In today’s news, we will look into the single-family home construction rebounded in February after falling for several consecutive months in the housing market. Meanwhile, Lewis, who most recently had a position at Swinerton Mass Timber, will be in charge of expanding Skanska’s prefabrication and mass timber projects in the United States. On the other hand, building of a new annex to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ghana, costing $20 Million USD starts. Furthermore, with the expansion of the Career and Technology Building in Southeast Missouri, students in the construction program acquire valuable hands-on experience. Moreover, women who work in the construction sector in Oklahoma talk about their experiences and the obstacles they face.

Single-family building surged in February after months of decline

Original Source: Housing market: After months of decline, single-family construction rose in February

Apartment and single-family houses boosted U.S. home building by almost 10% in February.

When availability rises, renters may finally escape pandemic-era rental costs, while homebuyers may return to the market.

After six months of decrease, February housing starts rose 9.8% to 1.45 million units, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau.

If construction sustained this rate for a year, builders would start 1.45 million homes. In February, multifamily starts (apartments and condominiums) rose 24% while single-family starts rose 1%.

Homebuilding is 18% lower than February 2022, with single-family housing down 32%. Apartment construction rose 14% annually.

New units lower rents?

The pandemic drove up rents, but the new units should help.

There are already indications.

New data suggests that the U.S. median rent may be slowing after rising 18% in the past two years.

According to, February rents were down roughly 5% from November 2022, the fifth straight month of year-over-year single-digit rises and the lowest since June 2021.

January rentals jumped 2.4% to $1,942, but the national median fell 2% from December.

After breaking $2,000 in May, prices peaked at $2,053 in August 2022.

Is housing recovering?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) issued last month showed builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes jumped 7 points to 42 in February, indicating a second consecutive monthly gain.

According to National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz, rising builder confidence indicates a housing turnaround in 2023.

Given a limited interest rate drop, February starts increased. If construction material costs and availability remain hurdles for the housing sector, we predict turbulence in the months ahead “Dietz. “But, borrowing rates are likely to stabilize and fall in the next months, resulting in a prolonged resurgence for single-family starts in late 2023.”

Single-family and multifamily starts were 16% lower in the Northeast, 70% higher in the Midwest, 2% higher in the South, and 17% higher in the West compared to the previous month.

Skanska USA employs first mass timber, prefab lead

Original Source: Skanska USA hires first mass timber, prefab lead

Skanska USA appointed its first U.S. director of mass wood and prefabrication. Dean Lewis, from Seattle, has 13 years of mass timber and engineering expertise in Washington and California.

Skanska’s prefabrication and mass wood projects in the U.S. will expand under Lewis, who formerly worked for Swinerton Mass Timber.

Webcor, a San Francisco contractor, hired Matt Miller as superintendent for its forestry business in late 2022. Miller told Construction Dive bulk timber demand in California was “insane” and “the desire is immense.”

Skanska is one of many contractors using mass timber for its cost, schedule, and carbon-cutting benefits.

Mass timber architecture uses fire-resistant, load-bearing wood panels nailed or glued together.

Skanska has 15 mass timber projects. Include:

Kendeda. Skanska built the 36,978-square-foot education research facility at Georgia Tech in 2019.

PDX. Skanska renovated and expanded PDX’s 860,000 square feet and built Concourse B’s new roof. The contractor hoisted 80-foot glulam beams onto the 9-acre roof after pre-fabricating them on site.

Washington’s Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children Growth. Skanska is building a new school in Vancouver, Washington, for 2024–2025.

“In addition to the enhanced aesthetics, mass timber helps our clients accomplish their sustainability goals while lowering construction time and costs,” said Lew Guerrette, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA in Seattle.

He worked with DCI Engineers and the USACE before joining Skanska and Swinerton. He managed mass timber office buildings, campus dorms, multifamily developments, and hotels. According to a press release, he has published studies on mass timber project design, fabrication, management, and delivery.

