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Renovation, Repair and Painting Face New EPA Rules

Beginning April 22, 2010, any contractor who disturbs more than 6 square feet of lead paint while working on a pre1978 home, school or daycare center must be Lead-Safe Certified. A new
requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects who disturb paint in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 must be certified in the new EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and follow specific work practices to reduce human exposures to lead.

With the exception of Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin, the program is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency on a nationwide basis. The EPA hopes to have the program administered by the states and to have at least 24 states on board in the next three years. Landlords, property managers and their employees are responsible for ensuring compliance with the rule.

If your company is performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools (buildings where children or pregnant women are present) built before 1978, your company must be certified (contractors must complete eight hours of training and pay a certification fee) and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. You also will be required to have supervisory personnel trained and certified to perform the work. The certification is for a term of five years, and then you will have to take a refresher course to maintain your certification.

The implementation threshold is any work that disturbs a painted surface. Anything over 6 square feet on the interior and 20 square feet on the exterior falls within the enforcement guidelines. If a painted surface is tested and the results indicate that lead-based paint was not used, then the project is free of the requirements and the work can proceed as normal.

If the building is determined to contain lead-based paint, the home/building owner must be made aware of the presence of lead-based paint. The EPA has a brochure that must be given to owners to make them aware of the potential hazards created by the work. When the project gets under way, the following rules apply:

• Warning signs must be posted.

• The work area must be contained to prevent the spread of dust.

• Prohibited practices:

o Open flame burning or use of torches to remove paint.

o Machines (sanders, grinders) cannot be used unless a HEPA exhaust control is used.

o Heat guns rated at more than 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

To locate an EPA-accredited training provider or to learn more about protecting your family from lead-based paint, visit EPA’s Get Lead Safe Web site ( or contact the National Lead Information Center, (800) 424.LEAD (5323).

For information about Iowa’s certification and training program, contact the Iowa Bureau of Lead Poisoning Prevention at (515) 281.3479 or (800) 972.2026.

For information about the Kansas certification and training program, contact the Kansas Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Prevention Program, (800) 865.3233, or visit

Missouri and Nebraska residents can locate an EPA-accredited training provider through EPA’s Get Lead Safe Web site or by calling the National Lead Information Center, (800) 424.LEAD (5323). Information is also available from EPA Region 7 by calling (800) 223.0425.

Lack of Renovators with Lead-Safety Certification May Derail Home Star, NAHB Warns

A highly anticipated program that would make homes more energy efficient and provide a significant boost to the nation’s struggling economy could get derailed before it even starts because of a new regulation affecting contractors working on older homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

In March 11 testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Connecticut remodeler Bob Hanbury said that rules effective April 22 governing contractors in homes where lead paint may be present will prevent meaningful retrofit work from being done because there won’t be enough certified renovation contractors trained in the federal EPA’s new Lead Safe Work Practices.

The Senate is considering legislation that includes the proposed Home Star program, designed to provide home owner incentives for insulation and other weatherization projects. National Association of Home Builders’ economists estimate that every $1 billion in remodeling and home improvement activity generates 11,000 jobs, $527 million in wages and salaries, and $300 million in business income, making these incentives a big boost for the economy as well as energy efficiency.

“NAHB strongly supports incentives to retrofit older homes and buildings to improve energy efficiency and performance,” Hanbury said. “But to make such a program work, the April 22 deadline for compliance with the EPA lead rule must be extended.”

Roughly 79 million homes constructed before 1978 are subject to the Lead Renovation, Repair and Repainting Rule, and renovations on these homes, including energy-efficiency upgrades, must be done by contractors who have been certified by EPA in lead-safe work practices.

However, EPA has not approved enough instructors for the required training programs and has not certified enough firms to do the renovation work that the proposed energy efficiency program would generate, according to NAHB. NAHB says the EPA has been slow to approve trainers to offer the courses, and in some states there are still no approved trainers. As a result, only about 14,000 people have been certified to date.

With only 135 firms throughout the country approved to offer the training courses, it will be impossible for the remaining contractors to complete the required training before the April 22 deadline, Hanbury said. And an influx of new retrofit jobs under a Home Star-style program would only increase the demand for trained and certified contractors.

