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Housing Starts Rise on Strength in Multifamily in March

Soaring production of multifamily apartments pushed nationwide housing starts beyond the million-unit mark for the first time since 2008 in March, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. The data show that total starts activity rose 7.0 percent for the month due entirely to a 31.1 percent increase on the multifamily side, while single-family production slipped 4.8 percent from a number that was revised strongly upward for the previous month.

“Today’s report is a reflection of the solid demand that many areas are seeing for rental apartments as young people take that first step into the housing market, which is a very positive development,” noted Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “The numbers are also in keeping with our latest surveys that show single-family builders are experiencing some difficulties in keeping up with rising demand for new homes due to increasing construction costs and other factors.”

Calling the latest data a “mixed bag” due to the opposite direction of single- and multifamily starts and a somewhat weaker amount of permit issuance, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said that nevertheless, the numbers indicate “a continuation of the slow, methodical march forward” that characterizes the housing recovery. He also noted that “The three-month moving average for single-family starts remained unchanged at 628,000 units in March – which is right on pace with NAHB’s forecast for a 25 percent gain in new-home production in 2013.”

While single-family starts declined 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 units in March, this was entirely due to a substantial upward revision to the previous month’s data, without which virtually no change would have been recorded. At the same time, multifamily housing starts surged 31.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 units – their fastest pace since January 2006.

Three out of four regions posted gains in combined single- and multifamily housing production in March, with the Midwest registering a 9.6 percent increase, the South posting a 10.9 percent gain and the West noting a 2.7 percent rise. The Northeast was the lone exception to the rule, with a 5.8 percent decline.

Following a large gain in thea previous month, total permit issuance fell 3.9 percent to a 902,000-unit rate in March. That decline reflected a 0.5 percent reduction to 595,000 units on the single-family side and a 10 percent reduction to 307,000 units on the multifamily side.

In contrast to the regional starts report, the Northeast was the only part of the country to post a gain in permitting activity in March, with a 24.7 percent increase to 101,000 units. Meanwhile, the Midwest, South and West posted declines of 2.1 percent, 6.2 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively.

For more information visit www.nahb.org.

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IMETCO® Announces Fully Integrated Cladding and Stud Wall Systems Featuring SYNTHEON ACCEL-E®

IMETCO announced today that it will offer SYNTHEON ACCEL-E panels with IMETCO's line of metal cladding and rainscreen products to provide a fully-integrated stud-to-cladding wall assembly under a single-source warranty.

The ACCEL-E Steel Thermal Efficient wall panel, manufactured by Pittsburgh-based SYNTHEON Inc., is a fully-integrated system that combines framing and insulation into one easy step.

"We're very excited about ACCEL-E," says Joe Orlando, president of IMETCO. "It's an innovative approach to streamlining wall construction by consolidating two traditional building materials into a single unique product."

The secret behind ACCEL-E is an exclusive manufacturing process -- expanded polystyrene (EPS) and cold-formed steel framing studs are fused together into a single continuous panel plank. This eliminates air gaps and irregularities that can greatly diminish the performance of conventional framing and insulation. Specially designed slots in the studs allow insulation to mold through the steel, which virtually eliminates thermal bridging to further improve energy efficiency. As a result, ACCEL-E exceeds IECC thermal code requirements, which reduces the energy required to heat and cool buildings.

An environmentally-responsible product, ACCEL-E is Greenguard® Indoor Air Quality Certified. The EPS foam insulation does not shrink, settle, emit harmful VOC gases, or contribute to diminished air quality. In addition, the steel framing members are made of recycled steel, and are themselves recyclable.

With ACCEL-E, ease and speed of installation reduces construction time and labor cost. ACCEL-E streamlines conventional framing and insulation into one step that requires no special training or equipment. Panels are 4-feet wide with window and door openings pre-cut, and an open cavity with pre-punched knockouts for electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems. ACCEL-E is suitable for both infill and "bypass" construction, since they can be manufactured to virtually any length (limited only by transportation requirements) to span multiple floors with a single plank.

IMETCO offers ACCEL-E with its full line of metal wall panels, providing customers with a complete stud-to-cladding wall assembly under a single-source warranty. ACCEL-E is also available as an option for IntelliScreenTM Complete Rainscreen Wall Systems, introduced by IMETCO last year. IntelliScreen combines best-in-class cladding, cavity, and framing components into a fully-engineered rainscreen assembly under a single-source warranty.

"ACCEL-E is a natural fit for IMETCO," Orlando continues, "allowing us to extend our wall systems from the cladding through to the stud to provide long-term energy efficient building envelop solutions."

About IMETCO: IMETCO (www.imetco.com) is a leading manufacturer of high-performance metal products for the building envelope, including a full range of metal roofing, metal wall and metal edge systems and accessories. IMETCO products are tailored for each project and provide a wide variety of performance-assured design options. IMETCO, founded in 1994, is headquartered in Norcross, GA near Atlanta.

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The American Institute of Architects Select the 2013 COTE Top Ten Green Projects
Projects showcase excellence in sustainable design principles and reduced energy consumption

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The projects will be honored at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver.

The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, now in its 17th year, is the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

The 2013 COTE Top Ten Green Projects jury includes: Fiona Cousins, PE, Arup; Lance Hosey, AIA, RTKL; Keelan Kaiser, AIA, Judson University; Sheila Kennedy, AIA, Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd.; Rod Kruse, FAIA, BNIM Architects and Gail Vittori, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.

The descriptions below give a brief summary of the projects. You can learn more about these projects by clicking on the name of the project/firm name. If you are interested in obtaining high resolution images, please contact Matt Tinder at mtinder@aia.org.

See Pinterest board of COTE Top 10 Green Projects

Charles David Keeling Apartments; La Jolla, California

The design response was to tune the design to capitalize on the favorable environmental features, while moderating or eliminating the undesirable ones. This led to a building envelope that uses thermal mass to buffer temperature changes, minimizes solar gain, and naturally ventilates. Water scarcity is managed through a comprehensive strategy of conservation and reuse, including on-site wastewater recycling. A vegetated roof, an unusual feature in this dry climate, absorbs and evaporates rain that falls on that portion of the building, with overflow directed to the courtyard retention basins.

Clock Shadow Building; Milwaukee
Continuum Architects + Planners

This project cleans up a brown-field site that was difficult to develop. The continental climate provides large swings in temperature and humidity which necessitated passive strategies such as: southern facing windows with sun screens that maximize insolation of the sun during cooler months and operable windows that let cool fresh air into the building, allowing the users to effectively “turn off” the heating and cooling systems during swing months. To gain the most efficiency from the HVAC systems, the project utilizes a geo-thermal system, drilled directly below the building, which stabilizes the temperature of the conditioned water used to heat and cool the spaces.

