Articles from NLBMDA

Green Building Takes Hold for Single- and Multifamily Markets

Proud Green Building 10/27/17 Single- and multifamily markets' growing commitment to green building is driven by different factors, and has different degrees of implementation, according to new study by Dodge Data and Analytics. Thirty-three percent of single-family builders are building more than 60 percent of their homes green, with the availability and affordability of green products continuing to be a major growth driver. The study also found many who are not yet going green at this level st...

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Proud Green Building 12/4/2017 Comments(0)

USGBC Names FL Developer 'Power Builder of the Year'

Builder 10/10/17 Brown, Kathleen The U.S. Green Building Council has named Koral and Gobuty Development Power Builder of the Year for its development of a 55-plus active adult community in West Bradenton, Fla. Qualifying developers are required to have LEED-certified homes comprise more than 90 percent of their portfolio, and all 95 existing Mirabella community homes as well as the 65 yet to be built or sold have been designed in compliance with the highest LEED sustainability standards. Among t...

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Kathleen Brown 12/4/2017 Comments(0)

Top 3 Visual Violations for LBM Commercial Motor Vehicles

Most LBM commercial motor vehicles are pulled over for a safety inspection because of improper load securement, the driver's talking on the telephone, or failure to wear the seat belt. In all three instances, a safety patrol officer can make a visual confirmation before pulling the truck over for an inspection. Both hands on the wheel? Not when the driver is holding a phone with one hand. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to commercial motor vehicles, whether short-haul, long-haul, ...

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NLBMDA 12/4/2017 Comments(0)

Do Speed Limiters Reduce Truck Crashes?

National Law Review 10/13/17 Roberts, Bryan M. According to a recent study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, speed-related, at-fault truck crashes fell 73 percent after mandatory speed limiter technology legislation took effect in Ontario, Canada. After 2009, large-truck drivers produced fewer at-fault speed collisions relative to all at-fault driver actions. The year-long study discredited the argument that requiring large trucks to slow down would lead to rear-end crashes and that spe...

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Bryan M. Roberts 12/4/2017 Comments(0)

True or False: Working Safely in Hot Weather

Our July 3 WSRM newsletter include bullets based on our Hot Weather Checklist. OSHA continues to emphasize the importance of protecting workers from the risk of heat exposure. See OSHA's webpage Water. Rest. Shade . You can also find useful information in NLBMDA's Working in Hot Weather: What to Know; What to Do . We use this "To Do List" to develop the following True or False statements. While elements on the To Do List and other OSHA materials are not specifically mandatory, each employer is e...

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NLBMDA 9/25/2017 Comments(0)

Employers must begin using the new Form I-9 by September 18

The new form will have the publication date 07/17/17 N bottom left and expiration date 8/31/2019 top right on each page. The previous version had a publication date of 11/14/2016 on the bottom left of each page. This version may be used through September 17, 2017; however, the new form is available now. The changes are mostly technical, but employers must always use the most current version. The new form will have one page for each of the three sections. The PDF version will have a fourth page, ...

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NLBMDA 9/25/2017 Comments(0)

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Joint Employer Liability

On September 13, the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing examining joint employer liability, which focuses on contract employees shared by more than one employer. During the hearing, business owners spoke how changes made to the joint employer standard during the Obama Administration created additional expenses. In July, Rep. Bradley Byrne R-AL introduced the Save Local Business Act H.R. 3441 to clarify joint employer liability. Earlier this year, on June 7, DOL rescinded an Oba...

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NLBMDA 9/25/2017 Comments(0)

Heat Illness Prevention Tips During Summer Months

During the hottest summer months, companies that have employees working outdoors or in hot environments should keep in mind that heat-related sickness can cause serious injury or even death. To combat heat-related issues, they should remember the mantra: "water, rest, and shade." The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA reports that 18 people die every year from heat stroke and related causes while on the job. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers from excessive heat, ...

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TimberLine Magazine 8/14/2017 Comments(0)

Could Summer Mean Itchy, Swelling Enforcement?

The summer heat and bugs can become legal liabilities for employers who do not comply with federal and state regulations to protect employees against outdoor hazards, including mosquito-borne disease and heat stress. These federal agency warnings could become evidence used in civil lawsuits to show that companies have some sort of duty to protect their workers and others from these natural conditions. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA recently updated its guidance from ...

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Lexology 8/14/2017 Comments(0)

Employers Can Electronically Submit Injury Data Beginning Aug. 1, OSHA Says

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA will launch its Injury Tracking Application on Aug. 1, allowing employers to electronically enter their required 2016 injury and illness data from Form 300A. The Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule went into effect Jan. 1. OSHA has proposed delaying the deadline for initial compliance until Dec. 1. The requirements are scheduled to be phased in over two years. In 2017, all "covered establishments" must submit data...

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Safety and Health Magazine 8/14/2017 Comments(0)

U.S. Department of Labor to Publish Request for Information on Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor published a Request for Information RFI for the overtime rule on July 26. The RFI solicits feedback on questions related to the salary level test, the duties test, varying cost-of-living across different parts of the United States, inclusion of nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy a portion of the salary level, the salary test for highly compensated employees, and automatic updating of the salary level tests. The RFI was published in the Federal...

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U.S. Department of Labor 8/14/2017 Comments(0)

CPSC's Proposed Rule on Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws

On May 12, the Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC published a proposed rule, Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws, which would require table saw manufacturers to incorporate active injury mitigation AIM technology in all types of table saws. The U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy argues that the CPSC's proposed rule is overly broad and imposes such stringent and cost-prohibitive requirements that it will cause most, if not all, small table saw...

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U.S. Small Business Administration 8/14/2017 Comments(0)

True or False: Portable Fire Extinguishers

Readers of this newsletter will by now know that violations of OSHA's standards on portable fire extinguishers are a common source of citations for lumber dealers. While the penalties are more modest than violations of other OSHA standards, maintaining compliance with 1910.157 should be easy and an active part of your safety program. True or False? 1. As long as the right employees know where we keep the fire extinguishers, it’s OK if everyone else in the yard doesn’t know. 2. Becaus...

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NLBMDA 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

Forklift Pre-Start and Operational Inspections

Violations of OSHA's forklift standard, 1910.178, Powered Industrial Trucks, remain the top citations for lumber dealers. While most of these violations involve operator training requirements, the second most commonly cited forklift violation involves truck maintenance. Here we take a look at the pre-operational pre-start and operational inspections required by the standard. Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed into service, and shall not be placed in service if the examinatio...

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NLBMDA 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

More American Workers Are Testing Positive for Drugs

Wall Street Journal 05/16/17 Weber, Lauren More U.S. workers are testing positive for illicit drugs than at any time in the last 12 years, according to Quest Diagnostics Inc. The number of workers who tested positive for marijuana increased by 4.0 percent, and positive results for other drugs also jumped. In 2016, 4.2 percent of the 8.9 million urine drug tests that Quest conducted on behalf of employers came back positive, an increase from 4.0 percent in 2015. It also marks the highest rate sin...

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Lauren Weber 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

OSHA Suspends Rule Requiring Firms Report Injury and Illness Data Electronically

Washington Post 05/17/17 Eilperin, Juliet On May 17, the U.S. Department of Labor suspended an Obama-era rule requiring that companies electronically report their injury and illness records. The agency's move effectively prevents these records from being publicly disclosed for the immediate future. The 2016 rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA was challenged in court by several business groups, which also lobbied the administration to scrap the rule on the grounds t...

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Juliet Eilperin 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a redesign of Form I-551

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS announced a redesign of Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card also known as a Green Card as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS lauds the new card as a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. This is also said to represent an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counter...

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NLBMDA 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

NGBS Celebrates 100,000th Green Certified Home

Builder 03/27/17 Home Innovation Research Labs recently celebrated the 100,000th National Green Building Standard NGBS Green Certified home, which the lab says sends a significant, and positive, message concerning the general state of the home building industry. According to Home Innovation, NGBS has become the residential construction sector's preferred green certification program. When NGBS was started eight years ago, "we were in the midst of the housing downturn and were taking a big risk to...

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Builder 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

Report Highlights Global Impact of LEED

Proud Green Building 04/05/17 LEED is one of the rating systems that promote green building worldwide, according to a new UN Habitat report. Because of the potential for the building sector to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda, UN Habitat supports scientific, accurate, and meaningful buildings assessment tools, such as LEED, to influence the sector's complex stakeholders, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Only a v...

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Proud Green Building 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

Study: Sustainability a Top Priority for Millennial Workers

Proud Green Building 04/12/17 More than two-thirds of millennials are so committed to sustainability issues they are willing to go to extremes, according to a new study conducted by Lightspeed on behalf of Rubbermaid Commercial Products. For example, the study found that although most millennials rely heavily on social media, they would be willing to give it up for a week if everyone at their company recycled. The study examines the latest trends transforming the workplace, focusing on the next ...

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Proud Green Building 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

Several NLBMDA Priorities Addressed in President Trump's Tax Reform Plan

President Donald Trump's tax reform plan released last week addresses several policy priorities of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association NLBMDA , including repeal of the estate tax and reduction of the income tax rate for pass-through businesses. The proposal is a positive development in passing comprehensive tax reform for the first time in over 30 years. NLBMDA has long held that the estate tax should be fully and permanently repealed, which would allow family-owned b...

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NLBMDA 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

Online Sales Tax Bills Reintroduced in Congress

Last week, the House and Senate introduced legislation allowing states to require out-of-state businesses--such as online retailers—to collect sales tax on purchase sold into their states. The bills are the latest attempt to bring parity between online sellers and retailers with physical locations. Sens. Mike Enzi R-WY and Heidi Heitkamp D-ND introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act S. 976 in the Senate, and Reps. Kristi Noem R-SD and John Conyers D-MI introduced the Remote Transactions Par...

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NLBMDA 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Files Comments in Support of Short Term Rental Exemption to ELD Rule

Last week NLBMDA submitted comments in support of a petition filed by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association for an exemption from the electronic logging device ELD Mandate for short-term truck rentals. NLBMDA supports this petition because of the undue burden the ELD Mandate would impose on dealers and others who will occasionally need to use short-term rentals to meet higher than expected demand or replace vehicles temporarily out of service. The majority of NLBMDA members are small, fami...

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NLBMDA 5/8/2017 Comments(0)

Low-E Windows, Efficient HVAC Systems Among Most Preferred Green Building Options

Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features are very popular in new home construction, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders NAHB . Survey results show all 337 respondents said they use at least one green building product or practice. In addition, 95 percent said they use low emissivity low-e windows in their projects, which improve a home's efficiency by allowing natural light into the home while reflecting ultraviolet rays. The next most popular i...

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The Day 4/3/2017 Comments(0)

The Greenest House of Them All, According to the Living Building Challenge

Architect 03/08/17 Garvett, Symone The Desert Rain House in Bend, Ore., is distinguished by being awarded the first Living Building Challenge LBC certification for a residential project. The International Living Future Institute's LBC program recognizes net-zero energy and water buildings that positively impact their environment. A new building is required to fulfill 20 imperatives in seven performance areas—place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity, and beauty—...

