Author: Laura Black

Today’s homebuyer wants a home that is modern, stylish, sustainable, and affordable. But are some of these needs and wants at odds with each other? Can builders construct homes that have expert craftsmanship while also being affordable? The answer is certainly yes, but to achieve those objectives, builders must consider how they are building these homes. One way to achieve this is through a manufactured home. Here homes are often constructed in an off-site location, which means the builder can achieve greater efficiencies in production, which ultimately means cost savings for the homeowner. We see this occurring in the new…

Read More

If we want to solve the labor crisis, we must consider each person’s unique set of needs. Let’s consider the example of women in construction. Too often, this group of people still face a lack of PPE (personal protective equipment) and other hurdles. In fact, a new report suggests there are several critical challenges that women still face today—in 2024—in the construction industry. In the 2024 She Builds Nation report, Lumber gained insights from more than 100 women construction owners, executives, and decision makers. Let’s unpack what this report uncovered. The Challenges Let’s start with that PPE, which is still…

Read More

There has been much talk about the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) in all walks of life—but the applications are what is truly exciting for many. Today, let’s consider one example for grid infrastructure inspections and monitoring. Buzz Solutions is an AI company that inspects and protects critical energy infrastructure. The company allows field teams to focus on performing maintenance in a timely manner, which will ultimately reduce the likelihood of wildfires, forced shutdowns, and power outages that result from failed grid infrastructure. The company was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Kaitlyn Albertoli and Vikhyat Chaudhry, two Stanford graduates that…

Read More

Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace—faster than ever before. We often spend some time at the end of the year planning for the year ahead. Let’s take a moment in the middle of the year to see what is going well—and what is not—in order to best prepare our businesses for the second half of 2024. To do this, let’s walk through a brief four-step mid-year review process. Recognize New Tech Trends As stated, technology is evolving faster than ever before. We must constantly stop to take note of what is changing and how it will impact our…

Read More

The best way to learn something about the different generations is to spend some time with them. I recently had an opportunity to spend some time in my child’s 2nd grade class, talking all about being a writer and editor—and there were some big things that surprised me. I spoke for about five minutes or so and then the students asked me questions—a lot of questions. Little hands flew up into the air wanting to know things like how long it took me to write a book and when did I write the book in relation to having my child.…

Read More

Yesterday was Earth Day. What did you do to commemorate it? Today wraps up our Earth Day Series, which has looked at sustainability in construction and in the lifecycle of buildings. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this series is that all stakeholders in the construction industry need to work together to achieve the ambitious goals that are needed to reduce lifecycle emissions—from design, to construction, to operations, and everywhere in between. New programs could help too. Consider the example of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v5, which is the newest version of the…

Read More

We are currently embarking on a blog series looking at sustainability—and exploring the topic in both in the construction process and ultimately in the lifecycle of the building. Now, there is a new report out that explores how we can create a national blueprint for decarbonizing the United States in the building sector. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts. Released in April 2024, the report from the U.S. Dept. of Energy provides a framework for how to reduce building greenhouse gas emissions, while still providing resilience, affordability, equity, and other benefits to communities. It sets forth a rather…

Read More

Sustainable construction starts with the design of the building—and continues throughout the lifecycle of a construction project from work being done on the jobsite and in the office, ultimately through the operations of a building. With Earth Day just around the corner, let’s examine some of the biggest trends for the construction industry. Deloitte suggests the built environment accounts for roughly 39% of gross annual carbon emissions, which includes both operational carbon and embodied carbon. Operational carbon emissions are the ongoing emissions from day-to-day use, while embodied carbon emissions are all the carbon used when producing, transporting, and disposing of…

Read More

We are currently embarking on a short Earth Day series, narrowing in on sustainability in the construction industry. Last week, we looked at overall sustainability in our buildings. Today, let’s narrow in on the conversation surrounding water and building standards. In March, the Intl. Code Council shared the findings of a new report from the University of Miami, which found building standards are a defense against water scarcity. The IWCCP (Intl. Water Conservation Code Provisions) promotes water conservation through safe and sustainable practices. In the book Sustainable in a Circular World, Peggy Smedley wrote about the dangers our world faces…

Read More

Earth Day is roughly a month away. Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. To prepare, let’s embark on a short blog series focusing on sustainability in the construction industry. First up, sustainability in our buildings. We have all heard the dire statistics. Roughly 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction and operation of the built environment, according to the United Nations. Certainly, this impacts the environment, but it also impacts pocketbooks. In the current real estate market, operational costs and sustainability are crucial,…

Read More