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Builder Trends

IBS 2011: Power up This January

With winter upon us, the 2011 International Builders’ Show (IBS) is just around the corner. From January 12 to 15 in Orlando, Fla., industry professionals can attend the largest annual light construction show in the country, hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The show offers over 175 education sessions and will feature the latest and most advanced building products and services in more than 300 industry categories. It’s not too late for early registration. Signing up by December 10 will allow NAHB members and non-members alike to benefit from reduced fees. Visit IBS at www.buildershow.com for more information or online registration.

Department of Energy Program to Simplify Performance Evaluations

The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a pilot program on November 9 designed to make it easier to gauge a home’s energy efficiency. Home Energy Score compares a home against others in the region and provides custom recommendations on how to reduce energy costs. It evaluates 40 points to generate a score ranging from one to ten, with ten representing excellent energy efficiency. The evaluation takes about one hour to complete and is conducted by a trained inspector, who looks at a range of factors including HVAC systems and insulation levels. DOE plans to launch the program in 2011.

EPA Storm Water Rules to Be Redefined

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn a key portion of its new storm water management regulations for builders and developers and will provide new regulations based on better research. Published in December 2009, the Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) imposed a limit of 280 turbidity units on storm water runoff for construction sites disturbing 10 or more acres of land at one time. In a lawsuit filed by the NAHB and petitions filed by both the NAHB and the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, the organizations claimed the numeric amount set for sediment that can cloud storm water was arbitrary and based on flawed analysis. The EPA admitted that it had improperly interpreted the data and had made several flaws. The EPA is currently soliciting public input for a revised rule of turbidity limits. Other aspects of the ELG remain in effect.

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