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Price-fixing lawsuit filed against drywall suppliers

BY Brae Canlen

In a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) document filed on Dec. 17, USG Corp. and its subsidiary, United States Gypsum Co., disclosed that they have been named, along with seven other wallboard manufacturers, as defendants in a purported class-action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Sierra Drywall Systems, a family-owned drywall installer based in Goodyear, Ariz., has accused the drywall suppliers of unlawfully conspiring to fix prices for gypsum wallboard sold in the United States through price increases for the years 2012 and 2013 and the elimination of job quotes.

USG denies that it participated in an alleged conspiracy or has engaged in any unlawful conduct related to its pricing decisions, according to the SEC filing. The company said it intends to “vigorously defend its actions in the court proceeding.”

The other defendants named in the lawsuit are: New NGC, LaFarge North America, CertainTeed Corp., Georgia-Pacific, American Gypsum Co., Tin Inc. and PABCO Building Products.

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Computer glitch results in free HD merchandise

BY Brae Canlen

Some shoppers at HomeDepot.com received an unexpected bargain on Dec. 13 when a software snafu resulted in free or deeply discounted purchases. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, an online promotion for $101 off a specific appliance was mistakenly applied to every order placed on the retailer’s website. If the shopping cart totaled $101 or less, e-customers didn’t have to pay for their order.

Home Depot isn’t saying how long the super discount lasted, but estimates put the time period at only a few minutes. The number of shoppers involved was not large, according to the company, which declined to provide specifics.

“It was a short, immaterial blip, but we hope it was a nice holiday surprise for a few customers,” company spokesman Stephen Holmes told the newspaper. Home Depot honored the accidental discount and sent customers an email to confirm it.

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CertainTeed promotes GreenCircle certification

BY Ken Clark

Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Corp. said it is the first building materials manufacturer to achieve the new GreenCircle Certified multi-attribute, third-party certification.

The new Certified Environmental Facts (CEF) label is now available on CedarBoards insulated vinyl siding packaging. Much like a nutrition label, it details environmental information and provides sustainable product attributes and key manufacturing impact reductions. The idea behind the program is to allow products with the CEF certification to be easily evaluated to identify the most sustainable option for remodeling and new construction projects. 

“The value of this new certification is that it provides an upfront, concise explanation of the total sustainability of a product and a higher level of transparency,” said Brian Kirn, product manager for CertainTeed Siding Products Group. “It also provides us with targets for advancement, identifying specific impact categories to allow us to develop better products and more efficient processes.”

Molded from real cedar boards and backed with polystyrene insulation, CedarBoards can increase overall thermal performance — which helps to reduce heating and cooling costs. It is also the first vinyl siding to be evaluated with an independent, third-party verified life cycle assessment (LCA), CertainTeed said. 

Founded in 2010, GreenCircle has established the ‘Gold Standard’ for green product certifications. As a leading third-party verifier of environmental claims, GreenCircle validates each aspect of the new multi-attribute certification label for total transparency.  

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