The world needs construction and facility maintenance.
Learn about using Buildr for free if your business has been affected by COVID-19
Why you shouldn't blow your PPP loan on a Harley
Newsletter cover photo
Blockchain in construction: the next frontier?
Google's building a utopia in Silicon Valley, Salt Lake City International gets a makeover, and a story about a former construction company owner that got caught spending his PPP loan money on golf clubs and a new Harley—let’s hit the links, shall we?

Construction

From
REBusiness Online
, among the expansions that went unhindered by COVID-19, Salt Lake City International
finished its $4 billion first phase
which will be opening to the public on September 15, with all phases set for completion in 2024.
Designed by HOK Architects and built by HDJV (Holder Construction and Big-D Construction) with AOJV (Austin Commercial and Okland Construction) handling the North Concourse, the new terminal features “more efficient passenger flow, visual aesthetics, new amenities and high environmental standards.”
Those “high environmental standards” include earthquake protection that the original facility (designed half a century ago) was in over its head on being equipped for.
The design of the new terminal also helps eliminate airplane parking bottlenecks, so that Salt Lake City International’s runways no longer feel like getting in and out of a Costco parking lot on the first weekend of quarantine.
From the
Boston Herald
, the MBTA made
massive strides in construction
due to dramatically decreased ridership since... you know.
“By allowing crews longer periods of 24/7 access, the T is able to complete upgrades more quickly and save money along the way,” said Mass Gov., Charlie Baker.
Savings were about 30%, cutting off almost a year of construction time. Perhaps if this savings had commenced sooner, Baker could have lended some cash to the Red Sox to keep Mookie Betts.
From
Construction Dive
’s
Tech 101
series that provides accessible, bird’s eye view rundowns on some of the industry's up-and-coming tech and tools, check out their article this month on the use of
blockchain technology in construction
.
“Blockchain? That has to do with bitcoin right? Are we paying specialty contractors in bitcoins now?” You’re right, blockchain technology does have to do with bitcoin but not when it comes to construction. You can still pay specialty contractors in bitcoins if you want but
we’d strongly dissuade you from doing that
.
Like many pieces of construction tech (ahem,
Buildr
), blockchain’s benefit is to not only replace paper but also human-handled digital bookkeeping altogether. That’s right—even digital paper is in blockchain’s crosshairs. Think: job done -> payment in your account simultaneously, with the middle-man step of invoicing teleported into another dimension through the magic that is blockchain.
That auto-payment feature of blockchain surely provides the dopamine blast of an overly prompt Venmo payment from a friend for something you weren’t even going to bother requesting payment for.
If on-the-horizon tech like construction blockchain is too speculative for you,
For Construction Pros
gave their rundown of the
10 pieces of tech
that are currently improving all aspects of construction. BIM, AR, drones, and 3D printing make the cut, though Spot the robot construction dog is conspicuously missing. Did someone forget to close the front door? Do we need to put up “Lost Dog, answers to Spot” signs?
From
The Drive
, the U.S. Air Force
experimented with using robot dogs
in base security at Nellis Air Force Base. How good are these boys? The robot dogs, cousins of Spot, were designed by Ghost Robotics and are designed for security, namely remote inspection, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) missions, mapping, and distributed communications.
In an example of what
not
to do with PPP money,
Equipment World
detailed
a story about an ex-construction company owner
that obtained a federal paycheck protection loan for $841,000 and spent it all on golf gear, a Harley-Davidson, and some personal bank account padding.
Kyle Brenizer, 32, was the former owner of True-Cut Construction, LLC in Brooklyn, MN but was ordered to cease business in 2018 by the Department of Labor. In applying for the small business PPP, Brenizer lied that he was still the owner. More like False-Cut Construction, LLC (ba-dum CYMBAL CRASH).
We’re not sure which is more baffling about this story: Brenizer brazenly spending PPP money or the government accepting him for the loan in the first place. If
the Lakers can fly under the radar
as a “small business,” the vetting process must be pretty lax.
Here are
39 additional PPP frauds
if you’re as fascinated as we are in people making dumb decisions and getting immediately caught.
From
CNBC
, Google has proposed
a massive, 40-acre conversion
into a “town-like tech hub,” which includes a mix of office space, housing, retail and event space in Mountain View, CA. Google’s teaming up with Australia-based real estate developer LendLease for the project. This will be like
the campus in
Devs
without the 90-foot statue and all the doom (hopefully).
From
The B1M
, enjoy
this video
on how the London skyline has affected the weather of the city (if you’re not subscribed to The B1M on YouTube at this point, you’re just being stubborn).

Non-Construction

Now You See Me 3 - Now You Three Me
: If you somehow missed David Blaine doing David Blaine stuff last week, here are
the highlights
of his dangerous interpretation of the Pixar film,
Up
.
See A1 Run
: Now China’s
getting in on robot construction dogs
. Their version of Spot is the jet black “A1.” No cross-promotion with the steak sauce (yet).
Phoning it in
: Enjoy all
the speculative features of the upcoming iPhone 12
that will surely make you look at your now defunct iPhone 11 Pro with scorn at how useless a potato it is.
Oh boy
: A couple’s gender reveal gimmick
started an 11.5 square mile fire
in El Ranch Dorado Park. 25 wildfires currently rage across California
burning 1000 acres every 30 seconds
.
Halo there
: The price (cheap) and size (small) of the new Xbox dropping in November
leaked
.
Bet
: In news that surprises no one, Michael Jordan took equity stake in DraftKings and will become an adviser. The man
enjoyed gambling
on the “throw a coin against a wall with a random guy” game; he was bound to team up with DraftKings someday.
A Quiet Place
: On the eve of the NFL coming back (checks watch) tomorrow, here’s
an interesting look
at how fanless or semi-fanless stadiums will affect games.
If you've been forwarded this email and would like some news and notes in your inbox every Wednesday morning,
be sure to subscribe here
.
See you next week!