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TradeWinds

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Pace of Demand Slows Slightly, but Positive Outlook for Architecture Billings Index Continues
Strongest regional conditions in the South, sharp decline in Northeast

Headed by the continued strength in the multi-family residential market and the emerging growth for institutional projects, demand for design services continues to be healthy as exhibited in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). 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 October ABI score was 53.7, down from a mark of 55.2 in September. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.7, following a mark of 64.8 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 October was 56.4.

“Though it has been slow in emerging, we’re finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we’re seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum.”

Key October ABI highlights:
  • Regional averages: South (58.4), West (56.1), Midwest (54.4), Northeast (47.0)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (56.9), multi-family residential (54.7), institutional (54.4), commercial / industrial (52.3)
  • Project inquiries index: 62.7
  • Design contracts index: 56.4

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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A Sustainable Teaching Tool: Trident Technical College

Holland, Michigan. Nov. 1, 2014: Creating a clear medical identity with a wow factor for Trident Technical College’s Nursing and Science Building in North Charleston, S.C., was accomplished with the use of a Dri-Design Wall Panel System. The structure features 24,378 square feet of 0.080-inch aluminum wall panels from Dri-Design. The panels were finished in Champagne paint and Copper Anodized and Dark Bronze Anodized finishes.

Dri-Design worked closely with Architectural firm LS3P, Charleston, to create the customized panel layout. The installation emphasizes the differences in the Copper Anodized and Dark Bronze anodized finishes that add depth and dimension to the facade. These finishes were selected to mimic copper and bronze. The panels, distributed by Custom Exteriors, Muskegon, Mich., also coordinate with the aluminum windows.

“Our sales and engineering staff are connected with design and construction teams from the planning to installation phases to ensure the quality of the layout and installation of the Dri-Design panels,” said Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “A lot of coordination is required to create what appears to be a random display of panels, and our employees thrive at meeting customers’ needs.”

Trident Technical College has set the bar high as a sustainable leader; the building is designed to LEED Silver certification. The campus supports an initiative called TTC Green, with a goal to help “create a sustainable future that will positively impact the college, community and beyond.” Dr. Mary Thornley, president of the college, signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment pledging to reduce and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emissions. “TTC Green recognizes that Trident Tech has the responsibility to perpetuate green lifestyles through daily operations and knowledgeable graduates who possess the skills to support sustainability efforts. We are part of a community that thinks in terms of green initiatives, and we plan to continue to expand TTC’s role as a good community citizen,” said Dr. Russell Darnall, director of TTC Green.

As a sustainable showcase, The Nursing and Science Building features: innovative wastewater technologies for rainwater harvesting and reuse; low-mercury lighting; photovoltaics; regional and recycled materials, including certified wood; and 36 percent energy use reductions. The metal panels contribute to the green designation because the single-skin metal is made with recycled content and can be easily recycled. Also, the Dri-Design Wall Panel System is environmentally friendly because Dri-Design panels do not require sealants, gaskets or butyl tape for installation. Additionally, Dri-Design panels do not have a plastic core, like that of many aluminum composite products.

The efforts of LS3P and school officials have lead to a sustainable teaching tool that gives students the resources they need to succeed in their chosen profession. In part, the facility has changed the way students learn and faculty work by creating a natural environment that is very technology driven. The 90,000-square-foot facility houses the nursing school and associate science program with laboratories, classrooms, study and meeting spaces, and faculty offices.

“The architectural metal element is a stunning design feature,” said Daniel J. Scheaffer, AIA, LEED BD+C, senior associate with LS3P. “The high-tech material reflects the building’s high-tech healthcare curriculum taking place inside. The subtle variations in the panels create an earthy, healthy feel appropriate to the function of the facility.”

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

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MORIN Panels Bring Colorful Cost Savings To Visible 80-Foot Tower
Checkerboard pattern on manufacturing tower brightens neighborhood

Architects for the Creed Monarch Tower project were in search of the most economical choice when specifying durable and attractive metal wall panels. Morin, A Kingspan Group Company, was able to meet the criteria at a significant savings.

Creed Monarch specializes in the manufacturing of precision machined ferrous and non-ferrous alloy components. The company supports both one-piece part flow and highly automated transfer operations.

“MORIN’s panels came in at half the price of the other product we were looking at,” says Cynthia Malinowski, architectural designer at AE Design Group of Southington, Conn. “The MORIN panels were limited to 16 inches in width, so we were able to play with the colors a little more. It was a funky design, a checkerboard pattern.”

MORIN’s F-12 concealed fastener panels were installed vertically – 10 rows of eight-foot panels. To ensure the Regal Blue and Silversmith color pattern came together the way it was intended, Malinowski was onsite during the installation. The F-12 panels are 12 inches wide with a panel depth of 1-1/2 inches. MORIN offers the F-12, and most of its products, in Galvalume/Zincalume, aluminum, stainless steel, zinc and copper.

