Industry News

With the health and safety of attendees, staff and the public top of mind during the current public health crisis, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) announces that it will offer its annual conference, PHCCCONNECT2020, in a virtual format. The event, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1, will offer a valued-packed online program, full of high-quality education and Read more

With the health and safety of attendees, staff and the public top of mind during the current public health crisis, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) announces that it will offer its annual conference, PHCCCONNECT2020, in a virtual format. The event, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1, will offer a valued-packed online program, full of high-quality education and networking opportunities.

“This decision to ‘bring CONNECT to you’ was made after much careful consideration and input from PHCC members,” said PHCC President Jonathan Moyer. “It was the right thing to do in these current times, and we embrace the opportunity to safely deliver this highly anticipated event in a new innovative, easy-to-use format.”

With the theme “Expand Your Vision for Success,” the virtual conference will offer high-caliber keynote speakers, timely and relevant educational sessions and new virtual networking events, with the added benefit of experiencing it all from the comfort of an office or home.

Program highlights include:

  • More than 20 education sessions
  • Inspirational and informative keynote speakers
  • Live Q&A with select speakers
  • A virtual Product & Technology Showcase
  • Reimagined networking opportunities
  • Access to education session content for 30 days
  • Affordable Experience – No travel & hotel costs & reduced registration rates

More specific details about the event will be available in early July. For updates, visit www.phccweb.org/connect.

AB&I Foundry hosted a virtual visit in its facility in Oakland focused on occupational health, for nineteen (19) University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) nursing students in partnership with Dr. Barbara Materna. Dr. Materna is one of California’s senior experts in occupational health who serves as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Occupational Health Read more

AB&I Foundry hosted a virtual visit in its facility in Oakland focused on occupational health, for nineteen (19) University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) nursing students in partnership with Dr. Barbara Materna. Dr. Materna is one of California’s senior experts in occupational health who serves as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Occupational Health Branch’s Chief and teaches at UCSF.

“Protecting the health and safety of our team members is of paramount importance to our company and sharing the knowledge behind it with students from UCSF adds a certain amount of accountability,” said Michael Lowe, AB&I’s General Manager. 

“AB&I approaches environmental and workplace safety issues with a clear vision from our corporate leaders, supported by strong policies that place the workplace environment and safety at the core of the business and through a substantial investment in advanced safety technologies and modern infrastructure,” said Lowe.  “But these investments can only fulfill their real value through applied knowledge by healthcare professionals and UCSF students are among those we may depend upon in the future,” he said. 

Zeydi Gutierrez, Director of Community Relations added, “During this year’s virtual visit, we addressed the unique environmental and safety challenges faced by our industry with a comprehensive Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) management system based on the principles of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 14001 standard, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) 18001, and OSHA Management Guidelines. ISO 14001 which is an internationally recognized specification for environmental management systems.” Gutierrez continued, “I am proud to be part of this community and forging the partnerships needed support the health and well-being of industrial workers here in East Oakland and beyond.”

In addition to producing environmentally beneficial products, AB&I has developed ways to make our facility more environmentally friendly as well.  AB&I has implemented environmental practices that, in many instances, exceed U.S. standards, producing performance that is among the best of the industries in which we operate.

Led by Vice President Doug Fulton, this new function will seek growth opportunities through corporate acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as internal product development. To further enhance Uponor North America’s ability to deliver innovative plumbing and heating solutions to its customers, the company has announced the creation of a new business function. This new business Read more

Led by Vice President Doug Fulton, this new function will seek growth opportunities through corporate acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as internal product development.

Vice President Doug Fulton, will lead new business venture development, for Uponor North America.

To further enhance Uponor North America’s ability to deliver innovative plumbing and heating solutions to its customers, the company has announced the creation of a new business function. This new business function will be led by Vice President Doug Fulton and called New Venture Development.

Reporting directly to President Bill Gray, Fulton will lead the exploration, incubation and integration of new products into Uponor’s existing business offerings, while also forging external partnerships. The overarching goal is to expand the company’s growth opportunities in ways that align with Uponor’s business strategy and customer insights.

Fulton’s responsibilities will encompass numerous areas related to corporate growth and expansion: Business Development (M&A/Partnerships), Business Incubation, Construction Services (including Building Information Management), Codes & Standards, Government & Industry Affairs, Project/Stage-Gate Management, and Uponor Innovation LLC.

As part of his business-incubation work, Fulton will oversee the company’s recently announced partnership with Reno, Nevada-based Pestan North America (PNA) to market and sell PNA’s proprietary PP-RCT pipe and fittings. (Note: PP-RCT stands for polypropylene, random copolymer, with modified crystallinity and temperature resistance.) Currently preparing for a formal launch of the product offering, Uponor will serve as PNA’s exclusive distributor throughout the United States and Canada.

