Construction Markets

P3s: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

With government officials’ increasing understanding of the P3 structure, the narrowing difference in financing cost thanks to federal programs, and a focus on life cycle costs and risk transfer, governments across the country are beginning to look to P3s as a way to deliver on promises of infrastructure investment. Many governments are in the process of evaluating public-private partnerships in meaningful ways, conducting rigorous analyses to determine whether a P3 is the prudent way to procure a project. 

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The Hospitality Market Heats Up

With the summer months in full swing, so is the 2017 travel season. Warm weather, long days and the kids off school mean families all over the country are in the midst of their summer adventures. Considering the current geopolitical state, economic forecasters are cautiously observing what the 2017 travel season will mean for the hospitality industry.
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Mid-year economic Forecast: Momentum Meets Intrigue

If economic performance reflected consumer and business ebullience, the United States would be in the midst of a historic boom. As an example, a recent Small Business Economic Trends survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) indicates that business confidence is at the 97th percentile, meaning business confidence is only this high 3 percent of the time. According to NFIB, “small business owners remain optimistic about the future of the economy and the direction of consumer confidence. We are encouraged by signs that optimism is translated into economic activity, such as capital investment and job creation.”
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How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry—for Better and for Worse

Last year marked a milestone for the country’s youngest generation of workers, commonly known as millennials: They overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce segment in America. Employers should be ecstatic that elevated rates of retirement are positioned to be offset by an influx of younger, energetic, tech-savvy workers ready to stimulate productivity. 
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NAIOP Announces 2016’s Top 10 States for Commercial Development

Office, industrial, warehouse and retail real estate development supported 6.25 million American jobs and contributed $861 billion to U.S. GDP in 2016, according to an annual study by NAIOP. The top 10 states for commercial development, beginning with the highest construction value, were New York, Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Only New York, Texas and Florida remained in the same position as 2015. 

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Survey Finds Growing Appetite for P3 Projects

In the next three years, 85 percent of public sector respondents to Husch Blackwell’s third annual Public-Private Partnership (P3) Conference Survey stated they are planning for multiple P3 projects. On the private side, 93 percent of respondents from AEC and financial firms affirmed the same.
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Back in Session

After years of stagnation, construction of K-12 schools is finally ramping back up in many districts across the country. In fact, institutional construction is expected to increase 10 percent this year to $118.5 billion, according to Dodge Data and Analytics’ 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook. This number largely is driven by the education sector, which comprises more than 40 percent of the institutional market. 
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Bringing Health Care to Retail Centers

With hospital stays becoming more expensive, the federal government reducing the services it will reimburse, hospitals nationwide consolidating and fewer people traveling long distances for care, the physical spaces needed to deliver health care are changing rapidly.

For the construction industry, this means builders and developers have the opportunity to repurpose former hospital structures and develop ambulatory care centers, outpatient centers and medical malls. This trend can be seen across the country, and it shows no signs of abating.
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(Re)Constructing the Retail Sector

It has been a long time since the words “growth” and “retail” have been used in the same sentence in construction circles. In fact, for more than five years, commercial construction has either risen (or fallen) due to the indirect challenges of weak consumer spending, as well as changes in where, when, how and on what consumers spend their hard-earned dollars. 

Now, the numbers are showing that retail construction is enjoying a renaissance as consumers loosen the purse strings and regain confidence in the economy. And while department store closings remain the Achilles’ heel for malls, according to JLL, a financial and professional services firm that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management, there appears to be ample demand for the new use of that space.
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Trump Administration Targets 50 U.S. Infrastructure Projects Worth Over $137B

The Trump administration has compiled a preliminary list of 50 high-priority “emergency and national security” infrastructure projects valued at more than $137 billion and has solicited the nation’s governors for input. 

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Iron Assets Are Known; It's Time for Digital Resources

The third week of 2017 was busy for shareholders in the heavy construction equipment industry, with financial institutions and asset management groups cutting down their stakes in the shares of leading manufacturing companies. Despite the rollercoaster ride, Wall Street expects some attractive profit figures by the end of the last quarter of the 2016-2017 financial year. The optimism is tied to the profit tracking of financial releases for the prominent vendors in the industry. 
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Study Reveals Less Volatility in Remodeling Market

In comparing new construction and commercial remodels during the course of the Great Recession, BuildFax found additions, remodels and alterations dipped 9.7 percent at their lowest point (versus pre-crisis levels), while new construction permits plunged 43 percent between 2008 and 2011.
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New Guide Touts Quiet Hotel Construction

A new Quiet Room® Guide is available to help architects, developers and construction professionals understand the Quiet Room® label, as well as related certification requirements, the latest methods for acoustic insulation of hotel rooms and the savings that can be realized by investing in soundproofing during the construction phase. 
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Optimism Rises for Near-Term Infrastructure Spending

