Arizona leads, California and Illinois lag in ABC Merit Shop survey

Associated Builders and Contractors’ 2020 Merit Shop Scorecard weighs state policies and programs that encourage workforce development, strengthen career and technical education, grow careers in construction, and promote fair and open competition for taxpayer-funded construction projects. Arizona tops the rankings for the first time based on its promotion of free enterprise and investment in tomorrow’s construction workforce—both high priorities for…

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Opportunity Zone hospitable to panelized concrete system specifications

New York real estate investor and developer GTIS Partners LP broke ground late last year on a single-family, build-to-rent community at a Mesa, Ariz. development the firm owns with Harvard Investments. Cadence is one of the past decade’s most successful master planned communities nationally with over 2,200 units; its new phase will add 197 rental homes to the mix of…

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EPA CANCELS RULEMAKING OPAQUENESS

When promulgating significant regulatory actions or developing influential scientific information, the Environmental Protection Agency will give greater consideration to studies where the underlying dose-response data are available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. An agency rule finalized in late 2020 does not call for release of personally identifiable or confidential business information, nor does it require EPA to collect,…

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Interior Department scientists define climate change projection limits

A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey—the indispensable source of portland cement, crushed stone and sand & gravel shipment data—stresses the need to factor uncertainties attending climate change predictions, especially as models link present greenhouse gas emission levels to earth temperature trajectories through the year 2100.

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Drake Cement proposes natural pozzolan mining on national forest site

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is set to review public comments on a 20-year Mining and Reclamation Plan of Operations that Drake Cement LLC penned with an eye to extracting 300,000 to 500,000 tons of natural pozzolan from a Kaibab National Forest parcel. The concrete-grade material deposit is part of the existing Williams Quarry, or “Frenchy Pit,” located…

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FEMA: Big data proves robust code standards’ returns on investment

The Federal Emergency Management Agency examines the benefits of constructing at a higher building code standard for natural disasters such as winds, floods and seismic activity in a new report, “Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study.” The agency finds that 18.1 million buildings constructed at a higher code standard could save the United States about $1.6 billion annually.

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UN sustainability goals inform new Equipment Manufacturers council

As part of a commitment to building on the momentum of a sustainable future, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers has established a Sustainability Council comprised of leaders from member companies. Through the Council, they will help advance AEM member efforts in addressing issues of sustainability and provide a framework for adoption of best practices and innovation.

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Energy Department, Power Institute probe walls’ thermal mass

A $65 million Department of Energy (DOE) program will support technologies enabling energy-efficient buildings to interact with one another and the electric grid, potentially lowering greenhouse gas emission levels and improving power infrastructure. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the funding commitment last month during an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) gathering in Charlotte, N.C., where attendees toured a Meritage Homes…

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Transportation funding ballot measures prevail coast to coast

Voters in 18 states approved a record 94 percent of state and local ballot initiatives on Election Day 2020, providing an additional $14 billion in one-time or recurring revenue for transportation improvements throughout the country. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Investment Advocacy Center finds that voters approved 303 of 322 initiatives before them on November 3—the highest…

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