Plans unveiled for $5B riverfront development in Chicago | Financing committed for Mass. Arsenal Yards expansion | $1.6B Texas road opens; reconstruction nearly complete
July 20, 2018
Concrete SmartBrief
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Industry News
Plans unveiled for $5B riverfront development in Chicago
A standing-room only crowd viewed a developer's plans for a $5 billion mixed-use development along the Chicago River. It would include office, residential, hotel and retail space, as well as a soccer stadium and park areas, and construction is estimated to create 2,500 construction jobs annually during the first decade of work.
Chicago Sun-Times (free registration) (7/18) 
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Financing committed for Mass. Arsenal Yards expansion
J.P. Morgan Asset Management organized $102 million in institutional investors to go with $222 million in loans from Wells Fargo for the 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use Arsenal Yards project in Watertown, Mass. The former Arsenal Mall site will be renovated and expanded to offer 425 residences, 150 rooms in a Hampton by Hilton hotel, 250,000 square feet of retail and dining space and 200,000 square feet of commercial space.
Construction Dive (7/19) 
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$1.6B Texas road opens; reconstruction nearly complete
A joint venture has nearly completed a $1.6 billion reconstruction of Interstate 35W, which transportation officials had deemed one of the most congested roads in Texas. The work includes frontage roads, bypass lanes and two toll lanes in each direction, and the road is now open to traffic.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Dallas (7/18),  KXAS-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (7/18) 
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Chula Vista hotel, convention center going up
Construction crews have been breaking down concrete slabs and asphalt since June to prepare for the $1 billion waterfront hotel and convention center in Chula Vista, Calif. In addition to 1,600 hotel rooms, resort amenities and 275,000 square feet of convention space, it will feature upgrades to public infrastructure and a new park.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (7/19) 
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Technology & Trends
Scientists developing far less costly 3D-printable concrete
Scientists in Estonia may have developed a solution for the world's housing shortage in the form of a different 3D-printable concrete. The composite material made of milled peat, oil shale ash and silica nanoparticles hardens within 24 hours and could drastically lower the cost of house construction.
Digital Trends (7/16) 
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Architectural billings increase for 9th month in a row
Signs continue to point toward a positive construction economy as the Architecture Billings Index increased for the ninth consecutive month. "Architects continue to see increases in demand for their services this summer, with new project work coming in at a healthy pace," said Kermit Baker, the American Institute of Architects' chief economist.
Architect Magazine online (7/18) 
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Construction-tech startups see flood of investor cash
By the end of the year, 120 construction-technology startups are expected to receive funding, and the segment is receiving more investment than overall tech startups in the US, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle. "It's no mere accident that this uptick in [construction technology] investing coincides with an industry plagued by cost fluctuations, labor shortage issues and overall lack of productivity improvements -- creating what many venture capitalists view as a prime opportunity for disruption," the report says.
Construction Dive (7/18) 
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Sustainability & Green Building
CarbonCure method stores C02 emissions, strengthens concrete
Atlanta-based Thomas Concrete has begun using CarbonCure, a product that injects carbon dioxide into concrete and results in a mineral that traps CO2 and reduces emissions. "We've been able to keep 16 million pounds of CO2 from going into the atmosphere," said Justin Lazenby of Thomas Concrete, who notes that the product is also stronger.
WPTV-TV (West Palm Beach, Fla.) (7/20) 
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Leadership & HR
Your culture should be your strategy
Effective leaders should focus on building the best culture, asking questions and then laying out the path to answering them, says Berlin School of Creative Leadership professor Paul Verdin. "It's a very different mindset, and it means we have to be comfortable from the top down, to live in uncertainty and to admit that 'we don't know,' "
Forbes (7/12) 
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Policy Watch
EPA eases regulation on coal ash
The Obama administration increased regulations on coal ash at 400 US coal-fired power plants, but Wednesday the Trump administration eased those regulations. The new rules give states more flexibility in regulating coal ash and move back the deadline for plants to close problematic dumps.
U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (7/18) 
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ACI News
ACI Increases Investment in Middle East with New Student Fellowship
A new fellowship specifically for students studying in the Middle East region will provide $10,000 USD in educational support, full funding to attend two upcoming ACI Conventions, and more.
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American Concrete Institute Launches New Decorative Concrete Flatwork Certification Program
The American Concrete Institute has introduced a new decorative concrete flatwork certification to its programs. The program allows individuals to earn two designations: Decorative Concrete Flatwork Finisher and Decorative Concrete Flatwork Associate. Learn more.
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