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Construction Industry Loses 32,000 Jobs Between December And January As The Sector's Unemployment Rate Hits 22.5 Percent

Recovery Still Far Away for Construction Industry as Demand for Private and Public Construction Likely to Remain Weak for Much of 2011 Even as the Stimulus Winds Down

The construction unemployment rate jumped to 22.5 percent in January 2011 as the sector lost another 32,000 jobs since December 2010, according to an analysis of new federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The new data underscores the challenges facing the industry as the stimulus winds down and demand for private and public construction remain weak, association officials noted.

“It may be a new year, but the construction industry is still suffering from the same economic conditions that kept its unemployment rate so high last year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With stimulus work starting to dry up, Congress proposing major funding cuts and private demand still weak, it is hard to see how the industry will add jobs this year.”

While harsh winter weather likely contributed to some of the industry layoffs in January, the industry has lost 130,000 jobs over the past 12 months even as total private sector employment has increased by nearly 1.3 million, Simonson noted. He added that the fact the construction industry’s unemployment rate continued to be more than twice the overall rate had much more to do with economic conditions than the weather.

The construction economist noted that the industry’s job losses came from the nonresidential construction sector, which lost 35,300 jobs between December and January, while the residential sector added 3,500 jobs. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors were hardest hit, losing 21,000 jobs. Meanwhile, winter weather and stimulus wind-downs likely helped drive down heavy and civil engineering construction employment by 7,000 jobs, Simonson suggested.

Association officials said that construction employment is likely to stagnate through much of 2011 as stimulus funds dry up and public and private sector demand for construction remains weak. They added that proposals in Congress to cut investments in infrastructure, including a proposed 17 percent cut to transportation funding for this year, would only make the construction employment situation worse.

“It is hard to understand how putting more people out of work and allowing aging infrastructure to deteriorate further is going to boost economic activity or cut the deficit,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Less tax revenue, higher unemployment costs and growing repair bills for roads, bridges, water systems and airports will only grow the deficit and add to our national debt.”

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President Obama's New Commercial Building Efficiency Effort Will Safeguard The Environment While Boosting The Economy

Finding Ways to Encourage Private Sector Energy Upgrades Will Do More to Cut Emissions and Create New Jobs than any “Cap & Trade” Scheme, Top Construction Official Notes

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s newly announced “Better Buildings Initiative”:

"The President’s new effort to encourage energy efficiency upgrades for the nation’s commercial building inventory will make our economy more efficient, more vibrant and more competitive. Given the fact that the energy consumed by the nation’s building inventory accounts for 40 percent of domestic power consumption, encouraging efficiency upgrades will do much more to safeguard our environment and reduce power consumption than any current “cap and trade” proposal ever would. And unlike restrictive environmental legislation or regulatory actions, the President’s new proposal will actually stimulate new economic activity and create needed jobs for a construction sector that has seen unemployment rates above 20 percent for much of the past year.

Today’s announcement reflects the type of pragmatic and productive energy and efficiency upgrades the Associated General Contractors of America first outlined in its Building a Green Future plan. Hopefully it also reflects a shift for this Administration away from pushing regulatory and legislative environmental measures that undermine economic activity towards enacting measures that safeguard our environment while advancing economic growth.”

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AIA Applauds Administration’s “Better Buildings” Initiative

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today commended the Obama Administration’s “Better Buildings” initiative, which calls for making commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.

The President’s initiative comes as some 800 architects are in Washington, D.C. at the AIA’s 2011 Leadership and Legislative Conference, the premier annual gathering for AIA leaders. This year’s theme, DESIGN/VOICES, celebrates and strengthens the role of architects to advocate for stronger, better communities; empower our collective voice; and communicate that design matters.

"We applaud the President’s ‘Better Buildings’ initiative, which mirrors directly what the AIA has been advocating,” said AIA 2011 President Clark Manus, FAIA. “As a profession, architects are already helping make the President’s goals a reality.”