Kensington Glass of Berlin, Conn., installed the F-12 concealed fastener wall panels. According to project manager Frank Carfora, it was the first time his crew had ever installed panels from MORIN and it required no special training.

“We were called in because the east side of the tower had to be installed with swing staging and we’ve got all our own equipment,” Carfora said. “We’ve worked with similar products, but this is the first time with MORIN panels. The product came shipped properly, we didn’t have any damage so we didn’t have to re-order any extra pieces.”

Carfora said the only challenge in the four-week project came when the drawings were changed half-way through the installation to accommodate some company signage. “We had to take about 20 pieces down and move them over, but it was pretty easy. It all worked out, the owner’s very happy with it and, most importantly, it doesn’t leak,” he said.

About Morin, A Kingspan Group Company
Morin, a Kingspan Group Company, is one of the industry's most versatile manufacturers of Single Element metal wall and roof panel systems. With production facilities in Bristol, CT, Deland, FL and Fontana, CA, MORIN has a combined production capacity of over 50 million square feet, fabricating metal panels in more than 75 different profiles. MORIN Single Element panels are 100 percent recyclable and meet the requirements for the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System. Morin’s nationwide sales network and in-house technical service teams are dedicated to providing innovative solutions for today’s progressive architecture. Visit www.morincorp.com to access profiles, specifications, CAD details, load span charts and technical manuals.

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Statement from NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly on ICC Ruling on Cost Estimates

Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del., issued the following statement on the decision by the International Code Council to require that all code change proposals include cost estimates:

"NAHB commends the ICC for approving this landmark ruling that will require all code change proposals to include cost estimates. By acknowledging that costs are an important factor in determining the merit of code change proposals, this will make the building codes process more cost-effective and affordable. In turn, this will help keep housing costs down, enable builders to construct more energy-efficient homes and allow more young families to enter the new home buying market."

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.

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Two Oklahoma City Landmarks Highlight Advancements In Energy-Efficient SOLARBAN Glass
Sophisticated low-e glasses block heat, transmit daylight to help buildings save energy
 

Leadership Square (1984)

Will Rogers World Airport (2005)

Two prominent Oklahoma City landmarks, constructed more than 20 years apart and both featuring SOLARBAN® glass by PPG Industries, are part of a company retrospective highlighting nearly a half-century of development in energy-efficient glass.

Completed in 1984 and featuring classic Modernist glass-and-steel design, Leadership Square features two 16-story towers constructed with Solarban 560-8 TWINDOW® glass by PPG. As a cutting-edge product of the era – developed partially in response to the oil crises of the 1970s – reflective Solarban Twindow glass helped large commercial buildings such as those in Leadership Square reduce air-conditioning use by blocking the sun’s heat energy while sacrificing its ability to light interior spaces.

Conversely, the new terminal at Will Rogers World Airport, which opened 21 years later, features Solarban 60 glass. Introduced in the early 2000s, this advanced product combines the neutral, non-reflective appearance of clear glass with the ability to block more than 60 percent of the sun’s heat energy. Consequently, it enables buildings such as Will Rogers World Airport to cut energy use by daylighting interior spaces and reducing air- conditioning demand.

PPG is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of Solarban glass. Since the brand name was launched in 1964, it has come to signify industry leadership in environmentally advanced architectural glass. Today, the Solarban brand encompasses a broad range of high-performance solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glasses – including many formulated with PPG’s proprietary triple-silver coating technology – that help architects design and construct more sustainable buildings.

For more information about the 50th anniversary of Solarban glass and its impact on architectural design, energy efficiency and skylines around the country, visit www.SolarbanGlassLegacy.com.

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New Construction Master Plus EZ 'Promptly' Solves Construction-Math and Materials Estimating

Calculated Industries newest construction-math prompting calculator guides users to quickly solve virtually any construction-math problem in seconds.
CARSON CITY, Nev., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Construction Master Plus EZ (CMP EZ) is the newest in Calculated Industries' line of award-winning Construction Master Pro construction-math calculators. The big difference between the CMP EZ and the other models is that, in addition to 140 built-in calculations, the CMP EZ is a Prompting Calculator.

With a Prompting Calculator, the user presses a building project key and then scrolls through a series of prompts for quantities, measurements, placement, materials and other possible inputs. After entering the known values, all the available calculations and solutions are displayed. The CMP EZ guides you on the quickest path to solve virtually any construction-math problem in seconds. If a measurement changes, you can just scroll back to it, change it and then re-solve the problem.

Basic and advanced functions give answers for both your everyday and more complex construction calculations. Plus, the built-in materials key gives you instant quantities for everything from drywall and roofing to tile and pavers.

