Dave Farley

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas…

I recently returned from a trip along the I-80 corridor. This highway runs west to East and connects the population centers of San Francisco, Sacramento, and Reno. I-80 also runs right through Truckee, California, the main town of the resort destination of Lake Tahoe, California. A few thoughts and connections that I took away from the trip.
The Northern California construction market is once again booming. In my meetings with architects, builders, and distributors, a common theme came about: everyone is extremely busy working on projects that were either new, or finally restarted after the housing crash of 2008. One builder in the Tahoe market is turning work away as they are having a hard time finding skilled employees. It turns out that many construction workers left the industry during the downturn and this void has not been filled.
Nearly every builder and architect I spoke to was aware of the softwood lumber dispute and were concerned about how the duties would impact the cost of construction. A few had even contacted their elected state officials to push for a quick resolution to the dispute. This is a marked difference from this dispute to years past in that US builders seemed a lot more educated and engaged this time around.
Lots of exciting high-profile projects were uncovered during the trip, including the Tesla Gigafactory project in Reno, Nevada. Of interest to BC Industry is the design and building of the communities surrounding this massive factory. A very wood friendly architect, who we have previously worked with, is responsible for this exciting project and will be attending the GBM this September.
A number of other residential and light commercial projects were discovered and will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of Wood Connections. As always, for more information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com.
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