Monday, June 17, 2013
Gehl Flooring to Host NWFA Certification Opportunity
Gehl Flooring Supply Inc. (Butler, Wis.) will host an NWFA Installation seminar on June 26, a Sand and Finish seminar on June 27 and a hands-on NWFACP certification for Installation and Sand and Finish on June 28. All three will be held at Gehl’s facility at 4530 N. 124th St. in Wauwatosa, Wis. The deadline for registration is June 19.
For more information about registration and cost, contact Denise Grzona at email@example.com or (262) 781-6416.
Forestry Amendment Proposed for Immigration Bill
A proposed amendment to the immigration bill currently before the Senate would require forestry contractors applying for foreign guest workers with H-2B visas to fill tree planting positions to demonstrate greater efforts to hire Americans. If the so-called “American Jobs for American Forests” amendment passes, employers will have to prove to state officials that there is no interest in the position despite the company’s best efforts to advertise it.
The Forest Resources Association Inc. opposes the amendment, saying the reason so few U.S. workers have historically sought work in reforestation is due to the nature and structure of tree-planting; U.S. workers prefer year-round work in jobs with opportunity for advancement, traits tree-planting does not offer. FRA has started a letter-writing campaign to stop what it calls additional bureaucratic hurdles and delays to the already cumbersome process of obtaining H-2B visas.
Rob Zehnder Joins Basic Coatings for Rocky Mountain Region
Rob Zehnder has joined Basic Coatings as Rocky Mountain regional sales manager. He brings his experience with residential commercial and sports flooring markets to the position. Most recently, Zehnder served as project manager for CBA Sports Floors in Atlanta. He will be based in Colorado, serving Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington markets.
Builder Confidence Over 50 for First Time Since April 2006
Builder confidence in the market for new, single-family homes rose 8 points in June to 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). A score over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor, and the HMI has not been over 50 since April 2006. The eight-point jump was also the largest one-month gain since August and September 2002.
To calculate the HMI, the NAHB asks builders to rate sales, expected sales and buyer traffic as good, fair or poor. All three categories saw improvement in June: current sales rose 8 points to 56, expected sales rose 9 points to 61 and buyer traffic rose 7 points to 40. Expectation of future sales is at its highest since March 2006.
Architects Propose 34 Story Wood Skyscraper in Stockholm
Thanks to the advent of Cross-Laminated Timber (CVT), builders are getting more ambitious when it comes to creating wood buildings. Berg | C.F. Møller Architects and Dinell Johansson have proposed a 34 story wooden residential high-rise to be built in Stockholm, according to Treehugger.com.
The design features floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed wood walls and beams, which would cut down on the need for plaster and drywall. Most floors would have four apartments, each with a private balcony. There is no interior hallway taking up space, just a small elevator lobby.
The green design, in addition to using the carbon-sequestering building material, features solar panels, a communal winter garden and energy-saving, glass-covered verandas.
(Renderings courtesy of Berg | C.F. Møller Architects)
EU and Ivory Coast Negotiating Voluntary Partnership Agreement
The European Union and Ivory Coast have agreed to launch negotiations of a new trade agreement to combat illegal logging. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, would set up control and licensing systems to ensure that all timber imported to the EU from Ivory Coast is legally produced.
“Illegal logging continues to have a devastating impact on some of the world’s most valuable forests, and the people who depend on them to live and to make a living. Côte d'Ivoire exports 80 percent of its forestry products to the EU and as one of the biggest global markets for timber, the EU is part of both the problem and the solution. I hope that these negotiations will deliver a new agreement, which will be a crucial step forward in protecting this valuable forest before it’s too late,” European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said in a statement.
HF Briefs: C & R Flooring Moves to Westwood, Mass.; QEP Rebrands
C & R Flooring Inc. is moving from Needham, Mass., to 378 Washington Street, Westwood, Mass. “We loved Needham, but it was time to purchase our own building and we wanted to stay on the Route 128 loop as well as have easy access to Boston,” stated Chris Zizza, president of C&R Flooring. “I was born and raised in Westwood, and C & R’s started in Westwood. It feels great to be home again.”