Federal Center South Building 1202; Seattle
ZGF Architects LLP

Current energy models predict the building to operate at a “net zero capable” Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 20.3 kBtu/SF/year, performing 40 percent better than ASHRAE 2007. The building will earn an ENERGY STAR Score of 100 and comply with 2030 Challenge goals. The project is one of the first in the region to use structural piles for geothermal heating and cooling, as well as a phase change thermal storage tank. Two new products, chilled sails and open office lighting, were developed and manufactured specifically for this project to help achieve aggressive energy targets. To optimize the use of the available reclaimed timbers, the team designed, tested, and constructed the first wood composite beam system in the U.S.

Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Step 2; Corte Madera, California

Around 95 percent of spaces are daylit and naturally ventilated. Night time operation of the cooling tower and an underground water tank provide active thermal storage, for daytime cooling. The design of the building envelope includes air tightness detailing and the use of fire treated wood stud framing to minimize thermal bridging. To provide an excellent thermal envelope, walls were constructed with 2x8 and 2x10 wood studs (rather than conventional steel studs) to minimize thermal bridging and provide ample insulation. This building is designed to achieve an EUI of 6.74 kbtu/sf/yr including the energy generated by the PV array, and to use less than half as much energy as California’s strict energy code.

Merritt Crossing Senior Apts.; Oakland, California
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

The roof area has a cool roof surface and is devoted to both a solar water panels and photovoltaic panels. Ground floor spaces benefit from the full height storefront system that similarly provides ample daylight and transparency to the outdoors. These windows are also thermally broken and have high performance glass. The windows are shaded in summer by either exterior sunshades or an overhang from the second floor. With no mechanical air conditioning, cooling is achieved by a low volume ventilation system augmented by ceiling fans in each habitable room. The site has a 94 walkability rating, an 82 transit rating and an 86 bike friendly rating from walkscore.com.

New Norris House; Norris, Tennessee
College of Architecture & Design, UT Knoxville

At 1008 square foot, this production house is less than half the size of the median house. “Rightsizing” reduced material and operational loads and costs, and shifted funds to quality design and construction, passive strategies and high-efficiency systems. The dormer and skylight are placed so daylight is reflected and diffused. No-VOC paint color is warm white with a punch of red-orange hidden within the swing space to produce a warm glow from reflected light. Low-E glass and translucent blinds provide further control over heat, glare and privacy. All interior rooms are daylit throughout the day. Electric lighting is integrated with cabinetry and includes low-energy LEDs.

Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse; San Antonio
Lake Flato Architects

This 67,000 square foot LEED Gold warehouse includes passive solutions including open breezeways, which were carefully oriented to prevailing summer breezes and supplemented with large ceiling fans. Large light monitors oriented to the north provide natural daylight to the breezeways, while the south wall of the cupola is open to allow hot air to escape as it rises. 100% of the rainwater captured from roofs coupled with recycled water, is used to irrigate the landscaping on site, eliminating the need for potable irrigation water. Highly efficient ductless minisplit systems were installed to condition indoor spaces. These systems can serve multiple zones using only one outdoor unit, and allows individual control of the air conditioning in each room.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters (SFPUC); San Francisco
Joint Venture: KMD Architects w/ Stevens & Associates

The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification and will exceed California’s recently-instituted Title 24 requirements for energy efficiency in new office buildings by 55% according to SFPUC estimates. The building will produce up to 7% of its own power needs from renewable photovoltaic and wind sources; will provide $118 million in energy cost savings over 75 years; and will require 45% less energy to illuminate the interior through daylight-harvesting and advanced lighting design, compared to typical Class A office buildings. The SFPUC consumes 60% less water than similarly sized buildings and is one of the first buildings in the nation with on-site treatment of gray and black water.

Swenson Civil Engineering Building; Duluth, Minnesota
Design Architect: Ross Barney Architects
Architect of Record: SJA Architects

As an educational facility whose curriculum directly impacts the natural environment, the building overtly exposes sustainable systems and materials. 73% of the site is devoted to pervious materials and landscaping, reducing site detention requirements. An extensive green roof with native plants covers 22% of the roof, reducing storm water rates and filtering impurities. Storm water is directed from the roof to three scuppers and into above ground cylinders filled with rocks for filtering. Storm water eventually makes its way to a French drain system of underground water storage pipes for retention. The site lighting is minimal, and all fixtures are equipped with full cut-off optics.

Yin Yang House; Venice, California
Brooks + Scarpa

This sound passive design strategy combined with a very tight perimeter building envelope and other active sustainable features such as the 12kw solar system make this home a zero energy consumption home. It produces 100% of its energy needs and since completion, has never received an electric bill. The design maximizes the opportunities of the mild, marine climate with a passive cooling strategy using cross-ventilation and a thermal chimney. A large cantilevered roof overhang shades all the bedrooms from direct sunlight while providing ample natural light and ventilation. The project also has green roofs, its own storm water retention system and retains 95% of roof storm water on site.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

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Construction Employment Increases In 30 States Between February And March As Industry Adds Jobs In 31 States And D.C. Over Past Year; Federal Cuts Imperil Gains

Connecticut, New York Lead Job Pickup for Month as Rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy Progresses, While Missouri Has Largest Monthly Job Loss; Alaska, California Top List of States with One-Year Gains, While Rhode Island, Ohio Trail

Construction employment increased in 30 states in March as the industry expanded but at a slower pace than in February, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials cautioned, however, that many states remain vulnerable to construction cutbacks from newly enacted and proposed decreases in federal funding for infrastructure.

“A majority of states are adding jobs month by month and year-over-year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The expansion appears poised to continue for residential and private nonresidential construction. But investment in infrastructure and public buildings is still on a downward path. That will keep employment down in states with a large federal presence.” He added that construction employment nationwide rose for the 10th consecutive month in March, by 18,000, following an increase of 49,000 in February.

Simonson noted that hiring for recovery work from Hurricane Sandy may be the reason New York had the largest increase in construction employment between February and March (6,000 jobs, 1.9 percent) and Connecticut had the largest percentage increase (5.7 percent, 2,900 jobs). Florida added the second-largest number of construction jobs for the month (5,500, 1.6 percent), while Arkansas was second in percentage increase (4.5 percent, 2,000 jobs).

Twenty states and the District of Columbia lost construction jobs between February and March. The largest losses occurred in Missouri (-3,400 jobs, -3.2 percent). Ohio had the second-highest loss of jobs (-3,300, -1.9 percent), followed by Michigan, which had the second-highest percentage decline (-2.4 percent, -3,100 jobs).

