The best word to describe the mood at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show and the current homebuilding market is “grim.” About 60,000 people attended the show in Las Vegas on Jan. 20-23, 40% fewer than attended the show last year. Exhibitors said they were not surprised at the attendance, given the state of the economy and market. Kohler, the plumbing and fixture giant, said foot traffic was off by at least 20%. “There have been more questions about how we are doing as a company than questions about our new products,” said one Kohler rep. Photo:
Defective construction resulting in costly repairs has caused cash-strapped MGM Mirage Inc. to slash condo plans at its $9.2-billion CityCenter development on the Las Vegas Strip, says CityCenter President and CEO Robert “Bobby” Baldwin. Photo: Kirvin Doak Communications CityCenter tower will be 24 stories instead of 49. On Jan. 7, the casino giant said it is cutting the Harmon Hotel & Spa in half by eliminating 200 high-end residences, of which only 44% have been sold. The curving cast-in-place concrete tower is designed by London-based Foster + Partners. Halcrow Yolles Structural Engineers is the structural engineer. Perini Building Co. is
Changing market conditions in Las Vegas have prompted MGM Mirage, owner of the $9.2-billion CityCenter mixed-use development, to transfer a chunk of its interiors work from project general contractor Perini Corp. to Tishman Construction Corp., Nevada, its executive construction manager. Tishman had been CM on the city’s $4.8-billion, 12-millionsq-ft Echelon project, halted in August because of financial problems. Photo: MGM Mirage Contractor changes could affect the project’s schedule. “[We] have been working together to determine how best to take advantage of the recent downturn in the construction community to the benefit of the project,” says MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is conducting a Dec. 19 competitive lease sale for geothermal energy development on 61 parcels totaling nearly 200,000 acres in Utah, Oregon and Idaho. The event will be held in Salt Lake City to lease 47 parcels in western and southwestern Utah, totaling 146,339 acres; 11 parcels in Oregon, totaling 41,362 acres; and three parcels in south central Idaho, totaling 8,676 acres. Photo: Ormat Technologies Inc. Idaho’s first geothermal plant, Raft River, began operation this year. Utah has only two geothermal powerplants, totaling 47 MW, but it has 1,440 MW of developable potential, reports
A near failure of Arthur V. Watkins Dam, a leaking U-shaped earth-fill levee structure located 10 miles northwest of Ogden, Utah, is prompting a compressed-schedule repair, squeezing two years of work into one. The dam was within a few days of failure, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials say, threatening lives and major flood damage to surrounding property. General contractor Geo-Solutions Inc., New Kensington, Pa., is consequently running double shifts and using specially modified equipment to speed up repair work. It designed a 150-cu-yd-per-hour slurry plant fed by twin 60-ton silos for three times the output of a typical facility. Geo-Solutions
Workers’ compensation experience ratings are widely misused as a proxy for safety. This report explores how they can cost bidders contract wins, although some owners and contractors are waking up to the problem.