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👮 Why cops are undercover as construction workers
Newsletter cover photo
Cybertrucks reimagine the 2003-era Hummer H2 "whoa, look at that thing" phenomenon
Hi there,
Tesla factory announcements, new jobsite safety mandates, and police decked out in orange and yellow safety vests—there's much to cover today in an action-packed edition of the Buildr Newsletter.
Grab your cup of coffee and let's hit the links—

Construction

From
AP News
, Austin, Texas was selected to be the site for
Tesla's second US vehicle assembly plant
estimated to cost $1.1 billion.
A 2,100-acre plot in Travis County will house the 4-million square-foot factory tasked with assembling Tesla's futuristic-looking new Cybertruck and Model Y small SUV.
While the Austin plant will be substantially larger than the original Tesla plant in Fremont, CA, it will employ 5,000 workers vs. Fremont's 10,000 workers.
The lack of corporate and individual income taxes in Texas surely played a role in Elon Musk's decision-making, and Tesla is projected to receive upwards of $60 million in tax breaks over the next 10 years.
Musk's
Cybertruck
, billed as having "better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car," admittedly looks like the DeLorean from
Back to the Future
if it went on an Amazon spree to build a home gym, stocked up on protein powder, and got shredded during quarantine.
From
Tech Xplore
, an interesting read on innovative construction technology: "
How to turn 36 seconds into $5.4 billion
."
In a nutshell: carpenter, MSc in Engineering, PhD and researcher in construction industry productivity Hasse Neve (cue the "Daenarys Stormborn of House Targaryan..." title-reciting flashbacks) and a team of researchers from Aarhus University have compared productivity data over the last 4 decades to actual output and found that, "If the country's contractors are to make more money, they need to optimize processes."
From the
published study
, Neve and his team found that just 36 seconds per hour dedicated to generating extra value would correlate to a $5.4 billion increase of the construction industry's annual GDP in the US and Canada. This would obviously scale further with any valuable time added beyond 36 seconds.
In the study, project delivery is an oft-cited antiquated process
ripe for innovation
.
Other value-adding, seconds-saving practices include prefabrication and modularization, continuous estimating, and physical co-location of project participants on the GC's side (a subtle Zoom burn).
From the
Commonwealth of Virginia
, Governor Ralph S. Northam has instilled the first
officially state-mandated safety standards in the workplace
which includes construction jobsites. In lieu of any federal mandate, Virginia's new workplace safety rules will attempt to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19.
The mandate went into effect on July 27 and will require social distancing measures including face coverings and easy access to hand sanitizing.
Virginia's decision could start a domino effect of states following suit. Oregon is
already in the planning stages
of a September 1 mandate.
In regards to jobsites, Virginia abides by
OSHA's standards for PPE and respiratory protection
.
From
ENR
, one avenue most fertile for California's pandemic rebound is school construction. Governor Gavin Newsom and legislators reached a budget deal that will
keep in place current spending for K-12 schools and community colleges
.
Southern California school construction lets out a collective exhale, as Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) sits on a voter-approved bond program currently valued at $27.5 billion.
Of that amount, 650 projects valued at $3.7 billion are in pre-construction and 220 projects valued at $1.6 billion are in construction. With another $900 million in soon-to-be announced projects, that still leaves $21.3 billion, if our calculator app is working properly.
Says LAUSD Facilities Services Division chief exec Mark Hovatter: "Over the next year alone, we expect these projects to create 16,000 construction jobs, making meaningful progress in the economic recovery."
Construction Dive
published
their latest edition
of (scary musical cue) The Biggest OSHA fines of Q2 2020.
We won't summarize the jobsite misconduct penalties that Construction Dive conveniently lists. Our one editorialization we like to make when these lists drop is that it's the construction industry equivalent of peeking into the principal's office to see who's in there.
From
NBC Los Angeles
, 15 more construction workers have tested positive for COVID-19 on the
SoFi Stadium project
, bringing the total to 49 confirmed cases.
SoFi Stadium is the future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
The $5 billion Turner Construction/AECOM-Hunt Construction Group joint project is approximately 97% complete.
The
entertainingly-publicized Allegiant Stadium construction
has encountered similar outbreaks in the rushed lead up to a still-pending NFL season start in September.
Speaking of editorializing, NBCLA's choice in article title "Is SoFi Stadium Cursed?" makes us realize we've never once factored into the pandemic the possibility of witchcraft and may need to rethink everything.
From
New York Construction Report
— in an effort to crack down on reckless and distracted driving near workzones, New York police officers will
disguise themselves as construction workers
in Governor Andrew Cuomo's aptly named plan: "Operation Hardhat."
Who owns the movie rights to this story? Should Buildr get to work on an
Operation Hardhat
screenplay with Will Ferrell at the helm as an undercover cop or has someone already called dibs on it?
Congratulations to
The B1M
for being the first construction YouTube channel to surpass 1 million subscribers. With beautiful, high-quality content like "
The Structures That Defy Gravity
," it's no surprise so many people are taking notice.

Non-Construction

See Fluffy Run
: The Construction section was so packed today that
Ford's robot construction dog video content
overflowed into Non-Construction.
TV Dinner
: The 2020 Emmy nominations
were announced
. Some Buildr hot takes include "With 26 nominations,
Watchmen
is still somehow underrated," "Zendaya deserves her nom," and "Baby Yoda was snubbed for Best Supporting Actor."
1200 Reasons Why
: With new stimulus checks soon to be dispersed,
here's a handy calculator
to see how much you're due to receive.
Zazoomifoo
: In light of (almost) Month 6 of Zoomlife, here's a
cheat sheet of strategies
to help your teams avoid Zoom fatigue. Tips include calling everyone by name, opting not to read from slides, and lightening the mood by bringing up that you think you read a
Zaboomifoo reference
in a construction tech newsletter.
Nolan Watch
: In a story that's starting to give us whiplash,
Tenet's
release date has changed from "indefinite" to "September 3," in
light of the movie being released in 70 countries
at the end of August.
Enter Passcode Please
: The Verge finally
puts words to the slightly frustrating feeling
of our phones not unlocking because our face masks put a damper on facial recognition.
Miami Vice
: After perhaps too hasty a start, the baseball season finds itself in jeopardy as
over half the Miami Marlins roster contracted COVID-19
after a night out in Atlanta.
Reminder
: there's two days left in our Buildr mug giveaway contest. Send your friends
this link
. Whoever gets the most friends to subscribe to this newsletter gets a box of shiny new Buildr mugs. "
The mugs say 'Buildr' on them
." - The Buildr Newsletter
Do you enjoy getting your news from our newsletter? Are there any stories you'd like to hear more about? Can season 3 of
Succession
please happen? Hit "reply" and let us know.
Until next time!