Most Clicked AGC SmartBrief Stories

1. Robotic bricklayer can lay 1,000 bricks an hour

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 26, 2015

A robotic machine can lay 1,000 bricks an hour and could build 150 houses a year. Developed by aeronautical and mechanical engineer Mark Pivac, the machine uses computer aided design to create a 3D placing program and figures out each brick's location in relation to a fixed-point. Then the robot's telescopic boom starts laying the bricks. Pivak hopes to commercialize the system in the coming years. Perth Now (Australia) (06/25)

2. Construction to begin on 1,438-foot tower in N.Y.

AGC SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

Initial site work has started at the 111 W. 57th St. project in New York City, a 60-unit luxury condo building that will become the Western Hemisphere's tallest residential building. Developers secured a $725 million loan for the $1 billion project. When completed, the 80-story, 1,438-foot-tall tower will feature 316,000 square feet of space but measure only 60 feet across. American City Business Journals (06/30) The Real Deal (New York City) (06/30) Crain's New York Business (06/30)

3. Twisted-towers project creates challenge for contractor

AGC SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

Facchina Construction is building a $144-million, two-tower project in Miami that was designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group. The 21-story towers twist, creating challenges when trying to perfect the column slopes and restrain torsional forces. DeSimone Consulting Engineers devised a composite shear-wall and link-beam system for the core walls to mitigate some of the challenges. Engineering News-Record (07/06)

4. Walt Disney Co. considering $1 billion expansion of its Calif. parks

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 26, 2015

Walt Disney Co. wants to invest more than $1 billion to expand Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. Officials say the plan could include facility upgrades, new parking and attractions and is dependent on whether the city agrees to a 30-year extension of an existing ticket-tax exemption for the parks, which is set to expire June 30, 2016. Officials say work could begin in 2017 and finish by the end of 2024. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (free content) (06/27)

5. Nearly complete $3.5B resort in Bahamas files for bankruptcy

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

The $3.5 billion Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas is just 3% shy of being complete. But its owners, the Swiss-Bahamian Izmirlian family, have filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection, blaming general contractor China Construction America for missing deadlines -- including the March opening date. The family hopes to borrow $80 million and says that the bankruptcy protection will give it time to finish the project. Bloomberg (06/29) Reuters (06/29)

6. Video: Apple headquarters taking shape

AGC SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

The so-called spaceship building that will be Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., has started to rise, and so too are its $160 million auditorium, a parking structure and other parts of the campus. Another drone video shows the latest construction progress. Despite a change in the general contractor, the project appears to be on schedule to be completed next year. 9to5Mac (06/30)

7. $1B Calif. desalination plant is 93% complete

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 25, 2015

Crews are finishing up the $1 billion Carlsbad desalination plant in California. The plant is 93% complete, and more than a million man-hours have gone into its construction. The facility will be the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The Coast News (Encinitas, Calif.) (06/24)

8. Boston unveils plan to build Olympic infrastructure

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

Boston hopes to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, and organizers unveiled a plan, modeled after New York's Hudson Yards, to construct the necessary infrastructure. The plan includes building 8,000 permanent housing units and making $455 million worth of improvements to the Red and Green transit lines. A $176 million, 69,000-seat stadium would be built and turned into a park after the game. The plan would require public and private investment. The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (06/29) WBUR-FM (Boston) (06/29) The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (06/29)

9. Construction equipment auction breaks records

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

A Ritchie Bros. auction in Colorado drew 3,800 bidders from 48 states and 49 countries and broke several records for the auction site, including those for the number of online buyers and the total number of sales. "Local contractors who held onto equipment over the last few years are now starting to feel more optimistic due to an increase in residential and commercial construction," said Casey Fencl, a regional sales manager for Ritchie. Construction Equipment Guide (06/27)

10. Tappan Zee is cited as example of money saved with design-build contract

AGC SmartBrief | Jun 25, 2015

A design-build contract can cut construction costs, and the Tappan Zee Bridge project in New York is an example, according to this article. The bridge was originally estimated to cost $5.6 billion, but design/build shaved $1.7 billion from that price. More than 40 states use design-build contracts for major infrastructure work, according to New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (06/24)

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