Showing posts from May, 2016

We’re Inching Closer to Making Solar Power as Cheap as Regular Electricity

It’s been nearly five years since the Department of Energy rolled out plans to make solar power a cost-competitive electricity source by the end of the decade. Also known as the SunShot Initiative, the goal of the programis to drop the cost of solar power 75 percent by 2020. Once prices reach $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, solar power will officially become cost-competitive and could supply as much as 27 percent of the country’s electricity by 2050 as more homeowners, businesses, and communities switch over. And, according to anew study published by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at University of California and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar power could also generate more than $400 billion in environmental and public-health gains by that year as well. The switch to solar could bode well economically too.Solar energy currently supports about 174,000 jobs across the country, according to The Solar Foundation. But the SunShot Ini…

ABC Slams Job-Killing Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today released the following statement in reaction to the release of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division’s final overtime rule.
“DOL’s overtime rule will rob employers of needed flexibility and employees of career advancement avenues, and it will have a disruptive effect on the construction industry as a whole,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “The unprecedented increase in the salary threshold may force some contractors to consider switching certain employees from salaried positions to hourly. This change may deprive employees of autonomy in their work schedules and may be perceived as a demotion to employees.
“Additionally, the rule’s unprecedented increase in the salary threshold fails to account for disparate income levels in different regions of the country,” said Swearingen. “This will result in an unreasonable, one-size-fits-all mandate, w…

U.S. agencies issues rules to protect workers from Zika

U.S. health and safety officials issued new guidelines on Friday to help protect workers from exposure to Zika, a mosquito-borne and sexually-transmitted virus that causes the birth defect microcephaly and other neurological disorders. The new rules, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, urge employers of outdoor workers to inform them of the risks of exposure to Zika through mosquito bites and to train them on how to protect themselves. Specifically, employers are asked to provide insect repellents and encourage their use, and to urge workers to wear clothing that protects their hands, arms, legs and other exposed areas. It also urges employers to consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck. The guidelines also call on employers to remove standing water from work sites to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. They also ask employers to consider reassigning female workers who…

4 Questions with Chris Meyer, president of Turner Roofing

Chris Meyer is owner and president of Turner Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. The full-service residential and commercial roofing company launched in 1966 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
1. How did you get into the roofing business? In 1996 I went to work for a window company in Houston, Texas, as an outside salesperson. One of my cold calls in 1998 was on a nationwide wholesale roofing distribution company by the name of ABC Supply. The district sales manager at the time allowed me to come in to discuss the opportunity of carrying our window line.
Our first meeting went very well. He called me back for a second meeting, at which time he told me he was not interested in windows but rather was wondering if I was interested in coming to work for them in a management capacity.
Two weeks later I was the assistant manager in a wholesale roofing company and had no clue about anything that had to do with roofing. I worked for them for 10 years before acquiring Turner Roofing in…

National Women in Roofing Announce Association Management

National Women in Roofing (NWIR), a national organization focused on the empowerment of women within the roofing industry, is proud to announce the retainment of Ellen Thorp as the Executive Director of NWIR. Thorp will be instrumental in the start-up functions of the new association along with membership and sponsorship launches.
Known as a person whofinds things outandgets things done, Thorp is well known in the roofing industry as the Associate Executive Director of the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA).  She is currently responsible for the day-to-day operations of ERA along with financial management, governance, government and regulatory relations as well as administrative oversight and consultant coordination and supervision.
As Executive Director of NWIR, Thorp will continue in her role at ERA while helping NWIR with start-up association management functions including day-to-day operations, financial management and governance. Thorp will also be instrumental in helping the NWIR Boar…

Nonresidential Construction Expands, Industry Unemployment Rate Plunges

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6- The U.S. construction industry added just 1,000 net new jobs in April according to an analysis of today’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Although industrywide job growth was marginal, the nonresidential construction sector added 6,600 net new jobs for the month. Revisions to the previous two months of construction data produced a net decrease of 3,000 jobs, with March’s construction employment estimate raised by 4,000 jobs but February’s downgraded by 7,000 positions.

"There has been a significant volume of data indicating that residential construction has been slowing, including today’s report,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “This may be due in part to growing concerns in various parts of the nation that the multifamily rental market is on its way to being overbuilt.