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Symone Garyett 4/3/2017 Comments(0)

A Move Toward More Helpful Appraisals

Green Building News 03/16/17 Gibson, Scott Developers of the Home Energy Rating System HERS and the Appraisal Institute are partnering to help homebuyers better understand the costs of living in the houses they want to buy. The Insulation Institute says the alliance between the Residential Energy Services Network RESNET and the appraisers association to include HERS scores on appraisal forms in certain U.S. states would increase the transparency of energy efficiency to buyers, and also could per...

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Scott Gibson 4/3/2017 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Releases 2017 National Policy Agenda

On February 10, NLBMDA finalized its National Policy Agenda for 2017 as the 115 th Congress embarks on an ambitious agenda and President Donald Trump lays out the priorities of the new Administration. Republicans control both legislative chambers and the executive branch for the first time in 10 years. House Republican leaders have planned an aggressive agenda in Trump’s first year as president, and are looking at repealing Obama-era regulations, tax reform, and major changes to the Afford...

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Ben Gann 3/6/2017 Comments(0)

Administration and Congress Plans Ambitious Agenda for 2017

The start of 2017 begins with a new Congress and Donald Trump set to be inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States U.S. . Republicans control both legislative chambers and the executive branch for the first time in 10 years. House Republican leaders have planned an aggressive agenda in Trump’s first year as president, and are looking at repealing Obama-era regulations, tax reform, major changes to the Affordable Care Act ACA , and an infrastructure spending package. House Majo...

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Ben Gann 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

A Look Inside 8 of 2016's Coolest LEED Projects

Among the most interesting LEED-certified building projects in 2016 is the K-12 Pathways World School in India, which used natural materials and was certified under LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings. Another notable project is the Lake Mills Elementary School in Wisconsin, the first LEED platinum K-12 school certified under LEED v.4 in the U.S.; its features include a green roof, a photovoltaic system, bioswales, and a 65-percent reduction in energy use. Meanwhile,...

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Proud Green Building 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

Largest Mass Timber Building in U.S. Opens in Minneapolis

The Architect's Newspaper 11/29/16 Martin, Olivia The tallest modern wood timber building in the U.S. opened Nov. 30 in Minneapolis, Minn.'s North Loop District. Designed by Michael Green Architecture and the DLR Group, the seven-story, 220,000-square-foot Timber, Technology, Transit T3 office features nail-laminated timber NLT enveloped in weathering steel. The T3 has only about one-fifth the weight of a similarly-built concrete structure, notes NLT panel manufacturer StructureCraft. Its bare i...

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Olivia Martin 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

Thinking of Remodeling, They Scrapped It All for a New Certified, Energy-Efficient House

WCPO.com OH 12/30/16 Coleman, Brent Former WCPO-TV reporter Laure Quinlivan and her husband Greg Ruthman opted to discard plans to remodel their 102-year-old Ohio house and get a new, certified energy-efficient residence built by John Hueber Homes. The couple demolished the old, leaky house in favor of the new building, which received a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. The new house's eco-friendly features, which nearly halved the owner's energy bills, incl...

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Brent Coleman 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

The Tesla of Houses? Builder Markets Premium Green Home

Palm Beach Post FL 12/19/16 Ostrowski, Jeff Green Dwellings of Palm Beach Gardens president Karen Adams set out to determine the price an eco-friendly home will attract from affluent buyers by building such a house near the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 2,500-square-foot residence has roof solar panels, an energy-efficient air conditioning system, a solar water heater, Energy Star appliances, two 500-gallon rain barrels that irrigate the lawn, and an electric-vehicle chargin...

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Jeff Ostrowski 1/13/2017 Comments(0)

Finding Hope After the Death of Sustainability

Architect 11/11/16 Brownell, Blaine The U.S. election's outcome reflects a wide-ranging apathy toward ecological sustainability among the general public, and experts say this and other trends signal the demise of the sustainability movement. At a recent symposium, University of Minnesota professor Richard Graves said "sustainability is dead or, at the very least, meaningless after the term has been co-opted by the branding and greenwashing of corporations and governments and as the technological...

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Blaine Brownell 12/19/2016 Comments(0)

A New Healthy Building Certification From the CDC Is Coming to Your Office

Co.Exist 10/04/16 Leber, Jessica The U.S. Centers for Disease Control CDC and the General Services Administration GSA recently released Fitwel, a new health and wellness standard for buildings. Fitwel seeks to help employers assess all design factors that go into creating a healthy workplace, including the proximity to public transit, bike parking, indoor air quality, healthy food access, and stairwell design. The certification uses the latest scientific research to establish a checklist and sco...

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Jessica Leber 12/19/2016 Comments(0)

Green Apartment Construction Blossoming, Yet Renter Survey Shows $560 Rent Premium Is 5 Times Higher Than Most Would Pay

Rent Cafe Blog 11/28/16 Balint, Nadia A review of Yardi Matrix's U.S. inventory of more than 14 million apartment units in large rental buildings of 50 units or more found 44,800 new LEED-certified green units opened in 2015 in large-scale developments; this marks a 13-fold increase over 2008 numbers. In 2016, about 30,000 were open or being built as of mid-year, and approximately 59,000 green-certified apartments are expected to be completed by year's end, a four-fold gain from five years ago. ...

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Nadia Balint 12/19/2016 Comments(0)

President Obama Signs Bill Funding Government Through April 28

On December 10, President Obama signed legislation funding the government via Continuing Resolution CR through April 28. The CR maintains the Fiscal Year FY 2017 spending cap at $1.07 trillion and imposes an across the board cut of 0.19% for all discretionary budget programs. Passage of a CR rather than a full-year appropriations bill means Congress will again have to address funding of government programs for FY 2017 in the spring. The House had favored the CR ending in March but the Senate pus...

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NLBMDA 12/19/2016 Comments(0)

DOL Seeks to Appeal Overtime Rule Injunction

The Department of Labor DOL has filed a motion for an expedited briefing of its appeal regarding the preliminary injunction of the Overtime Rule. The rule was scheduled to take effect on December 1, but on November 22, a Federal District Court Judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preserving the status quo while upholding the Court’s authority to determine the Final Rule. As part of the final rule, the salary level under which employees qualify for overtime pay would have increa...

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NLBMDA 12/19/2016 Comments(0)

U.S. Lumber Coalition Files Petition Against Canadian Softwood Lumber Producers

On October 25, the U.S. Lumber Coalition, which represents American softwood lumber producers, petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to restore what it considers to be the conditions of fair trade in softwood lumber between the United States and Canada. In its petition, the coalition alleges that Canadian provincial governments are providing standing trees to Canadian producers for an administered fee that is far below the market value of the timb...

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NLBMDA 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

Congress Returns to Finish Year-End Work

The House and Senate return to Washington following the Thanksgiving holiday looking to finish up its work before heading home for the balance of the year. The current agreement funding the federal government expires on December 9. Congress is expected to only be in session for two more weeks this year but they could be in Washington longer if a deal cannot be reached on funding the federal government. The incoming Trump Administration has told House Republicans that they would like another temp...

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NLBMDA 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Regulatory Update: What's Next for the DOL Overtime Rule?

The Department of Labor's DOL Final Overtime Rule has been put on hold with a temporary injunction issued by a Federal District Court Judge on November 22, 2016. The rule was scheduled to go into effect on December 1. The court will next consider the underlying merits of the two cases brought against the Final Rule. In the meantime, there is also the possibility that Congress will address this issue during the injunction period. With a new Administration, the Department may choose to not vigorou...

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NLBMDA 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

2016 NLBMDA Election Recap: What Does it All Mean?

In a stunning result, defying many pollsters and conventional wisdom, businessman Donald Trump R defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton D to be elected the 45th President of the United States. Although Clinton is likely to win the popular vote by a narrow margin, Trump's unexpected strength in states bordering the Great Lakes provided the margin of victory for the Republican. Trump's strength at the top of the ticket helped Republicans win most of the close Senate and House races, an...

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NLBMDA 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

Workers in Green Certified Buildings Are Healthier and Happier

Green Building Elements 10/16/16 Hanley, Stephen People who live in buildings certified as green by the U.S. Green Building Council USGBC enjoy many advantages over those who work in non-certified high-performance buildings, according to researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health and the State University of New York's Update Medical University. The team found working in green-certified buildings correlates with higher cognitive function scores, fewer sick building symptoms, and ...

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Stephen Hanley 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

New LEED Version to Spur Green Building

Commercial Property Executive 10/20/16 Kalinoski, Gail The U.S. Green Building Council USGBC on Nov 1. unveiled Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED version 4, which covers more market sectors while also raising the standard for boosting energy efficiency. LEED v4 is placing more stress on energy optimization, with USGBC's Corey Enck noting projects must now be at least 14-percent more efficient than LEED v3, and 20 percent of all points will focus on energy efficiency. Enck also s...

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Gail Kalinoski 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

Canada Tops Out World's Tallest Wood-Frame Building

Green Building Elements 10/05/16 Abdelhamid, Aisha Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, recently attended the "topping out" ceremony of the Brock Commons Residence, a new University of British Columbia student housing tower. The 18-story structure is a hybrid system comprised of cross-laminated timber floor slabs, glulam columns, steel connectors, and concrete cores. The building structure, which is on pace to achieve LEED Gold certification, was completed less than 70 days after de...

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Aisha Abdelhamid 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

Google Launches App for Environmentally-Friendly Building

Proud Green Building 10/17/16 Google plans to collect and analyze data to help companies cut their environmental footprints and make it all available to the public through a new application. Google's Portico, the Healthy Materials Tool, gathers data on the composition and environmental impact of building materials. The app will facilitate easy data access for companies targeting LEED certifications or other green building credentials and help them understand the material properties and potential...

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Proud Green Building 12/5/2016 Comments(0)

States Ask for Preliminary Injunction on DOL Overtime Rule

On October 12, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Request for Expedited Consideration on behalf of the coalition of states. The motion was filed with the goal of urging the federal court to stop the Department of Labor’s DOL Overtime Rule from going into effect on December 1, 2016. Last month, a coalition of 21 states filed suit in United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, challenging the rule. The government is expected re...

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NLBMDA 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Releases Updated Recommended Practices to Encourage Workplace Safety and Health Programs

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA has released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to assist employers in developing a methodical approach to improving safety and health in their workplaces. The recommendations update OSHA's 1989 guidelines to account for changes in the economy and workplaces and evolving safety and health issues. They feature a new, easier-to-use format and a section on multi-employer workplaces, and place a greater emphasis o...

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NLBMDA 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

Small Fleet Shut Down After Post-Crash Investigation Revealed Bevy of Safety Violations

Following an investigation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA issued a shutdown order for a five-truck fleet based in LaGrange, Georgia. The investigation into the transit company found that it did not adhere to driver qualification, drug testing, and maintenance regulations, among others. The FMCSA said the company allowed two drivers who did not have CDLs to drive its trucks, and it failed to "sufficiently implement" random drug testing. Other violations the FMCSA found inc...

