Three years ago, when construction was reeling from the slumping economy, the federal government provided welcome relief for design firms and contractors: Uncle Sam started to pump about $130 billion in stimulus-act construction funding and a similar amount of regular appropriations into the market.
But now, with the construction stimulus funds nearly all spent or spoken for, Congress is tightening federal purse strings. Current and probable future cuts in infrastructure and buildings programs pose yet another obstacle to recovery for a construction industry that has yet to rebound to pre-recession levels.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.