Simonson reported that 31 states and D.C. added construction jobs from March 2012 to March 2013 and 19 states lost workers. Alaska led all jurisdictions in the percentage of new construction jobs (11.4 percent, 1,900 jobs); followed by Hawaii (10.7 percent, 3,100 jobs); Utah (8.7 percent, 6,000 jobs) and Louisiana (8.6 percent, 10,700 jobs). California added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months (41,000, 7.1 percent), followed by Texas (39,800 jobs, 6.9 percent).

Among the 19 states losing construction jobs during the past year, Rhode Island lost the highest percentage (-9.6 percent, -1,600 jobs); followed by Montana (-8.1 percent, -1,900 jobs) and South Dakota (-7.7 percent, -1,700 jobs). Ohio lost the most jobs (-9,500 jobs, -5.2 percent); followed by Illinois (-8,500 jobs, -4.4 percent) and North Carolina (-5,300 jobs, -3.0 percent).

Association officials said the cuts in federal funding for construction enacted in March would push employment totals lower in states with large military and federal civilian facilities. They urged policy makers to make infrastructure investment a priority even while cutting other categories of federal spending to bring down deficits.

“Shortchanging investment in the nation’s infrastructure hurts not just construction workers but anyone who relies on good roads, air travel or drinking water,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. “We need to make urgent repairs and new investments in transportation and environmental infrastructure before our aging and overused systems begin to drag on economic growth.”

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

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Immigration Proposal's Arbitrary Cap On Construction Workers Would Undermine Economic Recovery, Official Cautions

Associated General Contractors of America Official Warns That Severe Limits on Construction Workers in Immigration Proposal Will Lead to Worker Shortages as Demand Rebounds

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to proposed immigration reform legislation released today by the “Gang of Eight” Senators:

“The Senators’ proposal for immigration reform provides a long-needed opportunity to fix a significantly broken system. That is why we will fully review the details of a very complex bill.

“We are deeply troubled that the proposal appears to arbitrarily single out the construction industry for a unique cap while providing a reasonable mechanism for the immigration system to adapt to evolving market conditions for every other segment of the domestic economy.

“Setting severe and arbitrary restrictions on construction workers isn't just bad policy, it is bad economics. Few industries experience such dramatic, demand-based fluctuations in the size of their workforce as does construction. Imposing severe limitations - one-quarter of 1 percent of current construction employment levels - on the potential pool of available workers at a time when economists expect construction firms will add up to 350,000 new workers this year alone will undermine the sector’s nascent recovery. If this proposal were to be enacted, construction employers could easily go from not having enough work to not having enough workers.

“While this bill is a good beginning, we look forward to working with legislators over the coming weeks to improve this initial proposal so we can have comprehensive immigration reform that sustains, instead of restrains, economic growth.”

For more information visit www.agc.org.

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American Institute of Architects Selects 7 Communities for Community Assistance Program to Promote Long-term Sustainability

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it has selected 7 communities throughout the country to receive technical assistance under the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program in 2013. The communities selected are Coral Bay, St. John; Covington, KY; Lee County, FL; Livingston, CA; San Diego, CA; Sebastopol, CA; and Tremonton City, UT.

The SDAT program represents a significant institutional investment in public service work to assist communities in developing policy frameworks and long term sustainability plans. Since 2005, the program has provided technical assistance to 68 communities across more than 30 states.

“As the SDAT program has evolved, communities all over the country have embraced and implemented the detailed solutions for neighborhood revitalization, transportation infrastructure challenges and economic development that our volunteer teams have provided after conducting background research and an intensive design and planning charrette,” said Erin Simmons, director, AIA Design Assistance.

The collaborative SDAT brings together architects and other professionals assembled from across the country to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The SDAT will work with local stakeholders to help the community create a plan for its sustainable future. To provide the most objective assessment, team members volunteer their time and expertise and are selected from areas outside the project communities.

“This year’s SDAT recipients present a full range of community types and geographic settings, from urban and suburban settings to rural communities,” said Erin Simmons. “Each of these jurisdictions has demonstrated a unique commitment to building civic partnerships and engaging the community in a vision for a more sustainable future.”
SDAT program elements

The communities were selected after submitting an application to the Center for Communities by Design outlining the economic, environmental, and social equity challenges facing their region. The SDAT community assistance program provides the selected communities with these components:

• Preliminary/scoping visit
• Three-day visit from a multidisciplinary team
• A report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the community with regards to sustainability, along with the opportunities and obstacles to change
• Consultations after the three-day visit (typically by phone or email)

To learn more about the AIA Center for Communities by Design or the SDAT program visit:

About the AIA Center for Communities by Design
The Center for Communities by Design is the clearinghouse for the American Institute of Architects' many activities—from promoting sustainable design to leading design based technical assistance projects in communities—that influence the quality of life in our nation's communities. The center is a nonpartisan forum that provides information, develops policy, creates partnerships, and assists in advocacy efforts to facilitate discussions of community design and inform choices for neighborhoods, cities, regions, and the nation.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

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Construction Materials Prices Flat In March But Spikes In Key Items Leave Contractors Vulnerable As Their Pricing Remains Flat

Prices Decrease for Diesel Fuel and Construction Metals, While Costs Continue Rising for Building Construction Materials Such As Lumber and Plywood, Gypsum, Plastics and Paint

Prices for construction materials were flat in March, as plunging diesel fuel and metals prices offset increases in items used in new housing and nonresidential building renovations, according to an analysis of new federal figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that contractors have kept the prices they charge to build structures level, leaving their margins vulnerable to price spikes for key inputs.

“Thanks to a recent, sharp drop in diesel fuel prices last month—along with continuing declines in steel, copper and aluminum prices—overall construction costs were unchanged from February and up only 0.9 percent over the past year,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. “However, building contractors had to absorb another month of increases in the cost of lumber and plywood, gypsum products, construction plastics, paint and roofing materials.”

The largest monthly price decrease among construction inputs occurred in the producer price index for diesel fuel, which tumbled 6.0 percent in March and 6.7 percent over 12 months. There were also monthly and year-over-year decreases in the indexes for copper and brass mill shapes, which fell 2.6 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively; steel mill products, down 0.4 percent and 9.5 percent; and aluminum mill shapes, down 0.1 percent and 2.7 percent.

In contrast, the producer price index for lumber and plywood jumped 3.7 percent since February and 17.7 percent since March 2012. The index for gypsum products such as wallboard and plaster climbed 0.7 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively. The cost of plastic construction products rose 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent, while the index for architectural coatings such as paint increased 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, and the index for prepared asphalt and tar roofing and siding products rose 0.3 percent and 8.6 percent.

“Contractors have held the line on pricing, even as costs shoot up for some items they buy,” Simonson observed. “The net effect of these diverse changes is that some contractors may be squeezed out of business if they are caught by an unanticipated price spike.”

