Industry News

Local students will participate in day of hands-on learning Elyria, Ohio—Ridge Tool Company, a business of Emerson (EMR) and maker of RIDGID tools and solutions, is hosting its first annual “We Love STEM Day” this month for students in grades three through eight. The event—to be held on Friday, June 21st at the company’s Elyria Read More

Local students will participate in day of hands-on learning

Elyria, Ohio—Ridge Tool Company, a business of Emerson (EMR) and maker of RIDGID tools and solutions, is hosting its first annual “We Love STEM Day” this month for students in grades three through eight. The event—to be held on Friday, June 21st at the company’s Elyria headquarters at 400 Clark Street—is designed to support the company’s mission to build better communities as well as foster learning throughout schools and cultural institutions. Students will participate in hands-on STEM activities and learn about the role STEM plays in manufacturing. STEM—which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—is a multidisciplinary approach to enhancing academic and workforce competitiveness.

“We’re excited to welcome the next generation of leaders and share the connection between STEM, manufacturing and the products we make at RIDGID,” said Craig Sumner, President of RIDGID at Emerson. “From concept to final production, STEM is a part of everything we do. We hope to inspire students and show them what they’re learning in school can be applied to their future.”

RIDGID has a variety of hands-on activities planned for the day, including designing and constructing a table tennis racket out of everyday materials; constructing and testing the aerodynamics of rubber band helicopters; and creating ‘dancing’ sculptures.

RIDGID has strong community ties, advocating and supporting local programs since its founding in 1923. The company is a proud supporter of education-based initiatives throughout Lorain County, including Lorain County Community College and Elyria school makerspaces that create learning around STEM. RIDGID also partners with current and future trade professionals, regularly invests and donates products, and its leaders serve on industry boards to help strengthen the trades.

Emerson’s professional tools business, which includes RIDGID as well as the Greenlee and Klauke brands, provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of advanced, reliable tools and technologies for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades globally. Visit emerson.com/professionaltools for more information.

Arlington, Va. —  The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in opposition to a fourth round of Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports.  The comments, which were in response to a May 17Federal Register notice, echoed AHRI’s previous opposing comments (Round 1 Read More

Arlington, Va. —  The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in opposition to a fourth round of Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports.  The comments, which were in response to a May 17Federal Register notice, echoed AHRI’s previous opposing comments (Round 1, Round 2, Round 3), re-emphasizing that the tariffs limit member company access to a global supply chain for components, while bringing about the following harmful economic consequences:

  • Increased costs for manufacturers and expected negative cost impacts on consumers.
  • A dampening effect on the industry’s efforts to make more energy efficient equipment available in the marketplace.
  • An unintended hampering of industry’s ability to address climate change because of higher than necessary demand on the electric grid due to reduced access to energy efficient equipment.

“For many of our members, the uncertainty of the exclusion process combined with the continued threat of tariffs creates a business climate that stymies their ability to continue to create jobs that power the U.S. economy,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “We will continue to interact on behalf of our negatively affected member companies in hopes that the injurious tariff situation is resolved quickly,” he added.

AHRI’s comments also expressed its disappointment with a lack of a tariff exclusion process in the May 17 Federal Register notice. Although AHRI has indicated its displeasure and dismay at a slow and burdensome the exclusion request process, it nevertheless requested in its comments that the USTR should be sure to make available a process for exclusions if the fourth round of tariffs go into effect.

AHRI members are concerned that since the beginning of the Section 301 exclusion process (including $34 billion and $16 billion), the exclusion approval rate for the HVACR and water heating industry is 39.5% lower than it is for all industries combined.  In fact, only 11% (200 unique requests) of the requested AHRI member products and equipment have thus far been granted an exclusion. Of the 1,877 exclusion requests AHRI members have made to the USTR, 858 still await a decision (in review stages 1-3), with some having been pending for as long as 312 days (since August 8, 2018).

Leesburg, Va. — REHAU announces the 40-year anniversary of establishing its North American headquarters in Leesburg, Va. The company’s regional presence has expanded with the growth of REHAU’s polymer-based innovations and the transformation of Leesburg into a suburban extension of Washington, DC. As the current Americas headquarters for the privately held global manufacturer, REHAU Leesburg Read More

Leesburg, Va. — REHAU announces the 40-year anniversary of establishing its North American headquarters in Leesburg, Va. The company’s regional presence has expanded with the growth of REHAU’s polymer-based innovations and the transformation of Leesburg into a suburban extension of Washington, DC. As the current Americas headquarters for the privately held global manufacturer, REHAU Leesburg oversees operations across 4 sub-region administrative offices, 20 sales offices, 9 plants and 8 logistics centers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America.

