September 2006

USG Now Provides Gypsum and Ceiling Panel Recycling
USG Corporation’s gypsum recycling program partner, Gypsum Recycling America, LLC, has begun collecting new gypsum wallboard scrap, which will be recycled and reused in USG’s wallboard manufacturing operations. USG also will collect and recycle customers’ used ceiling panels as part of the company’s new USG Ceiling Panel Recycling Program.

USG was the first wallboard manufacturer to contract with GRA’s parent company, Gypsum Recycling International, to purchase reprocessed gypsum for the production of new wallboard.

GRA’s first facility, located in Cambridge, Mass., started collecting new-construction wallboard scrap in March. This fall, the scrap will be processed by a patented new mobile recycling machine. The machine then converts the material into a gypsum powder that USG’s plant in Charlestown, Mass., the state’s only wallboard manufacturer, will reuse in making new wallboard.

GRA’s Cambridge recycling facility can process a permitted capacity of 60,000 tons of recycled gypsum a year. As GRA expands in the Northeast, USG’s plants in Stony Point, N.Y., and Baltimore will also purchase the reprocessed gypsum. Massachusetts was chosen as GRA’s first site because of the state’s strong interest in gypsum recycling.

USG customers can now recycle pre-approved ceiling panels made by USG or other manufacturers and, once customers have a full truckload, USG will pay the way.

USG’s Ceiling Panel Recycling Program accepts panels from the continental U.S. and areas of Canada. USG will reuse the recycled panels to manufacture new ceiling products.

Customers interested in recycling ceiling panels should contact their local sales representative. New England–area businesses interested in recycling new gypsum wallboard scrap should contact USG’s Sandy Mulkern at smulkern@usg.com or GRA’s Jack Walsh at jw@gypsumrecycling.us.

MarinoWare and ASSI Merge
MarinoWare, South Plainfield, N.J., has merged with American Strip Steel Inc., a maker of niche flat-rolled steel products, effective July 10, 2006.

The companies will continue to operate without any changes or interruption in business, with ASSI now a division of MarinoWare.

MarinoWare has manufacturing facilities at the headquarters location, Georgia, Indiana and Texas, as well as a sales office in New York. ASSI operates two manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, including one at its headquarters in Kearny.

Owens Corning & Saint-Gobain to Merge Reinforcements Businesses
Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, and Saint-Gobain, Paris, are in discussions to merge Owens Corning’s Reinforcements Business and Saint-Gobain’s Reinforcement and Composites Businesses (a part of the entity known as Vetrotex) into a new company, to be called Owens Corning-Vetrotex Reinforcements. The partnership of these two businesses would establish a global company in reinforcements and composite fabrics products, with worldwide revenues of approximately $1.8 billion and 10,000 employees. The new company would have operations across Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

Saint-Gobain’s Textile Solutions business, serving mainly construction markets, will remain part of Saint-Gobain’s High Performance Materials Sector. Owens Corning’s Veil Technologies and Fabwel businesses will remain part of the Owens Corning Composite Solutions Business.

While a definitive agreement, has not yet been reached it is anticipated that the transaction would be structured as a joint venture, with Owens Corning owning a 60 percent equity interest and Saint-Gobain owning 40 percent. After a minimum of four years, the joint venture provisions would give an option to Saint-Gobain to sell its 40 percent stake to Owens Corning, and Owens Corning to buy the same.

Owens Corning-Vetrotex Reinforcements would be headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The board of directors for the new company would be comprised of three representatives from Owens Corning and two from Saint-Gobain. The chief executive officer of Owens Corning-Vetrotex Reinforcements will be Chuck Dana, currently president of Owens Corning’s Composite Solutions Business. The new organization would be managed by an executive management team comprised of key leaders from both companies.

The transaction is expected to close by early 2007 and is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive transaction documents, board of directors approval by the parent companies, and regulatory and antitrust approvals.

Niles Expanded Metals & Plastics Purchases 10-Foot Expanded Metal Manufacturing Line
Niles Expanded Metals & Plastics, Niles, Ohio, purchased another new 10-foot expanded metal manufacturing line from Agape Industries, Taiwan. This new line has the capability of expanding most materials at high speeds with greater precision and accuracy than most other expanders in the industry. The line, which is expected to be in operation early 2007, is being set up to run both coil and sheet.

