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Construction Trends

Architects Misunderstand EIFS, Says Dryvit Survey


Dryvit Systems, Inc., West Warwick, R.I., surveyed 414 commercial architects to better understand their perspectives on continuous insulation and exterior insulation and finish systems, and there are many misunderstandings around EIFS as they relate to CI or traditional cladding.




Seventy-eight percent of commercial architects are aware of CI, and 76 percent use it at least sometimes, mainly for meeting green/sustainability standards or meeting/exceeding code requirements.
Although 81 percent of the surveyed architects have used EIFS, either in the past or currently, there are a few misconceptions as they compare to traditional cladding:




o Fifty-five percent think EIF systems are less durable.




o 40 percent argue that EIF systems are less aesthetically appealing.




o Only 38 percent think EIF systems are a cheaper solution.
Though it’s an effective form of continuous insulation, only 38 percent of respondents use EIFS to achieve CI.
Sixty-five percent of architects who responded to the survey are at least somewhat aware of the upcoming code changes, which require the use of CI; however, 67 percent of those who are aware will not change their use of EIFS.




Building codes are changing to require continuous insulation beginning Oct. 18, 2013.




Two Independent Papers Assess Value of EIFS


The EIFS Council of Canada, Toronto, presents two significant papers examining the exterior insulation and finish system’s value proposition in the context of the ECC’s EIFS Quality Assurance Program. Independently written by Dr. Ted Kesik, professor of building science at the University of Toronto and a respected leader in the Canadian building science field, the papers explain the way EIFS is being leveraged by designers, manufacturers, contractors, owners and investors to deliver value, quality and performance in both new and retrofit building projects.




The first paper, “How to Arrive at the True Value Propositions of EIFS,” explores the value propositions of EIFS by defining a framework for fair valuation that can be used to determine EIFS’ benefits and limitations. The second paper, “The EIFS Council of Canada EQI Program Value Proposition,” examines the value propositions in the context of successful delivery through the EIFS Quality Assurance Program.




Go to www.eifscouncil.org/ and click on the “About EIFS” tab to read the papers on the ECC website.




FMI Releases Q2-2012 Construction Outlook Report


FMI, a provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry, released on July 17 the second quarter 2012 Construction Outlook Report. FMI’s forecast calls for 3 percent growth for construction put in place by the end of 2012 and another 7 percent in 2013 for a total of $882.4 billion. This is $92.6 billion more than the lows of 2011.




Despite the constant confusion of news from Europe and uncertainty and inaction in the U.S. Congress, there are some positive signs in the economy. As one might expect, improving housing construction is helping to lead the way, especially multifamily housing. However, power construction is another strong point, and even commercial construction will show signs of rising from its slumber. Nonetheless, slow growth may be even more challenging than large market drops or boom times, because it requires improved management, precision market research and creative business development.




Residential construction is coming back lead by 32 percent growth in multi-family housing.




In nonresidential construction the forecast is mixed with healthcare and manufacturing showing the most positive signs of growth.




Lodging CPIP is expected to grow 4 percent and rebound somewhat to 7 percent and 8 percent in 2013 and 2014.




Office construction should be 4 percent by the end of 2012 and improve to around 6 percent for 2013 through 2014.




Commercial construction is beginning to grow again. FMI expects 5 percent growth in CPIP this year, followed by 8 percent growth in 2013 to around $49 billion.




Healthcare construction is expected to rise only 3 percent in 2012. That will strengthen to double digits by 2015, achieving record highs around $52.6 billion.




Education construction will have only a 1 percent increase in CPIP in 2012 and a slight rise of 2 percent in 2013.




Religious construction will be flat in 2012, with some revival in 2013 to 6 percent growth at $4.3 billion.




Public safety construction will be flat in 2012, but will the grow 6 percent in 2013 to $4.3 billion.




Amusement and recreation construction will climb 8 percent to $17.4 billion in 2013.




