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TradeWinds

Industry News List

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Construction Employment Continues To Fall, Agc Calls For Quick Disbursement Of Stimulus Funds To Save Jobs

“Construction employment fell by 76,000 jobs last month, seasonally adjusted,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, in reference to today’s employment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Meanwhile, the last 12 months have seen 1,053,000 construction workers lose their jobs, emphasizing the negative impact the current economy is having on the construction industry in particular. Currently, 18.2 percent of construction workers are unemployed, nearly double the 9.7 percent overall unemployment rate, or 9.4 percent seasonally adjusted. While it is clear that the stimulus has helped prevent even greater job losses, it is apparent that the construction industry is suffering from low demand for commercial facilities, dwindling orders for new office buildings, declining state and local revenue, and the current economic conditions as a whole, including tight credit markets.”

“These job figures clearly point towards the continued need for investment in the construction industry. With stimulus funds slowly being spent, it is critical that both Congress and the Administration focus on hastening the disbursement of these funds, particularly for non-transportation stimulus construction projects. It is crucial that the stimulus money quickly finds its way into the industry, or thousands more construction workers will lose their jobs.”

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Simonton Windows Calls 400+ Employees Back to Work
U.S. Senators Rockefeller and Durbin Applaud Rehire Action

Simonton Windows®, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of windows and patio doors, has offered employment back to all hourly employees laid off since late 2008. Due to economic and seasonal market conditions, a total of 402 full-time and seasonal employees have been asked to rejoin the Simonton team at the company’s window and door manufacturing locations throughout West Virginia and Illinois. The company, an operating unit of Fortune Brands, is also looking to hire an additional 55 new employees in those locations.

“Business has picked up this summer, allowing us to return former employees back to work and offer new jobs to more people,” says Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows. “Part of the business increase relates to seasonal demand for windows that we traditionally see during the second and third quarters of the year.

“However, this year we’re also seeing first-hand that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is having a positive impact on window sales. This homeowner stimulus package is succeeding in motivating consumers to invest in energy-efficient replacement windows and doors to gain a tax credit. Many of our customers nationwide are experiencing positive sales results related to the tax credit incentive. The stimulative effect of the consumer tax credit means we are in a position to rehire employees in our manufacturing facilities, along with hiring additional seasonal workers during the third quarter.”

Complementing the positive effect of the federal tax credit, Simonton recently introduced Supercept®, an energy-efficient, stainless alloy spacer system that rivals the thermal performance of a foam spacer. The company has also launched Decorum® by Simonton, a collection of popular, designer interior laminates and hardware styling options that are also offered on the company’s products that are guaranteed to qualify for the tax credit.

Savan noted that, while overall business conditions remain very challenging, his company is ahead of the market. “We’re gaining market share during a difficult economic time,” says Savan. “Our ongoing commitment to producing quality custom-made products with short, reliable lead-times, combined with exceptional customer support, has allowed us to outperform our market during these challenging times.”

Employee Callback Numbers
At Simonton’s facility in Paris, Ill., 139 employees were laid off in late 2008 and early 2009. Now, each of these employees has been offered their position back, plus the company is actively looking to hire 30 more people.

“The stimulus bill we passed earlier this year has made it possible for companies like Simonton to reopen their doors and put people back to work,” said Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “With tax credits and incentives for green initiatives, the Recovery Act has recreated a market for energy efficient materials that had virtually disappeared during the economic downturn. Simonton wasted little time in taking advantage of this new demand, and the company is now able to bring jobs back to Illinois and support our local economy.”

“We have been calling employees back to work on a regular basis during the last four months as business needs increase,” says Andy Shashlo, vice president operations at Simonton Windows. “While some employees had already located other jobs during the layoff timeframe, a vast majority have now returned to work at our operations.”

In Simonton’s facilities in West Virginia, 263 employees were laid off during late 2008 and early 2009. All employees in good standing have been asked to come back to work, plus the company anticipates filling an additional 25 seasonal positions by the end of September.

“Simonton Windows is a great company and an important employer in our state – I am encouraged by their commitment to rehire workers and offer new and promising opportunities,” said U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller. “The energy tax credit we included in the Recovery Act was designed to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient, while also creating new jobs and jumpstarting economic growth. Today, with this terrific news, we’re seeing that the stimulative effect of the tax credit is really working in West Virginia – and putting West Virginians back to work.”

ETC Glass Packages
To help homeowners easily identify replacement windows eligible for the energy tax credit, Simonton introduced Energy Tax Credit (ETC) glass packages earlier in 2009. Windows with the ETC glass packages are guaranteed to meet the U.S. government requirements for homeowners to take advantage of up to $1,500 in energy tax credit in 2009 or 2010.

