Monday, October 28, 2013

Important Changes of Polyisocyanurate R-Values

 To Take Effect January 1, 2014

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) recently reported changes in determining  the R-Value for polyiso. An update to ASTM C 1289-11 has revised the certification of Long Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values that will go into effect January 1, 2014.

These changes shouldn’t impact the 2010 Florida Energy Conservation Code since the code is based on prescribed performance requirements (resistance values) of the insulation. With that said, these changes may impact the cost of and the amount of material used to achieve the required thermal resistance.
In the case of existing roofs the 2010 Florida Existing Building Code is clear in section 601.2 Conformance. An existing building or portion thereof shall not be altered such that the building becomes less safe or energy efficient than its existing condition. Be aware that because the R-value per inch will be reduced by these changes, using the same thickness of existing insulation may not be code compliant.

In either new construction or reroofing, remember that, with the reduction of R-value per inch of polyiso, special attention should be given to perimeter attachment height, vent and chase attachment height, interior roof drains, wall scupper and emergency overflow height. Also there may be the occasional access door onto the roof that might need to be considered as well electrical, plumbing and mechanical equipment. It may be prudent to contact the insulation manufacturer and/or design professional of any estimated or contracted work that may be unfavorably changed to discuss possible options.

I’ve included the web link to the PIMA QualityMark/LTTR page that contains web links to PIMA manufacturer members where additional information can be found for their brand-named products.

(FROM FRSA)


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Empire State Building Gets a Green Roof

The Empire State Building, an architectural icon in New York City and beyond, just took a giant step forward in its quest to reduce energy consumption.  The ‘World’s Most Famous Office Building’ now boasts four green roof systems, totaling nearly 10,000 square feet.

For its green roof upgrade, the Empire State Building chose to install the Xero Flor Green Roof System  for four rooftop areas: 21st floor east (3,450 square feet), 21st floor west (3,450 square feet), 25th floor northwest (1,000 square feet) and 30th floor west (1,200 square feet). The green roofs on the 21st floor feature rooftop patios with outdoor furniture for the enjoyment of office tenants.
As we've reported in the past, the Empire State Building is on a quest to become the most sustainable office building in America. In 2011, the building’s owners announced that they would purchase 100 percent of its power from renewable sources and then embarked on a massive retrofit plan that would earn the Empire State Building LEED gold.
More recently, EarthTechling reported on the building’s new sustainability exhibit, a multi-media visitor's center where guests could learn more about what building’s can do to reduce energy consumption and slow climate change.
Now, the Empire State Building is taking its big green journey to the exterior with a green roof system that will reduce water runoff, heating bills, and air pollution.
The Xero Flor system utilizes lightweight, pre-vegetated mats based on a patented, textile-based design. Although the system was engineered in Germany, all Xero Flor components for projects in the U.S. are 100 percent made in America.
“With the completion of the green roofs on the Empire State Building and Javits Center, 85 Xero Flor green roofs will cover approximately 530,000 square feet of rooftops across New York City,” said Clayton Rugh, Ph.D., general manager and technical director, Xero Flor America, in a press release. “The green roofs decrease storm water run-off and improve water quality in New York’s waterways, moderate the urban heat island effect, filter dust and other air pollutants, and store carbon dioxide and other forms of carbon to reduce greenhouse gases.”


(From OSHA Newsletter)

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

U.S. Roofing Demand Forecast to Climb Steadily


Demand for roofing nationwide will rise 3.5% per year through 2017, reaching 268 million squares worth $27.2 billion, the Freedonia Group forecast today.
That marks a turnaround from the 2007-2012 period, when demand in the United States shrank by 7.7% to 225.6 million squares from 244.5 million. Credit gains in both residential and nonresidential markets for the growth, the Cleveland-based research group said.
All the various subcategories of roofing are set to grow, but at different rates. Demand for asphalt shingles--the dominant category with 57% of the market--will rise 4.1% per year to 156.5 million squares in 2017, Freedonia said. Among other product types, demand for bituminous low-slope roofing will increase 1.2% annually to hit 35.5 million squares in 2017, metal roofing demand will grow 3.3% per year to 24 million squares, elastomeric roofing will rise 2.4% annually to 20.7 million squares, and demand for plastic roofing will see 3.9% annual growth to 13.7 million squares.
Freedonia paid special attention to roofing tiles, whose 5.5% forecast annual growth rates tops all other categories, though the actual number of squares expected by 2017 will reach only 13.3 million. "Advances will be driven by a re-bound in residential building construction activity in the West and South, where tiles are most often installed," Freedonia said in a statement. "Demand also will be supported by interest in these products because of their favorable esthetics and ability to be used on cool roofs."
The forecast is part of a new 408-page report on roofing that Freedonia issued today. It sells for $5,300.

(From RCASF Newsletter)



Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Monday, October 7, 2013

OSHA's New Silica Rule Stirs Controversy

If the new rules stand, workers would have to be protected from respirable silica when levels measure above the 50 micro grams per cubic meter threshold. Opposition to the proposed requirements is growing. The American Subcontractors Association considers the OSHA proposal "confusing and burdensome." And the National Association of Home Builders has issued a statement objecting to the "one-size-fits-all measure" that suggests the new OSHA ruling could affect how roofers cut asphalt shingles. However, it is not immediately clear that cutting shingles would be included under the new rules. OSHA clearly directs the ruling at "operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and sand blasting."
The ASA and NAHB have joined nine other builder trade associations opposing the new rule, while labor unions are lining up to support it.