Transportation construction will grow 3 percent in 2012 and to 5 percent through 2015.




Communications construction will experience steady growth of 4 percent to 6 percent through 2015 with 2012 ending up around $18.5 billion.




Manufacturing construction is expected to rise 3 percent in 2012 and show steady increases to 2015.




Power-related construction is forecasted to have a 10 percent rise for 2012 and another 10 percent in 2013 to $108 billion.




Highway CPIP will drop 2 percent in 2012 and grow just 1 percent in 2013 to reach $77.7 billion or back near 2007 levels.




Sewage and waste disposal CPIP is expected to be around $23.9 billion.




Water supply is beginning to grow, but will gain only 2 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2013 to reach $14.7 billion.




Conservation and development growth is expected at 2 percent in 2012 and demonstrate slow, steady progress through 2015.




Log in and download a copy of the full report from www.fminet.com.




June Construction Retreats 1 Percent


New construction starts in June slipped 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $446.1 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. After the elevated activity that was reported during March and April, which reflected the lift coming from two nuclear power projects, total construction in May and June returned to a level just slightly above the average monthly pace reported during the previous year. June featured a moderate loss of momentum for nonresidential building, after this sector’s improved performance in May. At the same time, residential building in June maintained its gradual upward trend, while nonbuilding construction was unchanged as the result of divergent behavior by its public works and electric utility segments. For the first six months of 2012, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis came in at $225.0 billion, up 4 percent from the same period a year ago.




June’s data produced a reading of 94 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), compared to a revised 95 for May. For all of 2011, the Dodge Index averaged 92.




“The construction start statistics for the most part continue to hover within a set range, showing gains for some project types but further weakness for other project types,” stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. Aside from the lift coming from this year’s nuclear power projects, total construction activity during the first half of 2012 has basically shown a hesitant up-and-down pattern. On the plus side, gains are being reported for several commercial building categories, and the strengthening trend for multifamily housing is now being joined by moderate growth for single-family housing. On the negative side, such institutional project types as educational buildings and healthcare facilities continue to weaken.”




Nonresidential building in June fell 4 percent to $148.7 billion (annual rate), following its 12 percent increase in May. For the commercial sector, office construction in June dropped 31 percent after jumping 34 percent in May, which benefited from the start of several large data center and corporate headquarters projects. Hotel construction was also down sharply in June, falling 23 percent after surging 49 percent in May. Store construction in June grew 4 percent. Warehouse construction in June managed to edge up 1 percent. Manufacturing plant construction in June was down 10 percent, although June did include the start of several large projects.




The institutional sector in June showed a mixed performance by project type. The educational building category grew 4 percent. Healthcare facilities in June climbed 13 percent. While both the education and healthcare categories showed gains in June relative to May, for each category the level of activity in June was still below its average monthly pace for 2011, with educational buildings down 8 percent and healthcare facilities down 11 percent. For the smaller institutional categories, amusement-related construction advanced 43 percent in June from a very weak May. Church construction was also up from a very weak May, rising 41 percent. June declines were reported for the public buildings category, down 13 percent; and transportation terminals, down 40 percent.




During the first six months of 2012, nonresidential building fell 16 percent from a year ago. The year-to-date decline for nonresidential building has been getting smaller as 2012 has progressed, although it still reflects the comparison to the briefly elevated amount during the first half of 2011. The commercial categories year-to-date dropped 4 percent, pulled down by a 24 percent decline for office construction. The other commercial categories showed gains for the first half of 2012 versus last year—stores and hotels, each up 7 percent, and warehouses up 12 percent. Manufacturing plant construction in the first six months of 2012 dropped 28 percent from a year ago. The institutional categories in the January-June period of 2012 came in 20 percent below last year, including declines of 16 percent for educational buildings and 19 percent for healthcare facilities.