As an example the AIA headquarters in Washington, D.C., has cut electricity use by 50 percent since 2006 through the use of basic energy conservation measures such as installing new lighting and reducing un-necessary hours of operation, Manus said.

Manus added that the AIA, along with the International Code Council, is taking an active role in promoting the adoption of building codes such as the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) that, when adopted by states and municipalities in coming years, will encourage energy conservation and reduce energy bills for building owners nationwide. What’s more, Manus said, the AIA has taken the lead in confronting the fact that commercial buildings account for roughly 40 percent of total energy use and almost 70 percent of all electricity consumed in the United States.

“Because of their leadership role in the built environment, architects are in an ideal position to help implement the President’s initiative,” said Manus. “In order to reach the President’s ‘Better Buildings’ goals, there is a crucial need for design experts to apply their experience, innovations and talents to current practices so that one of the major sources of energy use – the building in which we work – can be addressed.”

“As the President said today, the United States can ‘out-build’ the rest of the world,” said Manus. “And architects are the catalysts for winning that contest.”

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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Dri-Design’s Colorful Panels Play Key Role In Design Of New Children’s Hospital

The Kosair Children’s Medical Center in Brownsboro, KY is designed to bring a specialized level of care to children in the Louisville metropolitan area and surrounding region. Building elements such as appropriately sized doors for children, vibrant colors and playful interiors are designed to bring a sense of calming to the young patients that the facility serves.

Kosair Children’s Medical Center in Brownsboro, KY

Approximately 7,500 sq. ft. of Dri-Design panels clad the new building. The .080 aluminum panels were finished in Berkshire Blue.

The patented Dri-Design Wall Panel System is an affordable dry joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system.

Design for the project was provided by Laughlin Millea Hillman Architecture, Louisville. According to Ray Winter, project architect, the facility was designed to be playful, yet energy conscious with elements such as insulated concrete form walls, a fully integrated geothermal mechanical system, fenestration specifically located to bring natural light into public spaces and a Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roof (TPO) system for increased solar reflectance.

The construction manager on the project was Messer Construction Company, Louisville, in partnership with The Mardrian Group, Louisville. The Dri-Design distributor was Spohn Associates, Indianapolis.

Dri-Design panels can be made from a variety of materials including painted aluminum, zinc, copper and stainless steel and are 100% recyclable. Panels are available in any Kynar color in both standard and custom sizes.

For more information on the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System,
call 616-355-2970 or visit www.dri-design.com.

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RCI 26th International Convention To Be Held April 7 – 12, 2011 In Reno, NV

The 26th RCI International Convention & Trade Show will be held April 7 – 12, 2011, at the Peppermill Resort Spa and Casino in Reno, NV.

The annual event will feature over 20 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations, and a two-day trade show with over 130 exhibitors. Programs are approved to yield continuing education credits for members of RCI and the American Institute of Architects. “It’s a great opportunity to earn a full year’s worth of continuing education credit at one event,” said William Myers, RCI’s marketing director.

RCI, Inc. is an international nonprofit association of professional consultants who specialize in the specification and design of roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall systems.

For more information about RCI and its programs, visit
www.rci-online.org or call 800-828-1902.

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e-SPECS® Case Study: Cannon Design’s BIM Implementation

InterSpec Inc. and Cannon Design co-wrote a Case Study on Cannon Design’s BIM Implementation Strategy. This recently published document, “Case Study: Cannon Design”, is available to those interested in understanding their business goals, process solution, technical solution, benefits and future plans.

Cannon Design is an Ideas Based Practice, ranked among the leading international firms in planning and design for healthcare, research, education, corporate, sports and government clients. At present, the firm employs a staff of over 1,000, delivering services in 17 offices throughout North America, as well as abroad in Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India. Recognized for design excellence and technological innovation, and known for performance and dedication to client service, Cannon Design’s ‘single firm, multi-office’ practice approach enables the firm to focus the resources of its staff through a network of 17 regional offices. By assembling all disciplines within the organization, a committed team of architects, engineers, planners and interior designers offers clients a single point of responsibility and accountability, ensuring each project’s success. The firm is focused on quality – with client satisfaction as the ultimate measurement. Cannon Design works continuously to advance the state of the art, contributing to the built environment and quality of life of the people for whom it creates living and working spaces.

