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.
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. / November 18, 2014
October marked the fifth consecutive month during which construction input prices have failed to rise. Inputs to construction industries were down 0.9 percent for the month but expanded 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to a Nov. 17 producer price index (PPI) release from the U.S. Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction fell 1.1 percent for the month but are 0.5 percent higher than at the same time last year.
“This deflation in an array of commodities should be viewed positively for the economy as well as for nonresidential construction,” said AssociatedRead 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
AGC of America / November 3, 2014
Construction spending decreased for the second consecutive month in September as declines in public and private nonresidential construction, as well as multifamily projects, offset growth in single-family homebuilding, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the new spending figures underscore how challenges current market conditions are for many firms.
“These data show that construction gains remain fragmentary and volatile, even though industry employment has been picking up in more states,” saidRead More
AGC of America / October 3, 2014
Construction employers added 16,000 jobs and the sector’s unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, the lowest rate for September in years, according to an analysis released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the construction employment gains come as more firms report having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to fill available positions, citing the lack of local vocational training programs, especially at the secondary level.
“While we are eager to see even more construction employment gains, there is no denying theRead More