Residential building, at $163.7 billion (annual rate), increased 1 percent in June compared to May. The upward push was provided by multifamily housing, which increased 5 percent in June on top of its 30 percent surge in May. Single-family housing in June was unchanged from May, essentially stabilizing after registering gains during the first five months of 2012. The June pace for both sides of the housing market were considerably above their respective monthly averages during 2011, with multifamily housing up 45 percent and single-family housing up 26 percent on this basis.




At the six-month mark of 2012, residential building in dollar terms advanced 25 percent from the first half of 2011, with multifamily housing climbing 32 percent while single-family housing grew 23 percent.




The 4 percent gain for total construction starts at the U.S. level during the first six months of 2012 was due to a varied pattern by geography. The South Atlantic region advanced 50 percent year-to-date, lifted by work at the nuclear power facilities in Georgia and South Carolina. Total construction starts in the Midwest were up 6 percent, but year-to-date declines were reported in the West, down 9 percent; and in the South Central and Northeast, each were down 10 percent.




Construction Employment Declines by 1,000 in July as Industry


Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest July Rate in Four Years
Construction employment declined by 1,000 in July even though the industry’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, according to an analysis of new federal data released Aug. 3 by the Associated General Contractors of America. The sector’s unemployment rate has steadily declined since 2009 as hundreds of thousands of out-of-work construction workers have left the industry seeking other opportunities, the association’s economist cautioned.




Industry employment in July was 1,000 lower than in June and only 5,000, or 0.1 percent, higher than one year earlier, noted Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. There are now 5.5 million construction workers employed across the country. Simonson noted, however, that construction employment patterns have varied among different industry segments. A booming apartment sector and a revival—at least for now—in single-family homebuilding led to monthly and year-over-year gains in residential construction employment, Simonson noted. He added that total residential construction employment increased by 2,700 or 0.1 percent for the month and 12,400 (0.6 percent) compared with July 2011 levels.




Nonresidential construction employment was mixed, reflecting gains in highway and private nonresidential activity that were offset by shrinking public investment in schools and other infrastructure, Simonson continued. He said total nonresidential construction employment edged down by 3,800 (–0.1 percent) from June to July and 6,900 (–0.2 percent) over 12 months.




Within the nonresidential category, heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 6,200 workers (0.7 percent) in July and 10,800 (1.3 percent) since July 2011. In contrast, nonresidential specialty trade contractors shed 9,500 jobs (–0.5 percent) for the month and 19,200 (–1.0 percent) over 12 months. Nonresidential building contractors had mixed results, losing 500 employees (–0.1 percent) in July and adding 1,500 (0.2 percent) over the year.




The 12.3 percent unemployment rate for former construction workers was well below the rate in July 2011 (13.6 percent), 2010 (17.3 percent) and 2009 (18.2 percent), Simonson noted. He added that over those three years nearly 700,000 experienced workers have found jobs in other industries, returned to school, retired or otherwise left the workforce.




AGC officials noted the industry was continuing to suffer from weak demand caused by slowing private sector growth and declining public sector investments in construction. “As long as the economy remains stagnant, construction employment levels will remain flat,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.
AIA Forecasts Increases in Construction Spending in 2012 and 2013
While obstacles are preventing a full scale recovery for the overall U.S. economy, the design and construction industry appears to have reasons to be at least modestly optimistic in the coming months and into next year.




A sharp spike in demand for industrial facilities so far this year, along with sustained demand for hotels and retail projects factors into what projects to be a 4.4 percent rise in spending this year for nonresidential construction projects—up from a projection of a 2.1 percent increase in the January Consensus Forecast. The American Institute of Architects’ semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, also projects a 6.2 percent increase of spending in 2013.




“With companies looking to bring back manufacturing jobs from overseas, there has been a sharp rise in demand for industrial facilities, which is leading to an upward revision in projections for future construction spending,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA. “Continued budget shortfalls at the state and local level, along with a depressed municipal bond market are holding the institutional market back from seeing similar upticks in spending.”




