Index affirms strong underpinnings for nonresidential market

Sources: FMI Corp., Raleigh, N.C.; CP staff

Except for the hint of a slight decline indicated at mid-year, commercial, industrial and institutional building activity continues at a steady pace, according to the Nonresidential Construction Index Report (NRCI) for Q3 2015. Prepared by management consultant FMI, the index reflects sentiments of construction executives nationwide.

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Builders boost housing starts to pre-recession watermark

Source: National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.

Led by a strong jump in single-family production, nationwide housing starts inched up 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in July, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department data. Single-family starts rose 12.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units after an upwardly revised June reading, while multifamily work fell 17 percent to 424,000 units.

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Hardscape unit demand outpaces overall landscape product business

Source: Freedonia Group, Cleveland; CP staff

Landscaping product demand is forecast to grow 5.3 percent per year, from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $8.2 billion in 2019, as the market continues to recover from the effects of the 2007–2009 recession. Of four major categories profiled in Landscaping Products, a new five-year outlook from market researcher Freedonia Group, hardscape units—concrete or clay pavers, segmental retaining wall units— lead the pack with projected annual growth at 7.3 percent, from just over $2 billion in 2014 sales toward $2.9 billion in 2019.

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Trimble paving machine control speeds trains, cuts wasted mix volumes

Sources: Trimble Heavy Civil Construction Division, Dayton, Ohio; CP staff

The new Trimble PCS900 Paving Control System (Version 2.2) enables Gomaco Corp. and Guntert & Zimmerman-equipped contractors to precisely steer concrete placer/spreader machines and set slab elevation according to a 3D model. The resulting alignment eliminates labor requirements attending machine guidance through manual or slab edge string line methods, and accelerates concrete mix spread rate.

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