Construction Industry News. September, 2014

Construction Industry News. September, 2014

for blogSnappii is a leading app-developing company for the construction industry. And even though our construction mobile business apps have been recently released, they have already won the hearts and minds of over 20,000 users. We hope you have also become one of them. To show our appreciation and striving to further assist our loyal clients, we have decided to regularly post news of the construction industry. That is why every month, on the first Friday, you will have a chance to read our selection of the news we have prepared for you.

1. Construction employment rose in 223 metro areas, slowed down in 72, and stayed the same in 44  between July 2013 and July 2014. At the same time, lack of qualified workers forces many firms to turn down new projects. As a result, 70% of construction companies are paying significantly more to skilled workers than they did last year. Please read more

2. Construction spending reached the highest level since December 2008. The July total was 8.2 percent higher than the total in July, 2013. Private nonresidential spending increased 2.1 percent from June, 2014, whereas private residential spending grew 0.7 percent. However, given the already existing labor shortage, this growing demand might put even more pressure on the construction market. Please read more

3. According to the latest Census estimate, residential construction is now spending 9.9% more on single-family and 38.4% more on multifamily construction. Builders are becoming increasingly optimistic about the construction market. Please read more

4. Lending for U.S construction projects is rising 4% from the first quarter to $223.2 billion as lenders are gaining more confidence in their business in today’s economy. Please read

5. Obama pushes for ethical practices in the construction industry by requiring federal
contractors to list violations when they bid on federal government contracts. He believes that those employers that mistreat their workers should not be paid by federal taxpayers. Please read more 

6.  A construction worker from Florida Josheph Barrs finds himself caught in the middle of a major scam, ripping workers off workers’ compensation insurance. In 2009 he got badly hurt at work and needed medical assistance. Soon he had to change the doctor because the doctor provided by worker’s comp had allegedly cared more about keeping the costs down then treating the patient properly.  That is when he found out that his employer had rented a very cheap workers’ comp insurance from a shell company not to pay workers ‘comp premiums. According to Florida’s chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater, “workers’ comp fraud diverts “nearly $1 billion from Florida’s economy annually and is putting honest small businesses and employees at risk.” Please read more

7. Christian Eschmann is looking into the possibility of using miniature aircraft that can examine building facades for damage. The aircraft is equipped with a high-resolution digital camera and sensors that adjust for wind gusts and avoid collisions with the building. “For a 20 by 80 meter wide façade, a test engineer needs about two to three days. Our octocopter needs three to four hours for this,” says the researcher. Please read more
8. Researchers at MIT have found a way to study and tell how material bonds fracture and fail, revealing the crucial role of moisture in causing bond failure. When such systems are exposed to moisture, “it initiates new molecules at the interface,” one of the researchers says, “and that interferes with the bonding mechanism. How do you assess how weak the interface becomes when it is affected? We came up with an innovative method to assess the interface weakening as a result of exposure to environmental effects.” The findings of the research allow predicting how much strength a given bonded material will lose under certain conditions and design more durable composites. Please read more

9. Kyocera Corporation, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, and Ciel et Terre International are starting to construct two floating solar systems, which will save space, produce more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of water, and reduce reservoir evaporation and algae growth by shading the water. These two plants, expected to start operating by April 2015, will power about 920 households. Please read more

10. Customer data might have been compromised from 2,200 U.S. Home Depot stores. The breach surfaced when 99.4% credit cards used on the website Rescator overlapped with Home Depot stores. Home Depot hasn’t confirmed the actual breach yet but is saying that if that has indeed happened, the affected customers won’t be held accountable for the possible fraudulent charges. Please read more

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