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March 27, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
 
  • Forbes' 15 "Emerging Downtowns" undergo building booms
    Forbes has released a list of the top 15 cities tagged as "Emerging Downtowns" where populations have boomed and college-educated professionals are settling in. Among the cities with booming downtowns are Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, Los Angeles and New York City. Pedestrian walkways, bike paths and green housing are just some of the amenities the younger generations look for. "We carefully evaluate what the future workforce is looking for, and we incorporate those demands into what we are building," said Tami Door, chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership. Forbes (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Merchants Salutes Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc. of Des Moines
The Merchants Bonding Company Leaderboard Program salutes Holmes Murphy of Iowa for attaining the Masters Tour of surety professionals. Merchants salutes the best of the best each year. Congratulations to Craig Hansen, Jay Freiermuth, Brian Deimerly & Tim McCulloh for their partnership for growth in 2012.
Connect with Merchants & Holmes Murphy here.
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • VA hospital in Calif. has $1B in construction under way
    The Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., has $1 billion worth of building and renovation projects in either the construction or design stages, with the last project slated for completion in 2020. Among the most expensive projects are a $250 million ambulatory care center, a $180 million science research center and a $100 million rehabilitation center. Santa Cruz Sentinel (Calif.) (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: U.S. labs lack standards for design, construction
    Bioterror laboratories and other labs that study pathogens in the U.S. are at "increased risk for accidents" because there are no national standards for their design, construction and operation, according to the Government Accountability Office in a followup to a 2009 study on the labs. "In the absence of some fundamental criteria, each laboratory can be designed, constructed, and maintained according to local requirements. This will make it difficult to be able to assess and guarantee safety," the GAO said. USA Today (3/25), GlobalPost.com/Agence France-Presse (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • Study: HSR investments fuel real estate development
    A study by economists at the University of California, Los Angeles and China’s Tsinghua University on the effect of investing in high-speed-rail systems indicates that it spurs real estate development, cuts commuting times and eases road congestion. "Bullet trains simultaneously alleviate some of the congestion costs associated with urban growth in the megacities and trigger the growth of the nearby second-tier cities," said environmental economist Matthew Kahn, a professor at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Business Insider (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Construction tech could help overhaul U.S. infrastructure
    Technology and processes such as BIM, finite-element analysis and other methods "will allow the construction industry to fix infrastructure with the money that is available," this article notes. Technology has the potential for helping the industry eliminate costs and improve collaboration. "As America searches for a way to improve its infrastructure, construction technology can help by providing the means to build structures as cost effectively and efficiently as possible," it notes. Constructech (free registration) (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Giant downdraft tower might create 500 MW of power
    Solar Wind Energy hopes to construct a 2,250-foot-tall, wind-powered tower on the Arizona-Mexico border that would generate 500 megawatts of power. The project, which consists of the $1 billion tower, a plan to pipe desalinated water in from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and a desalination plant, is expected to create 2,500 construction and transportation jobs. When water is sprayed into the hollow tower's opening, it creates very humid and heavy air, which sinks down the tower. The sinking ir can accelerate to 50 mph and then exit the tower and spin turbines. Forbes (3/26), Forbes (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Obama wants immigration reform to advance in Congress
      
    During a naturalization ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama said he expects debate over immigration reforms to "begin next month" in Congress. A bipartisan group of senators, the "Gang of Eight," has presented an outline for its vision of immigration reform but is still divided on some issues. The House of Representatives is expected to unveil its bill in the future. "The time has come for comprehensive, sensible immigration reform," Obama said. The Hill/Hill Tube (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Association News 
  • AGC reaccredited as an Authorized Provider of IACET CEUs
    The International Association for Continuing Education and Training has awarded reaccreditation status to the Associated General Contractors of America. IACET Authorized Providers are the only organizations approved to offer IACET Continuing Education Units. The accreditation period extends for five years, and includes select programs offered or created during that time. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2012 AGC Annual Report now available
    We are very excited to let you know that AGC’s 2012 Annual Report is now available -- both on our website and in digital format. The Annual Report gives all of us the opportunity to look back at everything we – our association, our chapters, and our members -- have accomplished over the past year. And as we face what is certain to be a challenging year, it gives us a reason to be proud and a reason to continue to push ahead. The theme of this year’s Annual Report is Opening Doors. This theme speaks to our purpose as your association. As the only association representing the entire commercial construction industry, we work on a wide range of issues; but however wide that range, our intent remains the same: to open doors for you, our members. Be sure to also check out this short video for an even closer look at how AGC is opening doors for its members. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
To know oneself, one should assert oneself."
--Albert Camus,
French author, journalist and philosopher


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