All Construction & Building Materials Articles
  • What is the future of airports under President Biden?

    Matt Falcus Transportation Technology & Automotive

    As the nation prepares for President-elect Joe Biden, many aviation analysts are turning their attention to what the future holds for their industry under his tenure. Whereas in the past this may be a noteworthy point in a wide-ranging manifesto of pledges and promises, in this global crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, people are watching eagerly to discover how Biden will respond to the extra problems surrounding the huge losses of income and jobs being faced by the aviation industry. And this is just one of many areas reaching a critical point as the economy struggles with the virus.

  • Designing for celebrities: How career and technical education teachers…

    Sheilamary Koch Education

    Teaching any subject is tough these days. But imagine the effect of remote and hybrid learning on woodworking and other career and technical education (CTE) classes. As industrial arts teacher Tim Zavacki puts it, “You can’t exactly send bandsaws home with kids!” Here’s how teachers have kept student motivation high and even discovered silver linings as they maneuver within whatever parameters their schools are operating under.

  • Skilled trades report highlights significant job opportunities

    Terri Williams Construction & Building Materials

    Millions of Americans have either lost or are concerned about losing their job during the pandemic, and businesses large and small have closed this year. However, skilled trades in home services is a small business sector that is actually experiencing a labor shortage. HomeAdvisor released a new skilled trades report that found skilled home trades businesses present an opportunity for entrepreneurship — and 71% of workers in this industry believe there is a job shortage. We spoke with Mischa Fisher, chief economist at HomeAdvisor, about the report.

  • Plan for 2021 looking on the bright side

    Lloyd Princeton Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    Mostly sunny with intermittent clouds and showers. That’s my forecast for 2021. It may seem overly optimistic at the moment, what with talk of more shutdowns in the weeks ahead and the standoff in Washington. I am confident, however, that this too shall pass, the ship will get righted, and we will enter calmer waters as the new year gets underway. Having gone through so many months of uncertainty and reversals this year, why should I expect the situation will improve in the next? Despite the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many countries, we are making progress on preventing and treating the virus as well as on producing an effective and safe vaccine.

  • Property management during COVID-19: Here’s what you need to know

    Terri Williams Facilities & Grounds

    Owning and managing rental property has never been a walk in the park. However, the pandemic has created a high level on uncertainty regarding evictions, service requests, how to interact with tenants who have contracted COVID-19 and more. Aaron Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Keyrenter Property Management, addresses some of the most pressing issues for property managers.

  • Remodelers bullish as demand resurges

    Michael J. Berens Construction & Building Materials

    Remodelers entered the final quarter of the year riding a wave of strong demand for home renovation projects. With no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, homeowners are continuing to upgrade and alter their living spaces to accommodate the changes to their lifestyles resulting from home confinement and the need to work and be schooled from home. Rising home values and low interest rates are helping to sustain the trend and carry it through to the end of the year.

  • A new era for Berlin as Brandenburg Airport finally opens

    Matt Falcus Transportation Technology & Automotive

    A mere nine years late and approximately $3.8 billion over budget, Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport (BER) finally opened on Oct. 31. A muted ceremony, at what is arguably the worst time to open a new airport aimed at handling more flights and passengers than ever before, allowed Germany to at least save face and put the huge debacle of this construction project behind it. Originally planned to open in 2011, the flagship airport project has been plagued by problematic safety measures, insufficient retail space, and fraud as many reasons for delay stacked up.

  • US payrolls add 638,000 jobs; unemployment rate drops to 6.9%

    Seth Sandronsky Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    U.S. employers added 638,000 nonfarm jobs in October, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. October’s rate of unemployment fell to 6.9% from September’s 7.9% and August’s 8.4%. The gradual employment improvement is a result of eased COVID-19 restrictions on social movement and resuming of commerce, though the pandemic remains uncontained and prospects for a vaccine available to the public are unclear. "The number of unemployed persons fell by 1.5 million to 11.1 million," according to the BLS. "Both measures have declined for 6 consecutive months but are nearly twice their February levels."

  • Interior designers foresee softer demand at year’s end

    Michael J. Berens Interior Design, Furnishings & Fixtures

    Continuing the upward trend that began toward the end of the second quarter, interior design activity rebounded to close to 2019 levels in the third quarter. Billings were up nearly twice what they had been in the spring, with demand for residential remodeling and design services leading the way. As the quarter came to a close, though, firms experienced a slowdown in new inquiries and committed projects, a signal that business may taper off slightly in the final months of the year.

  • The pros and cons of lean manufacturing: A 2020 perspective

    Bambi Majumdar Manufacturing

    There is a reason why manufacturers are turning towards lean during these uncertain times. Lean manufacturing became popular during World War II when hardship and uncertainty ruled the world economy. Companies were forced to reduce costs during a time of radical change and yet had meet their customers' quality and delivery needs. So, they learned to optimize their systems and innovate, giving birth to modern-day lean manufacturing technologies. Flash forward to 2020 when an unexpected virus brought the whole world to its knees. Manufacturers have to drive efficiencies and agility in new ways by adjusting, adapting, and persevering in this environment.