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.
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
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc / June 13, 2014
Overall construction materials prices remained flat in May but are up 1.6 percent year over year according to the June 13 Producer Price Index release supplied by the U.S. Department of Labor. Nonresidential construction materials prices fell 0.2 percent for the month but are 1.3 percent higher than at the same time one year ago.
“With construction spending expanding only in fits and starts and given recent evidence of disappointing global economic performance, it comes as little surprise that most construction materials prices are not rising,” said Associated Builders and ContractorsRead More
Joel Kotkin / New Geography / February 26, 2013
In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the “red” or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring.
These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, theRead More
Chris McCahill and Norman Garrick / The Atlantic / February 12, 2013
Big roads and parking garages are so common in American cities that it’s easy to forget these places once functioned exceptionally well without them. However, in their persistent battle to satisfy the demands of motorists, many urban areas are losing out.
In the early 1960s – when highway construction was at its peak and cars were just beginning to leave their mark – a handful of critics predicted there would be irreconcilable tensions between vibrant cities and their motorized inhabitants. Nearly 50 years later, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published researchRead More
ASCE releases new study detailing the economic consequences of failing to invest in America’s infrastructure
ASCE / PUBLIC WORKS / January 22, 2013
Reston, VA – Improving the condition of our nation’s aging roads, bridges, power lines, sewer systems, ports and waterways is critical to protecting 3.5 million jobs according to the new American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) report, Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Growth. Between now and 2020, investment needs across key infrastructure sectors total $2.75 trillion, while planned expenditures are about $1.66 trillion, leaving a total investment gap of $1.1 trillion.
“Infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economyRead More