The current and future economy, trends in design and construction, political influence – sometimes we have something to say about topics which may be signs of things to come.

44 states, D.C. add jobs in March; Beige Book finds construction stays mostly positive

Editor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 44 states and the District of Columbia from March 2015 to March 2016, decrease in five states and was unchanged in Connecticut, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Friday showed. California again added the most jobs (39,600 jobs, 5.6%), followed by Florida (27,500 jobs, 6.5%), New York (17,300 jobs, 4.9%) and Massachusetts (16,000 jobs, 11.9%).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: April 12-18, 2016

In a recent post, I mentioned the major disruptors that are afoot in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. I presented them recently to a subcontractor group and illustrated ways that these disruptors would reshape the AEC business that we have known for our entire careers.

One of those disruptors that I mentioned was the 3D printer. The example I used was in China where the contractors printed houses, 10 of them built in 24 hours, as a prototype for potential housing for the thousands of Chinese moving from the countryside into the cities.    Read more » about 3D Printers Produce the Next Rembrandt

Most metros add jobs in February; openings soar, hiring is flat; commercial scene varies

Editor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, increased from February 2015 to February 2016 in 234 (65%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides construction employment data, decreased in 72 (20%) and was stagnant in 52, according to an AGC release and map on Tuesday that analyzed BLS data. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros.)    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: April 4-11, 2016

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The Disrupters

by Jim Kollaer on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 8:35am

Last week I attended the last day of the 2016 Rowlett Lecture Series at the Bush Library at Texas A&M in College Station. It was a two-day affair that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the CRS Center. CRS (Caudill Rowlett Scott) was a legendary global architecture firm that started at College Station in the 1940s. Its principals taught hundreds, if not thousands, of architects and engineers Architecture By Team and Problem Seeking, processes that are still used by firms across the globe today. The CRS Center houses the historical documents and books that were produced by the firm.

The firm and the multitude of professionals who worked on the CRS team were "Disrupters" of the profession, and it is no wonder that those CRS processes have morphed and are being used by architectural firms in the development of complex buildings and campuses today.

I was fortunate to have played on the CRS team first as a programmer and later as the Director of Marketing. I went to hear the latest iteration of the application of the CRS Problem Seeking methodology on projects and to see many of my former colleagues and friends.

One of the feature presentations was by Scott Simpson, FAIA and Senior Principal at the Greenway Group and Editor at Large of Design Intelligence. His talk, about the length of a TED talk, touched on the future of the architectural profession and he flashed a slide of the "Disrupters" of the design profession, those that will have a profound impact on the architects and the designs of the future.    Read more » about The Disrupters

The following article originally appeared in the April newsletter to clients of Kiley Advisors, LLC for the purpose of providing the latest leading indicators and industry issues to those clients.  Reprinted with permission.

Local economists remain cautiously optimistic when discussing Houston’s future.  The revised employment numbers reduced Houston’s job growth in 2015 from 23,200 to 15,200 jobs.  The revisions included losses of 23,800 in manufacturing and 17,700 jobs in mining and logging, while construction gained 12,600 jobs – thanks, in large part, to the industrial work in East Houston.  The Census Bureau recently announced population growth of 160,000 from mid-2014 to mid-2015 in the Houston MSA, with a 12.4% growth in population from 2010 – 2015.  After January’s expected job losses – as retailers routinely shed holiday employees and others delay layoffs until after the holidays –the next few months could indicate the pace of employment for the remainder of 2016.  All would agree, Houston’s employment growth will be slower in 2016 than experienced the past five years, but nearly all still forecast growth.   Read more » about Houston’s Monthly Metrics: April 2016

Japan has several problems, not the least of which is how to house their population even though their birth rate is declining. Another large issue for Japan to address is how to mitigate the Tsunami impact caused by major earthquakes off the Sea of Japan.

Perhaps a new design named Next Tokyo 2045 will be able to address both of those problems. Even though it will be several decades before the designs will become a reality, at least they are planning ahead with new engineering and design solutions.

Next Tokyo 2045 was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox or KPF with structural design by Leslie E. Robertson Associates or LERA.

According to an article in Architectural Digest Magazine, “Their design incorporates elements that improve the bay’s preparedness for natural disasters (such as earthquakes and typhoons) as well as a mile-high residential tower and a public-transportation-friendly district.   Read more » about Sky Mile Tower – How High is High?

March construction employment, February spending post hefty, diverse 12-month gains

Editor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.

Nonfarm payroll employment in March increased by 215,000, seasonally adjusted, from February and by 2,802,000 (2.0%) over 12 months, and the unemployment rate inched up to 5.0% from 4.9% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Construction employment rose by 37,000 for the month (to 6,672,000) and by 301,000 (4.7%) year-over-year (y/y). Industry employment reached the highest level since December 2008. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) increased by 13,400 for the month and 166,000 (6.8%) y/y. Nonresidential employment (nonresidential building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) rose by 23,900 for the month and 134,800 (3.4%) y/y.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: March 28-April 1, 2016

Most states add construction jobs in February; openings climb in January, hire rate falls

Editor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 43 states and the District of Columbia from February 2015 to February 2016 and declined in seven states, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Friday showed. California again added the most jobs (53,800 jobs, 7.6%), followed by New York (19,100 jobs, 5.5%) and Massachusetts (14,600 jobs, 11%). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (19%, 6,300 jobs), followed by Rhode Island (15%, 2,400 jobs), Massachusetts and New Hampshire (10%, 2,400 jobs). North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (-14.5%, -5,300 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Alaska (-8.2%, -1,500 jobs), Wyoming (-7.2%, -1,700 jobs), West Virginia (-6.9%, -2,300 jobs), Kansas (-6.5%, -4,000 jobs), Mississippi (-1.7%, -800 jobs) and Pennsylvania (-1.4%, -3,200 jobs).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: March 22-25, 2016

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