All Simonton products ordered with the ETC glass packages are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) to meet a U-factor rating of 0.30 or less, and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or less. These are the energy ratings stated by the U.S. government that are required for homeowners to take advantage of the energy tax credit.

Competitively priced ETC glass package options are available on select Simonton products and styles, each providing optimal thermal performance and energy efficiency.

  • The ETC Starter glass package includes a ¾-inch IGU, Intercept® Spacer System, Argon gas fill and ProSolar™ Soft Coat Low E glass.
  • The ETC Starter 366 glass package includes a ¾-inch IGU, Intercept® Spacer System, Argon gas fill and LoĒ³-366® glass.
  • The ETC Super Solar glass package includes a 7/8-inch IGU, Super Spacer® System, Argon gas fill and ProSolar™ Soft Coat Low E glass.
  • The ETC Super 366 glass package includes a 7/8-inch IGU, Super Spacer System, Argon gas fill and LoĒ³-366 glass.
  • The ETC Super Solar SBP glass package for StormBreaker Plus windows includes a one-inch IGU, Super Spacer® System, Argon gas fill and Low E glass on one surface with impact-resistant glass.
  • The ETC Super 366 SBP glass package for StormBreaker Plus windows includes a one-inch IGU, Super Spacer System, Argon gas fill and LoĒ³-366 glass on one surface with impact-resistant glass.

A listing of energy-efficient Simonton replacement products that qualify for the energy tax credit is available at www.simonton.com/taxcredit.

Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. Simonton was ranked #1 in quality in the 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best In Class Awards from Market Research Associates.

Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver its made-to-order products in five days or less. Part of the home and hardware business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), Simonton delivers award-winning products nationwide to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States.

Simonton is a founding sponsor of The Weather Museum and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit www.simonton.com.

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BidPoint XL Version 5.0 Released in time for our Summer Digitizing Special!

Microsoft Excel is, by far, the leading takeoff and estimating application in the construction industry today. It is ideal for large and small contractors. Microsoft Excel provides flexibility, ease of use and low cost that many of the assembly based, database driven estimating programs fail to deliver. Virtually any estimating process can be effectively automated using Excel. BidPoint XL is the first and only Excel add-in applications that cleverly provide the measurement interface directly in Excel.

BidPoint logo

Version 5.0 now Available at www.vertigraph.com

Some of the enhancements added to BidPoint XL Version 5.0 include:

  • New program setup and configuration capabilities with easily accessible toolbars in the takeoff window.
  • New and improved style library and the ability to share styles across multiple users and Vertigraph programs.
  • Display the estimator designed Style Pallete conveniently on the takeoff screen for easy access and selection.
  • Eliminate negative line segments.
  • User definable keyboard shortcuts.
  • Ability to annotate items on the takeoff screen.
  • Enhanced print capabilities.
  • New customizable report setup.

Digitizing Special

Now thru 8/31/2009

BidPoint XL V5 digitizer interface for MS Excel
w sample spreadsheets $900


Value bundled with GTCO 30"x36" RollupIII $2,425
Value bundled with GTCO 36"x48" RollupIII $2,625
Value bundled with GTCO 30"x36" Super LVI $2,525
Value bundled with GTCO 36"x48" Super LVI $2,825
Cut & Fill Software for digitizer and paper plans:

SiteWorx Cut & Fill V2 $1,050

Vertigraph also offers Takeoff and Estimating Applications for electronic file takeoff:

BidScreen XL V5 e-Takeoffs for ePlans in MS Excel
w sample spreadsheets $750

SiteWorx/OS V3 $1,050

Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard Value Added Bundle $200

Current customers of older versions of BidPoint XL interested in upgrading to Version 5.0 should contact Vertigraph at 800-989-4243 or support@vertigraph.com for upgrade pricing.

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PPG welcomes four members to certified applicator program

Four companies have joined the PPG Certified Applicator Program (PPG/CAP):

  • Anacolor Inc., Cap Rouge, Quebec, Canada, is a quality custom liquid and powder extrusion coater serving the Canadian market.
  • Kawneer Company, Inc., Norcross, Ga., is a leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum building products and systems with U.S. locations in Bloomsburg, Pa., Hernando, Miss., Springdale, Ark., and Visalia, Calif., and Canadian facilities in Lethbridge, Alberta, and Scarborough, Ontario.
  • Southern Aluminum Finishing Co., Atlanta, is among the nation's most complete sources for aluminum finishing products and services, operating the only service center in the country with anodizing and painting facilities, a full-time fabrication center, and an unparalleled stock of sheet and extrusions from a single source.
  • Windsor Metal Finishing, Kissimmee, Fla., supplies a wide range of fabricated metal specialties including aluminum balcony railings, louvers, sun screens, geodesic space frames and roofing panels.

