Study: Demand for countertops is growing
A report from Freedonia Group estimates demand for countertops in the United States will reach 760 million sq. ft. in 2015 — valued at $24.6 billion.
After falling 2.4% from 2005 to 2010, countertop demand will increase 4.8% from 2010 to 2015, according to the Cleveland-based research firm.
"The countertop industry was hit hard over the last few years as it actually contracted in light of macroeconomic recessionary conditions and a drastic downturn in the housing market," according to the the report, called "Countertops." "A recovery in new housing construction will drive countertop demand, while in the larger remodeling market lower unemployment and greater credit availability will provide incentive for consumers to reinvest in their homes, including countertop installation as part of a kitchen or bathroom remodel."
Residential market will continue to dominate countertop demand, and laminate countertops will continue to lead the market, the Cleveland-based research company predicts.
I am glad to hear that the
I am glad to hear that the market is reviving, I now dare to think even further and allow myself to become more optimistic about my new remodeling project. I hope I'll be able to find a wide variety for countertop colors, I am not willing to compromise.
A green guide for public housing
Siemens Industry, in collaboration with the Green Seal organization, has published a guide for public housing owners and operators to help them reduce the use of energy, water and toxic chemicals. Called "Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual: A Guide for Public Housing Authorities," the publication is now available free online by clicking here.
A selection of public housing authorities funded the manual through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Green Seal and Siemens collaborated to develop the manual and customize it for regions of the United States with geographically specific guidelines and information.
The manual covers a broad range of facility maintenance and management best practices, including HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, landscaping and recycling. Unit maintenance is addressed, as well as a section providing suggestions and tools on ways building owners and operators can engage residents and encourage them to participate in improving the sustainability of the communities in which they live.
"For the first time, public housing authorities and building owners have access to a peer-developed source that provides practical, actionable guidance in an easy-to-use format that transcends the ‘how’ and reveals ‘why’ these recommended actions are important for the longevity of the housing developments they manage,” said Mike Kearney, senior director for the building technologies division of Siemens Industry.
"The Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual is unique in that no other green operations resource focuses on multi-unit housing or provides such comprehensive, detailed guidance for free,” said Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal. “The guidance is more than academic; these are practices facilities managers can start implementing today to take a significant step toward a sustainable society.”
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Miracle-Gro and Rachael Ray plant garden in South Philly
Miracle-Gro and celebrity chef Rachael Ray installed the Camden Children’s Garden in South Philadelphia, introducing the neighborhood to fresh produce from the garden to the dinner table.
In five days, 16 raised beds, a vertical flowerbed, 2,869-gal. rainwater cisterns and an iron fence were built from the Miracle-Gro donation of gardening soils and construction supplies. The garden’s afterlife will be managed by the Camden City Garden Club, which operates the Camden Children’s Garden and many urban gardens on vacant lots in Camden. Residents in the South Philadelphia neighborhood can volunteer to maintain the garden and grow produce in the raised beds.
"We are so excited to partner on this South Philadelphia garden and help educate this neighborhood on the fun and ease of gardening," said Carlos Hernandez of Miracle-Gro,
The Camden Children’s Garden was featured on the "Rachael Ray" show Monday Sept. 26.
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