Students and professors in Mexico are looking into whether coconut husks can be sustainable roofing material. The work involves replacing fiberglass with coir -- a fiber in the outer husk of the coconut -- but more structural testing is necessary.
Developer Francis Fares is urging Canada's Halifax Regional Municipality to approve plans for a $75 million, 36-story hotel and residential complex at King's Wharf in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It would be the tallest building in Atlantic Canada.
University of Michigan researchers say as many as 29,000 lead or galvanized steel water lines may need full or partial replacement to solve the problem of tainted drinking water in Flint, Mich., as opposed to the original 8,000 estimate. Over half the city's lines are affected, and Congress is considering an aid package to help.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission and city officials took an on-site guided tour of Tishman Construction's $950 million MGM Springfield casino in Springfield, Mass. It's on schedule for opening in September 2018.
Plantation, Fla., has OK'd rezoning of the city's former Fashion Mall for a mixed-use development. The project will include 700 apartments, office space and retail and dining venues.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 178,000 in November, close to economists' average expectations, according to today's data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction sector gained 19,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.6%, while revisions to September and October numbers led to a decrease of 2,000 jobs from earlier reports.
Economist Alex Carrick offers forecasts for the US construction industry in 2017 and 2018. He focuses on more than a dozen construction sectors and also speculates on the demands and impact of the growing millennial generation.
The Ohio Department of Transportation will spend $15 million to outfit a 35-mile section of US Route 33 as a smart mobility corridor. The four-lane highway will be fitted with fiber-optic cable and sensors to gather and transmit data on traffic flow, weather and surface conditions.
The US Commerce Department reports construction spending in October rose 0.5% from the September level, reaching a higher-than-expected $1.713 trillion seasonally adjusted annual rate. The rise is attributed to an investment jump in public sector, single-family and multifamily projects.
Some observers believe Elaine Chao, nominated as secretary of transportation, will likely take a lighter hand on safety regulations and even retract some already in place, because she is known to prefer the transfer of decision-making from the federal to state level. As labor secretary under George W. Bush, she cut back on several safety measures and introduced no significant new regulations.
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