A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members December 18, 2008
Green Scene

“Wood is Carbon Negative” Message Reaches Nearly 5,000

A “Wood is Carbon Negative” message surfaced at the Geenbuild Conference, November 19-21, 2008, thanks to AWI LEED® liaison Margaret Fisher. Nearly 5,000 postcards were distributed at the conference.  Many AWI Supplier Members also helped spread the word.

Click here for a view of the postcard cover.  The reverse side contained the following carbon comparisons of building products:

CARBON COMPARISONS
Including: preparing for & gathering raw materials, processing raw materials, primary & secondary manufacturing, and transportation to create one metric ton of that material . . .

 MATERIAL        

 Kg  

 Lbs

 

 BRICK                                   

 88

 193

 

 GLASS

 154

 339

 

 CONCRETE  

 265

 583

 

 STEEL

 649

 1,428

 

 PLASTIC

 2,502

 5,504

 (2.5 tons for a ton)

 ALUMINUM  

 4,532

 9,970

 (4.5 tons for a ton)

 WOOD FRAMING  

 33

 72

 

 MDF

 60

 132

 

 WOOD FRAMING

 -457

-1008    

as a result of carbon sequestration

 MDF

 -382

 -842

as a result of carbon sequestration

METRIC TON =1,000 KG TON = 2,200 POUNDS (Lbs)

Thanks go out to the following AWI Supplier Members for helping to distribute the postcards from their booths at the expo: Algoma Hardwoods, Columbia Forest Products, Lynden Door, Panel Source, Rex Lumber, Roseburg Forest Products, S.J. Morse, and SierraPine.

Greenbuild 2008 attracted more than 28,000 attendees representing all 50 states, 85 countries and 6 continents. This reflects a 25% increase in the number of attendees from Greenbuild 2007.  The conference and expo was sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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CSI Introduces GreenFormat™

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) unveiled GreenFormat™, a Web-based database of green product information, at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston, November 19-21, 2008.

The new resource, accessible at www.greenformat.com, is a new CSI format that provides a standardized framework for identifying the sustainable properties of building products. The free, Web-based search offers a fast-and-easy, unbiased approach to evaluating green product information, saving time for designers, specifiers, and others. Like all CSI's standards and formats, GreenFormat is organized by MasterFormat divisions. Its downloadable results are spec-friendly.

The requirements of the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ are among the standards referenced within GreenFormat's search to help searchers achieve their green project goals.

CSI is offering manufacturers a free one-year subscription of product listings on GreenFormat for a limited time.  To learn more about GreenFormat, visit www.greenformat.com.
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Multiple Chain of Custody Certifications

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has increased its accreditation administration fees for chain of custody (COC) certification, according to an industry report.

The fees, which are based on annual sales of forest products, are doubling, according to PROSALES Information Service. The FSC requires all companies that transport wood from the forest to the construction site who obtain chain of custody certification to assure FSC-marked lumber remains discrete from unmarked lumber.  At present, the FSC system is the only wood certification system that can earn points under the LEED® green certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council. 

As yet, the USGBC has not announced whether other wood certification programs are eligible to earn LEED credits.  The open comment period on that issue closed on September 7, 2008.  Stay tuned.

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Association News

February 15, 2009: Next AWI AOE Honors Submission Period

You may be eligible for AWI “Award of Excellence” honors. Get noticed like the AWI Manufacturing Members whose fine architectural woodwork projects are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Maximize opportunities for business.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate in this quarterly AWI program.  Visit awinet.org for submission forms and a 2009 AWI Media Planner – Rate Card 9. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (spring) AOE honors program is February 15, 2008. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7.  (The fall issue is now posted for viewing on the AWI Web site. Click here for online access.)

Pictured here is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the summer AWI “Award of Excellence” quarterly competition. ONSITE Woodwork Corporation of Loves Park, IL used Anigre throughout the Premiere Global Corporate Offices project. The chairman’s conference room is designed to be fluid and high-tech. More views of the project can be seen on page 44 of the summer issue of Design Solutions here.
Photo Credit: Brian Roberts Photography and Herb Meldahl
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Professional Development

Skill Standards Developments – Survey & Contribution Update

The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) reports that it has received $14,000 in contributions to date toward meeting its $92,000 goal of matching funds granted by the USDA Forest Service for development of Skill Standards.  Learn more to make a year-end contribution.  Find out what others think about a national credentialing system that would certify a worker’s competence on specific machinery and processes. 