The Construction Master Plus EZ has Basic and Advanced solutions (lengths, angles, quantities, etc.) for Common Rafters, Hip/Valley Rafters, Jack Rafters and Stairs. Other built-in solutions include:

  • Square-Ups, Areas and Volumes

  • Circular

  • Arcs

  • Rake Walls

  • Arch Studs

  • Balusters -- Cap Wall and Open Wall

  • Elliptical Arches

  • Crown Molding

  • Compound Angles

  • Polygons

  • Spacing

  • Material Calculations for Blocks, Drywall, Fencing, Footings, Pavers, Roofing, Studs, Tile and Grout

The CMP EZ puts an end to construction-math struggles, making it a valuable addition to any builder's or serious do-it-yourselfer's toolbox. The Construction Master Plus EZ comes with a rugged shock, dust and moisture resistant Armadillo Gear case.

For more information on this powerful and easy-to-use construction-math calculator go to www.calculated.com or call 1-800-854-8075.

Founded in 1978, Calculated Industries is a leading manufacturer of professional trade calculators and digital measuring tools. CI products are designed and tech-supported in Carson City, Nevada.

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Nationwide Housing Starts Top 1 Million for Third Time this Year

For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units.

“These numbers show starts returning to levels we saw earlier this summer, where they hovered around one million units,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “We are hopeful this pattern of modest growth will continue as we close out the year.”

“September’s uptick reveals that last month’s dip in production was more of an anomaly than a market reversal,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “I expect we will see a continued recovery as job creation grows and consumers gain more confidence in the housing market.”

Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units.

Combined housing starts increased in all regions of the country. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective gains of 5.3 percent, 3.5 percent, 4.2 percent and 13.9 percent.

Issuance of building permits registered a 1.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.018 million units in September. Multifamily permits rose 4.8 percent to 394,000 units while single-family permits decreased 0.5 percent to 624,000 units.

Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest and West registered overall permit increases of 12.3 percent, 8.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The South posted a 4.7 percent loss.

For more information visit www.nahb.org

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Eighty-Three Percent Of Construction Firms Report Having Trouble Finding Qualified Workers To Meet Growing Demand For Construction Services
Nationwide Survey Finds Most Firms Are Having a Hard Time Finding Craft Workers to Hire as Many Firms Boost Pay and Benefits, Officials Call for New Career and Technical School Programs, Other Measures

Most construction firms report they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as the industry recovers from its years-long downturn, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials called for new career and technical school programs, as well as other workforce measures to offset the labor shortages.

"As the survey results make clear, many construction firms across the country are having a hard time filling available positions," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors. "Considering how much the nation's educational focus has moved away from teaching students career and technical skills during the past few decades, it is easy to understand why the construction industry is facing such severe labor shortages."

Eighty-three percent of responding firms nationwide are having a hard time filling craft worker positions ? on site construction jobs including carpenters, equipment operators and laborers. Sixty-one percent are having a hard time filling professional positions ? including project supervisors, estimators and engineers.

Simonson noted that worker shortages appear most severe in the Southeast, where 86 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding qualified workers. Eighty-four percent of contractors in the Midwest, 82 percent in the West and 67 percent in the Northeast report difficulty finding workers.

The construction economist added that many firms are changing the way they operate to address worker shortages. Forty-eight percent of firms nationally report increasing their use of subcontractors and 37 percent increased their using of staffing agencies. In addition, 59 percent of firms nationally report they have increased wages to help retain construction craft workers and 56 percent have done so to retain construction professionals.

Construction firms seem particularly concerned with the quantity and quality of local construction education and training programs. Nationwide, 55 percent of firms say the local pipeline for preparing new craft workers is below average or poor. Meanwhile, 35 percent of firms have a low opinion of the local pipeline for construction professionals.

The association crafted Preparing the Next Generation of Skilled Construction Workers: A Workforce Development Plan for the 21st Century in response to the growing worker shortages, Simonson noted. The plan identifies steps, like increasing funding for vocational education and making it easier to establish construction-focused schools, designed to reinvigorate the pipeline for new construction workers. "Schools like this should be the norm, not the exception," the economist said during a visit to Portland, Oregon's ACE Academy, a construction-focused public high school.

Simonson noted that over 1,000 construction firms participated in the survey, which was conducted during August and September of this year. Click here to see the national survey results, analysis of the data and regional and state-by-state results.

For more information visit www.agc.org

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Architecture Billings Index Shows Robust Conditions Ahead for Construction Industry
Demand for Institutional projects surges in second half of year

With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). 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 September ABI score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.

VIDEO: Click here for brief overview of recent ABI conditions from AIA Chief Economist

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 August was 56.8.

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”

Key September ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (55.3) , Midwest (55.1), West (54.2), Northeast (51.0)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (55.3), institutional (54.9), mixed practice (53.8), commercial / industrial (50.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 64.8
  • Design contracts index: 56.8

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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FMI Releases 2014 Compensation Analysis

In the most recent white paper released by FMI today, author Mike Rose shares an analysis of more than 75,000 salary records for calendar year 2013. Annually, the firm conducts a series compensation survey covering approximately 280 positions for the engineering and construction industries.

