Obit: Robert Gaites, co-founder of Strober
Robert Gaites, one of the founders of the Strober Organization, died on Oct. 21, according to an article in the Staten Island Advance. He was 70 years old.
In 1975, shortly after graduating from college, Gaites became one of the founding principals of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Strober Brothers. The company grew quickly and went public under the name Strober Organization in 1991.
In 1997, the company was purchased by ProBuild, becoming part of the nation’s largest LBM chain. Gaites retired from ProBuild in January 2008.
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Glimmer of hope for home prices
The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a leading indicator of U.S. housing prices, showed a 0.2% increase for its 10- and 20-city composites in August versus July 2011. In addition, 16 of the 20 MSAs and both composites posted improved annual returns compared with July’s data; Los Angeles and Miami saw no change in annual returns in August, and Atlanta and Las Vegas saw their annual rates of change fall deeper into negative territory.
In year-over-year figures, the 10- and 20-city composites posted annual returns of -3.5% and -3.8% versus August 2010, respectively. At -8.5%, Minneapolis posted the lowest year-over-year return, but has improved in each of the last three months. Detroit and Washington, D.C., were the only two cities to post positive annual returns of 2.7% and 0.3%, respectively.
“In the August data, the good news is continued improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee. “In spring and summer’s seasonally strong period for housing demand, we cautioned that monthly increases in prices had to be paired with improvement in annual rates before anyone could declare that the market might be stabilizing. With 16 of 20 cities and both composites seeing their annual rates of change improve in August, we see a modest glimmer of hope with these data. As of August 2011, the crisis low for the 10-city composite was back in April 2009; whereas it was a more recent March 2011 for the 20-city composite. Both are about 3.9% above their relative lows.
“The Midwest is one region that really stands out in terms of recent relative strength. Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis have all posted very sharp monthly increases going back to May. These markets were some of the weakest during the crisis, particularly Detroit. But as of August 2011, Detroit is the healthiest when viewed on an annual basis. It is up 2.7% versus August 2010. Prices there are still back to their 1995 levels, but the recent pickup in the U.S. auto industry may finally be helping.”
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KB Home, Build San Antonio Green introduce ZeroHouse 2.0
KB Home and Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) have announced the start of their partnership by recognizing KB Home’s first BSAG-Certified home, located in San Antonio, at an event at KB Home’s La Fontana community. The first certified home, named ZeroHouse 2.0, is KB Home’s first net-zero energy home and goes beyond the BSAG program’s guidelines.
"KB Home is proud to be partnering with Build San Antonio Green to help area residents save money and energy by constructing homes that meet this organization’s stringent guidelines," said Ken Langston, president of KB Home’s Central Texas division. "Our new ZeroHouse 2.0 and all of our new Built to Order homes in San Antonio include high-performance products, and incorporate efficient construction techniques and technologies in order to deliver an attractive new home with proven value to our customers."
Beginning Dec. 1, all new homes built in KB Home’s communities in San Antonio will be BSAG Certified, in addition to being Energy Star-qualified. Homes built to BSAG’s Certification are at least 15% more energy efficient than standard municipal code requirements. BSAG’s certification requirements include energy and water efficiency and indoor air quality standards.
With the introduction of ZeroHouse 2.0 to San Antonio, home buyers may be able to eliminate their monthly electricity charges entirely if they incorporate the ZeroHouse 2.0 energy efficiency options into their home at the KB Home Studio. The higher efficiency of the ZeroHouse 2.0 is the result of a whole-home approach, which includes increased insulation, upgraded HVAC systems and dual-pane, low-e windows and solar panels on the roof.
"Build San Antonio Green applauds KB Home for their commitment to sustainable construction practices and is pleased to welcome them to our team," said Anita Devora, executive director for BSAG. "Their commitment to our program shows home buyers and the marketplace that going ‘green’ makes good sense for not only the environment, but also for their business and for their customers."
I think it is important to
I think it is important to have an energy efficient house, to help with reducing the burden on the environment. For myself, I try to reduce the amount of air-conditioning I use by allowing breezes and drafts to blow through my house, cooling it down. I installed Stoett screen doors in order to achieve this. I am now planning to install solar panels so I can generate my own electricity. Stoett