Over 92% of respondents to a quick survey expressed interest in such a system.  Visit the WCA Web site to learn more.  If you’ve Got Smarts, share them on this worthy industry project to develop a career path for a future workforce.
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A Holiday Gift for Your Business

Time is running out to give your business a gift that will affect all of your firm’s future projects.  Your help is needed. Your brain power is essential.

The new Architectural Woodwork Standards are about to be completed. Your AWI Technical Committee invites, encourages, and urges you to review and comment on the drafts. Click here to download any section which interests you.  A number of revisions to the draft have just been posted.  Follow the simple instructions at the top of the page to open the PDFs and to return your comments and suggestions for improvement.

Deadline: When Santa gets back to the North Pole. (The committee is meeting the first week in January 2009.)  Don’t let this opportunity pass by without reviewing the standards in BETA format before they are published.  Something missed now could affect your business later.
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Registration Opens Soon for AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars

Plan to participate in the Spring AWI Professional Development Seminars, April 28 – May 2, 2009 at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, NC.  Here is a sample of the comprehensive learning forums you – and key staff members – will want to attend.

  • Project Management Seminars (Fundamentals and Advanced)
  • Estimating Seminars (Fundamentals and Advanced)
  • Auto CAD for Woodworkers / Project Engineering
  • Fundamentals of the New Joint Standards, the Architectural Woodwork Standards, 1st Edition
  • Quality Certification 101
  • QCC Help Clinic
  • Plant Tour
  • Exhibitor Showcase

Check back soon at www.awinet.org.
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Industry News

Times Are Getting Tough for Architects

Fortunately for architectural woodworkers, there is an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.  Commercial construction markets are healthier than their residential counterparts, so that is also good news for architectural woodworkers – for the time being.  But how are architects withstanding the ill effects of the recession or are they?

Several “Recession Reports” have been published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on the effects of a global economic downturn.  Click here for access to the AIA report published recently in Architectural Record (free subscription).

For the most recent Architecture Billings Index statistics, click here.  For the second month in a row, the ABI is at its lowest level since the survey began in 1995, AIA reports.
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Construction Spending Dips in October

Construction spending during October 2008 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,072.6 billion, 1.2% below the revised September estimate of $1,085.7 billion. 

The October figure is 4.6% below the October 2007 estimate of $1,124.2 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Census Bureau. 

Which construction markets were up and which were down? Click here for the October figures reporting the value of construction put in place broken down by construction sector.
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Business Resources

Administaff Business Solutions Services Webinar Set for January 14th

A new human resource services program arranged by AWI with the national professional employer organization Administaff brings group buying power to AWI member small and medium size businesses.  If you missed the first webinars, plan to attend the upcoming Administaff webinar on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm EST to learn more. 

This new AWI Affinity Program gives access to Administaff Human Resource Services at substantial savings.  This exclusive new membership benefit for AWI members provides a 25% discount on enrollment fees and the group buying power of Administaff's 6,000+ clients. 

This monthly webinar hosted by Administaff will focus on the firm's services and the benefits of using them.  Members may speak to the Administaff representative during this live program.

Date:

 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Starting time: 

 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 05:00, New York)

Duration:

 15 Minute Presentation, followed by Q&A

To register for this meeting:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/j.php?ED=111427017&RG=1&UID=0 Register for the meeting.
Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.

For assistance:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/mc
2.  On the left navigation bar, click "Support".
You can contact the Administaff staff at: kane_flora@administaff.com

http://www.webex.com  We've got to start meeting like this™
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, please do not join the session.

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Ten Survival Tips for Subcontractors in Lean Times

While the residential market is suffering most from the economic slump, spillover effects of the credit crunch can impact the commercial market.  It pays to prepare for potential lean times.  Protect yourself.

See the “Top Ten” list of survival tips for lean times published in the First Quarter 2009 issue of The Contractor’s Compass, published by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). The author, Donald Gregory, Esq. of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter of Columbus, OH, has granted permission to AWI to share the article with our members, as has ASA.
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Comprehensive Tax Guide Available for Free at IRS.gov 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has placed its comprehensive tax guide for individuals on  IRS.gov, updating it for tax year 2008. The updated online version of IRS Publication 17, “Your Federal Income Tax,” contains more than 900 interactive links.

