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Modular techniques may make homebuilding safer, faster, cheaper

A crew gets to work on Aug. 30 on a new home in Denver. The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that housing starts slipped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million, down from 1.27 million in August. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

With steadily rising costs still a big barrier to the construction of affordable housing, construction professionals are turning more and more to a relatively new remedy: volumetric modular construction, process in which most of the work takes place in a factory setting, leaving little to do on-site.

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Wilderness Resort theater, Local 139 protests rank as most-read stories

A “fat cat” inflatable figure stands at a work site in West Allis in March 2018. Local 139 of the International Union Operating Engineers has been using this figure and similar ones this past year to protest the equipment rental company Sunbelt Rentals’ refusal to negotiate with workers who wanted to unionize.

In a whirlwind year of notable events, it can be difficult to remember what made headlines 12 days ago, let alone 12 months ago.

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