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DHI IndustryWatch
DHI IndustryWatch
April 26, 2012
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AIA 2012 National Convention
Industry Access

Masonite International Corporation has completed the acquisition of all of the capital stock of Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. Algoma is headquartered in Algoma, WI and manufactures architecturally specified doors at its facilities in Algoma, WI and Jefferson City, TN. Full Story

ASSA ABLOY has acquired Frameworks Manufacturing Inc., a US manufacturer of interior aluminum frames and doors. Frameworks, with projected sales of $16 million in 2012, was established in 1996 and has 50 employees. The head office and factory is located in Houston, TX. Full Story

Amazon.com just announced a new online platform focused on industrial and commercial customers. With more than 500,000 products and expertise in e-commerce, AmazonSupply.com should not be discounted as a competitor in the industrial distribution space, reported Modern Distribution Management. Amazon has been selling many of these products for quite some time now, acting as a distributor itself by selling products directly from manufacturers, as well as serving as an online platform for distributors looking to expand their reach. But AmazonSupply.com is what appears to be its first formal and most aggressive foray into the industrial distribution space. 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

The commercial sector continues to lead the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) which has remained in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month. 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 March ABI score was 50.4, following a mark of 51.0 in February. 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 56.6, down from mark of 63.4 the previous month. Full Story

Construction & Design

Design and construction of the 500,000-square-foot UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center will be managed via a modified project-delivery method that includes a board of directors overseeing the project with six distinct teams reporting to it. GlobeSt.com has learned that UCSD's version of integrated project delivery, known as the High Performance Team, includes a board consisting of the key owner, architect and contractor representatives. The $664 million project is composed of a 495,000-square-foot, 246-bed addition and a 40,000-square-foot central utility plant addition along with 70,000 square feet of renovations to the existing space. Full Story

RSMeans details dollar-per-square-foot construction costs for four types of college buildings. Full Story

Security & Safety

Come this fall, you won't have to flip through the several hundred pages of NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, to find documentation requirements. Now, in the new 2013 edition, you'll find the requirements all laid out for you in one chapter. "There is one significant new chapter in the 2013 edition, a chapter on documentation requirements," Lee Richardson, National Fire Protection Association staff liaison for NFPA 72, told Security Systems News. "Some of the material in that chapter is new, but most of it is taken from existing requirements and compiled into a location where you can more quickly find" the requirements." Full Story

Government Affairs

A federal court issued a temporary injunction April 17, blocking the National Labor Relations Board's new rule to require posters about union activity in the workplace. The rule was set to take effect nationwide on April 30, reported Reuters. But legal questions about whether the NLRB has the power to require the union posters must be answered first, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in issuing the injunction. Full Story

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced its opposition to a Senate proposal to hike taxes on small businesses who file as so-called Subchapter S Corporations, many of whom are architects. The S Corp. tax hike proposal has surfaced as part of an effort to find replacement revenue for money lost to the federal government if Congress keeps the current 3.4% student loan interest rate, which is set to increase to 6.4% on July 1. Full Story

A California state Senate committee voted to support legislation that would create a task force to strengthen the state's oversight of earthquake protections for public schools. Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, SB 1271 now heads to the Appropriations Committee for review. Under the bill, a task force would have until Jan. 1, 2014, to study and recommend new building standards and policies to bolster school seismic safety. Corbett introduced the bill in late February following a California Watch investigation and scathing state audit that found regulators charged with overseeing school construction had failed to ensure that buildings were safe, reported California Watch. Full Story

Small Business News

Postal Service Reform

In the ongoing effort to put the Postal Service on sound fiscal ground, the Postmaster General proposed a host of closures and delivery modifications.  At the same time, Congress has been working on postal service "reform" which would also help the Postal Service get its fiscal house in order.

Turns out the price of securing those other reforms may be slowing down or stopping some closures and also delaying any effort to end Saturday delivery.

The Senate had taken the lead in debating these issues.  There is a good chance by the end of the week that it will finish work on the 21st Century Postal Service Act,S.1789.

According Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who have led the Senate fight for reform, a compromise will:

*Give the Postmaster General access to money USPS has overpaid into one of its retirement funds to provide incentives to encourage 100,000 eligible employees to retire.  This would help voluntarily "right-size" the workforce to take into account the steep decline in first class mail volume in recent years

*Reduce the amount of money that USPS has to prefund for retiree health benefits by amortizing the costs over 40 years and calculating those costs more appropriately.

*Retain overnight delivery of first class mail, but limit it in some cases to shorter geographic distances.

*Prevent the Postal Service from going to five-day delivery for the next two years and require it to exhaust all other cost-saving measures first

*Require USPS to set standards for retail service across the country, consider several alternative options before closing post offices, and provide for increased opportunity for public input

*Allow USPS to deliver mail to curbside, sidewalk, or centralized mailboxes, rather than front door mail slots or boxes

*Allow USPS to sell non-postal products and services in appropriate cases

The House will still have to consider the bill, and there is stronger sentiment there for going forward with closures and delivery curtailment.

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

When are we going to Las Vegas? In 180 days!

The DHI Annual Conference and Exposition, October 17 & 18 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, is now less than six months away! So what to do?

You can begin making housing reservations beginning May 15th. With newly renovated grand king or queen rooms at a $139 rate, inclusive of the resort fee, this year's event will be more affordable than ever at a beautiful facility in a great city! The MGM offers the finest in luxury accommodations, from the standard deluxe room to a variety of opulent suites, so your choice of lodging is quite varied.

The Conference Brochure will be in the mail in early June and will provide all of the details concerning educational and networking opportunities, schedules, and registration options at the event this year. The Conference website will be open in mid-June as well to allow you to preregister and take advantage of this year's newer, simpler, more affordable registration options.

So watch your postal mailbox and email inbox for more details in the near future!

Strategic Planning for DHI & Foundation

DHI recently hosted our Spring Board meetings as well as two strategic planning sessions, for both DHI and the Foundation respectively. It was the first time since 2005 that DHI held a strategic planning session. The Board of Governors had wisely determined that it was imperative to revisit our long term plans this year. Included in the DHI session was not only the DHI Board and senior staff, but also the Strategic Advisory Council and the Foundation Trustee officers. Over the course of two days, every major aspect of the association was revisited as leadership was tasked with strategically examining the role and purpose of DHI and its major programs over the next five years. These decisions will provide DHI with a map towards supporting the prosperity of our members and our industry at large. Staff is busy crafting the details of execution and will soon be sharing these strategic decisions for DHI and the Door Security & Safety Foundation.

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