QEP Company Inc., parent of Harris Wood Floors and Porta-Nails Inc., has changed its logo for the first time since the company’s founding in 1979. While the color scheme remains the same, the new logo is more modern and readable, the company says. As part of the rebranding, QEP is focusing on making its products more ergonomic and making packaging ecologically friendly.
Install Floors introduced its Install Certified Contractors program at the NeoCon expo in Chicago. All Install contractors will be certified and their work will come with a warranty in labor. More information on the certification program and warranty is available here.
Brenco Exotic Woods (Hammond, Ind.) is hiring independent sales reps to serve the Pacific Northwest, southern California, New England, New York City and the mid-Atlantic region, and Bona US is looking for a Tennessee territory manger; for more information, see the HF Classifieds.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Mullican Flooring Moves into Adhesives Market
Mullican Flooring (Johnson City, Tenn.) has introduced three new adhesives to the hardwood flooring market specifically designed for use with Mulllican’s engineered wood floor products. All three are LEED-compliant, having met the environmental standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The adhesives include: MP 3001, both an adhesive and subfloor moisture protection system when used with Mullican’s glue-down products and the specially designed trowel; QP 2001, a moisture-cure urethane, designed to be easily cleaned up with mineral spirits even after partial drying; and QP 1001, an acrylic adhesive with one of the lowest chemical and VOC emission levels on the market, according to Mullican.
“Our adhesives can be used to install other brands of glue-down hardwood flooring, but we are specifically recommending that consumers use our MP 3001 adhesive with any glue-down engineered floors made by Mullican—due to the added benefit of also carrying a lifetime-warranted moisture protection system,” Neil Poland, president of Mullican, said in a statement.
Gregory Paul Joins Miltec UV Quality Assurance
Gregory Paul has joined Miltec UV’s quality assurance team. Paul brings his experience and training in ISO & FDA compliance to the position. Paul will be dedicated to developing Miltec UV’s quality system processes with emphasis in document and data control, CAPA, audits, and calibration.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Restored Gainesville Landmark with Heart Pine Earns LEED Gold Certification
The Old Gainesville Depot, built in 1860 to serve the Florida railroad, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1996, and in 2012 was restored for use as a museum, vistors’ center and restaurant. The restoration spearheaded by Coley Pitt of West Contruction Inc. with the help of Goodwin Company earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Because historical accuracy was a must, Goodwin Company provided antique heart pine, cut more than 125 years ago, for the interior walls and floors. The project also required extensive exterior decking siding and stairs for the two boarding platforms. Goodwin worked with private plantation owners to hand-select lightning-struck old-growth longleaf pine to ensure historical accuracy.
Goodwin took care to use the same milling style used in the original structure, replicating paneling, decking, and other elements to the exact specifications used in the original 1800s design. The exterior of the building was then painted a bright orange, which lab tests found to be the color circa 1910, the building’s last extensive renovation.
“Goodwin is proud to provide such an important commodity for this historically accurate ‘green’ renovation,” says Carol Goodwin, CR, MCR and president of Goodwin Company. “Authenticity in preserving our country’s rich history is important. We hope the model used for the Depot will be replicated with other historic rehabilitation projects across the U.S.”
The painted walls are original wood while the natural-finished walls and floor were provided by Goodwin Company.
Decking and handrail restored with reclaimed wood. (Photos courtesy Goodwin Company)
ForestEthics Accuses Sustainable Forestry Initiative of “Greenwashing”
ForestEthics, a grassroots environmental organization, has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting it investigate the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) claim to be a certifier of sustainably grown and harvested forest products.
In a recent press release, ForestEthics said, “The complaint argues that SFI’s claim that it is an independent, non-profit public charity is deceptive and misleading because SFI is substantially governed and financed by the timber industry and because its vague and ambiguous forestry standards are developed and approved by timber industry personnel in a closed process.”
ForestEthics filed similar complaints with the IRS and FTC in 2009, neither of which took any action. However, since then 24 companies have moved away from SFI, according to ForestEthics. The FTC’s recently revised Green Guides inspired the new filing, supported by a petition that received more than 8,000 signatures demanding the FTC take action.