Ghana: $20 Million Foreign Affairs Annex Building Starts

Original Source: Ghana: Construction of U.S.$20 Million Ministry of Foreign Affairs Annex Begins

The $20 million Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI) extension building in Accra will be finished in 26 months.

The 11,300-square-meter building, funded by the Chinese government, would include six above-ground and one underground storeys.

The Minister’s office, conference hall, press room, banquet hall, underground parking lot, gymnasium, clinic, stores, and archives room would be included.

Yesterday, Sector Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Lu Kun cut the sod for the project.

Ms Botchwey commended the Chinese government for funding the project at Ghana’s request to accommodate the ministry’s 700-plus workers.

It would allow the ministry to add needed facilities to the existing facility, funded by another Chinese contribution a decade ago.

The minister recalled that the ministry had to evacuate its main office in October 2009 after a fire destroyed critical documents and institutional memory.

Ms. Botchwey said the Chinese government gave a donation for the present Ministry building in 2013 after taking Jubilee House.

“The new workplace space was inadequate after over 10 years. So, the need to add an annex to the wonderful structure, “explained.

Ms. Botchwey pushed Yanjian Group Company Limited, which built the existing building, to finish the project on time and well.

She told the media she will disclose plans for the ministry’s old office later.

Mr. Lu said the project was in accordance with China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, which dedicated the first three years to implementing Ghanaian programs with African countries.

“The project will become a key milestone of the time-honored China-Ghana relationship and an essential bridge of communication and collaboration between Ghana and the world,” he said.

Mr. Lu said Ghana was one of the first sub-Saharan African countries to establish diplomatic relations with China.

The China-Aided Cape Coast Sports Stadium Technical Cooperation Project was one way China’s money, investment, and contracts helped Ghana develop.

Mr. Lu said China was Ghana’s greatest commercial partner and foreign investment source, with the 2022 bilateral trade volume hitting a historic $10.2 billion, one of the highest in Africa, and Ghana’s exports to China rising 60% year-on-year.

“China will continue to provide life-improving help to Ghana. I’m confident we’ll see more outcomes soon, “said.

Southeast Mo. construction class expands vocational and technology building for hands-on learning

Original Source: Southeast Mo. construction class gains hands-on learning with career and technology building expansion

A unique southeast Missouri building site helps youngsters build their futures.

The Sikeston Vocational and Technical Center construction class is building their new classroom.

Student Marquales Scott stated it was fun.

The kids are enjoying the hands-on lesson in the East Malone facility, which will house part of the CTC program.

“It helps me better so I know how to do it physically, more than thinking, and it would just benefit me more in life than studying,” said student Andrew Barn.

“It’s generally a terrific experience if you want to stay in construction after high school,” Scott added.

Director Chad King stated this opportunity prepares students for work.

“Shops can simulate so much,” he remarked. “These youngsters are doing well. We design sets for plays, proms, and everything in between, but this doesn’t happen often.

Welding, construction, EMT, and firefighter training will move to the new location.

They’re becoming part of something bigger. “In 10-15 years, they can drive by here and say, ‘you know what, I had a hand in this thing,’ so that’s something to be proud of,” King said.

This work has some kids thinking about their futures.

Barn remarked, “I’d do this after high school.”

King said Ultimate Flooring helped remove tile with equipment and a worker.

He added this endeavor involves the school and community.

Oklahoma construction women share experiences, difficulties

Original Source: Women in Oklahoma’s construction industry share experiences, challenges

Trista Shomo builds the $400 million OKANA resort beside the Oklahoma River full-time. She plans and communicates worker safety as senior safety manager.

“We’re out of the ground and have a tower crane. Shomo said everyone must know what everyone else is doing on site. Her “head is on a swivel” most days.

Shomo prefers “coaching” to fault-finding when correcting. She is “Mother T” to the predominantly male workforce, boosting morale. “You’re too pretty to be out here” is a challenge to her.