Key takeaways from the white paper titled “Post-Recession Transformations” include:
  • Professional pay indexes have increased more than 10 percent since 2008

  • Bonuses are down as much as 50 percent since 2008

  • The largest compensation increases for construction professionals have occurred in five job areas:

    • Business development - up 16 percent since 2009

    • Project accounting - up 15 percent since 2009

    • Quality Assurance - up 15 percent since 2009

    • Estimating - up 11 percent since 2009

    • Building Information Modeling staff - wages have risen 11 percent since 2009

To download a copy of “Post-Recession Transformations” white paper click 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. 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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Retiring Executive Director to be Honored at Winter Tilt-Up Jubilee

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) – the global authority for the tilt-up industry – will be honoring Ed Sauter, the association’s longstanding executive director, at their Winter Tilt-Up Jubilee during World of Concrete (WOC) Feb. 4, 2015.

Sauter will enter part-time retirement at the end of this year and step down as TCA executive director. He began his tenure at the association in 1992, when – attending a meeting also held at WOC – he agreed to take over as interim director. He continued in the position for 23 years, bringing passion, commitment and leadership to the organization.

“Ed has been an extraordinary asset to this association for a very long time and we are excited to celebrate him and all that the TCA has become over the past two decades,” said Mitch Bloomquist, managing director for the TCA. “His impact not only on the organization, but the industry as a whole, cannot be overstated.”

In 2001, Sauter began expanding the TCA staff, going into partnership with Jim Baty, TCA’s technical director. Bloomquist was brought on board in 2010 to provide an even stronger focus on membership benefits and the association’s brand image.

“There is a rich history the TCA can lay claim to under the directorship of my partner, Ed Sauter,” states Baty. “It has been an honor to work beside such a selfless and committed industry leader and it is an honor to now celebrate him and the maturity of the association to which he has given so much. At the same time, we are excited for the future that Ed has directed as our firm has selected Mitch to take the reins.”

The inaugural Winter Tilt-Up Jubilee was held at WOC in 2014. The event is sponsored by the TCA Global Associates Council, a representative body of the TCA Global Associate membership. The jubilee provides a festive networking opportunity and is free to members of the TCA who register by Jan. 23, 2015. Non-member and on-site registration is $40. Registration will be refunded in full to those whose company joins the TCA within 30 days of the event. Register online at www.tilt-up.org/events.

The event will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH). A brief annual meeting, commencing at 4:45 p.m., will precede the event.

About the TCA
TCA was founded in 1986 to improve the quality and acceptance of site-cast tilt-up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. At least 10,000 buildings, enclosing more than 650 million square feet, are constructed each year using this construction method. For more information, visit www.tilt-up.org or contact TCA at 319-895-6911.

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Construction Employment Increased In 39 States During The Past Year; 34 States And The District Of Columbia Add Jobs Between August And September
Florida and Nevada Have Largest 12-Month Gains, New Jersey and Arizona Have Biggest Annual Percent and Total Declines; Mississippi and Texas Top Monthly Rankings, Maine and Pennsylvania Shed Most Jobs in September

Construction firms added jobs in 39 states between September 2013 and September 2014 while construction employment increased in 34 states and the District of Columbia between August and September, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the construction job gains come as more construction firms report having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill key positions.

"Construction firms in most states have been expanding during the past year," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "But as those firms expand, they have to work harder to attract their skilled craft workers and key construction professionals."

Florida added the most construction jobs of any state (41,900 jobs, 11.2 percent) between September 2013 and September 2014. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included California (38,300 jobs, 6 percent), Texas (31,800 jobs, 5.2 percent), Illinois (11,700 jobs, 6.1 percent) and Louisiana (11,000 jobs, 8.4 percent). Nevada (12.8 percent, 7,300 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Delaware (12.7 percent, 2,500 jobs), Florida, Utah (10.7 percent, 7,900 jobs) and North Dakota (10 percent, 3,400 jobs).

Ten states shed construction jobs during the past 12 months, with construction employment unchanged in D.C. and New Mexico. The largest percentage and total losses occurred in New Jersey (-8.0 percent, -11,200 jobs), Arizona (-6.2 percent, -7,600 jobs) and West Virginia (-5.9 percent, -2,000 jobs).

Thirty-four states and D.C. added construction jobs between August and September. (Texas (5,400 jobs, 0.8 percent) added the most jobs, followed by California (4,400 jobs, 0.7 percent), Michigan (3,100 jobs, 2.3 percent) and Washington (2,900 jobs, 1.9 percent). Mississippi (3.9 percent, 1,900 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Hawaii (3.3 percent, 1,000 jobs), Michigan (2.3 percent, 3,100 jobs) and Iowa (2.3 percent, 1,600 jobs).