"We feel that the complaint has no merit, and it's a rehash of a similar filing they made in 2009 where the FTC took no enforcement action," Monique Hanis, chief operating officer and vice president for communications at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, told The Florida Current.
International Protection for Siamese Rosewood Starts June 12
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) protection of Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) goes into effect today, but the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reminds range states—countries where the tree grows—and importing countries that the CITES listing alone is not enough—enforcement is necessary.
On March 12, the 177 member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted unanimously to include the Siamese rosewood tree in the CITES Wild Fauna and Flora Appendix II. Under CITES Appendix II, species cannot be exported from range state producer countries—in this case, Thailand Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam—without CITES export permits issued by relevant management authorities, with those in turn being issued on the basis of scientific authority confirmation that such trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species. Range states are also obliged to pre-notify the CITES Secretariat regarding quotas for harvest and trade before any CITES export permits can be issued.
“It was a major step forward to secure the Appendix II listing, which comes into effect tomorrow, but on its own that’s not going to be enough to save this species. Rigorous compliance with the listing is what is required, and EIA will be looking at the key players in this trade to ensure it that is happening,” said Faith Doherty, head of EIA’s forest campaign, in a statement.
One of the key players is China and its multi-million-dollar Hongmu furniture market. EIA has admonished the Redwood Committee, part of China’s Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association, for continuing to list Siamese rosewood, which has no legal sources, as one of the 33 species of wood that can be used to make “legitimate” Hongmu furniture. The demand for the antique-style furniture has pushed the price of Siamese rosewood as high as $50,000 per cubic meter. The high financial incentive has encouraged corruption, violence and killings in the range countries.
Nashville Magazine Asking for Wood Flooring Product Info
Greater Nashville House and Home and Garden magazine is writing a feature on hard surface floors for its July/August issue. The magazine is asking manufacturers of wood flooring to send product information and high-resolution lifestyle photos to managing editor Nanci Gregg by July 18.
FEP: European Wood Floor Markets Down 5.88% in 2012
The overall per-square-meter consumption figures from 2012 indicate a decline of 5.88 percent in the European wood flooring market, and production is down 4.70 percent, according to the European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP). The FEP also reported that with the exception of Poland and Belgium, which are showing improvements, most of the union’s countries are “at best stabilizing.”
In 2012, engineered flooring made up 78 percent of the market. Solid wood floors made up 20 percent, and custom “mosaic” floors had 2 percent. Poland was the No. 1 producer of flooring with 18.97 percent of the market, followed by Germany with 15.24 percent and Sweden with 13.30 percent. Germany, France and Italy were the top consumers.
Study Says Logging for Biofuel Releases High Levels of Carbon
The use of tree stumps and roots for energy may release significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, according to a new study in the scientific journal Global Change Biology-Bioenergy. Uprooting trees disturbs the soil, releasing the carbon that was stored underground.
"Our paper suggests the carbon in the mineral soil may change more rapidly, and result in increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, as a result of disturbances such as logging," says Andrew Friedland, a professor at Darthmouth College and a co-author of the study, told Popular Science. "Our paper suggests that increased reliance on wood may have the unintended effect of increasing the transfer of carbon from the mineral soil to the atmosphere."
HF Briefs: Advantage Coatings Launches Redesigned Website; New Classifieds
Advantage Coatings Technologies (Louisville, Colo.) launched its redesigned website May 20 as part of a new marketing campaign focused on its products’ durability, beauty and ease of use.
Bamboo Hardwoods Inc. (Seattle) has entered a distribution agreement with R.A. Siegel Company. The wholesale flooring distributor serves commercial and residential markets in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
Arboritec USA Inc. (Greenwood Village, Colo.) has entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Palo Duro Hardwoods Inc. (Denver) assuming responsibility for all Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming-based customers.
The Wood Floor Company (Campbell, Calif.) is looking for an installer and finisher who has experience with high-end projects and is willing to travel, and Barry Stout is looking for a technical or sales position in residential or sports flooring in the southwestern U.S.; for more information, see the HF Classifieds.