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Overdrive 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Pushes Back Enforcement Date for Anti-Retaliation Provisions Again

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA has again delayed enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions included in its revised record-keeping regulation, this time until Dec. 1, 2016. The delay occurs at the request of Northern District of Texas Judge Sam Lindsay, who is considering the complaint and motion for preliminary injunction filed by several industry groups challenging the anti-retaliation provisions to the extent that OSHA seeks to limit routine post-accident drug...

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Lexology 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

N.Y. Senator Urges Caps on Truck Speeds

Commercial trucking companies should be required to install speed-capping technology in all vehicles in their fleets, said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer D-N.Y. on Oct. 16. He called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve a proposed rule that would require the installation of devices to set maximum speeds for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Schumer also advised that drivers limit their speed to 65 mph. The rule was initially proposed in August by the National Highway Traffic...

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Zolan Kanno-Youngs 10/31/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Joins Groups Asking Congress to Extend Tax Incentives

NLBMDA has signed on to a multi-industry letter from a variety of business, energy, transportation and agriculture stakeholders, encouraging Congress to provide a seamless, multi-year extension of the tax provisions that are currently slated to expire at the end of the year. Among the tax incentives set to expire at the end of the year are the residential energy efficiency tax credit for existing homes 25C , energy efficiency tax credit for new homes 45L and commercial building tax deduction 179...

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NLBMDA 10/17/2016 Comments(0)

House Approves Bill Delaying DOL Overtime Rule

On September 28, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act H.R. 6094 , which would require a six-month delay in the effective date of the Department of Labor’s DOL Overtime Rule. The House vote, largely along Party lines, was 246 to 177. Five Democrats, Reps. Brad Ashford NE , Henry Cuellar TX , Dan Lipinski IL , Collin Peterson MN and Kyrsten Sinema AZ , joined Republicans in support of the bill delaying implementation of t...

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NLBMDA 10/17/2016 Comments(0)

Data: The Next Frontier in the Green Building Movement

Construction Dive 10/07/16 Peiffer, Emily The green building movement has accelerated in recent years and no longer needs to work as hard to convince industry stakeholders of the benefits of sustainable construction. However, as the movement aims to address trillions of square feet in real estate assets around the world, decision-makers are focusing on the hard data associated with building green. Certification organizations and improving technology currently are contributing to the next stage o...

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Emily Peiffer 10/17/2016 Comments(0)

The Next Phase in Green Building Is Healthier Buildings

Environmental Leader 09/21/16 Hardcastle, Jessica Although environmentally friendly buildings are becoming increasingly popular across the U.S., some developers are looking to take green buildings to the next level. For example, the Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016 report says two-thirds of U.S. landlords have expressed interest in developing healthier commercial buildings. In addition, 79 percent believe the buildings can improve employee satisfaction and engagement. The top five healthy b...

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Jessica Hardcastle 10/17/2016 Comments(0)

Greenbuild Show Home Takes a Modular Plug-and-Play Approach

BUILDER Online 10/05/16 Goodman, Jennifer The Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt offers an in-depth look at the way houses will be constructed in the future. The project, which is based on Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Virginia Tech FutureHaus research, will demonstrate the school's panelized approach to residential construction. The house will be outfitted with seven modular "cartridges" in spaces including the kitchen, bathroom, and a mechanical wall in the utility room. The ap...

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Jennifer Goodman 10/17/2016 Comments(0)

Mirabella 55+ Community Earns LEED Platinum Certification for Florida Villas

55 Places 08/02/16 Rocha, Mayra Mirabella, a 55-and-up community in Bradenton, Fla., has received the LEED for Homes Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council USGBC , making Mirabella a prominent green community in Florida. Mirabella is setting new standards in the homebuilding industry with its sustainability practices and energy efficient designs. "Mirabella is setting a new standard for energy efficiency in residential development that is challenging the status quo," says Ca...

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Mayra Rocha 9/19/2016 Comments(0)

More Builders Focus on Green to Save Energy

The Columbian WA 08/25/16 Urban NW Homes founder Troy Johns, a member of the BIA's Green Building Council, is working toward the goal of building green homes that create more energy than they consume. Urban NW Homes has built many of the Pacific Northwest's homes that meet the National Green Building Council Code Standards NGBS . Contractors can build to the NGBS standard even without seeking certification from Home Innovation Research Labs, which certifies that houses met the standard. For exam...

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The Columbian 9/19/2016 Comments(0)

Tell Your Lawmakers to Fix the Overtime Rule in September

Congress returns today after a seven-week summer break. NLBMDA and the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity has been meeting with lawmakers asking them to consider the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act H.R. 5813 , which would phase-in the increase of the Department of Labor’s DOL Overtime Rule over three years and eliminate the automatic increase. If no action is taken, on December 1 the salary level under which full-time salaried white collar employees qualify for overtime pay i...

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NLBMDA 9/19/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Attends SBA Meeting on Lead Rule

On Wednesday, August 24, NLBMDA attended an Environmental Roundtable by Small Business Administration SBA Office of Advocacy to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA examination of the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting RRP rule under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act RFA . The rule’s significant economic impact on small businesses requires EPA to review it within ten years of promulgation and explore options for reducing compliance costs. EPA did a short ...

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NLBMDA 9/19/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Attends SBA Meeting on Lead Rule

On Wednesday, August 24, NLBMDA attended an Environmental Roundtable by Small Business Administration SBA Office of Advocacy to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA examination of the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting RRP rule under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act RFA . The rule’s significant economic impact on small businesses requires EPA to review it within ten years of promulgation and explore options for reducing compliance costs. EPA did a short ...

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NLBMDA 9/19/2016 Comments(0)

Have You Started Complying With New OSHA Crystalline Silica Exposure Rule?

A new infographic from Bosch reveals that 1.85 million construction workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. Of these, more than 640,000 are exposed to silica levels that exceed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's OSHA proposed Permissible Exposure Limit. While many in the industry believe it is nearly impossible to comply with the new OSHA rule, it is important to be aware of the long-term negative health effects related to crystalline silica and the responsibi...

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Kimberly Hegeman 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

DOL: Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers at Increased Risk of Injury, Death

The U.S. Labor Department indicates that one out of six American workers killed on the job is a tractor-trailer truck driver, and these drivers face an increased risk of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Of the tractor-trailer drivers licensed, 761 were killed in 2014, and data shows that driver fatalities have increased annually between 2009 and 2014. Heavy or tractor-trailer truck drivers are three times more likely than other U.S. workers to sustain an injury or illness requiring days away...

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Safety and Health Magazine 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

Telematics Drives Behavioral Changes Behind the Wheel

Telematics is wireless technology that allows the collection of data on vehicles while they are being used in real time. Todd Ewing, director of product marking for Dublin-based Fleetmatics Development Ltd., said, "It provides fleet managers and operators access to real-time and historical vehicle and driver behavioral data. Fleet managers can now monitor the location, movement, status, and more of a fleet vehicle and its driver. In turn, these insights can be used to increase productivity, redu...

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Rob Lenihan 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

U.S. Considering Speed-Limit Device Rule for Trucks, Buses

Under a rule proposed Aug. 26 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, trucks and buses may have to be equipped with devices to limit their speed. The department will consider setting speed limits of 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour for heavy commercial vehicles. However, the department indicated that it will consider other speeds based on comments from the public. "There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rulemaking," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "In addition to s...

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Joseph White & Timothy Ahmann 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

Good to Know: Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes

OSHA Standard 1910.23 – Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes is part of 1910 Subpart D – Walking-Working Surfaces. There are additional standards within Subpart D that address ladders, scaffolding, mobile stands and other working surfaces. There are also general requirements that address housekeeping matters, aisles and passageways, covers and guardrails and floor loading protection. The requirements of 1910.23 – Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes address in more ...

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NLBMDA 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

FMCSA Launches Campaign to Alert Public on Driving Safely Around Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA has launched a new campaign to raise public awareness of how to drive around large trucks and buses. The campaign, "Our Roads, Our Responsibility," offers several tips to drivers sharing the road with commercial vehicles. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says, "These commercial vehicles also carry additional safety risks, so it's critical that all road users understand how to safely share the road." These include staying out of the ...

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Overdrive 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

Fannie, Freddie Regulator Projects that Billions Could Be Needed in a New Recession

The loss of the capital buffer would require Fannie and Freddie to make additional draws from Treasury if they face losses from interest rate or earnings volatility, Watt said. The director warned such a development "could have real ramifications on the availability and cost of credit for borrowers." But FHFA Director Melvin Watt cautioned in February that because of the PSPAs' terms the capital buffer is shrinking each and will disappear by 2018. The GSEs are allowed to retain some income gener...

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NLBMDA 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

Overtime Rule Poses Challenge for Dealers

By Ben Gann National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs 2025 M Street NW, Suite 800 Washington, D.C. 20036 ben@dealer.org 202-367-2346 On May 18, the Department of Labor DOL announced a final rule that will dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay. The rule increases the salary level under which full-time salaried white collar employees qualify for overtime pay from $455 per week $23,660...

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Ben Gann 9/6/2016 Comments(0)

Support Grows for Legislation Reforming Overtime Rule

Support is growing for the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act H.R. 5813 , which would phase-in the increase of the Department of Labor’s DOL Overtime Rule over three years and eliminate the automatic increase. Over 40 trade associations, including NLBMDA, have expressed their support for the legislation. As part of the legislation, the rule would incrementally phase in the new threshold over the next three years, beginning with a 50 percent increase this December, and 25 percent increases...

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NLBMDA 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

Proposed IRS Regulation Could Hurt Family-Owned Business

Last week, the Treasury Department proposed regulations that could significantly change family businesses’ succession plans and make it harder for family owned businesses to transition to the next generation. These changes proposed to section 2704 b of the Internal Revenue Code would remove legitimate valuation discounts for estate, gift, and generation skipping taxes which businesses have used for the past two decades in order to prevent the Internal Revenue Service IRS from overvaluing t...

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NLBMDA 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA to Increase Penalties for Violations August 1st

As reported in the July 5 issue of NLBMDA’s Workplace Safety and Risk Management newsletter , penalties for violations of OSHA standards will increase, effective August 1, 2016. OSHA, as well as other federal departments and agencies are authorized to increase such penalties under authority of legislation passed last year, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. The increases, effective August 1, are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator and the fact ...

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NLBMDA 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

5 Tips for Successful LEED Project Management

The U.S. Green Building Council USGBC recommends five strategies for successfully managing the LEED-certification process, starting with effectively identifying, quantifying, and communicating the certification goal to the design team at the outset. Much value exists in holding dialogues to ensure all participants are united on the goal and pursuing it realistically. It is vital in the planning stages to target credits and measure the probability of achieving the points in those credits, and the...

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Proud Green Building 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

Video Shows Case for More Wood Buildings

Green Building Elements 07/26/16 Killough, Dawn The Oregon Forest Resources Institute OFRI has released a video making the case for increased use of wood in building construction, including in multi-level high rises. The video seeks to enhance public understanding of how building more structures with wood helps address pressing global challenges such as population growth and climate change. "Wood buildings are essentially huge carbon storage units," says OFRI director of forest products Timm Loc...

