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Top Ten Construction-Related Podcasts

While we try to keep you informed on construction news, there’s so much that we at PowerTools can’t cover. Here is a list of ten great construction-related podcasts that can help you keep abreast of everything newsworthy in the industry.

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Colorado Considering Changes to Labor Laws

Colorado lawmakers are looking to expand labor laws that will affect all areas of the workforce, but especially construction, as they seek to raise minimum wage and worker protections.

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Housing Market Slumps as Trade War with China Grows

The current trade war with China—which just increased tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods—is having an impact on nearly every product that comes from China, leading many companies to have to adjust pricing, reevaluate new policies, and even seek new sources for their supply chains.

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Drones and Robots on Jobsites

As we’ve discussed at length on this blog, the labor shortage is requiring construction companies to look outside the box to solve their productivity problems, and they are increasingly turning to technology. The progress has been relatively slow compared of other automated fields, such as manufacturing, but progress is being made, and new tech on the horizon looks promising.

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A Gentler Way to Gentrify

Developers in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick do not like to be called “developers”. The word is loaded with a lot of negative public connotations, not the least of which is the dreaded term of “gentrification.” Instead, the real estate developer Venn prefers the term “impact developer”, a developer that is concerned about the quality of life in the communities and towns in which they operate. Gentrification has been associated with higher rents and hipster classifications, and Venn wants to avoid that. It doesn’t even refer to its residents as residents, but as Venners, or members.

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How 5G is Poised to Revolutionize Infrastructure

“2019 will be a critical year in the evolution of 5G as global roll-out pilots will shape the landscape and specifications will start to be formalized. Intelligent connectivity, enabled by 5G, will be the catalyst for the social-economic growth that the 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution) could bring.” – World Economic Forum

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Catcalling Women Must Stop, Owners Demand

The owner of a Boston-based construction company, Cathartes, has laid down the law when it comes his workers making catcalls from construction sites: do it and you’re fired.

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Three Industry Disruptors Coming in the Next Decade

In a recent meeting of the American Concrete Institute, Brian Moore of the FMI Institute stated that the future is changing and that there are three factors that will either make or break a construction company in the next ten years.

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Women's Organizations Building the Construction Industry

Teresa Mast, president of Sarasota-Manatee Professional Women in Building (PWB), was surprised when fifty women showed up at the first meeting of the organization last year. Mast, who is also president of her company, the custom building and remodeling Davin Group, has been in the business for twenty-six years, and sees it as her goal to encourage women and girls to pursue work in the construction industry.

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Housing Nonprofit Begins Training New Workers

While the Habitat for Humanity has long been working to provide good housing at affordable rates, and owners are given a chance to put sweat equity and volunteerism into their work, one worksite in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has changed their model to not only providing housing, but providing job training.

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Four Areas Where Construction Costs Routinely Exceed Budget

While budgets are developed with cushions for unexpected pitfalls, there are areas where budgets routinely are overrun. Knowing about these areas ahead of time will help to make better budgetary decisions in the future.

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How Blockchain Will Change Construction

Blockchain, the technology that powers things like bitcoin, is set to revolutionize the way that construction companies, engineering firms, architects, and customers interact. Blockchain is defined as a growing list of records, or blocks, that are connected using cryptography. Each block contains a link to the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. It’s a little like communicating on the cloud, but with intense security, and on some serious steroids.

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Single Family Rental Homes the Latest Trend in Residential Construction

While builders have always sold some of their homes for rental purposes, new reports show that this has increased dramatically—and some homebuilders are becoming the landlords themselves.

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Grassi and Co.’s 2019 Construction Industry Survey Results

To take the pulse of the construction industry, Grassi and Co. hired an independent survey group to take a three-month survey of the industry in New York, and the results are in.

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Can the Internet of Things Revolutionize Construction?

Construction workers account for 7% of the world’s workforce, but in a world where robotics is replacing people’s jobs, these workers seem relatively safe. Why? According to an article in TechTarget, it’s because the industry isn’t adopting new technology fast enough.