Simonson noted that the indexes for new nonresidential buildings—the government’s measure of what contractors say they would charge to construct specific building types—were little changed over the past month and year. The index for new school construction declined 0.4 percent in March and edged up only 0.5 percent over 12 months. A recently introduced index for health care construction dipped 0.1 percent in March, leaving it unchanged on net from its starting level last June. Indexes for new office, industrial and warehouse buildings were flat in March and increased between 1.0 percent and 2.3 percent over the past year.

Association officials noted that years of relatively weak demand for construction services have depleted many contractors’ reserves, leaving them particularly vulnerable to sudden fluctuations in materials prices. “It is going to take a lot more growth in construction demand before many contractors have the cushion needed to protect themselves from future price surges,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.

Click here to view the March 2013 PPI table.

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AIA/NCARB Survey Indicates Higher Employment Rates for Intern Architects
Report also looks at path to licensure

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) conducted an Internship and Career Survey that revealed that there is a steady rise in employment for intern architects, along with a general sense of optimism in the future of employment prospects for the architecture profession.

Highlights from the full report include:

• 78% of respondents reported being employed in professional architecture work – an 8% increase from 2010
• 6% of respondents reported that they are unemployed – an 11% decrease from 2010
• 70% of respondents said that they would remain in the architecture profession after having been laid off
• 62% of interns indicate it taking three to five years to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP)
• 53% of interns were able to complete all 17 IDP experience area requirements at one firm
• 40% of interns are taking the Architecture Registration Examination concurrent with IDP

There were more than 10,000 responses to the survey that was executed in 2012 by The Rickinson Group, an independent third-party marketing research supplier.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.

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Growth in Construction Activity and Equipment and Material Price Increases Boosts Construction Costs
Slight Increases in Labor Rates Contribute to Overall Lift in Construction Costs

Turner Construction Company announced that the First Quarter 2013 Turner Building Cost Index – which measures costs in the non-residential building construction market in the United States – has increased to a value of 849. This reflects a 1.19% increase from the Fourth Quarter 2012 and a 3.41% increase from the First Quarter 2012.

"The increase in private non-residential construction spending over the past year, material and equipment prices continuing to inch upwards, and a slight increase in labor rates has led to a boost in construction costs," said Karl F. Almstead, the Turner vice president responsible for the Turner Building Cost Index.

Approximately 90% of Turner's business is performed under contract arrangements where Turner provides extensive preconstruction planning services before the contract price is fixed and before construction starts. By providing preconstruction services and utilizing enhanced procurement strategies, Turner effectively manages the market risks associated with cost-related issues.

Turner has prepared the construction cost forecast for more than 80 years. Used widely by the construction industry and Federal and State governments, the building costs and price trends tracked by the Turner Building Cost Index may or may not reflect regional conditions in any given quarter. The Cost Index is determined by several factors considered on a nationwide basis, including labor rates and productivity, material prices and the competitive condition of the marketplace. This index does not necessarily conform to other published indices because others do not generally take all of these factors into account.

About Turner Construction Company
Turner is a North America-based construction services company. Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies, update and refine processes, and remain responsive to the needs of their employees, clients, and the communities it serves. With an annual construction volume of $8 billion Turner is the largest general builder in the United States. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, a publicly traded company, and one of the world's leading international construction service providers. For more information please visit www.turnerconstruction.com.

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Garland Achieves UL Environment™ Validation

Garland UL Environment™Recognizing longevity as the most critical sustainability attribute, The Garland Company, Inc. has been investing in sustainable initiatives for decades. In 1991, it was among the first roofing companies in North America to introduce vegetative roofing. As early as 1997, it was incorporating recycled post-consumer tires into its modified bitumen roof systems. Most recently, Garland has obtained UL Environment validation for a wide range of its high-performance roof and wall systems, as a natural extension of its enduring commitment to sustainable design.

UL Environment (ULE) has independently reviewed Garland’s manufacturing processes and raw materials to validate that specific roof and wall materials meet its recycled and bio-based content goals and match the information provided in published Garland literature. UL Environment is a division of Underwriters Laboratories Inc® (UL) and has emerged as the leading environmental claims accreditation body.

As a result of its ULE initiative, Garland has become the first manufacturer in the roofing industry to have an extensive product line of modified bitumen membranes and metal roof and wall panels earn third-party validation for their recycled and/or bio-based content. Dozens of Garland roof and wall solutions now bear the UL Environment Validation Logo on their data sheets.

According to Garland’s director of products and systems, Brian Lambert, “Garland’s products have always been the most sustainable membranes in the marketplace, not only due to our extensive use of recycled materials, but also because of the impressive longevity of our products. Now that we’ve successfully completed the UL Environment verification process, our recycling efforts have been formally validated by an independent third party. We are particularly pleased to have raised the industry’s sustainability expectations with the first modified membranes to have been independently validated for both recycled and bio-based content.”

In addition to the validation of Garland products, UL Environment has partnered with the US Green Building Council to offer additional LEED® credits through the Innovation in Design Credit. This partnership allows Garland modified membranes to contribute to obtaining additional LEED credits, and credits for the UL-affiliated EcoLogoM program in Canada, which is run by TerraChoice.

UL Environment supports the growth and development of sustainable products, services and organizations in the global marketplace through standards development, educational services and independent third-party assessment and certification. Specific UL Environment services include environmental claims validation, sustainable products certification, energy efficiency certification, environmental product declarations and advisory services. As the premier global safety science company, UL has more than 100 years of proven history helping industries around the world establish and verify performance-critical standards. For more information on UL services, visit www.ul.com.

The Garland Company, Inc. is a Cleveland, Ohio based manufacturer and distributor of high-performance materials for the total building envelope, and a worldwide leader of quality high-performance roofing and building maintenance systems for the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For over 100 years, Garland has continually developed unique product and service offerings that raise industry standards of performance in order to meet the technical performance requirements of a wide range of challenging waterproofing applications throughout the world. Its 200 local representatives are strategically positioned throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to provide integrated product and service solutions for single and multi-property facilities. The Garland Company, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

For a free inspection or for more information, visit www.garlandco.com or call toll-free to be connected with your local Garland representative at 1.800.321.9336.

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Architecture Billings Index Continues to Improve at a Healthy Pace
Firm billings seeing strongest growth since 2007

With increasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is continuing to strengthen. 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 February ABI score was 54.9, up slightly from a mark of 54.2 in January. This score reflects a strong increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, higher than the reading of 63.2 the previous month – and its highest mark since January 2007.

“Conditions have been strengthening in all regions and construction sectors for the last several months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Still, we also continue to hear a mix of business conditions in the marketplace as this hesitant recovery continues to unfold.”