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Dawn Killough 8/22/2016 Comments(0)

Employers See Some Success in Negotiating Down OSHA Fines

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA says companies cited for federal workplace safety violations have 15 business days from receipt to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or file a notice to contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Companies can often win reductions in proposed fines through informal talks with regulators, but settling citations is not as easy as it was. OSHA routinely agrees to reduce civil fin...

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Gloria Gonzalez 8/4/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA to Increase Penalties for Violations August 1

As reported previously in this newsletter and our July 25 E-Update, penalties for violations of OSHA standards will increase, effective Aug. 1, 2016. OSHA, as well as other federal departments and agencies, is authorized to increase under authority of legislation passed last year, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. The increases are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator and the fact that the last increases took place in 1990. A dollar in 1990 has the sa...

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National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association 8/4/2016 Comments(0)

2 Critical Problems With OSHA's New Injury Reporting Rule

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's OSHA revision to the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation requires employers in specific industries to electronically submit all OSHA-required data, which will then be displayed for public scrutiny. OSHA believes that in making the injury information publicly available, identifying the companies at the highest risk of occupational injuries and illnesses will be easier. However, critics say the metrics OSHA...

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SBC Magazine 8/4/2016 Comments(0)

Federal Court Halts Persuader Rule

On June 27, 2016, a U.S. District Court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Department of Labor’s DOL Persuader Rule, which as of July 1 would have imposed substantial reporting obligations on labor lawyers and consultants advising employers on union matters. As a result of the injunction, enforcement of the rule’s reporting requirements will be stayed until the District Court issues a further order on the matter. A group of business associations and...

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NLBMDA 7/22/2016 Comments(0)

The Next Frontier for Green Building Is Manufacturing

Crain's Chicago Business 07/12/16 Ramanujam, Mahesh A new study from the U.S. Green Building Council USGBC lists more than 1,775 current LEED-certified industrial facilities, with projections of an increase to more than 2,710 facilities, writes USGBC's Mahesh Ramanujam. "Manufacturing plants, industrial facilities, and product factories...have become a cornerstone for the international green building industry," he says. "The growing adoption of LEED in this sector has given corporations another ...

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Mahesh Ramanujam 7/22/2016 Comments(0)

'Net Zero' Green Building Certification Coming Soon

Environmental Leader 07/12/16 Hardcastle, Jessica Lyons The World Green Building Council WorldGBC , in an attempt to reduce emissions from the building sector, is launching net zero building certification and training. The project, which has set a goal of having 100 percent of buildings be net zero by 2050, initially will involve green building councils GBCs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden. In addition, Architecture 2030, a nonprofit that works...

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Jessica Lyons Hardcastle 7/22/2016 Comments(0)

Miami Beach Law Requires LEED Certification

Construction & Demolition Recycling 07/07/16 A new Miami Beach, Fla., law requires contractors of buildings larger than 7,000 square feet to meet LEED specifications or pay a fee that is equal to 5 percent of the construction costs. The law, enacted April 1, requires contractors to build structures that use less energy and water. New structures larger than 7,000 square feet also must be LEED Gold certified, while LEED Silver certification is required for new buildings larger than 50,000 squa...

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Construction & Demolition Recycling 7/22/2016 Comments(0)

Tracking Workers' Time Under the FLSA's Overtime Rule

Have a question about the new Overtime Rule? Feel free to reach out to us at frank@dealer.org . We've found the Department of Labor's Questions and Answers webpage helpful. This one on tracking workers' time may be of interest as you address specific positions impacted by the new rule. Q. Won't this rule be difficult for employers because they will have to track workers' hours? No. Almost every employer already has systems and policies in place for dealing with overtime eligible employees so the...

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NLBMDA 7/8/2016 Comments(0)

Organizations Step Up for Ladder Safety

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA reports that falls accounted for 349 of 874 total deaths in the construction industry in 2014, and violations involving ladders were the seventh most frequently cited standard by OSHA in fiscal 2015. The Accident Fund Insurance Company of America has launched a spring safety campaign to educate employers and employees about the fall hazards associated with ladders, with a website featuring brochures, tip sheets, helpful links, and other...

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NLBMDA 7/8/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA's Summer Heat Safety Campaign in Full Swing

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA unveiled its Summer Heat Safety Campaign, which aims to remind those working outside to take precautions. Employers must keep workplaces free from known safety hazards, including excessive heat in the summer months. The program calls for providing workers with water, rest, and shade; allowing new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they build a tolerance for working in the heat; planning...

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NLBMDA 7/8/2016 Comments(0)

Senate Approves Update of Toxic-Chemical Regulations

On June 7, the U.S. Senate gave final approval to an overhaul of the nation's 40-year-old law regulating the use of toxic chemicals in homes and businesses. The House had approved the measure last month. The measure will update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act and require new testing and regulation of thousands of chemicals used in everyday products. The new bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to begin conducting tests on those 64,000 chemicals, but efforts could be slow....

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Coral Davenport 7/8/2016 Comments(0)

Brick-and-Mortar Solution to Global Warming

U.S. News & World Report 06/09/16 Brodwin, David The best carbon reduction strategy is likely boosting building efficiency so structures use less energy, according to a new report from the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Sustainable Business Council ASBC . "Building improvements are probably the largest single opportunity for carbon reduction in our entire economy," writes American Sustainable Business Council co-founder David Brodwin. "A typical LEED-certified building uses ...

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David Brodwin 6/28/2016 Comments(0)

Low Interest Rates, Larger Loans Available for Green Apartments

National Real Estate Investor 06/07/16 Anderson, Bendix Lenders such as Fannie Mae and the U.S. Federal Housing Authority FHA have begun to reward less energy-consumptive apartments with lower interest rates and larger loans. Apartment buildings featuring green design elements usually have lower utility bills that can make them more profitable and less risky for lenders. To be eligible for an FHA loan program, an apartment property must be certified to meet one of the recognized sustainable deve...

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Bendix Anderson 6/28/2016 Comments(0)

Ask Your Senators to Pass the Small Business Health Care Relief Act (S. 3060)

This week, the House of Representatives passed the Small Business Health Care Relief Act, which allows small employers the flexibility to offer pre-tax dollars to help pay premiums and/or other out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care and services. Specifically, the bipartisan legislation allows employers with less than 50 employees to provide Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs to employees without being penalized. Under an HRA, an employer can set aside pre-tax money to reimburse em...

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NLBMDA 6/28/2016 Comments(0)

House Panel Holds Hearing on Overtime Rule

Last week, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing on the Department of Labor’s DOL changes to overtime pay eligibility set to take effect on December 1. The rule increases the salary level under which full-time salaried white collar employees qualify for overtime pay from $455 per week $23,660 annually to $913 per week $47,476 annually . The DOL has heralded this rule as a long-overdue action that will provide tremendous benefits to workers, said House Small Business Committee C...

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NLBMDA 6/28/2016 Comments(0)

President Obama Signs TSCA Reform into Law

On June 22, President Obama signed into law the first update in 40 years to the nation’s chemical review standards. The law, which updates the Toxic Substances Control Act TSCA , was endorsed by a variety of industries as well as environmental groups. Among the TSCA reform highlights, it limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA ability to pre-empt state oversight of commercial chemicals. The update is intended to speed up the process for review of chemicals by EPA. Under curr...

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NLBMDA 6/28/2016 Comments(0)

Department of Labor Issues New Rule on Overtime

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule affecting the regulations on overtime pay: Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees . The standard salary threshold for full-time salaried white collar workers is increased from $455 per week to $913 per week or from the current annualized $23,660 to $47,476 . This number is based on the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Ce...

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NLBMDA 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Issues Guidance on Department of Labor’s New Overtime Rule

On May 18, the Department of Labor issued its new overtime rule despite vigorous opposition from the business sector. NLBMDA, among many other groups, filed comments against the proposed rule, citing the negative impacts on employers and employees alike. See NLBMDA Disappointed with Final DOL Overtime Rule; Vows to Continue to Work Against Implementation of Poorly Constructed Policy May 18, 2016 . The new rule increases the threshold salary levels for employees exempt from overtime pay. This inc...

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NLBMDA 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

Miami Beach Wants Developers to Go Green or Pay Fee

Miami Herald 04/29/16 Flechas, Joey A new Miami Beach, Fla., law mandates builders of structures bigger than 7,000 square feet must either satisfy certain green building standards or pay a fee equal to 5 percent of construction costs. The new statute represents a unique change in which the private sector is partly responsible for paying for long-term construction planning, in the face of rising sea levels and climate change. The law went into effect on April 1, and at a typical cost of about $25...

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Joey Flechas 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

House Committee Advances Bill With Trucking Reforms on Hours of Service, Pending Owner-Op Rating Rule

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has voted to send to the full House a Department of Transportation funding package that would permanently restore 2011 regulations pertaining to truckers' use of a 34-hour restart. If adopted, the 34-hour restart would not be required to include the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, and its use would not be limited to once a week. However, the 30-minute break requirement would still be in effect, though the bill does not tie the future of hours of service rule...

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James Jaillet 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

FMCSA's New Training Standards for Entry-Level Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA has proposed a set of national prerequisite training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver's license CDL . The proposed rule covers both "Class A" and "Class B" CDLs. Drivers seeking "Class A" CDLs would be required to have a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a program that meets FMCSA standards, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating a vehicle on a practic...

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Matt Holden 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

Judge Rules Softwood Lumber Checkoff Unlawful

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., has ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's softwood lumber checkoff, which raises money to promote the use of wood in construction, violates the law. The judge found that the threshold of 15 million board-feet, or 15 mmbf, was "arbitrary and capricious" in violation of federal administrative law. The law required companies manufacturing more than 15 mmbf of lumber per year to pay an assessment of 35 cents per 1,000 board-feet to fu...

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Mateusz Perkowski 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

5 Tips to Fend Off Website Accessibility Litigation

With the evolution of the Internet, the U.S. Department of Justice has been working to expand and develop enforceable website accessibility regulations. The department has indicated that it is considering modeling its anticipated regulations after either the Section 508 Standards, which govern websites operated by federal government agencies, or what are known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which were created by the World Wide Web Consortium. Despite the lack of formal regulati...

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Stephanie Moot 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Webinar on Overtime Rule Scheduled June 29

NLBMDA will host a webinar on the Department of Labor's new Overtime Rule on June 29 at 2:00 PM, EDT. On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new Overtime Rule affecting the regulations on overtime pay: Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees. The rule increased the standard White Collar and Highly Compensated Employee salary thresholds. It also allows up to ten percent of the new White Collar salary ...

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NLBMDA 6/13/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Applauds Introduction of Timber Innovation Act

[Washington DC] - The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association NLBMDA applauds introduction last week of the Timber Innovation Act S. 2892 . The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow D-MI and included Maria Cantwell D-WA , Mike Crapo R-ID , Steve Daines R-MT and Amy Klobuchar D-MN . The bill 1 authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's USDA Tall Wood Building Prize Competition annually over the next five years; 2 creates federal grants to support ou...

