Date:May 14, 2013
Posted by:Gary Brown
Tags:icflabor shortagemodular constructionNAHBtechnologyTilt-up
The economic downturn and housing slump has been hard on the construction industry and many professionals have left to seek employment in other sectors. With construction picking up in the first quarter of this year, labor shortages are becoming a growing concern. A National Association of Home Builders survey showed that there is an increased shortage of professionals in the industry. 23% of companies reported roofer shortages, 38% reported carpenter shortages with similar reports for electricians, framers, plumbers and bricklayers. Innovative builders are turning to advanced building methods to overcome these labor shortages. Read more
Date:April 19, 2013
Posted by:Gary Brown
Tags:electricityenergy savingsenergy starfossil fuelpower generation
Creating energy is a complex and surprisingly inefficient process. This process is especially inefficient when we use fossil fuels to generate electricity like natural gas and coal. When these fossil fuels are burned, large amounts of heat energy is lost. We then send electricity through miles of cables where further losses occur. This means that when you save 1kw of energy in your homes, you’re actually saving three or four; now that’s a great return on investment.
Remember how the Star Trek gadgets of your youth were the stuff of fantasy? Well now we have communicators, video phones, voice activation, and even transporters (they can only move atoms now, but it’s a start!) So it should come as no surprise that life is about to become stranger than science fiction once more as Washington-based startup, Planetary Resources, announces plans to start mining asteroids in as little as five years.
Exploring the Possibilities
Planetary Resources will start exploring its options in two years when space telescopes are launched to investigate the mineral composition of asteroids worth mining. Once suitable candidates have been located by the telescopes, robotic probes will ascertain their mineral composition with priority given to those rich in platinum. While larger asteroids will be mined in space, smaller ones will be towed into the earth’s orbit to expedite proceedings.