Publication 17 has been updated with important changes for 2008, including information on the new recovery rebate credit, new first-time-homebuyer credit, and an additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. 

As in prior years, the publication provides information on how to file an individual tax return, what to include as income, how to calculate capital gains and losses, how IRAs and other expenses can affect how much income to report, whether to take the standard deduction or itemize, and how to figure taxes and credits.

Publication 17 is available online or call 1.800.829.3676 to request a free copy from the IRS. Printed copies will be available in January 2009.
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Regulatory Issues

Formaldehyde Emissions from Pressed Wood Products

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking input about the potential health risks of formaldehyde’s use in pressed wood products.  The agency’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) was issued November 25, 2008.  Comments are due on or before February 2, 2009.

The EPA ANPR follows a petition requesting that the agency adopt on a nationwide basis a California regulation to control formaldehyde emissions from wood products. 

Click here for the ANPR which appeared in the Federal Register on December 3, 2008, dates and locations of hearings on the matter in North Carolina, Oregon, Illinois, Texas and the District of Columbia, as well as instructions about submission of comments.

“Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative and is found in certain pressed wood products, ISO Online reported.
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Member News

Microvellum Befriends Kansas School

In November, Microvellum donated a full software suit to St. Mary’s Academy and College located in Mary’s, Kansas. 

St. Mary’s is a private school located in rural northeast Kansas, with over 190 high school students attending.  Presently, they serve their students with two technology education courses: Drafting I, which covers all aspects of manual drafting techniques; and Drafting II, which is a CAD course. Beginning in 2009, St. Mary’s is expanding their curriculum to incorporate a Manufacturing Enterprise: Custom Cabinet Making sequence, which will be a design and production curriculum for grades ten through twelve.

“We want to train our students in this curriculum so that they may gain employment with these companies and immediately become productive through partnerships and possible internships,” says David Goulart, St. Mary’s Technology Education Teacher.

Microvellum has been an AWI Supplier Member since 2004 and is a 2008 AWI Sponsor.

How is your company working with local schools and industry programs to support careers in the architectural woodwork industry?  Send your news to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Minnesota and Virginia Chapters are planning.

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 Minnesota Chapter
When:
January 15, 2009 (11:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Program: “2009 Commercial Fabricator Green Building Conference and Great River Energy Tour” featuring: program on CARB; AWI Quality Certification Program, LEED® 2009, FSC Certification
Where: Maple Grove Community Center, Maple Grove, MN
Information: Program Flyer attached
Registration and Information: Green@metrohardwoods.com or call 763.425.9293

AWI Virginia Chapter
When:
January 29, 2009
Program:  “FSC: Materials and Certification” & Tabletop Display
Speakers:  Jason Shuey & Keith Atherholt
Where:  Westin Richmond, Richmond, VA
Information: Program flyer attached
Registration: Chapter/AWI Members, $35 per person; Non-AWI Members, $70 per person.
See registration form attached.
Information: Gary Astles, gastles@northwayind.com, 717.503.6295
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Safety Matters

OTI Education Center Offers New "Safety Week" Courses in 2009

The University of South Florida OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center  is offering OSHA's 7000 series of short courses during a one-week period at a reduced rate. The first in the series, called "Safety Weeks," will be offered January 12-16, 2009, in Miami, FL.

Course categories include construction, health care, disaster site worker, and introduction to OSHA. Details are available online, or by calling 866.697.0975. Visit OSHA's OTI Education Centers Web page for a list of additional centers, course off erings and training locations.

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Last Chance to Enter the AWI Safety Tip Challenge and Win!

Calling all AWI Manufacturing Members and their employers to submit safety tips!  Enter your tips in the Safety Tip Challenge and become eligible for a prize.

Each winner receives a beautiful Starrett Model S909Z combination square valued at almost $300, compliments of the AWI Safety Committee and AWI’s partner in risk management, CNA Insurance.  Click here to enter the Safety Tip Challenge.  Post the attached “Safety Tip Challenge” flyer in your shop.  Invite employees to participate; they could win a prize, and tips submitted could help you maximize safety on the job AND limit your insurance costs. The flyer details how the Safety Tips Challenge works.  Safety pays!
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Next Issue of E-briefs to Be Published in New Year

Seasons Greetings to all AWI members and subscribers to AWI e-briefs.  We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published January 8, 2009.

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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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