“Since these are April data, one can no longer attribute results to meteorological forces,” said Basu. “There is a con…

New OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates Series of Problems

ABC today released the following statement in reaction to the release of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, commonly referred to as “electronic recordkeeping.”

“OSHA created a rule that does nothing to achieve its stated goal of reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and ignored the concerns from industry that this rulemaking will have unintended negative consequences,” said ABC Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to working with our members and OSHA to create safe construction work environments. However, in departing from its current ’no fault’ recordkeeping system, OSHA has empowered itself to disseminate records and data to the public that fails to show the complete narrative of a company’s safety record or its efforts to promote a safe work environment.

“Additionally, OSHA has exceeded its a…

Construction spending rises 0.3 percent in March

Total construction spending increased to $1.138 trillion in March, which was 0.3 percent higher than the revised February estimate of $1.134 trillion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The March figure is 8 percent higher than the March 2015 estimate of $1.053 trillion.

In March, private construction rose 1.1 percent, reflecting a 1.6 percent increase in residential construction and 0.7 percent increase in nonresidential construction.

Public construction projects in March decreased 1.9 percent.


Trenton H. Cotney Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer Trent Cotney, P.A. 407 N. Howard Avenue Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33606

Roofer registration legislation could help consumers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Legislation to register roofers to protect consumers in Missouri is moving forward after discussions over whether to license the contractors or to ask them to register. After some discussion, the industry decided to push for the less regulatory and burdensome registration process, rather than a strict licensing process. The goal of the legislation is to protect consumers from bad-actors who come in after a storm and ultimately cause more damage than they were trying to fix, as Jason Shupp, a third-generation roofer, president of Ferguson Roofing and past president of the Roofing and Siding Contractors Alliance, Inc, emphasized. “The genesis of this whole process was to protect customers. With my business, we have seen this for many generations, but any roofer who’s reputable and has worked in the industry for a period of time is going to have their share of cases that they had to come behind and pick up where a couple of homeowners had been taken advantage of an…

A simple way to track your everyday exposure to chemicals

For one week, 92 preschool-aged children in Oregon sported colorful silicone wristbands provided by researchers from Oregon State University. The children’s parents then returned the bands, which the researchers analyzed to determine whether the youngsters had been exposed to flame retardants. The scientists were surprised to find that the kids were exposed to many polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals that are no longer produced in the U.S., as well as to organophosphate flame retardants, which are widely used as substitutes for PBDEs. The results from that wristband study (Environ. Res.2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.02.034) remain qualitative—they tell parents whether their child has been exposed to a particular chemical but don’t provide information regarding the amount of exposure. The researchers, led by environmental chemist Kim Anderson, are now working on ways to extract quantitative exposure data from the bands. Silicone polymers are an attractive material for wri…

Contractor Confidence Down, But Not Out

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14—Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) showed a slight dip in the second half of 2015, although all three components of the index showed optimism for continued economic growth. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth.
Sales expectations fell from 69.4 to 67.0 during the most recent survey administration;Profit margin expectations edged lower from 62.9 to 62.8;Staffing level intentions dipped from 66.2 to 63.9. “An abundance of considerations have rendered the typical nonresidential construction executive somewhat less confident regarding near-term business prospects,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “These include jittery financial markets, stubbornly low commodity prices, unpredictable Federal Reserve policy and rising consumer delinquencies and corporate defaults. Outside of financial co…

Relocated historic North Olmsted home gets roof reattached at Frostville

ORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – Thompson House, a historic North Olmsted landmark that was recently moved from Butternut Ridge Road to its new site in Frostville, had its roof reattached Friday morning. The building had been separated meticulously into four sections and made a March 24 trek on trailers to its new location in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation.  Using slings, metal bars, manpower and a large crane, the two roof sections were each hoisted above the lower sections of the house. Due to the fragility of the circa 1840 home, some shoring had to be done to avoid possible collapse before lifting the roofs. "This actually took some thinking," said Paul Schumann, past president of Olmsted Historical Society and current North Olmsted councilman. "We had to make sure the weight was distributed evenly. This was a combination of Jack Boss (of Boss Concrete, which has moved other Frostville structures) and myself. We're not engineers, but it worked." From N…