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Daily Drill: Welder Fashion and Green Harlem


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Rise of the "Woman Welder" Compels New Clothing Lines

The market speaks volumes, and there is perhaps no clearer indicator of the increasing numbers of blue-collar working women than this: the appearance of clothing lines that provide both fit and durability for these "nontraditional" female workers. Having had their approaches firmly rebuffed by male-oriented workwear manufacturers, several women entrepreneurs are taking it upon themselves to serve this new and growing niche; women on the job site who have absolutely no intention of dressing like men.  Talk about an idea whose time has come!

Super Tall Buildings Council has News for Skyscrapers

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) defines "mega-tall" structures as higher than 1,968 feet. The council has come out with two predictions: that 2016 may just be the peak year of  mega-tall construction, and that by 2020 the trend will have begun to wane.  Civic protests increasingly take issue with the skyscraping mega-talls, but for the moment the market rewards their design and construction. Basra will one day feature a tower that is nearly 3/4 of a mile high, for instance.  Let's not take the stairs.

Connecticut's 34,000 Crumbling Home Foundations: A Natural Disaster?

Connecticut's governor Malloy is taking the unusual step of asking the feds for the sort of assistance typically associated with disaster relief, but is in this case about a homebuilding crisis. The governor's outreach to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) underlines the scale of the emergency. At issue are ~ 34,130 homes in northeastern Connecticut whose faulty concrete foundations  are quickly dissolving, a problem the homeowners' insurance companies have refused to cover. The culprit is a mineral called pyrrhotite. The governor hopes to convince the skeptical feds that pyrrhotite's naturally ruinous reaction to oxygen in the concrete mix qualifies as a "natural" disaster.  Legal ramifications for contractors are huge. Can you say "unprecedented"?

Harlem's Green Renaissance:  Groundbreaking Apartment Building is a First for NYC

The Passive House standard is a voluntary, and very specific, construction code that yields super-low energy use buildings. The building trend had its beginnings in Germany, and there are estimated to be about 25,000 of these buildings in Europe, principally in Scandinavia. In the U.S. there are a scant 13 or so of these structures. One of them just opened for business in Harlem, and it is NYC's first such structure. Give me the green.

Canadian Steel Producers Association Investigates Flood of Foreign Rebar

Belarus, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal and Spain. Nice vacation spots all, but they have been found to be dumping cheap rebar into the Canadian construction market, and steel interests there are not sitting idle. Depending on the results of the investigation, import duties may be levied on those countries to dissuade them from depressing prices in the critically-important rebar market. Fair Trade isn't just for coffee beans anymore.