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Construction Workers are Dying in the Heat

Construction is booming, and companies are trying to pack as much work into the summer months as possible, but a very real danger lurks out under the sun. According to a new study, construction workers sweltering in the heat are dying at an alarming—and increasing—rate.

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Construction Spending Sees Huge Drop

Residential and non-residential construction saw their biggest decline in seven months, while government spending saw their biggest drop in seventeen years.

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Long Island Industrial District Being Reinvigorated as Green Space

Westbury, New York, officials are rezoning a degraded industrial sector near the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) into a sprawling green space, in an effort to increase sustainability.

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Developers and Urban Planners Consider What To Do With Closed Golf Courses

From a peak in 2003, golfing across the United States has declined by a whopping 20%. Two hundred courses closed last year alone, and it’s leaving many people to wonder what to do with the empty green space in their neighborhoods—land that was once well-maintained and paid for, but land which has gone out of use.

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Widespread Beliefs About US Infrastructure Spending May Be Unfounded

It is a fact that much of the United States infrastructure is deteriorating rapidly, but the commonly held belief that our spending on such infrastructure has dramatically decreased does not appear to be upheld by the evidence, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute.

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Is The Focus on Modern Construction Automation Misplaced?

hh2 Powertools reported on the rapid growth in investment into construction automation, but an editorial by Chris Stanley, of the Concrete Block Association, says that it’s an enticing solution that overlooks the real problems.

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Heavy Market Investment in Construction Automation May Signal Change in Industry

Investors are pouring money into construction technology start-ups at a rapidly increasing rate, and it’s making many in the industry stop and take notice.

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Canadian Construction Workers Took a Moment of Silence for Safety

Last week, after a particularly bad year for workplace accidents, 4000 construction workers took a break from their jobs to take a moment to reflect on safety. More than 50 companies and organizations joined in the second annual Construction Safety Stand-Down, a program hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association

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Vocational Training in Juvenile Detention Center Offers New Lease on Life

This is a bulldozer and forklift simulator. Students using it can earn three different heavy equipment certifications. “The kids, they know, you know, that could be real money, instead of what they’re getting out on the street,” says Earl Gale, one of the instructors at Sojourn High Vocational Lab, inside a juvenile detention center. Gale has been an instructor there for 12 years.

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Antarctic Construction Project Estimated to Cost $250 Million

In what is expected to be harsh conditions, a New Zealand construction company is undertaking a $250 million development on the Scott Base of Antarctica. The 10,000 square foot base, comprising three buildings, is expected to house 100 personnel against the freezing temperatures.

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National Craft Championships Names Clemon Prevost Craft Instructor of the Year

The National Craft Championship, an organization that gathers competitors from around the country to compete in trades and crafts, recently recognized Clemon Prevost, a senior talent development specialist for Fluor’s U.S. Gulf Coast Craft Training Center in Pasadena, Texas, the 2019 Craft Instructor of the Year. Prevost was honored during the Careers in Construction Awards at ABC Convention 2019 in Long Beach, California.

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Researchers Are Recycling Glass into Concrete

In search of new ways to reuse non-recyclable glass, scientists have found a simple answer: they’re turning glass back into sand.

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How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Project

With such rapid advances in technology, the options for something as basic as glass are no longer simple. There are extensive selections to choose from when building your project, and your purpose, geography, and usage play an essential role.

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In Addition to Loss of Trade Workers, the Construction Industry Also Needs Architects

Ten years ago when the economy dropped, not only did many workers leave the industry, but many students fled the architecture and surveying programs in college. Now, when those students would normally be maturing in the job field, there is a stunning lack of experienced and new people to fill those roles.

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Employee Spotlight: Sidney Coleman - Customer Service Specialist

Introducing Sidney Coleman, one of hh2 Cloud Services’ customer service specialists! Sidney is a part of the customer support team and has been at hh2 since April of 2018. Current customers may have had the opportunity...

