Portland Cement Association Announces Housing Starts Will Increase by 20 Percent in 2015

Residential housing starts will be on the increase in 2015, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA). During the 2015 International Builders’ Show, PCA Chief Economist and Group Vice President Edward J. Sullivan announced that housing starts will increase 20 percent to 1.2 million units in 2015. This is up from roughly 950,000 units in 2014, and strong gains are also expected for 2016.

Multifamily units in particular should see a significant increase in starts compared to previous years with a 12 percent jump from 2014 levels. Nearly 400,000 multifamily starts are expected in 2015 in addition to 800,000 new units in the single-family market. The trend in multifamily construction is expected to persist throughout the forecast horizon as high student debt keeps millennials out of the new home market and baby boomers leave the market.

“The forecast is based on sustained strength in the labor markets with more than 3 million net new jobs created in both 2015 and 2016,” Sullivan says. “In addition, wage gains in the context of sub-6 percent unemployment are expected to reinforce labor market fundamentals.”

Sustained strength in job creation, coupled with a gradual shift in the mix of jobs toward higher skill and more significant wage pressures suggest added strength to consumer spending. Debt to household income now lies at an 18-year low. Consumer balance sheets have endured a healing period and with improvement in the labor markets will be more able to spend than they have been in quite some time.

GAF Featured on DIY Network Television Show Rev Run’s Renovation

GAF has announced its participation in two episodes of the popular DIY Network television show, Rev Run’s Renovation. The Jan. 10 episode featured the installation of GAF Camelot Lifetime Designer Shingles on Rev Run’s family home, while the Jan. 24 episode showed them being installed on the pool house.

Rev Run’s Renovation follows Joseph Ward Simmons, aka Rev Run from the successful music group, Run DMC, as he and his entire family work together to completely renovate their 9,000-square-foot New Jersey home. The show averaged more than 2.2 million viewers in its premier season last year and kicked off a new season Saturday, Jan. 3.

GAF’s inclusion within the show displays its continued support of GAF factory-certified contractors with the Master Elite Contractor logo featured throughout the episode, verbal mentions of the importance of using a Master Elite Contractor and the company’s Emmy-nominated commercials highlighting Master Elite Contractors airing during the episode.

RCI International Convention & Trade Show Features More than 25 Hours of Educational Seminars and Live Product Demonstrations

The 30th RCI International Convention & Trade Show will be held March 20‐25, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and San Antonio Convention Center in San Antonio.

The annual event will feature more than 25 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations and a two‐day trade show with more than 130 exhibitors. Educational programs are approved to yield continuing education credits for members of RCI and the American Institute of Architects. “It’s a great opportunity to earn a full year’s worth of continuing education credit at one event,” says William Myers, RCI’s marketing director. “RCI’s consultant members will visit the trade show to discover the latest products for designing and repairing today’s building envelopes.”

RCI is an international association of building envelope consultants whose members specialize in design, investigation, repair and management of roofing, exterior wall and waterproofing systems. More than 1,300 attendees are expected at this year’s event.
In addition, RCI regularly hosts education programs designed to demystify and explain the application of roofing, waterproofing and exterior wall technologies.

ELFA Reveals Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) which represents the $903 billion equipment finance sector, has revealed its Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015. Given U.S. businesses, nonprofits and government agencies will spend nearly $1.5 trillion in capital goods or fixed business investment (including software) this year, financing a majority of those assets, these trends impact a significant portion of the U.S. economy. Businesses will find opportunities presented by a steadily improving economy and favorable credit conditions as they make their decisions for equipment replacement and expansion.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, says, “Equipment financing is a critical source of funding for a majority of U.S. businesses, allowing them to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. It enables equipment acquisition, which plays a critical role in driving the supply chains across all U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. To assist businesses in planning their acquisition strategies, we have distilled recent research data, including the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s 2015 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook Report, industry participants’ expertise and member input from ELFA meetings and conferences to provide our best insight for the Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015.”