Key February ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (56.7), Midwest (54.7), West (54.7), South (52.7),

  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (60.9), mixed practice (56.9), commercial / industrial (53.3), institutional (50.7)

  • Project inquiries index: 64.8

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

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Construction Employment Increased In 34 States And D.C. Between December And January As Contractors Find Work In More Parts Of The Country

Texas Adds the Most Construction Jobs and D.C. Adds the Highest Percentage Year-Over-Year While Arkansas Experiences Largest Annual and Monthly Decline

Construction employment expanded in two-thirds of all states in January as the industry showed signs of emerging from a six-year slump, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials cautioned however that the industry's recovery remains fragile and that current and looming federal budget cuts threaten to drag down construction employment in numerous states.

"These results show that contractors are finding work in more parts of the country than they have for many months," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Further gains appear likely but could be derailed if lawmakers continue to make indiscriminate cuts to key construction and infrastructure programs."

From January 2012 to January 2013, 24 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs, 25 shed workers and one—Wisconsin—had no change. D.C. jumped to the top ranking for percentage of new construction jobs (9.4 percent, 1,200 jobs); followed by North Dakota (9.0 percent, 2,500 jobs); Hawaii (8.0 percent, 2,300 jobs); Alaska (7.2 percent, 1,200 jobs) and Washington (6.0 percent, 8,200 jobs). Texas (28,500 jobs, 5.0 percent) added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months, followed by California (17,600 jobs, 3.0 percent) and Washington.

Among states losing construction jobs during the past year, Arkansas lost the highest percentage (-10.5 percent, -5,100 jobs), followed by Rhode Island (-8.0 percent, -1,300 jobs); Montana (-7.2 percent, -1,700 jobs) and South Dakota (-6.4 percent, -1,400 jobs). Illinois lost the most jobs (-9,800 jobs, -5.0 percent); followed by Virginia (-7,500 jobs, -4.2 percent); Ohio (-5,200 jobs, -2.8 percent) and Arkansas.

Simonson noted that 34 states and D.C. added construction jobs between December and January, while employment slipped in 14 states and held steady in two states. Wyoming had the largest percentage increase (4.6 percent, 1,000 jobs); followed by New York (4.2 percent, 13,000 jobs). New York added the largest number of jobs, by far—probably reflecting recovery work from Hurricane Sandy. Alaska and South Dakota had no change in construction employment over the month, while 14 states lost jobs, with Arkansas having the steepest percentage drop (-5.0 percent, -2,300 jobs); followed by Kansas (-4.0 percent, -2,200 jobs). Arkansas lost the largest number of jobs for the month; followed by Kansas and Pennsylvania (-2,200 jobs, -1.0 percent).

"Construction spending has been rising for two full years but contractors have been cautious about adding workers until they knew the upturn would last," Simonson explained. "In 2013, both residential and private nonresidential construction should rise enough to offset a further slowdown in public work, and contractors will be looking for more workers."

Association officials said the cuts in federal funding for construction triggered both by the so-called sequestration that took effect earlier this month and by spending bills now advancing in Congress would fall hardest on construction employers in states that have a large federal government presence. They urged lawmakers to address out-of-control entitlement spending instead of making disproportionate cuts to funding for essential infrastructure and military projects.

"Canceling construction investments will ultimately worsen the deficit by undermining the nation's growth and competitiveness," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "Meanwhile, the burden falls unfairly on states that host large military facilities, as well as states with extensive federal lands, research and energy installations."

View the state employment data by rank and by state.

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Hollister Construction Services to Join Ceremonies for Newark’s New Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development

Construction Manager’s Role as Builder for the All Stars Project Headquarters
Aligns With its Commitment to Helping Newark’s Underserved Young People

Hollister Construction Services, a leading full-service construction manager specializing in corporate, educational, healthcare, industrial, retail, and residential construction, will join representatives from the All Stars Project (ASP) of New Jersey and members of the Newark community in a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the All Stars Project of New Jersey Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development (ASPNJ Flamm Center) on March 14 (11 AM) at 33 Washington Street in Newark, N.J.

Representatives from Hollister, including Chief Executive Officer Christopher A. Johnson and President Kieran D. Flanagan, will also join corporate leaders, elected officials and the Newark community in a Grand Opening Celebration at the ASPNJ Flamm Center on March 16, which will include special performances by young people participating in ASP’s youth workshops. Hollister was responsible for the comprehensive interior renovation of the 9,000 square foot space, which will serve as the headquarters for ASP in New Jersey and will house the group’s innovative programs for Newark’s underserved youth.

“For Hollister, the importance of the ASPNJ Flamm Center greatly surpasses the size of the actual project,” said Mr. Johnson. “One of our core commitments as a company is to help in the revitalization of Newark, with a special focus on programs that reach out to kids from the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. We are very proud to support ASP, and this center now gives the group expanded space for programs that offer Newark’s kids unique opportunities that they need and deserve.”

Hollister has supported the All Stars Project since 2008, and provides opportunities for its youngsters through paid summer internships. The new headquarters, which includes a performance space seating for 125, a leadership conference center, and workshop, production and volunteer spaces, was designed by Doug Balder; while the architect of record is Posen Architects. It is the centerpiece of ASP’s $9.2 million expansion campaign, with $7.5 million raised to date. Hollister was selected for the project after a competitive bidding process involving six companies.

"Chris Johnson and Hollister are long-time All Stars partners and they did a terrific job helping us to realize a unique vision for our new center,” said Gloria Strickland, Founding Director of the All Stars Project of New Jersey. “We will now be able to offer after-school developmental experiences to thousands more young people and families. The ASP NJ Flamm Center will welcome everyone -- young people from Newark and our partners from the suburbs and from the business and arts communities, to perform and grow together.”

Partnering with more than 80 corporations in New Jersey, the All Stars Project reaches more than 2,500 young people every year through two core programs: the All Stars Talent Show Network, a program that fosters skills and growth through performance, and the Development School for Youth, a business training and development program.

For more information about Hollister Construction Services, please contact Jami Schlicher of JCPR at 973-850-7309 or jschlicher@jcprinc.com.

About Hollister Construction Services
Hollister Construction Services is a full-service commercial real estate construction manager specializing in corporate, educational, healthcare, industrial, retail, and residential construction, with offices in Parsippany, NJ and New York, NY. Distinguished by the exceptional involvement of its principals in projects of all sizes, Hollister is committed to building sound relationships and structures in the New Jersey and New York markets.

Hollister works through its own independent philanthropic organization, The Hollister Foundation, to further its community outreach activities. The Foundation’s mission is to raise and distribute funds for organizations that foster children’s advancement through education and health initiatives.

