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Leading Building Industry Groups Agree to Streamline Green Building Tool Coordination and Development
Move will coordinate Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code and LEED to offer comprehensive system of regulatory and voluntary leadership tools for jurisdictions

The International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announce the signing of a memorandum to collaborate on the development of Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program.

The unprecedented cooperation aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes and/or provide incentives for voluntary leadership programs such as LEED.

The agreement outlines the development, maintenance and implementation of new versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and the IgCC, which will be combined into one regulatory tool. This agreement also endeavors to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.

“Architects have become the leaders in employing green building techniques, and the IgCC, a valuable regulatory tool, provides support leading to the creation of a sustainable, resilient built environment,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “This agreement, which underscores the AIA’s dedication to sustainable design and construction, should lead to more rapid adoption of responsible approaches by designers, builders, developers and a host of other building industry groups.”

“ASHRAE see this as a move forward in green building, reducing fragmentation of compliance documents for users who are pressing toward a more sustainable environment,” ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix said.

“Working collaboratively with our industry partners is producing real results that will help improve building performance, streamline regulation, reduce cost and allow us to focus our resources on goals we have in common” said Dominic Sims, CBO, ICC CEO. “This agreement continues the partnership we began in 2012 and assures that our Members and partners have a meaningful role in shaping the future of the built environment.”

“The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America is pleased to partner with the other organizations in this important collaborative effort in the development of a new standard and green code for the design and construction industry,” said Rita Harrold, IES Director of Technology. “IES members will benefit from this alignment of both regulatory and voluntary tools, and we look forward to participating in delivering technical provisions for code intended adoption.”

“This landmark agreement will leverage the unique strengths of each of the five partner organizations to deliver a coordinated, integrated suite of green building tools. An ANSI standard as the basis of a regulatory code to push the market and a rating system to pull the market higher” said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED, and U.S. Green Building Council. “We are collectively dedicated to advancing green building practices and to advancing the broader industry’s understanding about the importance of green building goals and how to achieve them.”

About the International Code Council
The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes. The International Codes, or I-Codes, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.

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 wellbeing. 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.

About ASHRAE
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at www.ashrae.org/news.

About The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America
The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) is the recognized technical authority on illumination. For over 100 years; its objective has been to communicate information on all aspects of good lighting practice to its members, to the lighting community, and to consumers, through a variety of programs, publications, and services.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit that is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org.

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July Construction Employment Increases In 39 States From A Year Ago And In 34 States From Prior Month But Concerns Grow About Worker Availability
Nevada Has Largest 12-Month Percentage Gain and Florida Adds Largest Number of Jobs, As New Jersey Experiences Deepest Losses

Construction firms added jobs in 39 states from July 2013 to July 2014 and in 34 states from June to July, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the employment gains are good news, but that the pipeline of skilled craft workers, supervisors and other employees appears to be emptying rapidly.

“The overall trend in construction employment has been very consistent in 2014, with more than three-fourths of states adding jobs each month on a year-over-year basis,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “However, growing numbers of contractors say they are having trouble finding skilled workers or subcontractors that can supply such workers.”

Nevada experienced the largest percentage increase in construction employment between July 2013 and July 2014 (13.4 percent, 7,500 construction jobs), followed by Delaware (13.3 percent, 2,600 jobs) and Florida (11.1 percent, 40,600 jobs). Florida again led all states in the number of construction jobs added in the latest 12 months, followed by Texas (23,600 jobs, 3.8 percent) and California (22,600 jobs, 3.6 percent).

The District of Columbia and 11 states shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with New Jersey again losing the highest percentage and total (-6.5 percent, -8,900 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include West Virginia (-5.8 percent, -2,000 jobs), Mississippi (-5.6 percent, -2,900 jobs) and Arizona (-4.8 percent, -5,900 jobs). Arizona lost the second-highest number of construction jobs during the year, followed by Mississippi, then West Virginia.

Delaware had the largest percentage gain (5.7 percent, 1,200 jobs) among the 34 states that added construction workers to payrolls between June and July. Other states adding large percentages of workers in the month included Alabama (4.9 percent, 3,800 jobs), Kentucky (3.4 percent, 2,200 jobs), New Mexico (3.1 percent, 1,200 jobs), and Virginia (2.6 percent, 4,700 jobs). Virginia added the most workers during the month, followed by Florida (4,400 jobs, 1.1 percent), Texas (4,000 jobs, 0.6 percent) and Alabama.

Fifteen states and D.C. lost construction jobs between June and July, while construction employment was unchanged in Rhode Island. California lost the most construction jobs during the month (-6,400 jobs, -1.0 percent). Other states with large monthly declines in total construction employment included New York (-3,500 jobs, -1.1 percent), Georgia (-1,500 jobs, -1.0 percent), Nebraska (-1,400 jobs, -3.0 percent) and Kansas (-1,100 jobs, -1.8 percent). Nebraska had the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by West Virginia (-1.8 percent, -600 jobs) and Kansas.

Association officials said it is encouraging that a large majority of states added construction jobs for the year and the month. However, they cautioned that construction firms in many parts of the country appear to be experiencing varying amounts of labor shortages. They said that while worker shortages appear most severe in fast-growing states like Colorado and Texas, there is still time for elected officials to act on the association’s workforce development suggestions before shortages become more widespread.