Stepping away from campaign promises and political conjecture, 2017 should be a decent year for the transportation
construction market, with the best years for spending growth still ahead. 
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Moderate Gains in Construction Spending Expected Through 2017

As the industry enters a more mature phase of its expansion, the 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook forecasts total U.S. construction starts will advance 5 percent to $713 billion, following gains of 11 percent in 2015 and an estimated 1 percent in2016.
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Rethinking Health Care Construction

Outpatient and walk-in urgent care facilities are far less costly for organizations to construct than larger medical buildings and hospitals; therefore, these facilities are popping up in retail spaces and are most likely on short-term leases that do not require a large commitment from the organization. The increase in the number of outpatient facilities also reverts back to patient satisfaction: Patients are more comfortable seeing their doctors at an outpatient facility. 
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Bipartisan Federal Legislation Is a Potential Boon for P3s

For construction companies active in the public-private partnership (P3) or design-build arena, the bipartisan Public Buildings Renewal Act (S. 3177/H.R. 5361) represents a fountain of new work opportunities building or rehabilitating many outdated and dilapidated government-owned facilities—such as public schools, post offices, prisons, courthouses and libraries—that need to be replaced. 
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Teaching the Art of Preservation

“We need to enable people to protect and preserve their histories through meaningful hands-on work. More people are coming into this field because it’s very satisfying to work on cultural preservation projects.” 
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Blending the Old With the New

For those that take on the onerous and challenging work of renovating and restoring historic buildings, it is more than just a job. It’s a labor of love. At the heart of this movement is an upsurge in the desire to move near downtown areas to be close to work and home, particularly among today’s younger generation. The result is that historical buildings—brick and granite, and all the charm to match—are in high demand. This bodes well for construction companies that garner much of their revenue from preserving buildings that are a testament to the nation’s past.
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2017 Regional Construction Outlook

The first half of 2016 was disappointingly slow, but signs of improvement for the second half have appeared. Employment continues to grow at a slow, but steady, pace. The overall outlook is for continued, albeit slow, expansion in the economy and the construction industry.
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2017 Construction Outlook

For now, it’s tempting to maintain a somewhat pessimistic outlook. A combination of debt accumulation and low interest rates appears to have taken asset prices above levels supported by economic fundamentals. This renders the macro-economy and that of the nation’s nonresidential construction sector somewhat vulnerable to asset price adjustments.  
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A Professional Contractor’s Guide to Rotary Tools

The latest generation of rotary tools has the speed, power and features to go from the workshop to the jobsite. Rotary tools accept dozens of different accessories for working virtually any building material, including wood, drywall, metal, plastic, tile, glass and stone, to name a few. These compact tools are ideal for use in extremely tight spaces and cramped quarters. 
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Delivering Efficient Thermal Control of Concrete Curing

Benefits delivered by hydronic heating range from ensuring durability and crack-free surfaces to avoiding shrinkage and spallingin severe weather conditions. Contractors have a very efficient way to resolve their job-specific curing requirements when partnered with engineers that can provide hydronic heating expertise. 
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Surety’s Impact on Emerging Trends in Public Construction

Given the choice of security requirements, the surety market continues to provide the product with the best combined benefit for contractors and their obligee in today’s evolving construction and surety markets. 
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Surety Industry Advocates for Inclusion of Bonds on Federal and State P3s

Even though procurement methods have evolved—including the use of P3s—construction remains a risky business, making the protections that surety bonds provide for taxpayers’ investments and the payment guarantees for subcontractors and suppliers just as relevant and important in P3s. 
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Finding the Source

The country has yet to highlight its aging water infrastructure as a national issue. Beyond basic water and wastewater construction needs due to regional population growth, many specific water sectors must be addressed. These include drought-stricken areas in the West, especially California, and the ever-shrinking and flood-prone Louisiana coastline.
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The Need Is Obvious; The Political Will Is Not

P3s are the only conceivable financial solution to America’s infrastructure deficits.  
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A Heavy Lift

Strategic planning is the name of the game for port authorities. Across the United States, long-range investments are earmarked for new or expanded terminals, berths, piers, storage buildings and cranes; plus dredging, facility rehabilitations, security upgrades, and related transit infrastructure and warehouses. 
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Polyurea Fills the Need for Fast Turnaround, Durable Concrete Control Joints

From warehouses to retail and grocery stores, polyurea is outperforming traditional epoxy, silicone and polyurethane materials to fill and seal concrete slab control joints.
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A Strategic Approach to Capturing the Senses

What's exciting about building sensorial strategy into design at the outset is that clients can be proactive, rather than reactive, and ensure that the physical environment is aligned with how they want their customers to experience the space on all levels. 
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Report Explores Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate

The NAIOP Research Foundation forecasts accelerated construction spending, with gains in fixed investment in office, retail, health care and distribution facilities being partially offset by cutbacks in energy-related construction expenditures. 
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USACE Embarks on First P3

Construction of the 36-mile flood diversion project, which has been in the works for eight years, will be performed under a public-private partnership—the first ever in conjunction with the USACE. 
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Construction Economists Forecast Continued Growth

Nonresidential construction spending growth will continue into the next year with an estimated increase in the range of 3 percent to 4 percent.
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What Type of Roof Matches Your Climate?

