Construction starts, excluding residential, down 7% in April | 1,000 construction jobs expected at new Las Vegas resort | 95-story Chicago tower gets final construction permit
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May 22, 2017
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Construction starts, excluding residential, down 7% in April
Construction starts, excluding residential, down 7% in April
(Pixabay)
Nonresidential, institutional, commercial and heavy civil construction starts declined 7% in April from the March level, and were down 22.8% for the same period last year, according to a report by ConstructConnect. There was a noticeable decline in retail, hospital and clinic starts, but roads, bridges and electrical power facilities were on the increase.
ForConstructionPros/ConstructConnect (5/17) 
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News & Trends
1,000 construction jobs expected at new Las Vegas resort
Construction is set to start in the next 90 days at the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, and developers expect to have 1,000 construction workers on site by next year. A contractor has yet to be selected, but all the finalists have built resorts in Las Vegas before.
Las Vegas Review-Journal (5/17) 
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95-story Chicago tower gets final construction permit
The final construction permit was issued at the 95-story Vista Tower in Chicago, and that will allow full construction activity to take place. Construction started last fall at the 1,186-foot-tall tower that will be home to a hotel and luxury condos, and work could be completed in 2020.
Curbed/Chicago (5/17) 
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Dip in property sales affecting some building projects
Property sales across the country fell 18% year over year in the first quarter, and in New York City they plunged 58%. The dip comes after a frenzy of building followed by growing concerns over possible higher interest rates and inflation, plus worries that President Donald Trump's promised tax reform could be in jeopardy. As a result, some construction projects have been put on hold, although others are moving ahead.
Bloomberg (5/18) 
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Energy & the Environment
Australian researchers develop cheaper 2-D printed solar panels
Researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia developed a new, less expensive solution for harvesting solar energy using two-dimensional printed panels. The panels, made of polyethylene terephthalate, are recyclable and cost as little as $7.50 per square meter compared to Tesla's solar roofs at $235 per square meter.
Inc. online (free registration) (5/19),  Mashable (5/19) 
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Indiana jail to get 9,300 solar panels
The Hamilton County jail complex in Indiana will install 9,300 solar panels on its roofs and in a nearby field. The system would provide enough energy for the facility's air conditioning and healing needs while potentially saving millions of dollars in energy costs.
The Indianapolis Star (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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In the Office
Teams function best when everyone has an equal chance to talk
Teams are most successful when people feel safe, which means making sure everyone gets an equal opportunity to voice what they're thinking and be heard, writes Kris Boesch. Leaders need to consider what might be inhibiting this process and should facilitate more equal "air time."
SmartBrief/Leadership (5/18) 
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Be more like Abe Lincoln when writing speeches
If you're going to pick anyone's speeches to try and emulate, it should be Abe Lincoln, writes Dr. Jim Anderson. His speeches were short, included points that everyone could agree on, and identified important words that he'd say in sequence to support points he was trying to make.
The Accidental Communicator (5/16) 
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Hot Topics
Government & Regulatory
Lawmakers hear conflicting testimony on fiduciary rule
Critics and supporters of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule stood by their opposing views on the measure during a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee. Bradford Campbell, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, said an Investment Company Institute survey provided evidence of the harm the rule will cause, while Micah Hauptman, financial-services counsel at the Consumer Federation of America, said the institute didn't provide any facts to support its claims.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (5/18),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/18) 
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Diversion
Fidget spinners -- therapeutic, annoying or a scam? It depends on whom you ask
Kids today love something called fidget spinners
Fidget spinners (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
In the early years of the fidget spinner, the toy was actually used as a therapeutic aid for children with autism, anxiety or stress, writes Alex Williams. Now they have become a social media phenomenon and the whirring, spinning bane of every teacher's existence.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/6),  The Conversation (U.S.) (5/10) 
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NRCA News
National Women in Roofing offers "Founding Member" designation
National Women in Roofing (NWIR) is a volunteer-based organization that supports and advances the careers of women roofing professionals. Its focus is connecting and empowering women so their training and leadership skills can help drive the overall professionalism of the roofing industry. To show its gratitude for the support of its initial members, NWIR is designating those members as Founding Members. Find more information here.
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NRCA offers Spanish versions of brochures
NRCA has made available Spanish versions of its F.Y.I. and Insist on an NRCA Roofing Professional brochures in an electronic format. The F.Y.I. brochure highlights roofing material options and costs, how to choose an NRCA roofing professional and how to maintain a roof system. The Insist on an NRCA Roofing Professional brochure outlines the steps customers should take to ensure they are dealing with reputable and professional roofing contractors on every job. The brochures are free for members and $100 for nonmembers. Find more information here.
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