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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Dec. 6, 2011

Construction spending in US rises for 3rd consecutive month
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Construction spending in the U.S. rose in October for a third consecutive month on gains in housing and commercial projects like office buildings and power plants. Building outlays increased 0.8 percent, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 52 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.3 percent gain. More

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A little matter of 11 weeks that could change voting results
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas primaries will be held on March 6 next year, with runoffs more than two months later, on May 22. Maybe. If the federal courts decide redistricting maps should be redrawn before the voting starts, some of those primary contests could be moved to May. There's little time left to rework the maps — candidates started filing for the March primaries this week — so it's possible that delaying some of the primaries is the only way to put new maps in place. More

Weak housing market beginning to lean in the right direction
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A patchwork of good and not-so-good housing and economic data emerged over the past three weeks. Housing measures appeared to start moving in the right direction, but from record low levels. More

Spending on building energy efficiency to boom in next 5 years
For Construction Pros    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Building energy efficiency may not be sexy but it is big business. According to a recent report, it's going to get a whole lot bigger. Pike Research predicts the building energy efficiency market will soar more than 50 percent between now and 2017 to $103.5 billion. Among the leading factors: an active stable of energy service companies (ESCOs) and aggressive efficiency policies being enacted around the world. More

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Architects and contractors team up
Constructech    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The transition from traditional, linear design-build contracts to more integrated initiatives such as IPD (integrated project delivery) is causing a shift in the construction industry. More so than ever before, the industry is focused on teamwork, collaboration, and building a better understanding between architects and contractors. In line with the trend in the industry, the American Institute of Architects and the Associated Builders and Contractors have announced an agreement to foster a greater understanding and exchange of ideas between architects and contractors. More

BP says Halliburton destroyed evidence in Gulf spill case
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
BP Plc accused a unit of Halliburton Co. of intentionally destroying evidence that could be used to prove the oilfield services firm shares blame for the blowout that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Halliburton Energy Services Inc. destroyed test results that showed samples of the cement used to seal London-based BP's Macondo well, which exploded off the Louisiana coast last year, were unstable, BP said in a filing in federal court in New Orleans. More

Natural gas boom projected to fuel job growth
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A nationwide boom in natural gas production is set to fuel nearly 900,000 jobs and add roughly $1,000 to annual household budgets by 2015, according to a new industry study. The boom in shale gas production nationwide — exemplified by modern-day drilling boom towns that have sprung up in Pennsylvania, North Texas and western states — is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, said the study's lead author, John Larson, vice president of IHS Global Insight, an energy research firm based in suburban Denver. More

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Squatters claim more than $8 million worth of Tarrant County properties
Forth Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While county officials were asleep at the wheel, Tarrant County became a magnet this year for an odd assortment of squatters claiming other people's houses all over the area. The cast of characters includes a homeowner who scooped up a dead neighbor's house; a woman who came to Fort Worth from Memphis to lay claim to a $2.7 million mansion; people who cited Bible verses as legal justification for taking properties; and career criminals who grabbed homes to lease to tenants. More

Many Texas Republicans in Washington hold back on presidential endorsements
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the long slog toward the presidential nomination continues, at least 10 Texas Republicans in Congress have yet to pick a candidate. Some quickly endorsed Gov. Rick Perry when he jumped into the race in August. Two decided, before that, to back Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker. Representative Lamar Smith of San Antonio made a high-profile endorsement of Mitt Romney in October. And Representative Ron Paul is a candidate himself. More

Firm criticized on hurricane grants in line for wildfire work
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While spiraling costs were leading one state agency to cancel an engineering firm's $144 million contract to manage hurricane disaster grants, another agency was arranging to hire the same firm, at the same rates, to provide more disaster services this time in response to the hundreds of wildfires that scorched Texas this year. More

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Texas lottery sales hit record
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nineteen years ago, then-Gov. Ann Richards stood at the counter of an Austin feedstore and bought the first instant lottery ticket sold in Texas. It was a loser, prompting her response: "Oh, rats." Since that day, more than $62 billion worth of lottery tickets have been sold in Texas, pumping more than $19 billion into state coffers. And this year, Texans have spent more on lottery tickets — $3.8 billion — than in any year before. More

Building Industry Association names Holt 2012 president
The Highlander    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tony Holt of Zbranek & Holt Custom Homes is the new president of the Building Industry Association of the Highland Lakes following an installation earlier this month, the association announced. Holt is the immediate Past-President of the Lakeway Chapter of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. More

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HUD making itself at home in city housing department
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking the rare step of directly intervening in the city of Houston's troubled housing department, which has been plagued by mismanagement and waste for more than a decade. More

Anderson Hanson Blanton celebrates 25 years in business
Anderson Hanson Blanton    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Jody Hanson and Debbie Anderson decided to start an advertising agency specializing in new home marketing in 1986, Texas was at the bottom of the residential real estate market. That did not deter the spunky go-getters. They worked without taking a salary most of that first year and landed Gagewood Homes, Darling Homes and Drees Custom Homes as their first clients. Now, 25 years later and in another down economy, Anderson Hanson Blanton is celebrating 25 years in business and thriving. More
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