If New Zealand university professor Andrew Charleson has his way, giant rubber bands cut from used tires would strap together new and existing adobe houses the world over, saving lives and avoiding injuries by preventing the houses from collapsing in earthquakes. Having tested his belt-and-suspenders concept, Charleson intends to seek funding to implement the approach as soon as the construction manual for the banding, currently under review by the World Housing Encyclopedia, is finished. Photo: Andrew Charleson Rubber-strap wraps could be installed on adobe brick houses for about $500 per house, prof says. Photo: Andrew Charleson. Straps, from used-car tires,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.