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Weekly Grind: Construction Peaks & Chinese Demo


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Construction Spending Hits 10-Year High

The Commerce Department reports that U.S. construction spending is now the highest it's been in 10 years. Home construction, non-residential, and government construction brought the seasonally adjusted spending rate in November to $1.18 trillion, the highest domestic construction figure since the housing boom of 2006. 

Goooaall! Qatar World Cup Workers Receive Fan-Cooled Hard Hats

In Qatar, laborers are already hard at work building the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup; a massive undertaking for what will be a massively attended global event. To help battle the dangerously hot climatic and working conditions in the tiny Persian Gulf country, Qatar University has designed a cooling hard hat for the workers.  The slightly nutty-looking retrofit is reportedly a life-saver.

Frontierland Trail offers Unexpected Glimpse of "Star Wars Land" Construction

In order to improve pedestrian traffic flow during the thronging holiday season, Disneyland temporarily opened a path behind Thunder Mountain Railroad that gave Star Wars fans an inadvertent glimpse of the secrecy-shrouded new Disney attraction. Which is another way of saying that Star Wars Land lies somewhere between Frontierland and Fantasyland.  But you knew that.

Phoenix Freeway Construction Halted Over Native American Remains

The Gila River Native American Community in Phoenix is seeking an injunction to halt work on the South Mountain freeway there. The highway construction project has allegedly disturbed native remains on 20 different occasions. 

Faraday Comes Through Fire to Resume NV Factory Construction

Back in November 2016, Faraday Future—Tesla's most public competitor in the burgeoning electric car market—loudly backed out of its plans to build a huge, state-of-the-art factory in Nevada. Rumors swirled of the company's debt-servicing issues. Now Faraday has come roaring back with their 1050 hp, 4-door rocket car, the FF 91. Boasting a battery range of 378 miles and 0-60 in 2.39 seconds, when this thing isn't tearing down the highway, it is nimbly seeking, finding, and backing into a parking space. Without a driver. And the proposed mega-factory is back on track.

Production Designer is Film World's Construction Manager

Filmmaker, interior designer, carpenter, painter, welder, plasterer; a movie industry Production Designer is a construction manager with an Arts emphasis. 

Another Chinese Mega-Project: This One an Eye-Popping Demolition

China's infrastructure projects tend to be dramatic and enormous; dams and bridges so huge it can take a moment to grasp the scale of what you're seeing. Well, their demolition efforts can be likewise stunningly gigantic. This video captures the eye-blink instant that a nearly 1000 foot-long bridge is blown to pieces to make way for a new highway project. 

Smart Homes to Make Move Toward Mainstream in 2017

Educating consumers and taking the confusion out of home tech innovation is seen as key to the residential Smart Revolution. Lowering prices and boosting IoT security ("...so nobody can hack your fridge..") are also in the 2017 pipeline. The Consumer Electronics Show on January 5 will feature consumer-soothing PR on behalf of the Smart Home.

CA Delta Tunnels Generate Voluminous Environmental Impact 

Two enormous 40' diameter water pipelines will be bored under the environmentally sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta northeast of San Francisco. The builders of Governor Jerry Brown's so-called California WaterFix have done their due diligence in seeing to the environmental compliance of the project, whose impact statement is 97,000 pages long. 

Jobsite Security Outstrips Low Tech Thievery

Cameras, motion-detectors, radio-frequency ID—the construction sector is pushing back against its nearly $1B in yearly losses. "Low hanging fruit" for jobsite thieves includes heavy equipment, which is historically only recovered 23% of the time. That tide has begun to turn

UK Development Fever Threatens Famously Beautiful Countryside

The UK is famous for fish & chips, Big Ben, and her rolling English countryside. Now the island nation has a number of large building projects in the planning stage, and generally seems anxious to open the door to economy-spurring infrastructure development. Trouble is, much of what the UK has planned is designated for parts of the countryside renowned for natural beauty. This is not sitting well with conservationists and locals.