Consumers’ wallets are just one of the winners as more U.S. jurisdictions update, adopt and enforce I-Codes. Studies indicate that every dollar spent on building safer and stronger on average reduces losses from high wind damage, floods, earthquakes and other disasters by $4.
Other economic benefits of building to the latest codes can include energy savings, reduced maintenance costs, lower insurance premiums and fewer safety concerns.
To ensure its jurisdictions build back better, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco signed a bill in November that immediately put the International Building Code and International Residential Code into effect in the 11 parishes hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. (Statewide the International Building, Residential, Existing Building, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes will go into effect January 2007.)
In the last quarter of 2005, jurisdictions in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas adopted the International Codes to protect public and property.
This January, more jurisdictions in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada and Texas began enforcing the International Codes. Nationwide, more than 18,687 jurisdictions in 48 states enforce the International Codes to protect people and property in their communities.
U.S. Insulation Demand to Reach $9.8 Billion in 2010
Insulation will benefit primarily from renewed growth in nonresidential building construction, coupled with gains in appliance and transportation markets. Greater insulation use per structure and upgrades of insulation for existing buildings (both residential and nonresidential) will also boost insulation demand. These and other trends are presented in Insulation, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Fiberglass insulation remains the leading insulation material in use, accounting for more than half of demand in dollar and volume terms in 2005. Growth will be driven by more intensive use of fiberglass insulation per new housing unit, sparked by expanded concerns about energy efficiency, ease of installation and favorable cost factors. However, an expected weakening in the housing market through 2010 will moderate gains in the fiberglass segment given that fiberglass accounts for the vast majority of insulation used in residential applications. Better prospects will exist for fiberglass used in reinsulation applications, by both do-it-yourselfers and professional installers.
Foamed plastic insulation is the second largest insulation product in use in the United States, accounting for nearly 45 percent of demand in value terms and almost 30 percent in volume terms. Advances will derive from accelerating nonresidential building construction and production of appliances and transportation equipment. Reflective insulation and radiant barriers will see good growth (from a small base) as they find increasing use in metal buildings and other nonresidential structures, as well as in pipe wrap, appliances and duct insulation, as a means of reducing energy costs.
Gains will be more robust in replacement markets, as the decline in single-family home construction inhibits demand in new residential building. Nonresidential construction will provide the greatest growth opportunities, as the construction of office, commercial, industrial and other nonresidential buildings recovers following a period of sustained decline during the 2000 to 2005 period. Transportation uses will also post above-average gains through 2010.
Insulation (published 03/2006, 277 pages) is available for $4,300 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone at (440) 684.9600, fax (440) 646.0484 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.
Warmest January on Record Heats Up Housing Construction
A temporary sag in interest rates and the warmest January on record nationwide combined to bring about a 14.5 percent surge in new home construction for the month, the U.S. Commerce Department reported in February.
The January pace of new-home construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.276 million units, the highest on record since 1973. The pace was 4.0 percent above a year ago.
Single-family housing starts rose 12.8 percent to a new record pace of 1.819 million units for the month. This was 2.8 percent above a year ago.
"Builders apparently took advantage of the good weather and low interest rates in January to pick up the pace of production after a cold and wet December,” said David Pressly, president of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Statesville, N.C.
"The January surge in housing starts was mainly weather-related,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "Market fundamentals suggest that this pace of activity will be hard to sustain, and NAHB’s survey of single-family builders points toward some cooling down in coming months, largely because of eroding affordability conditions.”
All four regions reported strong increases in housing starts for the month. Construction of new homes and apartments rose 29.2 percent in the Northeast, 23.7 percent in the Midwest. 8.7 percent in the South and 16.9 percent in the West.
Multifamily housing starts increased by 21.9 percent for the month to a seasonally adjusted pace of 457,000 units. This was 9.1 percent above the pace of a year ago. "Our surveys of multifamily builders show that the rental market is firming up to some degree, with declining vacancies and rising rents,” Seiders said.
