10.1.2018 #fuelme | Construction spend creeps up, Hawaii boom lasts, Natural fibers tried in concrete, World’s richest carpenter

Here’s a quick glance around the web, bringing you a taste of the news you need to know this week.


Public sector construction up 2 percent.

Construction spending was up .1 percent in August versus July, all thanks to public project spending, which rose 2 percent due to an uptick in spending on federal, state and local projects. Private sector spending, by contrast, was down .5 percent—but these month-to-month stats can be a little misleading. For example, while residential spending was down .7 percent, it was up 4.1 percent in August 2018 over August 2017. The dip in residential is attributed in part to the increase in lumber costs due to the new tariffs.

Meanwhile, Hawaii construction is at an all-decade high.

Analysts thought Hawaii construction would level out in 2018, but now they think it will reach $9 billion this year, up 7 percent over 2017’s $8.4 billion. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization attributes this to a little of everything—building homes, renovating hotels, and repairing roads and bridges—and says the high spending will level out over the next three years.

Germans are testing out natural fibers in concrete.

Textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) is a new type of concrete being tested out with a variety of textile compositions. Why? Steel corrodes and causes weakness in concrete bridges and other structures before the concrete itself is showing any signs of trouble. Carbon and fiberglass are the typical materials used for the textile in TRC, but now German researchers are trying out natural fibers that they say will rival conventional concrete’s performance but cost less—and do less environmental damage.

Construction worker sat on $250 million lotto win for a month.

And now for something completely different…a New York City carpenter bought a lotto ticket at a Stop & Shop in Staten Island—and won $245 million in the August 11 drawing. The shocking part is that after checking the number multiple times to confirm his win, he hired a lawyer and stuck the ticket in a safe—and went back to work for a month without saying a word to anyone. He took the cash in a lump sum and put all $100 million in a “Sea & Sand Trust”, he calls it, and says his workers will learn of his luck in the media. He’s probably on his way to Hawaii, or Fiji.

Sign up. Stay fueled.