Fifteen states lost construction jobs for the month, while construction employment was unchanged in Wyoming. Pennsylvania (-5,000 jobs, -2.1 percent) lost the most construction jobs between August and September. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included Arizona (-2,700 jobs, -2.3 percent), Virginia (-1,500 jobs, -0.8 percent) and Maryland (-1,400 jobs, -0.9 percent). Maine (-3.7 percent, -1,000 jobs) experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by New Hampshire (-2.7 percent, -600 jobs), Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Association officials said the new employment figures show that the industry continues to add new workers after its years-long downturn. But they cautioned that more and more firms are reporting labor shortages. They added that the association will release the results of a new, nationwide, construction workforce survey tomorrow that measures the extent of worker shortages, their impact on firms' operations and some of the causes of the worker shortages.

"Hard as it is to imagine, given what this industry has been through the past few years, but many firms are very worried about their ability to find, recruit and retain qualified workers as the industry continues to rebound," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer.

View construction employment figures by state and rank.

For more information visit www.agc.org

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Signature towers constructed with SOLARBAN glass by PPG helped shape Denver skyline
Six skyscrapers among first to use energy-efficient glass introduced 50 years ago
 

555 17th Street (Anaconda Tower), 1978, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)  

World Trade Center I & II, (Great West Plaza), 1980, SOM

1670 Broadway, 1980, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

1999 Broadway (Holy Ghost), 1985, Fentress Architects

As the cultural and financial center of the Rockies, Denver features a skyline with signature buildings designed by some of the country’s most renowned architectural firms, such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; and the city’s own Fentress Architects.

During the building boom of the 1980s, these three firms designed six prominent glass-and-steel towers in downtown Denver (pictured above), each incorporating SOLARBAN® glass. Introduced 50 years ago by PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), Pittsburgh, Solarban glass heralded a new era of environmentally-advanced glass by being one of the first coated glasses engineered to reflect heat away from buildings to reduce air-conditioning use.

Today, the Solarban brand encompasses a broad range of significantly higher-performing solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glasses that help architects design and construct more sustainable buildings featuring glass that transmits daylight and blocks solar heat, thereby reducing heating, cooling and lighting demands.

Although glass technology has evolved significantly since Denver’s Anaconda Tower (now 555 17th Street) was constructed in 1978, Solarban glass is still enabling each of these famous buildings to meet the energy and environmental demands of today’s green building movement. In fact, due in part to their use of energy-efficient Solarban glass, all six buildings have earned LEED® certification for existing buildings (LEED-EB) at the Silver level from the U.S. Green Building Council, and all are ENERGY STAR® certified.

For more information about the 50th anniversary of Solarban glass and its impact on architectural design, energy efficiency and skylines around the country, visit www.SolarbanGlassLegacy.com.

Solarban is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.

LEED – an acronym for the phrase “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” – is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.

ENERGY STAR is a trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Four-Month Upturn Ends as Builder Confidence Falls in October

After four consecutive monthly gains, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell five points to a level of 54 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.

"We are seeing a return to the mid-50s index level trend established earlier in the summer, which is in line with the gradual pace of the housing recovery," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "While there was a dip this month, builders are still positive about the housing market."

"After the HMI posted a nine-year high in September, it's not surprising to see the number drop in October," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "However, historically low mortgage interest rates, steady job gains, and significant pent up demand all point to continued growth of the housing market."

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 from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components declined in October. The index gauging current sales conditions decreased six points to 57, while the index measuring expectations for future sales slipped three points to 64 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers dropped six points to 41.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast and Midwest remained flat at 41 and 59, respectively. The South rose two points to 58 and the West registered a one-point loss to 57.

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.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.

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Multifamily Decline Pushes Nationwide Housing Starts Down 14.4 Percent in August

Led by a steep 31.7 percent decline in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts fell 14.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 units in August, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Single-family housing starts dropped 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 643,000 units.

“The August drop in multifamily starts is not too surprising, given how volatile the numbers have been the last 18 months,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “And while single-family starts registered a slight decline, low mortgage rates, affordable home prices and pent-up demand will keep single-family production moving forward in 2014.”

“Our members are telling us that traffic to new model home sites and sales expectations are on the rise,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Despite the monthly blip, single-family starts are still 8 percent above last year’s level.”

Combined housing starts fell in all regions of the country. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective drops of 12.9 percent, 10.3 percent, 10.9 percent and 24.7 percent.

Issuance of building permits registered a 5.6 percent loss to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 998,000 units in August. Multifamily permits fell 12.7 percent to 372,000 units while single-family permits decreased 0.8 percent to 626,000 units.

Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest, South and West registered overall permit losses of 11.6 percent, 12.4 percent, 0.6 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.

