Sources: Home Builder Institute, Washington, D.C.; CP staff The residential construction industry faces a shortfall of 200,000 skilled trades workers, according to the Home Builder Institute’s inaugural HBI Construction Labor Market Report. “This persistent challenge endangers the affordability and availability of housing and hinders a robust economic recovery,” affirms HBI CEO Ed Brady, noting how labor represents approximately 30 to…Read More
Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff Annual concrete-framed home completions climbed from 42,000 to 86,000 over the 2015-2019 window, according to a National Association of Home Builders analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. With lumber prices up more than 170 percent from mid-April through mid-September, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association cites market conditions favorable for…Read More
Eagle Materials Inc. directors have taken a key step toward mid-year separation of cement- and gypsum wallboard-centered Heavy and Light Materials businesses into independent, New York Stock Exchange-traded companies, both Dallas based. Leading the Heavy Materials namesake will be current Chairman Mike Nicolais and President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Haack. Leading the Light Materials business, operating as American Gypsum Company, will be Chairman Dave Powers, former Eagle Materials CEO and current director, and President and CEO Craig Kesler, current chief financial officer.Read More
Sources: Environmental Protection Agency; National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
With the backdrop of the 2020 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James announced the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. A clear definition for “waters of the United States,” it lays to rest one of the most contentious EPA actions—a 2015 Clean Water Act reinterpretation expanding federal authority over bodies of water minuscule and massive—attempted under the Obama administration.Read More
By: Pierre G. Villere
The top line economic indicators are mixed these days, but we remain bullish at our firm about the future of the construction industry. My frustration is with the press, from CNBC to the major news networks on both the conservative and liberal sides of the political spectrum, with their need to fill the day with news. This results in long, anguished speculation about the state of the economy, and just more of the Chicken Little Syndrome, as I call it (“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”).Read More
Sources: Allen-Villere Partners, New Orleans; CP staff
A National Association of Home Builders analysis of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau data contrasts with widely subscribed pessimism on the economy and outlook for construction. In his latest dispatch for Concrete Products, construction materials management consultant Pierre Villere weighs NAHB estimates—tracking market activity through August and indicating single-family home sales up 18 percent year over year—against a prevailing, ‘sky is falling’ mood.Read More
Sources: CP staff; National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; Genest Concrete, Sanford, Me.
An insulated concrete masonry wall system, with block placed on adhesive or thin set mortar, was among Best of IBS Awards/Most Innovative Building Products category finalists spotlighted during the NAHB’s International Builders’ Show. Developed by Maine building and hardscape unit producer Genest Concrete, Comfort Block is offered in two- and four-piece versions, CB-8 and CB-16, for 8- or 16-in. thick walls.Read More
Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
An ABC-led coalition letter requests President-elect Donald Trump to consider rescinding his predecessor’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages project labor agreements on federally funded contracts exceeding $25 million.Read More
James Bogdan has joined National Ready Mixed Concrete Association as senior director, Sustainability Initiatives. Based in Pittsburgh, he will help position members to meet new requirements in such green building standards as LEED and Green Globes. Initiatives include product sustainability and transparency, supply chain sustainability, and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.Read More
Cara Gavagan has joined the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association as senior director of Government and Political Affairs. She is responsible for fundraising activities behind NRMCA’s CONCRETEPAC, the concrete industry’s premier political action committee, and managing high-impact programs on Capitol Hill. Gavagan was previously director of PAC operations at the American Council of Engineering Companies, where she helped create a committee securing $1.5 million per cycle; managed event planning associated with all PAC activities and political involvement; and, coordinated marketing and other association communications.