Standards, safety issues, shows to note

Changes proposed for Standard 90.1 to affect metal buildings
Changes to assembly descriptions and U-Factors regarding metal building assemblies are being considered in the 2010 version of Standard 90.1, expected to be published in the fall.

“Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” (ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007) provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design, according to a news release from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Proposed changes affecting metal buildings are found in Appendix A, “Rated R-Value of Insulation and Assembly U-Factor, C-Factor and F-Factor Determinations.” The revised appendix results from a metal building task group investigation of existing metal building stock that revealed typical installation of single and double-layer assemblies compress insulation and negatively affect thermal performance.

The complete document is available  at ASHRAE’s web site, www.ashrae.org/pressroom/detail/17408

Alaska leads in adding construction jobs; other states up
Construction employment in 49 states and the District of Columbia declined between February 2009 and February 2010, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released March 26  by the Associated General Contractors of America.  Alaska was the only state to see an increase in construction employment (0.6 percent, 100 jobs) between February 2009 and February 2010.

In the past month, states showing increases in percentage of construction jobs were New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Mississippi.

OSHA sends letters to 15,000 high injury rate workplaces
OSHA has identified and sent letters to approximately 15,000 workplaces with the highest occupational injury and illness rates, urging the employers to take action to remove hazards causing the high rates.

That’s according to an item in an early March newsletter by J.J.Keller & Associates. It says employers that received the letters are covered by federal OSHA and reported the highest “Days away from work, restricted work or job transfer injury and illness” (DART) rate to OSHA in a survey of 2008 injury and illness data. For every 100 full-time workers, the 15,000 employers had 4.5 or more injuries or illnesses which resulted in days away from work, restricted work or job transfer. The national average is 2.0.

Keller says while receiving the letter does not mean an employer will receive an OSHA inspection, it does put employers on notice that they may be targeted. (OSHA may target up to 4500 general industry workplaces identified in the survey for inspection in the next year.)

SCMA elects new leaders during annual meeting in Tampa
Christopher Sackett, Turn Bull Lumber Company, Elizabethtown, N.C., was elected the new president of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association (SCMA). Frank Vallot, Acadian Hardwoods and Cypress, Ponchatoula, La., was elected the new vice president.

SCMA members voted for the new officers at the association’s annual meeting March 10 in Tampa, Fla.

The Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization with 21 member companies, dedicated to the promotion of cypress building products to trade professionals and consumers. For more information on the SCMA, visit www.cypressinfo.org

Basement adds living space, bumps up home’s resale value
Builders looking to meet the needs of homebuyers should start looking below ground level when constructing new homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

According to the “What 21st Century Home Buyers Want” survey of customer preferences conducted by the NAHB, the inclusion of basements in new homes has been on an upward rise since 2000. Homes being built on slabs are declining, as homeowners find more value in basements both during their occupancy of the home and at the time of resale.

“There’s nothing like a well-insulated basement that can serve as valuable living space to pop the eyes open of a potential homebuyer,” says Atlanta Realton Tina Fountain. “You can see the wheels start turning in a homebuyer’s mind as they quickly calculate what they can do with the ‘bonus space.’ A good basement takes the pressure off the other living areas in the home and opens up a world of possibilities for potential homebuyers.”

The survey says married couples with children and high-income households generally look for full basements.

Southern Building Show opens May 13 in Atlanta
Georgia World Congress Center in  Atlanta is the site for the Southern Building show, May 13-15.  Top industry leaders will share insights on the economic climate, trends in construction design and remodeling, and business strategies to help sustain and grow  business. Details can be found at the Southern Building Show web site.

Economist, actor Ben Stein headlines BOMA conference
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International will feature economist, columnist, humorist and actor Ben Stein as keynote speaker at the 2010 BOMA International Conference, June 27-29 in Los Angeles County, Calif.

Stein, whose career includes many roles, continues to be a leading voice on the economy. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Yale Law School. As part of his career in law, politics and journalism, Stein served as speech writer and economic advisor for Presidents Nixon and Ford. He has written columns for The Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine and The New York Times.

The conference is aimed at commercial real estate professionals. Key topics include solutions for prospering in a down economy, attracting and retaining tenants, reducing operating expenses, negotiating leases, achieving sustainability, keeping buildings and tenants safe and making sound financial decisions.

Be prepared: Roadcheck 2010 set June 8-10
During a 72-hour period in the second week of June, thousands of inspectors will be examining over 70,000 vehicles, according to a newsletter from safety experts J.J. Keller International.

What inspectors find (or don’t find) can affect CSA 2010 Scores. Even violations not resulting in an out-of-service order will be tabulated into the CSA 2010 Safety Measurement System.

Some facts to consider regarding last year’s Roadcheck event:
• A record 72,782 inspections were conducted.
• Of the vehicles inspected, 19.6 percent (about 14,130 vehicles) were placed out of service for mechanical problems.
• On average, approximately 17 trucks or buses were inspected every minute.
For safety information, visit from J.J. Keller Web site.

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