ENGINEERING TECH

Linesight's Commodity Report Shows Volatility in Construction Material Prices to Remain in 2022

Linesight | May 02, 2022

Linesight
Linesight, a global construction consultancy firm, expects prices for construction commodities to remain high and volatile in 2022, despite a predicted stabilization in the market many thought would come to fruition in Q1.

Leading up to the end of 2021, many believed the pandemic-related supply chain issues would begin to ease off and allow for a stabilization of the market, but the Russia-Ukraine crisis has deeply affected the situation; both directly, due to the primary production of specific materials stemming from those countries, and indirectly, due to the conflict's overall effects on the global supply chain.

Despite the prevalent risks at play stemming from the ongoing conflict and the materials pricing and availability issues these risks are likely to impose on the market the US construction industry is expected to grow in 2022 by 4.5%, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This recovery in the construction industry is anticipated to be primarily fueled by an acceleration of activity within the residential sector, which will only drastically increase the demand for the materials needed in that sector, most importantly concrete, cement, and other aggregates, further driving up the prices. Other contributing factors to the expected recovery include a rising demand for new buildings and infrastructure in the life sciences, high tech manufacturing, and public infrastructure projects.

In 2022, with prices and availability for essential construction materials like copper, lumber, steel, and cement continuing to remain unreliable, and directly impacting construction output, the total construction output for the US in 2022 will likely end up around $1.672 trillion. This would represent a year-over-year gain of 4.5%, after 2021 saw a total construction output of $1.599 trillion.

Further findings from Linesight's first-quarter Commodity Report and price forecast, which is based on interviews with over 160 industry experts across the globe, include:

Prices for lumber saw the largest quarter-to-quarter price increase from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1 for the commodities tracked in the report, starting at $8.5/cu ft in Q4 of 2021 and rising 79.5% in Q1 of 2022. It is forecasted that lumber prices will continue to rise through 2022, mostly due to the increase in tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the US, with an expected price of $16.1/cu ft.

Raw material prices for steel also saw a significant quarter-to-quarter price increase from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1, with steel rebar rising 4.7% and steel flat rising 8.9%. This trend is expected to continue due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, who are collectively attributed with around 60% of the US's imports of pig iron.

With construction activity ramping up, demand for steel will be high in 2022. This will probably be reflected in the price of the materials, as Linesight’s report predicts a year-over-year increase of 12.2% and 17.2% on steel rebar and steel flat, respectively, with a forecasted price of $1,177/t for steel rebar and $2,182/t for steel flat in 2022.

Just as the acceleration of construction activity has greatly affected the pricing of steel, it is also expected to do the same for concrete, cements, and other aggregates, with increased demand for infrastructure being another major factor driving the prices up. Cement and concrete already saw a 3% increase in pricing from Q4 of 2021 to Q1 of 2022, and it is forecasted that they will climb another 7.7%, with a projected price of $139/t for cement and $144/cu yd for concrete in the latter half of 2022.

Other significant quarter-to-quarter price increases from 2021 Q4 to 2022 Q1 found in Linesight's first-quarter Commodity Report included welded mesh rising 32.6%, diesel fuel rising 17.1%, and asphalt rising 8.1%.

“Despite the anticipated stabilization of materials costs, due to ongoing global issues, 2022 is expected to be another challenging year for the construction industry that will bring with it many disruptions, both in the supply chain and in the overall productivity of the industry, But due to these continued disruptions, we are beginning to see major strategic changes in approach to procurement and supply chain management to minimize risk on construction projects. Many are looking to overhaul their approach, with some projects moving away from the ‘Just in Time’ model, others looking at reducing waste within the supply chain, building out back-up plans rather than being reactive to disruptions, building stronger and more diverse supplier relationships, and engaging early with all stakeholders to put in place strategies geared towards greater certainty regarding cost and schedule.”

Patrick Ryan, Executive Vice President, Americas, Linesight

About Linesight
Linesight is a multinational construction consultancy firm with over 48 years' experience, providing cost, schedule, program, and project management services to a multitude of sectors including Life Sciences, Commercial, Data Centers, High-Tech Industrial, Residential, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Retail. Linesight's specialist project teams, each with specific skills and experience, provide better predictability of project outcomes, faster project delivery, greater cost efficiency, and maximum monetary value for its clients.

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Combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological science, Biomedical engineering improves health care delivery and medical practice by closing the gap between engineering and medicine. Chalmers is world leading in developing bone anchored hearing aids and has highly prominent research in e.g. non-invasive epileptic source localization, microwave tomography and hyperthermia treatment of cancer.