ELFA forecasts the following Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015:

  • 1. Investment in equipment and software will reach an all-time high in 2015. As the U.S. economy continues to improve, business investment is forecast to reach a record $1.484 trillion in 2015. As business investment grows, demand for equipment financing will increase.
  • 2. Businesses will invest in equipment not just to replace aging assets, but also to aid in expansion. The pent-up replacement demand that has driven equipment investment in previous years may be supplemented by long-awaited expansion investment as capacity utilization rates in some industries reach or surpass levels historically known to spur business investment. Industries poised for investment growth include oil and gas extraction and transportation equipment manufacturing.
  • 3. While some equipment types will see strong growth, others will moderate. In 2014, equipment and software investment increased 9.6 percent in Q2 and 9.3 percent in Q3. Looking ahead, growth in equipment and software investment is expected to moderate somewhat, as it is unlikely to keep up the strong pace seen in Q2 and Q3. A still healthy growth rate of 6 percent is forecast for 2015. Aircraft, trucks and other industrial equipment are projected to be among the higher growth types, while agriculture, computers and software are expected to see slower growth.
  • 4. Improving market conditions will continue to increase credit supply and demand for equipment acquisitions. As the economy steadily improves and business confidence continues to increase, credit standards should modestly loosen. The propensity to finance decreased in the wake of the financial crisis as businesses deleveraged and refrained from new business investment. Since bottoming out in 2010, the rate at which businesses finance their capital spending has grown consistently and will continue to increase in 2015 with steady economic recovery and shifts in Federal Reserve policy.
  • 5. Eyes will be on short-term interest rate increases. Expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates in 2015 should spur equipment investment as businesses seek to lock in equipment financing at lower rates. Despite rate increases, businesses will find that a highly competitive “buyer’s market” will continue to make financing an attractive option for acquiring equipment.
  • 6. Businesses will use financing for a majority of their plant, equipment and software expenditures. In 2015, 62 percent or $922 billion of investment in plant, equipment and software in the United States is expected to be financed through loans, leases and lines of credit. A majority of businesses—seven out of 10—will use at least one form of financing to acquire equipment.
  • 7. Advances in the use of technology will drive innovative financing options. Equipment finance providers are streamlining their business processes and improving customer self-service capabilities using digital technologies. At the same time, some end-users are moving away from traditional equipment consumption models and toward hosted or managed services based on usage rather than total ownership. To meet customer demand and address evolving technology equipment requirements, equipment finance companies will tailor innovative financial offerings.
  • 8. Several “wild cards” could impact equipment acquisition decisions. In what could be a breakout year for the U.S. economy, positive and negative external risks could affect equipment investment. Potential political gridlock, global economic weakness and geopolitical risks could be a drag on investment decisions, but GDP growth from low oil prices, a potential surge in the housing sector and sufficient capacity utilization could have firms ramping up capital expenditures.
  • 9. Nontraditional financing will continue to grow and play a larger role in the equipment finance industry. As regulatory scrutiny increases and some banks’ lending standards tighten for certain credits, nontraditional financing sources, such as investment bankers, venture capitalists, insurance companies, crowd funders and others, are exploring opportunities in the equipment finance sector.
  • 10. A final lease accounting standard will be released. The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board continue to work on the lease accounting project, which will change how leases are accounted for on corporate balance sheets. A final standard is anticipated in 2015, with a possible effective date of 2018 or later. The good news is that the benefits of leasing equipment will remain intact despite the lease accounting proposal.

Magnetically Mounted LED Work Light Illuminates Areas up to 18,000 Square Feet

The magnetically mounted LED work light produces 14,790 lumens of high-intensity light.

The magnetically mounted LED work light produces 14,790 lumens of high-intensity light.

Industrial lighting specialist Larson Electronics has released a 150-watt LED pedestal mount work light with an inline transformer. This magnetic mount work light produces 14,790 lumens of light capable of illuminating an area 18,000 square feet in size.

The BML-150LED-LV-50 from Larson Electronics is a magnetically mounted LED work light that produces 14,790 lumens of high-intensity light and includes an inline AC to DC transformer for easy connection to standard 110-277 volts AC power sources. Weather proof and suitable for wet areas, this LED equipped fixture is mounted within an aluminum frame equipped with an adjustable handle and magnetic foot pads that provide simple setup and easy carry transport. Thirty Cree XLamp 5-watt LEDs producing 493 lumens each are arranged in rows and paired with high-purity optics to produce a well-focused 25-degree spot beam that is ideal for providing far-reaching concentrated illumination.

