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DHI IndustryWatch
DHI IndustryWatch
March 29, 2012
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AIA 2012 National Convention
Industry Access

Masonite International Corporation completed the acquisition of Baillargeon Doors, Inc., headquartered in St. Ephrem, Quebec, Canada. Baillargeon is a well-respected Canadian manufacturer of wood flush doors for architectural applications founded in 1985. Baillargeon employs approximately 120 people at a single facility. The company's 2011 revenues were approximately $20 million. Full Story

In a recent interview with Door & Window Manufacturer Magazine, Soft-Lite's president divulged further details about the company's purchase of Gorell Windows and Doors. Full Story

Click here for more Industry Access news including recent new hires, merger & acquisition activity and who's offering new products.

* DHI Members may submit news releases to be considered for inclusion in DHI's IndustryWatch. Send to: jmadden@dhi.org

Business Update

A new model code for constructing and remodeling buildings is expected to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste, and have a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare. The 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will increase the energy-efficiency of structures, while providing direction and oversight of green design and construction, according to the International Code Council. Full Story

CFOs say they continue to see solid signs of the economic recovery in U.S. manufacturing, according to the latest Group CFO Survey from Prime Advantage, a buying consortium for midsized manufacturers. Member companies say they are planning more hiring, wage increases and capital expenditures. What's more, manufacturers' top priorities in 2012 include cutting operational costs, developing new products and services, and long-term strategic planning (rising 13 points from 2011). Last year's top priority, the ability to quickly respond to market conditions, fell 24%, reported Modern Distribution Management. Full Story

Led by the commercial sector, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has remained in positive territory four months in a row. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 51.0, following a mark of 50.9 in January. This score reflects a slight increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 63.4, up from mark of 61.2 the previous month and its highest reading since July 2007. Full Story

"Green" jobs accounted for 2.4% of the nation's total employment in 2010, the Labor Department reported in its first-ever survey of green goods and services jobs. According to the report, which gave a snapshot of the role that environmental consciousness plays in the U.S. economy, the U.S. had 3.1 million green jobs in 2010, the vast majority of them in the private sector. The public sector listed 860,000 green jobs, reported The Washington Post. Full Story

Construction & Design

Projections in FMI's first-quarter, 2012 Construction Outlook Report point to a 4% increase in nonresidential buildings for 2012, topping $341 billion, with slightly higher growth in 2013 to $361 billion. Full Story

As colleges continue to build with post-recession caution, College Planning & Management's 17th Annual College Construction Report shows that the majority of construction projects on campus are new buildings. Click here to read the report. (PDF file)

In 2011, $12.2 billion worth of school construction was put in place. However, from 2000 through 2008, school construction averaged more than $20 billion annually, according to School Planning & Management's 2012 Annual School Construction Report. School construction spending is projected to be more than $10 billion in 2012. Click here to read the full report. (PDF file)

The Fort Lee, NJ Planning Board voted unanimously to give final approval to the first phase of a massive $1 billion downtown redevelopment project, clearing the way for the construction of the tallest buildings in Bergen County. Phase 1 will feature two 47-story luxury residential towers with a total of 902 units, reported The Record. Full Story

Security & Safety

A recent Consulting-Specifying Engineer article looks at striking a balance between passive and active fire protection. Full Story

Government Affairs

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to begin piloting a new commercial building energy asset rating program this May. The first, piloted phase of the program will look at office buildings, educational buildings, retail buildings and unrefrigerated warehouses, and DOE currently is looking for companies willing to participate in the pilot phase, reported the USGlass News Network. Full Story

In California, legislation aimed at overhauling the state's school construction law sailed through the Senate Education Committee. Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, introduced the bill, SB 1271, following a California Watch investigation and scathing state audit that found state regulators charged with overseeing school construction had failed to ensure that school buildings are safe. It now heads to the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. The bill establishes a task force that would have until Jan. 1, 2014, to consider changes in the law to better protect schoolchildren during earthquakes, reported California Watch. Full Story

New Hampshire lawmakers are moving ahead with a new school aid construction proposal that uses a ranking system to determine which projects get state aid. The Senate passed its plan March 28 without debate, and the House did the same a few hours later on a similar bill. Both propose the state continue paying down its share of loans taken out to build current projects. Money would be awarded in lump sums to new projects based on criteria such as whether the school to be replaced is unsafe or too small for the student population, reported The Boston Globe. Full Story

The House overwhelmingly approved a measure March 27 designed to make it easier for growing companies to attract investors and comply with securities laws. The bipartisan measure, strongly backed by both parties and the White House, passed 380 to 41. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, first passed the House earlier this month with wide bipartisan margins and the Senate approved it last week after adding amendments that provide additional safeguards on "crowdfunding" to prevent credit scams. The House needed to approve the changes before sending it to the White House for President Obama's signature, reported The Washington Post. Full Story

Small Business News

Healthcare Reform

This week the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the cases challenging the constitutionality of aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Court is actually considering a series of constitutional questions, the most interesting of which from the small business community’s perspective is if the individual mandate were to be found unconstitutional, does the rest of PPACA have to be invalidated because the rest of it depends on the individual mandate? If the Supreme Court were to rule the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but also decides it is severable, the employer mandates would stand.

It may be several months before we know the outcome of this case. While the Court traditionally takes a break over the summer months, there is no guarantee they will issue their opinion before then.

DHI's Jerry Heppes sits on the board of the Small Business Legislative Council. If you'd like more information on these or other issues affecting small businesses, feel free to contact him at jheppes@dhi.org.

This material is protected under copyright law and contains confidential information.  It is for the sole personal, informational use of DHI members. It cannot be distributed, reprinted, referenced as a source for attribution, or otherwise made public.

DHI News

DHI 2012 Spring School - Don't miss the only National School this year!
April 29th to May 6th
National Conference Center, Lansdowne, VA

To economize on travel and minimize the time out of the office for students, DHI has consolidated the most popular of the National Education offerings and will conduct them all just once this year at the National Conference Center in VA. There is no substitute for the first-hand interaction with knowledgeable and seasoned instructors and the opportunity to network with your peers, both of which make attending the National Classes a worthwhile investment! Click here to register today!

Call for 2012 DHI Award Nominations
Every year at the DHI Conference & Exposition we make a point to honor and thank the volunteers who so tirelessly give of their time and talents to our industry. Please take a moment to consider nominating someone in any or all of the listed categories. We want to ensure that these deserving individuals are recognized for their efforts at the 2012 Convention this October in Las Vegas. Click here for details.

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