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Case Study: NEI General Contracting Improves Quality and Consistency of Payroll with hh2 Cloud Services

NEI General Contracting (NEIGC) was founded in 1998 in the United States and celebrated its 20-year anniversary in October of 2018. The company had a target revenue of $205 million as of 2017...

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2018 Year in Review at hh2

2018 brought big changes across the globe, and it was no different here at hh2 Cloud Services. This year was filled with conferences, new product releases and feature updates across multiple platforms and solutions...

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What Segment of Technology Adoption Does Your Company Belong To?

While the thought of new technology is exciting for some, it takes some time and proven results for others to get behind adopting a change in one’s workflow. This can be explained in detail in the Diffusion of Innovation...

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Cold Weather Apparel on the Job Site

As cold temperatures move across the contiguous United States, the East Coast will experience below average temperatures this winter between December and February of 2019. According to...

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Las Vegas to Secure #1 Spot for Entertainment With Exciting New Construction

New construction broke ground over the past week in Las Vegas. Residents will soon be able to see exciting new development directly on the famous Las Vegas Strip. A new globe-shaped event center has started...

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Home Shortage Continues as Prices Continue to Rise

Finding a home to purchase with a budget of under $250,000 seems close to impossible in today’s housing market. Labor, land and material costs continue to rise, which is resulting in slowing down the production...

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How Agile Project Management Can Effectively Work For Construction

You may be familiar with agile software methodologies and how they effectively help development teams collaborate and work together to reach a common goal. However, could this methodology work for the...

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Business is Great--for the Skilled Worker

Historically, summer is the boom time of housing construction. But this year it’s not. We wrote in a recent piece about the low unemployment rate had dropped to 4.5%. And in some states it’s much lower than...

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Having Trouble Hiring? You’re Not the Only One

The unemployment rate for construction is down to 4.5%, a rate that sociologists consider to be a healthy rate for any economy, the 4.5% representing the regular shuffling of workers from one job to another. Even at that...

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McKinsey Institute Lists Seven Ways to Improve Construction Productivity

We’ve reported here that productivity in the construction sector is lagging dramatically behind other industries: a recent report wrote that only an average of 1% increased in productivity since the 1960s...

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Is California's Housing Market Indicative of Nationwide Trends?

There’s a saying in fashion that as goes California, so goes the rest of America. If that can be extrapolated to other industries, we might be seeing a housing slump over what has been a buyer’s market...

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TimberScan Mobile and Brahma Group Inc.

Buena Vista Biomass Power is a clean burning biomass plant designed to output 18MW of base load electric generating capacity. Brahma Group, a commercial builder exceeding $300 million annually, has offices in...

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Construction Industry is Booming--Or Is It?

Today, as I went to read the news to find something to blog about, I noticed half a dozen new articles about the booming construction industry. From the Miami Herald...

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“Magic” Self-Healing Concrete

Arthur C. Clarke, the author of science fiction such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and inventor of ideas such as the geostationary communications satellite, once wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is...

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Understanding Your Role In The Workplace

Success in the workplace depends on how well employees work together to accomplish goals. In order to grow any organization and be profitable, employees must have an understanding of each other’s strengths...

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Ensuring the Customer is Always Right

For as long as I can remember, I have been trained and taught to believe that “the customer is always right.” And while there is no question that the customer should always be made to feel valued and heard, where...

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Labor Shortage Slows New Construction

Not long ago, construction jobs were scarce. When the Great Recession hit in 2008 and 2009, 31% of laborers left the construction industry, and they haven’t come back. In fact, the National Association...

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Where is the Construction Industry Going in 2017?

I got the itch to write this post after reading a piece in Construction Business Owner called “State of the Industry: Trends and Changing Barriers Your Business Will Face This Year,” by Hank M. Harris. The article...

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Future Exists in “Circular Cities”

By now we’ve heard of the circular economy, a process for making the world more sustainable, creating a cycle that reuses and captures resources. Now, circular economies are turning to urban planning to make our cities into circular cities. Right now, more than half of the population lives in a city, and by 2050 that will rise to two thirds. If we’re going to continue to build up and out, we need to figure out how to better use resources.

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