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Federal government issues new drywall findings

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued updatedremediation protocol” on March 18 to consumers and contractors dealing with problem drywall. 

A study conducted on behalf of CPSC by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico found no evidence of a safety hazard to home electrical systems, the announcement said. Based on this study, the CPSC and HUD are no longer recommending the removal of all electrical wiring in homes with problem drywall. This change in the government’s protocol may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes.

After simulating more than 40 years of corrosive conditions that could exist in problem drywall homes, Sandia staff did not observe any acute or long-term electrical safety events, such as smoking or fire. Corrosion and blackening of the exposed electrical components did occur and was observed to be consistent with the characteristic corrosion reported to CPSC by thousands of consumers. Based on this study, it is the belief of the staffs of CPSC, HUD and Sandia that long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gases does not indicate a safety hazard to a home’s electrical systems.

With these changes, the remediation guidance for homes with problem drywall calls for the replacement of all:

• problem drywall; 
• fire safety alarm devices, including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; and
• electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers.

The CPSC and HUD staffs are also issuing an updated identification guidance, which broadens the range of installation years of affected homes to include homes where drywall was installed as late as 2009. Importantly, the drywall installed in 2009 had been previously imported during the years 2006 to 2007 and does not represent any new importation of problem drywall. 

For additional findings from the Interagency Drywall Task Force’s investigation, visit DrywallResponse.gov.

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Window components manufacturers merge

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Houston-based Quanex Building Products Corp. has agreed to purchase Edgetech I.G., a maker of warm edge insulating glass spacer systems for window and door customers in North America and abroad. The all-cash transaction, valued at $107 million, is expected to close on April 1.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Ohio, Edgetech has three manufacturing plants in the United States, Germany and the U.K. Edgetech’s products separate and seal double and triple pane glass within a window and further act as a thermal barrier to conserve energy. It will be part of Quanex’s engineered products group.

Quanex Building Products is a publicly held manufacturer of engineered materials, components and systems, serving the U.S residential window and door markets.

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Standard Pacific names new president

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Standard Pacific Homes has appointed Scott Stowell as its new president, reporting to CEO Ken Campbell. Stowell has served as the company’s chief operating officer since 2007 and was instrumental in Standard Pacific Homes’ successful financial and operational transformation, according to the announcement.  

Prior to being appointed COO, Stowell held progressive roles within Standard Pacific, including president of the Orange County division and president of the Southern California region.

“[Stowell’s] expertise was vital in transforming Standard Pacific Homes from a company that some had counted out of the game to one of the frontrunners in the industry,” CEO Campbell said. “As we turn our sights toward building for the future and focus on land acquisition and a revitalized housing market, I look forward to continuing to work together to take our organization to the next level." 

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Standard Pacific has operations in major metropolitan areas in California, Florida, Arizona, the Carolinas, Texas, Colorado and Nevada. 

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