Industry News

Extensive Investment in U.S. Ethane Cracker Facilities Underscores Growing Demand for Plastics

The long-term success of cracker plants depends on the plastics and technology sectors' ability to create demand for polyethylene and ethane.

5 Months of Design/Construction Activity Growth, Favorable to Energy Efficient Designs

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose 2.2 points to 55.2 in September, marking the fifth-straight month of growth in design activity. The institutional sector showed the largest gain during the month.

More than Half of 200 Largest Homebuilders Build to a Third-Party Green Standard

Some homebuilders have been offering high-performance homes to their buyers for years, others are just gearing up their green building programs or offering energy-efficient upgrades, and many are still waiting for a reason to jump on the bandwagon.

DOE Approves Green Globes as Alternate Certification to LEED

Green Globes, a web-based rating program provided by the Green Building Initiative (GBI), joins LEED as an approved green building certification system for federal buildings.

Bayer Promotes Innovative Building Product Lines at Greenbuild Expo

With its high-performance polycarbonates, polyurethanes, coatings, adhesives and sealants raw materials as well as its technology expertise, Bayer helps building professionals meet their sustainability goals.

Plastics Drive Dow's 43% Rise in Q3 Profits

Dow Chemical Co, the No. 1 U.S. chemical maker by sales, reported earnings of $937 million (a 43 percent rise in quarterly profit), helped by higher sales in its plastics and performance materials business units.

U.S. Economy Remains on 'Strong Footing,' Credit Improving

The Leading Economic Index (LEI) grew a strong 0.8 percent month-over-month in September following a downwardly-revised flat reading in August. 

Greenbuild Expo Features First Net-Zero Convention Space

The world’s first Net Zero Zone will be unveiled at the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo taking place at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans Oct. 22-24, 2014.

Canadian Sprayfoam Trade Group Awarded by Building Officials for Ongoing Training Programs

The Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) recently recognized the Canadian Urethane Contractors Association (CUFCA) by presenting them with an award during OBOA's Annual General Meeting.

Government Engineer Advocates Design/Build to Improve Energy Effficiency

Buildings use 40 percent of the United States’ primary energy. Advances in energy efficiency help curtail some of this growth, but we are building buildings faster than we are saving energy.

NFC's National FrameSAFE Safety Program Now Available!

The National Framers Council’s FrameSAFETM Safety Manual Template is now available for purchase by members of NFC!

Natural Disasters Driving Push for 'Resilient Design' Engineering

When Superstorm Sandy assaulted the East Coast in 2012, it elevated the topic of “resilient design.” 

Chinese Provinces Diverting More Canadian Lumber Away from U.S.

Jiangsu Province is the latest Chinese province to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) to increase the use of wood-frame construction.

Oregon Lumber Mill Gets Grant to Develop CLT Line

Oregon BEST today announced a new round of commercialization funding that will team southern Oregon-based DR Johnson Lumber Co. with Oregon State University researchers to investigate opportunities with CLT.

How and Why First-Time Homebuyers Will Return

First-time home buyers continue to struggle with their own financial limitations but as the economy expands and jobs become more available and better paying, the core 25- to 34-year-old first-time buyers will come back.

Top 10 New Construction Metros for Multifamily Units

In the nation's 100 largest metros, roughly 230,000 apartment units are scheduled for completion in 2015, about a 14 percent drop from the 13-year high that will be reached this year,

Simpson Q3 Domestic Sales Up 8.8%, 84% from Wood Construction

Simpson Manufacturing Co. reported healthy sales gains in the third quarter, buoyed mainly by growth in its North America segment.

BFS Q3 Sales Up 7.9% Outpacing Single-Family Starts

Fresh with acquisitions in Orlando, Houston, Dallas and Austin, and motivated by a positive long-term housing industry outlook, Dallas-based Builders FirstSource reported strong sales gains in its third fiscal quarter.

Understanding How Design Defect Liability is Assigned

Owners, contractors and designers must understand their potential liability for design issues on a project before the project starts.

Will Bio-Based, Renewable Chemicals Replace Petro-Chemicals?

The USDA estimates that bio-based chemicals, which are manufactured from renewable resources and are slowly beginning to replace their petroleum-derived counterparts, will constitute over 10% of the chemicals market by 2015.

Owens Corning Reviews 'Cradle-to-Grave' Sustainable Product Mindset

Over the past several years, environmentally-friendly building practices have begun to move from niche to normal. Green products are easy to find, but true sustainability goes beyond slapping on a “green” label.

Badlands NGL to Build $4B Polyethylene Manufacturing Plant in ND

Badlands NGL’s LLC and two partners announced plans Monday to build a $4 billion manufacturing plant in North Dakota that will convert a byproduct of natural gas processing into an ingredient for making plastic products

Map: IECC Residential Code Adoption by State

If every state adopted the 2012 edition, it would result in about $40 billion annual energy savings by 2030, and 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided every year.

NIST Releases Energy Efficiency Design Evaluation Tool

NIST unveiled a new online tool, BIRDS, which allows users to compare the sustainability performance of a building type as the energy efficiency design of that building type is increased. 

Researchers Developing Building 'Skin' that Regulates Internal Temperatures

Imagine a building that self-regulates its temperature without electronics. A building that adapts, allowing outside air in as needed and eliminating the need for air conditioning, but that uses no energy in doing so. 

Video: Passive House Design Explained in 90 Seconds

Hans-Jörn Eich of Pinwheel Builds explains the basics and benefits of passive house design in a 90 second video.

Typical House has 1 Mile of Exterior Joints in Need of Insulation

In a typical residence, there is nearly one mile of exterior joints that can leak air. That’s 5,280 feet of potential problems.

Scientists Create Walls that Cool Without Air Conditioning?

A team of students and professors from Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia is developing a design for walls that automatically cool--using zero energy--when temperatures rise outside.

NAHB Data Shows Market Opportunities for Floor Trusses

NAHB data shows that nationally, about 30 percent of new single-family homes started in 2013 have a full or partial basement, 54 percent are built on slabs, and 15 percent have a crawl space. 

Of the 5 High-Performance, Energy-Efficient Products Builders Prefer, 3 are Walls

High-performance products are at the heart of every green home, but their prices can induce sticker shock. Here are a few cost-effective solutions that are favorites of experienced green builders.