The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) issued for comment Aug. 13 a proposal that essentially would end the Forest Stewardship Council's monopoly as the only certification system whose wood qualifies for points under the LEED green construction system.

The action starts a process that could end one of the biggest complaints dealers have about LEED: that it doesn't give points for wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Canadian Standards Association, or similar groups that tend to be more supported by the timber industry. However, the change is unlikely to bring about the end of some other issues related to green construction, such as chain-of-custody certification.

USGBC will take comments on the proposal until Sept. 8. Its Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group then will review the comments and decide whether to put the changes up for a vote by the entire membership.

–Craig Webb

ProSales Survey: Health Care Premiums, Deductibles May Rise

Results from a recent ProSales online survey indicate most dealers expect higher health care costs in 2009, and some may stop paying all of a worker's premium.

The online poll, conducted in July, found most respondents who manage or influence health care decisions at their companies are looking at raising the deductible, while a significant share are considering higher premiums and adding a health savings account option. Nearly a fifth said they're mulling over whether to require that employees begin paying a share of the premium. The survey found that, unlike most businesses their size, virtually all LBM operations have health care, and 30% don't make employees pay for their coverage.

Michael O'Brien Becomes NLBMDA's New President

Michael O'Brien has taken over as president of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. The group announced in July that it had chosen O'Brien to succeed Diane Swenson, who resigned in April.

O'Brien had been CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute for the past 10 years. Before that, he spent 10 years as assistant vice president of state and local affiliate services at the National Association of Home Builders.

In Brief

Two years after Steve Caldwell sold his Colorado home-building operation to Foxworth-Galbraith, he gave 18 of his former long-time employees with checks from the sale that in some cases topped $100,000, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. ?Ply Gem Holdings announced net sales fell 12.6% in the second quarter from the year-earlier period to reach $341.3 million. Net sales since Jan. 1 are down 11.6% from the first half of 2007. ?Huttig Building Products reported in July a net loss of $2.5 million compared with a $1.1 million net profit in the year-earlier period.


Bradco Supply Corp. will exit its Wickes business by the end of September and sell nine yards it acquired in 2004. ?Brule County Lumber opened its doors in Chamberlain, S.D. ?Ed Herrington Inc. of Hillsdale, N.Y., announced in July it has acquired Dunn Builders Supply, a three-store operation in New York State. Terms weren't disclosed. ?Building Materials Holding Corp. will close its SelectBuild Florida subsidiary over the next four months, affecting about 140 employees. ?Builders FirstSource may mothball facilities in the Midwest and Florida but has no plans, at present, to exit any markets. ?Riley Lumber Co. of Bloomfield, Conn., has marked 75 years in business. ?Stock Building Supply will close a plant in Lebanon, Pa., that manufactured trusses, wall panels, and floors. ?Emery-Waterhouse's Emery Building Materials division began operations in June at its new distribution center in Pittston, Pa. ?Armstrong & Dobbs of Athens, Ga., will close its doors Sept. 30. ?Hutting Building Products is closing its Springfield, Mo., facility and will lay off about 30 people. ...Owens Corning will use a solar panel system to power its foam insulation plant in Greshem, Ore.


Gaithersburg, Md.-based T.W. Perry hired Michael Cassidy as COO, eventually to succeed Rich Corteseas president next summer. ?Weyerhaeuser Co. announced that Lee Alford, senior vice president for residential wood products, and Craig Neeser, senior vice president for industrial wood products and international, will retire Oct. 1. Thomas Gideon will take on Alford's duties while James Branson will do the same with Neeser's job. ...Southern Vinyl Manufacturing has engaged Al Atwood of MVP Sales as an outside sales rep.

Spread the word!

Send your company's news, announcements, and events to Evamarie Socha, via e-mail esocha@hanley or fax 202.785.1974.


The drop in construction in June of single-family homes, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 647,000 units, the weakest performance since January 1991.

Source: Commerce Department