NRCA Names Gold Circle Award Winners

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has awarded 11 of its member contractors with the prestigious Gold Circle Award during its 127th Annual Convention held Feb. 24-28 in Las Vegas. The award recognizes outstanding workmanship and contributions to the roofing industry, including unique roofing-related jobs, programs and services. Additionally, two companies received a Gold Circle Safety Award for demonstrating superior safety measures.

The 2014 Gold Circle Awards were presented in the following categories:

Outstanding Workmanship: Low-slope

Winner:
James R. Walls Contracting Co. Inc., Clinton, Md., for the International Monetary Fund Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Honorable Mention:
United Materials LLC, Denver, for Byron White U. S. Courthouse, Denver
Finalists:
Douglass Colony Group Inc., Commerce City, Colo., for Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colo.
Waterproofing Associates Inc., Mountain View, Calif., for Doctors Hospital of Manteca, Calif.

Outstanding Workmanship: Steep-slope

Winners:
Bregenzer Brothers Inc., Hopewell, N.J., for the Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, N.J.
Hayden Building Maintenance Corp., West Nyack, N.Y., for Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
James Myers Co. Inc., Beltsville, Md., for Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
W.A. Lynch Roofing Co. Inc., Charlottesville, Va., for University of Virginia
Honorable Mentions:
Castro Roofing of Texas LP, Dallas, for Dallas City Performance Hall
Ruff Roofers, Baltimore, Md., for Towson University, Towson, Md.
Russell Roofing Co. Inc., Oreland, Pa., for Overbrook School for the Blind, Philadelphia
Finalist:
Carpenter’s Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla., for the Bodenweber residence, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Innovative Solution: New Construction

Winner:
D.C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for TD Ameritrade Headquarters, Omaha, Neb.
Honorable Mention:
Carpenter’s Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla., for the Bodenweber residence, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Innovative Solutions: Reroofing

Winners:
Clark’s Quality Roofing, Inc., Murray, Utah, for Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City
Ruff Roofers, Baltimore, Md., for Union Square Pavilion, Baltimore
W.A. Lynch Roofing Co. Inc., Clinton, Md., for International Monetary Fund Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Honorable Mentions:
Grove Roofing Services Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., for Erie Community College, Buffalo, N.Y.
James Myers Co. Inc., Beltsville, Md., for Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
James R. Walls Contracting Co. Inc., Clinton, Md., for International Monetary Fund Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Finalist:
Lifetime Roofing Ltd., Arima, Trinidad, for Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Lowlands Tobago

Service to the Community

Winner:
Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, Oklahoma City, Okla., for Chamberlin Volunteer Day for Moore, Okla., Tornado Recovery

Service to the Industry

Winner:
Trent Cotney, P.A., Tampa, Fla., for his service to the roofing industry

Gold Circle Safety Awards

Winners:
Castro Roofing of Texas LP., Dallas, for Dallas City Performance Hall
Douglass Colony Group Inc., Commence City, Colo., for Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colo.

PIMA Sponsors Appalachian State Solar Decathlon Europe Entry

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced that it has signed on as a Kilowatt Level sponsor of Appalachian State University‘s entry to the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014.

Appalachian State University (Appalachian) is one of only three U.S. universities selected to participate in the prestigious Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, an international competition inspired by the U.S. Solar Decathlon that challenges student teams to design and build an energy-independent solar house. Twenty projects were selected for the competition out of a total of 44 candidacies from 23 countries.

“Using effective and accessible products in Maison Reciprocity such as polyiso, allows our team to dramatically improve upon the beloved row house typology without radically changing the norm in terms of products and systems,” says Appalachian State University Graduate Construction Manager, Scott Hopkins. “With a continuous layer of polyiso wrapping the building envelope, we can let more natural daylight into a traditionally long, narrow row house without sacrificing thermal performance.”

Appalachian is partnering with the University of Angers in Angers, France. The collaboration, dubbed Team Réciprocité, will present their energy plus house design, Maison Reciprocity, in Versailles from June 27 through July 14, 2014.

Team Réciprocité is committed to utilizing affordable solutions and practical, technological alternatives, such as polyiso insulation, to ensure that Maison Reciprocity remains highly sustainable throughout its life cycle. Using cross-laminated timber (CLT) as its primary structural system, Maison Reciprocity will be designed in modular, panelized components that may be flat-packed for easy transport and shipping.

