Jim Kollaer's blog

We have reported several times on the progress of the new Foster + Partners designed Apple Campus 2 and its planned schedule to open in early 2017. The dream of Steve Jobs that achieved council approval in 2011 is entering the final stages of construction, according to the latest Duncan Sinfield shot drone video featured in the Fast Company blog site.

It is annotated so that you can begin to see the exterior finishes, the solar arrays on the parking garages and the roof of the underground auditorium.

You can see the installation of the 84-foot long sections of glass that will enclose the perimeter of this outstanding structure and provide space for the 13,000 employees that will work there when it is completed.    Read more » about Apple "Spaceship" Campus Update [VIDEO]

Our colleagues at Construction Dive recently reported on the 10 Construction industry trends to watch in 2016. They reference a Dodge Analytics 2016 report that “predicted 6% growth, with the value of construction starts reaching an estimated $712 billion.”  That is great news for the industry for 2016.

The Construction Industry usually gets a late start in the economic recovery and fortunately it has a “long tail” since it is hard to stop construction once the building has begun. We have a hunch that we are entering the long tail in commercial construction as many of the indicators show a slow down in the front or design end of the business.

Construction Dive offers up the major trends to watch for 2016. Top on the list is a continued labor shortage of skilled workers. This has been widely reported and is the result of workers leaving the industry in the 2009 recession, retirements and a high demand in the industrial sector.    Read more » about Construction Trends for 2016

In light of the projected sale of upwards of one million drones over the 2015 Christmas sales season, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued its registration and labeling rules. These rules went into effect on December 21, 2015 for all drones that weigh over .55 lbs. and less than 55 lbs. This includes those classified as toys, model drones, etc. The registration can be accomplished online, and the registrant must be 13 years of age.

There are separate rules for drones that exceed the weight restrictions or are to be used for commercial purposes.    Read more » about Drone Registration Rules Set

Unless you were watching the budget process in Congress late in 2015, you probably missed a small piece of the legislation passed by the House, Senate, and signed by the President that lifted a 40-year ban on the export of US crude oil. The lifting of the ban is great news for the industrial construction industry and will make the construction of LNG plants and port expansions a reality over the next five to eight years.

The original export ban was imposed in 1975 as a response to the 1973 Arab Oil embargo against the US that was precipitated when the Nixon administration supplied arms to the Israelis during the 1973-74 Arab Israeli or Yom Kippur War. That Arab embargo scared the Nixon Administration and created long lines at the pump. Congress, in response to the Embargo, passed the ban to begin to move the US towards energy independence.    Read more » about US Lifts 40-Year Ban on Oil and Gas Export

McKinsey Analytics, part of the McKinsey Global Institute, has released a study and accompanying charts about the potential for automation in a broad array of jobs in the US. Included in the study are construction jobs ranging from construction laborers to elevator engineers and technicians. The chart is developed in a way that you are able to switch on or off the individual categories of jobs that you are interested in. It might even give you insights into some of the services and subs that you use.

Additionally, there are charts illustrating gender equality in various countries and their relation to gender equality and attitudes in the workforce. The third chart illustrates ways that gender equality can drive economic growth around the world.    Read more » about How Much of Your Job Can be Automated?

Happy New Year
to all of our readers!
Read more » about Happy New Year!

Nadine Post, editor at large at ENR, recently wrote an interesting opinion piece asking where the revolution in the construction industry is and then goes on to explain that all the technology changes that are taking place including BIM, modularity and the like are making projects much more complex to design and build.

Her point is that you can push and pull all you want, but it still takes time to build a project and that building projects are not manufacturing production lines.

She makes some very good points, and it is a thought-provoking read.    Read more » about The Construction Revolution

The Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) has released its projections for job growth for the period from 2014-2024, and construction job growth leads the goods producing sector with an increase of almost 800,000 jobs. That is good news for the industry, but one statement in the release is revealing. “Construction is projected to add 790,400 jobs by 2024. Even with these additional jobs, employment in the construction major sector is not projected to return to the 2006 peak.”

The numbers show a picture of continued growth in the service sectors, especially in healthcare (25% of the total job growth or 3.8 million jobs) that reflects the aging population. Manufacturing is projected to be the big loser with the 2024 numbers reflecting a loss of 814,00 jobs, likely to increased productivity at home or continued globalization of the manufacturing workforce.

You can read the press release and delve into the charts here.    Read more » about Construction Jobs Projected to Grow Through 2024

Many folks watched on cable news as the massacre in San Bernardino unfolded this week. The first responders told us what they found and how, even with extensive “active shooter” training, they were not prepared for the carnage they found when they entered the conference facility. They were already in sensory overload, and not knowing whether the shooters were still in the facility, made their job even more uncertain. This was a true tragedy.

The “new normal?” as one pundit tagged it. Maybe, but there was a subtler shift that many of us have predicted would happen in the near future. Something that will fast become a reality in the design and construction business, especially in areas where there are “soft targets,” like unsecured conference centers and multi-tenant office buildings.    Read more » about San Bernardino Shooting Just Changed the Commercial Building Industry

We are thankful for
all of our readers!
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