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Builder Confidence Hits Highest Level Since November of 2005

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose for a fourth consecutive month in September to a level of 59 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This latest four-point gain brings the index to its highest reading since November of 2005.

“Since early summer, builders in many markets across the nation have been reporting that buyer interest and traffic have picked up, which is a positive sign that the housing market is moving in the right direction,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

“While a firming job market is helping to unleash pent-up demand for new homes and contributing to a gradual, upward trend in builder confidence, we are still not seeing much activity from first-time home buyers,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Other factors impeding the pace of the housing recovery include persistently tight credit conditions for consumers and rising costs for materials, lots and labor.”

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 from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted gains in September. The indices gauging current sales conditions and traffic of prospective buyers each rose five points to 63 and 47, respectively. The index gauging expectations for future sales increased two points to 67.

Builder confidence also rose across every region of the country in September. Looking at the three-month moving average for each region, the Midwest registered a five-point gain to 59, the South posted a four-point increase to 56, the Northeast recorded a three-point gain to 41 and the West posted a two-point increase to 58.

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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Daniel Frondorf Wins National American Society of Professional Estimators Award
Cincinnati Business Owner Selected 2013-14 Estimator of the Year

Daniel Frondorf, CPE, Principal of Cincinnati based DG Frondorf and Associates LLC, has been selected as the 2013-2014 Estimator of the Year American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE). This national award is given annually by the organization, recognizing an individual for service to the profession, the association, and to the community. The award was presented at the ASPE annual convention on July 18th in Indianapolis.

Gary Gilbert, Vice President of Cincinnati-based HGC Construction Company, nominated Frondorf for the award. “As I read the qualification for National Estimator of the Year, one man kept coming to mind: Dan Frondorf, CPE. The qualifications include experience, ethical behavior, mentoring, teaching and speaking, contributions to ASPE, other construction organizations, and the community as a whole,” said Gilbert, “The decision to nominate Dan for the Award was an easy one.”

Frondorf’s commitment and involvement with the profession is strong. An active member of the ASPE Chapter 38 (Southwest Ohio) since 2004, he has served on committees, the board, and as president. Also involved with the national ASPE, Frondorf served 5 years on the board, as Central Plains Governor, and as the 2nd Vice President. He became a Certified Professional Estimator in 2008.

Other organizations have benefitted from his commitment as well. Frondorf is a founding member of the Consulting Estimator Round Table (CERT), serving on the board and as president. He has been published in ASPE’s monthly Estimating Today. In addition, he is also a member of the Cincinnati-based Allied Construction Industries (ACI) and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE).

“When looking for someone with a true passion for our profession of estimating, who gives of his time to teach and mentor others in ethical practice with the highest standards of excellence, Dan is in that mix,” commented Doyle Phillips, FCPE, Vice President of Pre-Construction at Oklahoma City-based Nabholz Construction Services, and national ASPE President. An educator on the estimating profession, Frondorf is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science, a guest lecturer at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and teaches construction estimating seminars for ACI locally and for ASPE in cities nationwide.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Frondorf’s experience includes construction cost estimating, civil engineering and earthwork scope of work analysis, quantity surveying, and project management.

Frondorf takes the recognition in stride when he says, “I am humbled to receive this prestigious award. I believe the best way to further our profession is to be involved, and to help others learn more about estimating, and to be a mentor to those trying to get started. It’s also been the best way for me to grow my practice and to grow personally through professional development”.

About the American Society of Professional Estimators
Headquartered in Nashville, TN, the ASPE is a national association of construction estimators that promotes ethics, education, fellowship and professional development. Founded in 1956, the ASPE has over 60 chapters in 5 regions, with approximately 2500 members nationwide.

About DG Frondorf and Associates, LLC (DGFA)
DG Frondorf and Associates is the premier estimating company serving the civil and sitework construction trades in the Greater Cincinnati area. DGFA works with contractors, designers, owners, developers and construction managers providing project-specific data and construction budgeting. DG Frondorf and Associates was established in 1999. For more information on DGFA, go to www.dgfrondorf.com.

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New PPG Glass Education Center video focuses on reflective glass
Tutorial explains aesthetic and performance benefits of using reflective glass

A new video about the benefits of designing with reflective glass is now available for viewing in the PPG Glass Education Center, a comprehensive website that helps architects, specifiers, students and construction industry professionals learn more about designing, specifying and building with glass.

The video features Paul DiCesare, PPG manager of architectural quality assurance, flat glass, discussing specific applications for which tinted, reflective glass can be a superior choice to transparent glass. The tutorial covers key benefits associated with reflective glass and its abilities to harmonize with colors and surrounding building materials and to limit visibility, increase privacy and control glare.

The PPG Glass Education Center is a growing library of glass technical information that serves as an objective, user-focused online resource for glass and building industry professionals. Content is updated regularly based on the most frequently-asked questions PPG fields on its website, during sales calls and through its call center.

