A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members November 4, 2005
Industry News

Architectural Firm Billings Up, And So Goes Construction

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that billings at U.S. architecture firms reached a record high in September.  The monthly gain was the highest recorded increase in billings since the summer of 1998. 

According to trends tracked by AIA, “changes in design activity precede changes in construction activity by almost two quarters.”  Improving business conditions were reported by architectural firms in all regions, with firms in the south exhibiting the strongest improvement.  Leading other specialized areas of billing increases are commercial/industrial design firms and institutional design firms.  Each sector reported healthy business conditions.

AIA reported that most firms are optimistic about increased billings in 2006.

For more details, visit the AIA web site.

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NAHB Points to Receding Housing Market

The Federal Reserve will continue tightening the federal funds rate, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported, because they haven’t driven up the low long-term mortgage rates that have helped fuel the housing market in recent years.

In early 2006 “housing activity should start flattening out,” economists reported at the NAHB Construction Forecast Conference in Washington, DC in mid-October.  “The power of long-term interest rates for housing is incredible,” NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders said.  The rates provide a widow to the housing outlook.

NAHB is forecasting a decline in total housing starts in 2006 and a further drop in 2007.  For full details, visit NBN News Online for Oct. 24.
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About QCP

Recent QCP Fee Changes

The Quality Certification Program Board of Review met Oct. 30, 2005 in San Diego, CA to discuss several changes to the Quality Certification Program (QCP). Among the changes was a decision to raise participant renewal fees by 5%, and to raise the minimum label fee for each project to $500.

The increase in renewal fees takes effect immediately, and is reflected on 2006 renewal invoices being mailed this week to all QCP participating firms. The increase in the minimum label fee to $500 takes effect on Feb. 1, 2006 and is effective on all projects bid on this date or after.

Questions may be directed to Kara Thorp, kthorp@awinet.org.

Endorsed by: U.S. General Services Administration and American Subcontractors Association
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Association News

AWI Honors Members for Achievements

AWI members were honored for excellence in woodworking, for safety in their shops, for recruitment, volunteering, and more during the recent 53rd AWI Annual Meeting & Convention, Oct. 27-29 in San Diego, CA.

AWI introduced new 2005 Standard of Excellence Awards to recognize Manufacturing Members’ achievements of superlative quality and exemplary execution of fine architectural woodwork.  The new national awards program honored 12 members in a variety of project categories.  The 2005 Grand Winner is Imperial Woodworking Company for its project in Philadelphia, PA, Verizon Hall – The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.  Watch for the November issue of AWI NewsBriefs for a list of all honorees.

The Craig Johnson Award for outstanding membership recruitment was awarded to Herb Meldahl of ONSITE Woodwork Corporation, Loves Park, IL.  Other recruiters in AWI’s 2005 “Recruit-A-Member Campaign” were honored also with cash rewards.  Read all about it in the November edition of AWI NewsBriefs coming to your mailbox later this month.

Scott Nelson of Central Plains Millwork received the prestigious President’s Volunteer Award for his extraordinary contributions in advancing AWI’s education program under the AWILL banner in 2004-2005.

Finally, recipients of the annual AWI/CNA Safety Awards were honored for making their shops and worksites safe environments for their employees.  For a list of the winners, visit the AWI web site “News and Announcements” section.

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Business Practices

ASA Releases Revised Subcontract Addendums

Construction subcontractors that need to negotiate or re-negotiate terms and conditions of a contract have two powerful tools at their disposal. The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) has released a revised edition of its addendum to proprietary contracts, the ASA Addendum to Subcontract (2005). ASA has also released a newly developed short form of the addendum, the ASA Short Form Subcontract Addendum (2005), which can be used in contract negotiations on projects of limited scope.

"These addenda are as close to turn-key solutions to negotiating with a general contractor or construction manager over its proprietary contract as you're going to get," said ASA President Vincent Terraferma, P.E.

The addendum can help subcontractors protect themselves against unfavorable subcontract provisions relating to:

  • Scope of work
  • Design delegation
  • Retainage
  • Change orders
  • Backcharges
  • Prompt payment
  • Indemnification and "hold harmless" provisions
  • Lien and bond rights.

The ASA Addendum to Subcontract (2005) and the ASA Short Form Subcontract Addendum (2005) are licensed for use by current members of ASA. Visit the ASA web site for more details or contact ASA at 703.684.3450.
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Weathering the Risk Transfer Storm: It Can Be Done

Ask any subcontractor, and he or she is more likely than not going to tell you about the torrent of confusion and generally tainted air surrounding compliance with contractual insurance requirements.

Owners and Contractors Protective (OCP) liability insurance and Project Management Protective Liability (PMPL) insurance provide an alternate happy ending to the subcontractor's story.

