Rate of housing starts declines in May
The pace of residential construction slowed in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, but single-family starts picked up the pace.
The mixed message from the Commerce Department’s residential construction report, released Tuesday morning, also includes this nugget of good news: The previous month of April was revised up — way up — from 711,000 to 744,000. This revision makes April 2012 the strongest month for total housing starts since October 2008.
Also, single-family housing starts in May increased to 516,000, up from 500,000 in April.
The rate of both the total housing starts and single-family starts increased on a year-over-year basis, up 28.5% and 26.1%.
However, the 708,000-pace offers the industry little to celebrate, as 700,000 is at the low end of most full-year forecasts for 2012.
Building permits in May were at a pace of 780,000 — up 7.9% from April, and up 25.0% from May 2011.
Spray foam earns green credentials
Gaco Western, a maker of spray foam insulation, announced GacoGreen 052/052N earned credentials as code-compliant in a multiple categories.
An evaluation report (ESR# 2478) from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), provided evidence that the half pound open cell spray-applied polyurethane foam meets the following code requirements:
• Installation without a prescriptive thermal barrier when exposed surfaces are coated with DC 315 Fireproof Paint at a rate of 13 dry mils (20 wet mils) in accordance with the coating manufacturer’s instructions and ESR# 2478.
• Installation without a prescriptive ignition barrier within attics or crawl spaces where entry is made only for service or maintenance when coated with DC 315 Intumescent Coating at a rate of 3 dry mils (4 wet mils) in accordance with the coating manufacturer’s instructions and ESR# 2478.
GacoGreen 052/052N Half Pound Open Cell Foam is a Class 1 fire rated foam and meets the requirements of ICC-ES AC377 Acceptance Criteria for Foam Plastic Insulation. This water-blown, spray-applied system cures to a semi-rigid very low-density foam that forms a completely sealed air barrier that guards against air infiltration for the life of the building. With one of the highest Aged R-Values available in the industry, GacoGreen 052/052N helps reduce energy consumption and provides a quieter environment, the company said.
WaterSense points to accumulated savings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said its WaterSense program is achieving Olympic-sized water savings for consumers as it 2,600 partners and some 5,400 products.
WaterSense-labeled products have helped Americans save $4.7 billion in water and energy bills and 287 billion gallons of water since the program’s inception in 2006. That amount of water could supply Atlanta, Georgia, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games host city, for more than eight years, according to the agency.
WaterSense-labeled new homes and products are independently certified to use at least 20% less water and be high performing. The total number of WaterSense-labeled products has continued to grow; to date, nearly 5,400 models of water-efficient toilets, faucets, showerheads, flushing urinals and weather-based irrigation controllers have earned the WaterSense label.