To learn about more glass-related topics, log onto www.educationcenter.ppg.com. For more information about PPG’s full collection of architectural glass products, visit www.ppgideascapes.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

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Garland’s New Restoration System Revitalizes Asphalt and Metal Roofs

Garland’s new Revitalizer™ restoration systems are multi-purpose, liquid waterproofing membranes designed to restore asphalt-based and metal roof systems, providing superior protection to the original wearing surface. The easy to apply, cost-effective solutions are fast and simple to install and can provide an additional 10 to 15 years of waterproofing protection.

Garland’s new Revitalizer restoration systems are easy to apply, cost-effective solutions designed to restore the wearing surfaces of smooth or mineral asphalt and metal roofs to better than the original. The multi-purpose, asphaltic, liquid waterproofing membranes effectively adhere to a variety of roof coatings, providing an additional 80 to 112 wet mils of waterproofing protection and helping to extend the life of the system.

The cold-process, low odor formulation of Revitalizer allows projects to proceed without disruption to the building’s operations and occupants. It also eliminates the need for kettles, heat sources and bulky rooftop equipment, making it extremely fast and simple to install. When combined with Garland’s Grip Polyester™ Firm reinforcement fabric, the Revitalizer system provides exceptional tensile strength and elongation. When using Revitalizer Metal, combine with Garland’s Grip Polyester Soft. The system easily conforms to surface irregularities and accommodates building movement without leaking, cracking, blistering or ridging.

According to Garland product manager, Tom Stuewe, “Industry experts suggest that more than 80 percent of roofs are replaced prematurely. Garland’s Revitalizer systems offer an alternative solution to costly tear-off and replacement by sealing and waterproofing properly prepared surfaces and adding an additional 10 to 15 years of service life to the roof.”

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 more information, visit www.garlandco.com or email to info@garlandind.com or call toll-free to be connected with your local Garland representative at 1.800.321.9336.

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Construction Employment Increased In 36 States During The Past Year, 28 States Add Jobs Between July And August As Demand Continues To Spread
Florida and Nevada Have Largest 12-Month Gains, New Jersey Has Biggest Annual Percent and Total Declines; Nebraska and California Top Monthly Rankings, South Dakota and Ohio Shed Most Jobs in August

Construction firms added jobs in 36 states between August 2013 and August 2014 while construction employment increased in 28 states between July and August, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that construction activity continues to spread across most of the nation even as employment gains remain uneven by month and state.

"The number of states with increases in construction employment over the last 12 months moderated in August but remained strongly positive as construction activity continues to spread across most of the nation," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "While most states remain far below pre-recession peak employment levels, more states are approaching previous highs and more contractors have been reporting difficulty in hiring qualified workers. These trends are likely to intensify if the recovery in construction continues."

Florida added more new construction jobs (43,500 jobs, 11.8 percent) between August 2013 and August 2014. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months included California (35,600 jobs, 5.6 percent), Texas (27,700 jobs, 4.5 percent), Illinois (11,100 jobs, 5.8 percent) and Pennsylvania (10,800 jobs, 4.8 percent). Nevada (12.8 percent, 7,200 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Florida, Utah (11.4 percent, 8,400 jobs), Delaware (10.7 percent, 2,100 jobs) and North Dakota (9.4 percent, 3,200 jobs).

Twelve states and the District of Columbia shed construction jobs during the past twelve months, with construction employment unchanged in Idaho and New Hampshire. New Jersey lost the highest percentage and total, (-8.1 percent, -11,300 jobs). Other states that lost a high percentage of jobs include Mississippi (-7.1 percent, -3,700 jobs), West Virginia (-5.3 percent, -1,800 jobs) and Arizona (-4.4 percent, -5,400 jobs). Besides New Jersey, other states that lost the most construction jobs between August 2013 and August 2014 included Arizona, Mississippi and West Virginia.

Twenty-eight states added construction jobs between July and August. California (13,600 jobs, 2.1 percent) added the most jobs, followed by Texas (6,900 jobs, 1.1 percent), Florida (6,100 jobs, 1.5 percent) and Minnesota (2,500 jobs, 2.3 percent). Nebraska (4.0 percent, 1,800 jobs) had the highest percentage increase for the month, followed by Maine (3.4 percent, 900 jobs), North Dakota (3.3 percent, 1,200 jobs) and Alaska (3.2 percent, 500 jobs).

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia lost construction jobs for the month, while construction employment was unchanged in Arizona. Ohio (-3,500 jobs, -1.9 percent) lost the most construction jobs between July and August. Other states experiencing large monthly declines in total construction employment included Pennsylvania (-3,000 jobs, -1.2 percent), New York (-2,700 jobs, -0.8 percent) and New Jersey (-1,600 jobs, -1.2 percent). South Dakota (-4.1 percent, -900 jobs) experienced the highest monthly percentage decline, followed by Mississippi (-2.4 percent, -1,200 jobs), Idaho (-2.3 percent, -800 jobs) and Ohio.

