About the author: Jennifer Hicks | SmartBlogs

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks edits SmartBrief newsletters on construction, green building  and freight railroads, among other areas. Before joining SmartBrief, she was a college professor for 12 years and owner of a consulting business that worked with government agencies and Fortune 100 companies on improving the content and usability of their website. She considers herself very fortunate to live on Cape Cod. You can follow her on Twitter @SB_AEC.

“If we fail to make the investment in our aging transportation infrastructure, our economy will suffer. Our transportation system is the backbone of the economy, and it drives growth in sectors beyond construction.” — Robert Stevens, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers

The amount of money the federal government currently invests each year in state highway, bridge and public transit infrastructure programs — about $50 billion — contributes to the country’s economy in ways that may not be obvious.[…] Continue Reading »

The turning point in the building industry dawned in May 2014, when the “total employment level reached its prerecession level” and companies stopped looking in the rear-view mirror trying to outrun the Great Recession and started to think again of the future. So said Alex Carrick, North American chief economist at CMD during last week’s webinar on the state of the industry.[…] Continue Reading »

More than 3 in 4 contracting firms are finding it difficult to fill skilled trade positions, and more than 3 in 5 are finding project supers, estimators and engineers hard to find, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America conducted in August and September. The Southeast sees the largest challenge, where 86% of contractors face labor challenges; the Northeast is better off, but far from complacent as 67% of contractors there try to deal with the problem.[…] Continue Reading »

Mortenson Construction has used building information modeling, or BIM, in conjunction with virtual design and construction since 1998 when it started work on the Walt Disney Concert Hall project, a multi-award winning structure with a curved steel frame in Los Angeles. The project team found that BIM/VDC was essential in the project, in large part because it helped them visualize complex sequences of work that before had only been listed in an Excel worksheet or on a Gantt chart.[…] Continue Reading »

Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed Sec. 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which deals with carbon emission reductions, at a webinar hosted by the American Sustainable Business Council on Sept. 4.

McCarthy said the rules proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. “Climate change is a risk to health, business and economic growth,” she said, adding that small business owners overwhelming want action taken on the issue.[…] Continue Reading »