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Industry Trends8 min

Building Smarter Starts With Smashing Silos

One of the most vexing problems in home construction is that productivity isn’t rising fast enough – even though there are fabulous productivity tools everywhere you look.

Making a process lean and efficient isn’t always the answer, according to John Murphy from the consulting firm FMI. Sometimes a process can be scrapped entirely, which in turn causes productivity to soar. But it can only happen when all the key stakeholders – developers, designers, manufacturers and builders – tear down their respective silos and start collaborating more effectively. 

At a recent HIVE workshop, Murphy encouraged attendees to take a wider look at the four cornerstones of project management: cost, schedule, performance and risk. “When a manufacturer first introduced sheetrock several decades ago, it completely eliminated the need for the plastering trade,” says Murphy. “Almost overnight, there was no need for special training – and jobs could be done much faster at a lower cost. It would have been silly to try to make old-style plastering ‘leaner’ or more efficient because the new material eliminated that process completely.”

Any time that one stakeholder reduces another’s risk – or helps cut cost and speed the schedule – the entire value chain benefits. This can happen through product innovation that removes steps from the process or quickens the application or installation. “Efficiency – in all of its forms – is a priority at LP,” says Marcelle Lacy, LP’s Senior Corporate Brand Manager for OSB and EWP. “With our new LP® WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier, builders install protection they can count on in less time while enhancing the home or building’s energy efficiency.”

Sometimes a tech breakthrough seems like a great idea, but may not be truly necessary. “A great example is whether or not to invest in augmented reality (AR) tools to aid workers with installation,” says Murphy. “If a builder isn’t thinking holistically, that probably makes a lot of sense. But what if the developer decides to build the homes in an off-site facility? That investment in AR training may not be needed because the crew isn’t framing the house on-site.”

Murphy acknowledges that most manufacturers and builders don’t wake up in the morning thinking “What can I do to help my partners in the value chain?” But empathy and collaboration can ultimately benefit everyone in homebuilding, from beginning to end. “Sometimes the shared interests are easy to identify,” he says. “In the case of off-site manufacturing, many municipalities have been slow to see the value in doing code approvals in the factory rather than on the jobsite. But all the stakeholders benefit if faster code approvals help shorten the schedule and make homes more affordable.”

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News & Stories4 min

Building a Better World™: Letting Purpose Drive Our Business

Our purpose, Building a Better World™, had guided us in the years prior to 2020, but it was uniquely tested with this year’s challenges. As the comfort of home became increasingly important we sought to put our communities and customers first in new ways, serving them with the need for resiliency and safety in mind.

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News & Stories6 min
Structural Solutions for Fire-Resistant Roof Sheathing

In fire-prone geographies, such as wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas, fire protection for roofs may be a critical part of a comprehensive approach to slowing the spread of fire and fire damage in homes. A fire classification roof system is required in WUI areas to protect your build and clients’ peace of mind—and with the right products, the installation process can be simple. Let’s take a look at fire-resistant roof sheathing and how it can help you approach building better in fire-prone areas.

News & Stories5 min
Bugs vs. Siding: How to Spot and Prevent Damage

Bugs in wood siding, whether behind engineered wood siding or in traditional wood products, aren’t just troublesome for homeowners—building professionals must deal with them on the jobsite, during renovations, and as they plan their builds. When clients turn to you for guidance on removing insects, replacing siding or ensuring their new durable siding is protected against bugs, it’s important to know how to address these issues.

News & Stories7 min
Looking Back on 2020 With LP Building Solutions

2020 was—in a word—unpredictable. In many ways the COVID-19 pandemic defined the year within the building industry, but LP Building Solutions also launched new products, worked toward innovation and established partnerships, all reinforcing the company’s purpose of Building a Better World™. We caught up with several of our leaders to look back on the year, the changes it brought, and the wins we celebrated together