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.

I recently wrote about the technologies that are disrupters and in the early stages of development. One of the first that we will see in the construction industry is 3D printing.

Most forward thinking contractors and subs are becoming aware of this phrase while designers are incorporating 3D printing into their designs in other parts of the globe. We wrote about the 3D printed houses in China, but that is not the only place where the leadership intends to incorporate this disrupter into their way of life.

One key country that intends to embrace 3D printing is the UAE, specifically Dubai, and the leadership there is making a giant leap to incorporate the technology, as Inside 3D  has reported, Sheikh Mohammed has announced the Dubai Future Agenda.    Read more » about The Disrupters – 3D Printing for the Future

The following article originally appeared in the May 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.

When asked how much further the rig count will drop, the running joke is that we think it won’t go negative.  Now at over a 75% decline, both nationally and in Texas, from September 2014 (pictured right) the current rig count reflects the complete reversal of the oil and gas industry dynamics from less than two years ago.

Dr. Bill Gilmer, Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting, noted that in the last seven quarters, Houston has been hit much harder and faster, when compared to the five years in the 1980’s (1982-1986) when oil last saw a comparable downturn.  The difference?  Saudi Arabia’s behavior.  : Read more » about Houston’s Monthly Metrics: May 2016

March data shows 12-month job gains in two-thirds of metros; highest pay rise since 2008

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 March 2015 to March 2016 in 244 (68%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides construction employment data, decreased in 70 (20%) and was stagnant in 44, according to an AGC release and map on Wednesday that analyzed BLS data. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros.) The Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. division again added the most jobs during the past year (11,900 construction jobs, 14%), followed by New York City (9,000 combined jobs, 7%); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell (8,500 construction jobs, 8%); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (8,300 construction jobs, 14%). The largest percentage gains occurred in El Centro, Calif. (45%, 1,000 combined jobs); Monroe, Mich. (36%, 800 combined jobs); and Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (28%, 1,000 combined jobs).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: April 25-29, 2016

Building products volumes rise, results vary for prices; nonresidential starts increase

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.

Securities research firm Thompson Research Group on April 12 released its quarterly building products survey of select manufacturers and distributors with more than 300 locations nationwide "on the state of the residential and nonres[identical] construction end markets....A common theme from all contacts was...a tight labor market along the value chain (truck driver shortages to drywall installers)....Overall nonres volumes are projected to be up mid-to-high single digits, depending upon the industry contact. Earlier construction value chain feedback is for 6-8% [increase in] volumes...Other contacts with a wider range of early and later cycle nonres products cite a...4-6% range. Healthcare end market remains strong, and office growth is also driving demand. Not surprisingly, industry contacts confirm that the multifamily end market growth rates are likely to slow in 2016 [to] (small single digits growth).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: April 19-22, 2016

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

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