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Construction Trends

Dodge Momentum Index Makes Third Straight Gain in June

The Dodge Momentum Index gained 3.3 percent in June to 128.7 (2000=100), its third consecutive increase following hesitation in February and March, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The Dodge Momentum Index appears to be recovering from the weather-induced softness early in the year. Aided by this recent strengthening, the Momentum Index was a healthy 22.6 percent higher in June than a year earlier. Moreover, the growing volume of projects at the planning stage suggests that nonresidential construction starts should be headed higher over the remainder of the year.

This month’s increase in the Momentum Index was the result of a strong 8.3 percent surge in commercial building plans. At the same time, the institutional side of the market retreated in June, with new projects at the planning stage slipping 4.0 percent. Five commercial projects valued at $100 million or more entered planning in June to support the increase. These include the $250 million Kroger Distribution facility in Forest Park, Ga., the $200 million Skyplex Retail and Entertainment Complex in Orlando, Fla., a $200 million hotel at the Maryland Live Casino location in Hanover, Md., a $100 million warehouse at the LogistiCenter in Logan, N.J., and the $100 million retail portion of The Haven Outlet Shops in West Haven, Conn.

Builder Confidence Surpasses Key Benchmark in July

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes reached an important milestone in July, rising four points to a reading of 53 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released July 16. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

“This is the first time that builder confidence has been above 50 since January and an important sign that it is strengthening as pent-up demand brings more buyers into the marketplace,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.

“An improving job market goes hand-in-hand with a rise in builder confidence,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home.”

All three HMI components posted gains in July. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 57, while the index measuring expectations for future sales rose six points to 64 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 39.

The HMI three-month moving average was up in all four regions, with the Northeast and Midwest posting a one-point and two-point gain to 35 and 48, respectively. The West registered a five-point gain to 52 while the South rose two points to 51.

AIA Releases Seven Updated Design-Build Documents

The American Institute of Architects has released seven updated documents in the AIA Contract Documents® Design-Build family. These documents are among the most frequently used documents of the entire AIA portfolio and are preferred by the industry at large for use on commercial design-build projects, according to the AIA.

The 2014 Design-Build documents build on the core strengths of the 2004 edition documents. At the same time they enhance the early interaction between the Owner and the Design-Builder, calling for clearly defined and mandated Owner’s Criteria for the Project and requiring submission of a Preliminary Design by the Design-Builder.

The 2014 Design-Build family of documents maintains the level of usability found in the 2004 edition. The array of agreements continues to accommodate the various ways in which design build projects are delivered. The key document is, of course, the agreement between the Owner and the Design-Builder. In addition there are agreements for use between the Design-Builder and Architect, as well as between the Design-Builder and Contractor. There are also agreements for use between the Architect and consultants, and between the Contractor and subcontractors. If the Owner desires independent consulting services with respect to the Project design and/or construction, there is also an agreement for use between the Owner and that independent consultant. To help understand these design-build project variations, and the related contracts, the AIA Contract Documents team created free Design-Build Relationship Diagrams.

Other changes include updated insurance provisions that are consistent with current industry terminology and practices, and a Sustainable Project exhibit, which can be used if the Owner has identified a Sustainable Objective as part of the Owner’s Criteria. The Sustainable Project exhibit is derived from the most recent AIA Sustainable Project Documents and describes the process by which the Owner and Design-Builder will work to achieve the Sustainable Objective.

The seven updated Design-Build documents are

• A141™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Design-Builder.

• A142™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Design-Builder and Contractor.

• A441™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Contractor and Subcontractor for a Design-Build Project.

• B143™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Design-Builder and Architect.

• C141™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Consultant for a Design-Build Project.

• C441™–2014, Standard Form of Agreement between Architect and Consultant for a Design-Build Project.

• G744™–2014, Certificate of Substantial Completion for a Design-Build Project.

The updated Design-Build documents are available in the latest version of the AIA Contract Documents desktop software, and online through AIA Documents-on-Demand®, and AIA Documents-on-Demand® Plus. Visit and click on the “Contract Documents” tab.

Proposed ASTM Standard to Aid in Verifying and Monitoring Waterproofing Membranes

A proposed new ASTM standard will be used to ensure that the waterproofing of buildings is performing as intended. Once approved, the practice will be useful to architects, specifiers, membrane manufacturers, roofing contractors and warranty providers, as well as building owners, to test, verify and monitor the integrity of waterproof membranes. ASTM WK27666, Practice for Electrical Conductance Methods for Locating Leaks in Exposed or Covered Waterproof Membranes, is applicable for membranes made of materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and bituminous materials.

The subcommittee developing ASTM WK27666 also hopes to develop a proposed new standard guide for permanently installed roof membrane monitoring systems that describes how to report on the condition and location of any developing issues in the waterproof membranes.

ASTM WK27666 is being developed by Subcommittee D08.22 on Waterproofing and Dampproofing Systems, part of ASTM International Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing.

SMA Has a New Strategic Plan

The Stucco Manufacturers Association, Newport Beach, Calif., announces a new strategic plan that includes a national scope for its long-term vision.

The updated plan will focus on “Growth through Education, Expansion and Partnership with Industry,” emphasizing a goal to make the SMA the recognized authority and technical resource on all aspects pertaining to the stucco industry. The SMA plans to be at the forefront of industry concerns and issues with the creation of this new strategic plan as well as the formation of a new committee-based organization. This new structure allows SMA to focus on three coat stucco, one coat stucco and its accessories markets.