(From RCASF Newsletter)


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

House Bill 57: Funding for the Florida Homeowner’s Construction Recovery Fund

As of January 2013 there were approximately 600 claims totaling $1 million against the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund.  This fund was established to compensate homeowners for losses caused by state licensed contractors.  DBPR is given authority to transfer money it determines is not necessary to fund the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board to the recovery fund.  Because excess funds have built up, it is expected that DBPR will transfer $5 million from this board to the recovery fund this year and approximately $1.2 million annually in subsequent years.  This bill has been approved by the Governor and took effect October 1, 2013.


(From HCBA Legislative Review)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Notice Regarding Respirable Crystalline Silica has been Published

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced the notice of proposed rulemaking for respirable crystalline silica has been published in the Federal Register

OSHA invites and strongly encourages the public to participate in the process of developing a final rule through written comments and participation in public hearings. The public will have until Dec. 11 to submit written comments on the proposed rule. 

Hearings on the proposed silica rule are scheduled to begin March 4, 2014, at the Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. Members of the public who wish to participate in public hearings must submit a notice of intention to appear by Nov. 12. 

Additional information regarding the proposed rule, including five fact sheets and procedures for submitting written comments and participating in public hearings, is available at 
www.osha.gov/silica/index.html


(From NRCA)


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Construction Spending Rises 0.6 Percent in July

Total construction spending increased to $900.8 billion in July, which was 0.6 percent higher than the revised June estimate of $895.7 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The July figure is 5.2 percent higher than the July 2012 estimate of $856.3 billion. 
In July, private construction projects increased 0.9 percent, reflecting a 0.6 percent increase in residential construction and 1.3 percent increase in nonresidential construction. 
Public construction projects in July decreased 0.3 percent. 


During the first seven months of this year, construction spending was 5.6 percent higher than it was during the same period in 2012. 




(From NRCA)


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

With the exception of “imminent danger” to life or property and other emergency situations, OSHA’s investigation and enforcement activities will cease during the shutdown.

ABC and Safety Coalition Concerned with OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rule

ABC and members of the newly formed Construction Industry Safety Coalition, a group of national construction industry trade associations, expressed concern over a proposal from OSHA addressing crystalline silica exposure in the construction industry.
On Aug. 23, OSHA proposed drastically lowering the existing permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica, prescribed control methods that contradict existing safety practice, and mandated new recordkeeping and training requirements. Independent studies have estimated compliance with similar provisions to cost $1 billion to $2 billion per year.
“OSHA still has not explained how a lowered PEL will be effective at reducing the number of silica-related illnesses, particularly when the agency has admitted its failure to properly enforce the existing standard,” said ABC Vice President of Government Affairs Geoff Burr. “The agency clearly missed an opportunity to take a cost-effective approach while still improving compliance and worker safety.”
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition is urging OSHA to develop technologically feasible alternatives for compliance with a silica rule that address costs and consistency with existing federal regulations and do not overly burden small businesses. In addition, the coalition said the agency should consider factors unique to construction, as industry-specific tasks and activities are highly variable and change constantly as projects progress.
“ABC and our coalition partners are reviewing OSHA’s proposal, and we look forward to the opportunity to express our concerns fully at the appropriate time,” Burr added.
The coalition represents associations from all sectors of the construction industry, including commercial building, heavy industrial production, home building, road repair, specialty trade contractors and material suppliers. Workplace safety and health is a priority for all members of the coalition, and each is committed to helping create safer construction jobsites for workers.

(From ABC)


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT DIPS IN AUGUST

"ABC continues to believe 2014 will represent a year of more vigorous recovery; however, 2013 has proven to be a bit disappointing." —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
While overall national construction employment remained unchanged in August, nonresidential construction lost 3,300 jobs, according to the Sept. 6 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor. Construction industry employment has grown 3 percent, adding 168,000 jobs, since the same time last year. Nonresidential construction accounted for 42 percent of that growth—making August a deviation from what generally has been a positive nonresidential construction employment trend.
Although the national construction unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, it is down from 11.3 percent in August 2012, representing an expansion from 8.17 million workers 12 months ago to 8.32 million workers in August 2013. Much of this growth is due to the uptick in residential building; however, residential construction employment also fell by 600 jobs last month, which may be an indication that the nation’s housing recovery is stalling in the face of higher interest rates and materials, labor and land costs.
Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 1,300 jobs for the month, but employment remains 39,200 jobs, or 1.9 percent, higher than one year ago. Residential specialty trade contractors added 4,900 jobs in August and have added 87,800 jobs, or 6 percent, since August 2012. Employment for heavy and civil engineering construction was up by 1,200 jobs for the month and is up by 13,700 jobs, or 1.6 percent, on a year-over-year basis.
Across all industries, the nation added 169,000 jobs, falling short of consensus expectations that were in the neighborhood of 175,000 jobs. The private sector expanded by 152,000 jobs and the public sector added 17,000 jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) household survey, the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.3 percent in August, down from 7.4 percent in July and 8.1 percent in August 2012. However, this was due in part to a decline in the labor force participation rate, which now stands at just 63.2 percent.

(From ABC)

Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
1211 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602