“We are at real risk of going from a situation where firms couldn’t hire because there wasn’t enough demand to firms not being able to hire because there aren’t enough qualified workers,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. View the state employment data by rank and state.

For more information visit www.agc.org.

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Nonresidential Construction Index Dips in Q3

NRCI = 62.5

FMI, a leading provider of management consulting and investment banking* to the engineering and construction industry, releases the 2014 Third Quarter Nonresidential Construction Index report. The NRCI shows a decrease of 3.3 points from Q2, but is still above the same time period in 2013. The cost of materials and labor continues to climb weighing negatively on the index.

Other factors keeping the NRCI from rising are government entities continuing to reduce spending and avoid making final decisions on the highway bills, as well as private investors taking a passive role waiting for others to act first.

The good news is that the economy has passed the “survival” stage and currently occupies the “thriving” phase. Backlogs remain strong with expectations of improvement and productivity up slightly. Thriving in the new economic climate will require companies to not just be the strongest or biggest, but also the most adept at dealing with change.

To read the full report, click here.

About FMI:
FMI is a leading provider of management consulting, investment banking* and research to the engineering and construction industry. FMI services all segments of the industry providing clients with value-added business solutions, including:

Strategic Advisory
Market Research and Business Development
Leadership and Talent Development
Project and Process Improvement
Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Consulting*
Compensation Benchmarking and Consulting
Risk Management Consulting

Founded by Dr. Emol A. Fails in 1953, FMI has professionals in offices across the U.S. FMI delivers innovative, customized solutions to contractors; construction materials producers, manufacturers and suppliers of building materials and equipment, owners and developers, engineers and architects, utilities, and construction industry trade associations. FMI is an advisor you can count on to build and maintain a successful business, from your leadership to your site managers. For more information, visit www.fminet.com

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Architecture Billings Index Reaches Highest Mark Since 2007
All construction sectors and geographic regions showing robust demand

The last three months have shown steadily increasing demand for design services and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is now at its highest level since 2007. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July ABI score was 55.8, up noticeably from a mark of 53.5 in June. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 66.0, following a very strong mark of 66.4 the previous month.

The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in July was 54.9.

“Business conditions for the design and construction marketplace, and those industries associated with it, appear to be well-positioned for continued growth in the coming months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The key to a more widespread boost in design activity continues to be the institutional sector which is starting to exhibit signs of life after languishing for the better part of the last five-plus years.”

Key July ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (55.5), South (55.1), Midwest (54.1), West (53.5)

  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (61.0), multi-family residential (56.5), institutional (53.3), commercial / industrial (51.2)

  • Project inquiries index: 66.0

  • Design contracts index: 54.9

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts 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 recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on the AIA web site.

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ConsensusDocs Tailors New Contract Offering to Design-Builders and Owners
New Package Designed to Meet Growing Use of Design Build in Many Types of Construction Projects

ConsensusDocs announces a new subscription package created specifically for owners and design-builders. Design-build has become an increasing important project delivery option in the industry, ConsensusDocs officials noted.

“These documents are designed to protect the interests of everyone involved in a design build project," said Brian Perlberg, Executive Director & Counsel of ConsensusDocs. "Unlike similar products being offered by other groups, this package allocates risk evenly among all the parties involved in a design build project.”

According to an RS Means Market Intelligence report, almost 40 percent of non-residential buildings, and more than 80 percent of military projects, are performed under a design-build contract. Since ConsensusDocs design-build contracts are among the most popular within the ConsensusDocs catalog of 100+ contract documents, this package offers a tailored solution to meet the needs of design-builder and owners, Perlberg noted.

Design-build project projects are more likely to be successful when design-builders and owners choose a contract that allocates risk consistently and fairly, Perlberg said. He added that the new package offers a coordinated and comprehensive set of design-build contracts that allocates risks to the party in the best position to mitigate risks.

ConsensusDocs standard contracts provide a fair and balanced option, written and endorsed by 40+ organizations representing designers, owners, contractors, subcontractors, and sureties. Users receive a comprehensive set of contracts via a cloud-based technology platform that provides 24/7, anytime, anywhere access with easy editing in Microsoft Word®. Simply put… ConsensusDocs help you build a better way! For more information, visit ConsensusDocs.org.

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Remodeler Confidence Regains Momentum

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) rose three points to 56 in the second quarter of 2014, regaining the momentum built in 2013. This is the fifth consecutive quarter for an RMI reading above 50.

An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

“With many home owners on better financial footing, home remodeling has become more popular,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGR, CGP, of Waterville Valley, N.H. “The completion of postponed work has helped remodelers in all regions regain confidence in the remodeling market.”

The RMI’s future market conditions index rose to 56 from 52 in the previous quarter, under the strength of an increase in all four of its subcomponents: calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals.

The current market conditions component of the RMI increased three points to 56 this quarter. Remodeling jobs valued at $25,000 or more rebounded to 54, the same level as the end of 2013. Smaller remodeling jobs and maintenance and repair components performed well this quarter with readings of 56 and 58, respectively.

“The recent improvement in the job market has helped restore remodelers’ confidence after a dip in the first quarter that was probably in part weather-related. As homeowners feel more secure about their economic situation, they become more willing to undertake remodeling projects—especially larger, discretionary projects,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “In addition, fewer new home builders are looking to remodeling as a way supplement their revenue, and this has somewhat reduced competition for remodeling projects.”