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NLBMDA 5/19/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Issues New Rule to Require Electronic Reporting of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA has issued a final rule that will require all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the current recordkeeping regulation to electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only. This includes the LBM sector. These are new annual reporting requirements, with phased-in deadlines highlighted below. St...

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NLBMDA 5/19/2016 Comments(0)

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Announces Changes to Threshold Under Which Employees Quality for Overtime

The main points associated with the announcement are: * Increases the threshold from $455 per week $23,660 annually to $913 per week $47,476 annually ; * Effective December 1, and, * Automatically increases every 3 years. NLBMDA IS A MEMBER OF THE partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity that is determine next steps on the issue....

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NLBMDA 5/19/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Supports Health Care Reform Bill

NLBMDA has signed on to a multi-industry letter in support of the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act H.R. 2911 , which will ensure small business owners can use Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs to assist employees with out-of-pocket health insurance and healthcare costs. However, the Affordable Care Act ACA has made it illegal for small businesses to use pretax dollars to assist employees with the purchase of individual health insurance policies. Because HRAs are reimbursement arrangemen...

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NLBMDA 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

US Citizenship and Immigration Services offers On-Demand Webinars on Form I-9 and E-Verify

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services offers On-Demand Webinars for employers on Form I-9 and E-Verify. On-Demand Webinars are also available for employees. These may be found at the USCIS webpage for E-Verify Webinars . The webinars range from 10 to 30 minutes in length. The webpage also has a compilation of other resources related to employment verification....

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NLBMDA 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

Regulatory Alert: Employers Responsibility Under OSHA's Hazard Communication Rule

NLBMDA’s Workplace Safety and Risk Management eNews highlighted a Regulatory Alert on employers’ responsibility under OSHA’s Hazard Communication rule, as updated in 2012. This Regulatory Alert may be found at NLBMDA’s Regulatory Affairs webpage under the heading Hazard Communication . June 1, 2016 is the final implementation deadline for implementation of the 2012 updates, at which time employers are required to conform any alternative workplace labeling of containers to...

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NLBMDA 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

Obama Administration Issues Rule to Limit Exposure to Silica Dust

Wall Street Journal 03/25/16 P. B5 Trottman, Melanie The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA has issued its new silica rule that sets exposure limits on crystalline silica — a dust found in rock, sand, and other materials — for workers in construction, hydraulic fracking, glassmaking, foundary work, and other sectors. OSHA first introduced the rule in 2013, contending the dust was a threat to nearly 2.3 million U.S. workers. The Labor Department...

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Melanie Trottman 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Puts Incentive Plans Under Scrutiny

Business Insurance 03/27/16 Gonzalez, Gloria The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's OSHA so-called "Fairfax Memo" issued in 2012 outlined potential problems that workplace safety programs can create, such as discouraging workers from reporting workplace injuries and illnesses, which would violate federal health and safety and whistleblower laws. In a draft update in 2015, OSHA reiterated the problems with using incentives in workplace safety programs. OSHA has not adopted a sta...

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Gloria Gonzalez 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

USCIS: Expired Form I-9 Still in Effect

Society for Human Resource Management 04/01/16 Maurer, Roy Although the current version of the Form I-9 expired on March 31, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS says employers should continue using the form until the recently proposed "smart" I-9 goes into effect. The form is used to determine if workers are eligible to work in the United States. USCIS published a second round of proposed changes to the form in the Federal Register on March 28, and public comments will be accepted...

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Roy Maurer 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

Federal Regulations Could Worsen Truck Driver Shortages

Trucks.com 04/05/16 Dreibus, Tony Trucking companies already face driver shortages as current drivers near retirement and unemployment remains low. The problem could be exacerbated by proposed regulations requiring extensive commercial driver training and limiting hours of operation, which will increase drivers' time away from home. One proposal would increase training hours that entry-level drivers need to obtain a commercial driver's license, which could cost up to $5.6 billion over 10 years, ...

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Tony Dreibus 4/25/2016 Comments(0)

Green Building Tool Helps Architects, Builders, Specifiers

Green Building Elements 03/17/16 Meyers, Glenn Building with Chemistry BwC has developed an online tool aimed at green building. The resource targets creating more energy-efficient and sustainable homes, offices, schools, and other buildings. "The increased popularity of green building design and construction has given rise to a variety of approaches that aim to guide architects, designers, materials specifiers, and builders in how to build 'green,'" according to the BwC initiative. Comprehensiv...

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Glenn Meyers 4/1/2016 Comments(0)

Health and Well-Being Now Part of Real Estate Assessments

Green Building Elements 03/14/16 Killough, Dawn The green building industry has recognized the need for practical tools for systematic assessment, objective scoring, and peer benchmarking or health and well-being. The global standard for environmental, social, and government assessment of real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets GRESB recently announced the launch of the GRESB Health and Well-being Module, which evaluates and benchmarks actions by property companies and funds to promote ...

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Dawn Killough 4/1/2016 Comments(0)

Meet the New Green Face of Affordable Housing

The Huffington Post 03/23/16 Benfield, F. Kaid Although there exists a persistent stigma associated with affordable housing in the U.S., especially with publicly subsidized housing, there is hope it will be quashed by new-generation development projects. They include subsidized units priced to be affordable to low-income renters that also have high-quality design and features and amenities that could appeal to just about anyone in the market for apartment living. In addition, they are environmen...

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F. Kaid Benfield 4/1/2016 Comments(0)

Preventing 270,000 Eye Injury ER Visits a Year

About 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room per year due to workplace eye injuries, and nearly 50 percent of them occur in manufacturing, mining, or construction workplaces, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The time spent away from work and cost to employers can be more than $300 million annually in lost productivity, medical costs, and workers' compensation claims. About 90 percent of these eye injuries can be prevented with the use of appropriate protective eyewear on the job,...

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NLBMDA 3/18/2016 Comments(0)

Safety-Related Training Proposed for Truck, Bus, Motor Coach Drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA issued a notice of rulemaking, proposing that new drivers obtain at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training before receiving a Class A commercial driver's license, including at least 10 hours of driving range practice. These new training standards would be for entry-level commercial truck and bus drivers as a way to improve safety. FMCSA said that drivers of school buses, public buses, and motor coaches...

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NLBMDA 3/18/2016 Comments(0)

Trucker Coercion Prohibition Rule Now in Effect

A new rule that aims to protect truckers from "threats of economic harm" by imposing large fines on carriers, shippers, and brokers that pressure drivers to operate beyond federal safety regulations went into effect on Jan. 29. A new system for truckers to file complaints for alleged coercion incidents with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA has been implemented as well. Entities caught coercing drivers will be charged $16,000 for each violation. However, the FMSCA says trucke...

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NLBMDA 3/18/2016 Comments(0)

Provision Affecting FRT Lumber in Type III Construction Defeated

A proposed code change G170 for the use of fire retardant treated FRT wood in Type III and Type IV construction was defeated during the recent International Code Council ICC 2018 code development process. The change would have had a significant impact on the traditional use of wood components that are fire retardant treated. While G170 was defeated Feb. 8-21 during the 2015 Group A Online Governmental Consensus Vote OGCV , the ICC said, "These results are not final as they are subject to certifi...

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NLBMDA 3/18/2016 Comments(0)

Green Building Expected to Grow Significantly in the U.S. by 2018

Significant gains in U.S. green building are expected in 2018, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016 report from by the U.S. Green Building Council and Dodge Data and Analytics. Last year, about 24 percent of U.S. building firms said more than 60 percent of their projects were green, and 39 percent of survey respondents expect green projects completed by their company will constitute 60 percent or more of their total projects annually by 2018. The main drivers of the U.S. green build...

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EcoBuilding Pulse 3/4/2016 Comments(0)

7 Steps to Get Your Piece of the Green Building Market

The green building market ended 2015 on a roll and is expected to be worth $234 billion by 2019, while global investment over the next eight years on greening existing structures could total $960 billion. Green building manufacturers should follow seven steps in order to tell their stories in the right way to the right people, first by compiling "chapters" of their sustainability stories, including reasons why their customers should believe them. The second step is to distill these narratives in...

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GreenBiz.com 3/4/2016 Comments(0)

School Buildings Designed as 'Teaching Green' Can Lead to Better Environmental Education

Teaching children about the importance of environmentally-friendly buildings could be a key contributor to whether they end up owning and managing green buildings. University of Missouri MU professor Laura Cole found students who attend school in green buildings gain more knowledge about energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly building practices. Her study concentrated on five U.S. middle schools ranging from older, energy-inefficient designs to new buildings designed as "teaching green" ...

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Phys.org 3/4/2016 Comments(0)

Are You in Compliance With OSHA's New Confined Space Standard for the Construction Industry?

The new confined space standard for construction, implemented by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA on Aug. 3, 2015, is tailored to the unique characteristics of construction sites, taking into consideration that they often host multiple employers and that the nature of confined spaces changes as the work progresses. While there are many similarities between OSHA's general industry and construction standards governing confined spaces, employers must be aware of some impo...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA prepares comments to OSHA’s proposed Safety and Health Guidelines

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA recently extended its public comment period for the proposed update of the agency's Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines from Feb. 15 to Feb. 22, and the agency plans to hold an all-day roundtable discussion on the proposed guidelines on March 10. The guidelines, which are advisory and do not create any new legal obligations, were updated to reflect modern technology and practices regarding the creation of health and safety m...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Attends Overtime Rule Symposium

On February 1, NLBMDA attended a symposium sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled Impacts of the Proposed Overtime Regulation on Vulnerable Employers. The event highlighted the impact the proposed overtime regulations will have on the most vulnerable employers—small businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions, and state and local governments. The symposium also featured presentations and panels from a variety of business leaders struggling to determine how they will be able to ...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Attends Small Business Legislative Council Annual Meeting

Last week, the Small Business Legislative Council SBLC held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. NLBMDA attended the meeting which featured a speech from Rep. Steve Chabot R-OH , Chairman of the House Small Business Committee. Chairman Chabot spoke to the group about the need for streamlining regulations to make them less burdensome on small businesses. NLBMDA is a member of SBLC, which represents an independent, permanent coalition of trade and professional associations who share a common con...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

Energy Bill Stalls in the Senate

Senators blocked a procedural vote on Thursday on a comprehensive energy bill, the Energy Policy and Modernization Act S. 2012 because of a disagreement over an amendment that would help the city of Flint, Michigan respond to its water crisis. Despite the setback, lawmakers maintain neither the wide-ranging bill nor the Flint amendment is dead yet. NLBMDA continues to push two amendments for inclusion in the energy bill. The first would Improve the energy efficiency of homes by providing a volun...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

Employers Must Post Injury & Illness Summaries February—April

Employers must post a copy of OSHA's Form 300A , which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2015. The summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted each year between Feb. 1 and April 30. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA's website. The LBM sector, other than the exemption for businesses with 10 o...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

Combilift Joins NLBMDA's Manufacturers and Services Council (MSC)

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association NLBMDA announced today that Combilift USA is the newest member of the association's Manufacturers and Services Council MSC . Combilift is a specialist forklift and straddle carrier manufacturer producing a wide range of customized handling solutions, all of which are designed for the safe, space saving and very productive handling of long and awkward products. Combilift offers lift capacities ranging from 3,200 lbs. to 180,000 lbs. wi...