The four companies are part of an elite group of applicators certified by PPG to apply exterior Duranar high-performance fluoropolymer coatings. PPG/CAP members undergo a rigorous auditing process that encompasses all aspects of the coating process, from cleaning and pretreating the metal substrate to applying the coating. The audit also contains a continuous training and education component, and specifies paint application parameters, cure schedules and how finished products should be handled, packed and shipped.

The program enhances the ability of coatings applicators to meet building industry demands for value-added products and solutions. It offers architects, general contractors, glazing contractors and other customers the highest levels of quality, reliability and performance.

Anacolor Inc. and Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. join as Americas Powder PPG/CAP members. Kawneer Company and Windsor Metal Finishing are accredited as Americas Premiere PPG/CAP members.

PPG-certified applicators provide regional sourcing of aluminum-coated components, well-trained people, fast-track service to meet tight construction deadlines and state-of-the-art technology through well-managed certified application centers. To learn more about the PPG Certified Applicator Program, visit www.ppgcap.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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Construction Employment Declined In 333 Out Of 352 Metropolitan Areas In June, Downturn Widespread And Devastating
Columbus, Indiana & Weirton, West Virginia-Steubenville, Ohio Had Largest Increases; Pascagoula, Mississippi & Reno-Sparks, Nevada Had Largest Decreases in Construction Employment

Construction employment declined in all but 19 communities nationwide this June as compared to June-2008, according to a new analysis of metropolitan-area employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The analysis, which ranks the 12-month construction employment change reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 352 metro areas, shows that few places in America have been spared the widespread downturn in construction employment over the past year.

“Construction workers remain, unfortunately, on the leading edge of job losses during this recession,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the contractors association. “While other sectors of the economy have been hit hard, construction employment has been devastated.”

Simonson said that construction employment declined in 333 metropolitan areas since June-2008. The worst hit was Pascagoula, Mississippi and Reno-Sparks, Nevada, which both lost one out of every three construction jobs over the past year. Over 200 metropolitan areas suffered double-digit percentage declines in construction employment in the past 12 months, Simonson added.

The association’s economist said only ten cities saw increases in construction employment since the previous June. Those cities include Columbus, Indiana where construction employment shot up over 31 percent from the previous June and the Weirton-Steubenville area along the West Virginia-Ohio border where construction employment climbed almost 17 percent. Nine other metro-areas saw no change in construction employment.

“This recession won’t be over for most communities until we find a way to get construction workers across the country back on the job,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “That’s why we need to act now to ensure the stimulus’ sequel isn’t idle cranes and empty work boots.”

Sandherr urged Congress to pass a surface transportation bill that the association estimates would create or save over 616,000 jobs for each of its six years. He added that Washington also needed to act on long-delayed legislation to finance vital water, aviation and maritime infrastructure projects.

Click here for the complete city-by-city construction employment list.

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Arch Aluminum & Glass Helps Develop New Firefighting Techniques

To help better train new recruits in dealing with hurricane-impact materials, Arch Aluminum & Glass recently provided the Davie Fire Rescue Department with several pieces of specially laminated glass. According to Battalion Chief Brian Nolte, department officials were forced to reassess existing firefighting techniques for entering buildings through windows due to the increasing popularity of hurricane-resistant glass in south Florida.

"We have to rethink how to break glass, to not only get into buildings but also how firefighters can exit safely. Hurricane-resistant glass doesn't break like other types. It's much tougher," Chief Nolte said, citing safety concerns for his crew and potential emergency situation victims.

The recruits were instructed to try and break through the 7/16-inch and 9/16-inch-thick hurricane-impact laminated glass, placed in a wooden frame, using an assortment of standard firefighting pieces of equipment (axe, reciprocating saw, glass cutter, K-12 saw, chain saw). After an arduous day of trial and error, the chain saws turned out to be the most effective tool for the job.

"By supplying the folks at the Davie Fire Dept. with a range of laminates, they were able to come up with procedures to not only effectively get through the material and do their jobs, but also ensure the safety of the firefighters," said Max Perilstein, Arch Vice President of Marketing.

The training regimen, held at a Broward County fire station, proved so successful that the department is considering implementing similar sessions for all the fire stations in the county, especially relevant since hurricane season has begun. There are 25 fire stations and a fire academy located in Broward County.

Laminated glass consists of two or more lites of glass and one or more interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) permanently bonded together. Arch laminated glass products, which are heat tempered in an autoclave, are durable enough to guard against sound, hurricanes, bomb blasts and earthquakes.

