California Energy Commission Expert Panel

The leaders in changing codes share insight, advice, and more as builders prepare for Title 24 changes By CHRIS OLVERA, PETER STRAIT, MAZI SHIRAKH, AMBER BECK Chris Olvera, Supervisor of the Outreach Education Unit Peter Strait, Supervisor of Standards Development Unit Mazi Shirakh, Lead for ZNE and PV Requirements for Standards Amber Beck, Public Information Officer What are the key changes to Title 24 being enacted January 1st? Chris Olvera: As a summary for the changes for residential buildings: We have updates for the thermal envelope, which includes insulation for high-performance…

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Finding Undiscovered Land Development Opportunities

Location intelligence can help developers and builders make faster, more competitive decisions By Tara Bleakley For land developers and builders, finding prime development opportunities can be a difficult process in today’s supply-constrained and highly competitive market. Finding the right land assets requires careful research, analysis and due diligence for prospective properties. However, this needs to happen as quickly and efficiently as possible to maintain a competitive edge — and to avoid wasting time and resources on poor prospects. When tackling these considerations, you might question how to get the most…

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Alleviating Construction Conundrums Through Technology

 Today’s digital QA technology can help builders deal with labor shortages and potential construction problems  By DON NEFF The building industry is presently challenged by labor constraints across multiple trades in multiple regions. The current labor shortages are impacting all residential product types such as for-sale detached housing, condominiums, townhomes, and multifamily housing as well as commercial office, hotel, industrial and other similar projects. The National Association of Home Builders points out that eight years after the Great Recession drove an estimated 30 percent of construction workers into new fields,…

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It’s Time to Commit to Green Building

Environmentally conscious construction no longer has to be viewed as a liability By STEVE PALLRAND Resources for green building design are vast and growing rapidly each year. However, for a field that has been burgeoning since the 1970s and has been pushed tirelessly by environmentalists and government programs, it remains that few people live in sustainable houses. Most of the country believes that the environment should be protected. However, as an industry, we offer little to the consumer beyond the government mandated basics. Building an environmentally friendly house is fundamentally…

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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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Hiring Unlicensed Contractors – Risky Business

Unlicensed contractors make it difficult on licensed contractors by pushing fair wages lower while real licensed contractors compete against guys who do not play by the rules or have the same overhead cost By Gregory Norman As the founder of a family-owned building, electrical, and plumbing contracting company and as someone who grew up amongst master tradesman that were fully licensed and skilled, I have my fair share of experience with unlicensed contractors—mostly from rebuilding their mistakes. Let’s start with some examples involving the opening of new locally-owned delis and…

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