For more information about remodeling, visit nahb.org/remodel.

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Momentum Increasing for Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is signaling improving conditions for the overall design and construction industry. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 53.5, up from a mark of 52.6 in May. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 66.4, up noticeably from the reading of 63.2 the previous month and its highest level in a calendar year.

The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in June was 55.7 – the highest mark since that indicator starting being measured in October 2010.

“The recent surge in both design contracts and general inquiries for new projects by prospective clients is indicative of a sustainable strengthening across the construction marketplace,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With the first positive reading since last summer in billings at institutional firms, it appears that design activity for all major segments of the building industry is growing. The challenge now for architecture firms seems to be finding the right balance for staffing needs to meet increasing demand.”

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (56.3), South (53.9), Northeast 51.1) , West (48.7)

  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.7), mixed practice (53.8), commercial / industrial (53.1), institutional (50.2)

  • Project inquiries index: 66.4

  • Design contracts index: 55.7

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts 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 recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on www.aia.org

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Construction Employment Increased In 38 States But Declined In 27 States From May To June As Recovery Remains ‘Choppy’

Construction firms added jobs in 38 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months, but they reduced headcount in 27 states between May and June, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the employment gains help, but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every location except North Dakota.

"The overall trend in construction employment remains favorable, with three-fourths of states adding jobs on a year-over-year basis," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "But the recovery remains choppy, not steady. In June, monthly gains occurred in fewer than half the states and the nation added just 6,000 construction jobs."

Florida led all states in percentage and total gains in construction employment (11.5 percent, 41,700 jobs) between June 2013 and June 2014. Other states adding a high percentage of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Nevada (10.5 percent, 5,900 jobs), Utah (9.3 percent, 6,800 jobs), North Dakota (7.9 percent, 2,600 jobs) and Minnesota (7,900 jobs, 7.8 percent). Other states adding a high total of new construction jobs during the past year included California (29,800 jobs, 4.7 percent), Texas (19,100 jobs, 3.1 percent), Pennsylvania (13,000 jobs, 5.8 percent) and Minnesota.

Twelve states shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with New Jersey losing the highest percent and total, (-8.1 percent, -11,200 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include Alaska (-5.5 percent, -900 jobs), New Hampshire (-4.4 percent, -1,000 jobs) and New Mexico (-3.9 percent, -1,600 jobs). Besides New Jersey, other states that lost the most construction jobs between June 2013 and June 2014 included Arizona (-4,500 jobs, -3.6 percent), Alabama (-2,700 jobs, -3.4 percent) and Kentucky (-2,400 jobs, -3.6 percent).

Twenty-one states and D.C. added construction jobs between May and June. Florida (8,800 jobs, 2.2 percent) added the most jobs, followed by Illinois (3,500 jobs, 1.8 percent), Indiana (2,700 jobs, 2.2 percent) and Pennsylvania (2,700 jobs, 1.1 percent). South Dakota (4.3 percent, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Florida, Indiana and Montana (2.2 percent, 500 jobs).

Twenty-seven states lost construction jobs for the month, while construction employment was unchanged in Arizona and New Mexico. California (-9,500 jobs, -1.4 percent) lost the most construction jobs between May and June. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included New York (-3,700 jobs, -1.1 percent), Oregon (-3,600 jobs, -4.5 percent) and Texas (-3,400 jobs, -0.5 percent). Alaska (-7.7 percent, -1,300 jobs) experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Oregon, Rhode Island (-2.9 percent, -500 jobs) and Hawaii (-2.2 percent, -700 jobs).

Association officials noted that the number of states adding new construction jobs for the month declined compared to the prior month. Uncertainty around the future state of federal infrastructure funding prompted some construction firms to put expansion plans on hold, officials suggested. They urged the Senate to enact a House-passed bill that keeps federal transportation funding at current levels through May of next year and act on unfinished appropriations bills to fund other infrastructure measures.

"It is hard for firms to grow when they don't know how much work will be available in just a few weeks," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. He added that a series of measures designed to make it easier for states to attract funding for infrastructure that the president announced yesterday should help boost construction employment. View the state employment data by rank and state. For more information please visit www.agc.org.

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Architects to Help Promote NIBS Performance-Based Guide

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it has agreed to support a new performance-based guide developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

The National Performance-Based Design Guide (NPBDG) is the first broad-reaching performance-based tool for use by facility owners and building industry professionals.

Based on the recently updated U.S. General Services Administration P100: Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service, the NPBDG offers four levels of building performance: from “Baseline” performance as the lowest permissible level (commensurate with minimum code requirements) through to “Tier 3 High Performance,” the highest level or stretch goal. The format allows the building owner to work with the design team to select the preferred level to design the building in order to prioritize performance opportunities that stem from climate, site, program, mandates and other conditions.

During the development stage, the NIBS High Performance Building Council, which oversees the project, distributed the pre-release version to a number of industry associations. The AIA will support the Guide by promoting it to its members as a resource to be used in the design phase of a building as well as by bringing the designer community perspective to the NPBDG review and update process.