USGBC Names “Top 10 List” of Green Building Bills

The U.S. Green Building Council released its Top 10 List of legislation advancing green building and the economic activity and jobs that come with it. Congressional members, including Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, were honored at a Feb. 24 event for their support of green building.

The USGBC Top 10 list honors The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and spotlights nine other pending bills in the House and 10 in the Senate that represent the best proposals to advance green building. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law last February, dedicates more than $22 billion for energy efficiency projects, including $346 million for energy-efficient building technologies specifically.

The Top 10 List includes bills that have been introduced in Congress in the last year that would enable innovative financing for home-owners and building-owners to make efficiency improvements, increase and extend incentives for improving our schools and existing building stock, and encourage job growth and training in new fields of building energy management and retrofits.

The Top 10 list includes the following from the U.S. House of Representatives:

• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – Public Law

• The American Clean Energy and Security Act – Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

• The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act –
Ben Chandler (D-Ky.)

• The Expanding Building Efficiency Act – Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)

• The Property Assessed Clean Energy Tax Benefits Act – John Sarbanes (D-Md.)

• An Act to Enhance Private Financing for Clean Energy Technology Deployment – Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

• The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act of 2009 – Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio)

• The Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment (WATER) Act – Michael Coffman (R-Colo.)

• The Livable Communities Act of 2010 – Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)

**pending introduction**

• The Federal Personnel Training Act of 2010 – Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)

**pending introduction**

The Top 10 list includes the following from the U.S. Senate:

• The Clean Energy and American Jobs Act – John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

• The American Clean Energy and Leadership Act – Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

• Energy Efficiency in Housing Act (EEHA) of 2009 – Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

• The Livable Communities Act of 2009 – Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)

• The Expanding Building Efficiency Incentives Act of 2009 – Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

• The School Building Fairness Act – Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

• Clean Energy for Homes and Buildings Act of 2009 – Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)

• The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act of 2009 – Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)

• The Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment (WATER) Act of 2009 – Mark Udall (D-Colo.)

• The Federal Agency Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2009 – Susan Collins (R-Maine)

January Construction Retreats 1 Percent

The value of new construction starts slipped 1 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $419.3 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The slight loss of momentum was due to a pullback for nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities), after this sector’s elevated performance in December. Meanwhile, residential building in January held steady, and nonresidential building was able to register growth as the result of gains for a few structure types.

The latest month’s data produced a reading of 89 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), compared to 90 in December. For all of 2009, the Dodge Index averaged 87.

“While down slightly from the previous month, January’s activity is consistent with the sense that construction starts have at least stabilized at a low level,” stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. “Relative to the extended decline that took place from 2006 through early 2009, that’s good news. The cautionary note is that it’s still too early to say that renewed expansion for overall construction activity has taken hold. On the plus side, the public works sector is seeing strength for transportation-related projects, supported by the federal stimulus funding. Single family housing reached bottom in early 2009 and has since shown modest improvement. Nonresidential building has seen a pickup for such publicly-funded structure types as transportation terminals and courthouses. However, the commercial categories remain extremely depressed, and given tight bank lending and weak employment are likely to stay that way throughout 2010.”

Residential building, at $132.7 billion (annual rate), was essentially unchanged in January relative to December. Single-family housing edged up 1 percent, maintaining the gradual upward movement that began during the spring of 2009. By region, single-family housing in January showed gains for the South Central (up 5 percent), the South Atlantic (up 2 percent), the Midwest and West (each up 1 percent), while the Northeast declined (down 10 percent).

Murray stated, “Single -family housing is expected to see improved construction in 2010 compared to its extremely depressed 2009 amount, helped by the continuation of low mortgage rates and homebuyer tax credits, and assuming that the steps taken to limit foreclosures have a broader impact this year.”

Multifamily housing lost further momentum in January, sliding 4 percent. The largest multifamily project reported as a January start was a $45 million senior living apartment facility in Apex, N.C., continuing the trend towards smaller-scale projects compared to the $100 million plus high-rise projects that were being reported as construction starts as recently as two years ago.