Visit for more information.

People in the News

TJ Wies Contracting, Lake Saint Louis, Mo., has appointed two new project managers: Christopher Kuni and Timothy Tighe.

Kuni has been employed as an estimator for TJ Wies Contracting for the past 17 years.

Tighe, a 12-year veteran at TJ Wies Contracting, was previously employed as a project manager, but after a brief retirement decided he missed the activity and challenges of the construction industry.

The new project managers will work together on TJ Wies Contracting’s $5 million dollar contract on the new Jefferson Barracks VA Hospital for the joint venture team of Walsh/Alberici, as well as the new addition to Community Memorial Hospital in Staunton, Ill., for O’Shea Builders.

AMES Taping Tools in Stone Mountain, Ga., has appointed Catherine Celeste to a new vice president of national accounts position within the company. In her new role, Celeste will focus on developing customer growth plans for the company’s current national account customers, as well as identifying future national account candidates for the organization.

Leon Rodriguez was sworn in July 9 as the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Rodriguez, born in Brooklyn, and raised in Miami, has a broad legal background and will lead the nearly 18,000 employee agency charged with administering the nation’s immigration and naturalization system.

Rodriguez was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014 as the director of USCIS. He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014.

Companies in the News

Three projects that feature Dryvit products were recipients of the 2014 Outstanding Projects of the Year Award presented by the Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau. The Natural Resources Building in Olympia, Wash., and the AGC Center in Wilsonville, Ore., both won in the Restoration category, while the Uptown Shopping Centre in Victoria, B.C., won in the Light-Gauge Steel Framing category. The NWCB hands out awards for outstanding wall and ceiling projects at the association’s annual convention and trade show. Awards are given in up to nine categories and for projects based in three locations.

Dur-A-Flex, Inc., headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., is expanding its operations to the Midwest as Dur-A-Flex President and Chief Operating Officer Peter V. Ferris has signed a lease for an 11,000 square-foot facility in Bensenville, Ill. This facility marks the third Dur-A-Flex location for the manufacturer.

The new facility will offer space for Dur-A-Flex’s product inventory, a design center and a dedicated staff including Midwest sales representatives, technical support and customer service. A shipping and receiving department will expedite product shipments and facilitate same day order and product pick-ups by regional customers. Additionally, Dur-A-Flex’s contractor partners will have a third venue to choose from when attending the Applicator Training Program.

ITW Building Components Group, a business unit of Illinois Tool Works Inc., will open a new TrusSteel® roll forming plant and distribution center in Pontotoc, Miss. The 150,000-square-foot facility will begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2014 and initially employ about 10 people.

ITW Building Components Group is currently renovating an existing facility in Pontotoc to convert it to the new TrusSteel roll forming plant and distribution center.

Continuing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first pneumatic framing nailer, Paslode is holding a monthly sweepstakes and hosting dealer events for industry partners throughout the country.

Framing contractors can submit their entries for the 50th Anniversary Sweepstakes at as well as on-site at dealer locations. Continuing through December, seven monthly winners will be randomly selected to receive Paslode’s commemorative 50th Anniversary Special Edition Pneumatic Framing Nailer.

In addition, Paslode will take the celebration on the road with traveling events at many of its dealer locations. The dealer events will offer industry professionals a first-hand look at the commemorative 50th Anniversary Special Edition Pneumatic Framing Nailer, additional product showcases, giveaways, promotions and drawings for free Paslode tools.

USG Corporation, Chicago, is the newest “We Built Daytona” partner at the Daytona International Speedway, part of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project. A variety of USG Brand products will be used in the interior construction of the new DIS frontstretch, and other USG products will be prominent around the exterior of the project. In addition to USG, other “We Built Daytona” partners include Sherwin-Williams, Big Ass Fans, Rossetti, Walter P. Moore, M-E Engineers and Kingspan.

New on the ’net

Rockfon® has expanded its website to connect visitors with its complete ceiling system offering, supported with a unified brand. The streamlined navigation and new content integrates Rockfon’s stone wool acoustic ceiling panels and specialty metal ceiling panels with Chicago Metallic® suspension systems.

Rockfon’s metal ceiling systems are showcased under their own tab with submenu items. Finish color and perforation options can be viewed for each product, as well as suspension systems. Each Web page for the suspension systems lists component choices along with illustrations of their slotting and hole placement, finishes and packaging details.

For more information, visit has been created by experienced professionals in the walls and ceilings industry as a resource for professional contractors and DIYers to find the tools, accessories and jobsite gear that they need to get the job done. The site carries a broad assortment of tools and equipment, including drywall tools, fasteners and accessories, power tools, hand held tools, construction safety gear, scaffolding, ladders and detailed product information including customer reviews, recommended products and an informational blog.

The site offers professional grade products at competitive prices, a broad selection of tools and equipment from leading brands, an experienced staff, detailed product information including product reviews, specifications and recommended products; various shipping options and frequent specials on commonly used items

For more information, visit

Vinyl Corp., a division of ClarkDietrich Building Systems, has launched its new online product submittal tool that allows contractors to build submittals for Vinyl Corp.’s more than 2,000 products. Hosted on the newly redesigned Vinyl Corp. website, the submittal system has a shopping cart feature that gives contractors the ability to select any product within the website and build a Vinyl Submittal with a click of a button.

For more information, visit

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