The modern office campus is a strategic part of American history and also of the global trajectory of REHAU. Situated at today’s intersection of Edwards Ferry Road and Battlefield Parkway, Fort Evans was constructed on top of a hill that provided a great vantage point of a strategic Potomac River crossing and played a key role in the Civil War Battle of Ball’s Bluff.

REHAU’s Americas Headquarters Marks 40 Years in Leesburg

The initial building on the campus was constructed in 1952 by Lester H. Carr for Development Engineering Corp., later acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, to support contracts with the Department of Defense for digital communications research. Across the Atlantic, a polymer manufacturing company founded in 1948 by Helmut Wagner in the Bavarian town of Rehau was beginning to make inroads in North America, first with a sales office in New York City in 1959 followed by a factory in Montreal in 1961. The 1979 purchase of the Fort Evans site paved the way for continued expansion in the region. A second building, constructed in 2001, provides office and conference space for five local businesses in addition to a REHAU showroom.

“Helmut Wagner had great foresight in 1979 when he selected the Leesburg site amongst, at that time, rolling farmland and dirt roads for our North America headquarters,” said Theo Haast, president of REHAU Americas. “This location is a beautiful green space where about 90 REHAU employees enable the company to grow in the Americas by pushing the boundaries of what is possible with polymer-based solutions.”

 The privately held global manufacturer provides polymer-based systems and services to many of the world’s leading brands through five business divisions – Building Solutions, Window Solutions, Furniture Solutions, Industrial Solutions and Automotive.

“From Montreal to Buenos Aires, it is quite clear: REHAU Americas today is at home in one of the most diverse, dynamic and multicultural regions in the world,” said Theo Haast, president of REHAU Americas. “The REHAU family, with more than 20,000 colleagues in more than 50 countries, can be very proud of our Leesburg journey over the past 40 years.”

Just as computers and digital communications radically changed the world of business since the 1950s, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, promises to radically change the efficiency of global supply chains, improving quality of life around the world. Manufacturing companies such as REHAU must continually reinvent themselves to remain relevant.

“REHAU is not relying on past successes,” said Haast. “In 2019, we are rolling out a refreshed brand identity supporting the claim ‘Engineering progress. Enhancing lives.’ To deliver on this claim, digitalization is key, from increasing the efficiencies and small-batch customization potential of our manufacturing processes to delighting consumers with finished products that enhance their productivity, safety and comfort.”

“While we remain laser-focused on innovation and driving value for our customers, we are also keenly aware of our responsibility to our employees and our community,” said Monika Irchenhauser, vice president, human resources. “On behalf of the Wagner family, I want to thank our employees, especially those who’ve remained loyal to REHAU for several decades. The history we have made, the innovative ideas we have shared, have shaped not only REHAU Americas but also REHAU globally.”

For more information, https://www.na.rehau.com.

Pflugerville, Texas—Rosendin, the electrical contracting industry’s largest employee-owned firm with a new office in Pflugerville, Texas, sponsored Austin’s first Construction Camp For Girls from June 10th – 14th. The week-long camp gave 13 girls heading into 7th, 8th and 9th grades opportunities for hands-on learning and new experiences in an industry most young girls know Read More

Pflugerville, Texas—Rosendin, the electrical contracting industry’s largest employee-owned firm with a new office in Pflugerville, Texas, sponsored Austin’s first Construction Camp For Girls from June 10th – 14th. The week-long camp gave 13 girls heading into 7th, 8th and 9th grades opportunities for hands-on learning and new experiences in an industry most young girls know little about.

The camp was created by the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to enhance girls’ educational development and expose them to new career possibilities. NAWIC holds similar camps for girls in San Diego, Kansas City, Baltimore, Chicago and Orange County, Calif.

As part of the sponsorship, Rosendin brought the girls to the company’s new office in Pflugerville for hands-on experience. The campers were taught basic electrical skills, worked in REVIT, participated in augmented reality viewing through virtual reality headgear to understand how buildings are built, wired a lamp to keep, and spoke with female employees about construction careers ranging from installing conduit to computer modeling and virtual reality.

Rosendin Sponsors Austin’s First Construction Camp For Girls, women in construction, girls in construction, construction

“What many people don’t realize is the construction industry is going high-tech, and if you are willing to learn and have the right attitude Rosendin will train you for a great career,” said Claire Acquilano, Rosendin Building Information Modeler.