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Nationwide Housing Production Edges Up in February
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Nationwide housing production edged up 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 units in February, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This slight upward movement represented gains in both the single-family and multifamily sectors, with single-family housing starts reaching their fastest pace since June of 2008.

“Demand for new homes and apartments is definitely rising as the spring buying season approaches and more young people move out on their own,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Builders are responding to this improved demand by putting more crews back to work and pulling more permits for future construction, though this positive activity is being constrained by continuing issues with appraisals and credit availability for both builders and buyers, and also by newly arising challenges such as lot shortages and increased costs for labor and materials.”

“Today’s report indicates that, despite some bumps in the road, overall housing production continues on the solid upward trend that we saw throughout 2012,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Moreover, further gains in permit issuance are a positive sign that home construction will continue to drive economic and job growth in the coming months, albeit at a slower pace than would be possible without certain limiting factors.”

Single-family housing starts eked out a 0.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units in February, bringing them to their highest level since June of 2008, while multifamily starts rose 1.4 percent to 299,000 units.

Regionally in February, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose strongly in the Northeast and Midwest with gains of 18.4 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively, but fell 5.7 percent and 7.2 percent in the South and West, respectively.

Overall permit issuance rose 4.6 percent to 946,000 units in February, the strongest pace since June of 2008. That gain included a 2.7 percent increase to 600,000 units on the single-family side and an 8.1 percent increase to 346,000 units on the multifamily side.

The Midwest, South and West posted respective gains of 1.4 percent, 9.9 percent and 6.4 percent in permitting activity for February, while the Northeast posted an 18.2 percent decline.

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Opp Construction Of Grand Forks, N.D. Named Nation's Safest Construction Company In 2012 By National Contractors Group
Opp Construction Wins Willis-Sponsored Construction Safety Excellence Awards Grand Prize as 51 Other Companies Win Awards for Quality Construction Safety Programs

Opp Construction of Grand Forks, N.D. was named the nation’s safest construction company in 2012 by the Associated General Contractors of America. The association, which oversees the Willis-sponsored Construction Safety Excellence Awards, an annual ranking of construction safety programs, noted that 51 other companies were selected as winners for the quality of their safety programs.

“Safety is always a top priority for the construction industry,” said Joseph H. Jarboe, the association’s president and senior vice president of Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group. “These companies showcase the highest commitment to keeping their projects and their employees safe.”

Jarboe said Opp Construction was selected as this year’s Grand Prize winner because of its exceptional leadership in safety. He noted that the company was dedicated to the development and implementation of premier safety and loss prevention programs. The company presented outstanding guidance in safety and occupation health management, risk control, safety training, work site hazard identification and control, and safety program innovation, Jarboe added.

Jarboe noted that there are multiple winners because the awards are distributed for a number of categories, based on the size of the company, the amount of work performed and the type of work performed. He added that the AGC-Willis Construction Safety Excellence Award winners are selected by a panel of five independent safety professionals within the government, corporate and insurance industries. Final judging for the awards program took place during last week’s annual convention for the contractors’ association.

View entire list of winners.

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Construction Materials Prices Increase In February And For The Year, Squeezing Margins For Hard Hit Firms Struggling To Recover
Prices for Diesel Up By 7.2 Percent in One Month, While Gypsum, Insulation, Lumber and Plywood Prices Continue to Climb, Driving 1.3 Percent “Leap” In Prices for the Month, 2.0 Percent Increase for the Year

Prices for construction materials jumped in February, driven by extreme increases in items used in new housing and nonresidential building renovations, according to an analysis of new federal figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the increased materials prices are hitting contractors struggling to recover from a years-long downturn in construction demand.

“For the second month in a row, contractors endured outsized price hikes for gypsum wallboard, lumber, and insulation materials,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction trade association. “In addition, soaring diesel prices mean contractors are paying more for fuel they buy and, via fuel surcharges, for the thousands of deliveries of materials and equipment required for construction projects.”

The producer price index for all construction inputs – what contractors pay for construction materials – leaped 1.3 percent between January and February, equaling the entire increase for 2012, Simonson noted. The index was 2.0 percent higher than in February 2012, outpacing the increase in the price contractors are able to charge for most types of new buildings. The index for new office construction rose only 1.0 percent in the past year; new school buildings 1.2 percent; new industrial construction, 1.3 percent; and new warehouses, 2.6 percent.

The producer price index for gypsum products such as wallboard and plaster climbed 4.4 percent in February, following an 11.8 percent leap in January, for a cumulative rise of 17.8 percent over the past 12 months, Simonson noted. Lumber and plywood prices rose 2.3 percent in February and 15.8 percent from a year ago. Insulation prices increased 2.1 percent and 5.9 percent, while the price index for diesel fuel shot up 7.2 percent for the month and 3.8 percent year-over-year.

Prices for metals and paving materials showed mixed patterns, Simonson pointed out. Copper and brass mill prices rose 0.7 percent for the month but remained 2.1 percent below year-ago levels. Similarly, aluminum mill prices climbed 0.6 percent in February but slipped 1.5 percent over 12 months, while the price index for steel mill products dropped 0.9 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively. Asphalt paving prices retreated 0.1 percent for the month but edged up 1.1 percent over 12 months, while concrete prices increased 0.3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Association officials noted that the increases in construction materials prices were cutting into firms’ margins just as the industry is beginning to experience a modest upturn in private sector demand. Combined with over $4 billion worth of construction cuts imposed by the federal sequester, the price hikes will make it harder for firms to expand, officials noted.

“It is hard for firms to benefit from increasing demand when they can’t pass along rising costs for key materials,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Having more business doesn’t help if firms end up losing money performing that work.”

Click here to view the February 2013 PPI table.

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USGBC School “Greenovation” Project Chooses CertainTeed® AirRenew® IAQ Board for VOC Reduction

In its efforts to achieve indoor air quality (IAQ) in an ongoing classroom “greenovation” experiment, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Orange County, Calif., chapter is making good use of CertainTeed’s AirRenew® IAQ Gypsum Board and its ability to remove volatile organic compounds (VOC) from interior air. The experiment— a project of the USGBC’s Adopt a School program—seeks to determine the impact a school-wide green remodel might have on utility bills and student performance at Davis Magnet School, a 1950s-era elementary school in Costa Mesa, Calif.

With design work from sustainable architecture and design firm LPA, Inc., of Irvine, Calif., the project began with the renovation of one classroom last summer. The finished classroom is currently being monitored to compare its new energy consumption and lighting quality performance with an unchanged adjacent classroom over the course of the 2012-2013 school year. The purpose is to better understand the financial and educational impacts of a green renovation.

The project has been made possible through service donations from Orange County architects, designers and contractors, as well as material donations from building product manufacturers, such as CertainTeed Gypsum, and distributors. USGBC-Orange County chose AirRenew for the project’s interior walls, as its formaldehyde-scavenging properties make it a valuable tool for building optimal IAQ.