“Maison Reciprocity will feature the latest in building systems technology as well as incorporate one of the most energy efficient insulation products available today, polyiso,” says Jared O. Blum, president of PIMA. “With the highest R-value per inch of any insulation product, and the only on that is third party certified, polyiso will be a critical component in this Solar Decathlon Europe entry.

“Our sponsorship underscores the polyiso industry’s commitment to net zero energy buildings – where the future of construction lies,” adds Blum.

Maison Reciprocity will be scalable to fit the needs of different sites, communities and owners while remaining energy independent. The final product will be a re-imagined row house, consisting of multiple stories and units.

“Using effective and accessible products in Maison Reciprocity such as polyiso, allows our team to dramatically improve upon the beloved row house typology without radically changing the norm in terms of products and systems,” says Scott Hopkins, graduate construction manager for Maison Reciprocity. “With a continuous layer of polyiso wrapping the building envelope, we can let in more natural daylight into a traditionally long, narrow row house without sacrificing thermal performance.”

PIMA member Atlas Roofing Company is also a sponsor of Team Réciprocité’s entry, Maison Reciprocity. Atlas Rboard is the main insulation throughout the house with four inches of Atlas Rboard polyiso being used as continuous insulation over CLT and stick frame walls.

The Solar Decathlon Europe will be will take place in France, neighboring the spectacular Château de Versailles June 27 to July 14, 2014.

Metal Construction Association to Hold Summer Meeting in June

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) will hold its 2014 Summer Meeting (previously called the Semi-Annual Meeting) June 23-25, 2014, at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., near Chicago. Look for additional information about the Summer Meeting soon on MCA’s new website.

MCA is a volunteer-led organization with much of the work achieved through strong leadership by its board of directors and member-driven councils and committees. Meetings are typically held in January and mid-year. These events include interactive council and committee sessions with discussion of current work in development, where important actions and activities are addressed.

In addition to meetings, MCA’s major annual event is the METALCON International Exhibition and Conference, which provides product exhibits, educational programs, and demonstrations of the latest field techniques and trends for designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators, and suppliers from around the world. METALCON is the only show devoted entirely to the use of metal in construction. The 2014 event is scheduled for Oct. 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

The Metal Construction Association brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research and technology and education. Companies involved in MCA gain tremendous benefit from association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs. MCA’s market development efforts increase the use of metal materials in construction through the education of the building and design communities about the benefits of metal.

NRCA Bestows J.A. Piper Award to Robert Therrien

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced Robert Therrien, president of The Melanson Co. Inc., Keene, N.H., is the 67th recipient of its annual J.A. Piper Award. The award was presented at the association’s 127th Annual Convention held Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas. The J.A. Piper award is the industry’s most prestigious honor, recognizing roofing professionals who have devoted constant outstanding service to NRCA and the roofing industry.

Therrien, who served as NRCA’s president in 2008-09, currently serves on the association’s National Roofing Council and is a supporter of ROOFPAC, its political action committee.

Prior to serving as NRCA president, Therrien served as NRCA senior vice president from 2007-08; vice president from 1995-96, 2003-04 and 2006-07; and director from 1990-93, 1994-95, 2000, 2001-02 and 2005-06. In addition, he has served on many committees, including the Architectural Sheet Metal, Manual Update, Technical Operations, and Health and Safety committees, as well as the Insurance Board of Governors and NRCA/RCI Task Force Safety Design.

“Rob has served as respected ambassador of our association,” says fellow former NRCA President and 2013 J.A. Piper Award Bob Dalsin, president of John A. Dalsin & Son Inc., Minneapolis.

“They say all your best friends are in this industry, and it’s the truth,” Therrien said while accepting the award. “All I did is learn, and you taught me.”

First presented in 1948, the J.A. Piper Award is named for former NRCA President Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept the association alive during the Great Depression.

MasterSpec Small Project Enhanced with 55 New Sections

ARCOM is pleased to announce that MasterSpec Small Project has been enhanced to include 55 new sections. Architects and specifiers will now have access to more than 320 sections commonly used for small projects. The additional sections include sustainable design requirements, reroofing preparation, waterproofing and roofing, snow guards, chairlifts and much more. These abridged specification sections are developed specifically for projects limited in size, scope and duration with simpler contractual requirements.

