March 24, 2021
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Industry News
Real-time construction bidding activity subdued by the pandemic bounced back in January with a record 36% gain, according to Autodesk's BuildingConnected platform. The increase was attributed largely to project restarts.
Full Story: Construction Dive (3/17) 
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The US Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index increased 3 points in the first quarter compared with Q4 as contractors' revenue expectations and confidence in new business rose. However, the reading is still well below the score registered in Q1 of 2020.
Full Story: U.S. Chamber of Commerce (3/18) 
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Air Force engineers will test technologies such as solar panels and high-end insulation to improve the energy efficiency of rigid wall shelters known as barracks huts. Better insulated huts could allow the Air Force to redirect fuel and potentially save lives.
Full Story: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) (3/24) 
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HOTROD XL—NEW Firestopping Product from CEMCO
CEMCO HOTROD® XL is a paintable fire rated drywall accessory that provides 1- and 2-hour fire-ratings in lieu of fire sealant for both dynamic and static joints according to UL-2079 5th edition (for both standard walls and shaft walls) and sound tested in accordance with ASTM E90. Learn more.
Codes & Standards
Coming off a major legal victory, software-as-a-service startup UpCodes has secured a $3.36 million investment from Berlin-based Point Nine Capital. UpCodes now has $4.15 million in total backing for its business, which offers searchable databases of building codes as well as 3D models built on data from building information modeling.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (3/15) 
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New reports from the American Iron and Steel Institute will help the organization improve designs of cold-formed steel products and inform its next steps in standards development and technology transfer, said Jay Larson, managing director of AISI's Construction Technical Program. The three reports are available for free download.
Full Story: Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (3/23) 
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The Portland Cement Association, with oversight from ASTM International, has produced environmental product declarations for portland cement, portland-limestone cement, blended cement and masonry cement. "The development and reduction results of these EPDs show the industry's progress towards our climate ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2050," said PCA CEO Mike Ireland.
Full Story: Concrete Products (3/16) 
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Business Management
General contractors should look at digital solutions to streamline project management of construction projects, writes Mark Greil, vice president of operations for the Southern California region at McCarthy Building Companies. "The industry must embrace new workflow best practices and online technology to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 world and beyond," Greil writes.
Full Story: Construction Business Owner (3/9) 
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Contractors can address skills gaps and labor shortages by recruiting potential workers from a more diverse pool that includes people from underrepresented groups, according to Patrick Rottinghaus of the University of Missouri. Rottinghaus has helped design a career aptitude test that will help high-school students identify career paths in construction, manufacturing and other fields they may not have considered previously.
Full Story: Engineered Systems (3/18) 
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CFS Adds Resiliency to Texas City Hall
The $22 million, 45,300-square-foot City Hall represents a major milestone for Boerne, Texas, a rapidly growing community near San Antonio. See how ClarkDietrich products and expertise helped ensure the landmark will remain a resilient part of the city's cultural identity for years to come. Learn more.
People & Companies
The Bernalillo County, N.M., Board of Commissioners will issue $22 million in industrial revenue bonds to American Gypsum to support an upgrade of its northeast Albuquerque plant. The deal, which places the debt burden on American Gypsum instead of the county, will help keep the company in Albuquerque for at least another decade.
Full Story: Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (tiered subscription model) (3/10) 
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CertainTeed's gypsum plant and mine in Cody, Wyo., has shifted its focus from wallboard processes to agricultural applications. "With the agri-gypsum business (and other business opportunities generated with the mine operation), we expect to grow the team from 30% to 50% in the next 3 to 5 years," said Roberto Margutti, US mining operations manager at CertainTeed Gypsum.
Full Story: Cody Enterprise (Wyo.) (3/22) 
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View the 2020 annual report for AWCI and the Foundation to learn about operations and achievements in every segment, from meetings, media and membership to and education and finances--and much more.
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New e-newsletter on codes and standards debuts
AWCI members received the first issue of AWCI's Codes & Standards Digest on March 22. This new member benefit, written by AWCI Director of Technical Services Robert Grupe, informs members about industry codes, standards and safety issues on a monthly basis.
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Due to the rescheduling of AWCI's Convention & INTEX Expo to Oct. 17-20, AWCI's Industry Leaders Conference for 2021 has been canceled. Future dates and locations for AWCI's Industry Leaders Conference can be found here.
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Indira Gandhi,
first female prime minister of India
March is Women's History Month
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