Nonresidential building in January climbed 11 percent to $159.9 billion (annual rate), lifted mostly by large gains for three structure types—transportation terminals, healthcare facilities and public buildings. The relatively small transportation terminal category soared 818 percent in January, boosted by a massive transit complex in Lower Manhattan, N.Y. (the subway and PATH train regional transportation hub), with a construction start cost estimated at $3.0 billion. If this massive project is excluded from the January statistics, nonresidential building would have fallen 14 percent while total construction would have dropped 10 percent. The transportation terminal category in January also included the $53 million modernization of Terminal B at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Healthcare facilities in January climbed 39 percent, getting 2010 going on a strong note after the diminished contracting witnessed throughout much of 2009. Large healthcare projects that reached groundbreaking in January included a $500 million hospital in Orlando, Fla., and a $154 million hospital expansion and renovation in Wilmington, Del. The public buildings category in January jumped 52 percent, aided by the start of a $52 million police station house in Staten Island, N.Y. Modest January gains were registered by churches and dormitories, each up 3 percent.

The other nonresidential building categories showed substantial weakness in January compared to December. For the commercial categories, these declines were reported—stores and hotels, each down 24 percent; offices, down 38 percent; and warehouses, down 42 percent. On the institutional side, the educational building category (the largest nonresidential structure type) fell 22 percent in January, while amusement-related projects plunged 47 percent.

On an unadjusted basis, total construction in January 2010 came in at $27.8 billion, down 8 percent from the same month a year ago. By major sector, nonbuilding construction showed an 8 percent shortfall, while nonresidential building registered a steeper 21 percent decline. In contrast, residential building in January 2010 was up 18 percent versus a year ago.

By region, total construction for January 2010 compared to January 2009 revealed decreased activity in the South Central, down 22 percent; and the West, down 39 percent. Total construction gains on a year-over-year basis were reported for the Midwest, up 3 percent; the South Atlantic, up 16 percent; and the Northeast, up 38 percent.

Additional perspective is obtained by looking at twelve-month moving totals, in this case the 12 months ending January 2010 compared to the twelve months ending January 2009. On this basis, total construction posts a 23 percent decline, as the result of this pattern by sector: nonresidential building, down 30 percent; residential building, down 27 percent; and nonbuilding construction, down 9 percent.

By region, the 12 months ending January 2010 showed this behavior for total construction: the West, down 28 percent; the Midwest, down 24 percent; the South Atlantic, down 23 percent; the South Central, down 21 percent; and the Northeast, down 18 percent.

Nonresidential Construction Suffers More Job Losses in February

The nation’s nonresidential building construction sector lost 9,600 jobs in February, according to the March 5 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. Since February 2009, the sector has shed 101,700 jobs, or 13.3 percent. Employment in nonresidential construction now stands at 661,600.

Hit the hardest was the nonresidential specialty trade sector, which lost 34,900 jobs in February, bringing its two-month job loss to 83,800. From February 2009 to February 2010, the nonresidential specialty trade sector lost 383,200 jobs, or 16.3 percent. Heavy and civil engineering construction lost 9,000 jobs in February, following a 1,100 job loss in January. The sector has lost 113,000 jobs, or 12.5 percent, from one year ago.

The residential building construction sector lost 5,300 jobs for the month and 107,500, or 15.5 percent, since February 2009. The construction industry as a whole lost 64,000 jobs last month and 880,000, or 13.7 percent, on a year-over-year basis as the unemployment rate hit 27.1 percent.

Overall, the nation’s employment rate was down 36,000 jobs in the month of February, and down 3,297,000 on a year-over-year basis. So far, 8,425,000 jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007. The nation’s unemployment rate in February remained at 9.7 percent.

Phillips Manufacturing Co. Acquires Corner Cap Assets of Pla-Cor®

Phillips Manufacturing Co. has acquired the assets of Pla-Cor’s® corner and transition caps for the professional finishing of drywall corners.

Phillips is a national single source manufacturer for all drywall finishing beads and trims, channels and framing components. This acquisition gives Phillips all rights, patents and injection molding equipment for Phillips to further service its drywall finishing customers.

All corner caps and transitions adaptors formerly produced by Pla-Cor® are now available from Phillips Manufacturing Co. These products are used with Phillips metal, vinyl and paper faced corner beads.

Heartland Acoustics & Interiors Receives 2010 Best of Englewood Award … Again

For the second consecutive year, Heartland Acoustics & Interiors, Englewood, Colo., has been selected for the 2010 Best of Englewood Award in the Acoustical Contractors category by the U.S. Commerce Association.