Some of the capacity of the new line will be dedicated to the manufacturing of the company’s new expanded metal security fence systems and accessories. Other features include ability to run ribbon mesh and skip mesh.

LaHouse LIVE Event Demonstrates How New Codes and Building Practices Can Save Buildings and Lives
Fortifying themselves for the challenges of re-building the hurricane-ravaged Gulf states of Louisiana and Mississippi, more than 350 architects, builders and craftspeople attended LaHouse LIVE, a full day of hands-on, foundation-to-ridge training on hurricane-resistant construction, best building practices and building code changes. Held on the LSU campus, at the LaHouse demonstration jobsite, LaHouse LIVE was videotaped to provide more than six hours of comprehensive, online training for the tradespeople building and re-constructing the hurricane-affected Gulf.

LaHouse LIVE was the kickoff of a four-part Hurricane-Resistant Construction Project produced by Building Media Inc., and sponsored by DuPont, Georgia Pacific, Grace, Institute for Business & Home Safety, PGT-Windguard, WindsorOne, Honeywell and Zinsser.

Hosted by nationally known construction, code and mold experts, the LaHouse LIVE program tracked the construction of a hurricane-code compliant house, starting with fastening the walls to the foundation, and ended six hours later with how to secure the roof.

The entire training event is available on the Hurricane-Resistant Construction Network (www.hurricanecon struction.net), an online help center that launched Aug. 15.

Applications Are Available for Safety Award For Excellence
Applications are now being accepted for a new award program, Safety Award For Excellence, that recognizes home builders who develop outstanding worksite safety programs. Fannie Mae is sponsoring the award in support of NAHB’s efforts to promote the use of best practices in the housing industry.

The SAFE program is open to all NAHB member companies in good standing that build residential homes or townhomes using light construction methods. Specialty trade contractors, remodelors, light commercial and multi-family builders, as well as NAHB-affiliated associations and federal or state plan OSHA officials who have been nominated by an NAHB member or association are all welcome to apply. Awards will be given in a variety of categories. To view a detailed listing of categories, go to www.nahb.org\SAFE.

Hearing Conservation Program Resources Available Online
The Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group’s (Smithfield, R.I.) Web site has been expanded to provide resources to help safety officers and industrial hygienists implement better hearing conservation programs worldwide. In the Hearing Conservation section at www.hearingportal.com, users can find information on global hearing conservation regulations, as well as posters, presentations, literature and other tools to help design, set up and conduct people-oriented hearing conservation programs.

Free resources available at hearingportal.com are specific to the Americas, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and include regional regulatory information and links; technical information on hearing conservation topics and protection devices; and programming tools including literature, posters and presentations.

Hearingportal.com offers a number of hearing conservation program aids for download, many of which are available both in English and Spanish. The site also includes regulatory information and technical information.

New Flash Video on GA Web Site
A new informational flash video created by the Gypsum Association explains the origins of gypsum board and the features and benefits of building with gypsum products. The presentation is posted on the association’s Web site, www.gypsum.org.

The production consists of a slideshow and a streaming video testimonial featuring Joe DiCara, AIA, an architect who specializes in public school construction and rehabilitation. In his testimonial, DiCara explains how gypsum products can be effectively used in the construction or rehabilitation of school buildings to shorten construction times and lower construction costs.

An electronic copy of the video, suitable for linking to a Web site, can be obtained by contacting the Gypsum Association.

Wall Bracing Made Simple on the Web
The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Wash., has launched a new Web site, www.wallbracing.org, that covers code required wall bracing, a key component of home construction that helps keep walls square during high wind and earthquake events.

The site provides descriptions of wall bracing construction and the associated International Residential Code requirements. Developed by wall bracing experts at APA, the Web site helps people easily understand, design, build and enforce braced wall systems.

Unique to this Web site is detailed information on bracing that is specific to building professionals and homeowners. This easy-to-navigate system allows users to simply click for information that is directly related to their line of work or home project.

