Week of September 23, 2019

Construction goes green, automation surges, and more construction news

Solar glass, graphene, and other things that could save the planet
As concern for the environment grows every year, the construction industry is being challenged to find new and innovative ways to be more green. There are lots of interesting technologies in their early stages that could totally change the way we approach construction in the coming decades, such as solar glass, which would allow every window in a building to generate energy.

 Why we need more women in construction

The construction industry remains a stubbornly male profession, with women making up just 14.55 of the workforce. Even worse, just 2% of workers in skilled manual trades are female. A lack of women in the construction industry means half the population—and consequently all of their ideas on thinking and working—is shut out of participating in an industry that needs their skills.

 Automation is increasing in construction, and could solve big problems

A lot has changed since the housing collapse a little more than a decade ago, especially in the construction industry, where automation is surging. Construction firms hope that automation can help them solve a whole raft of challenges they presently face, such as increasing competition and a shortage of skilled labor.

Construction industry experiencing ‘unique’ labor situation

The construction industry has been undergoing a pretty unique recovery ever since the 2007-2008 crash and subsequent Great Recession. After the industry lost 1.5 million jobs from the financial crisis, firms have struggled to lure workers back even in the midst of good economic times, leading to a skilled labor shortage. The pain is most acute on the residential construction side.

 Bamboo is a hot construction material in Australia

Sustainable materials are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry, and one particular material that is taking off in Australia is bamboo. Bamboo is desirable because it’s a renewable resource, it’s lightweight, and it’s flexible and strong. And, unlike timber, it takes just a few years for bamboo to grow to full strength. [Read more]

 Construction firms looking for younger applicants

With the skilled labor shortage challenging the construction industry, firms are looking for younger applicants that they can train with on-the-job experience. A local news crew examines a construction company in Oregon that is reaching out to applicants as young as 18 or 19 years old and putting them in apprenticeship programs, learning skills over the years and taking on more complex jobs.