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.

Three economists offer their outlook on construction activity and construction spending for the rest of this year, and beyond.

Bernard Markstein, chief economist at Reed Construction Data, Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America and Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects were the featured speakers at the April 17 webinar “2014: Emerging Opportunities for Construction.” They each mapped out what they’ve seen this year and where they think the AEC industry is headed.[…] Continue Reading »

The construction sector was booming in the mid-to late-2000s, and then the Great Recession grabbed hold and the industry changed overnight. Layoffs were rampant; dozens of mega-construction projects stalled; half-built buildings dotted the country. But, after a few years, a slow, but increasingly steady — or at least somewhat optimistic — outlook started to take hold.

Housing starts were increasing rapidly, and passage of the transportation bill, or MAP-21, put roadwork back on the map.[…] Continue Reading »

Six years of recession in the U.S. has cut a $1.2 trillion-a-year construction industry into one that is worth about $800 billion a year. It also chopped more than 2 million jobs from the industry, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America. However, a survey by AGC and co-sponsored by Computer Guidance leads AGC to look at 2013 as a potential turning point with tentative signs of recovery.[…] Continue Reading »

There are three core questions that need to be answered if you’re interested in sustainable facilities management, according to John Young, lead for Federal Real Property and Facility Management Solutions for Esri.

  1. What is the current state of your facility’s assets?
  2. What is the level of service your tenants require?
  3. What assets are critical to sustain that performance level?
  4. […] Continue Reading »

LEED v4 contains “relatively dramatic changes,” Doug Gatlin, vice president of market development at the U.S. Green Building Council, said at a news conference at Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco. LEED v4 is in its fifth comment period, and there is quite a buzz — and some negative feedback — going on.

Launched in 2000 by the USGBC, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System was created as a way to provide third-party certification that a building was built “green.” It bills itself as a “voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction and operations.”

Since 2006, there have been few significant technical changes, Gatlin said.[…] Continue Reading »