Arch Aluminum and Glass Co., Inc. is the TRUE SINGLE SOURCE® for Architectural Aluminum, Extrusions, Insulated, Tempered, Mirrors, Laminated and Decorative Glass. Arch is an American-owned, family business founded in 1978. Arch now operates 33 facilities in 17 states with over 2,400 employees. For more information on Arch Aluminum & Glass, please visit www.archaluminum.net or call 1-866-629-ARCH.

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Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse
All regions and construction sectors suffering economic malaise

After showing signs of stabilization over the last three months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plunged nearly five points in June. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI rating was 37.7, far lower than the 42.9 the previous month. This score indicates a sharp decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 53.8, the fourth straight month with a score in the mid-50’s.

“It appears as though we may have not yet reached the bottom of this construction downturn,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Architecture firms are struggling and concerned that construction market conditions will not even improve as soon as next year. There has also been little movement in terms of stimulus funding allocated for design projects having the desired impact of leading to new work.”

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (42.8), South (40.5), West (39.9), Midwest (36.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (43.5), multi-family residential (42.7), commercial / industrial (39.5), institutional (37.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 53.8

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey 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. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month. The regional and sector data is formulated using a three-month moving average.

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

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New Employment Numbers Show Steep Losses In Construction Nationwide,
AGC Chief Economist Calls For Increased Investment In Infrastructure To Put People Back To Work



Construction workers continued to bear the pain of steep job losses almost everywhere in June, as construction employment rose only in North Dakota (by 5 percent) and Louisiana (4 percent), compared to June 2008, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs disappeared in the remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia, with losses as great as 26 percent in Arizona, 23 percent in Nevada, 22 percent in Connecticut and 20 percent in Tennessee, noted Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.

“The Recovery Act will start mitigating job losses in all states for the rest of the year and into 2010,” said Simonson. “But the worsening state and local fiscal picture, along with continued sluggishness in the private sector, means that nonresidential construction work will keep shrinking.”

“Single-family homebuilders appear finally to have touched bottom and should begin hiring on net,” Simonson commented. “However, the multi-family market remains moribund, with weak demand, excessive supply in many states and no credit availability.”

Simonson urged Congress to act quickly on transferring money into the federal Highway Trust Fund to avert interruption of payments to highway contractors that would force more layoffs. He also called for prompt enactment of pending authorization bills for highways and transit, aviation and water projects, along with passage of appropriations bills that include federal construction.

“All of these bills will deliver both short- and long-term benefits to the American public, while providing desperately needed jobs for construction workers in every state,” he added.

Click here for state-by-state construction employment information.

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Lafarge Launches Product Guide For Leed® Project Certification
New online tool allows design professionals to identify and select Lafarge products that can be specified to help meet green building requirements.

Lafarge announces the launch of a new online tool for design professionals, primarily architects and engineers, designed to help them find Lafarge products that can be specified to help meet green building requirements under the LEED rating system. This online version replaces the former print document, and meets U.S. and Canadian LEED requirements.

After requiring the user to enter the project postal code, the Guide allows the user to enter search criteria by product or LEED credit category. Products matching search criteria, and that are available within the MRc5.1-5.2 Regional Materials credit radius of the project, are displayed for the user to review. Each product listing includes a description of the product and an explanation of how that product can help contribute to achieving points in particular LEED credit categories. Credit categories include Sustainable Site Selection, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design.

“Each search result will display the product name, image and description, list the credit categories it applies to, provides an explanation of how the product satisfies credit requirements and lists a Lafarge contact person,” said Andrew Pinneke, LEED AP and technical marketing coordinator for Lafarge. “This is a tool that will take the mystery out of determining what Lafarge product is available for use in a given project. Once the product has been identified, the specifier can contact the Lafarge representative to address any remaining product/project issues.”

While the Guide currently features Lafarge Cement and Gypsum products, Lafarge plans to soon add other Lafarge products and green building rating systems. The Guide complies with the requirements of the new LEED 2009 rating system.

To learn more about the Lafarge Product Guide for LEED Project Certification, visit the Lafarge Web site at www.lafarge-na.com. A link to the Guide is located on the right side of the home page.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Lafarge Group is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 83,000 employees in 78 countries, the Group posted sales of 19.0 billion Euros in 2008. Lafarge North America Inc. (“Lafarge North America” or "Lafarge"), a Lafarge Group company, is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.

In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, the Lafarge Group was listed in the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World”. With the world’s leading building materials research facility, the Lafarge Group places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.

LEED® is a registered trademark of U.S. Green Building Council.

For more information about Lafarge North America, go to www.lafarge-na.com

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PPG glass used in four of AIA’s top ten green building projects

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has named its top ten green building projects for 2009 and four of them are glazed with architectural glass made by PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG).