For several years now the construction industry in the United States has been evolving and requiring less costly and quicker turnaround times for project deliveries both for architects and engineers as well as for general contractors. These changes are forcing companies of all types to employ more efficient processes with fewer resources. The adoption of BIM has helped to address this with some success. However, the effective deployment of BIM does not come without a good deal of effort and planning. Cannon Design has taken a systematic approach to deploying its integrated BIM systems.

Collaboration software like e-SPECS, Navisworks and RISA 3D has fostered better communication within project teams. e-SPECS Designer ensured all specifiers were working from the same database of master specification documents with real time access to the latest updates. Client Accounts and Revit project templates assure consistency in multiple projects with the same client. More accurate keynoting in the model, assures conformity between specs and the model. Cannon Design has deployed BIM to allow for continuous project review rather than periodic drawing checks.

Those interested in receiving future papers, success stories, case studies, newsletters and e-SPECS news releases should register at www.e-SPECS.com\contact.html.

About InterSpec
InterSpec provides construction document management solutions and services built on its patented e-SPECS specification management technology. e-SPECS software automates the specification process by extracting the product and material requirements directly from the project’s BIM models and drawings. e-SPECS integrates directly with all Autodesk Revit-based BIM products as well as with Autodesk’s AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD Systems products and integration of MasterSpec®, US Dept of Veterans Affairs, and custom office masters. For architects and engineers who spend many hours on every project preparing construction specifications, e-SPECS software saves time and money while ensuring that the construction drawings are coordinated with the specifications. For more information visit www.e-SPECS.com or contact sales at +1-207-772-6135 or email to sales@e-SPECS.com.

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Precision Midwest Joins the Meridian Systems Value Added Reseller Partner Network
New VAR increases support for Meridian's construction project management solutions in Illinois and Indiana

Meridian Systems, the Plan-Build-Operate technology solutions leader for project-based organizations, announced today a new Value Added Reseller (VAR) agreement with Precision Midwest. Concentrating on Architecture/Engineering/ Construction (AEC) clients in Illinois and Indiana, Precision Midwest will provide comprehensive software sales and professional services for Meridian's Prolog® solution.

Precision Midwest, a Trimble distributor in the U.S., provides sales, service, rentals, support and training for GPS, optical total stations, 3D scanners and construction layout systems and is a leader in providing solutions to contractors on the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology and its benefits.

"As both a Trimble Authorized Distribution Partner and a Meridian VAR, Precision Midwest can offer project controls solutions along with their integration expertise with industry leading BIM tools," said Geene Alhady, general manager of Meridian Systems. "This combination brings significant value to our mutual customers, who can work with Precision Midwest to implement solutions that seamlessly connect BIM with Trimble total stations, while also sharing data with Prolog project management software."

"Offering the Prolog solution to our customers will certainly complement our ‘full-circle' solution on the job-site and in the boardroom," said Richard A. Fisher, president of Precision Midwest. "Our combination of BIM knowledge with Trimble and Meridian solutions allows us to effectively work with our customers to improve the design and construction process, and to make project delivery more cost effective."

Precision Midwest offers a full circle BIM solution. The full circle solution begins by scanning to bring in "As-Built" data and then utilizes Trimble RealWorks Software for modeling of the data: moving the data into BIM design software, importing design software into Trimble LM80/MEP Data Collector, using Trimble LM80/MEP Robotic Total Station for field layout and then finally collecting field layout points for continuous "As-Built" updates for BIM design rounds out the circle.

Meridian's global reseller network enhances customers' investments in Meridian software solutions by providing in-depth industry experience and value-added implementation and training services. For more information, visit: http://www.meridiansystems.com/partners/findreseller.asp.

