Unbonded PT Slabs – An Economic and Reliable Option for the Construction Industry

Unbonded PT slabs have been used in the construction industry for many years now. They have always been a viable option for the construction industry and have been used to build a variety of structures. The evolution of this industry and the rapid development in construction technology has meant that the reliability of these concrete slabs has kept improving over the years. Where earlier there was a perceptible reluctance to use these slabs, today such slabs have become the first option of contractors, and consultants who are in the construction industry.

Less Costly to Construct
Unbonded PT slabs can be constructed affordably as compared to their RR counterparts. Some years ago, the economic recession hit the construction industry and spending was down, but the construction industry is getting out of the morass of recession and spending is going up slowly and steadily. But this necessarily doesn’t mean that the various stakeholders in the construction industry don’t want to cut down on their costs. This is where the affordable nature of the unbonded PT slab design comes into save the day. It offers just one of the many ways that they can save money on their constructions costs, yet build a solid and reliable structure.

Better Reliability
The unbonded PT slab is a product of a single strand system wherein a rust inhibiting grease is used to coat the strand and it is then taken through a process of extrusion to seamlessly sheath it in plastic. This improves its reliability and also its durability. With more and more research being conducted on the reliability standards of unbonded PT slabs, and the fact that these slabs are coming across as very reliable in each of these studies has given the construction industry the required confidence to use these slabs.

Light and Flexible
The small sized diameter of its unbonded tendon makes unbonded PT slabs light and flexible. This is also the reason why unbonded PT slab designs are able to maximize the use of the entire depth of a concrete slab. Contractors make it a point to use these slabs in slabs-on-grade, raft footings, structural footings, tilt-up walls and circular fluid tanks.

Choose but Not before you Make a Cost Comparison
Everything in the construction industry in terms of the choices that you make is based on the pricing of the items that you are going to use. If you think that the pricing structure of the unbonded PT slabs suits your pockets, go ahead and use it, but on the other hand if you think that its bonded PT slabs that suit your fancy in terms of their pricing go ahead and choose them.

But whatever the choice that you make, it’s important that you make an informed decision regarding the same. Don’t go for unbonded PT slab design just because others are asking you to use them. Do your own bit of research, ask around, analyze the data you find and only then decide whether you want to use them or not.

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The Economic Situation of the Construction Industry

The construction industry is very important to the UK’s – and indeed to the world’s – economy. In the UK, it accounts for more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product and employs an estimated 2.5 million people. In the last three years, an extra £33 billion has been made available to this sector to increase public services. Included in this figure are major investments in transport, health and housing. As the industry is investment-driven, it is subject to the strictures of economic upturns and downturns; during the recessions of the mid 1980′s and the early 1990′s, there were significant downturns. However, in the late 1990′s, there was a marked swing in the opposite direction.

Our construction industry, by very nature of its geographical location, is not subject to the full influences of cross-border competition that are in evidence in mainland Europe. However, construction industries worldwide have been affected by the current economic climate and the increasing rise in fuel prices. For the earlier part of 2008, the German construction industry showed a marked upturn, but this slowed and tailed off later in the year, due to the increase in oil prices and the slowing economic pace of many industrialized countries. In addition to economic factors, there is a turn in the tide of ecological factors. In America, the number of people citing Global Warming as the most important environmental issue rose from 11% in 2003 to 35% in 2006. The construction industry faces new challenges in replacing and renovating buildings with minimal environmental impact. At the same time, the cost of these precautions has to be measured against potential profits.

However, despite the factors that seem to be conspiring against it, the construction industry moves at a very fast pace and is an ever-changing entity. Whilst legislation is forever altering, new techniques, technology and methods are developing to keep up. With the development of new practices, new jobs in construction are perpetually being created. In the UK, the Home Office has released figures stating that the three construction jobs that are most lacking in applicants are those for transportation and highways engineering, ground engineering and contaminated land specialists. With major infrastructures and building developments taking place in the South East of the UK, such as the 2012 Olympics and the Thames Gateway regeneration, construction recruitment in this area is set to soar. Britain’s Olympic Games will have 30 venues and a budget of £2.3 billion. It also has a non-negotiable, absolute completion date. As that date draws nearer, the construction industry will find itself heavily in demand as pressure and expectation rise. 2012 promises to be an important year for this industry and many are looking upon it as a chance to showcase its talents.