“The National Performance-Based Design Guide has the potential to improve design outcomes by helping the owner and designer have substantive discussions about the owner’s requirements and expectations early in the planning process,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA.

“The design community plays a crucial role in achieving high-performance buildings,” said National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The National Performance-Based Design Guide provides this important segment of the building industry with a tool to help meet new benchmarks using a performance-based approach. Having the support of AIA is critical to getting the industry engaged in seeking performance-based outcomes.”

ASHRAE, the first organization to sign on to support the NPBDG, has assumed responsibility for the review of the NPBDG Mechanical Section. The National Institute of Building Sciences encourages other trade and professional societies to become involved in this important effort.

The National Performance Based Design Guide can be viewed online at http://npbdg.wbdg.org.

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ICON Construction Offers Solution to Student Housing With Modular Dormitory Units

ICON Construction, a general contractor specializing in the design and build of modular, permanent modular and modular re-locatable buildings, has announced its expansion into the higher education market, offering budget-conscious universities nationwide significant cost benefits and expedited project lifecycles for student housing.

Measuring anywhere from 175 to 375 square feet, a single modularly constructed dormitory unit can accommodate a maximum occupancy of 1,500 to 20,000+ students on as many as 3 stories. They also provide a host of unique features specifically benefitting the university lifestyle such as flexible floor plans, option to easily relocate from one campus to another, and ability to take on the appearance of other buildings matching the image of the campus.

Modularly constructed dormitory units are also built with quality as a top priority throughout the entire construction process so longevity of the buildings is guaranteed. However, since the modular structures themselves can be as permanent or temporary as the university would like, they are often used as a cost-effective temporary solution.

Financed projects also catch a break as permanent funding is usually acquired sooner and at a lower interest rate that interim financing.

In-house architect Kent Hughlett said, "This is a new territory for us in the very diverse realm of the multi-living-dwelling industry. We have previously designed multi-story hotels, apartments, and barracks and we incorporate this past experience for our dormitory and student housing design projects. We see a unique need for this technology because of the influx of incoming students and large work force relocation due to the economic status of some states."

With guaranteed compressed construction schedules, students can move in to the fully utilizable modular dormitory facilities in a matter of weeks. Not only does this add a designated revenue steam for facility owners, interim costs during build out are much lower than traditionally constructed buildings.

Approximately 80% of the construction takes place in the plant after which time the modular units are shipped to the site. Labor costs are constant during the manufacturing process as compared to the unpredictable availability and wild swings of labors rates on site. Since the modular units are built in doors in a climate controlled environment, the weather factor is greatly reduced thus increasing the project manager's ability to stay on schedule and deliver within budget. For more information please visit:
http://icon-construction.com/

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Rainscreen Wall Systems Package by IMETCO®

IMETCO recently introduced its IntelliScreen™ complete rainscreen wall systems package, delivering style, energy efficiency, strength, and longevity under a single-source warranty. IntelliScreen boasts a straightforward rainscreen design that effectively addresses the four major control layers of a wall assembly: water, air, insulation and vapor.

IMETCO (Innovative Metals Company, Inc.) offers IntelliScreen systems. IntelliScreen systems include a versatile line of metal wall panels available in various materials and colors; vented horizontal hat channel with a patent-pending design that creates a crucial one-inch air cavity for drainage and ventilation and virtually eliminates thermal bridging; stone wool continuous insulation offering unmatched thermal efficiency, fire resistance and noise reduction; and water-resistive air barriers that stop the flow of air and liquid water while allowing controlled diffusion of water vapor.

“Our IntelliScreen complete rainscreen package epitomizes the evolution of intelligent wall design. Providing all of the components under a single warranty provides the customer with the comfort of knowing the wall system will be designed and installed correctly, providing the long-term, energy efficient performance they desire,” explained Frank Resso, IMETCO’s director of business development and engineering.

IMETCO’s wall systems provide virtually limitless possibilities for metal cladding with both vertical and horizontal applications and custom incorporated details at each transition and termination: head, sill, jamb, and corner. Cladding is available in aluminum, copper, stainless steel or in domestically mined and processed United Zinc™. Additionally, the IntelliScreen system can incorporate a number of air barrier options, including IMETCO’s IntelliWrap™ self-adhering vapor permeable and vapor retarding air and water resistive barriers, fluid-applied air/vapor barriers or fluid-applied semi-permeable air barrier/vapor retarders. The entire assembly is tested in accordance with AAMA 509 and AAMA 508, with industry leading results.

IMETCO® (Innovative Metals Company, Inc.) is a manufacturer of premier metal products for the building envelope, delivering performance-inspired systems tailored to every project. IMETCO offers a full range of high-performance metal roofing, metal wall, and metal edge systems and accessories that provide a virtually limitless realm of aesthetic possibilities. Additionally, IMETCO provides high-quality custom metal solutions for designers whose visions extend beyond our standard product offering. With specialty manufacturing capabilities, including curving, tapering, and field forming, IMETCO continually distinguishes itself as a leader in the metal construction industry.For more information, visit www.imetco.com or call toll-free 1.800.646.3826 or email info@imetco.com.

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Housing Production Falls 6.5 Percent in May

Declines in both single- and multifamily starts pushed nationwide housing production down 6.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just over 1 million units, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. However, single-family permits, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 3.7 percent.