Many students pick their career path in middle school, yet many girls never consider construction or specialty trades because they rarely see women in this field. Camp NAWIC was designed to inspire campers to challenge bias that prevents women from seeking jobs in traditionally male-dominated industries.

“I want all girls to know that there is a huge opportunity in the construction industry that can provide a rewarding and financially beneficial career, whether they choose to attend college or join the workforce after high school through apprenticeship,” said Jolsna Thomas, Rosendin Business Development Manager and Inaugural Chair for the Austin Chapter of NAWIC.

“Rosendin believes a diverse workforce can tackle challenges from many different perspectives,” said Cassandra Lopez, Rosendin PreFab Foreman. “This is why the company not only sponsors opportunities to expose girls and women to the industry, but also take steps to develop workers based on their unique skill sets.”

NAWIC’s Austin summer camp was sponsored by Rosendin, IBEW Local 520, UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 286, AGC Austin, the Central Texas Building Trades, TEX-MIX, NIBCO, Ferguson Enterprises, DeWALT, United Rentals, and Compliance Resources Inc.

Atlanta — ASHRAE is pleased to announce exciting details regarding its new global headquarters, located at 180 Technology Parkway, Peachtree Corners, Ga. A new web presence (ashrae.org/newhq) will provide updates on the design and renovation of ASHRAE’s net-zero energy-efficient headquarters building just 10 miles north of its current location. “We are excited to share up-to-date Read More

Atlanta — ASHRAE is pleased to announce exciting details regarding its new global headquarters, located at 180 Technology Parkway, Peachtree Corners, Ga. A new web presence (ashrae.org/newhq) will provide updates on the design and renovation of ASHRAE’s net-zero energy-efficient headquarters building just 10 miles north of its current location.

“We are excited to share up-to-date progress on our new ASHRAE global headquarters,” said 2018-2019 ASHRAE President Sheila J. Hayter. “Through this web presence, we will share our design journey, and we will offer useful, informative, educational content for members, partners, the media and other stakeholders to showcase sustainability in action, resiliency that exceeds the provisions of ASHRAE’s energy, comfort and indoor air quality standards and cost-effective building integrated solutions.”

The new, renovated building will become a showcase for the latest HVAC&R equipment and technology, providing a destination venue for industry visitors and members to experience. Some key project goals for the new building are:

  • To demonstrate how to transform older existing buildings from dated workplace environments to high-performance workplace environments.
  • To showcase an affordable, net-zero energy strategy.
  • To provide energy, demand and environmental data from HQ building through web interface.
  • To be visible, when and where appropriate, within the building as an educational feature.
  • To provide additional sensors and monitoring capability in spaces such as conference rooms, so the data obtained can support investigations and experimental work for ASHRAE research. This includes electronic data storage and manipulation capability and a meteorological monitoring station.
  • To provide pro­visions for a building automation system.
  • To showcase an ASHRAE Building EQ A+ rating.
  • To provide a building environment that sets new standards for worker productivity and wellness through superior visual acuity, daylight, acoustics, thermal comfort and air quality.

The purchased building, constructed in 1978, sits on 11 acres and is 66,700 square feet. The two-story building, including a partial base­ment, will be designed to provide space for approximately 125 occupants and will have a serviceable life of at least 50 years. Selected materials will be capable of withstanding Atlanta’s hot, humid weather conditions.

“ASHRAE’s global headquarters will inspire our industry to incor­porate energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable practices that reflects an understanding of the high-per­formance building movement,” said Jeff Littleton, ASHRAE Executive Vice President. “The new web presence will provide a step-by-step look into this design project and give visitors an engaging view of ASHRAE’s vision and goals.”

ASHRAE has embarked upon a highly visible building campaign to support generous donor contributions with a wide array of benefits including prominent building displays, donor wall recognition, naming rights, features in national and international ASHRAE publications and case studies, web presence, social media presence and a special commemorative publication about the project. More about this campaign can also be found at ashrae.org/newhq.

The renovation project is overseen by both a building ad hoc and technical committee comprised of ASHRAE volunteers. McLennan Design, Houser Walker Architecture and Integral Group have been selected as the design team. The project team also includes Collins Project Management (Project Management), Skanska (Construction Manager at Risk) and Epsten Group (Commissioning Agent).

ASHRAE will move to the new global headquarters in October 2020.