Signs continue to point toward a positive construction economy as the Architecture Billings Index increased for the ninth consecutive month. "Architects continue to see increases in demand for their services this summer, with new project work coming in at a healthy pace," said Kermit Baker, the American Institute of Architects' chief economist.
By the end of the year, 120 construction-technology startups are expected to receive funding, and the segment is receiving more investment than overall tech startups in the US, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle. "It's no mere accident that this uptick in [construction technology] investing coincides with an industry plagued by cost fluctuations, labor shortage issues and overall lack of productivity improvements -- creating what many venture capitalists view as a prime opportunity for disruption," the report says.
A stadium for Nashville's Major League Soccer team has been approved for a ground lease by the Nashville Board of Fair Commissioners. The team must get more approvals before construction can begin, but the stadium is projected to open in 2021.
The Army Corps of Engineers will get at least an extra $2.1 billion for flood control projects in California's Sacramento area. The work includes flood risk remediation, dam safety modification and a dam raising, and the funds are in addition to a $17 billion package approved by Congress in February.
Accelerated bridge construction is becoming more common, but the method is being examined more closely after the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Florida. Proponents say ABC reduces the impact on traffic and decreases the safety risk to construction workers, among other benefits.
America's drinking water infrastructure faces a crisis, and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., and Michael Shank, a communications director for sustainability organizations, say collaboration must be improved among federal, state and local governments. States are fighting over a limited resource, with demand expected to increase by 40% over the next 35 years.
The Obama administration increased regulations on coal ash at 400 US coal-fired power plants, but Wednesday the Trump administration eased those regulations. The new rules give states more flexibility in regulating coal ash and move back the deadline for plants to close problematic dumps.
Two London futurists say that by 2100 the work week will drop to 30 hours and leaders will essentially be motivators. "Every company has a different motivation factor; the energy inside will create the leader and structure of the company," Yesim Kunter says.
A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that found the environmental permitting process for the Texas 45 and MoPac intersections projects in Austin, Texas, was sufficient. Officials say the Texas 45 project may be done early, and the MoPac intersections effort is expected to be complete by mid-2020.