Tag Archive | "NAHB"

NAHB Names Michael Menn 2016 Remodeler of the Year

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NAHB Names Michael Menn 2016 Remodeler of the Year

Posted on 09 January 2017 by CRadmin3

NAHB logoThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers honored Michael Menn, CAPS, CGP, CGR, a remodeler and architect from Northbrook, Ill., with its highest annual remodeling achievement award, the 2016 NAHB Remodeler of the Year. The award, which recognizes superior business management, exemplary NAHB involvement at all levels and outstanding contributions to the remodeling industry, was presented during the NAHB Remodelers All Stars Party in conjunction with the Remodeling Show | DeckExpo | JLC LIVE in Baltimore.

“Michael Menn’s ongoing commitment to superior quality workmanship, outstanding customer service, and dedication to his community made him the obvious choice for this prestigious award,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Tim Shigley. “He is a respected and accomplished professional remodeler who has been an active industry leader for more than 25 years, while at the same time building a successful remodeling firm and serving as a local leader.”

Menn’s company, Michael Menn, Ltd., has been providing residential and commercial remodeling, architectural, and construction services in Chicagoland since 1987. AS A member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC) and NAHB Remodelers since 1991, Menn has served in many local and national leadership roles for both organizations, including chair of the HBAGC’s remodelers council in 2008. Menn has also has been an active member of the American Institute of Architects since 1980 and the National Kitchen and Bath Association since 2010.

His awards include Illinois State Remodeler of the Year (twice) and the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics from the Illinois Better Business Bureau. Dedicated to improving his community, Menn also sat on the Northbrook Senior Housing Commission from 1994-2010, the Northbrook zoning board of appeals from 1998-2012, and the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce from 1991-2005.

You may also be interested in this article about the winners of the Tile of Spain Awards.

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NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe Retires

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NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe Retires

Posted on 06 April 2016 by cradmin

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)  announced that Chief Economist Dr. David Crowe retires on March 18. NAHB Vice President for Tax and Market Analysis, Dr. Robert D. Dietz, succeeds Crowe. Crowe has been responsible for NAHB’s forecasts of housing and economic trends, survey research and analysis of the home building industry and consumer preferences as well as microeconomic analysis of government policies that affect housing. Serving as NAHB Chief Economist since 2008, Crowe developed and implemented the Leading Market Index, an innovative model which has estimated the net economic impact of new home construction in more than 600 markets.

“Our members have relied on Dr. Crowe for his insightful analysis during a very rocky time in the home building industry,” said NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “His skill and his clear eye were invaluable as our builders and remodelers did their own strategic planning to make it through the economic downturn. National decision-makers and reporters have always counted on Dr. Crowe to discuss what’s behind the numbers in a way that was both understandable and approachable.”

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OSHA Finalizes New Silica Rule Amid Concern

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OSHA Finalizes New Silica Rule Amid Concern

Posted on 25 March 2016 by cradmin

On March 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized the revised federal rule for limiting the exposure of workers to crystalline silica, which is known to cause an array of medical conditions, including silicosis, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

OSHA believes the new rule will save more than 600 lives, prevent 900 cases of silicosis each year and provide a net annual savings of $7.7 billion. However, many individuals and organizations in the construction and building industries say putting more effort into enforcing the old rule would have gone further to protect the health of workers without increasing the cost of construction/renovation.

Provisions of the New Silica Standards

According to the OSHA Silica Web portal and the OSHA Fact Sheet Workers’ Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica: Final Rule Overview, the new rule is comprised of two separate standards: one for the construction industry and one for maritime and general industry. The four key provisions:

  1. The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for crystalline silica has been reduced from 250 micrograms per cubic meter to 50 micrograms per cubic meter in an eight-hour period.
  1. Employers are required to limit worker exposure to silica through engineering controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) and controlled access to areas with high concentrations. In addition, employers must develop a written exposure-control program, and train employees on the hazards of silica and how to limit exposure.
  1. Employers are required to monitor the health of workers with high exposure potential by providing regular medical examinations and information on lung health.
  1. The rule has some flexibility for OSHA to help employers, especially small businesses, comply with the rule and protect workers from silica exposure.

The new rule goes into effect on June 23 of this year (2016), but staggered schedules have been set with various industries to comply with the requirements.