In response to growing client demand, MasterSpec Small Project now features some of the tools and resources included in the flagship MasterSpec software, namely Supporting Documents and Paragraph Builder, two of the most popular tools. MasterSpec Supporting Documents feature checklists, tips, and background research information, helping specification writers improve their efficiency while also reminding them of items that might be overlooked when compiling specification projects. Paragraph Builder is a cloud-based time-saving tool that hosts manufacturer and product information that are continuously and automatically updated.

MasterSpec Small Project is preferred when architects, engineers and specifiers are working on residential, light commercial, renovation, and design-build projects, as well as facilities management and interior fit-out work.

RCMA Elects Officers, Bestows Martin A. Davis Industry Leadership Award

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) hosted more than 90 industry attendees at its 2014 Annual Meeting, Feb. 24-25 in Las Vegas. The association elected a new slate of officers to its board of directors and named Brian Anthony, vice president, The Brewer Co., Milford, Ohio, the 2013 recipient of the RCMA Martin A. Davis Industry Leadership Award.

The Martin A. Davis Award, the highest tribute bestowed by the RCMA, is presented on an annual basis to that individual, selected by his or her peers, who has exemplified outstanding service and made significant contributions to the roof coatings industry. The announcement of Anthony as this year’s honoree and the presentation of the award were made on February 24 at the RCMA 2014 Annual Conference at the Luxor Hotel.

Involved in the RCMA’s activities for over 20 years, Anthony has served as both Vice President and President of the Association. “Throughout Brian’s time with the RCMA, he has consistently been looked to as a leader in all aspects of the Association’s development and growth, and has been particularly active with our technical programs,” reports John Ferraro, RCMA executive director.

Anthony is the 29th recipient of the Martin A. Davis Award, first awarded posthumously to Martin A. Davis in 1985. The award was subsequently designated in honor and memory of Davis, a visionary founding member of the RCMA, who served both the Association and the industry with distinction and exceptional service.

In addition to receiving the Martin A. Davis award, Anthony was re-elected to serve on the RCMA Board of Directors. Also elected to fill two vacant seats were John Ivancic, Sherwin-Williams, and Craig Smith, Superior Products International.

The following Officers were elected by the membership at the 2014 Annual Meeting to serve two-year terms:

President: Helene Hardy Pierce, GAF
Vice President: Skip Leonard, Henry Company
Vice President: Steve Heinje, Quest Construction Products
Secretary-Treasurer: Jonathan Dietzel, The SWT Group

“We are thrilled with the turnout at our Annual Meeting,” commented Ferraro. “I believe that the unprecedented volume of first-time attendees is a testament to the hard work put in by our member volunteers and the relevance of our association’s activities.”

The RCMA will next convene in Baltimore, July 14-17, for the association’s International Roof Coatings Conference.

ELFA Monthly Leasing and Finance Index Provides a Survey of Economic Activity

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $827 billion equipment finance sector, showed its overall new business volume for January was $6 billion, up 2 percent from new business volume in January 2013. Volume was down 44 percent from December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.

Receivables over 30 days were at 1.8 percent in January, down slightly from 1.9 percent in December. Delinquencies were unchanged from the same period in 2013. Charge-offs were unchanged from the previous two months at the all-time low of 0.3 percent.

Credit approvals totaled 76.9 percent in January, a decrease from 78.3 percent the previous month. Fifty-four percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during January, a decrease from 57 percent December.

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 0.7 percent year over year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for February is 63.3, the second highest index in two years and off slightly from last month’s two-year index high of 64.9.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “At the start of the new year, equipment finance activity picked up where it left off for most of 2013. New business volume shows modest, incremental growth while credit losses continue at historic lows. With fiscal pressures in Washington subsiding, at least for the time being, and most major U.S. economic indicators showing positive signs, we are hopeful that these factors will help promote a favorable climate for continued investment by U.S. businesses in capital equipment in 2014 and beyond.”

Martha Ahlers, VP/COO, United Leasing Inc., added: “The Monthly Confidence Index results for the last two reported periods provide continued optimism for the year ahead. Beginning 2014 with a 63.3 MCI, the 2nd highest mark in the last 24 months, is also extremely promising and serves as evidence of stability and positive velocity within our industry. In the Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, origination volumes year-over-year are also up, while maintaining historically low delinquency and charge-offs—an indication of continued health. The combination of these positive indicators creates a huge amount of excitement for potential growth.”

About ELFA’s MLFI-25
The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time from Washington, D.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed.

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants is available below and also at http://www.elfaonline.org/Research/MLFI/

MLFI-25 Methodology
The ELFA produces the MLFI-25 survey to help member organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information to support strategic business decision making.

