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Years after the pandemic started, homebuilding materials are still hard to find

Feb 19, 2024
The industry's mood continues to brighten, a trade group says, but sourcing sophisticated equipment remains a challenge.
There’s currently high demand for sophisticated construction equipment, said John Kirk of the Lightpath Co.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Fed might cut interest rates soon. That's weighing on business owners' plans.

Jan 2, 2024
Do they wait for lower rates in the future or borrow what they need today? It’s a question of cost versus opportunity.
Some construction projects have been paused or postponed until interest rates fall, said John Kirk, a developer in San Antonio.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Manufacturing sector contracts for 13th straight month, but construction spending is up

Dec 1, 2023
The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index showed worse-than-expected performance for manufacturing, but construction growth shone.
“The housing market is poised for gains for 2024," said Danushka Nanayakkara at the National Association of Home Builders.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The value of parks is rising. Luckily, in many cases, costs are declining.

Oct 25, 2023
High construction expenses and budget pressures are pushing developers to be creatively cost-conscious as they expand access to green spaces.
Parks are a resource for mental health and climate resilience, says journalist Patrick Sisson.
Francesco Scatena/iStock/Getty Images Plus

An electrical transformer shortage has big implications for housing, renewables

Sep 19, 2023
You may not think much about electrical distribution transformers, but not having them can delay entire housing developments and grid updates.
"Typically on a utility pole they’re round, and they’re at the top of the pole," said John Kirk, managing director at Embrey, a multifamily developer based in San Antonio.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The economic and logistical realities of straw-bale building

Aug 16, 2023
One couple shares their experience with an alternative construction project.
David and Carrie Chew stand in the wooden frame of their incomplete straw-bale house in 2022.
Courtesy David and Carrie Chew

Tech manufacturing is causing a boom in non-residential construction

Aug 1, 2023
Biden Administration policies are geared toward fixing high-tech supply chains and accelerating the transition to EVs.
Biden speaks during a visit to a General Motors electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

California wants more women in construction. Child care grants will help.

Jun 7, 2023
The state is awarding $25 million in grants to get more women into construction apprenticeships that can lead to high-paying jobs.
Tamarra Hayward receives a certificate of completion after a six-week pre-apprenticeship training program on March 30.
Beth LaBerge/KQED

U.S. manufacturing is sluggish, with some bright spots

Jun 5, 2023
Higher borrowing costs are one factor holding back the manufacturing sector.
General Motors announced Monday a $1 billion investment in two of its factories in Flint, Michigan. It joins a wave of sector investment in construction.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Apartment construction is booming, but it probably won't last

Jun 2, 2023
The Census reports that construction of multifamily homes, like apartment buildings, was up about 25% year-over-year.
The Census reports that construction of multifamily homes, like apartment buildings, was up about 25% year-over-year.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images