About the author: Jennifer Hicks | SmartBlogs

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks edits SmartBrief newsletters on construction, green building  and freight railroads, among other areas. Before joining SmartBrief, she was a college professor for 12 years and owner of a consulting business that worked with government agencies and Fortune 100 companies on improving the content and usability of their website. She considers herself very fortunate to live on Cape Cod. You can follow her on Twitter @SB_AEC.

More than 3 in 4 contracting firms are finding it difficult to fill skilled trade positions, and more than 3 in 5 are finding project supers, estimators and engineers hard to find, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America conducted in August and September. The Southeast sees the largest challenge, where 86% of contractors face labor challenges; the Northeast is better off, but far from complacent as 67% of contractors there try to deal with the problem.[…] Continue Reading »

Mortenson Construction has used building information modeling, or BIM, in conjunction with virtual design and construction since 1998 when it started work on the Walt Disney Concert Hall project, a multi-award winning structure with a curved steel frame in Los Angeles. The project team found that BIM/VDC was essential in the project, in large part because it helped them visualize complex sequences of work that before had only been listed in an Excel worksheet or on a Gantt chart.[…] Continue Reading »

Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed Sec. 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which deals with carbon emission reductions, at a webinar hosted by the American Sustainable Business Council on Sept. 4.

McCarthy said the rules proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. “Climate change is a risk to health, business and economic growth,” she said, adding that small business owners overwhelming want action taken on the issue.[…] Continue Reading »

The Great Recession became official in December 2007, and by its end, more than 8.8 million jobs had been lost — 2 million in the construction sector alone.

But times change, and after the massive battering, the industry is starting to bounce back. Construction spending is up, projects are more plentiful and optimism is starting to sneak its way in.[…] Continue Reading »

Three economists offer their outlook on construction activity and construction spending for the rest of this year, and beyond.

Bernard Markstein, chief economist at Reed Construction Data, Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America and Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects were the featured speakers at the April 17 webinar “2014: Emerging Opportunities for Construction.” They each mapped out what they’ve seen this year and where they think the AEC industry is headed.[…] Continue Reading »