Here’s a quick glance around the web, bringing you a taste of the news you need to know this week.
Non-residential construction spending stays high
April saw U.S. non-residential construction spending at the same high level that it’s been at since February of this year—which is just under $750 billion, to be exact—according to Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. That number is a 6.1 percent increase over April 2017. While public sector construction sunk slightly, it’s still up 7.3 percent year over year. Private sector non-residential rose by almost one percent from March to April and is up 5.3 percent over 2017.
Where do old buildings go?
The current construction boom is creating a ton of rubble (more like millions of tons). So does it all go into our burgeoning landfills? Not in Denver, according to a report by a local NBC affiliate. Take steel, for example: around 20 million pounds of it is collected monthly by one Denver recycling facility before being cut down and recycled and reused in Colorado and the Western United States, while some is shipped to Turkey and Malaysia. Demo companies, for their part, sometimes try to sell off old HVAC units to third-world countries.
What’s a borderless job site, and why might it get hacked?
A Travelers Insurance risk control specialist told ForConstructionPros.com that contractors need to be aware of where they are introducing technology on their job sites, particularly with detailed work site documentation that might be available in the cloud and vulnerable to hacking. There is also risk involved in wearable devices, such as when the wearer is being “steered” by someone off-site who doesn’t have five senses on the ground and might not see the risks.
UK’s construction jobs facing lack of safety oversight
General Contractor Mace Construction is heading up large construction job at what’s called the “Can of Ham” site in London, but they employ just 400 of the workers there—the remaining 360 work for 40 different sub-contractors and sub-subs. According to industry analysts, this is normal in the UK now. Also, due to very tight profit margins for GCs after materials and labor costs recently rose, the GCs are skimping on pay—which makes the subs skimp on safety. This has analysts worried about more crises like fire at the Greenfell Tower block last June in which 72 people died.