International Builders’ Show kicks off in Orlando
Education is at the forefront of this year’s National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show, which begins Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.
The event features more than 190 educational breakout sessions offering a wave of information on green building, sustainability, sales and marketing, architectural design, community planning, business management, and innovation and technology.
“The show itself is really designed to help builders weather the downturn in the housing market and prepare for a market rebound,” said Michael Cobb, SVP education for the NAHB. “I’d also say that frankly we want to enhance the level of professionalism within the industry.”
Cobb said of the approximately 65,000 IBS attendees, about 20,000 attend the educational sessions. And while green building sessions tend to draw the biggest numbers, sales and marketing sessions are second in popularity.
Cobb said that its common knowledge that the square footage of the homes is dropping and that consumers want more for their money, and builders want to know how to best market those ideals to potential buyers.
“They’re looking for an understanding of what the preferences are of the various consumer demographic levels would be,” he said.
According to Cobb, IBS attendees on average have 10 years in the industry, and much of the educational series are geared toward helping them improve certain aspects or shore up particular weaknesses in their company. However, IBS also features about 28 programs designated as core content (what the IBS considers fundamental knowledge and skill sets in the building industry) aimed toward new builders as well.
One of the biggest draws to the education series is the green building sessions. Kevin Morrow, the NAHB’s senior program manager for green building, said one of the biggest focuses this year will be the sessions devoted to the new National Green Building Standard.
“I think that’s something that every builder in this country should be aware of,” he said. “Just because it’s the first and it’s the only ANSI (American National Standard Institute) residential green building standard.”
The International Builders’ Show runs Jan. 12 through 15.
Lennar swings to a year-end profit
Miami-based home builder Lennar reported a fourth-quarter net income of $32 million, down 9.8% from $35.5 million for the same period last year.
Revenues for the quarter ended Nov. 30 were $761.3 million, down 11.1% from $856.4 million for the same period in 2009.
During the quarter the company reported home deliveries of 3,089, down 12% from the same period last year. New orders for the quarter were at 2,520 homes, down 5% from last year. The company reported a cancellation rate of 20% and a backlog of 1,604 homes, down 2% from the fourth quarter of 2009.
For the full 2010 fiscal year, the company reported net income of $95.2 million, compared with a net loss of $417.1 million for fiscal year 2009.
Revenues for the year were $2.7 billion, down 3.5% from $2.8 billion reported last year.
During the year the company delivered 10,955 homes and received 10,928 new orders, both down 5% from 2009. The company’s cancellation rate for the year was 17%.
“We are very pleased to report net earnings of $32 million for our fourth quarter, which despite the challenging housing market, makes it our third consecutive profitable quarter,” said Stuart Miller, president and CEO. “Our intense focus on construction costs, product re-engineering, and SG&A reduction all contributed to improved gross and operating margins year over year and a full year of profitability in fiscal 2010.”
Armstrong names new EVP building products
Lancaster, Pa.-based Armstrong World Industries has named Victor "Vic" Grizzle EVP, Armstrong Building Products, starting Jan. 17, 2011.
Grizzle, 49, has 23 years of experience in process improvement, sales, marketing and global business leadership. He comes to Armstrong from Valmont Industries, a $2 billion global leader of infrastructure support structures for utility, telecom and lighting markets, and manufacturer of mechanized irrigation equipment for large scale farming, where he was group president, Global Structures, Coatings and Tubing since 2005.
Prior to Valmont, Grizzle was president of the commercial power division of EaglePicher Corp., a $700 million diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced technology and industrial products for space, defense, automotive, filtration, pharmaceutical, environmental and commercial applications. Before that, he spent 16 years at General Electric, progressing through a number of sales, marketing and technical leadership roles to general manager of Greater China Operations, GE Plastics, in 2001, and then to Americas Business Leader, Core Products GE Silicones, from 2003 to 2004.
"Vic has been consistently successful at driving growth, enhancing margins and controlling cost, a professional performance that gives me enormous confidence in his ability to take our Building Products business to the next level. His understanding of a diverse customer base, coupled with his global mind-set and strong leadership presence will help get us where we need to be internally and in the marketplace. I am very pleased he is joining the company during this challenging but exciting time," said Matthew Espe, Armstrong’s CEO.