Remarking on what risks exist that could undermine these projections, Baker added, “Federal tax and spending changes—the so-called fiscal cliff—that may come into play in early 2013 could upset the economic applecart and prove detrimental to recovery possibilities. We will likely have a better sense after the presidential election what will happen with regards to the Bush-era tax cuts, Social Security payroll tax, extended unemployment, and deficit reduction plans that will have a ripple effect that will extend to the construction industry.”




Builder Confidence Rises Six Points in July


Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose six points to 35 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for July, released July 17. This is the largest one-month gain recorded by the index in nearly a decade, and brings the HMI to its highest point since March 2007.




“Builder confidence increased by solid margins in every region of the country in July as views of current sales conditions, prospects for future sales and traffic of prospective buyers all improved,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is greater evidence that the housing market has turned the corner as more buyers perceive the benefits of purchasing a newly built home while interest rates and prices are so favorable.”




“Combined with the upward movement we’ve seen in other key housing indicators over the past six months, this report adds to the growing acknowledgement that housing—though still in a fragile stage of recovery—is returning to its more traditional role of leading the economy out of recession,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “This is particularly encouraging at a time when other parts of the economy have begun to show softness, and is all the more reason that the challenges constraining housing’s recovery—namely overly tight lending conditions, poor appraisals and the flow of distressed properties onto the market—need to be resolved.”




Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for the past 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.




Every HMI component recorded gains in July. The components gauging current sales conditions and traffic of prospective buyers each rose six points, to 37 and 29, respectively, while the component gauging sales expectations for the next six months rose 11 points to 44.




Likewise, every region posted HMI gains in July. The Northeast registered an eight-point gain to 36, while the Midwest gained three points to 34, the South gained five points to 32 and the West gained 12 points to 44.




New-Home Sales Decline in June from Upwardly Revised May Pace


Sales of newly built, single-family homes slowed 8.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 units in June following an upwardly revised, strong pace in the previous month, according to figures released July 25 by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.




“While we would have liked to see a third consecutive month of new-home sales gains in June, the fact remains that the sales numbers are up on both a quarterly and yearly basis, while builders continue to report that they are seeing more serious buyers in the market for a newly constructed home with all of the latest updates,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.




“The lower number of new-home sales in June represents an adjustment from a robust level of activity in May, yet overall results for the second quarter show we are still on track for continued improvement,” observed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, the very tight inventory of new homes for sale at this time poses a challenge to builders, who’d like to have a larger selection for buyers to choose from but continue to confront issues with obtaining credit to build viable new projects.”




On a regional basis, new-home sales gained 14.6 percent in the Midwest and 2.1 percent in the West, but fell 8.6 percent in the South and 60 percent in the Northeast in June. Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale was virtually unchanged for the month at 144,000 units, which represents a relatively slim, 4.9-month supply at the current sales pace.




Remodelers Forecast Positive Outlook on Business


The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Des Plaines, Ill., is revealing the latest (July 23) from the NARI Second Quarterly Business Review—and it is positive news.




The second-quarter research, which measures remodeler’s assessment of business conditions, shows NARI members believe the current business climate is slightly more positive than the same time last year.




“There are clear indications that some of our NARI members believe that they have weathered the storm, and expect consumer confidence to return in a more consistent pace going forward,” says Kevin Anundson, CR, CKBR, NARI national secretary and president of Owner Assisted Remodeling based in Elm Grove, Wis.




In fact, data show that NARI members forecast stronger sales growth in the August, September and October, based on three key factors: Postponement of projects (80 percent), growth due to low interest rates (50 percent) and 35 percent believe improving home prices are also a significant factor.




Remodelers say consumer confidence has a different tone this time around. “People are aware that their home values may not be as high as they once were, yet that only affects those who are forced to sell,” Anundson says. “Many homeowners have made the decision to remain in their home and are choosing to make improvements and increase their comfort and long-term living accommodations. This thought process allows them to be much less concerned about returns on investment and resale values.”