“The dip in single-family production shows builders continue to move carefully in adding inventory,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “They are also facing supply chain issues, such as access to lots and labor.”

Single-family housing starts were down 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000 units in May. Meanwhile, multifamily production fell 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 376,000 units.

“The encouraging news is that single-family permits are up by almost 4 percent,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The modest increase is evidence that builders expect continued release of pent-up demand and a gradual expansion of the housing market. We are still forecasting a 12 percent increase in total housing starts for the year.”

Regionally in May, combined single- and multifamily housing production fell in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West, with respective losses of 25.2 percent, 16.5 percent and 16.3 percent. Meanwhile, the South posted a 7.3 percent gain.

Issuance of building permits registered a 6.4 percent decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 991,000 units in May. This was due entirely to a decrease in the multifamily sector, where permits registered a 19.5 percent loss to 372,000 units. Single-family permits increased to 619,000 units.

The Northeast and Midwest registered overall permit gains of 3.5 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, while the South and West posted respective losses of 7.3 percent and 15.2 percent.

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Construction Employment Increased In 40 States And D.C. From A Year Ago And In 30 States And D.C. From April To May As Sector Slowly Rebuilds
Nevada and California Have Largest 12-Month Gains, West Virginia and New Jersey Have Biggest Annual Decline; Wyoming and Minnesota Top Monthly Rankings, Florida and Arizona Shed Most Jobs in May

Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 30 states and D.C. between April and May, according to an analysis today by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials said the employment gains help, but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every state and the District of Columbia, except North Dakota.

"With demand for construction growing in most states, many firms are slowly rebuilding their depleted payrolls," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "But if overall economic growth slows, construction employment could backslide in many states."

Nevada led all states in percentage gains in construction employment (12.5 percent, 7,000 jobs) between May 2013 and May 2014. Other states adding a high percentage of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included Florida (9.8 percent, 35,300 jobs), Minnesota (9.7 percent, 9,700 jobs) and Kansas (8.9 percent, 5,000 jobs). California added the most new construction jobs for the year (37,700 jobs, 5.9 percent), followed by Florida, Texas (26,500 jobs, 4.3 percent) and New York (12,000 jobs, 3.7 percent).

Ten states shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with West Virginia losing the highest percentage, (-6.8 percent, -2,200 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include New Jersey (-6.2 percent, -8,500 jobs), Montana (-5.7 percent, -1,400 jobs) and New Mexico (-5.0 percent, -2,100 jobs). New Jersey lost the most construction jobs between May 2013 and May 2014, followed by Arizona (-4,100 jobs, -3.3 percent), Virginia (-2,800 jobs, -1.6 percent) and West Virginia.

Minnesota (3,800 jobs, 3.6 percent) added the most jobs between April and May, followed by New York (3,000 jobs, 0.9 percent), Colorado (2,800 jobs, 2.1 percent) and Pennsylvania (2,200 jobs, 0.9 percent). Wyoming (4.1 percent, 900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Minnesota, Vermont (3.6 percent, 500 jobs) and Kansas (3.2 percent, 1,900 jobs).

Nineteen states lost construction jobs for the month, with Florida (-6,100 jobs, -1.5 percent) losing the most. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included Arizona (-4,400 jobs, -3.6 percent), Ohio (-3,600 jobs, -1.9 percent) and Missouri (-3,500 jobs, -3.2 percent). Arizona experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Missouri, New Hampshire (-2.7 percent, -600 jobs) and West Virginia (-2.4 percent, -800 jobs).

Association officials emphasized that Washington officials could bring additional security to construction employment levels by passing new legislation to finance highway and transit construction. By passing a new surface transportation bill that includes the kind of revenue being proposed by Senators Corker and Murphy, a lot of stability would be added to what has been a very uneven construction recovery.

"Quickly passing a long-term highway and transit bill will give many construction employers the security they need to begin adding to their payrolls," Sandherr said. "It is hard to hire someone if you don't know what the market conditions will be like next year, or even next month, which is exactly what many highway and transit contractors have to cope with right now."

View the state employment data by rank, by state.

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Garland’s New CPR™ System Designed to Resuscitate Metal Roofs and Walls

Garland recently introduced a new restoration coating designed to extend the service life of existing metal roof and wall panel systems. The CPR System is a lightweight, low odor, synthetic liquid rubber membrane with high tensile strength and the ability to elongate and recover regardless of the temperature.

The Garland Company, Inc. recently introduced its CPR System, a highly reflective, low odor, synthetic liquid rubber membrane designed to waterproof and restore existing metal roof and wall panel systems, delaying costly roof replacement and improving the overall performance of the roof system.

This lightweight, multi-layer waterproofing system will only add one-fifth of a pound per square foot to existing roof systems when completed, eliminating the time and cost associated with engineering a new roof system. The CPR System provides excellent resistance to UV damage and deterioration due to weathering by forming a rubber-like monolithic membrane over the entire surface. It is designed for application to properly prepared stainless steel, galvanized metals, Galvalume®-coated metals, copper, aluminum and Kynar®-coated metal roof systems.

According to Garland product manager, Tom Stuewe, “The CPR System is the answer for building owners or facility managers who don’t have the budget for a replacement, but need to extend the life of their roof system. The ease of application makes it ideal for in-house maintenance use, and its cold-process, low odor formulation allows restoration projects to proceed with minimal disruptions to building operations and occupants.”

