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Category: Construction

2017 Engineering and Construction Trends

Companies in the engineering and construction (E&C) industry have had few safe havens during the past several years. In the oil and gas sector, persistently low oil prices hindered — or stopped — work on most large energy projects. Even though prices have slowly begun to recover, most oil giants are still cautious about new initiatives with major capital expenditures. Investments are projected to increase through 2018, in line with a projected rise in oil prices, but overall spending levels will remain far below the historic highs of 2012 and 2013. The caution is understandable: Having suffered through a...

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Construction Asks, ‘Where’s the Infrastructure Program?’

As President Trump passes the milestone of his first 100 days in office, his most effective tool so far has been what he calls “the sledgehammer”—the pen he has used to sign about 30 executive orders, plus memos and pieces of legislation, that knock down a wide range of Obama-era rules and decisions. Among Trump’s construction-related actions are measures to ease contractor disclosure mandates, narrow federal authority over dredging near bodies of water and remove Obama’s roadblocks of  high-profile energy pipeline projects. But the sledgehammer hasn’t been effective in advancing Trump’s legislative priorities. GOP-drafted legislation to abolish President Obama’s...

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It’s Time to Start Building: Infrastructure Week 2017

Infrastructure Week is a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and everyday citizens around one message: It’s #TimeToBuild. From May 15-19, leaders and citizens around America will highlight state of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, and more – and encourage policymakers to invest in the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to make America competitive, prosperous, and safe. Now is a great time to start planning how you’re going to PARTICIPATE during this year’s Infrastructure Week. Become an Affiliate, Plan an Event, or Tell Your Story,...

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Chasing New Construction Work in 2017? Here’s Where to Look

Are you optimistic about the year ahead? If so, you’re in good company. According to a new survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate, U.S. contractors are positive about prospects for work this year. Nearly 1,300 construction firms from 49 states took part in the survey. Close to 90% of them said they expect the overall construction market to either expand in 2017 or remain near 2016 levels. Their optimism lines up with that of the experts from Dodge Data & Analytics who projected a 5% increase in construction starts in their...

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The New Jersey Theme Park Where Kids’ Backhoe Dreams Come True

There is probably only one place in America where an eight-year-old can ride a carousel whose seats look like excavator buckets, then swipe at bowling pins with a mini-digger—where, for a ticket price of less than $40, he or she can operate a backhoe, drive a drum-roller, and ride the telescoping arm of a construction lift 50 feet into the air to admire the Philadelphia skyline. That place is a small theme park in West Berlin, N.J., called Diggerland USA. Diggerland opened for the season in March, but even on a recent visit when the park was closed, its discordant...

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Can an Infrastructure Stimulus Boost the Industrial Sector?

President Trump’s US growth agenda places modernizing and expanding the nation’s infrastructure as a priority to advance on numerous fronts—including jobs creation and faster economic growth. In an address to Congress, Trump highlighted his administration’s plans to launch a $1 trillion investment in the nation’s infrastructure financed through both public and private capital. US industrial companies will  want to understand how new spending can impact industrial employment and productivity and accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies (e.g., robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things) to further shape a more connected and more productive industrial base. Furthermore,...

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Failure to Act Report, The Infrastructure Report Card 2017

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Infrastructure Report Card, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. Since 1998, America’s infrastructure has earned persistent D averages, and the failure to close the investment gap with needed maintenance and improvements has continued. But the larger question at stake is the implication of D+ infrastructure on America’s economic future. The Failure to Act report series answers this key question—how does the nation’s failure to act to improve the condition of U.S. infrastructure systems affect the nation’s economic...

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Reinventing Construction Through a Productivity Revolution

To transform the sector, action is needed in seven areas or through broader adoption of mass-production approaches.   The construction industry employs about 7 percent of the world’s working-age population and is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, with $10 trillion spent on construction-related goods and services every year. But the industry has an intractable productivity problem and, according to Reinventing construction: A route to higher productivity, a new McKinsey Global Institute report, an opportunity to boost value added by $1.6 trillion.  Other sectors have transformed themselves and their productivity performance. In retail, the mom-and-pop stores of half a century ago...

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