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Remodeling activity hits new high in August

BY Brae Canlen

The number of residential remodeling projects hit a new benchmark in August, registering 3,204,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, the highest since April 2008, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. On a monthly basis, residential remodels rose 3% in August 2012 compared with the previous month. Year over year, August 2012 showed a 5% growth rate, measured on a seasonal basis, compared with August 2011.

Annual rates of remodeling authorized by building permits across the country in July 2012 were estimated as follows: Northeast, 895,000 (down 4% from July and up 20% from August 2011); South, 1,302,000 (down 3% from July and up 21% from August 2011); Midwest, 588,000 (up 5% from June and down 7% from August 2011); and West, 832,000 (up 3% from July and down 4% from August 2011).

Co-headquartered in Austin, Texas, and Asheville, N.C., BuildFax, a division of BUILDERadius, maintains a national database of historical building permit data. It also operates a proprietary property intelligence engine that contains building and permitting information from more than 4,000 cities and counties throughout the country.

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Boise Cascade releases preliminary results

BY Brae Canlen

In an Oct. 15 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Boise Cascade Holdings posted an estimate of the results for its third fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30, 2012.

Segment sales in the building materials distribution division were between $595 million and $615 million, with wood products accounting for another $255 million to $265 million. Net income was reported at $21.5 million to $25.1 million.

The Boise, Idaho-based company also announced the commencement of a senior unsecured note offering of up to $250 million. The company said it intends to use the proceeds to fund the redemption of all of its outstanding senior subordinated notes. The remaining proceeds from the senior notes, which are due 2020, will be available for general corporate purposes. 

Boise Cascade is a privately held company that distributes and/or manufactures a number of building materials, including engineered wood products, plywood, lumber and roofing materials. 

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USG Corp. partners with GE Lighting

BY Brae Canlen

Two of the building industry’s largest manufacturers are collaborating on a new ceiling system designed for use in commercial applications. USG Corp. will offer its Logix Integrated Ceiling System with GE Lumination’s LED Linear Recessed Luminaires. The system is ideal for office, retail, healthcare and hospitality environments, the two companies said.

“The collaboration between USG and GE addresses the need of the architectural and design community for more monolithic, high-performance ceiling design options,” said Chris Griffin, USG executive VP operations. “We’re proud to offer a ceiling system that can be designed with greater flexibility in the configurations, performance specifications, and aesthetic and size options of panels and grid, while also incorporating lighting and mechanical systems for a more customized and monolithic ceiling.”

GE’s Lumination LED Linear fixtures will offer significantly better lighting performance over fluorescents, requiring less energy and lasting for years without the need for replacement, according to the announcement. 

“The breakthrough of our integrated ceiling and lighting system offers uninterrupted channels of lighting and acoustical panels for a desired design aesthetic without compromising performance,” said Jaime Irick, general manager, GE Lighting North America Professional Solutions.

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