This is supported by a homeowner poll conducted on NARI’s website in May 2012, which showed that 28 percent of homeowners planned on staying in their home up to five years longer because of the economy.




Still, NARI members keep a conservative outlook on business conditions and are working hard to maintain the tighter and more efficient systems implemented during the past several years.




“As with most business owners, remodelers are only increasing staff when it makes good financial sense,” Anundson says. “We are actively striving to keep overhead low while continuing to invest in effective marketing strategies. Even as the remodeling market improves, we have gained a new insight into the fluid nature of our national economy.”




Additional findings related to the overall business conditions include the following:
The number of inquires has increased since last year.
Requests for bids have increased since last year.
Conversion of bids to jobs has increased since last year.
Sales value of jobs sold has increased since last year.




If you would like to see the research in its entirety, send your request to marketing@nari.org.




ICC Announces Creation of Corporate Membership Council and Call for Governing Committee Members


The International Code Council board of directors has announced the creation of the new ICC Corporate Membership Council, establishing a forum for the corporate and regulatory communities to foster stronger interaction and identify and examine issues of mutual interest related to the built environment. Other key objectives of the new corporate council include broadening the understanding of emerging construction trends and technologies and increasing the use of replicable buildings, commissioning and other approaches to streamline the building safety compliance process.




The corporate council joins five other discipline-specific membership councils organized by ICC—Building Official, Fire Service, PMG Official, Sustainability and Global—that provide opportunities for code council members to have greater impact in how the organization serves to enhance their work performances, careers and professions.




The ICC Board will appoint a nine-member governing committee for the corporate council that will advocate for its concerns and interests, provide feedback to ICC on issues that impact corporate development and construction, and serve as a voice for the code council’s activities and programs that relate to the corporate community. The corporate council is open to any ICC individual or corporate member or any member in good standing of a closely aligned organization. Governing committee appointments and other important details will be announced soon.




At this time, ICC is accepting applications for the governing committee. Visit www.iccsafe.org/cc/pages/calls.aspx for an application.
Drywall Lawsuits Against National Gypsum Dismissed in Federal Court
Federal District Court Judge John E. Steele issued orders July 24 dismissing all claims against National Gypsum in the Brincku and Brucker lawsuits. The two cases claimed National Gypsum’s American-made drywall caused the same corrosive effects in the plaintiffs’ homes as defective Chinese drywall.




The lawsuits alleged the company manufactured defective drywall, which contained high levels of sulfur, released hydrogen sulfide gas from bacteria, and corroded copper and other metals inside the homes. Unrebutted scientific evidence provided by National Gypsum proved this was not the case.




“We are extremely pleased that our company’s products and reputation have been completely vindicated,” said CEO Thomas C. Nelson. “This ruling confirms what we have said all along: National Gypsum drywall is a high-quality, safe and environmentally sound product. Every single false allegation has been rebutted by sound science from the nation’s leading laboratories and safety experts.”




The court’s ruling concludes a long saga which began in 2009. In response to the allegations, the company engaged Packer Engineering and Columbia Analytical Services, two well-known independent testing laboratories, to conduct a full battery of elemental sulfur, copper corrosion and gas chamber tests on the company’s drywall. Other professionals, including HSA Engineers and Scientists, Inc., also tested the air, water, and surrounding environments of the homes.




These results, along with studies done for the Consumer Products Safety Commission by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Environmental Health & Engineering, were consistent. National Gypsum drywall does not cause the corrosive issues associated with defective Chinese drywall. To the contrary, detailed study of the homes involved confirmed that the alleged metal corrosion was caused by hydrogen sulfide released from poorly or untreated well water or by defective, corrosive Chinese drywall, not by National Gypsum’s products.




Johns Manville Announces Acquisition of Industrial Insulation Group




Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company located in Denver, announced Aug. 7 that it has purchased Industrial Insulation Group, LLC, a manufacturer of insulation for industrial, commercial and fireproofing applications.