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ENGINEERING TECH

GameAbove Funds a New Park and Outdoor Event Space at Eastern Michigan University

GameAbove | June 16, 2022

The Eastern Michigan University alumni group, GameAbove, donates $610,000 to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for a new upscale 38,000 sq. ft. park on the University's campus. Land construction began in the spring 2021 and is scheduled for completion for the fall semester and start of the 2022 academic year. The new park is on the site of the former president's house between Goddard Residence Hall and Sill Hall, which more recently housed a sorority. The redevelopment plans cover the area south of Legacy-Sponberg Theatres to West Forest Avenue. The newly landscaped space around the south side of Sill Hall toward Lowell Street will offer outdoor studying and a gathering area for students and faculty. EMU selected Michigan-based civil engineering company PEA Group to lead the redevelopment. "We are excited to bring this amazing space to the campus," said Karen LeVert, GameAbove advisory board member. "The renovated Sill Hall offers an incredible academic experience for students pursuing their degrees in STEM-related fields. We want to help extend the innovative design to the outside areas surrounding the building, and that is our goal here with the new park." Along with LeVert, other GameAbove members who contributed to planning the project are Jeff Bourdon, Jack Brusewitz, Chris Kaufman, and Craig Petersmark. Features of the new park include: More than 45 new trees and shrubs, including seasonal flowering trees Amphitheater Nine seating walls Paved circular drive Planters Up to six new sculptures Beautification efforts such as the new park enhance the visual appearance on campus and help with recruiting new students and retaining existing students. Students want their learning environments to be inviting and stimulating, and we will accomplish that with this amazing new outdoor space with the help from GameAbove. We are incredibly grateful for their continuous support of the college and entire University." Mohamad Qatu, dean of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology The donation expands on GameAbove's commitment and partnership with EMU and its College of Engineering and Technology. Since its launch in 2019, GameAbove has committed more than $30 million to EMU, supporting or creating programs that spark innovation and academic advancement. Some of those programs include enhancing faculty enrichment, supplying financial aid to students, and building and improving new facilities that advance student-athlete achievements at EMU. GameAbove also supports programs to encourage STEM learning in school-aged children and partners with nationally recognized organizations that enable youth to explore an education and career path in STEM. About GameAbove GameAbove at EMU's primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students at Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. GameAbove aspires to help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting innovative financial models to sustain universities, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, promoting pioneering academic programs, and creative giving within the community. About the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology provides world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and other areas of study in high-demand career fields. It is within the college's mission to cultivate individuals' intellectual and personal growth through research-informed education and diverse programs that emphasize the practical application of scientific knowledge. About Eastern Michigan University Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education.

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ENGINEERING TECH

H3 Dynamics & ELID Partner on Fully Autonomous Building Facade Maintenance, Link-up AXIOBOT Robotic Gondolas to H3 Zoom Façade Inspection Software

