Habitat for Humanity is one of the construction industry’s favorite volunteer organization and for good reason. Over the past 40 years, the non-profit builder has helped construct, rehabilitate, or preserve over 800,000 affordable houses for families in need. It’s truly an area that construction workers throughout the world can showcase their skills and donate their time, in order to give back to their community.
Since the summer of 2012, the St. Croix Valley Eco Village, one of Habitat’s signature projects, officially began. Over the next 4 years, the 5 acre plot, located in River Falls, Wisconsin, was transformed from a greyfield to an 18 home residential community. Greyfield sites are defined as “economically obsolescent, outdated, failing, moribund or underused real estate assets or land,” which mostly describe abandoned retail centers in the US and Canada. The homes on the development were designed with many environmental goals in mind:
- Reduce water consumption by 50% the use of rain water harvesting
- Achieve net-zero and carbon negative energy usage, by using passive house techniques, as well as rooftop solar panels and high performance windows.
- Diverting 90% of construction waste from landfills and locally sourcing 25% of all materials
- Resistant to storms and tornados
- Achieve LEED for Homes Platinum and LEED-ND Gold or better
It’s hard to believe that it has been 17 years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. I came to the realization this week that many of the men and women that are about to enter the workforce will never have a true understanding about how the country felt that day and how it responded. New York is still responding to this day and, even though the skyline will never quite be the same, there are new buildings in their place paying tribute to those who lost their lives that day.
Construction timelapse videos make extremely complicated and long projects look much easier to build than they actually are. The recently opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi took 8 years to complete, but you can watch the full process in only 3 minutes.
Standing 821 feet (250m) in the New York City skyline, the new 57-story residential tower, called 56 Leonard Street, has opened its doors to residents. The 145 condos that inhabit the high rise range in size from 1,418 square feet to 6,400 square feet and in price from $3.5 million to $50 million. Amazingly, even with those staggering prices, the developer told the New York Times that 92% of the units had sold in 2013, even though the tower officially opened last year.
Traffic in Atlanta sucks, there’s really no other way to say it. So imagine the tough position commuters and city officials were put in when a bridge of a major highway on the north side of the city caught fire on March 20, 2017 and was damaged beyond repair. 243,000 motorists were forced to find alternate routes to work for the estimated 3 months that it was going to take to rebuild it. Now, imagine how thrilled they were when the highway opened back up one month ahead of schedule.
Atlanta, GA has been busy recently updated their major sports facilities. The new Atlanta Falcon’s new $1.4 Billion football stadium just recently celebrated a milestone as contractors installed the final roof beam. That stadium is scheduled to open before the start of the 2017 NFL season. Before that, however, the Atlanta Braves’ new baseball stadium will officially open in time to kick off the MLB season, which starts on April 2nd.
The NFL is a cash cow and nothing makes that more evident than the soaring costs to build the newest NFL stadiums. The past four stadiums to open were the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium (watch timelapse here), the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, the New York Jets/Giants’ MetLife Stadium, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. All four surpassed $1 Billion in construction cost. The first stadium to open after the Millennium was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, which only cost a miniscule (relatively) $455 million ($626 million in 2016 dollars) to build. The oldest stadium still in use by any NFL team is the Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum, which was completed in 1966 and cost $25.5 million ($186 million in 2016 dollars). That stadium also spent $200 million ($302 million in 2016 dollars) in renovations in 1995 and 1996. As you can see, dollars spent on NFL stadiums have increased significantly in the past few decades and there’s no end in sight.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
Yesterday marked the 15 Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001. The attacks left a noticeable hole in the New York skyline for several years after the Twin Towers collapsed, but that hole has since been filled with a new and symbolic tower, the One World Trade Center.
Why do the athletes get to have all of the fun during the Olympics? We construction workers deserve a little bit of the action, too! In order for American swimmers to be chosen to represent Team USA in the Olympics, they must first qualify at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which were held in Omaha, Nebraska this year.