One area of the economy that has seen rapid growth over the last two years has been construction and building. And not just in California. From West Coast to East there we’re seeing a resurgence in residential and commercial construction, shipbuilding, and industrial development projects. Below, Anton Kalafati discusses some of the biggest construction stories happening across the country.
The ‘L’ is on Track
The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that it has completed major parts of the overhaul of the Chicago “L” train’s purple and red lines, along with a new bypass. The renovation, which addresses a longtime bottleneck, comes at a $1.3 billion price tag.
Teaming up on the project are construction and engineering firm Fluor Construction and general contractor Walsh Construction. The lead designer is Stantec. The bypass is part of a larger “L” project, the Red and Purple Modernization, which replaces or fixes multiple stations and tracks along a 10-mile portion of the lines that are seeing increases in riders.
The bridge is the first new section of track added to a Chicago Transit Authority route in 28 years.
The Rise of Superyachts
A sign that the wealthy are getting even wealthier around the world? A construction boom in superyachts.
According to Boat International’s 2022 Global Order Book, a record 1,024 superyachts — those longer than 80 feet — are in construction or ordered, which is 25% more than the previous year. Buyers are facing 3-5 year wait periods for a custom yacht, as shipyards struggle to meet demand, most of which is coming from the United States.
There are more than 500 more billionaires in the United States than there were before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Forbes.
Boat International notes that the total length of superyachts on schedule to be constructed by 2026 is more than 24 miles. They cost anywhere between $2 million and $500 million.
Building is World’s Largest Built With 3D Printed Real Concrete
Oman’s German University of Technology has completed the 3D printing of the walls for the world’s largest 3D printed building made from real concrete.
The 2,100 square-foot home, complete with three bathrooms, three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and guest reception area, was printed in two stages. The crew in Oman was trained in the printing during the first stage and then completed the second stage on its own, taking only five days to finish.
There have been many 3D-printed buildings constructed in the Middle East, but the Oman home is the first printed with real concrete and not dry mix mortars traditionally used in other 3D-printed building constructions.
Construction Startups Earning Major Funding
Startups focused on enhanced productivity earned most of the $4.5 billion investment flowing into the construction technology industry, according to a CEMEX Ventures report.
Contech investments overall tripled between 2020 and 2021, with a large amount of capital earmarked for startups specializing in green construction, as well as tools modernizing the construction process and in the supply chain.
Thirteen startups focused on enhancing productivity are in the CEMEX list of the top 50 contech startups in 2021. For example, the United States-based AI Clearing specializes in integrating different data sources to provide automated insights on energy and infrastructure. The top 50 list also includes 14 startups focused on green construction technology.