About Precision Midwest
Precision Midwest was founded in 2001 as a merger of two former Top Ten Spectra Precision dealers. Precision Midwest is a Trimble distributor in the U.S. with corporate headquarters in Warrenville, IL (suburban Chicago). Satellite locations include Waterloo, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa and Denver, Colorado. Precision Midwest provide sales, service, rentals, support and training for GPS, optical total stations, 3D scanners and construction layout solutions and are a leader in providing solutions to contractors on the use of BIM technology and its benefits. Technology developed by companies like Autodesk, Tekla, Trimble's QuickPen Division, TSI and Vico have made it possible to take layout in the field to a new level.This technology simplifies the integration from office software to the field and field data back to the office, our "full-circle" solution. For more information, visit www.precisionmidwest.com.

About Meridian Systems
Meridian Systems, a Trimble Company (NASDAQ: TRMB), is the Plan-Build-Operate technology solutions leader for project-based organizations (PBO2). Building owners, construction and engineering firms, and public agencies use Meridian software to effectively manage capital building programs and facility assets. Meridian offers construction project management and infrastructure lifecycle management solutions that reduce project costs and schedules across the plan-build-operate project lifecycle. Subscribe to the Meridian Information Library for free access to premium research and case studies by going to: http://my.meridiansystems.com/downloads/.

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Increase in Nonresidential Construction Spending Not Expected Until Late 2011
Stronger gains for commercial real estate sector expected in 2012

A slow recovery period is projected for the nonresidential construction industry this year, and 2011 spending levels are not anticipated to be enough to show growth over 2010 figures. While activity for institutional projects should hover near 2010 levels, there is likely to be a modest decline in commercial construction. Overall nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by two percent in 2011, with 2012 seeing an increase of five percent in inflation adjusted terms. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters.

“The key factors that have prevented an accelerated recovery include historically low lending rates for real estate projects, the lingering effects of general overbuilding and an unfavorable bond market that has hampered the ability for municipalities to get the requisite funding to build new schools and hospitals,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Conditions should improve later this year and gain momentum as we move into 2012, particularly for hotel, retail and office building projects.”
Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts 2011    2012
Overall nonresidential            -2% 5%
Commercial / industrial -4.2%  10.9%
Industrial -11.8% 5.8%
Office buildings           -7.9% 7.1%
Hotels -6.2% 15.6%
Retail -1% 10.9%
Institutional -0.2% 1.6%
Public safety -6.7% -2.3%
Education -3.1% 1.7%
Health care facilities 1.1% 5.5%
Religious 1.3% 3.4%
Amusement / recreation             1.4% 1.2%

Baker added, “Two areas that are of concern that may adversely affect the design and construction industry are the increasing federal budget deficit that will force private sector borrowing costs to increase, and the likelihood that energy costs will increase in the coming years – as crude oil prices have doubled from their recent low in 2009.”

About the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is conducted twice a year with the leading nonresidential construction forecasters in the United States including, McGraw Hill Construction, IHS-Global Insight, Moody’s economy.com, Reed Business Information, Associated Builders & Contractors and FMI. The purpose of the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is to project business conditions in the construction industry over the coming 12 to 18 months. The Consensus Construction Forecast Panel has been conducted for 13 years.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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Architecture Billings Index Continues Positive Momentum
Three out of past four months have seen positive business conditions

On the heels of its highest mark since 2007, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped more than two points in December. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 54.2, up from a reading of 52.0 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up slightly from a mark of 61.4 in November.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB087281

“This is more promising news that the design and construction industry is continuing to move toward a recovery,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. However, historically December is the most unpredictable month from a business standpoint, and therefore the most difficult month from which to interpret a trend. The coming quarter will give us a much better sense of the strength of the apparent upturn in design activity. ”

Key December ABI highlights:
  • Regional averages: Northeast (55.3), South (54.8), Midwest (52.9), West (48.4) 
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (60.1), commercial / industrial (52.7), institutional (50.6), mixed practice (47.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 62.6

