NAHB’s Construction, Codes and Standards Committee is seeking NAHB members interested in applying to serve for 2018 on one of its three subcommittees: the Building Codes and Standards Subcommittee, the Construction Technology Research Subcommittee, and the Energy and Green Codes and Standards Subcommittee.
If you would like to apply to become a subcommittee member for 2018, please contact Gary Ehrlich and indicate which subcommittee you would like to participate on. Feel free to provide a few details about your interests and related experience.
Subcommittee members must be an NAHB Builder, Associate or Affiliate member in good standing.
Applications are due by Feb. 9. Subcommittee members will be informed of their appointments by the end of February.
We are pleased to announce the State has hired additional contract workers to perform plumbing inspections.
Earlier we reported that we were conducting discussions with the State to head off a possible economic slowdown of plumbing inspections at new home projects. As we had reported, State inspections for residential plumbing in Kent and Sussex Counties has been feared to be slowing down due to various reasons including inspector retirements, looming medical outages, etc.
The two new contract workers began making inspections early last week. Hopefully this will provide immediate relief and help alleviate any potential inspection slowdown.
HBADE early on saw this coming as a problem for our industry and initiated meetings with the State officials that oversee the inspection process in Kent and Sussex Counties. Fortunately the State has been quite responsive and will be providing immediate relief by contracting several positions, with an eye to meet with us next month to explore long term solutions.
As you can imagine, a slowdown in plumbing inspections would have significant harm to the housing industry. Work on new homes would come to a halt until the inspections are made, causing a domino effect to other trades, new home settlements, inconvenience to new home buyers, the buyer’s buyers if applicable, moving companies, etc.
In addition, HBADE has a meeting next week with State officials to further discuss this issue. We will keep our members updated; but if any plumbers or home builders with projects in Kent County or Sussex County are finding inspection slowdowns, please notify us at email@example.com
President Trump today signed into law landmark tax reform legislation.
“NAHB commends President Trump and members of Congress for their hard work and dedication in crafting this once-in-a-generation overhaul of the nation’s tax code,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “Providing tax relief for hard-working families and creating a more favorable tax climate for small business will make the economy more vibrant and competitive. In turn, this will boost the housing sector, which represents roughly one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Housing not only equals jobs, but jobs mean more demand for housing.”
Throughout the tax reform debate, NAHB and our grassroots were at the forefront of the legislative process. We held several meetings with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, along with other committee members and staff, while builders engaged with key House and Senate lawmakers in their home districts and at their offices on Capitol Hill.
Thanks to the efforts of the entire Federation, NAHB achieved significant victories on the real estate exception to the business interest deduction, second homes, private activity bonds, the capital exclusion, and many other provisions.
Under the new law, the majority of taxpayers will receive a tax cut, including working class home owners and renters, small business owners and our members who are engaged in all aspects of the residential construction sector. Lower tax rates will spur job and economic growth, and that is good for housing.
An overview of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with all changes taking effect for the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2018:
New subdivisions are more likely to include both detached and attached units, shared amenities and open space, and restricted access points (for example, gated communities).
When coupled with declining revenue as it competes with private express carriers and online order delivery services, it means the United States Postal Service (USPS) now favors the installation of less-expensive cluster box units over traditional door-to-door or curbside delivery in new single-family developments.
In 2012, the USPS updated its Postal Operations Manual to reflect that preference and recommends that developers and builders plan for centralized mail delivery installations during a project’s design phase.
The first step for all developers and builders: Identify your regional coordinator by emailing Delivery.Growth@usps.gov. Contact the coordinator before finalizing plans and site plats with planning and zoning authorities.
The USPS will not begin mail delivery until the regional coordinator has approved modes of delivery and box locations. However, it will work with builders, developers and owners at any stage of development if cluster box units are not feasible.
The USPS has provided NAHB with a webpage with more details about this change — and how it can be an advantage for developers and their buyers. USPS representatives will also give a presentation to the NAHB Land Development Committee before the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando and plan to have a booth during the show to answer questions about the policy.
For more information on centralized delivery, please contact Claire Worshtil.
As a benefit of being a member, you have access to discounts and savings opportunities offered by many top companies. All programs, rates and prices are subject to change without notice.
For more information visit: www.nahb.org/ma
When using these programs please identify yourself as a member of the National Association of Home Builders.
Two recent Legal Action Fund victories demonstrate that patience is a virtue when it comes to litigation — and that NAHB’s Legal Action Fund is here to support NAHB members for the long haul.
New York Victory Years in the MakingSeven years after the Environmental Protection Agency launched a federal lawsuit against NAHB and Buffalo Niagara Builders Association member Acquest Development for alleged
violations of the Clean Water Act, a federal district court has dismissed the action. At issue was whether Williamsville, N.Y.-based Acquest discharged stormwater and fill material into “jurisdictional” wetlands without first securing federal permits.
