Percentage of Americans surveyed in the new study, “Toward a Sustainable Future for the U.S. Power Sector: Beyond Business as Usual 2011,” who indicated that the United States should make investments needed to be a clean energy leader on a global basis. Based on this particular sample, more than three in four Americans (including 65% of Republicans, 75% of Independents, 88% of Democrats, and 56% of Tea Party members) agree with the following statement: “The U.S. needs to be a clean energy technology leader, and it should invest in the research and domestic manufacturing of wind, solar, and energy efficiency technologies.”
Source: Synapse Energy Economics and the Civil Society Institute
Amount of losses on each premium dollar insurers are paying out on workers’ compensation. Increased medical costs, loss development, and reduced payrolls are increasing insurers’ combined ratios, projected to reach 122% for 2011, up from 118% in 2010. The middle to large contractor is seeing most of the significant increases compounded by a trend in increasing experience modification rates, especially in California. Larger contractors with larger deductible programs are seeing, on average, 1% to 2% fixed cost increases.
Source: Lockton Market Update
One-Stop Placement: Market Trends, Construction
Percentage of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide produced by commercial buildings, according to “A Profitable and Resource Efficient Future: Catalysing Retrofit Finance and Investing in Commercial Real Estate,” released in October 2011. Any successful approach to combating climate change must include commercial buildings, which make up 70% of electrical consumption in some countries, notes the report. According to World Economic Forum research, nearly one-half of all energy consumed by buildings could be avoided with new energy-efficient systems and equipment, and energy savings would exceed the cost of upgrades — generally within five years or less.
Source: World Economic Forum
Level of FMI’s Nonresidential Construction Index (NRCI) for Q4 of 2011, which slipped from 52.4 the previous quarter. While the stock market continues its gyrations from news surrounding the future of the Euro countries, FMI says the NRCI has managed glacial growth, chugging along just above average for the last two years. The NRCI dropping to 50.3 this quarter is less a downward trend than a continuation of moderate growth, notes the firm. However, this doesn’t mean there are not changes going on in nonresidential construction. Panelists expressed views on the increasing use of new methods and technologies like BIM, prefabrication, modularization, integrated project delivery, sustainable construction, as well as improved productivity and business development. According to FMI, most contractors are better prepared to deal with these challenges than with abrupt changes in the economy.