Artificial intelligence (AI) systems captured considerable attention with the release of a large language chatbot, ChatGPT, by OpenAI, in November of last year. On March 14, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, a more powerful “multimodal” chatbot responding to both text and images. And, on March 21, Google launched its conversational computer program, Bard, to compete with GPT-4. These chatbots allow users to initiate detailed queries or requests and receive prompt responses in complete sentences. Users are not forced to scroll through a list of results like those produced by search engines and follow-up questions can be asked. AI systems have been touted for many years and these new breakthroughs may drastically change the way that we create content.
Executive Order 14091 and the EPA’s Amended Emergency Response Policies
Recently, two Federal policies have been released that could have a significant effect upon environmental remediation and the emergency response procedures and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The recent train derailment in Palestine, Ohio, may bring them into sharper focus. The regulated community may find it useful to take notice of these directives.
Adaptive Reuse: Creative Reimagining of Former Office Space to Address Differing Demands
Empty office buildings downtown. A housing shortage in almost every major market. Is there a way to address both issues at once by converting historic but underutilized office buildings into apartments and condos in city centers? It’s an idea that has been discussed, and in some cities, implemented in recent years. But while the idea seems simple enough—repurpose existing office space for residential and mixed-use projects—there are some real challenges limiting the feasibility of large-scale office to residential conversion.
CHIPS Act Funds Start to Flow
On February 28, 2023, the first funding opportunity opened under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act (CHIPS Act), federal legislation that appropriated $52.7B in federal funding to boost the semiconductor industry, including $39B in semiconductor manufacturing incentives. Projects involving construction, expansion or modernization of commercial facilities to produce leading-edge, current-generation and mature-node semiconductors are now eligible for funding.
Real Estate & Construction News Round-Up (03/08/23) – Updates on U.S. Mortgage Applications, the Inflation Reduction Act, and Multifamily Sector
This week’s round-up explores the cooling housing market and plummeting mortgage applications, potential tax-savings as a result of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and new developments in the multifamily sector.
Real Estate & Construction News Round-Up (03/01/23) – Mass Timber, IIJA Funding, and Distressed Real Estate
This week’s round-up explores how Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding is being deployed, mass timber is on the rise as decarbonization efforts continue, and commercial real estate remains distressed.
“Groundbreaking” SEC Complaint Accuses Oil Major of Greenwashing Its Investment Reporting
In a “groundbreaking” complaint, environmental NGO Global Witness asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Climate and ESG Task Force to investigate oil major Shell for possible violations of federal securities laws. The complaint, filed this February, alleges Shell misled its investors by including some of its gas-related spending in its “Renewables and Energy Solutions” (RES) reporting segment. Global Witness claims that, while Shell reports spending 12% of its annual expenditures on RES ($2.4 billion), removing expenditures related to integrated power, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage reduces that percentage to only 1.5% ($288 million).
OMB Revisions to Implementation of Build America, Buy America
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently proposed new regulations regarding the use of domestic construction materials, which, among other things, identify what items will be considered construction materials and the process for determining whether they are of U.S. origin.
In “OMB Proposes Revisions to Guidance Supporting the Implementation of IIJA’s Build America, Buy America Act Provisions,” colleagues Marques O. Peterson, Stephan E. Becker and Whitney Alston take a closer look at these regulations.
A Court-Side Seat: Hog Catching, “Hard Looks” and Hardship Exemptions
If “Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” It’s been a quiet term thus far for the Supreme Court, due in part to the hearing of oral arguments in many contentious cases. Below is a brief summary of some of the recent significant matters decided by the Federal Courts.
Real Estate & Construction News Round-Up (02/15/23) – Proptech Solutions, Supply Chain Pivots, and the Inflation Reduction Act
This week’s round-up explores how proptech could alleviate the financial burden of property owners’ vacant office space, manufacturing firms are bolstering the industrial real estate sector, a 200-MW Texas project is first to leverage IRA tax credit for stand-alone energy storage, and more.