“In regards to gypsum board, AirRenew made the most sense for this project, as it will help us toward our goal of minimizing the VOC content of the classroom’s interior air,” says Lindsey Engels, LEED® AP BD+C, executive director for USGBC-Orange County. “Now that it’s installed, you can really tell the difference between the two classrooms. If you go into the untouched classroom after it’s been closed up for the night, it smells like an old 1950s-era classroom—there’s plenty of VOC off-gassing. But, if you go into the newly remodeled classroom next door, you hardly smell anything.”

The gypsum board was installed by Nevell Group Inc, of Brea, Calif., along with CertainTeed® Sustainable Insulation™ fiberglass batts donated by Alert Insulation in La Puente, Calif. In addition to several green building products, the project’s greenovation strategy included an asbestos abatement; low-VOC, recycled carpeting, paint and ceiling panels; dimmable lighting; skylights and an energy-efficient new HVAC system. The sum of all these parts has led to quite a favorable reaction from Davis Magnet School teachers, as well as students.

“Throughout the year, the school is going to rotate different classes through the remodeled classroom—all the teachers and students want to be in there!” Engels says.

AirRenew actively helps clean the air by capturing formaldehyde and other aldehydes and converting them into inert compounds that safely remain within the board. The product also features CertainTeed’s M2Tech® technology, which is specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against moisture and mold. As new sources of formaldehyde — such as cleaning agents, air fresheners, floor coverings and furniture — are introduced into the interior environment, AirRenew will continue to scavenge formaldehyde ultimately improving indoor air quality. AirRenew contains up to 96 percent total recycled content and can be installed, finished, and recycled like standard drywall. AirRenew is GREENGUARD® Children & Schools Certified and has completed UL Environment’s stringent Environmental Claims Validation program.

Offering a broad range of gypsum and finishing products for interior and exterior needs, CertainTeed Gypsum has served the North American building industry for more than 80 years and is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s leading producer of gypsum products. This, in combination with the full range of affiliated CertainTeed Corporation building products, provides architects, contractors, builders and dealers one partner to provide service and support for commercial and residential building projects.

For more information on AirRenew, go to www.airrenew.com.

About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2012. www.certainteed.com

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Von Duprin Compiles “Harsh Environment” Suite of Door Hardware
Water, Salt or High Winds, Von Duprin Provides Products that Fight Extreme Environments

For facilities in code-driven regions and humid, salty and high wind conditions, such as outdoor venues, coastal buildings or wet environments including pools, aquariums, water parks and zoos that require extra protection, Von Duprin has brought together a suite of products that assure buildings remain safe and secure. Products include coatings that inhibit rust and those that are designed, tested and certified to WS9827/9927 and 237 standards, which both meet the FEMA 361 and 320 building codes for windstorm resistance.

“Harsh environments can damage exit devices and other door hardware quickly, whether the abuse comes from salt, water or excessive winds,” explains Joseph Vaida, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, portfolio marketing manager-mechanical. “For these applications, the same door hardware that’s used in one place in the facility may not be appropriate for areas that needed to fight these harsh conditions. Therefore, Von Duprin offers this suite of hardware to fight abusive elements.”

Exit devices exposed to extreme conditions and weather need additional protection against the elements. For these applications, Von Duprin can apply a clear protective coating to the exterior and interior of an exit device’s mechanical parts to help prevent the effects of weather or chemical corrosion, extending the life of the device. This clear protective coating improves chemical and corrosion resistance and additionally provides antimicrobial protection.

Exit devices on the exterior of a building are often exposed to the weather. Humidity and heavy rain can find its way into the exit device and cause electronics to malfunction. By water-proofing switches, designed to function safely in humid or wet conditions, Von Duprin helps prevent the effects of humidity and rain.

Exit devices mounted to exterior doors are often exposed to rain and other elements. Water enters the exit device and causes critical components to potentially rust or function improperly. Von Duprin can add drainage holes to assure exterior exit devices don’t hold water in the mechanism case and rust the mechanics. These drainage holes let water leave the exit device and are essential for products mounted on exterior doors to deliver long-lasting functionality and durability.

Severe wind and tornadoes requires a safe and secure shelter. Such extreme conditions require specialized testing to both the exit device and the total opening. Von Duprin offers certified and tested products to help keep people safe in the event of an environmental incident, providing superior protection from severe weather. FEMA- and ICC-compliant, reinforced components help secure the building and its occupants from wind and debris. Harsh environment exit devices are certified for hurricane and tornado resistant applications.

“For a long lasting doorway that will endure through some of the harshest conditions, Von Duprin products with these harsh environment options are what facility managers challenged by such applications need,” adds Vaida. “It’s imperative that integrators and their customers specify door hardware that matches the need of each and every access point.”

The harsh environment suite of Von Duprin door hardware is available now. More information is available at http://w3.securitytechnologies.com/Products/exit_devices/solutions/Pages/default.aspx.

About Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies
Ingersoll Rand advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® —work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies’ market-leading products include electronic and biometric access control systems; time-and-attendance and personnel scheduling systems; mechanical locks; portable security; door closers, exit devices, architectural hardware, and steel doors and frames; and other technologies and services for global security markets. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit ingersollrand.com or securitytechnologies.ingersollrand.com.

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AISC Seeks Proposals for Development of BIM Best Practices Guide

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) is now accepting proposals for the development of a best practices guide on the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) that is consistent and cohesive with the checks and balances currently provided in the AISC Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges. The AISC Code Committee seeks assistance from BIM users including engineers, fabricators, erectors, detailers, architects and contractors, in identifying and documenting best practices to facilitate the long-term standardization of BIM in structural steel construction. Download the Request for Proposal form.

"The AISC Code reflects industry advancements and provides the AEC community with a useful framework for a common understanding of acceptable standards when contracting for structural steel," commented Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D., AISC vice president and chief structural engineer. "However, few aspects of BIM have become standard. This has hampered the ability of the AISC Code Committee to incorporate provisions related to BIM into the Code."

Proposals are due by March 27, 2013, and may be submitted via email to AISC's Jie Zuo at zuo@aisc.org, or by mail to:

Jie Zuo
American Institute of Steel Construction

1 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 700

Chicago, IL 60601

About the American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.

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Tekla Announces New Release of Tekla Structures
Leading 3D Modeling Software Helps Building Professionals Leverage the
Latest in BIM Innovation to Increase Accuracy, Productivity and

Tekla, a leader in bringing building information modeling (BIM) software and online tools to the architectural, engineering and costruction (AEC) markets, today announced a new version of its 3D modeling software, Tekla Structures 19. Available immediately, Tekla Structures 19 delivers powerful, new features designed to further enable structural engineers, fabricators, detailers and concrete contractors to be more successful, productive and collaborative.

