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Whirlpool account managers receive green designations

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corporation announced that Cyndi Smith and John Talman, account managers for the Southern States Contract Sales Division, have earned Certified Green Professional (CGP) designations from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Smith, a nine-year member of the Whirlpool Corporation team, serves as the liaison between the Earthcraft green building certification programs and Whirlpool Corporation. Talman is An eight-year Whirlpool Corporation employee and member of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Savannah.

“A large number of the builders I routinely work with have shifted their efforts to green building,” said Talman.

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AHMA Index sends mixed signals in November

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in November to 208.3 from 216.7 in October (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index increased to 256.9 from 208.6 in October.

“With 80% of our members predicting higher sales looking ahead one year, and 50 percent reporting current sales higher than year-ago levels, there is reason for guarded optimism within our industry,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA.  “However, with unemployment at 9.8%, logic would dictate that any full recovery for the economy as a whole, and the home improvement industry in particular, remains a very tenuous prospect.”

 

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 55% of respondents said sales were higher in November versus year-ago levels, up from 52% in October, while 28% reported sales were even, and 22% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 69% of respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 52% in October, while 28% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 6% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 80% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 69% in October, while 20% project sales will be even one year from now, and those who project sales will be below current levels were zero.

The November Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members. Of the first, regarding the proposed two year moratorium on earmark spending in congress, 90% responded “Yes;” 8% responded “Not Sure;” and 2% responded “No.”

To the second question, regarding the push to pass the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START, which would reduce the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenal by approximately a third each, 40% responded “Approve;” 22% responded “Not Sure;” and 38% responded “Disapprove.”

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Urban laboratory in Texas taps American Standard

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Piscataway, N.J.-based American Standard Brands partnered with Realty Appreciation to supply the water saving plumbing products for the Urban Living Laboratory — the world’s largest LEED-certified research, demonstration and teaching laboratory.

The Urban Living Laboratory, located at the Texas AgriLife Urban Solutions Center, is part of a public-private partnership with the Texas A&M University System. Covering 73 acres in Dallas, with more than one million square feet of buildings, the community is designed to be be pedestrian-friendly, featuring walking trails and extensive green space. Environmentally-friendly buildings with technologically advanced features and products will enhance the quality-of-life for the residents and tenants.

 

The development will feature resource-efficient landscapes and energy-efficient buildings. For instance, storm water will be collected and reused for landscape irrigation, which will minimize the impact of the development on city drinking water and storm water systems, as will the WaterSense-certified toilets, faucets, showerheads and urinals.

 

The Urban Living Laboratory also includes a state-of-the-art technology platform for monitoring, controlling and analyzing ecological processes, energy systems, water usage, indoor air quality, transportation and human behavior.

The lab will enable scientists from Texas A&M University and other universities to research and teach the concepts of sustainable development. Researchers will study how social, biological and physical attributes of urban environments influence health and productivity. This project will also support research that facilitates the development of policies and programming among government agencies and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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