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Omaha Magazine

From the Editor: Constructing a Great Issue

May 27, 2021 01:54PM ● By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
managing editor Daisy Hutzell-Rodman

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

 Summer brings to mind construction for many. I know as I travel I-80 in the summer for vacation, I nearly always run into a stretch of road where I must slow down or stop for road crews. It’s prime season for those in the building industry, and that’s why we chose our summer issue for CADE. 

There’s a lot of new construction going on around Omaha. Two former shopping malls, Crossroads and Oak View, have been bought, with plans underway for new development in these areas. The UNMC and Nebraska Medical Center are developing several areas in the midtown area, and the 204th Street corridor, once a throughway to points into or out of the metro, is now becoming developed between Bennington and Gretna. One feature story tells readers about several of these developments.

At the same time, there have been shortages in the construction industry. Lumber, particularly, has been spoken about in the news lately, as prices have tripled in many areas, causing the cost of building a new home to increase, on average, from $20,000-$36,000. This is causing local developers the inability to lock in a price at the time of estimation, which leaves profit margins in the air. Another feature in this issue touches on how the construction industry has fared over the past year.

While the construction crews are scrambling to find lumber, the engineering crews are constantly advancing their technologies to speed up timelines. Particularly popular right now are drones that take photos of the site to aid land surveyors and engineers. A third feature touches on these drones, and some other technologies, that are helping engineering work smarter and faster. 

While all construction was affected, the last year was especially topsy-turvy for homebuilders. Our roundtable writer spoke with three businessmen who have firsthand knowledge of running buildng companies about what they saw over the past 12 months.

Architecture is a popular fictional career. It combines art and science, and many architects are well-paid. But many students who start with an architecture major don’t finish the degree. What degrees do they end up in, and what happens to those professions? How these students become architects or not is the subject of last feature.

The opposite also happens. Sarah Poursharafeddin was a theater major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha when she began working at an HVAC firm. She connected with this profession, and now owns Environmental Quality Experts. 

It’s summer, and that meants it is a perfect time to get out and enjoy the weather with a bike ride or walk. This edition’s How I Roll is about three women at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture who appreiate nice weather for a bike ride, but bicycle to work year-round, no matter the weather.

SpecPro Vice President Gary Martin and his wife, Connie, have a special organization to which they give. Bethlehem House is run by a friend, and over the years, the Martins have helped the organization in many ways. Yes, the couple donate money, but they have also given time. SpecPro employees, specifically, have helped take care of Bethlehem House, repairing and updating it as time allows.

These articles and more can be found inside this edition

B2B Editor Daisty Hutzell-Rodman 

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.