Sudden Impact A U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) economic impact report on the foreclosure crisis predicts sharp losses in the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) and projects economic output losses for 361 metro areas in 2008. The report, “The Mortgage Crisis: Economic and Fiscal Implications for Metro Areas,” predicts a GDP growth loss of $166 billion, with economic losses among the top 10 metro areas topping $45 billion. The report can be found at www.usmayors.org.—N. F. Maynard
Efficiency Now Bureau of Labor Statistics data show a decline in construction productivity over the past four decades, while virtually every other nonfarm industry has increased productivity by more than 200 percent. The American Institute of Architects is hoping to change that course with its new primer, “Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide,” on effective team models integrating people, systems, business structures, and practices. Advocating better collaboration, the guide offers strategies for optimized project results, waste reduction, and design and building efficiencies. It's free at www.aia.org/ipdg.—J. Sullivan
Award Tour Building projects of all types can apply for the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. The awards carry prize money totaling $2 million and are sponsored by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. For more information, visit www.holcimawards.org.—E. Butterfield
Green Guide Builders who want to help buyers make their homes healthy and environmentally friendly can point them to the U.S. Green Building Council's new Web site, www.greenhomeguide.org. Made possible through support from San Diego–based Newland Communities, the site has checklists for new and existing homes, details on the LEED for Homes system, a list of LEED builders, and tips on reducing the use of natural resources.—P. Curry
To the Rescue One of bankrupt Kara Homes' communities, Birch Hill in Old Bridge, N.J., will be completed by West Branch, N.J.–based PRC Homes. Kara, which filed Chapter 11 in October 2006, had finished only 72 of 253 homes in this active adult community. PRC is partnering with Amboy National Bank, which has a $26 million lien on the property, to complete the community, now called Madison Crossing at Birch Hill.—J. Caulfield
SOURCE: SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS
Indy Wins Again Indianapolis is still the most affordable major U.S. housing market, according to third-quarter 2007 results released late last year by the NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). The HOI reported that 87.5 percent of homes sold in Indianapolis in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the area's median household income of $63,800. The city has maintained first place in the HOI for nine consecutive quarters.—S. Zurier
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Indianapolis, IN.