The mounting pedestal on this unit is constructed of aluminum and designed to allow users to place the unit on any flat surface for stable deployment as a pedestal light. This unit is equipped with four 200-pound grip magnetic feet, which provides a total of 800 pounds of grip and allows operators to securely mount this unit to metallic surfaces, such as tank walls or equipment, and mount the light as a temporary work area light. This unit is lightweight and the aluminum frame and adjustable carry handle allows operators to simply carry the unit from one location to another as needed and adjust the handle to any position for better mounting versatility. The light housing and handle are adjustable and can be moved vertically by loosening two thumb bolts located on either side. Included with this unit is 50 feet of cord and a straight blade plug that provides simple connection to standard wall outlets and ample length for easy placement in the workspace.

Employment App Makes It Easy to Find Construction Jobs and Job Seekers

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment.

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment.

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment. The free app makes the job posting/hiring process easier by using a smartphone’s or tablet’s video, photo and GPS technology. Employers can currently post jobs for free via the app’s free trial promotion.

Snagajob offers a new way for employers to find and manage applicants on their mobile device. With Snagajob, employers can conveniently use their mobile device to:

  • Manage their account’s status and add additional postings for multiple locations
  • Access and review applications for each job posting and quickly see their availability and qualifications
  • Find qualified prospects in their area and then reach out via phone or email and encourage them to apply
  • Easily rank/sort applicant and “star” the applicants they want to interview and note the ones they are not interested in.

The app’s “Video Apply” feature allows employers to view a short clip that candidates can include with their application and lets them gauge the personality fit and enthusiasm of applicants before scheduling an interview, thus saving time and energy for both job seekers and employers.

Snagajob is currently used by thousands of employers across the country across a wide range of vertical markets including retail, food service, transportation, hospitality, child care and more.

Congress Associates Announces Sales Representative Agreement with Karnak Corp.

Congress Associates announces a new independent sales representative agreement with Karnak Corp. Congress Associates will be responsible for product representation in all of the New England states including Connecticut and the Albany, N.Y., market. The company has represented coating and restoration systems for numerous years and is pleased to align itself with Karnak reflective and fire retardant coatings.

“Karnak has been long known for quality coating products and offers a line of high end restoration and waterproofing systems,” says John Massengill, Congress Associates president. “We are constantly looking to improve our service offerings by aligning ourselves with manufacturers at the forefront of product development. Karnak is the perfect addition to our roofing and waterproofing services offered. Our customers further benefit from innovative solutions provided by trusted sources in the industry to best protect their assets.”

Karnak manufactures a complete line of reflective coatings, cements and sealants for roofing, waterproofing and maintenance. Karnak is the premier manufacturer of Energy Star labeled coatings. All products are tested for fire resistance and wind uplift, approved by UL, FM, certified to comply with ASTM specifications and are CRRC listed. The company’s Energy Star labeled coatings qualify for LEED points as part of LEED Certified buildings.

Moisture, water intrusion and reducing energy consumption are a concern for all building owners and property managers. Karnak Kanopy reflective roof and maintenance coatings reduce roof surface temperature by preventing heat absorption, extend the life of the roof and reduce building operating costs. These coatings lessen the heat island effect, benefiting the environment.

AES Raptor and Premier Rail Systems Merge to Focus on Safety

Falling is easily one of the most dangerous aspects in the roofing and construction industry. When a fall occurs on a job site, it often results in serious injury or death. In the effort to prevent such hazards, AES Raptor LLC of North Kansas City, Mo., and Premier Rail Systems Inc. of Kansas City, Kan., have merged to create Leading Edge Safety LLC.

According to the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), falls are the leading cause of fatal injury in the construction industry. In fact, half of all work-related fatal falls in the United States occur in the construction industry. NIOSH’s specific prevention recommendations have included site-specific evaluation of potential fall hazards; implementation of fall protection programs; proper erection, maintenance and use of access equipment; installation and maintenance of appropriate barriers (guard rails, such as the RaptorRail and/or covers, such as the Skynet, on floor openings); along with proper selection and use of fall restraint/fall arrest systems in situations where exposure to falls cannot be eliminated.