Whether a contractor’s clients are in the mountains with lots of snow or in a dry and warmer climate, their roofing material needs to protect them and their assets from harsh weather. Different climates call for different roofing materials and roofing solutions.
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New P3 Resources Available

Public agencies developing infrastructure projects now have access to a guide that emphasizes factors local policymakers should consider before entering into a public-private partnership (P3). Additionally, a new study is available that focuses on comprehensive development agreements, which often are associated with toll road P3s.
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Industrial Redevelopment Is Prime in NYC and Charlotte

New York is the top city for redevelopment potential of environmentally distressed industrial sites, according to Arcadis’ Urban Land Restoration Index. Rounding out the top 10 are Charlotte, N.C.; Denver; Nashville, Tenn.; San Francisco; Pittsburgh; Chicago; Miami; Portland, Ore.; and Los Angeles. 
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Capitalizing on Market Intelligence

In construction, contractors build their strategy on market data that illustrates trends, shifts and projections. This intelligence can lead to tactics for taking advantage of a certain market using the flexibilities of being open shop, plus utilizing technology onsite to ensure profitability and success. 
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Beyond Gaming: Virtual Reality Benefits Construction

VR in computer modeling has transformed early design meetings to allow users to “experience” the built environment before actually building the space. Clients can easily visualize their room or building and gain confidence in the project’s design. This accelerates both the speed and quality of decisions, reduces design times and eliminates changes during construction. When this kind of progress is made early on in the design phase, owners realize significant cost savings.
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Design-Build Gains Traction in Four States

Missouri, Alabama, Nebraska and New York advance design-build legislation. Read More >

Court Blocks DOL’s Final Persuader Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing the final persuader rule, keeping it from taking effect July 1. 
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OSHA Finalizes Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

Effective Aug. 10, companies in high-hazard industries (including construction) with at least 20 employees must electronically submit injury and illness information, which OSHA will then post on its website.
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Best Practices Can Make Contractors 720 Percent Safer

ABC's 2016 Safety Performance Report documents how proactive safety practices can dramatically reduce recordable incidents up to 86 percent, making the best-performing companies 720 percent safer than the industry average. 
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Spending Stabilizes at Elevated Level; Supply Constraints Become More Apparent

While nonresidential construction spending growth struggles to maintain momentum, the balance of 2016 should prove a rewarding period for many construction companies. America’s consumer-led economic recovery remains in place, and construction backlog remains at elevated levels.  Read More >

How to Keep Cool on the Jobsite

Temporary cooling solutions such as cooling towers, chillers and air conditioners allow construction companies to prevent project delays, increase worker safety and improve their balance sheet by avoiding high-cost capital expenditure commitments on short- to mid-term duration needs.  Read More >

Materials Specification: An Overlooked Safety Measure

Mass timber systems allow for safe construction sites for several reasons: the ability to prefabricate large panels offsite, leading to reduced construction duration and easier erection; an installation that does not require the use of a ladder; and the “dry process,” which allows construction to move forward during poor weather. 
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D.C. Appeals Court Rejects Davis-Bacon Expansion on Private Project

Affirming a U.S. District Court ruling from 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision that stops an unprecedented expansion of the Davis-Bacon Act onto the CityCenterDC project on the grounds that the District of Columbia was not a party to the construction contracts and that the project is not a “public work” because it is not publicly funded or government-owned or government-operated. 
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When Hotel Brand Standards Collide With Good Practice

Unsuspecting hotel design and construction teams need to heed the warning: Rigid adherence to brand design and construction standards without factoring in specific regional and climatic conditions can result in significant mold and moisture issues in new hotel construction.
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Executive Order Targets Seismic Safety in Federal Buildings

President Obama signed an executive order that creates a Federal Earthquake Risk Management Standard requiring new, leased and regulated federal buildings to meet seismic safety provisions outlined in the International Building Code and the International Residential Code.
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Senate Committee Advances Federal Design-Build Reform Bill

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee issued a report to the full chamber recommending further consideration of a bill (S. 1526) sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would modify criteria for the use of design-build selection procedures for civilian and defense contracts for the design and construction of a public building.
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Exceeding Expectations

In any industry or company, the poor actions of a few can overshadow the good work of the majority. To combat this in the construction industry requires consistency, dedication and a commitment to getting the job done right the first time. Just take it from McGann Construction and Trunnell Electric, two contractors that have built a reputation for consistently producing high-quality work. 
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