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By: Kendall Jones on August 21st, 2020

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Construction Industry Weekly News Recap – August 21, 2020

Construction Industry News

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s top news and happenings in the construction industry. Each week, we’ll take a look at some of the interesting local, regional, and national stories about construction to keep you better informed of the goings-on in the industry.

Ghost Bride Allegedly Spotted on Construction Site in UK

Believe in ghosts? A ghost was allegedly caught on security cameras at a construction site in Birmingham, England. An infrared motion sensor camera triggered an alert according to Adam Lees, managing director of Limitless Security. The footage captured reportedly shows a woman in a white dress floating and carrying something in her hands. Security guards canvassed the area within minutes of the alert but were unable to find anything. – August 21, 2020 (WalesOnline)

Nonresidential Construction Starts Drop 23.1% in July

July’s nonresidential construction starts were down -23.1% from June to $28.6 billion. July’s figure is also -44% lower than July 2019. Residential construction starts were down -11% in June and total construction starts (both residential and nonresidential) were down -19.3% in July. Total nonresidential construction starts are down -25.5% for the year compared to the same period (January – July) in 2019. – August 14, 2020 (ConstructConnect)

Scientists Using Local Soil to 3D Print Buildings

A group of scientists at Texas A&M University have developed a new method to 3D print buildings using local soil as the building material instead of a concrete mixture. The technology has allowed them to print architectural facades, but they are still working on improving the soil’s load-bearing capacity to meeting building regulations.

Concrete is the primary material used in 3D printed buildings. By replacing concrete with local soil, it would lessen the environmental impact of caused by carbon emissions in making concrete and transporting it to construction sites. If the research team is successful, they plan to explore adapting the technology for use on other planets in the future. – August 21, 2020 (The Guardian)

Continued Decline in Architectural Billings in July

The American Institute of Architects released their Architectural Billings Index for July and the news isn’t good. Billings continued to decline in July with an ABI score of 40.0, matching June’s score. For the ABI, any score above 50.0 means an increase in billings and scores below 50.0 mean billings are declining.

Billings were down in all regions and across all building sectors in July. New design contracts dropped from 44.0 in June to 41.7 in July. As a leading indicator of future construction activity, these numbers are worrisome. – August 19, 2020 (AIA)

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Milwaukee Tool Integrates One-Key App With Autodesk’s BIM 360

Milwaukee Tool’s built-in tracking and security app, One-Key, is now integrated with Autodesk’s BIM 360 software. The integration allows information from BIM 360 to be directly imported into One-Key and for One-Key data to be uploaded to BIM 360. For their M12 Fuel Digital Torque Wrenches, this means torque reports can be uploaded into BIM 360 to ensure that fasteners are installed correctly and not overtightened. August 17, 2020 (Construction Junkie)

3D Printed Building Start-Up Raises $35 Million to Further Growth

Icon, the Austin, Texas 3D printing startup, announced they closed on a $35 million series A round of funding. The financing was led by Moderne Ventures and also included the award-winning architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) among the other investors in joining Moderne in the series A round. Icon made headlines two years ago when they unveiled their permitted 3D printed homes.

Since then, they’ve printed homes in the Mexican state of Tabasco, printed the first permitted home in the U.S. in Austin, printed homes for the homeless in Austin, and partnered with the Department of Defense to train marines to use their printers for housing at Camp Pendleton. August 20, 2020 (Built in Austin)


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About Kendall Jones

Kendall Jones is the Editor in Chief at ConstructConnect. He has been writing about the construction industry for years, covering a wide range of topics from safety and technology to industry news and operating insights.