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NLBMDA 2/22/2016 Comments(0)

NLBDMA Meets with Congressional Offices on DOL Overtime Proposal

NLBMDA has been meeting with Congressional Democrats as part of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, and has been asking them to sign on to a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez asking the department to revise its proposal for increasing employees eligible for overtime pay. For you reference, click here to view the list of representatives that have already signed on to the letter. Under the proposal, the salary level which employees would qualify for overtime pay would increase f...

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NLBMDA 2/8/2016 Comments(0)

DOL Issues Joint Employer Guidance

In guidance issued last week by the Department of Labor DOL on the joint employer standard, more companies could be classified as joint employers of workers employed by a staffing agency or contractor and held liable for labor violations tied to those staff. The 15-page interpretation by DOL explains how to analyze joint employment in vertical arrangements, when one company contracts with another company, and horizontal arrangements, when one worker is employed by two related companies. While no...

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NLBMDA 2/8/2016 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Launches NEW Member Benefit

NLBMDA listened to member feedback and developed the NLBMDA Workplace Safety & Risk Management newsletter as a new member benefit to aid dealers and suppliers as they navigate the regulatory landscape. NLBMDA's Workplace Safety & Risk Management newsletter will provide a monthly look at national public policy, trade and industry developments for workplace safety topics applicable to the LBM sector. These will include those OSHA standards that are currently monitored and analyzed by NLBMD...

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NLBMDA 1/26/2016 Comments(0)

Nearly 30,000 Employers Used OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program in 2015

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA reports that its On-Site Consultation Program provided safety and occupational health advice to nearly 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses in 2015. The program aims to help small businesses that lack the resources of an on-site safety professional to find and fix hazards. About 87 percent of the consultations were conducted at businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Consultants from state agencies and universities work with employe...

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NLBMDA 1/26/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Revives Controversial Safety Rules

On Dec. 21, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that it has sent long-delayed rules intended to protect construction and manufacturing workers from exposure to silica dust to the White House for final approval. The Office of Management and Budget will have 90 days to review the rules. The contents of the final rule have not been made public, but the August 2013 proposed rule sought to cut silica exposure in half to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Exposure to si...

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NLBMDA 1/26/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Looks to Reassure Employers on Reporting Injuries Under New Rules

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA stated that information generated by employers under the revised reporting requirements for its severe injury reporting rule will not be used to issue citations and fines. The reporting rule will take effect Jan. 1, 2016, and requires that all workplace fatalities be reported within eight hours. Additionally, employers must report the hospitalization of a single employee — rather than three or more employees as previously required...

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NLBMDA 1/26/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA Fines Likely on the Rise

For the first time in about 25 years, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA will increase its fines. The new budget signed into law by President Barack Obama in November 2015 removes a provision in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act that exempts OSHA from increasing its penalties to account for inflation. OSHA must now issue an interim final rule that will hike the agency's penalties by about 80 percent to account for current inflation. This means the maxi...

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NLBMDA 1/26/2016 Comments(0)

Visas for Seasonal Construction Workers Expected to Increase

A provision in the 2,009 page year-end spending bill passed by Congress restores the returning worker exemption for the H-2B Visa Program, which provides that if a foreign worker under the H-2B program has been counted against the overall H-2B cap in one of the three prior years, that worker can return to work in the H-2B program in the current year without being counted against the current year's cap. The provision should increase the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers seeking seasonal, n...

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NLBMDA 1/11/2016 Comments(0)

EPA Collecting More Information on Lead Paint Test Kits

On December 21, EPA announced it is having a second public comment period on lead paint test kits , and other proposed methods, used to comply with the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting RRP rule. At present, the two EPA-approved test kits for RRP compliance produce a false-positive rate well-above the requirement of 10 percent. EPA has not indicated what approach they will take to provide relief and reform to the RRP Rule. Earlier this year, NLBMDA spoke at a meeting in Washington, D.C. abou...

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NLBMDA 1/11/2016 Comments(0)

Building Science: Net Zero Works

Professional Builder 12/07/15 The U.S. Department of Energy's Housing Innovation Award for Zero Energy Ready Homes ZERH in 2015 showcased three production and custom-built homes that demonstrate the marketability of ZERH. Although ZERH has been gaining popularity in the custom home market, it also is proving to be good business in the production home market. Homebuilders now have access to well-trained crews that can integrate the best high-performance practices, offering significant risk reduct...

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Professional Builder 1/11/2016 Comments(0)

10 Intelligent Building Trends to Watch in 2016

Environmental Leader 12/11/15 Henry, Karen Building owners and key decision makers this year will invest in a wide variety of smart building solutions based on the Internet of Things and cloud computing, according to a Navigant Research white paper. Navigant says 10 trends will come to mirror the maturing facilities industry and the drive for more intelligent buildings, including the delivery of additional benefits besides energy efficiency by building energy management systems BEMS . Other pred...

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Karen Henry 1/11/2016 Comments(0)

How Resilience Will Shape the Future of Building Design

GreenBiz.com 12/29/15 Miller, Molly Future building design will be influenced by the need for resilience in the face of hazards predicted by the U.S. Green Building Council's USGBC LEED program. In November, USGBC's steering committee for the LEED rating system approved three LEED pilot credits on resilience in design. LEED's Passive Survivability credit is geared to prepare building designs for functionality in times of emergency, requiring the design team to create a building that provides at ...

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Molly Miller 1/11/2016 Comments(0)

OSHA fines expected to increase for the first time since 1990

Under a provision in the recent congressional budget deal, signed into law by President Obama on November 2, OSHA has been directed to issue an interim final rule increasing its penalties to account for current inflation levels, which would raise proposed fines by about 80 percent. This would mean the maximum penalty for a willful violation would rise to about $127,000 from the current $70,000. The adjustment must occur before Aug. 1, 2016. In subsequent years, OSHA also will be allowed – ...

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NLBMDA 12/4/2015 Comments(0)

Apartment and Condominium Market Remains Steady in the Third Quarter

The Multifamily Production Index MPI , released on November 19, by the National Association of Home Builders NAHB , increased one point to a level of 56 for the third quarter of 2015. This is the 15th consecutive quarter with a reading of 50 or above. The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that any number over 50 indicates that more respondents repo...

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NLBMDA 12/4/2015 Comments(0)

Congress Nears Finish Line on Long-Term Highway Bill

House and Senate lawmakers appointed to negotiate an agreement for final approval hope to complete their work this week. One of the stumbling blocks toward a final agreement is Hours of Service HOS rules limiting the number of hours worked by commercial truck drivers. The current short-term extension funding the highway program expires on December 4. In July, the Senate passed a long-term highway bill that funds the program for 6 years but only fully funds the program for 3 years. The House pass...

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NLBMDA 12/4/2015 Comments(0)

Congress Continues Legislative Negotiations

The end of the first session of the 114th Congress is approaching and lawmakers have been scrambling to push several bills through to the President. From appropriations to a highway funding bill, there is a considerable amount activity on Capitol Hill this coming month. First, Congress needs to pass an omnibus bill. This is a large piece of legislation containing appropriations that can be voted on at once, rather than votes on each measure. The omnibus is intended to prevent a government shutdo...

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NLBMDA 12/4/2015 Comments(0)

Buyers Willing to Pay More for Green Homes

Builder 10/28/15 Shanesy, Lauren High-performance homes marketed with green features in Washington, D.C., sell for 3.46 percent more than those without, according to an Institute for Market Transformation IMT study. The study paired eight high-performance homes with three non-high performance homes across seven ZIP codes in Washington, D.C., and found 19 of the 32 paired sales commanded green premiums of 2 to 5 percent. The mean green premium was 3.46 percent, while the median green premium was ...

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Lauren Shanesy 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

Green Building Market Grew 12.81 Percent in 2014

Greentech Lead 11/03/15 Baburajan, Rajani The green building market experienced healthy growth of nearly 13 percent in 2014 due to government initiatives to promote sustainable building practices and protect the environment, according to the Global Construction Waste Management Market 2015-2019 report. The healthcare segment of the market increasingly embraces green building methods, the report found. On a global scale, Europe and the Americas are early adopters of green building, although Singa...

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Rajani Baburajan 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

The Skyscraper at the Heart of the Debate Over America's Green Building Standard

The Guardian 11/06/12 Watson, Bruce One Bryant Park in Manhattan was the first skyscraper awarded LEED Platinum certification and has become the focus of the debate over LEED as a green building system. There are 13.8 billion square feet of LEED-certified building space globally, and many governments provide incentives and tax breaks for LEED buildings. LEED co-founder Rick Fedrizzi used a market-driven approach to promoting LEED, based on his prior experience as director of environmental market...

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Bruce Watson 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

Greenbuild's Shark Tank of Product Innovations

Builder 11/03/15 Goodman, Jennifer This month's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C., will feature eight finalists selected from 270 applicants selected to compete for the top three spots in the NOVA Innovation Competition. The competition seeks three startups with the most innovative solutions in housing, sustainable products and materials, renewable energy sources, and high-efficiency building solutions. Finalists will present their innovations to a panel of Saint-G...

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Jennifer Goodman 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

Greenbuild's Shark Tank of Product Innovations

Builder 11/03/15 Goodman, Jennifer This month's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C., will feature eight finalists selected from 270 applicants selected to compete for the top three spots in the NOVA Innovation Competition. The competition seeks three startups with the most innovative solutions in housing, sustainable products and materials, renewable energy sources, and high-efficiency building solutions. Finalists will present their innovations to a panel of Saint-G...

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Jennifer Goodman 11/13/2015 Comments(0)

Why Aren't There More Energy-Efficient Buildings?

CityLab 10/22/15 Kolson Hurley, Amanda Although architects increasingly are signing up for the American Institute of Architects AIA 2030 Commitment, a pledge to meet a 60-percent reduction in predicted energy-use intensity pEUI from baseline levels, few have designed buildings that meet that target. Architectural projects represented in AIA's database of projects have increased 78 percent in the past year, representing 2.4 billion square feet. But the average pEUI reduction reported by firms has...

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Amanda Kolson Hurley 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

The Secrets of a Super-Green Home in Oregon, Revealed

Curbed National 10/08/15 Sisson, Patrick The world's greenest home, the Karuna House in Newberg, Ore., has earned an unprecedented number of certifications and awards, including Passive House, MINERGIE, LEED Platinum, U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home, and Earth Advantage Platinum. The building's energy needs are all provided by a photovoltaic array of less than 10 kilowatts. Designed by Holst Architecture and built by Hammer & Hand, the $2 million, 3,500-square-foot home has ...