Nationwide, only 1 in 70 (1.4 percent) 2009 Award recipients qualified as two-time award winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2010 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies believed to have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2010 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

Headquartered in Englewood, AWCI member Heartland Acoustics & Interiors is a full-service contracting firm specializing in suspended acoustical ceilings, specialty ceilings, acoustical wall panels and sound control, stretch wall/ceiling systems and raised access flooring. The company was founded in 1997 and services the entire state of Colorado and Wyoming, with an office in San Diego that services the Southern California area. For more information, visit them online at

Saint-Gobain Wins EPA’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award … Again

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named Saint-Gobain as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. No other manufacturer of glass containers or fiber glass insulation has ever received the Partner of the Year award.

Through a range of energy-awareness programs, process improvements and energy management practices in 2009, Saint-Gobain businesses in North America were able to reduce their energy intensity by 2.2 percent—equivalent to the amount of energy needed to make nearly 486 million glass bottles or enough fiber glass insulation for more than 100,000 typical U.S. homes. The company’s energy-use reduction equated to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions released to the atmosphere of more than 70,000 tons last year.

Saint-Gobain’s accomplishments were recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 18, 2010.

The 2010 Partner of the Year Awards recognize efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Award winners are selected from more than 17,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

ASSE Search Is on for 100 Women Who Have Made a Difference in Safety

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Women in Safety Engineering common interest group will honor 100 women who have, or are currently, making a difference through their work and dedication to protecting people, property and the environment, as part of ASSE’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2011. WISE has issued a call for nominations.

WISE honored four women in its monthly newsletter to members in October 2009 and will continue to do so until October 2011 when the group will consolidate the profiles and nominations of 100 dedicated women into a single publication, 100 Women—Making a Difference in Safety. Those nominated do not have to be ASSE members.

WISE was established by ASSE and its members to foster the advancement of women in the safety, health and environmental profession. The ASSE group plans to honor women who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in the lives of others through their work, dedication and innovation in SH&E work.

To nominate a woman for the WISE ‘100 Women Project’ complete the nomination form on the ASSE WISE Web site at

People & Companies in the News

JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company based in McConnellsburg, Pa., has appointed Andrew Satterley to vice president – sales, marketing and customer support for the Asia Pacific region.

Satterley will be based at the JLG office in Singapore, where he will oversee the company’s operations across Japan, China, India, Vietnam and Korea, as well as New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia. He will be focused on replicating the customer-focused approach he achieved as vice president and managing director of Australia and New Zealand. Satterley will be tasked with establishing an improved support structure for service, technical support and training. He will also work to improve Asian market acceptance of access equipment by demonstrating the improvement in productivity, efficiency and the safety aspects attainable by incorporating access equipment on projects.

In addition, JLG Industries has appointed Bob Mules to the role of general manager Australia and New Zealand. Mules joined JLG in 2005 as NSW state manager before becoming director of sales and market development for Australia and New Zealand in April 2008. Mules has 25 years’ experience in the rental and access equipment industry in varying roles from branch management to access manager.

Topcon Positioning Systems, Livermore, Calif., announced that Kai Umino is the new director of TPS sales support. He will report to Mick Yamazaki, TPS chief operating officer.

Umino is now responsible for domestic and international sales support groups for TPS. The group supports five business units – Survey, Construction, Precision Agriculture, Emerging Business and Telematics.

Umino joined Topcon Corporation in 1995 and has spent the past seven years managing sales operations at Topcon South Asia in Singapore and the Topcon office in Dubai.

Umino is replacing John Fujita, who will be returning to Topcon Corporation headquarters in Tokyo. Fujita has worked for Topcon for 12 years, first with Topcon America Corporation and then for the last seven years at TPS in Livermore.

The Gypsum Association, Hyattsville, Md, has announced that Assistant Executive Director and Director of Technical Services Robert A. Wessel, Ph.D., has been appointed to the chairmanship of ASTM subcommittee E60.01 on Buildings and Construction, which is a subcommittee under the ASTM International technical committee E60 on Sustainability. Publications under the E60.01 subcommittee’s purview include E1991, Standard Guide for Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Building Materials/Products; E2129, Standard Practice for Data Collection for Sustainability Assessment of Building Products; E2392, Standard Guide for Design of Earthen Wall Building Systems; and several standards concerning green roof systems.

