Construction Starts Up 1% Over 2012

Through August, the total dollar value of new construction starts was estimated at $329.4 billion, which was just 1% higher than the same period a year ago, according to the Dodge division of McGraw Hill Construction. The increase all came from a 27% hike in the value of residential construction. The non-residential building market was down 3% from the first eight months of 2012, while non-building work was down 21% for the same period. "A more solid expansion requires a greater contribution from non-residential building," says Robert Murray, MHC's chief economist.

Colorado DOT Waits for Fed-Approved Flood-Repair Funds

Congress voted on Sept. 30 to raise the $100-million federal cap on disaster highway funds for Colorado as the state begins rebuilding after the devastating mid-September floods. The latest estimate from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation to repair more than 200 miles of damaged highways and 50 closed bridges is $475 million. That does not include the hundreds of city streets and county roads that are still impassable. The total price tag for repairs and reconstruction from the Colorado floods could top $1.3 billion. Weld County, 60 miles north of Denver, is scrambling to get more access for the area's farmers so they can get their crops harvested and stored before winter. Local and state officials don't have the federal funds yet but say they can't delay repairs. "We can't wait for bureaucracy to work," says George Gerstle, Boulder County transportation director. "The money will have to catch up."

Groups Publish First Standard On Building Commissioning

ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, applies to all construction projects and systems. The industry consensus document presents an integrated process for commissioning intended to result in a fully functional facility that has complete documentation of its systems and assemblies, says ASHRAE. The standard defines the process through 13 steps, each of which contains deliverables. The first step is to initiate the commissioning process at the project's inception. The last step is to assemble a report that captures all project commissioning documentation. The standard costs $72. It is available from