The MLFI-25 is a barometer of the trends in U.S. capital equipment investment. Five components are included in the survey: new business volume (originations), aging of receivables, charge-offs, credit approval ratios, (approved vs. submitted) and headcount for the equipment finance business.

The MLFI-25 measures monthly commercial equipment lease and loan activity as reported by participating ELFA member equipment finance companies representing a cross section of the equipment finance sector, including small ticket, middle-market, large ticket, bank, captive and independent leasing and finance companies. Based on hard survey data, the responses mirror the economic activity of the broader equipment finance sector and current business conditions nationally.

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
CIT
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
Direct Capital Corporation
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
LEAF Commercial Capital
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Suntrust
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
TCF Equipment Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

Colorado Coalition to Welcome METALCON International to Denver

Visitors to the 24th METALCON International, slated for Oct. 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, will get a royal welcome from local companies involved in the show. Denver-based New Tech Machinery and Colorado Springs-based S-5! Solutions have formed the Colorado Coalition as a way of encouraging visitors to learn about Colorado before they arrive and for Coloradans to experience METALCON.

METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne agrees that METALCON and Colorado are a perfect match. “We’re so glad to be coming to Denver. Colorado is a great state for metal and for business. That’s why we always wanted to bring the show here, so the expansion of the convention center was a turning point in doing that. Our friends at S-5! and New Tech are making great plans to welcome METALCON to their state. It’s a great feeling and we’re looking forward to all the exciting things happening in October.”

METALCON is the only annual international event focused on metal construction products, technologies and solutions. It draws designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators and suppliers from more than 52 countries each year. Experts from nearly 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology and share their knowledge with attendees while industry specialists present key topics in the education program and in live demonstrations of field techniques held daily in the exhibit hall.

New Tech Machinery and S-5! Solutions have spearheaded the welcoming effort by generating awareness about METALCON among area groups, such as the Colorado Roofing Association, the Colorado AIA, IFMA, BOMA and surrounding state associations.

Keith Lipps, vice president of S-5! Solutions, is eager to show off his state and his company. “The Colorado Coalition was formed as soon as we learned METALCON was coming to our home state. It’s exciting and gives us a chance to welcome the industry to Colorado. The roofing industry here supports metal and solar and Colorado has consistently been in the top five states using solar. When a trade association meeting is held elsewhere in the U.S., people from the Rocky Mountain states have less of a chance to go. So we’re reaching out to our industry in our own backyard and the associations we’ve met with are very excited about METALCON. Downtown Denver is quite historic and fun and the convention center is walking distance to a lot of great places. We’re also inviting our distributors from all over the world for an S-5! meeting in conjunction with METALCON. So there are a lot of fantastic activities already set in place.”

S-5! Solutions offers a line of non-penetrating clamps, attachment brackets, snow retention systems, and solar attachment solutions that offer strength and longevity.

Kristin Peregoy, marketing manager for New Tech Machinery, is equally involved in the Colorado Coalition. “We are so excited to have METALCON here in our hometown. We’re getting a great response from trade groups in our area and making plans for a big welcoming party at the show. Some of our staff have never been to METALCON so this will be their first time to see the show. Denver is a green and environmentally friendly city so metal roofing is a key part of the area especially in the foothills. Rollforming also has a rich history in Denver and our company has been a major part of the metal community here for more than 20 years. So we’re very proud to be part of this coalition.”

New Tech Machinery manufactures portable rollforming equipment for roofing contractors, gutter contractors and in-plant manufacturers worldwide. Its current product line includes three standing seam roof panel machines, four seamless gutter machines, specialty machines and accessories for existing machines.

The value of metal in sustainable design and green building is highlighted at METALCON in Green Island, an area on the exhibit floor dedicated to metal products used in building energy-saving structures, and in Solar Bay, a special pavilion that showcases the benefits of integrating solar technology with metal roof and wall systems.

During the three-day conference and exhibition, specialists from the Metal Construction Association and other industry related associations present the latest applications and field techniques in daily demonstrations in the Metal in Action area of the exhibit hall. This interactive program combines the best of Solar Bay Live, MCA’s Residential and Commercial Roofing Demos, and Tools Demos. Solar Bay Live offers presentations of techniques for installing solar and metal combinations. In the tool demos, participants can test the latest tools for use with metal.

METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc. and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association. MCA is an organization of leading manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Chicago.