The Chartwell School in Seaside, Calif., features Solarban 60 solar control, low-e glass. North-facing windows and clerestories, along with skylights, maximize daylighting, diminishing the need for lighting, the building’s largest electrical load.


The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill., has a curtainwall fabricated with Solarban 60 Solargray glass and punched windows with Solarban 60 glass. The synagogue, which earned LEED platinum certification, is designed to place 95 percent of its occupied space on the building’s perimeter to
                         maximize daylighting, views and natural ventiliation.

The Terry Thomas, an office building in Seattle, has four glass facades fabricated with Solarban 70XL glass. The six-story building, which houses the architectural firm that designed it, incorporates shallow floor plates and an abundance of windows and low office partitions to foster the penetration of natural light.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Tex., uses double-insulated Sungate 500 low-e glass to flood more than 75 percent of its interior space with natural light. The facility serves as an interpretive center for the site’s native eco-systems and as a hub for research and study.

Solarban 70XL and Solarban 60 solar control, low-e glasses are used on many green building projects because of their exceptional combination of visible light transmittance and solar heat control. They help architects design buildings with less reliance on artificial lighting and lower cooling loads. The glasses, along Sungate 500 passive, low-e glass, also have a color-neutral appearance that can be used in combination with tinted glazings or alone to create a transparent aesthetic.

PPG is the first and only glass manufacturer to earn Cradle to Cradle CertificationSM for all its products. To learn more, visit www.ppgideascapes.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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Significant Downturn in Nonresidential Construction Activity Projected through 2010
Greatest drop in commercial and industrial sectors

Feeling the effects of the struggling overall U.S. economy, nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 16 percent in 2009 and drop by another almost 12 percent in 2010 in inflation adjusted terms. Commercial projects will see the most significant decrease in activity. In contrast, most institutional building categories are expected to see much more modest declines over this period. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters.

“While there are some indications that the overall economy is beginning to recover, nonresidential construction activity typically lags behind the rest of the economy,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Commercial facilities such as hotels, retail establishments and offices will feel the decline most dramatically. The institutional market will fare much better as stimulus funding becomes available for education, healthcare and government facilities.”

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts

Commercial / industrial

2009
2010
·        Retail
-28.0%
-12.6%
·        Hotels            
-25.8%
-16.8%
·        Office buildings
-21.5%
-17.3%
·        Industrial facilities           
-0.8%
-28.4%

Institutional

·        Amusement / recreation
-20.8%
-8.1%
·        Religious
-10.7%
-6.9%
·        Education
-8.2%
-0.7%
·        Health care facilities
-1.5%
-0.8%
·        Public safety  
1.7%
-0.7%

“This nonresidential downturn is shaping up to be the deepest decline in nonresidential activity in over a generation.” Baker added. “However, we’re beginning to see some moderation in the trends in design billings at architecture firms, so we hopefully are nearing the bottom of this cycle.”

About the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is conducted twice a year with the leading nonresidential construction forecasters in the United States including, McGraw Hill Construction, Global Insight, Moody’s economy.com, Reed Business Information, the Portland Cement Association, and FMI. The purpose of the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is to project business conditions in the construction industry over the coming 12 to 18 months. The Consensus Construction Forecast Panel has been conducted for 11 years.

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

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World’s Largest Shake Table Test Simulates 2,500-Year Earthquake
Researchers to test full-size, seven-story condominium tower to improve building safety.

On July 14, researchers will conduct the world's largest "shake table test," simulating the ground motion of a 2,500-year earthquake (similar to a 7.5 magnitude earthquake) on a seven-story, 40-foot by 60-foot condominium tower with 23 one- and two-bedroom living units. The test will take place on the world's largest shake table (known as E-Defense) near Kobe, Japan.

The event focuses on improving the safety and performance of buildings during major earthquakes and is the culmination of a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The series of seismic tests, known as the NEESWood Capstone tests, is a collaboration between Colorado State University, Simpson Strong-Tie and researchers at E-Defense in Japan. The July 14 test will be the largest of three tests performed on the structure. The purpose of the project is to test new design and construction methods for mid-rise, wood-frame buildings in earthquake-prone areas. In the United States, 39 states are at risk for earthquakes.

The shake table is a platform measuring approximately 65 feet by 49 feet and can support building experiments weighing up to 2.5 million pounds. The seven-story building sitting on top of the table weighs nearly a million pounds.

More information about the project is available at www.strongtie.com/capstonetest.

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DuPont Awarded “Green Approved” Product Seal from NAHB Research Center
DuPont Products Eligible to Earn National Green Building Standard Points

 

DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap™ helps prevent drafts, resists the flow of moisture-laden air through wall cavities, improves energy efficiency and reduces energy bills.