  • Construction: One year – June 23, 2017
  • Maritime and General Industry: Two years – June 23, 2018
  • Hydraulic fracturing (fracking): Five years for engineering controls, two years for all other provisions

OSHA Defends New Rule

OSHA defends the new federal rule for silica exposure limits by stating that approximately 2.3 million workers in the United States are exposed to crystalline silica on the job and that the current PEL is more than 40 years old. According to OSHA, the old limit is based on research from the 1960s, and new evidence has emerged since that time to indicate the old limit does not adequately protect workers. In addition, the administration claims the technology to comply with the rule is readily available and affordable.

“We’ve known for over 40 years that it needed to be strengthened, and it has taken 40 years to strengthen it,” said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. “Many people who are going to work right now and breathing unacceptable levels of silica dust are in for a brighter future. The science says we need to be at 50, so that’s what the final rule will say.”

“Silica is a killer, and employers need to take the necessary steps so that they can reduce exposure,” continued Perez. “And the good news is that those necessary steps are not going to break the bank. It’s real simple stuff. Get a vacuum. Get water. Those are the key elements of pretty simple compliance.”

Industries Respond

Several industry groups have opposed the new silica ruling since it was first proposed back in 2013, and the largest opponent is a partnership of 25 trade associations called the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), which includes the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the AGC, has expressed his dismay over the new rule speaking on behalf of his entire organization. “Instead of crafting new and innovative ways to get more firms to comply with the current silica standard, which we know would save even more workers each year, administration officials appear to have instead opted to set a new standard that is well beyond the capabilities of current air filtration and dust removal technologies,” stated Sandherr. “Wishing firms could meet this new but unattainable standard will undoubtedly deliver many positive headlines for the administration, but it will be all but impossible for most construction firms to comply with this new rule.”

“We will continue our exhaustive review of this new regulation, consult with our members and decide on a future course of action that will best serve the health and safety of millions of construction workers across the country,” Sandherr concluded.

The NAHB held back its resentment but echoed the sentiments of the AGC. “NAHB has long advocated the importance of the rule being both technologically and economically feasible,” said Ed Brady, chair of the NAHB. “While we’re still reviewing the final rule, we’re concerned that it may not adequately address these issues and take into consideration real-world application.”

Jeff Buczkiewicz, president of the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), is also concerned about the feasibility of the new OSHA rule. “At first glance, we have observed that a number of provisions that concerned us in the proposed rule have been left in the final rule. This makes us continue to question the final rule’s technological and economic feasibility for the construction industry,” said Buczkiewicz. “In addition, OSHA has added several new provisions not in the proposed rule that we have not had a chance to thoroughly review and consider the impacts. Once we complete our review, we will be able to be more specific about what was released today.”

The exception to the negative response to the new rule among the industry comes from the trade unions. The North America Building Trades Union (NABTU) issued the following response: “North America’s Building Trades Union is pleased OSHA has issued the final silica standard. Put simply, the OSHA silica standard will protect construction workers from getting sick or dying due to silica dust exposure.”

The AFL-CIO is also onboard with the new rule. “We applaud the Obama administration for issuing these lifesaving measures and commend Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels for their tremendous leadership and dedication to bring the silica rules to completion,” read the official AFL-CIO statement. “The labor movement has fought for these standards for decades. We will continue to fight to defend these rules from the certain industry attacks that will come so that workers are finally protected from this deadly dust.”

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Organizers: Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas Draws More Than 110,000

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Organizers: Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas Draws More Than 110,000

Posted on 14 March 2016 by cradmin

According to show organizers, more than 110,000 housing industry professionals attended the third annual Design & Construction Week, held Jan. 19 to 22 in Las Vegas. The mega-event included the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builder’s Shower (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the International Window Coverings Expo and The International Surface Event (TISE), which is a combination of StonExpo, TileExpo and Surfaces. In total, Design & Construction Week boasted more than 3,750 exhibitors and 1.2 million net sq. ft. of exhibit space. Organizers noted an increase in international exhibitors, along with crowded education sessions for industry professionals. The 2017 event will be held Jan. 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in
Orlando, however, TISE will not be part of the 2017 event, instead remaining in Las Vegas the week after.