The CPR System is available in both a brush grade or trowel grade versions and can be easily applied over sloped, contour surfaces. When properly installed and maintained, this system can provide an additional 10 to 15 years of service life.

The Garland Company, Inc. is one of the worldwide leaders of quality, high-performance roofing and building envelope solutions for the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For over 100 years, Garland has continually developed unique product and service offerings that have raised the bar of performance while exceeding the individual needs of customers throughout the world. Today, our network of over 200 local building envelope professionals is ideally positioned throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to provide quality building envelope solutions for single and multi-property facilities. The Garland Company Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

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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PPG introduces ultra-neutral, light-gray OPTIGRAY glass
New light-gray hue delivers a warm, neutral aesthetic for low-e and uncoated glass

PPG Industries has introduced OPTIGRAY® glass, an ultra-neutral, warm-light-gray glass designed to maximize light transmittance and clarity, and to work with SOLARBAN® coated, solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glasses to enhance solar control performance.

Glenn T. Miner, PPG director of construction, flat glass, said Optigray glass is formulated to offer an extremely light-gray tint that eliminates the green naturally present in conventional clear glass formulations. The result, he adds, is “a highly transparent, super-neutral aesthetic that can actually show less color than clear glass.”

To optimize performance, Optigray glass is designed to function as a substrate for solar control, low-e coatings such as those on Solarban 60, Solarban 70XL, Solarban 67 and Solarban R100 glasses. In a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit (IGU), Solarban 60 Optigray glass has visible light transmittance (VLT) of 50 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30, which yields a light-to-solar-gain (LSG) ratio of 1.67.

With Solarban 70XL glass in the same configuration, Optigray glass generates an LSG ratio of 1.99 based on VLT of 47 percent and a SHGC of 0.24.

Solar control, low-e, coated Optigray glass joins Solarban z50 glass and the recently announced Solarban z75 glass as the newest additions to a growing collection of high-performing, neutral coated glass from PPG. While coated Optigray glasses provide an extremely neutral warm-gray aesthetic, Solarban z-series glasses offer a cool-gray hue with a slight blue tint. All PPG neutral-coated glasses deliver excellent solar performance.

As part of PPG’s wide range of tinted float glasses, Optigray glass features an appearance that is considerably lighter and more subtle than that of SOLARGRAY® (light-gray) and GRAYLITE® II (rich dark-gray) glasses. Other tinted glasses from PPG are SOLARBRONZE®, SOLARBLUE®, PACIFICA®, ATLANTICA®, AZURIA® and SOLEXIA® glasses.

For more information about Optigray glass and other PPG glasses certified through the CRADLE TO CRADLE CERTIFIEDcm program, call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332) or visit http://www.ppg.com/corporate/ideascapes/glass/products/ocean/Pages/Optigray.aspx.

PPG: Bringing innovation to the surface.™

PPG Industries' vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty materials company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. Net sales in 2013 were $15.1 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com

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McShane Construction Company Implements StratusVue for Construction Document Management

StratusVue's cloud-based PlansandSpecs software will increase collaboration, consistency, and control on McShane Construction Company's building projects


StratusVue, the leading provider of collaborative document management solutions for the construction industry, today announced that McShane Construction Company, a national provider of design/build and build-to-suit construction services, has successfully implemented StratusVue's PlansandSpecs solution to increase collaboration and drive efficiency across the McShane enterprise.

"We were looking to update our technology in a way that would improve how our teams communicate and manage projects," said Jeff Raday, president of McShane Construction Company. "We were losing precious time by using antiquated and disconnected systems to do things like distribute documents, record project activities, and obtain approvals. We needed something more modern that could provide consistency, and StratusVue fit the bill perfectly."

StratusVue's fully integrated cloud-based software suite streamlines project and document management tasks for construction managers such as McShane throughout the pre-construction and construction phases of a project. By creating a central online hub for all contract documentation, StratusVue improves accessibility and transparency for all project stakeholders. The PlansandSpecs module provides straightforward tools and workflows that improve productivity during construction. Future plans at McShane include the implementation of BidVue, which is used to manage the bidding process with subcontractors.

"PlansandSpecs provides us with a common platform that has helped to standardize our operations across multiple locations," said Raday. "We've experienced improved collaboration and organization, which gives us better access to information and allows us to work more quickly than before. The StratusVue team has also provided great support to ensure that we're getting the results we need."

"It has been a pleasure for us to work closely with a high quality company such as McShane and bring them into our user community," said John Goecke, President of StratusVue. "We are committed to supporting their current operations across the country, and to helping enable their exciting growth plans moving forward by offering the highest levels of service and support in the industry."

About McShane Construction Company
McShane Construction Company was established in 1984 and is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois with regional offices in Phoenix, Arizona, Irvine, California and Auburn, Alabama. The firm offers integrated design/build and build-to-suit construction services for the multi-family, office, healthcare, hospitality, recreational, retail, manufacturing and distribution markets. For more information, visit the firm's web site at www.mcshane-construction.com.