DuPont™ Zodiaq® quartz surfaces Terra Collection, with 25 percent post consumer recycled glass, has received the Green Approved Product Seal for National Green Building Certification by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

DuPont today announced products from its Building Innovations portfolio have received the coveted Green Approved Product Seal for National Green Building Certification by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center.

The third-party endorsement means that DuPont “Green Approved” products can now be used by builders to earn points toward certification to the National Green Building Standard™.

“Sustainability continues to be a critical strategic initiative for DuPont,” said Thomas F. Schuler, vice president and general manager – DuPont Building Innovations. “For us, sustainable building products are not just nice things to have; they are necessities. From our latest surfacing introductions to new building envelope innovations, this certification further demonstrates our commitment to providing sustainable solutions for the marketplace.”

Ten products from the DuPont™ Tyvek® weatherization portfolio received the Green Award mark, due to their ability to help seal the building envelope and help create a more comfortable, energy-efficient home or building. According to DuPont data, the use of Tyvek® weatherization barriers can help reduce annual energy costs up to 20 percent. DuPont Weatherization Systems products (and potential points earned) include:

  • DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® (up to 2 points)
  • DuPont™ Tyvek® StuccoWrap® (up to 2 points)
  • DuPont™ Tyvek® DrainWrap™ (up to 2 points)
  • DuPont™ Tyvek® ThermaWrap™ (up to 2 points)
  • DuPont™ Tyvek® CommercialWrap® (up to 2 points)
  • DuPont™ FlexWrap™, FlexWrap™ RW, StraightFlash™, StraightFlash™ VF and DuPont™ Flashing Tape (up to 6 points)

The DuPont™ Zodiaq® quartz surfaces Terra Collection received the Green Award due to its post consumer recycled content. In addition, all colors of DuPont™ Corian® solid surface and Zodiaq® quartz surfaces received approval for their ability to be used in vertical cladding applications. Products (and potential points earned) include:

The DuPont™ Zodiaq® Terra Collection, a collection of quartz surfaces that contain 25 percent post-consumer recycled content (up to 2 points)

DuPont™ Corian® Solid Surfaces and DuPont™ Zodiaq® Quartz Surfaces in wall cladding applications, all colors qualify (up to 4 points)

DuPont—one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 19 years ago—has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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FGS/PermaShine Test Results Qualify Products for CHPS List

Four concrete floor products from L&M Construction Chemicals have successfully passed laboratory tests indicating their levels of volatile organic chemical (VOC) emissions are well below accepted standards within the building industry.

The outstanding test results mean that three of L&M's FGS/PermaShine family of products and its SEAL HARD product can now be included on the coveted Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Low-Emitting Materials (LEM) Table.

This industry database of green products is the accepted standard for VOC emissions by the LEED for Schools Green Building Rating System and as an option for compliance in the new 2009 LEED for New Construction (NC) and LEED for Core and Shell (CS) rating programs.

In the previous version of LEED-NC v. 2.2, the products were already compliant with Rule #1113 for Architectural Coatings, based on the benchmarks set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

The four newly tested L&M products, which are all used in the bare concrete floor treatments process, were FGS® Concrete Conditioner, VIVID Dye™, FGS® Hardener Plus™ and SEAL HARD™. The tests were conducted earlier this year by Berkeley Analytical Associates, a certified independent laboratory, which determined the products' estimated concentrations of VOCs in a classroom environment.

The testing was conducted following the procedures described by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), which is the benchmark CHPS uses to determine a low-emitting building product for schools.

"The results of these tests illustrate L&M's continued commitment to providing healthy, environmentally sound products while offering practical solutions for the concrete flooring industry," said L&M President Greg Schwietz.

FGS Concrete Conditioner is a mild, concentrated cleaner and conditioner for hardened, polished concrete floors that rinses clean and does not affect the slip profile of floors. Available in 24 standard colors, VIVID Concrete Dye is designed to penetrate and color any interior polished concrete surface. FGS Hardener Plus is a water-based, odorless and environmentally safe concrete densifier, hardener and sealer. SEAL HARD seals, densifies, and hardens concrete floors and increases wear surface strength.

Three of the products-FGS Concrete Conditioner, VIVID Dye and FGS Hardener Plus-are part of the FGS/PermaShine System that renews existing concrete floors that are dusting, worn, pitted and otherwise suffering from years of use and abuse, restoring them to an attractive, light-reflective and durable polished finish.

CHPS (www.chps.net) is the leading advocate of high-performance schools-providing environments that are not only energy- and resource-efficient, but also green, healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities for a quality education. Developed in California, CHPS standards are quickly spreading to school districts across the country.