Association officials said the employment gains were welcome news, but continued to urge elected and appointment officials to act on the measures outlined in the association's workforce development plan. "Labor shortages are likely to become more severe without a better pipeline for preparing new workers," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer.

View construction employment figures by state and rank.

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No Change for Construction Materials Prices in August

Construction materials prices were unchanged in August but are 1.7 percent higher than this time last year, according to a Sept. 16 producer price index (PPI) release by the Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction, which also remained unchanged in August, are 1 percent higher than in August of 2013.

“In general, nonresidential construction remains stable, despite the recent uptick in demand for inputs in North America,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There are a number of factors at work, including an unexpectedly weak European economy and a surprisingly strong U.S. dollar. While the Euro has been falling in value, the dollar has been rising throughout much of the year against other major currencies including the Japanese Yen and British Pound. One implication of this has been an increase in the purchasing power of the dollar, which suppresses input price increases.”

Crude energy materials prices fell 4.9 percent in August and are 6 percent lower than one year ago. Natural gas prices fell by 12.6 percent in August and have now fallen in five of the past six months; however, on a year-over year basis, natural gas prices have expanded for 21 consecutive months. Overall, the nation’s final demand prices, as measured by the PPI, remained flat in August but are up 2.2 percent year over year.

“Considering that this summer has been as mild as the winter was harsh, it’s not the slightest bit surprising that energy prices have dropped in recent months,” said Basu. “In fact, 80 percent of the decline in overall goods prices, which were down 0.3 percent in August, is attributable to falling energy prices.”

THE FOLLOWING MATERIALS PRICES INCREASED IN AUGUST.

  • Softwood lumber prices expanded 0.5 percent and are 9.6 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Prices for plumbing fixtures expanded 0.1 percent in August and are up 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Concrete products prices expanded 0.7 percent in August and are up 4.2 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Steel mill products prices rose 0.3 percent for the month and are 4.3 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Fabricated structural metal product prices grew 0.2 percent for the month and have expanded 1.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Nonferrous wire and cable prices grew 0.6 percent on a monthly basis but are down 0.9 percent from August 2013.
  • Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding expanded 1.2 percent for the month but are down 9.1 percent on a year-ago basis.
  • Iron and steel prices inched 0.2 percent higher in August and are up 3.5 percent from the same time last year.

THREE OF THE 11 KEY CONSTRUCTION INPUTS DID NOT EXPERIENCE PRICE INCREASES FOR THE MONTH.

  • Natural gas prices shed 12.6 percent in August but are 7.8 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Crude petroleum prices fell 2.3 percent in August and are 11.2 percent lower from the same time last year.
  • Crude energy materials prices fell 4.9 percent in August and are 6 percent lower year over year.

For more information please visit www.abc.org

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Builder Confidence Rises Two Points in August

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose two points to 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for August, released today. This third consecutive monthly gain brings the index to its highest level since January.

“As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders still face a number of challenges, including tight credit conditions for borrowers and shortages of finished lots and labor.”

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 from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted gains in August. The indices gauging current sales conditions and expectations for future sales each rose two points to 58 and 65, respectively. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 42.

“Each of the three components of the HMI registered consecutive gains for the past three months, which is a positive sign that builder confidence appears to be firming following an uneven spring,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Factors contributing to this rise include sustained job growth, historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, which are helping to unleash pent-up demand.”

Every region saw a gain in its three-month moving average HMI score in August. The Midwest posted a seven-point increase to 55 and the West registered a four-point gain to 56. The Northeast posted a two-point gain to 38 and the South was up one point to 52.

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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Combined Single - and Multifamily Gains Boost Housing Starts in July

Fueled by strong single- and multifamily growth, nationwide housing starts rose 15.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million units in July, the highest level since November 2013, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“A return to production levels over one million confirms that consumer confidence continues to improve,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Propelled by a healthier economy, more and more people are feeling ready to buy a home.”

Single-family housing starts were up 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 656,000 units in July, while multifamily production jumped 28.9 percent to 437,000 units.

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose in the Northeast, South and West, with respective gains of 44 percent, 29 percent and 18.6 percent. Total production fell by 24.8 percent in the Midwest from an unusually high June level.

“July’s increase in starts combined with rising builder sentiment proves that June’s production dip was more of an anomaly than a reversal of the market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “We should continue to see a gradual, consistent recovery throughout the rest of the year.”

Issuance of building permits registered an 8.1 percent increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.052 million units in July. Multifamily permits rose 21.5 percent to 412,000 units while single-family permits increased by 0.9 percent to 640,000 units.

The Northeast, South and West registered overall permit gains of 18.8 percent, 9.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, while the Midwest posted a 0.6 percent loss.

For more information please visit: www.nahb.org

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