Assembling the start of 2016 with high tech, high honors, and sky-high construction industry news
1. A Las Vegas test track makes a milestone step towards Elon Musk’s frictionless, supersonic transit reality…
It looks like Sin City will be the first community to host Hyperloop Technologies Inc.’s Propulsion Open Air Test. Hyperloop is one of two startups working to prove the concept’s feasibility by first quarter of 2016, which could beat Musk’s own Texas test track to the punch.
- HTI has raised more than $37 million and brought high-profile team members aboard its executive team: former COO of Snapchat, Emily White and HTI’s CEO, Rob Lloyd, is the former co-president of Cisco.
- In 2014, officials promised to waive 20 years of sales taxes and 10 years of property taxes if Tesla promised to invest $3.5 billion in the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.
- Tesla never made the deal, and, actually, Musk isn’t associated with HTI.
- Propulsion Open Air Test is set to feature a “custom-designed linear electric motor” down a 1-kilometer track at a speed of 540 km/hour.
- The end goal? Los Angeles to San Francisco trip in 30 minutes.
2. Heathrow makes waves in construction industry news as it vies to be the world’s most environmentally friendly port…
Europe’s busiest airport –second busiest in the world—rang in the new year with a $2.8 million (£2 million) investment in electric vehicle charging. After five years, it has diminished its overall emissions by 16 percent and Heathrow’s Clean Vehicles Partnership is now ten years old, but Heathrow is looking to do even more to maximize efficiency.
- Heathrow has centralized all ground service equipment to reduce up to 40 percent of its modern fleet.
- The airport’s commitment to improving air quality is crucial: servicing, deliveries and cargo operations alone generate 12,500 vehicle movements a day in the Heathrow area.
- Heathrow has already committed to trial alternative fueled HGV’s through its consolidation centers for retail and construction as part of London’s bid for the U.K.’s Office for Low Emission Vehicle’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme.
3. With over 650,000 passengers a day, Penn Station is ready for a $3 billion modern update…
The 1910 structure was originally conceived with less than half its current traffic in mind. By 2019, New York City’s Penn Station will be reintroduced as the “Empire Station Complex” with 50 percent more space, more concourse and circulation space, retail space, and Wi-Fi and digital ticketing. According to construction industry news, energy efficient features –a wealth of natural light—30 new escalators, elevators, and stairs to better assist its fast-paced passengers are in the works, too.
4. In the next 15 years, building projects in the U.S., China, and India will make up 57 percent of the world’s new construction…
A new report from researchers at Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics indicates upcoming gains in U.S. construction over the next several years. This could boost worldwide industry output by 85 percent, or $15.5 trillion by 2030.
- Growth in American construction activity is on track to outpace China over the next 15 years
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since 2007 earlier this year.
- In October 2015, the U.S. held 1.3 million fewer American construction jobs than were around when construction employment peaked in April 2006.
- Total U.S. construction project spending is still on its way to bouncing back, with spending in September down nearly 10 percent from America’s March 2006 high.
- TheAssociated Builders and Contractors industry analysis group reported that construction unemployment rates declined in 48 states over the past year.
5. Denise Johnson takes the helm of Caterpillar’s resources industries…
Johnson replaces retiring Group President Ed Rapp, who had been with Caterpillar since 1979. Rapp decided to retire to focus on fighting A.L.S. Johnson has been responsible for leading the division of the company with around 8,000 employees—in 14 locations throughout 4 continents—which primarily makes products for mining, waste, and construction industries.
- Johnson joined Caterpillar in 2011 as the general manager of Caterpillar’s Specialty Products, then elected vice president of the Diversified Products Division a year later. In 2013, she started her tenure as vice president of Integrated Manufacturing Operations Division.
- Before joining Caterpillar, she strengthened her expertise in operations and product management in a series of positions in the U.S., Canada and Brazil during her 22-year career with General Motors.
6. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Environment says the number of supertall skyscrapers has doubled globally…
With the completion of 1,396-foot 432 Park Avenue in New York, the world now boasts 100 supertall (300-plus-meter) skyscrapers. The remarkable growth of the global tall building industry has led to 50 new supertall structures in the last 5 years. (For perspective, the first 50 supertalls took between 1930 and 2010 to complete.)
- 432 Park Avenue stands 150 feet over the Empire State Building.
- Of the 100 supertalls in the pipeline, most will be built in China. If all are completed, the total count could be close to double by the year 2020.