Tekla’s software enables the creation and management of accurately detailed, highly constructible 3D structural models, regardless of material or structural complexity. Tekla models can be used to ensure success across the entire building process from conceptual design to fabrication, erection and construction management.

While Tekla Structures 19 benefits many types of building experts, concrete contractors and rebar fabricators specifically will be better equipped to win more bids and dramatically improve the planning, accuracy and overall management and collaboration of concrete pours.

“Our goal is to help revolutionize the building industry by providing the latest advances in 3D modeling software and online collaboration tools for dramatically improved outcomes,” said Hans Ehrnrooth, President of Tekla, Inc. “We are excited that today’s release of Tekla Structures 19 moves us further toward this goal. It enables and automates the creation, planning, and estimation of detailed building designs as well as superior management and execution during the building phase itself. This results in our customers gaining more project and bid wins through innovative design while minimizing errors and maximizing efficiency and productivity.”

Tekla Structures 19 directly benefits the construction industry with new modeling, tracking, interoperability and management features and functionality.

• For concrete contractors, the new version delivers the ability to expertly visualize and quantify concrete the way it will be placed on the construction site. This includes faster and more accurate quantity estimation, increased pour planning accuracy and better site management and execution. The new release allows the importing of PDF drawings directly inside Tekla 3D models and includes new mobile access functionality making it possible to view concrete pours on mobile tablets at the job site, resulting in faster and better on site decisions.

• For detailers, fabricators and structural engineers, Tekla Structures 19 delivers tighter integration with other tools, enabling smoother workflow and collaboration. It also enables users to offer new construction services for a range of structural detailing and integrated project delivery services. Rebar detailers and fabricators can also more accurately estimate, perform faster rebar detailing, export to leading rebar MIS systems and reduce field errors and waste.

• Tekla User Assistance and Online Industry Forum: In conjunction with the new release, Tekla has launched a new, online forum that allows anyone to learn about Tekla software, benefit from industry discussions as well as access live and interactive Tekla user assistance.

About Tekla Structures
Launched in 2004, Tekla Structures is the preferred tool of construction professionals around the world to model, detail, fabricate and build many of the world’s buildings, bridges, and sports complexes. The software is designed to work seamlessly with Tekla BIMsight, a free online tool and portal for construction project collaboration. For more information and to download Tekla Structures 19, visit www.teklastructures.com.

About Tekla
Tekla drives the evolution of digital information models and provides competitive advantage to the construction and infrastructure industry. The company was established in 1966, and today it has customers in 100 countries, offices in 15 countries, and a global partner network. Tekla became part of Trimble Buildings Group in 2011.

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Female Construction Executives Begin Professional Organization for Women in Construction Operations
The new organization will focus on the mentorship of women in construction, architecture and engineering who work in professional and managerial roles.

Sarah Creighton and Holly Cindell of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. of Newport Beach are among a group of pioneering women from Southern California construction, architecture and engineering companies to begin WiOPS—a new professional organization geared specifically toward women in construction operations. Creighton and Cindell were named co-chairman for the new organization which aims at mentoring women working in the operations side of construction.

“Women make up less than 10% of the construction workforce with an even smaller number in professional and managerial positions,” said Sarah Creighton, vice president operations, education services for McCarthy Building Companies of Newport Beach. “There are other industry organizations out there for women in construction, but none of them are tailored to women in construction operations roles. We started WiOPS to fill that gap.”

This past summer, Creighton and Cindell joined with 13 other women in likeminded careers to set up a board and establish goals and a mission for WiOPS. As a result, the group determined their primary goal will be to facilitate mentorship of up and coming women in the construction, architecture and engineering professions.

They also developed the following mission: “WiOPS is committed to the advancement of women in construction operation positions and mentoring of future women leaders in our industry. Through mentorships, education and networking, we are dedicated to establishing a platform to share our goals and explore solutions to the unique challenges women encounter. WiOPS promotes hard work, commitment, and integrity to maintain a professional network of construction leaders today and tomorrow.”

“We decided to initially focus on mentorship, because men in our business can find male mentors within their own organization,” said McCarthy Project Director Holly Cindell. “In contrast, women sometimes need to look outside of their own companies to find other females in similar roles. WiOPS can aid by supplying the forum to meet other women who will share their experiences and provide guidance, advice and encouragement equipping each of us with the tools we need to excel in a non-traditional field.”

The WiOPS founding board members include: Co-chairmen, Holly Cindell and Sarah Creighton, McCarthy; Vice Chairman, Nancy Goldman, Jezowski & Markel; Secretary, Kasie Bowden, Hensel Phelps Construction Co.; Treasurers, Lia Tatevosian, Swinerton Builders and Lucy Villanueva, McCarthy; Membership, Amanda Corbet, McCarthy and Events Coordinator, Shaabini Alford, Murray Company. Other WiOPS members instrumental to the group’s founding include: Bernadette Reyes, Clark Construction Group; LaDrena Dansby, USC Capital Construction Development; Elle Navarro and Michelle Garcia, Hensel Phelps Construction Co.; Sammi Maya, McCarthy; Jessica Drake, Swinerton Builders and Kathlynn Smith, Hunt Ortman and founder of SmartGirls and SmartGirls’ Guide to Construction Law.

Held on January 24, 2013 at Murray Company’s training facility in Rancho Dominguez, the organization’s launch event was a huge success with over 150 attendees. During the launch, prospective and new members learned more about the goals and mission of the organization and had the opportunity to network with fellow women in operations during cocktail hour and dinner.

Meet-ups are currently being planned for March 7, 2013 at locations in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties with specifics to be announced on the WiOPS website. The next formal meeting is planned for April 25, 2013 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at McCarthy’s office in Newport Beach. The event will include networking and featured speaker Dr. Michael Brainard along with a distinguished panel of women in leadership positions. Michael Brainard has designed and implemented dozens of mentoring, coaching and career development programs for many companies across industries. During the meeting, he will define objectives, myths and best practices from “both sides” of the mentor and mentee perspectives.

WiOPS membership is open to women and men in construction, architecture and engineering industries serving in operations, managerial, estimating, engineering and design career paths. For more information about membership or to sign up to attend their next meeting, please visit www.womeninoperations.com

About McCarthy
Recognized as one of the nation’s few true builders, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the nation’s eighth largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012) and Orange County’s largest commercial builder (Orange County Business Journal, June 2011). The company is committed to the construction of high performance green buildings; progressive job site technology; and safer, faster and more cost-effective execution. In addition to Newport Beach, McCarthy has offices in San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Collinsville, Ill.; Dallas; Houston and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com .

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