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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Bluebeam Software Announces Time-Saving Licensing Option for Enterprise Customers
New License Management System Automatically Tracks Licenses and Releases Inactive Seats

For years Bluebeam PDF Revu, the award-winning PDF editor from Bluebeam Software, has helped architecture, engineering and construction professionals save valuable time by sharing, reviewing and distributing PDF drawings and documents electronically. Now, Bluebeam is offering a new License Management System (LMS) to extend Revu’s time-saving benefits to IT departments by automatically tracking license usage and releasing inactive seats that, in turn, become available to install on other computers.

“Bluebeam’s License Management System is an IT Manager’s dream,” said Sasha Reed, Bluebeam Director of Account Services. “By tracking the usage of seats and releasing unused seats, Bluebeam is making license management effortless for IT departments and saving a tremendous amount of their time.”

The Bluebeam LMS is available to Bluebeam customers with 50 or more seats of Bluebeam PDF Revu and may be applied to both new and existing licenses. The system releases seats that have not been used for 30 days and makes the seats available to install on new computers – an ideal solution for large organizations that frequently reimage, repurpose or replace computers. For full details including pricing for LMS, contact Bluebeam’s Account Services Department at 626.296.2140 or toll free at 866.496.2140.

Bluebeam products are sold direct and through a global network of resellers. For more information, visit www.bluebeam.com.

About Bluebeam Software, Inc.
Bluebeam Software invents, develops, and commercializes PDF software intelligently designed to meet the needs of design, engineering and business professionals. Bluebeam produces high-quality, easy-to-use products that allow professionals to improve communication and collaboration immediately with virtually no learning curve. For more information visit Bluebeam Software at www.bluebeam.com.

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John Hancock Tower in Boston selected to receive AIA Twenty-five Year Award
Award recognizes an architectural design that has stood the test of time for 25 years

The John Hancock Tower in Boston, designed by I.M. Pei & Partners, has been selected to receive the 2010 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. The John Hancock Tower has demonstrated excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards. The 2011 Twenty-five Year Award will be presented at the AIA National Convention in New Orleans.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB087262

Thirty-five years after its dedication, the lean, rhomboid reflective glass tower designed by Henry Cobb, FAIA, continues to dramatize this classic architectural question of aesthetic balance. Built on a small site adjacent to some of Boston’s greatest architectural assets, the tower had to be massive enough to accommodate the owner’s requirements, yet absolutely mindful of its delicate and historic surroundings.

Located in Boston’s historic Copley Square, the Hancock Tower continues to serve as an office building. The 60-story, 790-foot reflective glass tower remains the tallest building in New England. Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell, FAIA, said the tower is “one of the greatest office towers of the second half of the 20th century.”

Past Honors and Awards
The John Hancock Tower received an AIA National Honor Award in 1977. In 1994 a Boston Globe poll of architects and historians rated it as the third-best work of architecture in Boston history, behind only Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, its two closest neighbors. The John Hancock Tower recently achieved LEED Gold Existing Building certification for energy use, lighting, water, material use, and other sustainable strategies--some of them (such as ample use of natural light) a part of the original design.

In addition to the 2011 Twenty-five Year Award, the firm of I.M. Pei Partners, Architects, previously received the 2004 Twenty-five Year Award for the East Building, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Founding principal I.M. Pei, FAIA, received the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, and his firm was honored with the 1968 AIA Architecture Firm Award.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/AIANational

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Horton Automatics Acquires Automatic Door Enterprises

Horton Automatics, a Division of Overhead Door Corporation, today completed its acquisition of Automatic Door Enterprises (ADE) of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and its affiliated companies. This transaction combines the strongest U.S. manufacturer and marketer of automatic entrances with the leading distributor and service provider in the Northeast US market.

George T. Reed, Jr., President of Horton Automatics commented, “Horton’s success in the marketplace, to a great extent, can be attributed to the strength of its independent distributor network. It is through them that we provide the best execution at the local market level, and this move will further strengthen our service levels to all customers.”