IIG was formed in 2002 as a joint venture between JM and The Calsilite Group. JM previously owned a minority interest in IIG but will now operate the company as a standalone LLC wholly owned by JM. IIG’s product line complements JM’s portfolio of insulation products, allowing JM to offer an even broader continuum of solutions that meet the insulation requirements for any project. IIG manufactures a range of insulation products for use in industrial, commercial and fireproofing applications.




LEED-Certified Building Stock Swells to Two Billion Square Feet Worldwide


The U.S. Green Building Council announced July 26 that the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED green building program surpassed two billion square feet. An additional seven billion square feet is currently in the pipeline across the globe as registered projects.




“In communities around the globe, leaders from every sector of the building industry are reinventing their local landscapes with buildings that enliven and bolster the health of our environment, communities and local economies,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC. “The journey to this milestone has energized our economy-funneling $554 billion annually into the U.S. economy alone—and has helped support 7.9 million jobs across the United States.”




As the most widely recognized and used green building program, LEED is certifying two million square feet of commercial building space each day in more than 130 countries. Today, nearly 50,000 commercial projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising nine billion square feet of construction space. Additionally, nearly 23,000 homes across the U.S. have earned certification through the LEED for Homes program, with nearly 86,000 additional units in the pipeline. That’s more than 159,000 registered and certified projects in LEED.




Since the beginning of July, more than 300 projects have earned LEED certification in more than 20 countries worldwide. Notable projects include a LEED Platinum commercial interior for Google in Mumbai; the Vestas Technology Center in Lem, Denmark; Ernst and Young Plaza in Los Angeles, which earned LEED Platinum for the operations and maintenance of an existing building; and Warrensburg Elementary, a LEED Gold school in Warrensburg, Mo.




Armstrong “Save the Ceilings” Program Diverts Used Ceiling Tiles from Landfills


The Armstrong Ceiling Recycling program continues to have a positive impact on the environment. The program is the longest running program of its kind and enables building owners to send ceilings from renovation and demolition sites back to an Armstrong ceiling plant where they are used in the manufacture of new tiles. Armstrong designates new tiles made with high levels of recycled ceilings as Ceiling-2-Ceiling™ tiles.




Since the program began in 1999, Armstrong has recycled more than 123 million square feet of old ceiling tiles. This represents more than 16,000 roll-off containers of discarded ceilings that would have otherwise been taken to landfills.




As part of a new “Save the Ceilings” campaign, the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program will also have a positive impact on four nonprofits as well as the environment.




Armstrong has announced that it will make a contribution for every visitor to its website that views its short “Save the Ceilings” video. By clicking on armstrong.com/savetheceilings, visitors can watch a short, playful video describing the program and the positive impact that recycling ceilings has on the planet.




At the end of the video, viewers can then select one of four non-profit organizations, and Armstrong will make a donation based on those selections. The organizations are Save the Rain Forest (Rainforest Alliance), Save the Children, Save the Whales and Save the Earth.




ClarkDietrich™ Building Systems Gives Back to Its Local Communities Through Dedicated Community Service Program
ClarkDietrich™ Building Systems, a nationwide provider of interior steel framing products that is located in West Chester, Ohio, strongly believes in giving back to its local communities, and supports this initiative with its ClarkDietrich Cares community service program. The program enables employees to devote one paid workday every year to volunteering at the community organizations of their choice.




“We encourage all of our employees to become active volunteers and leaders within their local communities. We have found that many projects not only seek financial support, but also request help with generating ideas for events or even leveraging past experiences of our staff,” said Todd Barnett, vice president of human resources, ClarkDietrich Building Systems. “Additionally, working together for a goal outside our offices and manufacturing facilities provides an opportunity to grow together and build camaraderie among coworkers while helping others.”




Under the program, employees can choose community service activities for nonprofit organizations, including community and social service agencies, schools and libraries, hospitals and museums, environmental and animal welfare organizations, as well as youth organizations. Government sponsored efforts such as park beautification and waterway clean up also are included.