The American Subcontractors Association's (ASA) white paper, "'Hold Harmless' Reborn: Insurance Requirements" explains why insurance requirements have become so difficult to interpret and comply with, and offers tips for subcontractors to negotiate insurance requirements that are more straightforward and simpler to satisfy.

Learn more about contractual insurance requirements. Visit ASA's web site at www.asaonline.com and click on "Stand Up! for Subcontractors" or call ASA at 703.684.3450.
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Professional Development

From Philly to Florida – Winter CATE 2006

The regional Winter CATE (Career and Technology Education) Week, Feb. 21-25, 2006, may mean the difference between high profits and "just getting by" in 2006.

You asked for it – AWI education you could drive to, and bring more people from your shop.  We delivered it! The Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, NC, is drivable for members from Philadelphia to Northern Florida, and from Cleveland to the east coast. Of course you CAN fly to Charlotte, and the Center is right next to the airport too.

Give YOUR employees a competitive edge by sending three of them to Charlotte, NC. These tax-deductible, business-related programs are available within easy driving distance of over 300 AWI member firms. Your competition will be there. 

Check the web-based AWI Events Calendar to learn more.
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Regulatory Issues

Tax Relief Granted for Hurricane Wilma Victims

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced relief for taxpayers affected by Hurricane Wilma. The President issued a major disaster declaration covering impacted areas of Florida, effective Oct. 23, 2005.
Taxpayers affected by the hurricane are eligible for relief. The IRS announced that deadlines for affected taxpayers to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts have been postponed to Feb. 28, 2006, the same date granted to taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Twenty Florida counties have been included in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster area: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, St. Lucie and Sarasota.

Taxpayers who need to alert the IRS or have other Hurricane Wilma-related questions can also call the special IRS disaster hotline at 1.866.562.5227.

Visit the IRS web site for “Tax Relief for Disaster Situations” for more details.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: Nov. 9, 2005
Program: Factory Finishing Seminar
Speakers: Joe Binder, Manager Technical Sales, J. C. Licht Company; Ron Bryze, Finishing Specialist for E. Kinast Distributors
Contact: Debby Heidler, 630.325.3634


AWI Colorado Chapter
When: Nov. 10, 2005
Where: Denver, CO
Program: The Colorado Hi Tech Software Fair - Multiple vendors with engineering, estimating and business management software.  Program includes one-on-one demos, Q&A's and break out groups.
Contact:: www.awi-colorado.com or call 303.791.9003
AWI Minnesota Chapter
Nov. 10, 2005
Where: Marriott Minneapolis West, St. Louis Park, MN
Program: GREEN Market Opportunities Materials Seminar
Featuring: Dovetail Partners, Inc., Metro Hardwoods, Bluelinx
Reservations:  Free for AWI members; $25 for non-AWI members
Contact: Bert Waltz, 952.884.34404 or BertW@iwpparts.com

AWI New Jersey Chapter
When: Nov. 17, 2005
Where: Ramada Inn, Somerset, NJ
Program: Marketing Your Business
Speaker: Whitney Coombs, owner of  Ivan C. Dutterer, 2005-2006 AWI Board of Directors member, 30 years of marketing experience with Lever Brothers, Wilkenson Sword and Progresso Foods.
Contact:  John Hogan, 732.356.7310
AWI Virginia Chapter
When: Dec. 8-9, 2005
Where: Charlottesville, VA
Program: Train-the-Trainer (TTT) Seminar 
What: AWI's Greg Heuer will offer tips on how to make architects', designers', and specification writers' next woodwork project a success. Learn how to put AWI tools to work for you and improve your presentation skills.
Reservation Deadline: Early registration for AWI VA Chapter members only is through Oct. 31. All AWI National members invited!  Open registration runs Nov. 1-30.
Contact: Stephan Smith, AWI VA Chapter President, at 540.347.4551, ext. 107.

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Safety Matters

Keeping Workers Healthy

The cold and flu season is once again upon us.  Many are predicting a pandemic to hit this year, while others are not as concerned.  However, if you are worried about the flu or other ailments affecting your workforce this season, there are a few things you can do to limit absences amongst ill staff members.

  • Remind those that are not feeling well that it is better to stay home and get plenty of rest.  Yes, they will be absentfrom work for a short time, but they won’t be spreading the illness to the rest of the staff.
  • Reinforce what our mothers taught us…cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.  Most colds and flu are spread through germs.  And… make sure to thoroughly wash your hands while sick. 

To learn more, visit the following sites of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

U.S. Food and Drug Administration



AWI’s safety insurance partner
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AWI Winter Career and Technology Education Week
Feb. 21-24, 2006
Charlotte, NC

Visit our calendar for full 2005 schedule.



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