H3 Dynamics | April 11, 2022

Singapore industrial AI & robotics companies, H3 Dynamics and ELID Technology, have entered a commercial and technical partnership that ties H3 Dynamics’ AI-enabled façade assessments to ELID’s robotic façade repair gondolas. The combined technologies create the first end to end automation solution covering both inspection and remediation activities on tall buildings. This increases worker safety, while scaling up much needed maintenance in large-scale cities with aging populations and thousands of aging structures. Launched 3 years ago, H3 Dynamics’ H3 Zoom platform applies AI and workflow automation to help digitize health assessments of various structures and sites, with a first solution aimed at modernizing dangerous façade inspection work. This year Singapore enacted the Periodic Façade Inspection regime, making it compulsory to inspect buildings over 13 meters high and over 20 years of age every 7 years. Anticipating this development, Singapore’s JTC Corporation partnered with H3 Dynamics to develop an all-digital façade inspection solution as part of a national innovation initiative, now seen as the most advanced solution of its kind. The AI-enabled solution has been applied to over 900 buildings so far in Singapore alone. So far H3 Dynamics relied mainly on drone cameras to feed its cloud-based report generation system with HD and thermal images. But in the last 2 years its platform expanded to “non-drone" data workflows, connecting to body worn cameras, fixed cameras, and various robots – including AXIOBOTS robotic façade gondolas from ELID. “H3 Zoom is an agnostic site or asset intelligence platform - we purposely separated our software platform from our hardware developments so that we can open ourselves to new possibilities,” says Shaun Koo, CTO and co-Founder of H3 Dynamics’ H3 Zoom business. “Robotic gondolas can operate autonomously where drones cannot, especially in tight urban environments.” Following recent developments with CapitaLand, one of South-East Asia’s leading real estate companies – H3 Dynamics’ H3 Zoom platform capabilities have expanded to automated repair cost estimates, vendor management as well as repair project tracking. The platform links seamlessly to third party enterprise software, such as SAP’s work order management systems, or BIM tools from Autodesk, and has now partnered with HP Enterprise and Oracle to reach even more clients. The company’s system is open, agnostic, and can flow easily from assets anywhere in the field to clients’ operations. ELID’s AXIOBOTS robotic gondolas bring façade maintenance automation to the next level: they can paint, grout, clean, check for waterproofing and provide visual inspection. Combining AXIOBOTS with H3 Zoom AI-enabled platform fully automates the physical inspection and remediation process, linking precise positioning and qualification of defects with automated NDT physical checks and repair. “Our partnership with ELID exemplifies a powerful end to end innovation, where robots are not just capable of acquiring data, but also execute repair tasks identified by our AI analytics platform. This will make smart cities even smarter - bringing building automation to the next level,” stated Taras Wankewycz, CEO of H3 Dynamics. “We are proud to have H3 Dynamics’ market leading 'Facade Inspector' solution tied to AXIOBOTS facade robots. This provides clients with an easy all-in-one-solution for their façade maintenance needs,” Kenneth Wong, CEO of ELID Technology International H3 Dynamics and ELID are expected to begin trials of the combined solution in Singapore with JTC Corporation and Frasers Property Singapore, as a springboard to other megacities and countries with dense urban city-centers. About H3 Zoom by H3 Dynamics: Seeing digitization as the main driver for autonomous robotics and drone operations, H3 Dynamics created the H3 Zoom platform in 2015. H3 Zoom is a cloud-based and sensor agnostic autonomous analytics services platform that aggregates and transforms raw image and video files into cloud-based analytical insights. H3 Zoom’s broad array of expert services help accelerate maintenance and compliance decision-making for site or structure owners, facilities managers, and construction companies. The platform was launched commercially in 2019 and has since become a market leader for remote analytics as a service in Southeast Asia, with expansion now taking place globally through several partnerships including SAP, Oracle, and HP Enterprise. About ELID Technology: ELID Technology has been a renowned manufacturer of Access Control solutions since 1993 and started the development of AXIOBOTS in 2015. AXIOBOTS ’ autonomous painting system was completed in 2017 while its cleaning, visual inspection, and water-tightness testing capability was launched in 2019—making AXIOBOTS the world’s 1st automated 4-in-1 robotic façade solution, and a market leader in its field. AXIOBOTS has patents granted in 7 countries including Singapore and United States while 6 other countries pending grant. 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ENGINEERING TECH

AEP Names Martin Vice President Of Infrastructure Engineering, IT Operations and Support

American Electric Power | June 01, 2022

American Electric Power has named Steven Martin vice president, Infrastructure Engineering, IT Operations & Support, effective May 30. He reports to Therace Risch, executive vice president and chief information & technology officer. Martin is responsible for the technology planning and delivery for infrastructure technologies including compute, network, storage and end-user tools. He also oversees technology operations and support. AEP continues to transform the way our employees work and implement new technologies to streamline our business, while enhancing the customer experience. Steven's focus on providing reliable, cost-effective, and an easy user experience, as well as his deep expertise in operations and infrastructure engineering, make him a valuable addition to our team. We welcome his leadership and insights as we deliver technology solutions that support AEP's efforts to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy." Therace Risch, executive vice president and chief information & technology officer Martin joins AEP from JCPenney, where he was vice president of Technology Enterprise Services and led information technology infrastructure, operations, support, and cyber functions and carried the dual role of managing director, JCPenney Services India. Prior to JCPenney, he served as senior director of the Technology Operations Center and senior director of Application Support for Target Corp. Martin also worked at Dell for nearly 13 years in roles of increasing responsibility. He received his bachelor's degree in management information systems from Texas Tech University. AboutAmerican Electric Power American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP's approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 7,100 megawatts of renewable energy. The company's plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

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EDUCATION

New Bootcamp aimed at anyone interested in a career in the engineering construction industry.

Modern Building Services | December 15, 2021

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Spotlight

Combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological science, Biomedical engineering improves health care delivery and medical practice by closing the gap between engineering and medicine. Chalmers is world leading in developing bone anchored hearing aids and has highly prominent research in e.g. non-invasive epileptic source localization, microwave tomography and hyperthermia treatment of cancer.

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