To date, ClarkDietrich participation in the program has included an annual Christmas food drive, local food bank assistance, working with Habitat for Humanity, participating in Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and multiple sclerosis sponsored events, and raising money for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.




EIMA Board of Directors Elects New President


The EIFS Industry Members Association board of directors has elected Peter Balint of Dryvit Systems, Inc. as its new president. The position is effective immediately.




“Peter is already a well-known person in the construction and exterior wall industry, and everyone in it is looking forward to working with him as he carries out his duties,” David Johnston, executive director and CEO of EIMA said. “With more than 15 years in the EIFS industry and 30 years in construction, he has an excellent technical background and knowledge of EIFS that will serve him as he leads the industry. He has already contributed mightily to the discussions and deliberations of the EIMA board.”




Balint previously served as vice president of EIMA and succeeds Buck Buchanan of Parex USA, who has held the position for the previous two years.




In Memoriam


Duane “Sal” Becker, 70, died May 15 after a battle with cancer.




Becker was known to the industry as founder and owner of Fire Trak Corp., in Kimball, Minn. He also was the owner of BecBro Incorporated, a drywall construction company, for more than 20 years. Becker was a past member of the International Code Council, ASTM and AWCI.




Prior to his work in the construction industry, Becker served his country during the Vietnam War in the U.S. Navy, serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.




Robert “Rob” G. Thomas Jr., a nationally recognized building wall/roof consultant who specialized in exterior insulation and finish systems in Jacksonville, Fla., died suddenly July 27. He was 61.




With more than 30 years of industry experience, Thomas was former manager of technical services for Dryvit Systems, Inc., and chairman for more than 15 years of ASTM’s E06.58 committee on EIFS. He also authored several books on EIFS and wrote a monthly column on EIFS for Walls & Ceilings magazine.




People in the News


Phillips Manufacturing Co. has appointed Jeremy Clemens as the company’s vice president of manufacturing. Clemens brings almost 20 years of progressive management experience in engineering, operations, lean manufacturing and sales.




Demand Products introduces three new people to the company: Kathy Lancaster in customer service, as well as Marlene Abkemeier and Donna Myers in EIFS sales.




Thermafiber, Wabash, Ind., has added Rick Reuss, P.E. to their technical services group, Thermafiber Insolutions. Reuss brings more than 25 years of experience as a registered professional engineer and firestop expert. He is an active participant in multiple ASTM committees dealing with fire-related issues, including serving as chairman of ASTM E-2750. He is an accomplished trainer and presenter to all levels of the construction environment from architect to installer.




Companies in the News


For the second consecutive year, Insulate America Inc., an association of independent insulation contractors, has honored CertainTeed Corporation with its Supplier of the Year Award for 2011. The award was given in recognition of CertainTeed’s outstanding and ongoing support of the organization.




The criteria used to determine the winner included the vendor’s support for the Insulate America organization, educational opportunities provided to members, lead referrals and accessibility to all levels of the corporation.




Nathan Kimmel Company, Los Angeles, has been named to the 100 Women Owned Businesses List of the Los Angeles Business Journal for the 12th year in a row. The 100 largest women-owned Los Angeles County–based businesses are ranked by revenues. Company President/Owner Carol Kimmel Schary was singled out on the list because her company’s construction products are used in some of the largest construction projects in the world, including stadiums for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.




New on the ’Net


Flex-Ability Concepts now offers its website maximized for efficiency and ease of use on mobile devices. The site, www.flexabilityconcepts.com, is packed with helpful information and provides access to the company’s Arc Length Calculator and Dome Calculator plus a growing list of “how to” videos.




One of the new how-to videos is “How to Build a Curved Wall.” The four-and-a-half minute video features installation demonstrations by Frank Wheeler, inventor of Flex-C Trac. It can be viewed at the Flex-Ability Concepts blog located at http://flexabilityconcepts.wordpress.com.

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