Building information modeling took center stage at the International Builders Show. Notable among the developing trends in BIM showcased were BIM software for smaller-scale projects, an app for home information management and the incorporation of virtual reality into BIM for developers and contractors.
A $1 billion expansion at the Tampa International Airport in Florida is underway, and billions of dollars in other projects are planned in the city. But Tampa faces a construction labor shortage, and many are concerned about how the projects will get built. Florida likely will need an extra 500,000 new construction workers by 2018. "The industry is hiring people at quite a strong clip, but at the same time, contractors are saying they can't find the folks with the skills they want," said Ken Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors of America.
John Louis Tishman, who was involved in many major construction projects, including Chicago's John Hancock Center and the original World Trade Center towers in New York, has died at age 90. Tishman learned to break down large jobs into smaller segments, something that is widely done now but was innovative at his time in the construction industry.
The National Football League's Super Bowl 50 was played at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco. The facility is known for being built with sustainability in mind. It has a 27,000-square-foot green roof, and more than 1,150 solar panels generate enough power for all of the San Francisco 49ers' home games. Recycled water accounts for 85% of water use for irrigation and flushing.
Next Tokyo is a concept that would create a cluster of man-made islands in Japan's Tokyo Bay. Its focal point would be a 5,577-foot tower that would become the world's tallest, able to house 55,000 people. Next Tokyo's goal is to mitigate the effects of climate change and help protect the city from flooding.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given a positive environmental assessment to a $2 billion liquefied natural gas project in Georgia, even though it would damage 3.5 acres of wetlands. Developer Kinder Morgan has "proposed to purchase 15.2 acres of wetland mitigation credits" and would also create new tidal marshes. The company is still seeking a partner to develop the project.
An interactive 3D model offers a view of the damage done by an earthquake over the weekend in Taiwan. A tower was severely damaged in the 6.4 magnitude quake. Many have died in the quake, a majority of them in the Weiguan Jinlong high-rise, which appears to have been built using tin cans as fillers in beams.
South Korea and the US will soon begin talks on an anti-missile system after North Korea launched a new satellite into orbit. South Korea was previously hesitant to host an American anti-missile system because it could anger China. "North Korea continues to develop their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and it is the responsibility of our alliance to maintain a strong defense against those threats," said US Forces Korea Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.
After last week's deadly crane collapse in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has enacted new crane rules that will take effect today. Cranes will need to cease operations when winds are forecast to reach 20 mph -- and actually do -- or when gusts hit 30 mph. In addition, if crews don't take "appropriate precautions," fines will rise from $4,800 to $10,000.
Gladstone, Ore., is confronted with $50 million in needed repairs to its 100-year-old sanitation, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure. Like many US cities, Gladstone delayed investing in the upgrades but is now confronting the reality that it can no longer wait. "For the most part, cities are on their own to address these really monumental problems and their associated costs," said Tom Hickmann, a director of engineering and infrastructure planning in Bend, Ore.
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