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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           June 04, 2015


Sunbelt Builders Show
 



Waters of the United States: The final rule
NAHB
On Wednesday, May 27, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the long-awaited rule to define "waters of the United States" and the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act. This rule takes effect in August. It is important to the home building industry because it changes what areas can be regulated by the federal government under the act. Despite the agencies' claims that this rule is narrower in scope than existing regulations, the final rule contains changes that could significantly expand federal jurisdiction, triggering additional expensive and time-consuming permitting and regulatory requirements. This table offers an analysis of the rule.
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OSHA's revised Hazard Communication requirements in effect as of June 1
TAB
Starting June 1, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are required to provide a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Beginning in December, distributors may only ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer if the labels meet these requirements.

The June 1 deadline was established when OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard in 2012 with the global standard for chemical product labeling. The provisions for labeling offer workers better protection from chemical hazards, while also reducing trade barriers and improving productivity for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals. The updated standard also provides cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard, saving businesses millions of dollars each year.

The new format for Safety Data Sheets requires 16 specific sections to ensure consistency in presentation of important protection information. For more information, see OSHA's Hazard Communication webpage.

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Register now for the 2015 Sunbelt Builders Show™
TAB
The 2015 Sunbelt Builders Show™ has announced its complete schedule that includes top keynote speakers, timely education sessions and hours of trade show floor availability. The two-day event is set for July 29-30 at the Gaylord Texan. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect with others in the housing industry and expand your knowledge. Registration is FREE to builders until July 7. We can't wait to see you at the Gaylord Texan.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Texas legislators mostly kept hands off local control
The Dallas Morning News
A simmering feud between state lawmakers and municipal leaders over local control never quite reached full boil this year. Spooked by Gov. Greg Abbott's push against "unchecked overregulation" and by tea party Republicans who filed bills to limit local government, North Texas mayors, city managers and county judges braced for battle. But with one major exception — a measure that stops cities from banning the drilling practice known as fracking — municipal leaders in Dallas and beyond have declared this year's session largely a success.
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What actually passed the Texas legislature
Houston Chronicle
At the close of Texas' 84th legislative session, more than 1,300 bills had been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature, leaving nearly 5,000 more in the political graveyard. Lawmakers will tell you the legislative process is not designed for passing bills. In fact, some insist it is exactly the opposite. The sheer number of bills filed each session does not bode well, as lawmakers struggle to get their voices — and bills — to be heard, and some see their bills die repeatedly.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  OUR NEW ONSITE APP HELPS YOU BUILD A BETTER HOUSE
Installing Norbord’s OSB products may seem pretty straightforward to an experienced builder or framer, but mistakes do happen—and they tend to be expensive and time-consuming to fix. So, as a service to our customers and the home building industry, we’re introducing Onsite, the new Norbord app that provides information needed to help prevent mistakes from happening, enabling your people to work effectively with all our OSB products.
 


Abbott touts successful session on transportation
The Texas Tribune
Last year, Texans saw Greg Abbott on the side of a traffic-choked highway in the Dallas area, promising to put billions more toward transportation if elected governor. On Tuesday, Abbott was at a heliport at the Dallas Convention Center not far from where he shot that commercial as he touted a successful session on transportation.
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Straus files for another term as speaker
The Texas Tribune
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is officially seeking another term wielding the gavel. The San Antonio Republican filed papers with the state Ethics Commission to run for speaker again, according to his office. If re-elected, he will bid for a fifth term at the helm of the lower chamber, rivaling Pete Laney and Gib Lewis as the longest-serving speakers. Straus easily won a fourth term as speaker in January, earning the support of all but 19 House members. Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, had challenged him.
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New-home buyers' wish list: More bedrooms, bathrooms, patios
The Wall Street Journal
Economists, builders and analysts expect smaller homes to make a comeback in coming years with the return of entry-level buyers. Still, the shift toward larger new homes in recent years has been remarkable. Commerce Department data show unprecedented demand in 2014 for homes with four or more bedrooms, three or more bathrooms and three-car garages.
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Survey: In Texas, many millennials aren't buying homes because they don't know how to begin
Houston Chronicle
Millenials, the generation that came of age around the turn of the millennium has often been touted as slow to grow up: slow to get married, slow to have children and slow to buy a home. Generally speaking, millenials are slow to commit. But according to one recent survey, the reason Texas millenials aren't buying homes isn't because they're afraid to commit. They just don't know how.
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Providing Warranties for Texas Builders

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Houston's homes projected to become more expensive
Houston Business Journal
Despite concerns that home prices will fall due to the oil slump, projections from Esri, a geographic information systems company, show that the number of Houston homes valued $250,000 and greater will increase by more than 40 percent by 2020. Esri uses a proprietary model that incorporates supply-and-demand characteristics, construction data, and socioeconomic and national trends to create its estimates and projections. These increases are a combination of homes appreciating in value by way of market forces as well as homes added or removed due to new construction and developments.
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After the rain, how full are Texas reservoirs?
The Texas Tribune
Texas endured the most intense drought in recorded state history in 2011, and it has yet to bounce back. Water levels at a number of reservoirs remain significantly low, particularly in West Texas, which is drier than East Texas. Using data collected from the Texas Water Development Board's reservoir status tracker, The Texas Tribune built a map that visualizes the current state of Texas' reservoirs.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Save Time and Money with HY-Fi
Building designers are faced with maximizing the thermal performance of building envelopes from zero-energy single family homes to LEED commercial buildings. Fi-Foil’s innovative HY-Fi hybrid insulation system enhances the thermal performance of any air space. It is compatible with all types of insulation including foam, fiberglass batts, cellulose, and foam-board. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

For more information, please call 1-800-448-3401 or email info@fifoil.com 
 


Floods leave a trail of real estate complications
Houston Chronicle
Realtor Amy Bernstein has been fielding calls from clients of her real estate firm who suffered damage to their homes in the devastating floods. "It's easy for me to talk to them because I'm living the same nightmare they are," said Bernstein, whose one-story home on the west side of town took 3 inches of water Monday night. Compared to many, "that's fortunate." Flood-affected homeowners, she said, are "shell-shocked."
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Here comes the sun-powered home
UT News
Plans finalized and ground broken, a team of University of Texas at Austin students is on track — rain and shine — to finish constructing a solar-powered home this fall for an elite international competition. More than 60 students from UT and the Technische Universität München in Germany have spent the past two years designing and building "Nexushaus" for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition.
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Woodlands real estate market boosts home leases
Houston Chronicle
It's a sellers market in The Woodlands. But many would-be sellers are deciding to hold on to their homes, hoping values continue to rise, and instead put their homes up for lease. That has meant a boost in the leasing market in The Woodlands, say local real estate agents. "There's definitely a lot of investors in The Woodlands area in the last few years because they know it's a strong market," said Chris Elmi, a lead buyers agent with The Nina Marino Team with Keller Williams Realty in The Woodlands. "They buy houses and lease them and then sell them."
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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