Simpson to enter component industry
Simpson Strong-Tie will begin supplying software systems and truss plates to the U.S. component industry, the company has announced. Mike Bugbee, a 30-year veteran of the company, will lead the new division.
Simpson Strong-Tie has already developed many products that have helped expand the innovative use of trusses in light-frame design, so offering software and truss plates is a natural progression for the company, it said.
Bugbee, who has been very active in the truss industry and its organizations since 1982, has played an active role in creating truss-related products for the company. "As software becomes increasingly integrated, it makes sense for us to help lead the development of high-integrity design tools,” Bugbee said. “Working with the existing companies in this arena has become increasingly more difficult over the past several months, leading us to the realization that we need to jump into the market with total commitment."
Terry Kingsfather, president of Simpson Strong-Tie added: “Our customers have been asking for these products for a long time. We know the complete Simpson Strong-Tie solution will take some months to pull together, but we are deeply committed to providing innovative products to this industry, along with our engineering, testing, training and field support."
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At Lowe’s, a message of endless improvement
The world’s second largest home improvement retailer has a brand new tagline: "Never Stop Improving."
The three-word phrase replaces the company’s long-running "Let’s Build Something Together," and it will be featured in a new advertising campaign that launched Sept. 19.
“‘Never Stop Improving’ is not just a tagline — it reflects our customer’s mind-set about their homes and their lives,” said Tom Lamb, senior VP marketing and advertising for Lowe’s. “Never Stop Improving is our promise to them that we will constantly be innovating and improving at Lowe’s so we can satisfy their ever-changing needs. Our new campaign is our brand promise and our rallying cry for employees as we bring a continual stream of innovations to market over the next several years, like MyLowes.”
In addition, Lowe’s will soon be launching MyLowes, an online tool to help customers manage their homes and home improvement projects through every stage.
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Old buildings, green retrofits, no tax dollars
An ambitious plan to retrofit and upgrade buildings with no tax dollars and no up-front costs to owners is gaining momentum, according to an article in the New York Times.
British entrepreneur and Virgin Records founder Richard Branson played a key role in putting together the business group that plans to retrofit buildings — commercial buildings at first — and charge owners over time. The idea is that the charges, which will be tacked on to property-tax bills, will be less than the energy savings, according to the article.
The Ygrene Energy Fund of Santa Rosa, Calif., is at the helm of the business consortium. Others involved in the consortium are Lockheed Martin and Barclays. The initial activity of the project will take place in buildings in Miami and Sacramento.
The new approach to financing the retrofits is called PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy.
The newspaper quoted James D. Marston of the Environmental Defense Fund. "It’s a big deal," he said. "We’re talking about tens of billions of dollars in investments, and energy savings that are 10 times that amount. If you do this correctly, you would be able to shut down a third of the coal plants in the country.”
PACE financing has been applied to residential housing, but the practice slowed considerably when it was deemed to add risk to mortgages, according to the article.
Considering the fact that in
Considering the fact that in the long term, the energy savings are considerable and the potential benefit to the environment is quite significant, I look forward to this plan being put into place. I believe that Richard Branson is once again onto something, and perhaps he is the one that can fill the cavity that is present in the green efforts in Europe. Alex - cavalok
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