Prefab was supposed to fix the construction industry’s biggest problems. Why isn’t it everywhere?

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The Canadian company Bone Structure can produce zero net energy homes months faster than a traditional builder. But its challenges highlight the difficulty of disrupting the entrenched construction industry. Marc A. Bovet wanted to build a house, but when it came to the actual construction, he was overwhelmed with options. He had bought an empty lot and hired an architect to design a custom home in Montreal for his wife and four kids. He had all the permits and approvals, so he began looking for builders. When quotes started coming in, he was stunned to see that the highest estimate was almost twice as expensive as the lowest. Read Full Story

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This designer turns Yeezys and Ikea bags into $5,000 masks. Now you can, too

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Zhijun Wang has a mask in the MoMA. Now he’s teaching everyone how to make their own. Zhijun Wang used to like to run at night in his home city of Beijing. Then the pollution came in. On an evening in 2014, he could see the moats of dust floating under a streetlight. When he finished his jog, he realized he had a sore throat. And so he, like many people in China, started wearing a mask when he was out. Read Full Story

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Best Free Website Builders

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Do you want to build a website? Luckily for you and the tens of thousands of online businesses out there, a digital website builder makes it easy to create professional sites that function beautifully in no time. The best part? There are many free website builder options. Website builders make it possible to create a responsive site optimized for SEO without having to invest a ton of money or time, which is perfect for small businesses. But you have to learn what features to look for first. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best free website builders on the market today, as well as which one can build the best site in your niche—whether you’re selling painted rocks, are a freelance writer, or want to bootstrap a …

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Mass timber is the future of architecture. But can it survive a world on fire?

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With global temperatures on the rise and wildfires regularly breaking out in places such as California and Australia, the increasingly popular construction material may seem like a risky way to build for an uncertain future. Sustainable, renewable, and versatile: It’s hard to find a better building material than wood. It’s often the builder’s go-to, whether for a single-family home in the suburbs or a low-rise apartment complex in the city. Read Full Story

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How Nike turned shoe parts into face shields in just two weeks

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Turning Nike Air into protecting gear was the only way to get the job done in time. It was a Monday morning when Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation, got the call. Nike’s offices had closed the week before, due to the coronavirus, and he was just settling into work-from-home life. Now he was needed back at the office. Nike had agreed to provide personal protective equipment to the local Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) hospital, but there was one problem: Nike had never built PPE before. Read Full Story

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As cities reopen and roads get busier, traffic reporters are back on their game

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While other professions were able to shift to Zoom meetings and working from home, traffic reporters found they had nothing to say when COVID-19 came. “Cramps on the ramps,” “waits at the gates,” and “tails at the tolls” are among traffic reporter Chuck Whitaker’s pet phrases when he’s telling drivers in Baltimore and Florida that roadways aren’t clear. Read Full Story

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How to convince your boss to let everyone work from home during the coronavirus

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If you’re not yet working from home but feel like you should be to help with public safety, here’s how to get your boss to reconsider. It’s going to take some solidarity with your coworkers. Nick Wheeler, who worked as a video operations engineer in the Denver office of the telecom giant Charter Communications until last week, had a job that could easily be done from home. But when Wheeler intensified his pleas for a work-from-home policy during the current COVID-19 crisis, he lost his job. Read Full Story

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This city-run secondhand department store is helping Berlin reduce waste

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The city’s B-Wahrenhaus sits in the middle of a traditional department store. In a new master plan, Berlin is aiming to become a zero-waste city, shrinking the amount of trash that will go to landfills over the next decade by focusing on key areas like avoiding food waste and single-use packaging. The government plans to increase recycling, including materials used in the construction industry. And it also wants to greatly increase reuse, making it simple for people both to drop off old products—the city estimates that every household in Berlin has nearly 250 unused items at home—and to easily find used products when they’re shopping for replacements. Read Full Story

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