“With the creation of our New Venture Development function, Uponor is doubling down on innovation,” says Gray. “We are emphasizing more than ever our commitment to providing innovative plumbing, heating and fire safety solutions to our customers.”

“The name New Venture Development reflects the way we see the business world evolving in the month and years ahead,” Gray continues. “While Uponor will continue to aggressively pursue direct product innovation internally, we envision an equal, if not greater, role for acquisitions, strategic partnerships and joint ventures, as we broaden our scope and capabilities.”

Most recently serving as Vice President of Product Marketing at Uponor, Fulton joined the company in 2017 as senior director of Corporate Strategy and Segment Marketing. He holds an M.B.A. from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Toledo.

Before joining Uponor, Fulton worked as Director of Marketing at Andersen Corporation, a national manufacturer of windows and patio doors. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Business Development – Midwest, for the Walt Disney Company. Fulton spent the first part of his career in various marketing leadership roles in the consumer products industry.

In a sign that housing stands poised to lead a post-pandemic economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped 21 points to 58 in June, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Any reading above 50 indicates a positive market. “As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to Read more

In a sign that housing stands poised to lead a post-pandemic economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped 21 points to 58 in June, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Any reading above 50 indicates a positive market.

“As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “Inventory is tight, mortgage applications are increasing, interest rates are low and confidence is rising. And buyer traffic more than doubled in one month even as builders report growing online and phone inquiries stemming from the outbreak.”

“Housing clearly shows signs of momentum as challenges and opportunities exist in the single-family market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Builders report increasing demand for families seeking single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs that feature lower density neighborhoods. At the same time, elevated unemployment and the risk of new, local virus outbreaks remain a risk to the housing market.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All the HMI indices posted gains in June. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions jumped 21 points to 63, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months surged 22 points to 68 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers vaulted 22 points to 43.

Looking at the monthly average regional HMI scores, the Northeast surged 31 point to 48, the South jumped 20 points to 62, the Midwest posted a 19-point gain to 51 and the West catapulted 22 points to 66.

HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.

Companies and building managers can access free resources at the Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center. Washington, D.C. – As local and state governments are beginning a phased reopening of their economies, the International Code Council has compiled a guide of safety precautions and considerations for businesses looking to resume in-office activities. Acting as an aggregate Read more

Companies and building managers can access free resources at the Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center.

Washington, D.C. – As local and state governments are beginning a phased reopening of their economies, the International Code Council has compiled a guide of safety precautions and considerations for businesses looking to resume in-office activities. Acting as an aggregate information hub, the Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center offers relevant information for building professionals and potential occupants to understand the impact the pandemic has had on the industry, as well as for companies who are currently creating plans and strategies to move back into their offices.

Ahead of reopening efforts, the Code Council has made it a priority to educate businesses, office managers and building safety professionals on an important but often-overlooked safety precaution – preparing an office building for re-occupancy. With many buildings reducing or turning off normal system operations during stay-at-home orders, it is critical to properly inspect and prepare a vacant building ahead of resuming regular activities. Without proper preparation and maintenance, the building may pose unrealized hazards to incoming occupants, whether from a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) or plumbing system to a powerless carbon monoxide detector.

Due to the wide range of aspects necessary for reopening a previously unoccupied building, the Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center covers topics include:

  • Addressing any temporary changes needed to building access and exit patterns to accommodate temporary reopening protocols such as employee health screenings, disposal of PPE, or any areas specifically designated for decontamination.
  • Visually inspecting and testing the operation of building entrances and exits including doors, revolving doors, and garage doors for proper operation and ensure they are free from obstructions.
  • If a building’s water distribution system has been shut down or seen reduced flow, flushing the pipe system with clean, potable water to remove any unwanted debris.
  • Facilitating adequate physical distancing protocols, and considerations for revising maximum occupant loads for all buildings and spaces to accommodate 75 gross SF/occupant.
  • Closing common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact or enforcing strict physical distancing protocols.
  • Guidance on disinfecting communal areas from FEMA and the CDC

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our society, both economically and socially. As we continue to learn to navigate the new normal and discover what that actually entails, having easy access to information on topics like how to properly prepare a vacant building for reoccupation is crucial, especially during reopening efforts,” said Dominic Sims, CBO and CEO, International Code Council.

Access to the Code Council’s Coronavirus Response Center can be found here, while the full list of tips and considerations for reopening buildings can be found here.