Several workers don’t speak English. She said she must learn how to interact and motivate each one.

Manhattan Construction Co. has employed Shomo for seven years.

“In a male-dominated industry, you must convey confidence,” she remarked. “Be authentic.”

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reported 598,000 men and 10,000 women as construction managers in 2022. Construction laborers were much less female. BLS reported 1,578,000 men and 3.7% women.

Construction laborers had a higher gender wage disparity in 2022, according to BLS. Female construction laborers received 80 cents per dollar, while female construction supervisors earned 89 cents.

Today’s Homeowner found that women are most likely to work as painters and paperhangers (10.2%) and construction and building inspectors (8%).

Oklahoma has 24th-most female construction trade workers, according to the survey. 2,054 women work in the state’s 75,601 construction trades.

South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Florida, and Arkansas have the most women in construction.

In 2005, Jennifer Scott began working in construction on the West Coast, where women were more accepted.

She joined Flintco three years ago and manages the $200 million Integris Health Heart Hospital under built at the Integris facility on Northwest Expressway.

She admits to not looking like a construction worker at 5-foot-2 and 120 pounds. “I’m smaller.”

Scott said the construction workers “all fairly fantastic to work with.” “Females are charming.”

She spends 90% of her time in the trailer on a computer “handling the dollars and cents,” monitoring safety, progress, and compliance.

Scott’s arithmetic skills led teachers to recommend engineering. She studied civil engineering because “the country would always require infrastructure”.

Scott stated, “My first work in construction (a children’s hospital) showed me what a building might accomplish for a community.

She stated construction is a good career for anyone, even tradespeople. “Everyone has construction opportunities.”

Flintco’s vice president of human resources, Tony DeStefano, oversees eight Southern offices. In the past decade, the industry has focused on employee diversity at work and in the office.

DeStefano said she sees more women in skilled trades on every project. “It’s a terrific and long professional route, especially for people who aren’t sure they want to go to college.”

He added certified carpenters, electricians, and plumbers can earn $25–$35 per hour with outstanding benefits and overtime.

Jessica Williams, marketing coordinator, said CMSWillowbrook, a family-owned Oklahoma construction firm, employs 27 women out of 150.

Williams claimed Summer McClure is a woman owner. Our company employs women on the front lines.

The Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma named CMSWillowbrook executive vice president of client services Jan Dunkin 2017 Builder of the Year, the second woman to do so.

Director of marketing and communications Natalie Pagano said 14% of Manhattan Construction Group employees are women. Almost 80 women joined the BuildHER networking group in 2022.

The Manhattan Construction Group “is focused on helping the strong women in our firm advance their careers, not only in our company but in the industry,” according to President Larry Rooney. It’s amazing to see this group’s good impact on our organization through promoting upcoming female leaders and outreach to women to join our industry.”

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed construction of dwellings in the United States increased by nearly 10% in February, thanks to an uptick in the production of both apartments and single-family homes. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau data shows that after six months of decline, housing starts increased by 9.8 percent to 1.45 million units in February.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Skanska has hired its first director of mass timber and prefabrication. Dean Lewis, a Seattle native, has worked in the fields of mass timber and engineering in the states of Washington and California for the past 13 years.

Furthermore, Accra’s $20 million MFARI expansion building is expected to be completed in 26 months. The Chinese government-funded structure would have six above-ground and one underground level, for a total of 11,300 square meters.

Additionally, in southeast Missouri, a one-of-a-kind construction site is giving young people a leg up on their future. The construction class at Sikeston Vocational and Technical Institute is erecting a new classroom.

On top of that, Trista Shomo dedicates her life to constructing the $400,000,000 OKANA resort on the banks of the Oklahoma River. As senior safety manager, she is responsible for planning and communicating worker safety. Shomo would rather “coach” than point out mistakes when giving feedback. She is the morale-booster known as “Mother T” among the mostly male staff. To her, the statement, “You’re too pretty to be out here,” is an insult.