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Montreal’s dramatic Îlot Balmoral, which opened last summer in the city’s Place des Festivals, is one of four finalists for Best Mixed-Use Development in the annual MIPIM (Marché international des professionnels de ‘l’immobilier) competition. A signature red “fault line” divides the building into two distinct forms and creates a full-height atrium that welcomes in natural sunlight. The 13-story, 280,000-sq.-ft. (26,000-sq.-m.) structure, designed by Canadian firm Provencher Roy, currently is home to the National Film Board and the NAD digital arts school.
Image courtesy of Provencher Roy
U.S. production of crucial rare-earth minerals surged by 44% in 2019 to 26,000 metric tons, says a report released in February by the U.S. Geological Survey. The increase of 8,000 metric tons makes the U.S. the world’s largest producer of rare-earth mineral concentrates outside of China. The 17 rare-earth elements — including cerium, dysprosium, erbium and promethium — are considered critical to national security and the economy, as they’re used in such consequential products as computer hard drives, lithium-ion batteries, electric car motors and solar panels. Overall, U.S. mines produced some $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019, more than $2 billion more than in 2018.
The MP Materials rare earths mine in Mountain Pass, California
Employees in Majority of U.S. States to See Increase of Minimum Wage in 2020
Autonomous Shuttle Tested
Self-driving vehicle developer Waymo and shipping giant UPS are launching a pilot program using autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans to shuttle packages around metro Phoenix. The vehicles are to pick up packages at UPS stores and deliver them to a local UPS sorting facility. “Getting packages to our sortation facilities sooner and more frequently, while also creating an opportunity for later drop-offs for next-day service, can add enormous value for our customers,” says Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer. A Waymo-trained driver in the minivan’s cabin will monitor operations.
Photo courtesy of Waymo
Arkansas Wins Timber Plant
Canada-based Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation will establish a $90 million production facility at the site of a former steel plant in Conway, Arkansas. Once operative in mid-2021, the plant is to supply more than 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas-produced mass timber for a new Walmart campus in Bentonville. Structural elements made of mass timber can be designed, modeled and prefabricated offsite, thus accelerating on-site production schedules by up to 25% over traditional steel and concrete, the company says.
Photo courtesy of Structurlam