Housing market expansion continues...
Construction rental revenue remains strong...
Flood insurance changes could create major rebuild...
Apps for you...
And much more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com
The U.S. continuing housing recovery is posting record statistics. The number of housing markets that improved in permits, employment and prices for at least six months has tripled in number from 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders' latest market index. This ties in with the latest McGraw Hill Construction outlook that sees new construction starts up 6 percent for the remainder of this year to $506 billion. Housing continues its economic expansion even though other sectors lag behind.
The latest forecast from the American Rental Association Market Monitor shows the equipment rental business continues to outpace the U.S. GDP by four times. Construction rental and consumer spending are driving the market with construction equipment rental forecast to grow over 8 percent this year and more in 2014.
A key change in federal flood insurance rules has construction poised to generate substantially in the near future. Some property owners will be forced to retrofit their homes and businesses in order to comply as new FEMA flood zone maps are developed. In many cases, building will have to be elevated to avoid potential flooding or owners will be forced to pay considerably higher insurance rates.
What is 100 feet deep and 30 feet in diameter? It's a sinkhole near Orlando, Fla., that recently swallowed up a three-story, 24-unit time share resort building. One hundred and five guests at the Summer Bay Resort were awakened from sleep by cracking walls and breaking glass and swiftly alerted occupants to flee. Over a five-hour period the building sank into the ground, and miraculously no one was injured.
Florida officials say the entire site was geologically tested when built 15 years ago and there were no problems.
Michigan and Ohio workers need to take note of two major expansion projects in the works. Honda Motors plans to spend $215 million on an engine plant and two training centers in Ohio. The Anna Engine Plant is to expand while Honda also builds new training centers at its Marysville assembly plant. Meanwhile, to the north, Chrysler will enlarge two engine plants to meet future demands. The new factories will be at Trenton and Dundee, south of Detroit.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the site of a world record setting event recently. Some 500 pickup truck owners showed up at the famed track for a Guinness World Record attempt at the largest pickup parade; 386 were qualified and certification was issued.
It really sounded good, but the net result of the Pacific Gas & Electric Power Plant demolition near Bakersfield, Calif., was not ideal. A number of spectators were injured by flying shrapnel, and one lost a leg as a result. The plant itself may have had a bad omen as a worker was killed on the property removing a tank in 2012.
The world of apps keeps expanding. DeWalt, along with the Delmar College of Learning, has launched DeWalt Mobile Pro. It's for construction pros, has a wealth of features, and can be customized to a trade focus and usable on all mobile devices. Best of all, it's a free download and available at dewalt.cengage.com.
All right, it's August, and the middle of a hot summer - far from thoughts of winter and what that brings if you live in the north country. However, the folks at Western Snowplows have your best interests in mind. They've started the 5 Plow Giveaway aimed at awarding a new plow each month now through December.