Of course, construction takes place across the globe and this gives workers a chance to travel as well as work. Construction jobs require large teams of people all working to a common goal and, while the lifestyle can be quite temporary, many get used to it and find it a liberating existence. Some projects are short-term, whilst others can last for years – such as the construction of an oil refinery.

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How the Recession Has Affected the Commercial Construction Industry

For some time, I have asked myself (and others), “What was so great about The Great Recession?” This economic crisis has been deemed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the worst world-wide recession since World War II. Its impact has been felt in nearly every industry imaginable, and particularly in the construction industry. It ran its course for 18 interminably long months, between 2007 and 2009; the worst period occurred at mid-year, 2009.

How did it affect the commercial construction industry and what has/will be happening nearly 5 years after the official “end” of the Great Recession?

What happened?

The construction industry is accustomed to cyclical changes but the Great Recession was hardly a typical downturn or cyclical change. No sector of the construction industry was spared from the harsh impact of the Great Recession; not residential, commercial, industrial, or heavy and civil engineering.

One aspect of the recession that is not often mentioned is that the cyclical boom of the construction industry was followed directly by the recession, leaving a large glut of residential and commercial real estate on the market.

As the recession deepened, homeowners were defaulting on their homes, others were not buying homes as they had planned, and investors were being extremely cautious in financing new construction projects.

2012 – 2013 was predicted to be a period of growth and non-residential construction activity was expected to continue its recovery. Once, again, there were recovery delays, fueled in part by government and financial institutions:

A federal budget sequester resulting in scaled back government spending.

A federal government shutdown.

Credit restrictions placed on construction projects, home loans, loans in general.

Increasing long-term interest rates based on expectation of the government reducing its stimulus program.

Those factors, and the extremely slow recovery of the world economy, certainly had a direct and negative influence on the construction industry.

Moving into 2015

So what is the state of commercial construction in 2014 and beyond? Recovery is happening, but not at an increased pace. Factors that (according to industry observers) influenced growth in 2014:

Weather-related delays on projects at the start of the year.

Ongoing sluggishness in the institutional market and lowered construction spending projections.

Financial institutions continued their restrictive lending practices.

Is there any good news? Yes! Let’s look at some of the more favorable changes in 2014 and some positive indicators going into 2015:

Some easing of lending restrictions; loans rose 4 percent in the second quarter of 2014, most of it related to the commercial real estate industry.

Commercial construction projects are rapidly increasing in several regions of the U.S., particularly in Texas (Houston) and the southern region in general, and New York (Rochester and New York City), Massachusetts (Boston), and Louisiana (New Orleans).

Consumers are “cautiously optimistic” and spending is up, as is the increase in jobs.

The commercial construction industry was, and continues to be deeply affected by the Great Recession. But industry watchers, like consumers, are cautiously optimistic (with more emphasis on cautious than optimistic) that the industry is slowly and steadily moving forward.

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Major Components of Indian Construction Industry

Construction in India is the second most important activity, next only to agriculture. The country is on the path of fast development of infrastructures in the fields like education, health, power and research. At the same time, the civil construction projects are on fast tracks to improve the conditions of roads, rails, highways and bridges. In addition, the country has managed to lend construction services and products to the foreign markets too.

The construction activities offered by the construction companies in India have improved in terms of quality. The construction equipment manufacturers follow the international standards to offer advanced technology-based tools. There are four major components that work in favor of the exponentially growing sector. Here is a discussion about them.

Skilled Construction Experts

Architects, civil engineers, project managers and many other important role-players in the Indian construction industry are admired for their skills and talent. Construction project managers from India have the experience and training to supervise different types of projects. In the past one decade, many praiseworthy projects have been completed by the skilled construction teams of the country. Construction labor contraction services are offered by many Indian firms for the recruitment of these skilled workers around the world.

Quality Construction Equipments

When it comes to construction tools and equipments, there are many Indian construction equipment manufacturers engaged in this field. The equipments like bulldozers, scrapers, backhoe loaders, concrete vibrators, earth compactors, concrete mixers, hydraulic excavators and many others are manufactured in the country and supplied to different parts of the world. The focus is one manufacturing technologically advanced equipments that can safe human efforts significantly, reduce energy consumption and are safe.

