The Biggest Construction Industry Stories Of 2016
The Biggest Construction Industry Stories Of 2016The Biggest Construction Industry Stories Of 2016

The Biggest Construction Industry Stories Of 2016 (So Far)

Now that we are halfway through the year, let’s take a look back at some of the notable construction industry stories of the first half of 2016.

Innovations In Technology

Construction industry technology has also made waves in the news this year, with developments in 3-D printing technology and laser scanning. Dubai made construction industry headlines with its announcement that by the year 2030, 25% of all the new buildings in Dubai would be 3-D-printed. Shortly after that announcement, Dubai unveiled the world’s first fully functional 3-D-printed office, built in only 17 days. Laser scanning technology has also moved to the forefront of the construction industry. By shooting laser points from within a building, modelers can benchmark a structure prior to renovation or simply get accurate point-in-time representations of the building as it progresses through construction.

Drones And FAA Rule Changes

The construction industry is a major player in the drone world. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International reported in April that the construction and infrastructure industries are two of the biggest users of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration has given construction and infrastructure businesses 1,800 exemptions regarding drone use. Recently, the industry welcomed the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement that it had finally issued a long-awaited set of rules for their commercial use. Up until this rule announcement, anyone who wanted to use drones for any commercial purpose had to fill out an exemption form and submit it to the FAA.

New Industry Regulations

The Department of Labor caused an industry uproar this year with its update of the silica rule. The new rule would reduce the allowed exposure to silica from 250 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour period to 50 micrograms. In fact, the backlash isn’t over, as construction trade organizations have filed lawsuits to block the rule from changing. The department said the change is necessary to save more lives, while the construction industry complains that the new rule creates unattainable standards of detection, remediation and medical surveillance that will cost the construction industry billions per year.

Silica, however, is not the only issue facing major industry backlash recently. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and other industry trade associations testified before Congress this year about regulations that can add as much as 25% onto the cost of building a home. According to the NAHB, new overtime rules and regulatory costs associated with land development and the construction itself are all hindering the housing recovery and contributing to the housing market’s low inventory, high price environment.

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