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😷 Chicago's COVID-Optimized Office Building Sets the Bar
Newsletter cover photo
Chicago's Fulton East is the first post-COVID-19 safety-optimized work environment
32 years ago today
Die Hard
came out, and now the only summer blockbuster we have left is
, which
keeps running further away
the closer we get to it. At least we're nearing the return of watching all our favorite millionaires play sports for our entertainment again.
Let's kill some time before then and get to this week's news and notes, shall we?


Per an
Associated Builders and Contractors
analysis of US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index data, (say that 3 times fast)
the price of construction materials has risen
for the second month in a row, up 2.2% for construction and up 2.3% for nonresidential construction.
Take a magnifying glass to these figures all you want, the answer is (drumroll) COVID-19.
Lumber swung the stats
quite a bit
due to a perfect storm of bad luck and false predictions leading to your classic supply and demand pickle that proves the psychic women from
Minority Report
can't be currently working within the lumber industry:
Mills closed due to state and local governments shutting many workplaces down.
Housing was projected to drop so the mills that did stay open decreased capacity utilization dramatically.
DIYer's with a newfound abundance of time on their hands and the big box retailers they get their lumber from had an increased demand.
Housing fared significantly better than projected.
From a release by
Taylor Johnson
, Chicago's Fulton East is the first official health & safety focused building
designed to be a post-COVID-19 work environment
Fulton East is a 12-story, 90,000 square foot office and retail building.
Hands-free elevators, hands-free faucets, lots of space for social-distancing, on-site testing—the entire building is also fashioned with a building-sized face mask according to one photograph that couldn't possibly be doctored.
To be safe, the NFL might as well play its games in this building. It would probably end up looking
like this
reports that the construction industry at large is making
some green moves forward
(low carbon concrete, recycled bricks, an uptick in Impossible Burger sack lunches), especially in the UK where the billion dollar rail project HS2 trialed the 20-ton Electric Telehandler 2.6t—a lithium-powered vehicle that produces zero carbon dioxide emissions, cleans its dishes immediately after use, and does CrossFit without mentioning it.
Following some
supposed bid-rigging,
Hensel Phelps Construction
has been selected by Denver to design and build the
$233 million Colorado Convention Center expansion
Hensel Phelps has been there done that;
they were the GC
for a Colorado Convention Center expansion in 2004.
The expansion will include an 80,000 square-foot multifunction meeting space and a 50,000 square-foot rooftop terrace. The convention center is expected to be completed by 2023.
Major League Soccer
is expanding from 26 teams to 30 teams in 2022, which is when
7 stadium projects totaling $2.85 billion
in almost entirely private funding will be completed. This may be the only football we have this year, so let's not take it for granted.
, here are
some effective ways to keep cool
on the jobsite during the dog days of summer, as well as some warning signs you're the human equivalent of your phone when it goes into auto-shutdown-"please go indoors"-mode.
Let's hope this
t-shirt air conditioner from Sony
makes its way to America. It would make a perfect jobsite accessory.
"The Greatest Skyscrapers Never Built" is a
well-edited YouTube video
The B1M
. It's architecture candy with a pleasant British voiceover narration—a great way to spend 6 minutes if you ask us.


Final Boss of Social-Distancing
: Attempting to outdo the social-distancing efforts of
, doctors in Italy completed an invasive surgery
9 miles away
from their patient with the help of robots. Hopefully the next Spot OS upgrade includes the ability to perform surgery.
Final Boss of Bosses
: McKinsey & Co's
on the "we're in this together" goodwill sowed in the wake of the onset of COVID-19 and newly remote work, and advice to employers on how to capitalize on it amidst this current return-to-work phase.
Mo' Money
: Remember when Apple got caught intentionally slowing down our iPhones so we'd hurry up and upgrade already? You can hurry up and
grab your $25 in a lawsuit already
, which could be used to buy 25 apps for your intentionally slowed down iPhone.
Less Problems
: Apple's not all the way rotten. They
just allocated
the first $400 million of their pledged $2.5 billion to address California's housing problem.
Now this... is podcasting
: That was, believe it or not, the first
Star Wars Episode I
reference that this newsletter's ever made. Put on your multitasking pants and let's
do some laundry
. Spotify now has trending
podcast charts
because our current 17-20 podcast subscription feed could use some newcomers.
21 Questions
: That massive Great Value tub of quick oats isn't going to go and buy itself. Walmart is
launching their delivery service
Walmart+ for $21 less per year than Amazon Prime.
Time to check the attic
: A vintage copy of
Super Mario Bros.
for NES
just auctioned for $114,000
. What's most egregious is that
Super Mario Bros. 3
, a better game (hot take), sold for only $38,400.
: Does time feel like it's been moving strangely in 2020? There's science for that. Here's a
fun, interactive quiz
to show how our brains are ill-equipped to perceive time objectively.
a l'orange
: This
shows the comparison between UK and US Kitchen Nightmares that are still open for business (Season 4 UK and Season 2 US are struggling).
That's all folks. Don't forget to enter our Buildr mug giveaway contest ending July 31. Send your friends
this link
. Whoever gets the most friends to subscribe to this newsletter gets a box of shiny new Buildr mugs. "
They're ideal for liquids
." - The Buildr Newsletter
Until next time.