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Daily Drill: Raging Concrete and Election Year Bridges


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Concrete Construction Awards Glamorize the Gray Stuff

Concrete is not a word that suggests feather boas and caviar. But the Excellence in Concrete Construction award winners do draw interested stares every year. The ACI (American Concrete Institute) annually holds a huge gala event and coronates concrete innovation in several categories: low-rise, high-rise, decorative, flatwork, and infrastructure. This year's big winner, the Palazzo Italia, looks like an enormous, and hurriedly taped, cardboard box. How'd they do that with concrete? A little work and a lot of imagination.

Election Promises Could Mean Infrastructure Payday for Investors

The presidential candidates have been scrambling this election year to better each other's promised cash outlay for infrastructural improvements.  Each candidate is pledging something on the order of ~ $300 billion "within my first 100 days in office" for a jobs-boosting era of major infrastructure rehab. Analysts looking closely at the candidates' competing numbers agree on one thing: the public sector seems ill-equipped to underwrite such a pricey national overhaul. Investors are eagerly waiting in the wings. These bridges and roads aren't going to fix themselves.

Bidders on Hold as New FBI Headquarters Becomes Political Football

Not to overstate the obvious, but the federal government's decision on where to move FBI headquarters is a political one.  Maryland had hoped to win the FBI HQ prize as a sort of triumphant exiting gift to its retiring longtime power-senator.  If Hillary wins the election, though, her Virginian VP will surely steer the project to his home state.  Meanwhile, the folks who will actually build the thing hold their collective breath and sharpen their pencils. Builders at the mercy of government? Who knew?

Plummeting Hardware and Collapsing Cranes. Is the Construction Site a Public Hazard?

In Miami a construction project hurls scaffolding and metal down onto pedestrians, resulting in injury and death. In NYC a gust of wind topples a huge crane onto a crowded street; and in Philadelphia a GC hoping to resell wood bracing allows a half-dismantled brick wall to fall onto a Salvation Army building, killing 6.  The construction jobsite is a famously perilous place to work, but it shouldn't be a risk to passerby. How do we contain the peril so it doesn't threaten the surrounding public?  Let's ask OSHA.

Ssshh! Global Desire for Quietude Good News for Global Acoustic Insulation

The acoustic insulation industry is benefitting from a more health-conscious world whose citizens want to preserve their hearing.  By 2022 the "quiet room" sector is expected to reach $14 billion in revenues. Increased demand in the Asia-Pacific region means odd materials like stone wool and foamed plastics are going to be increasingly popular industrial materials in coming years. Stone wool hobbyists, are you listening? Keep it down in there!

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