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ANSI Approves National Green Building Standard

WASHINGTON -The National Green Building Standard for all residential construction work including single-family homes, apartments, and condos, land development and remodeling and renovation was approved in January by the American National Standards Institute.

“The National Green Building Standard is now the first and only green building rating system approved by ANSI, making it the benchmark for green homes,” said Ron Jones, who chaired the consensus committee charged with developing the standard.

The standard defines which green practices can be incorporated into residential development and construction and how homeowners can operate and maintain their green homes. But the new standard also provides flexibility, allowing home builders and home buyers to make green choices based on climate and geography as well as style preferences and budget.

As part of the stringent process required by ANSI, NAHB and the International Code Council gathered a fully inclusive and representative consensus committee composed of a broad spectrum of builders, architects, product manufacturers, regulators and environmental experts. The work of the consensus committee was administered by the NAHB Research Center, an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer.

The National Green Building Standard, known as ICC-700 within the International Code Council, provides guidance for safe and sustainable building practices for residential construction, including both new and renovated single family to high-rise residential buildings, according to an ICC release. This is the first and only green standard that is consistent and coordinated with the ICC’s family of I-Codes and standards.

STUDY PROFILES SUCCESSFUL FIRMS

RALEIGH, N.C -A study of 356 contractors conducted by FMI in January revealed there is no single secret for what makes a contractor successful. Rather, FMI found successful contractors fit into five different success profiles: humanist, generalist, tactician, bottomliner and freewheeler.

In a new report, “Profiles in Success: How Contractors Define and Achieve Success,” FMI takes a close look at how contractors describe their own success and build organizations that not only serve their customers well, but also build talent and careers.

Success for contractors is more than just one good job; it involves the long-term succession of the company, building communities and relationships, FMI states. In a time when the tendency is to see construction as a commodity that can be put out for low bid, successful contractors have learned to differentiate their services to fit the ideals of their leaders, the markets they work in and the employees that breed success.

The study of successful contractors found success is a work in progress, not a singular destination. According to the CEO of a $65 million contracting fi rm participating anonymously in the FMI study, “… we feel like we are a success, but we do not feel like we are perfect nor are we done trying to be even better. We are constantly working on how we can improve.” For details visit fminet.com.

HOUSE PRICES DROP 1.8 PERCENT

WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices fell 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from October to November 2008, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in November 2008, US house prices fell 8.7 percent. The decline since the April 2007 peak is 10.5 percent.

HOUSING STARTS HIT RECORD LOWS

LAS VEGAS -Indicating a continuing free-fall in the housing market, production of new single-family homes and permit issuance declined by double digits in December 2008, falling to their lowest levels on record for the month, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released in January. In addition, total starts and single-family starts fell to record annual lows in 2008.

Total housing starts posted a 15.5 percent decline to 550,000 units in December 2008, an all-time low. Meanwhile, starts of new single family homes posted their eighth straight monthly decline, falling to an all-time low of 398,000 units. This was down 13.5 percent from the previous monthly low in November 2008. Multifamily starts fell 20.4 percent in December 2008 to an annual rate of 152,000.

“These dismal housing production numbers are in line with our builder surveys that show a record low in confidence in the housing market,” said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. “Builders are addressing the supply issue. Washington policymakers must now act to boost the demand side of the equation by including a robust home buyer tax credit and mortgage rate buy down in the stimulus package that is moving through Congress”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was reprinted from the February/March 2009 Residential Design & Building magazine, rdbmagazine.com

 

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