Issuance of total building permits increased 6.8 percent to a seasonably adjusted rate of 2.217 million units for the month. Single-family permit issuance was up 2.4 percent to a pace of 1.685 million units for the month. The pace of multifamily permit issuance increased 23.7 percent to a pace of 532,000 units for the month.
Visit housingeconomics.com, the online publication from NAHB Economics Group, for housing in-depth market analysis, forecasts, housing statistics and more.
Nucor and Lennar Form Joint Venture
Nucor Corporation and Lennar Corporation announced March 17 that their respective wholly owned subsidiaries, Nucon Steel Commercial Corporation of Denton, Texas, and LFB Engineered Systems, Inc. of Stockton, Calif., have formed Nexframe, LP, a joint venture established to provide comprehensive light gauge steel framing solutions for residential construction markets across the nation.
Nexframe will be co-managed by Nucon and LFB and will be based in LFB’s current facilities in Stockton.
Nucon’s products include integrated software, automated roll forming and fabrication systems for the design and manufacture of light gauge steel panels and trusses. Nucon is headquartered in Denton, Texas, and operates manufacturing facilities in Denton, Texas, and Dallas, Ga.
LFB designs, manufactures and fabricates light gauge steel framing packages for residential production builders in California. LFB also provides field framing services. LFB’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Stockton, Calif.
Weyerhaeuser Is First Manufacturer to Carry NAHB
Research Center’s New Certified OSB Product Mark
The NAHB Research Center announced that wood products manufacturer Weyerhaeuser has begun distribution of oriented strand board products certified through the Research Center’s new third-party OSB product and quality management certification program.
The program is designed to satisfy building code and product standards for third-party oversight of OSB manufacturers’ product quality. The Research Center licenses its certified product mark to participating OSB manufacturers who have developed, implemented and maintained a Quality Management System based on ISO 9001-2000 standards as verified by periodic quality system audits, as well as product testing by the Research Center’s laboratory. As the program’s first participating manufacturer, Weyerhaeuser is producing NAHB Research Center Certified OSB product in select mills across the country.
The OSB certification is available to all manufacturers that meet program requirements. Manufacturers seeking certification must participate in formal QMS auditing to ISO 9001-2000 standard as well as product testing to ensure the product meets or exceeds recognized industry standards and applicable customer requirements. Quality-focused OSB manufacturers interested in starting on the path to certification can visit www.nahbrc.org/osb, call Bob Hill, director of laboratory and certification programs at (800) 638.8556 ext. 6244, or e-mail email@example.com.
The Home Depot Presents First Hispanic Pro Customer of the Year Awards
The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, presented the inaugural 2005 Hispanic Pro Customer of the Year Award to three outstanding Hispanic businesses at the International Builders’ Show on Jan. 13, 2006. The winners of the Hispanic Pro Customer of the Year Award are Cano Properties, based in Chicago; Puig Development Group, based in Hialeah, Fla.; and United Development Group, based in San Diego. The companies were honored as part of an ongoing initiative by The Home Depot to provide products, services and materials to the Hispanic professional customer.
As part of the growing strategy to serve the Hispanic contractor professional, The Home Depot has developed a team dedicated to ensuring the growth of these relationships and to researching best practices for serving this market. The Emerging Markets team has reached out on the local level by partnering with local contractor associations, hosting educational events for contractors and participating in community activities.
In order to be considered for the Hispanic Professional Customer of the Year Award, companies must be Hispanic owned or operated, with revenues of $2 million or more in various branches of residential construction, and they have to embody hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. Organizations were nominated and winners chosen by a team of associates at The Home Depot.
The Home Depot continues to target the U.S. Hispanic consumer through different programs and services. The company offers bilingual materials, in-store signage and clinics, and it employs Spanish-speaking associates who work directly with customers to serve their needs. In 2005, The Home Depot launched the first-ever Hispanic color palette with BEHR paint, named Colores OrigenesSM, created specifically for U.S. Hispanic consumers. The Home Depot also partnered with Telemundo to create the first-ever Spanish home improvement show. The company has helped to refurbish playing fields and build playgrounds with KaBOOM! in Hispanic neighborhoods.
