A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members June 21, 2007
Industry News

Construction Starts Dipped 5 Percent in April

Both nonresidential and residential building experienced losses in April.  Moderate declines were reported for some commercial structures; however, some nonresidential building showed gains, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. 

For more details, including a look at the first four months of 2007, click here.
 
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Architecture Billings Index Surges Nearly Three Points

After three consecutive months of modest growth, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), a leading economic indicator of construction activity, revealed a spike in design activity. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that the May ABI was 55.0 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), up from the 52.6 mark in April. With an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending, the forecast for the nonresidential construction market remains favorable throughout 2007 and into early 2008, AIA said.

Key May ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: West (58.0), Northeast (53.6), South (53.3), Midwest (51.8).
• Sector index breakdown: residential (55.2), commercial / industrial (54.7), mixed practice (54.3), institutional (54.2).
• Inquiries index: 62.4.

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AWI Wants News about Your Company and Chapter

AWI wants to report in either AWI e-briefs or NewsBriefs corporate news about your company, significant personnel changes, community service, and other news of a non-commercial nature. 

AWI chapters are encouraged to send all event notices and news for inclusion in NewsBriefs and posting on our Web site. Address your news to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.  
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Association News

AWI Cost of Doing Business Report in Final Stages

The annual AWI Costing of Doing Business Survey is complete, tabulation and analysis have been finalized, and the final report is being prepared for release.  Watch for news about the release date around July 1.  All AWI Manufacturing Members will receive a copy of the final report as a benefit of membership in AWI.
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“Award of Excellence” Projects Promote Architectural Woodwork Professionalism to Design Community

Great projects receive great recognition.  Last month AWI announced the honorees in the second quarter “Award of Excellence” competition.  The outstanding work of these AWI Manufacturing Members was featured in the spring 2007 issue of Design Solutions, the official journal of AWI.  The award-winning projects are being seen by nearly 25,000 architect and design professional subscribers to Design Solutions.

All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to apply for an “Award of Excellence.”  Don’t miss the opportunity to have your outstanding project showcased to nearly 25,000 architects and design professionals who may be searching for your kind of expertise and creativity.  The deadline for submissions for the fall “Award of Excellence” Program is August 1. Click here for details and submission forms.

Pictured here is one of the winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the spring – DeLeers Millwork Inc. of Green Bay, WI. Rich Anigre paneling sets off the reception desk, doorways and cabinetry in the reception area of the Chicago law offices of Bryan Cave, LLP, the project owner.

Photo Credit: Christopher Barrett, Hedrich Blessing
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June Issue, AWI NewsBriefs

The June issue of AWI NewsBriefs is out and by now should have reached your mailbox around June 11. 

Did you see it?  If not...take a look by clicking here
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Professional Development

The Anthony Galluzzo Corporation Presents Student Scholarships

On June 19th, The Anthony Galluzzo Corporation (TAGC) held it first annual Scholarship Awards Presentation as part of its P.I.E. (Partnering Industry and Education) initiative for the 2006/2007 school year.  TAGC along with Hampshire Hardwoods working with Pinkerton Academy (PA) presented one-time scholarship awards to two PA students who had participated in the P.I.E. program.  In addition, a third award was given to help support the New England Woodworking Design Competition held annually through Mount Wachusett Community College. 

This year’s awards were funded through the creative efforts of Pinkerton Academy’s Jack Grube and his Business of Woodworking class who agreed to produce four custom wood display racks for Bill Staib of Hampshire Hardwoods, a local supplier of exotic hardwood flooring. 

The project started through Pinkerton’s Project “Lead the Way” program approximately 2 ½ years ago.  Students in the Drafting and Design program developed the conceptual sketches into 3D models.  Jack Grube approached The Anthony Galluzzo Corp. with the idea of using the funds collected for the display racks to fund the scholarship awards.  TAGC supported the effort working with the drafting and woodworking students to engineer and fabricate the final design.  TAGC employees and PA students exchanged visits between the school and TAGC’s plant several times over the school year to observe and participate in all aspects of the unit’s production.
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In the Chapters

AWI WI Chapter Participates at Open House Showcase

On June 9, the AWI Wisconsin Chapter participated at an Open House Showcase / mini trade fair held by the Southeast Carpentry Training Center in Waukesha, WI. Numerous companies throughout the construction industry supported the event which included a full day of information regarding their state-of-the-art facility, the educational courses available, personal tours, and more.  AWI was well represented by Wisconsin Chapter members and Boehm Madison Lumber (AWI Supplier Members since 2002) highlighted numerous beautiful hardwoods available today.

AWI Wisconsin Chapter displays various wood species at the Southeast Carpentry Training Center Facility.

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AWI Chapters – Sister Association Chapters Begin Planning 2007/2008 Programs

Planning of chapter programs is underway within many local AWI sister associations in the professional design community (AIA, ASID, IIDA and CSI).  If you have contacts within a local design association, inform your AWI chapter leaders so that you can be a resource for making contact about future programming and partnering opportunities. Now is the time to plan programs for the upcoming year.