Call L&M Construction Chemicals for more details at 800-362-3331, or visit www.lmcc.com or www.fgs-permashine.com.

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Tate Introduces Worksheets for Calculating Recycled Content
New Tools Anticipate Required Data and Streamline Document Submittal Process for LEED® v. 2.2 under Materials & Resources Credit 4

Tate®, a market leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of raised access flooring solutions, today introduces three customized worksheets for calculating recycled content in its All Steel, ConCore, and Woodcore panels. The worksheets feature drop-down menu options for panel and understructure selection, and automatically populate a print-ready form with detailed data on all post-consumer and post-industrial (pre-consumer) content. Once the required user input is entered, the formatted worksheets insert all the necessary panel documentation needed for submittal under LEED® v. 2.2 for Materials & Resources Credit 4.

“The increased demand for recycled content in building materials is an obvious outgrowth of the green building movement, and everyone, from specifiers and designers to owners, wants to be able to leverage it,” said Bill Reynolds, LEED AP, technical director at Tate. “Calculating tools like the worksheets we’ve created will make the entire process, from selection to LEED document submission, a great deal easier.”

While the exact numbers will vary from system to system, the typical Tate floor system used in commercial offices contains 42.8 percent recycled material consisting of 13.7 percent post-consumer and 29 percent pre-consumer content. All office floor systems and data center systems manufactured by Tate contain recycled content in excess of the 20 percent (post-consumer + 1/2 pre-consumer) credit requirement.

The calculation worksheets for recycled content in Tate’s All Steel, ConCore and Woodcore panels include weight and percentages detailing post-consumer and post-industrial content for the:

  • Panel (top sheet and bottom pan)
  • Pedestal Head (top plate and stud)
  • Pedestal Base (tube and base plate)
  • Stringer

New End-of-Life Calculation Worksheet
In addition to the recycled content calculation worksheets, Tate is also introducing a tool for calculating the amount of material that is recyclable in its raised floor panels and understructure at the end of the product’s life cycle. While this particular tool serves no purpose for LEED project documentation, it does provide useful data as to what could be salvaged for recycling during renovation and demolition.

For more information about Tate products and services, please visit the Web site at www.tateaccessfloors.com or call (410) 799-4200. Be sure to download and view our LEED Support Documents as well as our additional resources on Recycled Content.

ABOUT TATE®
Tate is headquartered south of Baltimore, in Jessup, Md and is a member of the Kingspan Group of companies. Activities for Tate include research and development, manufacturing, sales, and distribution of raised access floors, with over 500 million square feet of underfloor service distribution systems installed. Tate products provide high performance and sustainable service distribution solutions in office, education, equipment/server, public space, laboratory, casinos and clean room facilities.

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Kerfkore Company Announces New Kerfed Foamkore-Green

Kerfed Foamkore-GreenKerfkore Company, an environmentally friendly manufacturer of patented bendable substrates and lightweight panel products, is proud to announce its new Kerfed Foamkore-Green. Kerfed Foamkore-Green is constructed with a eucalyptus fiber face and back attached to a lightweight kerfed polystyrene core. This panel produces a NAF product made from reclaimed and recycled materials. This product incorporates recycled materials into the manufacturing process to help reduce the impact of using virgin materials. Also, polystyrene has no added formaldehyde.

Kerfed Foamkore-Green can contribute to LEED credit points for MR 4.1, MR 4.2, and EQ 4.4. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system is the accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Kerfed Foamkore-Green is a lightweight cost-effective alternative to traditional panels that features a polystyrene foam core and thin face materials. It is ideally suited for a wide range of applications and consists of a balanced constructed foam board that provides a structural panel with up to 80% reduced weight when compared to conventional panels of plywood, particleboard and MDF. Panels can weigh as little as 12 oz. per square foot. Panels can accept a variety of edging options including edge capture, edge insert, outer edge band, edge banding, and corner post. Panels are laminated with special glue that results in greater moisture resistance. Custom sizes, thickness, and materials available.

Samples and literature are available from:
Kerfkore Company
2630 Sidney Lanier Drive, Brunswick, GA, 31525
Tel. (912) 264-6496
FAX (912) 262-9763 www.kerfkore.com  info@kerfkore.com

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CSI to End Support of MasterFormat 95 on December 31, 2009

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) announced that the organization will cease to license and support MasterFormat 95 as of December 31, 2009.

The CSI Board of Directors voted to stop licensing and supporting MasterFormat 95 during its June 16, 2009, meeting at the CSI Annual Convention in Indianapolis.

