July housing starts drop 1.1%
Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 in July, down 1.1% from the revised June estimate of 754,000, according to the Residential Construction report from the Commerce Department. This is 21.5% above the July 2011 rate of 614,000.
Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 502,000, which is 6.5% below the revised June figure of 537,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 229,000.
Housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 668,000; this is 7.1% above the revised June estimate of 624,000 and is 5.4% above the July 2011 rate of 634,000.
Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 448,000, which is 5.9% below the revised June rate of 476,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 209,000.
Whirlpool, Honeywell introduce energy-efficient insulation in refrigerators
Whirlpool and Honeywell have announced that all Whirlpool U.S.-made refrigerators will begin incorporating Honeywell’s Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent. This includes future product lineups from Whirlpool Brand, Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air and KitchenAid brands.
Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA) has the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) available among non-ozone depleting substitutes, outperforms commonly used hydrocarbons such as C-Pentane, and provides better low-temperature insulation performance and higher energy savings, according to the announcement.
Honeywell Solstice LBA offers an 8% to 10% improvement in efficiency over refrigerator platforms tested with hydrocarbon blown foam insulation, and a 2% improvement over 245fa, which is the most widely used foam blowing agent in the United States.
"Whirlpool Corp. is an environmental leader, developing high-quality products that offer both efficiency and low environmental impact," said Ludovic Beaufils, general manager refrigeration and sustainability lead for Whirlpool North America. "Through this collaboration with Honeywell, we are once again leading the way with the most advanced materials that offer the greatest benefits to consumers."
Honeywell Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent has a 100-year global warming potential between 4.7 and 7, a 99% improvement over 245fa. In addition, it offers cost benefits and is non-flammable.
Whirlpool will begin production in late 2013.
Lowe’s to offer window treatments shipped within 72 hours
Lowe’s has launched Quickshipblindsandshades.com to offer consumers the ability to receive window treatments within 72 hours. Redi Shade, a manufacturer of window coverings, is participating with a new line called Simple Fit.
Simple Fit custom cellular shades are easy to install without the need for tools, screws or brackets. Featuring a patented compression mount system, installation is complete with the touch of a button. The cellular shades offer cordless adjustment.