Consult with AWI about its own ready-made programs through the AWILL Ambassador Program and Design Pro Presentation CD-ROM.  Contact Ilaria Fekeza (ifekeza@awinet.org) at AWI National about these opportunities.

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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  Check out the informative AWI chapter programs sponsored in your area. Tap into your local AWI chapter for vital information that can help your business grow and put you in touch with fellow AWI architectural woodworkers and suppliers.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When:
July 12, 2007
What: Golf Outing (8:30 am – Registration: 10:00 am - Shotgun Start; 3:00 - Dinner)
Where: Cross Gates Golf Club, Millersville, PA
Contact: Dave Sanders, (P) 717.637.8977
Registration: Early bird by July 5
More Information: (Registration Form)

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: July 13, 2007 (8:30 am)
What: Golf Outing – Four Person / Best Ball Scramble
Where: Legendary Run Golf Course, Cincinnati, OH
Registration: tracy@louisvillelumber.com

AWI New England Chapter
When:
July 23, 2007
What: 15th Annual Summer Outing – Golf, Fishing, and Dinner
Where:
Golf Tournament (1:30 pm) – Wentworth By the Sea Country Club, Rye, NY
Fishing Event (8:30 am) – Captain’s Fishing Parties, Plum Island Point, Newburyport, MA
More Information: Golf – Bruce Chapin, (P) 508.380.2205, Nchapin@atlanticplywood.com; Fishing – Kevin Barlow, (P) 800.733.1999, kevin@keiver-willard.com

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: August 2, 2007
What: Golf Outing & Dinner
Where: Kettle Moraine Golf Club, Dousman, WI
More Information: Click here
Proceeds: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the newly founded Scholarship Fund.

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When:
August 23-24, 2007
What: Train the Trainer Workshop – Deliver Presentations with Knowledge & Style
Presenters: AWI National Director of Training & Member Services Greg Heuer; Linda Heuer
Where: Adams Mark Hotel, Indianapolis, IN
More Information: Click here

 
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Legislative News

New Tennessee Law Will Free Up Millions of Dollars for State's Construction Industry

The Tennessee construction industry will benefit from millions of dollars in project earnings made available to contractors and subcontractors during the course of projects because of a law (Public Chapter 201) that take effect ton July 1, 2007.  Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) signed H.B. 1003, a measure supported by the American Subcontractors Association of Tennessee (ASATN), into law on May 22.

The law will limit retainage on all public and private construction projects in the state to 5 percent, while requiring that retained funds be kept in interest-bearing escrow accounts. It also will require release of retainage by construction owners, contractors and subcontractors within specific time frames.

The new law's required reduction of retainage to 5 percent means that the same contractor or subcontractor would be paid $50,000 more during the project lifecycle instead of at the end of or after the project ? $50,000 that it could use to pay managers/laborers, purchase materials, purchase/rent equipment, or re-invest in the company. Multiplied over Tennessee's whole construction industry, the savings and benefit created by the law will be in the millions of dollars.

The law also addresses late payment of retainage, which causes cash flow problems. It will require a construction owner to release all retainage to a prime contractor within 90 days after completion of work or substantial completion of a project, whichever occurs first. The law will require prime contractors to pay retainage to subcontractors, and subcontractors to pay sub-subcontractors and suppliers, within 10 days of receipt of retainage held for the work/supplies they provide.

For more information, call ASATN at 877.471.0568.
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New Georgia Law Aims to Clarify Risk Transfer in Construction Contracts

On May 18, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R) signed into law a measure that expands the state's restriction against broad form indemnification to include additional insured requirements.

The legislation (H.B. 136) closes a loophole created by court interpretations of Georgia's indemnity statute, according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). “Previously, the state's anti broad form indemnity statute appeared to void indemnification agreements that required one party to indemnify and hold harmless the other for claims arising out of the indemnitee's sole negligence. However, Georgia appellate courts created an exception that when a broad form indemnity clause - which by itself would be void and unenforceable under the statute - is coupled with a corresponding contractual obligation for the indemnitor to provide insurance coverage, the statute does not apply and the clause is fully enforceable. The courts said this loophole extends even when a claim arises out of the indemnitee's sole negligence.”

The new law will take effect July 1, 2007.
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Regulatory Issues

IRS Warns Taxpayers of New E-mail Scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has alerted taxpayers to the latest versions of an e-mail scam intended to fool people into believing they are under investigation by the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division. Some e-mail variations suggest a customer has filed a complaint against a company and the IRS can act as an arbitrator. The latest versions appear aimed at business taxpayers as well as individual taxpayers.

The e-mail purporting to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Board. The e-mail seeks to entice people to click on a link or open an attachment to learn more information about the complaint against them. The IRS warned people that the e-mail link and attachment is a Trojan Horse that can take over the person’s computer hard drive and allow someone to have remote access to the computer. The IRS urged people not to click the link in the e-mail or open the attachment.

The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

Recipients of questionable e-mails claiming to come from the IRS should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the e-mails. Instead, they should forward the e-mails to phishing@irs.gov (the instructions may be found on IRS.gov by entering the term “phishing” in the search box).

For more information about suspicious e-mails and identify theft, visit the IRS Web site.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published July 5, 2007. 

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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

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