The wallbracing.org site includes links to APA’s free Wood University course on wall bracing; APA publications relevant to each audience; APA’s CAD Web site with downloadable CAD files of wall bracing details; an event calendar with dates of upcoming seminars covering wall bracing; and contact information for APA’s free and knowledgeable Product Support Help Desk.

June Construction Settles Back 5 Percent
New construction starts in June dropped 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $655.1 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The June statistics lowered the Dodge Index to 139 (2000=100), compared to a revised 145 for May.

Nonresidential building in June fell 4 percent to $193.4 billion (annual rate).

Residential building, at $344.3 billion (annual rate), dropped 6 percent in June. Single-family housing fell 3 percent from its May level, and multifamily housing dropped 17 percent.

For total construction, the 7 percent increase reported for the United States in the first half of 2006 was due to this performance by major region: the West, up 13 percent; the South Central, up 12 percent; the Midwest, up 4 percent; the South Atlantic, up 2 percent; and the Northeast, up 1 percent.

Wallboard Shipment Volume Announced
According to statistics compiled by the Gypsum Association, the United States gypsum board industry shipped a total of 9.533 billion square feet of material during the second calendar quarter (April–June) of 2006. During the same period, Canadian manufacturers shipped 899 million square feet of material.

During the first six months of 2006, U.S. manufacturers have shipped a total of 19.032 billion square feet of material, and Canadian manufacturers have shipped 1.805 billion square feet of material.

DISCA Presents Excellence in Construction Award
The Drywall and Interior Systems Construction Association presented its sixth annual Excellence in Construction Award to Sloan & Company, Inc. of West Caldwell, N.J. for their Port Imperial Intermodal Ferry Terminal project in Weehawken, N.J. DISCA Executive Director Don Morrice presented the award to Scott Casabona, president and CEO of Sloan & Company, Inc., at the Annual Joint Membership Meeting of DISCA, BCA and AGC at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J. on June 15.

Sloan Vice President Eric Takach and Project Manager Terence McHugh submitted the project to the contest. Conti Enterprises of South Plainfield, N.J., served as the general contractor, and URS Corporation served as the construction manager.

Sloan & Company’s scope of work included interior and exterior steel stud framing, rough carpentry, exterior roof blocking, gypsum wallboard partitions, ceilings and soffits, acoustic, wood and metal ceilings, interior GRG column covers, interior metal panels and door frame and hardware installation. Sloan’s millwork division fabricated and installed interior wood panels, custom casework and custom interior trim.

The project’s greatest challenges were intricacies of the gypsum wallboard ceilings, soffits, metal panels and full height GRG column enclosures in the "Oculus,” which include full height glass walls that provide unmatched views across the Hudson River of the New York City skyline.

People & Companies In the News
Robert "Rob” Scoble has been named vice president, sales and marketing, of Hyde Tools, Inc., Southbridge, Mass. Scoble’s responsibilities include oversight of the sale and marketing of paint, drywall, wallcovering and other hand tools sold worldwide through retailers, distributors and catalogs.

JLG Industries, Inc., McConnellsburg, Pa., has appointed Brian Boeckman as the North American product parent for the company’s telehandler business. Boeckman will be responsible for the management of the company’s telehandlers. He will lead teams and manage processes to define the product content of new and existing telehandler products as well as develop pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies.

Robert P. Unterborn has been named assistant controller at Sonny Scaffolds, Inc., Indianapolis. Unterborn, a United States Air Force veteran, has held previous positions in management and supervisory posts for Sundance Property Management in suburban Indianapolis and Equity Residential Trust in Bowling Green, Ky.

Structus Building Technologies, Inc., Bend, Ore., has promoted two of its top executives. Bill Scannell has been named president and David Slavensky has been promoted to chief operating officer.

As president, Scannell will work closely with the senior management team to determine company priorities, and will be responsible for creating and implementing innovative and effective corporate strategies.

Slavensky will manage the day-to-day operations of Structus, including manufacturing, engineering, IT and human resources. He will also be intimately involved in determining the strategic focus of the company.