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National Association of Home Builders Elects 2016 Leaders

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National Association of Home Builders Elects 2016 Leaders

Posted on 05 February 2016 by CRadmin3

NAHB logoThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) held a board meeting and elected senior officers for 2016 during the International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. NAHB’s Chairman of the Board this year is Ed Brady. Brady has more than 25 years of experience in the home building industry and is president of Brady Homes, based in Bloomington, Ill. Granger MacDonald, a Texas-based builder and developer with 40 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as the 2016 First Vice Chairman of the Board. MacDonald is chairman and CEO of the MacDonald Companies. Louisiana-based custom home builder, Randy Noel, was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Board. Noel has more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry and is president of Reve Inc., a custom home building firm that has developed more than 1,000 custom homes in the greater New Orleans area. Greg Ugalde was elected as Third Vice Chairman of the Board. A Connecticut builder and developer with more than 20 years of experience in the home building industry, Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of Torrington-based T&M Building Co.,Inc. NAHB Chairman for 2015, Tom Woods remains as Immediate Past Chairman. Woods is president of Woods Custom Homes in Blue Springs, Mo., and has more than 40 years of experience in the housing Industry. The NAHB’s Chief Executive Officer is Jerry Howard, from Washington, D.C. Howard leads a staff of more than 240 working out of the National Housing Center in Washington. He has served as the association’s CEO/EVP since February of 2001. Previously, Howard was NAHB’s chief tax counsel. NAHB represents the interests of the nation’s housing professionals through advocacy, education and research with more than 800 affiliated state and local home builders associations that include more than 140,000 members across the country.

You may also be interested in this article about ISFA’s On Demand Solid Surface Training Program.

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IBS, KBIS, TISE (StonExpo) Continue Vegas Co-location in 2016

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IBS, KBIS, TISE (StonExpo) Continue Vegas Co-location in 2016

Posted on 05 March 2015 by cradmin

According to news releases, the International Builder Show (IBS), Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and The International Surface Event (TISE – StonExpo) will all return to Las Vegas as part of Design & Construction Week in 2015. The 2016 event(s) will be held Jan. 19 to 21. This comes on the back of the recent shows for which turnout was reported to have included more than 125,000 builders, dealers and suppliers, more than 300 members of the media, and 3,750 exhibiting brands to cover more than 4.7 million net sq. ft. of space.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) announced their respective trade shows, IBS and KBIS, will continue to co-locate together through 2020. NAHB and NKBA will continue to produce separate educational programming and special events. Future show dates are Jan. 10 to 12, 2017, and Jan. 9 to 11, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

You may also be interested in this article on the upcoming Coverings 2015 stone and tile show.

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Clean Water Act Expansion May Affect Homebuilders

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Clean Water Act Expansion May Affect Homebuilders

Posted on 12 May 2014 by cradmin

At the end of March, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers released a long-awaited proposal to clarify the wording of the Clean Water Act, which is designed to protect rivers, wetlands and other waterways from erosion and other damage caused by human activity. However, not everyone is happy about the new proposed rule, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Two decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court in the last 15 years limited the Clean Water Act and muddied the waters, so to speak, over exactly which waterways fall under federal jurisdiction. Since those decisions, organizations regulated under the act and the EPA have been going mad trying to sort out exactly who is to regulated and by which layer of government: federal, state or local.

For years, a multitude of large corporations, professional organizations, government agencies and environmentalist have been calling for the rule to be revised so that it provides more clarity and guidance. According to the EPA, this is exactly what the proposed rule is doing. However, several detractors say that the proposed rule unfairly expands the jurisdiction of the EPA, will drastically increase costs and cause delays in permitting without a proportional benefit.

One of the strongest voices in opposition to the proposed rule is the NAHB, which has been asking for the new rule for several years now. Kevin Kelly, president of the NAHB, said the drafted rule does not do what it was meant to accomplish.

“Instead, EPA has added just about everything into its jurisdiction by expanding the definition of a ‘tributary’ – even ditches and manmade canals, or any other feature that a regulator determines to have a bed, bank and high-water mark. It’s a waste of taxpayer resources to treat a rainwater ditch with the same scrutiny as we would the Delaware Bay,” stated Kelly in a press release.

Kelly also stated that the expansion of authority under the new rule would require larger numbers of developers and construction projects to obtain permits, which will delay or halt construction projects. This, in turn, will directly affect countertop fabricators who provided products for new construction or even remodeling projects, including small, single-family home projects. In addition, the new rule will increase the costs of construction for developers.

The EPA, however, does not agree on some of these points. According to the EPA’s website, the Waters of the United States Proposed Rule reduces confusion about the Clean Water Act and clarifies which types of waters are covered under it. The website also states that the rule does not protect new types of waters, does not expand jurisdiction over ditches and does not broaden coverage of the Act.