Top Grade Construction Material

The Indian construction services and products are not limited to construction tools and equipments only. The manufacturers and suppliers engaged in the industry also focus on supplying high grade construction materials in different categories. Glass, ceramic, wood, plastic and many other materials are available with these industry players. In addition, these companies offer hardware materials like pipes and tubes made of materials like PVC, aluminum, copper, bronze and others. Tiles for flooring and a variety of sanitary ware products form other important categories of construction materials from India.

Impressive Construction Services

From expert construction counseling to interior decoration and house and commercial building construction, the construction services from India cover all possible fields. Turnkey industrial construction is one service which is in great demand and the experts from the country are capable of offering it. Real estate construction services from India serve the projects like construction of houses, industrial plants, corporate offices spaces and commercial constructions like shopping malls and restaurants.

The construction services from India have become more accessible with the help of the online business directories. These online marketplaces provide detailed information about the service providers from the Indian construction industry. Small and medium sized equipment manufacturers and suppliers from different parts of the company have made it possible to earn exposure for their businesses through these directories. In a way, these directories have become another major component of the industry.

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How the Recession Is Affecting the Commercial Construction Industry

The ‘Great Recession’ theoretically lasted about 18 months, from 2007 to 2009. Recovery has been agonizingly slow in many industries but we are now in 2015 and the construction industry is more rapidly shrugging off the residual effects of the recession.

How Bad Was It?

Even though construction industry is cyclical and recession typically follows a boom period, nothing could have prepared it for the harsh and widespread reach of the recession:

Residential: Homeowners defaulted on homes and others delayed buying homes, leading to a glut of residential real estate languishing in realtors’ inventory.

Commercial: Commercial construction also was hard hit, severely impacted by the federal budget sequester and eventual-but-temporary shutdown, followed by scaled back government spending, and sharply reduced lending practices.

Institutional: Institutional construction remained stagnant, affected by the same limitations and funding problems that the commercial construction sector faced.

How Were Construction Workers Affected?

Nevada, California, Florida, and Arizona are typically areas with plenty of construction work. But the recession changed that:

Nevada employed an estimated 146,000 construction workers at the peak of its construction boom. That number was reduced by 59 percent.

Arizona’s construction employment dropped 50 percent from its pre-recession industry peak.

Florida was close on the industry-related unemployment heels of Nevada and Arizona, losing 40 percent of its construction workforce.

California fared better but still recorded a 28 percent drop.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 2.3 million construction workers lost their jobs in the recession (nearly 30 percent of the total number of lost jobs).

The overall construction industry has an estimated 1.4 million fewer construction workers in 2015 than it did in 2007.

The Construction Outlook in 2015 and Beyond

Happily, the U.S. and its construction industry continue to move away from the harshest effects of the Great Recession. Industry observers expect to see these improvements:

Non-residential construction: picking up and looking more solid, especially with the expected 2.6 percent real GDP growth in 2015. This sector may rise by 8 percent with growth in office buildings, hotels, and industrial facilities.

Single family housing: expected to increase by 11 percent in the number of residential units, thanks to easier access to home mortgage loans.

Manufacturing plant construction: will probably drop about 16 percent after huge increases of 2013 and 2014.

Institutional construction: expected to continue its moderate upward trend and increase 9% over 2014 results.

Residential construction: called the potential ‘wild card’ of 2015 because of rising interest rates. Existing home sales may climb toward 10 percent.

Public construction: growth will remain low due to ongoing federal spending constraints. However, transportation spending is expected to grow by about 2.2 percent.

Ironically, construction workers may not be rushing to return to new jobs. Many left the industry altogether, retraining for other employment.

Texas and North Dakota both show significant increases in construction employment. North Dakota now needs to recruit construction workers. Texas’ construction employment is up 10 percent, nearing its pre-recession peak.

Economists don’t expect the construction industry to return to its peak level (2006) until 2022 or later. However, the BLS anticipates that the fastest-growing jobs now and 2022 will be in healthcare and construction.

So while the Great Recession did a considerable amount of damage to the overall economy, individual incomes, and morale, 2015 and beyond are looking considerably more favorable in the commercial construction industry.

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