spending increased by 40.3%. For comparison, the long-term February-to-March increase has been 6.0%. See the full report from CMD here.
While architects, engineers and construction pros close the books on 2014, industry experts have already crunched mountains of data and released their predictions regarding where the construction industry is headed in 2015. Here are some highlights from industry analysts.
AGC of America Economist Ken Simonson took a look back at 2014. In a recent release, Simonson cited a report from the Department of Labor which confirmed 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs between October 2013 and October 2014. The association’s chief economist noted, “These year-over-year and one-month changes show that construction is doing well in most of the country. Yet, the list of states that have added construction jobs varies from month to month, showing that the industry’s recovery remains vulnerable to worker shortages and unfavorable governmental actions.”
Houston was the fastest growing U.S. city in 2014, according to Forbes Staff Writer Erin Carlyle. The oil industry metropolis was the site of $25.1 billion in new construction in [Read more…] about 2014 Construction Industry Roundup and 2015 Forecast
Across the country, office construction has seen a recent boom, thanks to technology companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. These multi-billion dollar firms are expanding rapidly, and looking for more space for offices and data storage.
A recent article, titled Demand from Tech Sector Helps to Reboot Office Market, from Engineering News Record (ENR.com), took an in-depth look into the recent “reboot” of office construction, highlighting cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and even [Read more…] about Could the Tech Industry Save Office Construction?
Net zero energy buildings are structures, either site-built or modular, that produce as much energy as they consume, resulting in zero additional energy required from outside sources. While defining the parameters of what makes a building net zero certified had previously been a bit hazy, the Living Building Challenge recently developed more defined criteria. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the essential design factors in every net zero energy building.
Good Design Dictates Lower Energy Needs
Good design is the start of every net zero energy building. Before considering renewable [Read more…] about Essential Design Factors of Net Zero Energy Buildings
As global green initiatives continue to increase and energy efficiency remains a priority, the question of energy usage disclosure has become a highly contested issue. As its name suggests, energy usage disclosure is the requirement that building managers report the total energy consumption rates of their respective properties.
Much of the country already complies with such informational reporting (specifically Northeastern states), however California, due to state law AB 1103, and Chicago now require that commercial building owners disclose their energy use. Other major cities, including New York, Austin, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are [Read more…] about The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage Disclosure
Gypsum Leads Price Hike
At 14%, gypsum products rose the most in the past year. Lumber and plywood posted the second highest hike at 9%. Prepared asphalt and tar roofing climbed 5.4%. Lumber prices are expected to outpace all rising costs, as new federal regulations force an industry slowdown. Insulation materials, construction machinery and equipment, and asphalt [Read more…] about Construction Material Costs on the Rise at Home and Abroad