Monday, June 10, 2013
HF Brief: New Classified Posts; Intermountain Seminar
A buyer in Arizona is looking for an 8-inch Hummel belt sander, and Ciranova North America (San Francisco) is looking to hire independent sales representatives nationwide; for more information, see the HF Classifieds.
ECORE Commercial Flooring and NEWH, a non-profit organization connecting its members to hospitality professionals and products, will offer a Continuing Education Unit titled “Recycled Rubber Sound Insulation: Sustainable Benefits” on Thursday, June 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Hyatt Place Mt. Laurel in Mt. Laurel, N.J. The session is free for NEWH members and students and $15 per person for all others. AIA and ASID credits will also be available. For more information about this event, contact Kara Angotti, NEWH programming chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDIT: This event has been postponed as of June 18. It will be rescheduled in the fall.
Approximately 60 people attended Intermountain Wood Flooring’s moisture seminar held May 31 in Meridian, Idaho. NWFACP-Certified Inspector Scott Taylor led a discussion of jobsite conditions, moisture’s effect on flooring and claims mitigation.
(Photo Courtesy of Intermountain Wood Flooring)
BPI Hosts NWFA Local Training in Memphis
Building Plastics Inc. (BPI) hosted a National Wood Flooring Association member-sponsored local training at its facility in Memphis, Tenn., June 3-7. Students gained hands-on experience with Moisture Identification/Mitigation, Subfloor Preparation, Methods of Installation, Methods of Sanding and Finishing, and Factory Finish Repair and Recoat.
Daniel Boone led the training, assisted by the following volunteer instructors:
Wayne Lee, Middle Tennessee Lumber
Mickey Moore, Wood Flooring Advisors
Jim Schumacher, 3M
Galen Fitzel, 3M
Dennis Bradley, Bona US
Cary Crawford, Ardex Americas
Bill Costello, DuraSeal
David Torey, Mohawk Finishing Products
Mark Lamanno, Franklin International
“The NWFA training school was a huge success for BPI. The instructors were excellent. They kept the class interesting all week while providing great instruction from subfloor to finished product. This will help all that attended be the best in the hardwood flooring Industry,” said Austin Starnes, Memphis sales manager for BPI.
To schedule an NWFA local training event, contact the NWFA by calling (636) 519-9663 or emailing email@example.com.
(Photos Courtesy of Austin Starnes, Building Plastics Inc.)
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Smartphones Listening for Chainsaws Could Save Rainforests
Rapid obsolescence sends millions of smartphones to landfills every year, so it is hard to believe discarded phones could help preserve the environment. But Rainforest Connection, a San Francisco-based non-profit, is launching a pilot project in Indonesia that will do just that: It plans to use modified Android smartphones to record and identify the sound-signatures of chainsaws, alerting forest rangers of illegal logging, according to an article in the June issue of New Scientist.
Initially, the project will use 15 new phones donated for the trial to monitor a 62,000-acre reserve, but the non-profit plans to use recycled handsets donated by supporters who upgrade to new models. The phones will run on specially designed solar panels so the microphones can stay on at all times. When the phone registers the sound of a chainsaw, it will immediately send an alert to authorities.
Topher White, founder of Rainforest Connection, hopes local communities will get involved, hanging phone rigs and responding to alerts. "We'll ultimately rely upon locals to intervene when an 'event' is detected. Making it simple, effective and accessible for them is our first priority," White told New Scientist.
For 5th Straight Month More Than 70% U.S. Metros on NAHB IMI
The number of improving U.S. housing markets rose by five in June to 263, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This is the fifth consecutive month in which the IMI has listed more than 70 percent of U.S. metros as improving. Twenty-nine cities were added to the list in June, and 24 were dropped.
The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement in terms of the number of housing permits, rates of employment and housing prices for at least six consecutive months.
"As market conditions improve across most of the country, some metros have moved onto the IMI list while marginal seasonal fluctuations have nudged others off of it," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "This is to be expected as the recovery expands. Meanwhile, it's worth noting that the number of improving markets is now more than three times what it was in June 2012."
The list of all 263 metros is available here.