Sources: North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Washington, D.C.; CP staff
In one of the harshest assessments an organized labor official has offered on White House decisions affecting construction employment, NABTU President Sean McGarvey characterized the political nature of President Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline action as “insidiously craven.”
Source: Associated General Contractors of America, Washington, D.C.
Construction spending in September reached a level last seen in March 2008 and climbed at the fastest rate since early 2006, according to an AGC analysis, which also found that nonresidential project outlays declined by 0.1 percent between August and September as growing workforce shortages likely impacted the volume of work contractors were able to perform for the month.
Source: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.
“The nonresidential construction sector gained momentum over the last year and should continue to expand into 2016,” affirms ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The construction industry has benefited from increased stability stemming from low materials prices and greater certainty regarding federal budgeting and monetary policy, although a lack of appropriately skilled labor will remain a challenge for contractors. ABC predicts the nonresidential construction segment will experience 7 percent nominal growth in 2016.”
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics, New York
A mainstay in industry forecasting and business planning, the Dodge Construction Outlook projects that total U.S. construction starts for 2016 will rise 6 percent to $712 billion, following gains of 9 percent in 2014 and an estimated 13 percent in 2015.
Sources: Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott; CP staff
Governor Rick Scott has announced five appointments—one new member, four incumbents, all for terms running through June 2018—to the Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council (FCMEC), an organization authorized by Sunshine State lawmakers and funded by a voluntary check-off program among major and independent block producers.
Sources: U.S. Concrete Inc., Euless, Texas; CP staff
U.S. Concrete has closed on the U.S. Virgin Islands’ principal ready mixed and aggregate source, Heavy Materials, LLC, plus the assets of peer operator Spartan Concrete Products, LLC. Their combined operations create a stronger vertically integrated platform to serve an extensive base of customers throughout the Virgin Islands and neighboring Caribbean islands.
Source: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.
The proposed WK49335, Test Method for Concrete Micro Surface Texture, describes the use of a contact stylus instrument, or profilometer, and reliable data indexes to measure and quantify a slab or structure’s smoothness/roughness value. Members of ASTM Subcommittee E06.21 on Serviceability envision fast and precise surface inspection on a wide range of cement-based building materials, especially concrete flooring and decorative surfaces.
Sources: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.; CP staff
The latest addition to the NCMA TEK library covering concrete masonry building or hardscape unit design and construction is an Excel spreadsheet companion to documents on single- or multi-wythe wall thermal values, and Thermal Catalog for Concrete Masonry Assemblies.
Sources: Messe Muenchen, bauma Exhibitions Group, Munich; CP staff
The next staging of the world’s largest trade fair, by space, and focal point of the global construction and mining equipment, and building material machinery business will see exhibits spread over 605,000 square meters—just under 7 million sq. ft.
Sources: International Code Council (ICC), Country Club Hills, Ill.; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff
The American Wood Council (AWC) has requested that ICC establish the Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings, which would investigate the feasibility of cross laminated timber and structural composite lumber for construction exceeding current International Building Code height limitations.