About StratusVue
StratusVue is the leader in collaboration and efficiency solutions for the commercial construction industry through its fully integrated cloud-based software suite. Our state-of-the-art platform streamlines project and document management tasks for all stakeholders throughout the project – from the bidding process, into construction, and through to building operations.

StratusVue connects people with the information they need to succeed, saving time and money by eliminating unnecessary administration. Together with our experienced, full-service support team, StratusVue technology empowers projects to be more productive and organized than ever before. For more information, visit www.stratusvue.com

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Digital Innovation Slows Construction Forecast According to FMI Q2-2014 Outlook

FMI, a leading provider of management consulting and investment banking* to the engineering and construction industry, releases today its Q2-2014 Construction Outlook. The forecast shows cautiously optimistic growth, as the forecast has been lowered a percent since the Q1-2014 Outlook. Construction-put-in-place for 2014 is now predicted to increase 7 percent over 2013 levels.

One reason for the prediction, is the growth of the digital world. With e-commerce becoming a larger market, especially in the retail and educational industries, brick and mortar will inevitably grow at a slower rate. This trend also is slowly affecting office, travel, recreation and even health care, as more time is spent online.

Select market predictions include:

Residential –Affordability, mobility and uncertainty in the job market has been evident as new-home growth is slowing and renting remains a safer choice for many. With new jobs and pay scales not rising as fast as costs, the forecast has been adjusted from 18 percent growth to 12 percent in 2014.

  • Commercial – With retail production slowing, due to the above mentioned expansion of e-commerce shopping, the industry growth rate will slow to 6 percent in 2014.

  • Health Care – With political uncertainty continuing to hold off new health care facilities, the forecast is for CPIP to remain flat in 2014. However the $40.8 billion in new construction is expected to continue at a sustainable pace.

  • Education – The largest sector of total nonresidential CPIP, education’s slowdown is a large contributor to slower growth in construction overall. 2014 will see only 1 percent growth in the market sector.

  • Transportation – Construction for the transportation industry is one of the few areas that continues to see solid growth, with 2014 predicted to grow 7 percent. The shale oil boom, as well as the proposed $73.61 billion transportation bill are large contributing factors.

To download a copy of the full report, click here. Members of the media may request a complimentary PDF file by clicking here. For reprint permission or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Sarah Vizard Avallone at 919.785.9221 or savallone@fminet.com.

About FMI:
FMI is a leading provider of management consulting, investment banking* and research to the engineering and construction industry. We work in all segments of the industry providing clients with value-added business solutions, including:

  • Strategic Advisory

  • Market Research and Business Development

  • Leadership and Talent Development

  • Project and Process Improvement

  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Consulting*

  • Compensation Benchmarking and Consulting

  • Risk Management Consulting

Founded by Dr. Emol A. Fails in 1953, FMI has professionals in offices across the U.S. FMI delivers innovative, customized solutions to contractors; construction materials producers, manufacturers and suppliers of building materials and equipment, owners and developers, engineers and architects, utilities, and construction industry trade associations. FMI is an advisor you can count on to build and maintain a successful business, from your leadership to your site managers. For more information, visit www.fminet.com.
 

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Accessibility and Outdoor Property Improvements Top List of Popular Home Characteristics
Residential architects report improved conditions throughout the residential sector

The residential market continues to improve with architects reporting an increase in demand for larger homes. Additionally, architects are seeing a greater interest in accessibility features as well as outdoor living space. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2014, which focuses specifically on overall home layout and the use of interior and exterior space.

“Facilitating greater accessibility into and around the home has become the dominant home layout consideration,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “With home sizes increasing only modestly, households are investing more attention in exterior and property improvements.”

Overall home layout and size trends

Residential elements
(% of respondents that reported increases)     2014      2013
In-home accessibility                                        65%       64%
Access in/out of home                                      55%       55%
Informal space                                                 52%       60%
Open space layout                                            50%       56%
Single-floor plan                                               47%       46%
Volume                                                            28%       24%
Square footage                                                 15%       12%
Lot size                                                             3%         3%

Outdoor living and landscaping trends
Residential elements
(% of respondents that reported increases)       2014      2013
Outdoor living space                                          69%       63%
Low irrigation landscaping                                  60%       61%
Blended indoor / outdoor living                          56%       55%
Rainwater catchment                                         44%       52%
Exterior / security lighting                                 36%       35%

Housing market business conditions
AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q1 2014 (any score above 50 is positive)

  • Billings: 68

  • Inquiries for new projects: 71

Baker added, “Business conditions at residential architecture firms continue to show solid gains, as billings, new design contracts, and inquiries for future project activity are all improving.”

Specific residential segments*                   2014     2013
Kitchen and bath remodeling                        57        64
Remodeling additions / alterations                59        56
Custom / luxury home market                       29        37
Move-up homes                                           27        33
Townhouse / condo market                          15        13
First-time buyer / affordable home market     5         13
Second / vacation home market                   -9         -5

“The trade-up and custom/luxury markets are seeing a fuller recovery, however, for both segments the pace of acceleration has slowed,” said Baker. “Less favorable weather conditions relative to the first quarter of 2013 may have played a role in the slowdown in improvement in these two sectors.”

About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey
The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace. Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis. Future surveys will focus on specialty rooms and systems (September 2014), community design trends (December 2014) and kitchen and bath trends (February2015).

