Homebuilder confidence scores fell three points in September according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Members remain concerned about the industry labor shortage and increased material costs after two hurricanes.
Utility-grade solar panels now have a median price of $1 per watt and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to a report from the Department of Energy. The reduced cost, which meets a goal set for 2020, is due to more competition and improvements in solar efficiency.
Evian has modernized its factory in the French Alps to a carbon-neutral bottling site that includes numerous automated manufacturing features. The mineral water company avoided layoffs by instituting a multimillion-dollar employee retraining program designed to retain workers by upgrading their skills.
Ninety-five percent of commercial construction companies that responded to a survey by USG Corp. and the US Chamber of Commerce are optimistic about the industry's outlook, but only 53% expect to employ more people in the next six months. That is down from 66% in the second quarter and partially indicates problems in locating enough skilled labor.
A 7.1 earthquake shook Mexico Tuesday, and at least 44 buildings were damaged in the Mexico City. The quake has killed more than 200, and people are trying to dig survivors out of the rubble.
Environmental groups have released a 53-page report on ways to improve dam safety and flood control measures. The report was produced following the collapse of the spillway at the Oroville Dam in California.
Following a 12-year split, Ford Motor and India-based Mahindra & Mahindra have reached a three-year agreement to explore the production and distribution of electric and connected cars in India. The announcement is the most significant for Ford in the four months since Jim Hackett replaced Mark Fields as its CEO, write Keith Naughton, P R Sanjai and Siddharth Vikram Philip.
A federal judge has ruled New York City can require car wash owners to obtain a $150,000 surety bond to offer protection in case of wage-theft judgments as long as the requirement applies equally to union and nonunion car washes. The judge previously ruled against the law because its bond requirement for unionized car washes was lower, at $30,000.
The construction industry focuses on best practices when facing the aftermath of major disasters, such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma, attorneys write. A key practice contractors should follow is to notify sureties and lenders of issues to prevent the emergence of late-notice defenses, the attorneys write.
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