Discreet Smoke Detectors Gain Favor in Homes

Small, unobtrusive smoke detection sampling points replace traditional smoke detectors for improved look, superior fire protection Although smoke detectors are essential for safety and mandated by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), traditional, bulky models mounted on ceilings or walls in high end residential homes can interrupt – even ruin – the overall design and feel of a space. As a result, many affluent homeowners are seeking out alternative solutions that allow for the discreet placement and even concealment of smoke detectors. For some, this has meant adopting more advanced…

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A Tale of Two Buildings

Withee Malcolm takes on urban infill in Los Angeles, California with two communities and an amenity-rich design approach By Sergio Flores Two new market rate apartment buildings designed by Withee Malcolm Architects (WMA), one in Hollywood and one in Pasadena, Calif., are designed to suit very specific markets. While both multifamily communities include some of the same amenities, each building has a distinct contextual concept within their urban infill environments. Located in the heart of Hollywood, The Highland Residences is a six-story, 30,000-square-foot development comprised of 76 apartments in 22…

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Development Strategies to Manage Vapor Intrusion Risks

Due to potential health and safety risks that vapor intrusion may cause residential occupants, considerable measures must be taken to abate and clean up these vapors By Andy Bajorat Vapor intrusion continues to be a hot issue with state Environmental Protection Agencies. Due to potential health and safety risks that vapor intrusion may cause residential occupants, considerable measures must be taken to abate and clean up these vapors. To help manage these risks, focus on identifying the problem in the due diligence process, addressing the problem through abatement and re-allocating…

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California Growth and the Construction Paradox

As the Golden State leads the way in job opportunity, a lack of housing keeps positions unfilled  By CHRISTOPHER THORNBERG, PHD It is often said that generals always fight the last war—and this applies to that still highly overused and abused political catchphrase, “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Such rhetoric about creating new jobs continues to be attached to the rollout of almost any new government policy, regardless of the veracity or relevance of the claim. Times change, as do economic realities, and creating jobs is not our challenge or problem today….

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Solutions to the Construction Labor Crisis

According to a new report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), half of surveyed companies are finding it difficult to fill positions in the field as well as in the office BY PATRICK DUFFY In general, it’s a great time to be working in the building industry. Annualized single-family new home sales in November 2017 rose nearly 27 percent year-over-year to 733,000 units, while construction spending for the year rose to a record high of $1.26 trillion. Annualized housing starts reached nearly 1.3 million by the end of…

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Building a Defense Against AB 1701

By Katherine Sandberg, Fisher Phillips A contentious new law in California is reshaping the potential liability of builders for unpaid wage claims, and contractors must be prepared. AB 1701 applies to private construction contracts that are entered into on or after January 1, 2018. The law makes general contractors liable for unpaid wages or fringe benefits that a subcontractor may owe to any worker. Under the new law, the California Labor Commissioner, unions and joint labor management cooperation committees may all bring private actions up to one year after the…

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The Benefits of Using Steel in Residential Construction

Using steel in residential construction has more and better benefits with fewer negative consequences than anything else on the market By STEVEN WRIGHT It takes about 22 mature pine trees, weighing more than a ton each, to frame a 2,600 square foot house.  It can take 15 to 20 years to grow a mature pine tree that averages 80 feet tall and two feet in diameter. It takes about 12 tons of steel to build the same size house. More than half of the steel used is recycled from old…

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Stone Deck Market Opens Up for Contractors

Proven installation system opens up market for elevated stone decks and patios, balconies and stairs For years, decks, elevated patios and balconies have been popular choices for homeowners when designing or remodeling their outside living spaces. However, until recently, decking options have been limited primarily to wood or composite materials. Natural stone, pavers and tile – while aesthetically appealing – were simply too heavy and difficult to install on traditional wood joist framing. Fortunately, a new durable, plastic polymer grid system is facilitating the installation of stone up to 3”…

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DreamMaker of Ann Arbor Gives Girl Scouts Complete Kitchen Makeover

From bleak and tired to refreshed and fun When the Ann Arbor chapter of the Girl Scouts asked a local remodeling franchise for an estimate on sprucing up their kitchen they got a surprise: DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor donated a complete kitchen makeover. “We are already a proud sponsor of the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, so we knew what we needed to do,” says Bob Ender “Anything to keep those cookies coming.” Sherwin Williams of Ann Arbor, ProSource of Romulus, Snider Electric and Big George’s, also…

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Way Ahead of Schedule – Whirlpool Corporation Meets Two Sustainability Goals Early

The journey to sustainability is a long and winding road with many hurdles along the way. When four sustainability goals were reaffirmed in 2014, Whirlpool Corporation set out on a path to improve its environmental impact and set attainable goals for long-term success. Now, through a combination of accelerated projects and acquisition synergies, the company has managed to reach two of those targets three years early. In its recently released 2016 Sustainability Report, Whirlpool Corporation shared that it exceeded its objectives to reduce both energy and water intensity from manufacturing…

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