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Daily Drill: Japan Buys American and Spruce on the Loose


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Norway Spruce First New "Construction Grade" Wood in 80 Years

Norway spruce is ready for its close-up, and for your house. The Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine has put the newly arrived species through its paces, declaring  the wood officially approved as a U.S. building material. The momentous approval of Norway spruce is based on its strength, durability, and other rigorously tested factors. There hasn't been a new species of wood introduced into the U.S. construction market in almost a century. At press time the Norway Spruce trees themselves had no comment.

Japanese Residential Construction Giant Acquires Renowned U.S. Homebuilder

Stanley-Martin Communities, LLC, has been building homes in the Washington D.C. area since 1966. As of December this year, the 50 year-old U.S. homebuilding stalwart will be part of the Daiwa House Group's portfolio. Japan's largest homebuilder is expanding into the U.S., Chinese, SE Asian, and Australian markets, and the acquisition of Stanley-Martin is said to represent a huge step forward in Daiwa's strategic plan. Home is a loaded word. Does it matter who builds yours?

FAA Predicts Lower than Expected Airport Construction

The Federal Aviation Administration's most recent report to Congress included the news that airport improvements will be about 3% lower over the next five years than originally projected. 3% may sound like a smallish figure, but in the world of airport construction that amounts to a $1B downward revision in the FAA's construction and capital improvement forecast. The projection is now $32.5B in construction over 5 years. The fasten seat belt sign is still illuminated.

Georgetown Law Prof's Secret Identity: Cult Construction Blogger

Walter Mlyniec is the distinguished Lupo-Ricci Professor of Legal Studies at Georgetown Law School. He has spent his professional life crusading for the legal rights of young people accused of crimes, and over the decades he has also won accolades for leading Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. Mkyniec is, and has always been, completely enthralled by buildings.  His colorfully written and reported site is a cult classic. Mlyniec's labor of love has enthusiastic readers all over the world. A hobbyist who is beloved the world over.

Israel's Deadliest Construction Year in a Decade? This Year. 

Israel's construction sector has had a tragically bad year, accident-wise. Israeli courts tend to lay the blame for workplace accidents squarely at the feet of site supervisors, with the effect that corporations, feeling immune to both prosecution and the negative publicity,  do not make bold moves to improve systemic workplace safety. Corporate accountability can be a powerful thing.

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