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What We're Reading


It’s no secret the construction industry is a constantly evolving and moving. The short of it?—it’s tough to keep up.

Well here at RSMeans, we spend some time each week trying to stay current on what’s buzzing in construction, keeping our finger on the pulse. Here are a few articles from across the web we found particularly interesting and worth talking about.

FEMA Proposes Stricter Building Regulations for Flood-Prone Areas – from ConstructionDive

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has proposed that most construction projects using federal funds be built 2 feet above the 100-year floodplain, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Critical action" projects like hospitals would be required to be built 3 feet above the floodplain. Read more…

6 Home-Building Technologies of the Future – from Builder

Residential construction isn’t always quick to adopt new technologies. That said, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days—executive to laborer—who isn’t using a smartphone to augment some aspect of their job. Meanwhile, more than 20% of builders say they’re experimenting with drones, while others report they’re using 3D printers. And even those technologies seem minuscule when compared with robots that can lay 1,000 bricks per hour or install steel studs, sheetrock, or tile. Read more…

SmartSite Uses Sensors to Monitor Construction workers’ Health and Safety – from Tech Crunch

A startup called SmartSite has released hardware and cloud-based software to help the construction industry track what their employees are exposed to and take measures to protect them from harm. Cancer, respiratory problems, dermatitis from skin exposure to hazardous substances, and health problems from high levels of exposure to noise and vibrations are among the occupational safety and health problems most commonly experienced by construction workers. And deaths in construction in the U.S. have sadly risen in recent years, according to the most recent available data from the U.S. Department of Labor, with 874 fatal occupational injuries in the field in 2014. To help reduce the health risks in the industry, SmartSite’s systems monitor noise levels, airborne particulates and UV rays. Read more…

Green Building Materials Market is Forecast to Reach USD 255 Billion in 2020 – from Medgadget

Zion Research has published a new report titled “Green Building Materials Market for Framing, Insulation, Roofing, Exterior Siding, Interior Finishing and Other Applications for Public facilities, Education, Commercial and Industrial, Healthcare, R&D Centers, Residential and Other End-users – Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 2014 – 2020”. According to the report, global green building materials market was valued at around USD 127.5 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach USD 255 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of around 12% between 2015 and 2020. In terms of volume, the global green building materials market stood at 5,500.0 kilo tons in 2014. Read more…

Can 3-D Animation Help Construction Companies Communicate Safety to Their Workers? – from Concrete Construction

The construction industry involves potentially dangerous machinery, tools, and scenarios. As such, safety is a primary concern for everyone from owners to workers. A look at OSHA’s statistics bears out the inherent danger. Construction has the second highest number of fatalities after the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Industry. Out of 4,251 occupational deaths in the private sector in 2014, 874 or 21% were in construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Read more…