Leading Edge Safety LLC offers solutions for all your fall-protection needs. Expanding its lineup to include everything from mobile fall-protection anchor points (TriRex, Stinger and R2000 mobile fall protection carts) to temporary and permanent perimeter railing systems. By creating the Leading Edge LLC, the companies can now offer a one-stop solution to the products that allow you to continue a safe and productive work site. Leading Edge Safety LLC is led by Brent Smith, formerly of AES Raptor LLC, and Mike Budenbender, formerly of Premier Rail Systems Inc. Sales will be managed by Jeremy Martin and Matt Small, while operations will be managed by Travis Budenbender.

Dual-use Goggles Feature Protection Against Impacts and Splashing

Gateway Safety's Cyclone goggles offer two safety solutions in its versatile product. Users can wear the dual-use goggle as Cyclone Impact, featuring a strong polycarbonate lens surrounded by a sturdy vinyl frame. Users can also add the optional, patented Double-Take inserts.

Gateway Safety’s Cyclone goggles offer two safety solutions in its versatile product. Users can wear the dual-use goggle as Cyclone Impact, featuring a strong polycarbonate lens surrounded by a sturdy vinyl frame. Users can also add the optional, patented Double-Take inserts.

Gateway Safety’s Cyclone goggles offer two safety solutions in its versatile product. Users can wear the dual-use goggle as Cyclone Impact, featuring a strong polycarbonate lens surrounded by a sturdy vinyl frame. Users can also add the optional, patented Double-Take inserts — the secret behind the easy impact-to-splash conversion. When the Double-Take inserts are added at the top and bottom of the goggle frame, Cyclone Impact becomes Cyclone Splash, a highly effective impact-plus-splash goggle. This two-in-one solution offers convenience for workers who require both types of goggles during one day or shift, as well as great savings for employers.

Another Gateway Safety innovation—the patented Whirlwind anti-fog ventilation system—helps prevent or reduce fogging when Cyclone is used as an impact goggle only. According to industry experts, goggles can present a greater concern for fogging than regular safety glasses because their snug fit may reduce ventilation. However, the movement of air within safety eyewear can help to lower the temperature and evaporate humidity, reducing the fogging risk.

The Whirlwind anti-fog system not only reduces the risk of fogging but also improves user comfort. Ten unique, conical air intake chambers open to the user’s brow, and ten additional ventilation ports line the underside of the frame, where secondary air enters the goggle. These openings allow air to enter, which circulates through the inner frame and helps reduce fogging.

Cyclone’s styling and lightweight design encourage compliance, even for those who wear prescription eyewear. An adjustable headband ensures a comfortable yet secure fit. Cyclone safety goggles provide impact protection at all times. Cyclone meets ANSI Z87.1+ and CSA Z94.3 impact standards.

Metal Building Manufacturers Association Announces 2015 Board of Directors

The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) approved its 2015 Board of Directors at the MBMA Annual Meeting held on Dec. 10, 2014, in Dallas. The 2015 Board Members are:

“It’s a great honor to be able to work with these industry leaders,” says Tom Gilligan, MBMA’s new chairman. “Metal building systems now make up over 50 percent of the low-rise, non-residential building construction market, thanks in large part to the MBMA and the leadership of these board members. I look forward to continuing our industry’s growth and enhancing MBMA’s reputation as the technical leader for metal building systems.”

At this year’s annual meeting, MBMA announced Dale Nelson of Roof Hugger Inc. as the winner of the 2014 Innovation Award. His project submission is to undertake side-by-side performance testing, using applicable code referenced standards of metal roofing and TPO roofing, to see which product stands up better. The end results will provide objective information for anyone needing a new roof. This project now moves on to MBMA’s Technical Committee.

MBMA board members, associate members and committee members put in countless hours of service throughout the year as they work to promote metal building systems. They do this by working through established MBMA committees in a variety of areas, including MBMA’s sustainability objectives and addressing code concerns; partnering with the International Accreditation Service to ensure a smoothly functioning accreditation process; tackling timely and significant insurance matters and safety issues; and directing continued research and testing at some of the nation’s leading research universities and laboratories.

Founded in 1956, MBMA serves manufacturers and suppliers as it works to promote the metal building systems industry. Its membership represents more than $2.2 billion in annual sales and accounts for approximately 52 percent of the total non-residential low-rise construction market in the United States. The association provides a wealth of technical information on its website for anyone who works with or is interested in metal building systems, and publishes numerous technical manuals and design guides.