Volume 40,   Issue 6                                June  2005


Canadian Construction Markets Show Growth in the First Quarter
Both the commercial and residential markets in Canada saw growth in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to figures from CanaData/Reed Construction Data in Markham, Ontario. The institutional segment experienced a downturn, however.

Canada’s commercial market square footage grew 14 percent in the January to March 2005 period to 7.143 million square feet, compared to the same period in 2004. The value of the construction soared 30 percent to $877.6 million versus $673.9 million in the first quarter of last year.

Office building square footage was the star of the segment’s growth with a 31-percent increase, to 1.459 million square feet, and an increase in value of 88 percent, to $309.1 million. Stores dropped 5 percent during the quarter, to 1.927 million square feet versus 2.018 million square feet in the January to March 2004 period. The value of store construction was down 20 percent to $180.5 million.

The institutional segment saw negative figures all around for the three-month period. Overall the category was down 30 percent to $648.5 million in square footage to 2.302 million square feet, a 21-percent drop.

The residential market increased 19 percent both in terms of square footage and value to 28.094 million square feet and $2.435.4 billion, respectively.

ASTM Issues Call for Papers on Exterior Wall Symposium
ASTM International has announced a call for papers for its symposium on Repair, Retrofit and Inspection of Building Exterior Wall Systems. ASTM committee E06 on Performance of Buildings and its subcommittee E06.55 on Exterior Building Wall Systems are sponsoring the symposium, which will take place October 21-22, 2006, in Atlanta during the E06 standards development meetings.

Those interested in participating must submit the online abstract submittal form at www.astm.org/MEETINGS/COMMIT/E06cfp.html, as well as a 250-300 word preliminary abstract by October 21, 2005.

To learn more, contact symposium co-chairs Paul G. Johnson, paul.johnson@smithgroup.com, 313/442-8183 or Jon Boyd, mjboyd@kleinandhoffman.com, 312/251-1905.

Turner Construction Honors Harmon Inc.
Turner Construction Co. presented its Outstanding Subcontractor of the Year award to Harmon Inc.’s Lithia Springs, Ga., team.

“It means a lot to us to be presented with this award by a valued customer, especially one as vital to our business as Turner,” said Robby Sauls, Harmon’s general manager. “It’s an exciting accomplishment to be one of the six recognized among so many subcontractors in the area.”

New Aluminum Design Manual Available
The Aluminum Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has published the Aluminum Design Manual, 2005. The association says the new guide is ideal for those involved in structural design, and includes the Specification for Aluminum Structures.

Topics covered in the manual include various specifications, a design guide, information about materials and material properties, section properties, design aids, illustrated examples and guidelines for aluminum sheet metal work in building construction.
The design manual, as well as other technical publications, is available by contacting the Aluminum Association.

MTH Industries Purchase E.J. Hayes
MTH Industries of Chicago has purchased the assets of E.J. Hayes Glass and Mirror of Skokie, Ill. 

“It just made sense at this point in our development as we continue to expand in both contract glazing and service work,” said MTH president Lyle R. Hill. “Hayes has loyal customers, a great reputation and a wonderful staff so it was a good fit with our current business units.”

“After 53 years in business, it was time for me to slow down,” said Elmer J. Hayes, who founded the company in 1952. “I’ve always admired the way MTH Industries conducts business and I thought it was a good opportunity for our employees to work for a first-class operation,” he added. 

The terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but it is known that Hayes will continue to serve the company in a sales capacity.

ASA Asks Appeals Court to Reject Bait-and-Switch of CGL Policies
The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) and ASA of Texas Inc. (ASAT) have asked a Texas Court of Appeals to rule on whether or not construction subcontractors must rely on insurance products additional to commercial general liability (CGL) policies. 

The appeal is part of Lamar Homes Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company and the current issue is whether a standard CGL policy covers a homebuilder when work performed on the builder’s behalf by subcontractors allegedly caused property damage after the job was complete. The homebuilder’s CGL policy contains standard exclusion of coverage for damage caused by the homebuilder’s own work, but also contained a standard “subcontractor provision” that said the exclusion of coverage did not apply “if the damaged work or the work out of which the damage arises was performed on your behalf by a subcontractor,” reported an ASA news release. 

The insurer argued that the damage was outside the scope of the CGL policy because it was not an “occurrence” under the policy and a federal district court agreed, denying the homebuilder coverage under the CGL policy against the homeowner’s claim.

On January 12, 2005, ASA and ASAT filed a “friend of the court” brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit supporting the homebuilder and asking the appeals court to overturn the district court’s ruling. As part of the brief, ASA and ASAT state that if the decision is not overturned the homebuilder and others will be the victim of “bait-and-switch” marketing tactics, pointing out that many businesses believe they are protected by standard CGL language.

A copy of ASA’s brief is available on the organization’s website www.asaonline.com.

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