“Horton Automatics and Automatic Door Enterprises have established themselves as market leaders, and through this combination will strengthen our entire automatic door business. The ability to better integrate the entire supply chain, from the factory to the end user, is strategically important to Horton to support our future growth,” added Dennis Stone, President and CEO of Overhead Door Corporation.

Horton Automatics will maintain Automatic Door Enterprises’ identity and entrepreneurial drive. ADE and its affiliates serve the automatic door installation and service needs for customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia.

About Horton Automatics
Horton Automatics, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a leading manufacturer of automatic entrances for commercial, institutional, industrial and transportation applications. The company is a division of Dallasbased Overhead Door Corporation, which also owns three other divisions: Access Systems (ASD), the largest, which features the Overhead Door and Wayne-Dalton brands, the Genie Company, a leader in garage and commercial door operators; and TODCO, the largest producer of truck doors for the transportation industry. Overhead Door Corporation created the original overhead garage door in 1921 and the first electric garage door opener in 1926. It now has over 3,300 employees, 22 manufacturing facilities, 69 regional sales centers and over 6,000 distributors and dealers that service national builders, national accounts, architects, general contractors and homeowners, as well as major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Overhead Door Corporation is a subsidiary of Sanwa Holdings Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. For additional information, visit www.hortondoors.com, www.overheaddoor.com, www.wayne-dalton.com, www.geniecompany.com.

About Sanwa Holdings Corporation
Established in 1956 as a shutter manufacturer, Sanwa pioneered the engineering, production, marketing and distribution of steel building materials in Japan. Today, the company is the number one manufacturer of construction products in the Pacific Rim and the combined entity is among the world’s leading suppliers of building products with an established and growing presence in 50 countries on five continents. For more information, visit www.sanwa-hldgs.co.jp.

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Construction Employment Declines By 16,000 In December As The Industry's Unemployment Rate Hits 20.7 Percent, Analysis Finds
Winding Down of Stimulus-Funded Projects, Other Temporary Federal Programs, Takes Toll on Industry as Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction Employment Declines by Nearly 13,000

Employment in construction declined by 16,000 during the month of December 2010 as the industry's unemployment rate hit 20.7 percent, according to analysis of federal employment figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Even as the industry continues to suffer from weak private sector demand the benefits of the temporary stimulus program appear to be winding down, association officials noted.

"At this point, it doesn't look like there's anything to replace the temporary help that the stimulus has been providing for the construction industry," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Today's figures offer yet another reminder that the construction industry remains, and is likely to remain, the hardest-hit industry in the economy."

Construction employment declined by 0.3 percent during the month, leaving only 5.6 million people employed in the industry, a 27 percent decline since employment in the industry peaked in August 2006 at 7.7 million, Simonson noted. During the past twelve months the construction industry has lost 93,000 jobs, he added. Meanwhile, the industry's unemployment rate is more than double the overall, not seasonally adjusted, national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Heavy and civil engineering construction, the category most likely to be affected by the stimulus and other temporary federal programs like base realignment, experienced the largest decline within the construction sector, dropping by 12,700 for the month.

Before December and November, that segment of the construction industry had been adding jobs for much of 2010. The decline indicates that stimulus and other temporary federal projects, especially in transportation, have begun winding down, Simonson suggested. He added that unseasonably harsh weather during December probably exacerbated the job decline in heavy construction, which is far more vulnerable than most industries to outdoor conditions.

Noting that there are now over 1.7 million unemployed construction workers in the U.S., association officials urged Congress and the Administration to act quickly to pass several long-stalled infrastructure bills. They said that further delays would not only hurt construction employment, but would lead to increased costs for taxpayers.

"You can pay relatively little to maintain aging roads, water systems and locks now, or you can pay a lot to repair them later," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "The best way to boost the economy and save taxpayers money is to act now to address our growing infrastructure debt."

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