Value of New Construction Fell 13 Percent in January

The value of new construction starts fell 13% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $485.0 billion, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The downturn followed a healthy performance in December, which was the third highest month for total construction starts during 2013. January’s retreat encompassed all three main construction sectors, with moderate declines reported for nonresidential building and housing, as well as a more substantial loss of momentum for nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities) after a particularly robust December. On an unadjusted basis, total construction starts in January came in at $34.1 billion, down 5% from the same month a year ago.

The January statistics lowered the Dodge Index to 103 (2000=100), compared to a revised 118 for December and below the average Index reading of 110 for all of 2013. “The year 2014 began slowly, due to behavior specific to each of the three main construction sectors,” stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for McGraw Hill Construction. “Nonresidential building in 2013 advanced 7%, but the progress was occasionally hesitant, including sluggish activity at the end of last year that carried over into January. At the same time, the prospects for continued growth for nonresidential building during 2014 are generally positive, helped by receding vacancies for commercial properties and some improvement in the fiscal health of state governments. Residential building in 2013 climbed 24%, but towards the end of last year growth began to decelerate as mortgage lending to first-time homebuyers remained stringent. The January slowdown for housing was due in part to tough winter weather conditions, yet the deceleration in recent months bears watching going forward. Nonbuilding construction in 2013 dropped 12%, as the steep pullback by electric utilities outweighed surprising growth for public works. Last year’s nonbuilding performance was also quite volatile on a month-to-month basis, including strong activity in December that’s now been followed by a sharp reduction in January. With 2014 not likely to see the same volume of very large public works projects reach the construction start stage, nonbuilding construction is expected to register another decline this year, and January’s downturn is part of that broader trend.”

Nonresidential building in January dropped 6% to $157.3 billion (annual rate), and was down 7% from last year’s average monthly pace. The commercial building sector in January fell 13%, with declines from the prior month shown by hotels, down 43%; and warehouses, down 3%. Hotels and warehouses posted strong percentage growth during 2013, with each rising 29%, and the sluggish activity in January is viewed as a pause in what’s expected to be continued growth for both structure types during 2014. Cushioning the January decline for the commercial building sector was a 21% increase for office construction, helped by groundbreaking for such projects as a $125 million corporate headquarters in Houston TX, a $66 million office park in Mountain View CA, and a $44 million office building in Raleigh NC. Store construction in January improved 4%, reflecting the start of a $30 million shopping mall in Lakeland FL and a $25 million department store in Las Vegas NV. The manufacturing plant category had a strong January, jumping 44%, due to the impact of two very large projects – a $1.2 billion propane dehydrogenation facility in Texas and a $450 million oil refinery expansion in North Dakota.

The institutional building sector in January decreased 12%, as the recent signs of stability after a lengthy five-year decline continue to be tenuous. The educational building category receded 3%, although the month did include the start of several large university-related projects – a $155 million renovation to an academic building at Princeton University in Princeton NJ, a $100 million business school at Baylor University in Waco TX, and a $92 million science and laboratory facility at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville TN. Healthcare facilities in January dropped 17%, as this structure type continues to show an up-and-down pattern on a monthly basis, keeping renewed growth in a sustained manner on hold. The smaller institutional categories in January were mixed, with reduced activity reported for transportation terminals (down 31%) and amusement-related work (down 20%), while public buildings (up 6%) and religious buildings (up 58%) showed improvement from depressed levels in December. The decline for the amusement category was relative to a very strong December, which included the start of the $763 million Vikings Multipurpose Stadium in Minneapolis MN. Large project support for the amusement category was also present in January, coming from $90 million estimated for a new facility at the Disney Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista FL, as part of a larger $500 million project at that theme park.

Residential building, at $204.7 billion (annual rate), slipped 2% in January. The retreat came as the result of a 6% decline for single family housing, which has now settled back for three months in a row. The January single family decline was widespread geographically, with this pattern for the five major regions relative to December – the South Central, down 13%; the Northeast and West, each down 6%; the Midwest, down 3%; and the South Atlantic, down 2%. Murray noted, “Harsh weather conditions in January played some role in the sluggish single family performance, in combination with the recent pickup in mortgage rates and the tight lending environment as it relates to first-time homebuyers. Still, it’s expected that single family construction should soon regain upward momentum, given the very low inventory of new homes for sale and what’s anticipated to be a strengthening economy and jobs picture.”

