This week in construction

Each Monday, we'll let you know what's coming in the week ahead, including important residential and commercial report releases, as well as our feature articles. 

"The Dotted Line" contract series: Change orders — July 12

In January, we launched our year-long series, "The Dotted Line," exploring facets of construction contracts each month. From guaranteed maximum price, to design-build, to lump sum, we've looked into the intricacies of each type of agreement.

On Tuesday, July 12, the next installment in our series will examine change orders and their legal ramifications. Changes to the scope of work are common on construction projects of all sizes, but general contractors and subcontractors have different considerations when faced with a directive to perform work outside their original contracts. 

Producer Price Index — July 14

The monthly Producer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be released on Thursday, July 14. That afternoon, the Associated Builders and Contractors will offer their take on the data, and we'll cover both reports in a combined story.

Last month, the BLS reported May construction material prices rose 0.7% from April but fell 3.4% year-over-year. May marked the third consecutive month of increases in construction industry inputs in the Producer Price Index. 

ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said that after the steep drop of material prices at the end of 2015 and in early 2016, a bump in prices "had to happen as markets firmed." Will prices continue to inch up this month, or will they return to their downward trend?

Barriers to U.S. high-speed rail feature article — July 14

High-speed rail is commonplace all over the world, with one notable exception — the U.S. While some states have already completed these types of projects or have plans in the works — such as California's high-profile rail project — wider adoption of high-speed rail in the U.S. has been slow. Last month, officials of a planned Los Angeles-Las Vegas high-speed rail system announced they had abandoned a deal with Chinese partner and financial backer China Railway International because the foreign rail company could not overcome the requirement that high-speed trains be manufactured in the U.S.

In our feature article on Thursday, July 14, we'll talk with transportation and high-speed rail experts to find out why high-speed rail has struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S., and how Americans can benefit from its adoption.

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Filed Under: Commercial Building Residential Building
Top image credit: Pixabay - Luvmissile