News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Bill Palmer / Commercial Construction / March 1, 2015
Do you view wood construction as a competitor to concrete? While we’re not likely to see too much wood pavement, in the mid-rise buildings market, the wood industry is taking a very aggressive approach that could take some of concrete’s market share. New organizations (such as rethink Wood andWoodWorks) are attempting to expanding their market share through building code changes, education, and very focused marketing campaigns. And they are redefining for architects where wood is an appropriate building material. For example, have you ever heard of cross-laminated timber (CLT)?Read More
In a recent post to his GatesNotes blog, former Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates wrote about the future of global consumption and a theory called, “relative dematerialization.” This theory suggests that, as innovation lets us make a given product more efficiently, with fewer materials or energy, prices go down and consumption goes up. Someone figures out how to make cell phones with less metal, which makes them cheaper, which makes them more widespread. Less metal per phone, but more phones, so more metal overall.
Consider that, in our industry, steel and concrete are much cheaper to produceRead More
Bill Gates / The Gates Notes / June 2014
The car I drive to work is made of around 2,600 pounds of steel, 800 pounds of plastic, and 400 pounds of light metal alloys. The trip from my house to the office is roughly four miles long, all surface streets, which means I travel over some 15,000 tons of concrete each morning.
Once I’m at the office, I usually open a can of Diet Coke. Over the course of the day I might drink three or four. All those cans also add up to something like 35 pounds of aluminum a year.
I got to thinking about all this after reading Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by my favorite author, the historianRead More
An unusually wet spring and early summer dampened cement consumption for the first quarter of 2013, but did not put a wet blanket on the opportunity for strong growth in the construction sector in 2014 and beyond.
According to the latest forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA), cement consumption will increase a modest four percent in 2013, but will approach double-digit growth in 2014 and 2015, with 9.7 percent consumption increases in both years.
“Nearly two-thirds of the anticipated growth in 2013 cement consumption will be caused by gains in the residential constructionRead More
Emelia Fredlick / THE CONCRETE PRODUCER / September 20, 2013
Things are looking up for the top public concrete producers in North America; 2012 revenue reports indicate they are gradually earning back business lost during the recession. Producers are ranked by North American revenue and number of employees (in North America only); we also highlight growth, acquisitions, divestments, and other performance factors.
Global HQ: Dublin, Ireland
2012 Revenue: $12.3 billion*
Change from 2011: 15%
In 2012, the North American operations of CRH, plc acquired 11 ready-mix plants, seven paver plants (three in Ontario,Read More