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January 15, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Mass. to unveil 10-year, $13B plan for transportation projects
    Road, bridge, subway and other transportation repairs and projects in Massachusetts will need about $13 billion over the next decade, according to the state transportation department. Higher gas taxes, electronic tolling and a fee for vehicle miles traveled are some actions under consideration to pay for the program. Gov. Deval Patrick will unveil his proposal on Wednesday. MassLive.com (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • 13 wide-ranging transportation projects to watch in Ill.
    The Illinois Tollway, the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace are spending billions on new roads and facilities in Illinois. Thirteen of these projects are outlined in this piece, including construction of a $719 million interchange to connect Tri-State Tollway to Interstate 57; the $425 million project to replace tracks and signals on the CTA Red Line; and the $415 million reconstruction and widening of the eastbound lanes of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • AGC survey points to 2013 as possible recovery year for industry
    This year could show "tentative recovery" in the construction sector, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, cosponsored by Computer Guidance Corp. About 1,300 AGC-member firms were surveyed, and many were "cautiously optimistic." This piece looks at which sectors might grow, where the work is and what challenges are ahead. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Japanese Tecorep system keeps demolition work neat, quiet
      
    Source: YouTube/The Japan Times
    A demolition system developed by Japan's Taisei Corp., called the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System, or Tecorep, turns demo work into a relatively clean and quiet affair. Work begins at the top -- on the inside of the building -- and as floors and walls are removed, the building becomes less tall. "It's kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks," said one Taisei engineer. The Atlantic Cities (1/10), The Japan Times (1/8), YouTube/The Japan Times (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Would you eat your office building?
    Intelligent buildings were the topic of a recent British Council for Offices conference. From sensors embedded in walls, to nano-coatings and self-healing concrete, the idea is to create buildings designed to be more responsive to the needs of its inhabitants. It's not just a building's interior that's intelligent; it's the exterior as well. Installing plants on a building's exterior can provide produce, and algae -- which can absorb carbon dioxide and be recycled for energy -- can also be grown on the outside of buildings. BBC (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to retrofit a building to make it net zero energy
    Designing a net zero energy building from the outset is easier than retrofitting an existing building, according to this piece, but retrofits are indeed possible. This piece looks at four buildings that were retrofitted to become net zero energy. "Retrofitting existing buildings can be expensive, but the price is worth it to achieve sustainability," Kristen Avis writes. "New buildings can be strategically designed to achieve zero energy status without being extremely expensive. Both are a smart investment for the future of the planet." DesignBuildSource.com.au (Australia) (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  Association News 
  • Outlook for construction improves for 2013 as more firms plan to hire, raise bid levels and expect key private sector markets to expand
    Significantly more construction firms are planning to add new staff than plan to cut staff, while demand for many types of private sector construction projects should increase this year, according to survey results released yesterday by the Associated General Contractors of America and Computer Guidance Corp. The survey, conducted as part of Tentative Signs of a Recovery: The 2013 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, provides a generally optimistic outlook for the year even as firms worry about rising costs and declining public sector demand for construction. "While the outlook for the construction industry appears to be heading in the right direction for 2013, many firms are still grappling with significant economic headwinds," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. "With luck and a lot of work, the hard-hit construction industry should be larger, healthier, more technologically savvy and more profitable by the end of 2013 than it is today." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Just in time for the holidays -- AGC Members can save $500 on a new Dodge Ram truck
    AGC is pleased to announce a new Membership Discount Program with Chrysler, offering AGC Members a special $500 cash allowance toward the purchase or lease of a new 2012 or 2013 Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge. Visit www.agc.org/Chrysler for more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea."
--David Belasco,
American theatrical producer, director and playwright


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