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Patrick Sisson 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

Future of Softwood Industry Unclear After Expiration of Softwood Lumber Agreement

The Softwood Lumber Agreement SLA , between the United States and Canada, first agreed upon in 2006, expired this month, after having agreed to a two year extension in 2012. The SLA represents the agreement for Canadian exports of softwood sawnwood to the US with the current trade agreement from 2006 representing a solution to US industry claims that Canadian forest policies subsidize sawnwood production. The agreement specifies higher duties on Canadian exports when softwood sawnwood prices are...

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NLBMDA 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

Increased Fatalities Highlight Need for Heightened Safety on the Jobsite

OSHA recently reported that preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show that the rate of fatal work injuries in 2014 was unchanged from 2013, at about 3 per 100,000 full-time workers, but the total number of fatalities grew, reflecting an overall increase in employment. The report specifically noted that the number of fatalities grew in the construction industry . US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez issued a statement on the BLS report . Mor...

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NLBMDA 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

House Small Business Committee Holds Hearing on Proposed Overtime Rule

On October 8, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations examined the consequences of the Department of Labor’s DOL proposed overtime rule. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has criticized the proposed rule for vastly underestimating the small business compliance costs and for not considering numerous key small entities affected by the rule. NLBMDA is a member of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity opposes to ...

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NLBMDA 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

Industry Publishes New Window PCR

USGlass Magazine 09/14/15 The Window Product Category Rule PCR is now available after four years of collaboration. The PCR was established to provide a detailed method for developing a business-to-business Environmental Product Declaration EPD to support comparable, informed, and objective sustainable purchasing of windows," according to the document. The PCR will ensure that consistent calculations and procedures are used each time an EPD is created for a product. The Window PCR was funded by t...

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USGlass Magazine 11/2/2015 Comments(0)

The Green Rebuilding of Post-Katrina New Orleans

Time 08/28/15 Worland, Justin Actor Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation has helped make the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans a model of sustainability and resilience. Make it Right helped build more than 100 LEED Platinum-certified homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, providing residents with healthier, more affordable homes. For these residents, both energy bills and trips to the hospital to treat asthma, prevalent in low-income communities, are significantly reduced. The Foundation also eleva...

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Justin Worland 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

Greenbuild and NAHB Announce New Strategic Partnership

BuildingOnline 09/15/15 The National Association of Home Builders NAHB , the American Institute of Architects, and the Building Owners and Managers Association will be the Greenbuild Top Tier Partners for 2015. The 2015 Greenbuild Conference will feature several residential offerings, including a residential product pavilion, a LEED v4 Platinum, net-zero electricity demonstration home on the show floor, and an educational track with 15 sessions focused on both multi- and single-family homes. "Gr...

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BuildingOnline 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

Homes Make as Much Energy as They Use

Scientific American 08/21/15 Patterson, Brittany The number of Zero Net Energy ZNE residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. has doubled between 2012 and 2014, according to the New Buildings Institute, which notes many are located in California. ZNE buildings greatly reduce utility bills, making them a boon for low-income families such as Spring Lake, a complex of ZNE townhomes and apartments built for agricultural workers and their families by Mutual Housing in Sacramento. I've heard ama...

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Brittany Patterson 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

NAHB Study Shows What 'Green' Means to Home Buyers

DWM Magazine 09/24/15 Builders and remodelers can gain insight into consumers' attitudes toward green home features, concepts, and terms with the new National Association of Home Builders NAHB study, "What Green Means to Home Buyers: Perceptions and Preferences." The study, conducted in 2015 and based on a survey of U.S. home buyers, shows home purchase decisions are most influenced by the safety of the community, energy efficiency of the home, low maintenance, lower operating costs, and durabil...

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DWM Magazine 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

Green Building Outpaces Overall Construction Growth

Environmental Leader 09/16/15 The green building industry contributed more than $134.3 billion in labor income and accounted for more than 2.3 million U.S. jobs this year, according to a U.S. Green Building Council study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton. The growth rate of U.S. green construction is rapidly outpacing conventional construction, and is rising. By 2018, more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs will be in green construction, and they will generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The indust...

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Environmental Leader 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

New York, Portland Proposals Win Tall Wood Building Prize

Green Building Elements 09/23/15 Hanley, Stephen The Tall Wood Building competition sponsored by the Softwood Lumber Board and the Bi-national Softwood Lumber Council awarded $1.5 million each to proposals submitted for buildings to be built in New York City and Portland, Ore. The Portland Framework project will be part of the Pearl District redevelopment. The proposed 12-story urban and rural ecological project will be made primarily of cross-laminated timber CLT and will include space for reta...

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Stephen Hanley 10/8/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Files Comments Against the Proposed Salary Increase

NLBMDA filed comments with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division WHD against a proposal to increase the salary level for the white collar overtime exemption. The WHD proposes to increase the level for executive, administrative, and professional employees from $455 per week to $921 per week or from $23,660 in annual salary to $47,892 . The NLBMDA comments also opposed the proposed increase for the highly compensated employees exemption, which WHD would increase from $100,000 annu...

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NLBMDA 9/14/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Reiterates Innocent Sellers Fairness Act as a Top Legislative Priority

NLBMDA reiterates its full support for the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act H.R. 1199 , which would provide product liability protection in certain circumstances for lumber dealers that merely sell products, and did not manufacture or alter them. The bill was reintroduced in March in the House of Representatives and remains a top priority for NLBMDA. The legislation addresses the problem of unwarranted and unfounded product liability lawsuits faced by lumber dealers. It is designed to limit exposur...

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NLBMDA 9/14/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Reiterates Innocent Sellers Fairness Act as a Top Legislative Priority

NLBMDA reiterates its full support for the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act H.R. 1199 , which would provide product liability protection in certain circumstances for lumber dealers that merely sell products, and did not manufacture or alter them. The bill was reintroduced in March in the House of Representatives and remains a top priority for NLBMDA. The legislation addresses the problem of unwarranted and unfounded product liability lawsuits faced by lumber dealers. It is designed to limit exposur...

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NLBMDA 9/14/2015 Comments(0)

Regulatory Update: Department of Labor's Wage and House Division Issues Interpretation

On July 15, 2015, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division WHD issued an interpretation of how to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor in relationship to the employer. WHD assumes most workers are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA . Because of ambiguities and vagueness in the statutory definition of this employment relationship, federal courts have fashioned a test for determining the status of a worker under the FLSA. The WHD Interpretation p...

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NLBMDA 9/14/2015 Comments(0)

You Ought to Care About This!

By Jim Moody, CAE President of Construction Suppliers Association I’ve come to realize over the years that government affairs is not something that many of you would consider a key benefit of CSA membership. At the state level, the Mississippi and Louisiana side of the family is more active than the Georgia and Alabama side, but I rarely hear any of you talk about the need for work at the federal level. Perhaps it’s because there’s an assumption that the federal government is s...

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Jim Moody, CAE 9/14/2015 Comments(0)

Existing-Home Sales Grow to Highest Pace Since Before Recession

Existing-Home Sales Grow to Highest Pace Since Before Recession Sales of existing homes grew in July to the fastest rate since 2007, and factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region picked up this month — fresh signs of steady economic growth that is likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year. The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales increased by 2 percent to an annual rate of 5.59 million units last month, the highest since February o...

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NLBMDA 8/30/2015 Comments(0)

Why a Wooden Office Tower May Symbolize the Future of Multi-Story Construction

Why a Wooden Office Tower May Symbolize the Future of Multi-Story Construction Curbed National 08/12/15 Sisson, Patrick The first tall-timber building in the U.S., the seven-story, 210,000-square-foot Timber, Technology and Transit T3 office building, broke ground at the end of July in Minneapolis, Minn. The new home of the Hines development firm, designed by architect Michael Green, will challenge assumptions about wood structures and represent a technological leap that may be the vanguard of s...

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Patrick Sisson 8/29/2015 Comments(0)

Why a Wooden Office Tower May Symbolize the Future of Multi-Story Construction

Why a Wooden Office Tower May Symbolize the Future of Multi-Story Construction Curbed National 08/12/15 Sisson, Patrick The first tall-timber building in the U.S., the seven-story, 210,000-square-foot Timber, Technology and Transit T3 office building, broke ground at the end of July in Minneapolis, Minn. The new home of the Hines development firm, designed by architect Michael Green, will challenge assumptions about wood structures and represent a technological leap that may be the vanguard of s...

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Patrick Sisson 8/29/2015 Comments(0)

Green Retirement Communities Are Sprouting

Green Retirement Communities Are Sprouting Next Avenue 08/10/15 Baker, Beth Baby Boomers' strong interest in environmental sustainability is motivating retirement communities to offer amenities such as greener buildings, energy-efficient lighting, community gardens, and walkability. Although a recent New York Times article reports the supply of green retirement options has not kept pace with demand, some notable examples exist. Penswood Village in Newtown, Pa., has a LEED gold-certified assisted...

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Beth Baker 8/29/2015 Comments(0)

Department of Labor’s Wage and House Division Issues Interpretation on the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors

Department of Labor ’ s Wage and House Division Issues Interpretation on the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors On July 15, 2015, the Department of Labor ’ s Wage and Hour Division WHD issued an interpretation of how to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor in relationship to the employer. WHD assumes most workers are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA . Because of ambiguities and vagueness in the st...

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NLBMDA 8/29/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Meets with EPA Officials on Lead Paint Rule

NLBMDA Meets with EPA Officials on Lead Paint Rule NLBMDA recently attended a meeting at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule RRP and the ongoing issue with the accuracy of lead paint test kits approved for compliance. NLBMDA was joined by representatives from other building and construction industry trade associations. NLBMDA told EPA that the an affordable test kit meeting the false positive standard is necessary to achieving the goal of...

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NLBMDA 8/29/2015 Comments(0)

Louisville Home Buyers, Sellers Can Now Get Better Info on 'Green' Features

Louisville Home Buyers, Sellers Can Now Get Better Info on 'Green' Features WFPL News 08/09/15 Peterson, Erica The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors has added eight new search fields to the Multiple Listing Service MLS to help prospective buyers identify homes with environmentally friendly features and certifications. The new search fields also help sellers market their investments in energy efficiency, according to Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council director Nancy Church. Louisville'...

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Erica Peterson 8/28/2015 Comments(0)

EPA Lead Rule Reform Bill Reintroduced in the Senate

On August 5, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act S. 1987 was reintroduced in the Senate. The legislation was introduced by Sen. James Inhofe R-OK and was cosponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley R-IA and John Thune R-SD . The bill would restore the opt-out clause and require EPA to identify a test kit meeting the rule’s standards. In May, Rep. Kevin Cramer R-ND reintroduced identical legislation H.R. 2328 in the House of Representatives. NLBMDA continues to make this issue a top priori...