The federal government sought to stop all future discharge activities on the 96-acre parcel, require remediation of the impacted wetlands, and impose tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Acquest rejected the claim, arguing that the onsite wetlands do not have a “significant nexus” with a traditionally navigable water as detailed in the U.S. Supreme Court Rapanos decision and subsequent guidelines established by the Corps and EPA.
With the Department of Justice’s realization that it would be difficult to prove EPA’s claims, all charges against Acquest were withdrawn and the case was dismissed.
The long and bitter fight, and ultimate win, secured by Acquest was made possible in part through the assistance of the New York State Builders Association, Buffalo Niagara Builders Association and financial support from NAHB’s Legal Action Fund.
Idaho Builders Finally See Relief after VictoryIdaho property owners received a favorable decision in September when the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that a portion of the city of Pocatello’s water and sewer fees were illegally collected from end users and should be refunded.
In 2011, the Building Contractors Association of Southeast Idaho (BCASI) had filed an action challenging this fee as an unlawful charge. BCASI won the case in 2013, and the city agreed to stop assessing the charge on future bills. However, it refused to refund the millions it had already collected. So in 2014, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit seeking to recover those funds from the city.
Through NAHB’s Legal Action Fund, NAHB submitted an amicus brief to support the interests of Idaho builders. In the September 2017 decision, the Idaho Supreme Court found in favor of property owners, and the case now will move back to the Idaho District Court to determine the final costs to be paid back to customers.
The NAHB Legal Action Committee will consider Legal Action Fund applications when it next meets in January. Applications are due Dec. 4.
Both members and HBAs can apply for funding if they are or will be involved in litigation that is likely to have industry-wide implications. Sign into nahb.org to see instructions and download the application.
Building & Energy Codes Training
The Codes Coalition is coordinating this event
On Monday December 4th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Topics of Discussion
Training location at Insights Homes Main Office 302-337-0400
16255 Sussex Highway Bridgeville, DE 19933
Light breakfast and Lunch will be provided by Insight Homes
Site Tour at Hawthorne Community Science Center
There is no cost for the training but pre-registration is required please
RSVP to Patty Murray by November 29th 302-735-3480 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
If you still haven’t registered for our industry’s premier event — the 2018 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) — you’re in luck: but just for seven more days.
Early-bird registration deals have been extended through Nov. 17, offering seven more days to take advantage of amazing rates starting at $50 for NAHB members and $100 for non-members.
IBS is your best opportunity to access everything your business needs for 2018.
“Probably the biggest thing that I took away from attending the show is that I actually signed up with a project management software vendor that was there,” said Nathan Cooper, owner and president of River Valley Builders Inc. in Little Rock, Ark.
“Those types of vendors were conveniently grouped together on the show floor so I could easily compare products. As such, I was able to get all of my questions answered and make a decision right there.”
Here are 10 more reasons to attend:
When members of the NAHB Construction, Codes and Standards staff attended the recent Energy & Environmental Building Alliance Summit in Atlanta, they met a number of energy experts and building science professionals interested in advancing the practice of voluntary high-performance building: the best way to bring green practices into the mainstream.
Among them: Chrissi Antonopoulos, an energy research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Portland, Ore. Codes staff invited Antonopoulos to tell NAHBNow readers about the programs it offers, in particular, the Building America Solutions Center.
Like adding a building scientist to your staff, the Building America Solution Center gives you easy-to-access best practices for new and existing home construction. The Solution Center is a free online tool sponsored by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program with information on hundreds of topics ranging from air sealing and insulation to HVAC, windows, indoor air quality and much more.
Bring it all Together
The BASC has nearly 250 best practice guides. Each one is packed with all the information you need for construction, training and sales. The guides are based on DOE-funded research by some of the brightest minds in building science. If you are involved in home construction, renovation, or sales, the Building America Solution Center is a necessary part of your everyday tool set. There are multiple navigation tools to help you quickly search, sort and, most importantly, find the information you need for both new construction and existing home improvements.
Get Your Homes CertifiedUse the Building America Solution Center to help you certify your homes to national labeling programs like ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program, and the EPA Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense programs. We’ve taken the checklists for each of these programs and made them interactive by linking each requirement to how-to guides to help you meet the criteria.
Train Your InstallersThe Solution Center contains more than 1,600 images, 100 CAD files, videos, case studies, presentations, and a robust library of references, all fully searchable. Download these resources as training materials to help installers and subcontractors learn about the latest innovations or to correct old habits that are holding back performance.
Solve Code IssuesEach BASC guide has information on the latest building and energy codes. The most innovative measures also include Code Briefs that give code officials the detailed information they need to review plans, conduct inspections and validate performance. Code Briefs help builders and code officials reach a common set of expectations for passing inspection.
Equip Your Sales Team
Use the BASC Sales Tool to create and customize flyers featuring your company’s logo and the building science measures specific to your homes. Turn consumers into buyers with value-based descriptions of the special features you offer.
Take the Solution Center with YouUse the Solutions mobile app to access your saved content in the field. Register for a free user account to create Field Kits of bookmarked content, and access them through the Solutions app even when you’re in locations with no internet or cell coverage.
Find it all at BASC.energy.gov.