Page N4.1 . 09 January 2002                     
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    Building Boston 2001

    by Evan H. Shu, FAIA

    The 17th annual "Build Boston" conference and trade show held on November 13-15, 2001, captured critical themes foremost in many minds these days.

    Norbert W. Young, Jr. FAIA, president of the McGraw-Hill Construction Information Group, gave a keynote address titled "The Construction Industry in the Age of Anxiety." He spoke of the reality of our facing the first recession in the United States in a decade.

    Furthermore, in analyzing the future of "e-business," Young stated that the boom and bust of the Web world in the past 2-1/2 years has brought us full circle to reaffirm the basic fundamental principles of sound business practices.

    Only a year ago, Robert Murray, chief economist of the McGraw Hill companies, had predicted at this same conference a "soft landing" for the U.S. economy barring, of course, any cataclysmic event!

    In this year's forecast, he did not retreat behind the horrible events of September 11 to now predict a "hard crash." Instead, he pointed to continuing encouraging signs in most sectors of the construction industry that show that we should weather this economic slowdown better than all previous slowdowns in our history.

    Most major sectors of U.S. construction are showing only a leveling off in construction growth, Murray said, with the lone exception of private-sector, for-profit construction projects, such as office buildings, hotels, retail, and multifamily housing, which are experiencing a sharp decline.   >>>

     

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    The Leonard Sakim Freedom bridge, by Swiss designer Christian Menn, is the longest asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge in the world and just one record-breaker of Boston's Big Dig.
    Photo: Evan H. Shu, FAIA

    ArchWeek Image

    The Unbuilt Architecture awards recognized this design for the National Opera House in Oslo by Friedrich St. Florian, Architect.
    Photo: Evan H. Shu, FAIA

     

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