What the EPA does admit is that the Act is associated with higher costs, most of which will be paid by land developers and the agriculture industry. Even though all of the current exemptions remain in place, the new rule is expected to cost between $134 million to $231 million. The EPA is justifying these costs through an analysis showing that the expected benefits of the rule are in the range of $301 million to $398 million, which will go toward protecting the ecosystem by providing stable habitats supportive of biodiversity, preventing erosion, allowing for the free flow of groundwater and reducing flooding.

This new rule is certainly more divisive than most organizations and government agencies had predicted. Alliances have been formed on both sides. The agriculture and land development industries are pushing back fiercely while several bodies are aligning with the EPA, including the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), National Farmers Union and the Center for Rural Affairs.

In accordance with standard practice, the EPA has established a 90-day period for public comments, which is open until July 21, 2014. To read more about the rule and how it may affect your business and to enter a public comment, visit the EPA web page concerning the changes to the Clean Water Act.

In addition, feel free to comment here on this issue or by email at info@CountertopResource.com. We are interested in hearing your opinions.

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Michael Eisner to be Keynote Speaker for IBS

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Michael Eisner to be Keynote Speaker for IBS

Posted on 03 December 2012 by cradmin

Michael Eisner will be the keynote speaker for the 2013 NAHB International Builders Show (IBS) in January. The show runs from Jan. 22 to 24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Eisner, former chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company for 21 years, will speak on Jan. 22.

Eisner will be followed by a performance by the Capitol Steps, a well known political satire group.

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Improving Housing Market Bodes Well for Countertop Industry

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Improving Housing Market Bodes Well for Countertop Industry

Posted on 11 October 2012 by cradmin

Far from an optimist, particularly facing what is now being termed as “The Great Recession,” I have to say all of the signs are pointing to a more robust housing market in the works, which ultimately bodes well for the countertop industry. And it’s about time!

According to an article that ran on ForResidentialPros.com in Sept., the second quarter of 2012 showed positive annual growth rates, according to all three headline home-price composites, for the first time in two years. And, as the headline of a Mainline News article touted, National home prices see largest yearly increase since 2006, many agree that the prices homes are fetching on the market are improving. This is a major sign the housing market is on the road to recovery.

Seeing people willing to pay more for homes, indicates that they are buying again, which not only may mean improvements to these properties in the works, but also indicates the number of available homes on the market is lower.

Another indicator is the lessening number of foreclosures, which have been flooding the market with cheap property. According to an article from Reuters issued Oct. 11,  U.S. foreclosures are at their lowest point in 5 years, another good sign that the housing market has hit bottom and is rebounding.

That means we will likely see an uptick in new home building.

The National Association of Home Builders’ “Improving Market” indicator is also at a high, according to a recent report, which concurs with the other evidence.

So those in the countertop market who had been leveraged in the builder market when it dropped off a cliff in 2007, may now want to cautiously put a toe in the water and see if they can begin to get additonal business there.

It is doubtful we will see a level of activity near the peaks around 2006 any time soon, but with the unemployment rate now under 8 percent, these positive signs for the housing market make it difficult to be too much of a pessimist about 2013.

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List of Improving Housing Markets Now Above 100

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List of Improving Housing Markets Now Above 100

Posted on 08 October 2012 by cradmin

A total of 103 housing markets across the United States qualified to be listed on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for October. This is up from 99 markets listed as improving in September and is the largest number of metros on the IMI since it was created one year ago. A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia are represented on the October list.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Markets added to the list in October include such geographically diverse locations as Santa Cruz, Calif.; Pocatello, Idaho; Abilene, Texas; and Savannah, Ga.

“While 11 new housing markets were designated as improving in October, 92 metros retained their spots on the IMI and just seven slipped from the list,” noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace as firming prices and employment help spur new building activity, which in turn generates new jobs and more home sales.”

“The fact that most markets are maintaining their spots on the improving list from month to month is an important indication that the recovery trend is solidifying,” agreed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “At the same time, overly tight credit conditions are certainly constraining consumers’ ability to purchase homes as well as builders’ ability to construct them.”

“The expansion of the improving markets list to more than 100 metros marks an important milestone on the road to recovery,” noted Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American Title Insurance Company. “For potential buyers across the country, it is becoming increasingly apparent that now is a good time to explore a new-home purchase.”

The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

A complete list of all 103 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in October, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.

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