SJI Launches New Web Site
The Steel Joist Institute Web site, www.steeljoist.org, has been updated with a variety of new, helpful features and services to aid the building design professional. New sections feature Green Building and Sustainable Design, and how colleges and universities can partner with SJI to help their students.
A new program on the site is the free Steel Joist Investigation Service. Contractors, specifiers, engineers and architects trying to identify older joists found in the field can fill out an online form. SJI will then search their extensive historical files to try to find the proper match and information about that joist.
The new Educational Seminars and the Publication section feature online sign-up or ordering, and the Feature Projects area has a variety of new case histories. An online form can be filled out to tell SJI about projects to possibly add to the Featured Projects section.
People & Companies In the News
BPB, a manufacturer and marketer of wall and ceiling products throughout North America and headquartered in Tampa, Fla., announces the following leadership changes:
Brent Thomson, president of BPB’s North American operations, will be taking an early retirement within the next 12 months. Effective May 1, 2006, the 28-year veteran of BPB became chairman both of BPB America Inc. and BPB Canada Inc.
Don Moses became the new president of BPB in North America on May 1. Moses joined BPB in 1990 as manager of operations. He has held several senior positions since that time culminating in his current role as senior vice president of sales and marketing for the North American operations.
Both positions will report to Peter Dachowski, the new president of the North American Saint-Gobain Construction Products Division. In December of 2005, Saint-Gobain acquired BPB worldwide, creating the world leader in building interior solutions.
CertainTeed Corporation, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has chosen Terre Haute, Ind., as the site for a new production facility to manufacture fiber cement siding. The company will build the 300,000 square foot facility, which will be the company’s largest fiber cement production facility, on a 115-acre parcel in the Vigo County Industrial Park. The facility is expected to employ 100 people when it is completed in the second half of 2007 and up to 145 when it is at full capacity.
Fabcon, Savage, Minn., celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2006. The company started as a single concrete manufacturing facility in 1071 and today has four plants that produce more than 16 million square feet of concrete product annually for customers in North america.
David Baxter has been appointed director of North American marketing and market development at JLG Industries, Inc., McConnellsburg, Pa. In his new role, Baxter is responsible for marketing communications, product management, market research, economic analysis, branding and merchandising as well as assuming responsibility for marketing JLG’s telehandlers.
Marlite, Inc., Dover, Ohio, has purchased Miami-based Precision Wood Products. Precision Wood Products manufactures slatwall panels for use in retail stores and store fixtures. The purchase included Precision’s state-of-the-art automated production facility as well as all other company assets.
Niles Expanded Metals & Plastics, Niles, Ohio, has made a strategic investment in a new expanded metal line for the purpose of manufacturing precision expanded metal foils. The 16-inch wide line was purchased from Bender GmbH of Siegen, Germany, and is capable of expanding, flattening and slitting stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, nickel alloys, Teflon and most any other ductile foil material.
Powers Fasteners, Inc., Brewster, N.Y., has expanded its engineering capabilities with the appointment of Patrick D. Buckley as staff engineer. Buckley joined Powers after serving six years as applications engineer for the Emhart Industrial Fastener Division of Black and Decker Corporation.
The Scaffold Industry Association Education Foundation announces the election of Bill McBrayer of Tractel Griphoist Division as president of the foundation. McBrayer replaced William Ayres, who served in the position for the foundation since its inception in 1989.
Tridon Industries, headquartered in Pottstown, Pa., plans to open a new office and installation facility in Scriba, N.Y. The 9,700 square-foot building will consist of warehouse and office space. John Finn is responsible for the oversight of the New York location, charged with overall management of the facility, as well as sales and estimating duties. Tridon Industries is a distributor and installer of foam insulation, soundproofing, fireproofing and chemical products. The company services Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the entire New England area.