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September 7, 2012
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Hurricane Isaac impact prompts consideration of more La. levees
    Although New Orleans' upgraded levee system protected many parts of the city during Hurricane Isaac, officials are calling for the system's expansion to protect suburban communities that experienced severe flooding. "The good news is, the post-Katrina system, a $14.6 billion system the federal taxpayer paid for, performed very well," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., adding that the flooding in other areas "underscores that our work is not done by a long shot." Reuters (9/6), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Updates on 4 large U.S. construction projects
    A crane has been erected at New York City's One World Trade Center to add pieces of the building's stainless steel spire, marking progress toward completion. Updates on three other large-scale projects, including legal issues concerning foreign ownership with UniStar Nuclear Energy's estimated $9.6 billion nuclear project in Maryland and the expected selection by mid-September of a design proposal for the $975 million National Football League stadium in Minnesota, are outlined in this piece. Engineering News-Record (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $1.4B Iowa fertilizer plant project to create 2,500 jobs
    Orascom Construction Industries subsidiary Iowa Fertilizer Co. plans to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in Lee County, Iowa, that is expected to create 2,500 construction jobs. The company will receive a $110 million incentive package from the state. The project will be built by Weitz Co., a construction firm based in Des Moines, Iowa, that Orascom will acquire. (9/5), The Wall Street Journal (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. hospital breaks ground on $1.2B expansion project
    Lucille Packard Children's Hospital  
    Source: San Jose Mercury News/ Lucille Packard Children's Hospital
    The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., broke ground on a $1.2 billion project that will expand the institution's footprint by 521,000 square feet. The initiative will add 3.5 acres of green space and 150 patient rooms, and should be done by December 2016. The hospital joins others that are retrofitting to meet state requirements for earthquake safety. HGA and Perkins + Will are the designers and DPR Construction is the general contractor. American City Business Journals/San Jose, Calif. (9/6), San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Trends & Technology 
  • Construction adds 1,000 jobs in August
    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 96,000 in August, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected an increase of about 125,000. The unemployment rate decreased from 8.3% to 8.1%, but that is because more people left the workforce. June and July figures were also revised downward. Construction gained 1,000 jobs. Bloomberg (9/7), ABC News (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2 BIM apps provide interaction with 3D models in the field
    As interest in BIM grows and the use of tablets and smartphones on the job site increases, so too do new technologies. Two new mobile applications allow interaction with three-dimensional models in the field and are available for architects, engineers, and construction professionals. BIM Anywhere can be used to download DWF files that a user can then "pinch, zoom, and swipe" to maneuver through BIM files. Autodesk 123D provides a "free solid modeling tool for moving from 3D model to 3D print, and can automatically convert a typical set of photos into a full 3D model." Constructech (free registration) (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Sustainable Development 
  • "Water Cathedral" offers cool relief from the summer heat
    The "Water Cathedral," a public outdoor installation designed by GUN Architects in Chile, features white fabric bags that "hang or rise like stalactites and stalagmites in a cave" and allow water to gradually flow and cool pedestrians underneath it. The project has won the 2011 architecture contest by Chile's Constructo and MoMA's Young Architects Program. The Atlantic Cities (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Sports arenas score on green building and energy efficiency
    Green building principles and sustainability are being furthered in sports arenas and the professional teams that own them, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Green Sports Alliance. The Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., is among 15 sites that have achieved LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The $487 million arena has a 5,000-gallon cistern for rainwater, has high-efficiency pumps and motors, and is built with energy-efficient materials. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Qatar's ball-shaped building to use energy-efficient technology
    A revolving, spherical structure in Qatar will be built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and house a shopping center and museum. The building, which will incorporate energy-efficient technologies, will be iridescent during daylight and turn into a "glowing installation" at night. Inhabitat (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Advancing the Profession 
  • How to leave a long-lasting impression
    You might remember certain interactions with other people years after they occurred, Steve Tobak writes. As a leader, you can create these sorts of moments with your employees by doing something to capture their attention and by understanding the issues they are dealing with, he writes. CBS MoneyWatch (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  News from ASCE 
  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: Layered Pipeline Offers Longer Lengths, Fewer Leaks
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    A new method of manufacturing pipeline from carbon-fiber fabric layers surrounding a lightweight core offers the promise of longer lengths with fewer joints -- which could mean far fewer leaks. Learn how it's done and find more fascinating, topical articles at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Get your abstract in now for EWRI Congress 2013 -- deadline is Sept. 11
    Join leading environmental and water resource professionals showcasing the future. Take part in EWRI's Congress 2013 and share your research, studies, and projects through abstracts, papers, and presentations. The EWRI Congress offers you opportunities for professional growth and networking. It all starts with an abstract! Learn more about the Congress, and act now to submit your abstract by the deadline of Sept. 11.  LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions."
--Antony Jay,
British writer, broadcaster, director and actor

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