Total construction starts last year advanced 1 percent to $676.5 billion, a considerably smaller gain than the 11 percent increase reported for 2015, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, New York. If the volatile manufacturing plant and electric utility/gas plant categories are excluded, total 2016 construction starts would be up 4 percent, depicting a more gradual deceleration relative to the corresponding 9 percent increase in 2015.
Architectural and structural precast producer Clark Pacific and the City of Roseville, Calif., have announced U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC) Platinum level accreditation for the Roseville City Hall Annex. The new 82,000-sq.-ft. structure incorporates the Precast Hybrid Moment Frame, engineered to be self-centering after seismic event exposure and limit design drift to under 1.25 percent, thereby reducing owner and occupant recovery time.
Under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, LafargeHolcim Ltd. and its global counterpart in steel, ArcelorMittal, are aligning with other key construction players to advance Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB). The initiative addresses a major opportunity for reducing fuel consumption and attendant greenhouse gas emissions, and will bring together public and private sector leaders in local markets to understand barriers to energy-efficient buildings and drive investments improving the built environment.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Geneva-based Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI), along with partners from the Americas, Europe and Asia, has launched a responsibility sourcing certification system for concrete. The Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC), a CSI counterpart chartered in November 2016, is crafting the system to concrete, cement and aggregate companies obtain insight in the level to which a company operates in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible way. CSC certification covers raw material sourcing or provenance, production plus a range of economic, social and environmental impacts.
The Semi-Automated Mason (SAM) robotics system continues to enhance productivity and enable faster, higher-quality brick masonry work on the jobsite, product engineers contend—especially on the strength of a OS 2.0 software package demonstrated last month at World of Concrete 2017.