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NLBMDA 8/14/2015 Comments(0)

Cosponsor Added to Innocent Sellers Fairness Act

Rep. David Young R-IA has signed on as a cosponsor to the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act H.R. 1199 . The legislation is a top priority for NLBMDA and would reduce the instances where retailers must be subject to product liability lawsuits. A special thank you goes to Northwestern Lumber Association, its president Cody Nuernberg, and Brian Carlson, Manager of Red Oak Do It Center in Red Oak, Iowa, for reaching out to Rep. Young on the issue. The legislation now has 12 cosponsors. NLBMDA members ar...

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NLBMDA 8/14/2015 Comments(0)

Will Green Improvements Boost Your Home's Value?

Studies show homes with energy-saving improvements command higher prices than traditional homes. RE/Max Leading Edge's Craig Foley studied about 4,600 homes in Greater Boston and found homes heated with natural gas sold for $11 more per square foot than homes heated with oil. Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost versus Value Report includes resale values for bathroom remodels and deck additions, but has not yet included green renovations. However, the 2016 report will include roof insulation for th...

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Shira Springer 8/14/2015 Comments(0)

States Turning to Green Banks to Finance Renewables

States are looking to the private sector to nurture renewable energy markets. Government incentives for renewable energy that drove growth from 7 percent of the total generated energy in the U.S. in 2007 to 13 percent in 2014 are beginning to dry up. The largest federal renewable energy tax credit of 30 percent for solar systems will expire at the end of 2016. Clean energy financing programs offer a promising avenue for scaling up investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency that can re...

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Mike Hower 8/14/2015 Comments(0)

How a Green Building Influences the Health of Its Occupants

Medical Xpress 07/09/15 The health benefits of green buildings are summarized in the first comprehensive review of studies of green buildings conducted by Joseph Allen and his team of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. The review included 15 studies and found green buildings have better indoor environmental quality when compared with traditional buildings that confer direct health benefits to the building occupants. Occupants of green buildings enjoy better indoor air quality...

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Medical Xpress 8/3/2015 Comments(0)

Which Green, Sustainability Features Do Boomers Crave the Most?

Multifamily Executive 07/02/15 Shanesy, Lauren Retiring baby boomers are looking for energy-efficient housing, not only for environmental concerns but also to save money, contain costs, and reap health benefits. Popular features include energy-efficient lighting. It costs nearly five times as much to burn one 60-watt light bulb as it costs to burn a single 12-watt LED light bulb over a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star-rated appliances that save energy and water also ...

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Lauren Shanesy 8/2/2015 Comments(0)

Invite Members of Congress to Your Lumberyard During the August Recess

NLBMDA members should take action during the August Recess by meeting with their members of Congress at the district and state levels during the annual summer break. Both the Senate and House leave Washington, D.C. in a few weeks. The House of Representatives leaves July 30. The Senate leaves August 7. Both chambers will return to Capitol Hill on September 8. Contact your district and Senate offices, set up meetings with them over the break, and even invite them to tour your lumberyard. NLBMDA s...

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NLBMDA 8/1/2015 Comments(0)

Ortiz's Green Development Tax Exemption Bill Passes in Senate

Niagara Frontier Publications NY 06/05/15 Maloni, J. The New York Senate unanimously passed Sen. Rob Ortiz's Green Development neighborhood tax exemption bill to encourage more homeowners to build green homes. Local municipalities may offer real property tax exemptions of 35 percent for up to 20 years for green homes. Eligible homes in participating municipalities must meet either National Association of Home Builders NAHB or LEED standards with features such as recycled content in building mate...

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J. Maloni 7/13/2015 Comments(0)

It's Getting Harder to Persuade Landlords to Go Green

Bloomberg 06/25/15 Clark, Patrick Commercial buildings consumed 20 percent of the energy used in the U.S. last year, according to a report by CBRE Group and Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The report also says 39 percent of the total office space in the top U.S. markets have green certifications, with 13 percent achieving LEED or Energy Star standards. However, owners of smaller office buildings have been slower to adopt sustainability measures with only 5 percent achieving LEED or Ene...

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Patrick Clark 7/13/2015 Comments(0)

Building Green in a Red-Hot Market

Memphis Daily News 06/20/15 Deese, Holly Nashville, Tenn.'s robust economy and development boom is generating concern for how the increased construction and population will affect the area's environment. Firms are looking to other cities' successes for guidance, such as The Gulch, one of the first four projects in Tennessee accepted into the U.S. Green Building Council's pilot certification program for large-scale developments called LEED for Neighborhood Development LEED ND . LEED ND certifies ...

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Holly Deese 7/13/2015 Comments(0)

The Case for a Human-Centered Sustainability Strategy

GreenBiz.com 06/17/15 Paladino, Tom Green building trends increasingly focus sustainability strategies on engaging the building occupants, meeting their needs, and generating impacts that extend beyond the building walls. Baby boomers seeking to extend their professional and personal youth focus on healthy work places. Although up-and-coming millennials may not be as concerned with medical care as the previous generation, they do expect company leaders to provide a healthy workplace and encourag...

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Tom Paladino 7/2/2015 Comments(0)

Heart of the Home: Buyers Looking for Green Home Upgrades

Chicago Tribune 06/11/15 Dechter, Felicia The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Association of Realtors, along with other organizations, are working to include energy-efficiency features in real estate market values and listings. In River Forest and Oak Park, Ill., people live in walkable communities with excellent public transportation options, visit farmers markets, and participate in recycling programs. Home buyers in this market also look for high-efficiency heating and cooling syst...

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Felicia Dechter 7/2/2015 Comments(0)

Will Buildings of the Future Be Cloaked in Algae?

Smithsonian.com 05/26/15 Matchar, Emily The Expo 2015 world's fair in Milan featured a gazebo covered with an algae-filled plastic forming a living "skin." The 430-square-foot gazebo is made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a transparent plastic building material used in the Water Cube aquatics center built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The gazebo's hollow interior is filled with water and a type of algae called spirulina. The algae grows with more sun, darkening the gazebo and providing shade ...

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Emily Matchar 7/2/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Urges Congress to Support Building Code Language in Energy Legislation

NLBMDA, along with a multi-industry coalition, has asked Congress to use the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act, H.R. 1273 commonly known as Blackburn-Schrader, as the code language in comprehensive energy efficiency legislation during this Congress. It would require the Department of Energy DOE to publish any code change proposals in the Federal Register and allow the public 90 days to provide comment. In addition, code change proposals would be required to have a payback of no more tha...

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NLBMDA 7/2/2015 Comments(0)

OSHA's Revised Hazard Communication Requirements in Effect as of June 1

As of June 1 chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are required to provide a label that includes a single word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Beginning in December of this, distributors may only ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer if the labels meet these requirements. This continues the roll out of the new harmonization of labels and safety data sheets for chemicals found in many ...

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NLBMDA 7/2/2015 Comments(0)

35 Story Carbon Neutral Wood Skyscraper Proposed for Paris

35 Story Carbon Neutral Wood Skyscraper Proposed for Paris Green Building Elements 06/04/15 Hanley, Stephen Canadian architect Michael Green, in partnership with French architects DVVD Paris and developer REI France, submitted a proposal for a 35-story wood skyscraper in the Reinvent Paris competition. Paris authorities are holding the competition to redevelop 23 sites in the city that demonstrate architectural, social, and environmental innovations that will revitalize the city. To date, 815 pr...

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Stephen Hanley 6/15/2015 Comments(0)

Interest Grows in Codifying Green Standard for Homes

Interest Grows in Codifying Green Standard for Homes Vancouver Columbian WA 04/19/15 Fischer, Amy M.E. In April, Vancouver, Wash.'s City Council considered a proposal to add the National Green Building Standard to city code, as well as provide guidelines for design, construction, and operation, and a uniform way to measure building performance. The effort to promote green building and remodeling demonstrates the city's commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development, according to...

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Amy Fischer 6/15/2015 Comments(0)

How to Get the Real Estate Market to Properly Value Green Homes

How to Get the Real Estate Market to Properly Value Green Home Washington Post 05/28/15 Mooney, Chris The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings initiative announced a new program to help improve information about home energy efficiency in the real estate market by collaborating with the Appraisal Institute, the Council of Multiple Listing Services, and the National Association of Realtors' Center for Realtor Technology. Information about a home's energy efficient upgrades has been scatter...

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Chris Mooney 6/15/2015 Comments(0)

Push for Innocent Sellers Fairness Act Heats Up

Push for Innocent Sellers Fairness Act Heats Up Last week, NLBMDA launched a grassroots effort, in cooperation with its State and Regional Federated Association Executives, to increase awareness and support for the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act H.R. 1199 . Over the next 30 days, NLBMDA is working to have previous cosponsors of the legislation agree to support it again. This week, the Heating, Air-conditioning, Refrigeration, Distributors International HARDI as part of their fly-in will be on Cap...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)

Contact your Representative to Cosponsor the EPA Lead Rule Reform Bill (H.R. 2328)

Contact your Representative to Cosponsor the EPA Lead Rule Reform Bill H.R. 2328 Please take action now by visiting NLBMDA’s Legislative Action Center and asking your Representative to cosponsor the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act H.R. 2328 . The legislation, introduced on Thursday, May 14, would reform the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting RRP rule for residential building. Among the key provisions in the bill, it would restore the op...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)

NLBMDA Joins Over 300 Groups Supporting Improved Environmental Review and Permitting

NLBMDA Joins Over 300 Groups Supporting Improved Environmental Review and Permitting NLBMDA has joined more than 300 organizations in sending a letter to the leadership of the US Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in support of S. 280, the Federal Permitting Improvement Act of 2015. The Committee recently approved the legislation be a 12 to 1 vote. The legislation would improve the environmental review and permitting process by Providing for concurrent reviews by agenc...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)

Green Building Makes Inroads in the Builder 100 List

Green Building Makes Inroads in the Builder 100 List Builder 04/29/15 Devon, Kayla Builder's top 200 U.S. builders are responding to concerns about climate change, droughts, and volatile fuel prices by seeking green building certifications. The forthcoming Builder 100 and Next 100 lists represent a substantial increase in home builders meeting green standards from 110 in 2012 to 149 in 2014. Although builders' use of LEED and Energy Star programs increased slightly, the use of regional programs ...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)

Wood Building Materials Are Sustainable and Renewable

Wood Building Materials Are Sustainable and Renewable Green Building Elements 05/03/15 Hanley, Stephen Wood, unlike concrete or steel, absorbs and sequesters carbon dioxide indefinitely, and can be repurposed or recycled at the end of its useful life. Globally, there is an inexhaustible supply of wood, making it sustainable as well as renewable, according to a study by Architecture and Design. Properly managed wood use drastically reduces global carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption while...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)

The American Institute of Architects Announces Their Top 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015

The American Institute of Architects Announces Their Top 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015 Inhabitat 04/24/15 Grozdanic, Lidija The American Institute of Architects' AIA best green buildings this year feature different integrated approaches that create innovative spaces with very low environmental impact. The winners used sustainable strategies such as regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, and renewable energy sources. Topping the list is the Bullitt Center, an office build...

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NLBMDA 5/27/2015 Comments(0)