"Now that the new edition has been widely accepted by the industry, we felt it was time to complete the transition to MasterFormat 2004," said CSI Executive Director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE. "As a result, CSI and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) will no longer support MasterFormat 95 after December 31, 2009."

In 2004, CSI and CSC introduced the most significant updates to MasterFormat since the standard was introduced in the 1960s. To meet the industry's changing needs, MasterFormat™ 2004 edition features an expanded structure, increasing the number of divisions from 16 to 50, and replaces the five-digit system from previous editions with a six-digit system. It was expanded to accommodate the many new technologies and building practices introduced since its inception and to provide more complete coverage for all types of construction projects.

MasterFormat™ has long been recognized as a standard in the construction industry to organize project manuals and detailed cost information, and to relate drawing notes to specifications. It aids project delivery by facilitating communication among architects, engineers, specifiers, contractors, suppliers and other consultants, which helps them meet building owners' requirements, timelines and budgets. By fostering fuller and more detailed construction specifications, MasterFormat is designed to reduce costly changes or delays in projects due to incomplete, misplaced or missing information.

Many high-profile public agencies, companies, A/E firms, consultants and others have made the switch to the latest edition of MasterFormat, but there are still organizations that have not made the transition. Using two different versions of MasterFormat makes it difficult to correctly classify work results and communicate project information. The continued use of MasterFormat 95 and earlier versions also hinders industry standardization and works contrary to interoperability.

CSI and CSC are working with the MasterFormat Sponsors to communicate the decision to the industry, promote the benefits of using to the latest version through a communication campaign and to transition their products that use MasterFormat.

For more information on MasterFormat, please visit www.masterformat.com. MasterFormat 2004 edition is available for purchase on the Web site. Access to real-time updates, a transition guide and a tool to convert MasterFormat 95 numbers to the latest version also are available.

About CSI
CSI is a national association dedicated to creating standards and formats to improve construction documents and project delivery. The organization is unique in the industry in that its members are a cross-section of specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors and building materials suppliers. The organization has 146 chapters and more than 14,000 members. Monthly Chapter meetings allow members the opportunity to communicate openly with their counterparts and exchange information for successful project management. CSI is renowned in the industry for its rigorous certification programs for professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of accurate and concise construction documents. CSI provides continuing education, professional conferences and product shows. For more information, visit www.csinet.org, or call (800) 689-2900.

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Architecture Billings Index Shows No Significant Improvement in Business Conditions
Inquiries for new projects remain favorable, but not translating into work


There has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design services billings, but the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals that an economic recovery has stalled. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI rating was 42.9, nearly identical to the 42.8 mark in April. This score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 55.2, the third straight month with a score in the mid-50’s.

“The design and construction marketplace is extremely competitive right now,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Prospective clients are casting a wider net causing numerous firms to bid for the same project, which is why the high level of inquiries is not necessarily translating into additional billings for project work at many firms.”

Key May ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (48.3), Midwest (41.5), South (41.3), West (39.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (45.5), mixed practice (44.5), commercial / industrial (43.1), institutional (38.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 55.2

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey 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. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month. The regional and sector data is formulated using a three-month moving average.

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

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AIA Continues Sustainability Program for Local Communities with Request for Proposals

WHO: The American Institute of Architects Center for Communities by Design

WHAT: Request for Proposals seeking community applicants for the 2010 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program (SDAT).

Since its inception in 2005, the SDAT program has assisted over 40 communities with long-term sustainability plans addressing a range of local issues. The SDAT is an innovative program that brings together multidisciplinary teams of professionals to work with community stakeholders and decision-makers through an intensive planning process. The mission is to provide technical assistance and process expertise to help communities develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future. Architect-led teams are composed of volunteer professionals representing a range of disciplines, including urban design professionals, economic development experts, land use attorneys, and others. The approach is designed to address many of the common challenges communities face by producing long-term sustainability plans that are realistic and reflect each community’s unique context.

For more information on the program: http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAS075425

WHEN: The SDAT committee will conduct two rounds of application review through the remainder of 2009 to offer applicants the opportunity to receive an early decision and acceptance by the review committee. The first round of review will be in September 2009; committee members will evaluate all applications received by September 18, 2009 at that time. Applications received after the first round of review will be assessed in December 2009. Any additional applications received after the second review period will be considered for the 2011 SDAT program. The final deadline to submit proposals for consideration in the 2010 SDAT program is November 13, 2009.

HOW: The RFP can be downloaded here. An independent panel of distinguished judges will evaluate each community proposal and apply weighted criteria to determine the awards. All applicants will be contacted when the award is made in December 2009.

CONTACT: Erin Simmons, 202-626-7492, esimmons@aia.org

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

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

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