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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Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in June

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose four points in to reach a level of 49 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. It remains one point shy of the threshold for what is considered good building conditions.

“After several months of little fluctuation, a four-point uptick in builder sentiment is a welcome sign and shows some renewed confidence in the industry,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders are facing strong headwinds, including the limited availability of labor.”

“Consumers are still hesitant, and are waiting for clear signals of full-fledged economic recovery before making a home purchase,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Builders are reacting accordingly, and are moving cautiously in adding inventory.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three index components posted gains in June. Most notably, the component gauging current sales conditions increased six points to 54. The component gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose three points to 59 and the component measuring buyer traffic increased by three to 36.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South and Northeast each edged up one point to 49 and 34, respectively, while the West held steady at 47. The Midwest fell a single point to 46.

Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.

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Three Point Jump for Architecture Billings Index
Demand for institutional facilities continues to lag far behind other project types

On the heels of consecutive months of decreasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to positive territory. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 52.6, up sharply from a mark of 49.6 in April. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 63.2, up from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in May was 52.5.

“Volatility continues to be the watchword in the design and construction markets, with firms in some regions of the country, and serving some sectors of the industry, reporting strong growth, while others are indicating continued weakness,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, overall, it appears that activity has recovered from the winter slump, and design professions should see more positive than negative numbers in the coming months.”

Key May ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (58.1), Midwest (51.3), Northeast (47.6) , West (46.9)

  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (58.2), commercial / industrial (53.6), mixed practice (50.4), institutional (47.3)

  • Project inquiries index: 63.2

  • Design contracts index: 52.5

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts 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 recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index 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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Creating a Corporate Presence

A long, monotonous headquarters was not the image restaurant supply company KaTom was looking to portray when it moved to Kodak, Tenn. The group, therefore, set out to reimagine the 2005 log home manufacturing facility it purchased to serve as its new headquarters. A Dri-Design Wall Panel System helped achieve this goal by creating a welcoming structure reflective of the company culture and purpose.

Under the lead of architectural firm R2R Studio LLC, Knoxville, Tenn., KaTom personnel reviewed photos of previous Dri-Design projects to discover the versatility of the panel profiles, available configurations and color offerings. The team wanted to add dimension to the original metal building, inviting customers and employees to the site. Dri-Design 0.080-inch aluminum panels were manufactured in three colors—Copperwire, Dovetail and Gauntlet Gray—to create a corporate presence. Dri-Design made the mixing of panel sizes and colors uncomplicated.

"The shop drawing review process is critical and very helpful when working with patterns, colors and a variety of panel sizes on a building," said Lisa Bengston, AIA, LEED AP, with R2R Studio.

Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design, added: “Our team is always focused on delivering a top quality product. A vital aspect of this includes supporting the design and construction team through the specification and installation processes. This customer service, from start to finish, is a core attribute of Dri-Design.”

R2R Studio had never worked with Dri-Design panels. What attracted them to the system was the panels’ aesthetic appeal, functionality and technological advancements. Ease of installation also made the list. "The Dri-Design panels were able to be installed over the existing metal building facade, lowering the risk of exposing the occupied offices inside to water penetration," Bengston said. "This method meant that the occupied offices inside suffered minimal disruption during the construction of the new facade."

Rhett Coleman, LEED AP, senior project manager with general contractor Blaine Construction Corp., Knoxville, noted the panels were quick and easy to install. A plywood substrate and air barrier were fastened to the building before the Dri-Design panels were installed over the existing vertical ribbed metal panels. Keith Edmondson Construction, Knoxville, installed 3,877 square feet of the Dri-Design panels. Stone veneer and EIFS complete the exterior look.

The Dri-Design panels clad a new 2-story lobby and entrance that add a dramatic effect to the building. An observation tower in the lobby is accessible via a spiral staircase. Interior spaces were reconfigured and remodeled to accommodate additional offices; a five-bay loading dock; more warehouse space; and Chef Supplies by KaTom, a retail store that is open to the public (www.katom.com). When KaTom employees want to take meetings outside, they now can gather on first-floor porticos and second-floor balconies that were added on each side of the building.

“When the folks at R2R Studio first showed me the Dri-Design panels, I knew instantly it would be the perfect complement to the plan we had for our new headquarters,” KaTom Founder, CEO, and President Patricia Bible said. “Still, I could not have imagined how magnificent the final product would be. What we have now is a building that is both welcoming to customers and befitting a company that is a leader in its industry. And the fact that we were able to move in and start work in our new home while the panels were being installed was a huge selling point for me.”

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

Dri-Design was founded in 1995 to solve significant problems with traditional metal panel systems—delamination, staining because of the effects of weather on joints and gaskets, a lack of color and texture options, the rising cost of production and inefficient installation practices. Advanced engineering and technology brought about the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System. The panels can be installed over commercial-grade Tyvek onto plywood, or they can be used as the most sophisticated outboard insulation pressure-equalized rainscreen. The 100% recyclable panels can be manufactured from a variety of materials, including zinc, copper, stainless steel, and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any Kynar color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. Unique profiles include: Shadow, Tapered, Perforated, Embossed, Textured, Dri-Design® with Corian® EC, Imaging Technology and Inspire. These options create angles, textures, depth, images and performance that cannot be matched. The Dri-Design® Wall Panel System is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.

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