Multifamily housing in January grew 12%, staying on the broad upward track that began back in 2010. Large projects that supported the January increase were led by a $400 million condominium and apartment building in New York NY, as this metropolitan area continues to see very large multifamily projects reach groundbreaking. Other large multifamily projects reported as January starts were located in Washington DC ($90 million), Miami FL ($69 million), Minneapolis MN ($54 million), and Dallas TX ($50 million).

Nonbuilding construction in January plunged 32% to $123.0 billion (annual rate), following its 40% surge in December. New electric utility work dropped 61% from the elevated pace witnessed in December, returning to the downward path that was present for much of last year. Although January did include the start of an $800 million natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, this was not enough to avert the category’s steep drop for the month. The public works sector overall in January was down 25%, with declines across most of the project types. While January did include the start of a $153 million highway paving project in Texas and the $126 million deck replacement of the Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey, highway and bridge construction for the month fell 35%. Other January declines were reported for river/harbor development, down 26%; miscellaneous public works (site work, mass transit, and pipelines) down 13%; and water supply systems, down 5%. Sewer construction was the one public works category to register an increase in January, rising 21%, with the lift coming from such projects as a $173 million sewer tunnel in Hawaii.

The 5% decline for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis for January 2014 relative to January 2013 was due to this performance by sector – nonresidential building, down 6%; residential building, up 8%; and nonbuilding construction, down 19%. By geography, total construction starts for January 2014 relative to January 2013 showed declines in four of the five major regions – the West, down 15%; the South Atlantic, down 9%; the South Central, down 5%; and the Midwest, down 3%. The Northeast was the only region to register a year-over-year gain for January 2014, advancing 15%.

Useful perspective can be obtained by looking at twelve-month moving totals, in this case the twelve months ending January 2014 versus the twelve months ending January 2013, which lessens the volatility present in one-month comparisons. For the twelve months ending January 2014, total construction starts were up 5%, due to this pattern by sector – nonresidential building, up 6%; residential building, up 22%; and nonbuilding construction, down 13%. By geography, the twelve months ending January 2014 showed the following behavior for total construction starts – the Northeast, up 16%; the Midwest and West, each up 9%; the South Central, up 2%; and the South Atlantic, down 5%.

CNA Recognizes Insurance Agencies with Commitment to Construction

CNA Financial Corp. has announced the members of its 2014 Construction Leader Board. The company selected 28 agencies from more than 1,000 construction-focused agencies throughout the United States.

“CNA is committed to growing profitably within the construction industry and to deepening relationships with our best producers,” says John Tatum, CNA’s senior vice president, Construction. “The idea behind Leader Board is to recognize those agencies that have also demonstrated their commitment to construction and provide them with the tools they need to continue to grow and succeed in the future.”

The 2014 Construction Leader Board members include:

    Anchor Insurance & Surety, Portland, Ore.

    Barmore Insurance Agency, Houston

    Bowen, Miclette & Britt Insurance Agency, Houston

    Brown & Brown, Lisle, Ill.

    Dawson Companies, Cleveland

    E.J. Wells Insurance Agency, Westford, Mass.

    Gans & Smith Insurance Agency, Longview, Texas

    Halcyon Underwriters, Maitland, Fla.

    HUB International, Metarie, La.

    IMA Inc., Denver, Colo.

    INSURICA, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    InterWest Insurance Services, Sacramento, Calif.

    Lawley Insurance, Buffalo, N.Y.

    Moody Insurance Agency, Denver

    Neace Lukens, Cincinnati

    PayneWest Insurance, Missoula, Mont.

    Sihle Insurance Group, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

    T.P. Daley Insurance Agency, West Springfield, Mass.

    The Cashion Co., Little Rock, Ark.

    The Charles L. Crane Agency, St. Louis

    The Manuel Lujan Agencies, Albuquerque, N.M.

    Thomas & Farr Agency, Monroe, La.

    TIBCO, Montgomery, Ala.

    Time Insurance Agency, Austin, Texas

    United Valley Insurance Services, Fresno, Calif.

    Wells Fargo, Louisville, Ky.

    Wells Fargo, Albuquerque, N.M.

    Wells Fargo, San Carlos, Calif.

    CNA’s Construction Leader Board was developed in 2012 to recognize and reward top-producing construction agencies who have demonstrated their commitment to the industry.

    Benefits of being a Construction Leader Board agency include enhanced access to services and resources offered by CNA.