Wessel has represented the Gypsum Association at ASTM since the mid 1980s. During those years he has served as secretary of C-11, membership secretary of E-05 and as a member of the Committee on Technical Committee Operations, sat on numerous task groups within E-05 and C-11, and is currently an active member of 11 ASTM committees. Wessel was presented with the ASTM Award of Merit in 2000.

Roy Zeh joins Reinicke Athens, Inc. Industrial Contractors as director – sales/marketing. Zeh will be directing sales and marketing for Reinicke as well as its new venture, RAI Industrial Fabricators.

RAI is under construction on its new 104,000 square foot structural steel fabrication plant in Athens, Ga. The facility will utilize leading robotic technology for production and provide state-of-the-industry BIM design services. RAI will service customers throughout the South.

Products in the News

Alabama Metal Industries, Inc. (AMICO) and Fortifiber Building Systems Group have joined forces to market and distribute Fortifiber’s Jumbo-Tex “Pony Rolls” in the Midwest United States, out of AMICO’s Kansas City Distribution Center.

AMICO will stock and distribute both Jumbo-Tex & Super Jumbo-Tex 60 weather resistive barriers in the “Pony Roll” version. AMICO will sell the Jumbo-Tex Pony Rolls on pallets (144 rolls/pallet) or individually, at market-competitive prices to dealers and distributors.

Grabber Construction Products, best known for premium fastening systems for wood, metal and drywall applications, has become the exclusive distributor in the U.S. and Canada of board-milling machines from Magacon Technologies.

The MAGAform 3000, featured alongside Grabber’s Booth #910 at the INTEX Expo in Denver at the end of this month, is a transportable digital board-milling machine capable of milling gypsum, cement board, wood products and aluminum. Beyond its advanced cutting and shaping capabilities, however, the MAGAform’s milling features are combined with a proprietary adhesive process. Together, the system allows a contractor to form and shape a variety of panel materials into layered, dimensional shapes including beveled edges, corners, even radiuses to form perfectly rounded columns.

Grabber and Magacon will continue to demonstrate the MAGAform 3000 at venues across the country in coming months.

National Gypsum, Charlotte, N.C., announced Feb. 22 that its PermaBase® BRAND Cement Board and PermaBase Flex® Cement Board products have achieved GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM Certification. The products, which are identified for use as cement backer board with ceramic tile as well as in certain exterior applications, join an expanding list of National Gypsum products to have achieved one of the world’s most stringent indoor air quality standards.

The GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM is an industry independent, third-party program that has been certifying products for low chemical emissions since 2001. To achieve GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification, National Gypsum’s products met the most stringent emissions limits available, which take into account the added sensitivity of children and adults with compromised immune systems.

For a complete list of National Gypsum products to have achieved GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified status and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification, go to

New on the ’Net

Developers and building owners have a comprehensive new online tool to help them construct and maintain mold and moisture-resistant buildings with superior indoor air quality. The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute has unveiled its newly redesigned Web site, which offers builders and owners a blueprint for healthier structures that can safeguard against interior moisture and mold growth while minimizing the financial risk associated with mold damage.

In addition to providing a wealth of information on mold, moisture and indoor air quality, GEI’s new Web site offers an enhanced GREENGUARD Product Guide℠, which helps builders find low-emitting building products and materials that can earn them sustainable credits. The site also offers increased visibility of GREENGUARD Building Construction℠ Certified and registered buildings—as well as their owners, developers, and general contractors—by showcasing them in the “Find Certified and Registered Buildings” section.

Other new Web features and upgrades include a complete site redesign, improved site navigability, and a comprehensive FAQ section.

Telling Industries, Mentor, Ohio, announces the launch of their new Web site, The company’s fresh approach to the BUILDSTRONG™ site has replaced and upgraded their original offering,

The new Telling™ Industries company site is feature rich, designed to accommodate the wide diversity of viewers of their pages. BUILDSTRONG offers visitors an opportunity to print literature, acquire submittal information, seek engineering advice, obtain LEED® documentation, write specifications and link directly to the industry’s hottest media sources for up-to-date news.

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