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Home builder plans 1,487 solar-powered homes

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Woodside Homes, a Utah-based home builder, has come to a deal with the Sacramento (Calif.) Municipal Utility District to build 1,487 new solar-powered homes in that city, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee.

The homes are planned for the suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Rancho Murieta, to be completed by 2012, according to the report.

The deal is part of a program by the municipal utility district that has seen 10 similar arrangements with home builders. As part of the deal, builders must build energy-efficient homes, and the utility district will help the builder pay for solar power systems. According to the newspaper, the city most recently reached a similar deal with national home builder Lennar for 1,254 new homes.

Builders can receive federal tax credits for adding solar power systems to houses, while homeowners can receive similar tax credits — both credits are worth about $2,000, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

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Home Depot settles lawsuit with shareholders

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to Home Depot’s annual report filed late last week, the company has settled a lawsuit filed by shareholders over compensation issues stemming from the resignation of former CEO Robert Nardelli in January 2007.

Home Depot will settle the suits for $14.5 million in attorneys fees and reimbursements of expenses, according to the document. The retailer also agreed to “maintain or adopt certain corporate governance practices,” ostensibly to avoid such issues in the future. The settlement agreement was reached March 28.

In January 2007, the company announced it would give Nardelli a $210 million severance package, angering some shareholders. Shareholders involved in the suit alleged, “breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment in connection with the company’s return-to-vendor, stock option, and compensation practices.”

The agreement is pending the approval of the Superior Court of Fulton County, Ga.

In related news, Home Depot also discussed an ongoing lawsuit by current and former hourly employees who say they were forced to work off the clock, did not receive work breaks or “otherwise … were not paid for work performed.” The class action spans from the middle of 2001 to the middle of 2007. The company said it “is vigorously defending itself against these actions.”

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Allied Building Products gains FSC certification

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Allied Building Products has been granted Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for 27 of its locations through the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program, according to a company announcement. The East Rutherford, N.J.-based building materials distributor, which operates more than 180 branches nationwide, will sell FSC-certified products in the following markets: Anchorage, Ala.; Phoenix Ariz.; Anaheim, Berkeley and Norco, Calif.; Denver; New Haven, Conn.; Vero Beach, Fla.; Honolulu; Arlington Heights, Ill.; Fraser, Grand Rapids and Ypsilanti, Mich.; Annapolis, Md.; Brooklyn Center, Minn.; Bismarck and Fargo, N.D.; East Rutherford and Elizabeth, N.J.; Astoria and Hicksville, N.Y.; Toledo, Ohio; Levittown, Pa.; Cranston, R.I.; Provo, Utah; Richmond, Va.; and Edmunds, Wash.

Among the FSC-certified products offered will be lumber, panels (plywood and OSB), moldings, and doors and windows in select markets.

Asubsidiary of Oldcastle, the North American arm of CRH, Allied Building Products operates in 29 states, selling to the residential and commercial markets. It specializes in roofing, siding, waterproofing, windows and interior/exterior building materials.

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