Heartland Acoustics & Interiors has expanded its footprint to a new market. The specialty subcontractor headquartered in Colorado officially announced the acquisition of Seattle-based Forrest Sound Products LLC. The merger adds to the strength of the company with more industry professionals for their valued clients in multiple markets.
“We are excited to join forces with Forrest Sound Products and continue the legacy FSP has built in the Seattle market,” said Jason Gordon, CEO of Heartland Acoustics & Interiors.
“FSP has built a strong presence over its twenty-year history in Seattle, working with recognized general contractors on many significant projects,” said Doug Bixel, president of FSP.
Heartland General Manager Joseph Roberson said, “This is a big step for both companies. By adding an office based in the upper northwest, Heartland will be able to serve our clients more efficiently on a national scale.”
No jobs will be lost as a result of the transaction. In fact, Heartland is implementing plans to increase hiring to better meet the expected market expansion. Gordon said, “We're excited at the growth potential for us in Seattle and the surrounding areas.”
The U.S. Green Building Council announced USGBC Live 2022, an annual event series designed to help prepare and inspire building industry practitioners and change-makers including USGBC members, LEED users and credential holders to accelerate the transition to green buildings, cities and communities.
The 2022 USGBC Live schedule includes two regional experiences leading up to the main event:
The main USGBC Live event will take place in a hybrid (virtual and in-person) format in Washington, D.C., June
“USGBC Live brings our community together to provide insight and input into the future of green building and LEED,” said Peter Templeton, president & CEO, USGBC. “The future is about scaling up—it’s about delivering the benefits of green building to everyone. It’s about ensuring all of our community members from building designers to policymakers and building occupants to real estate investors, are contributing to creating a better built environment.”
The green building industry is evolving quickly and seeking innovative solutions to address the parallel crises of Covid-19, climate change, social inequity, supply chain disruptions and more. USGBC Live attendees will learn how members of our community are tackling these challenges and leveraging LEED and green building strategies to meet industry, organizational and community goals for sustainability, resilience, health and equity.
“We know we must act with speed to translate and operationalize bold ideas into practical actions. We must share learning and define pathways that enable our entire community to overcome barriers and achieve greater progress. As we look ahead, we must continue to empower our community’s commitment to a more sustainable future with the expertise, innovation and inspiration required to build it,” added Templeton.
USGBC has opened a call for proposals and is seeking sessions related to a wide range of green building topics that showcase LEED projects and case studies. Topics include stories, outcomes and goals related to: Arc; affordable housing; building performance; community, city and neighborhood development; energy efficiency; decarbonization; policy & advocacy; health & well-being; net zero; materials; resilience; social equity; regenerative design and more. USGBC is accepting proposals until Feb. 7 for both in-person and virtual session delivery at the events taking place April through June.
Registration for USGBC Live will open in February. Visit usgbc-live.org to learn more.
Construction contractors expect increasing demand for numerous types of projects in 2022 despite ongoing supply chain and labor challenges, as most firms plan to add workers this year, according to survey results released by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage. The findings are detailed in Expecting Growth While Coping with the Lingering Impacts of the Pandemic: The 2022 Construction Hiring & Business Outlook.
“Contractors are, overall, very optimistic about the outlook for the construction industry in 2022,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. “While contractors face challenges this year, most of those will be centered on the need to keep pace with growing demand for construction projects.”
The percentage of respondents who expect a market segment to expand exceeds the percentage who expect it to contract—known as the net reading—in 15 of the 17 categories of projects included in the survey. Contractors are most optimistic about the market for highway and bridge construction, which has a net reading of positive 57 percent. They are similarly optimistic about transit, rail and airports projects, with a net reading of 51 percent, and water and sewer projects, with a net reading of 50 percent.
These segments all stand to see increased federal investments because of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure bill. Contractors are also upbeat about demand for federal construction projects, with a net reading of 37 percent, and power construction, with a net reading of 29 percent.
The highest expectations among predominantly private-sector categories, with a net reading of 41 percent each, are for warehouses and other healthcare facilities, which includes clinics, testing facilities and medical labs. The outlook for hospital construction is also strong, with a net reading of 38 percent.
Contractors were also optimistic about multifamily residential construction, with a net reading of 32 percent, and manufacturing construction, with a net reading of 27 percent. Expectations were more subdued, however, for public buildings, with a net reading of 20 percent; kindergarten through 12th grade school construction, with a net reading of 19 percent; higher education facilities, with a 16 percent net reading; and lodging, with a 6 percent net reading. Only two categories received negative net readings, both of -8 percent: retail and private office construction.
Optimism about growing demand for many types of construction projects is leading many firms to plan to hire workers this year. Seventy-four percent of respondents expect their firms will expand headcount in 2022, compared to just 9 percent that who expect a decrease. Forty-seven percent of firms expect to increase their headcount by 10 percent or less. However, 22 percent say their headcount will grow by 11 to 25 percent and 5 percent anticipate an increase of more than 25 percent.
Adding those workers will be a challenge, however. An overwhelming 83 percent report they are having a hard time filling some or all salaried or hourly craft positions, compared to only 8 percent who say they are having no difficulty. And three-fourths of respondents say it will continue to be hard to hire or will become harder to hire this year.
The pandemic continues to impact the construction industry, association officials noted. Eighty-four percent of respondents report costs have been higher than anticipated, while 72 percent say projects have taken longer than anticipated because of the pandemic. As a result, 69 percent have put higher prices into bids or contracts, while 44 percent have specified longer completion times.
Supply chain bottlenecks are also impacting construction. Only 10 percent of firms report they have not had any significant supply chain problems. Sixty-one percent have turned to alternative suppliers for materials and 48 percent have specified alternative materials or products.
Rising construction costs and slowing schedules have contributed to a significant number of project delays and cancellations. Forty-six percent of contractors report having a project delayed in 2021 but rescheduled, while 32 percent had a project postponed or canceled that has not been rescheduled.
“The last two years have become increasingly unpredictable, due in large part to the coronavirus and public officials’ varied reactions to it,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “But, assuming current trends hold, 2022 should be a relatively strong year for the construction industry.”
Officials with Sage noted that firms are being more strategic about information technology as they try to remain competitive in the current environment. Sixty-one percent of contractors indicate they currently have a formal IT plan that supports business objectives. An additional 7 percent plan to create a formal plan in 2022.
“Amid the challenges the industry faces, technology plays an essential role in keeping teams connected and projects moving,” said Dustin Stephens, vice president of Construction and Real Estate, Sage. “The past few years have highlighted just how crucial mobile and cloud-based solutions are, and we will continue to see these technologies play an integral role in helping construction firms bounce back.”
Stephens added that most firms plan to keep their technology investment about the same as last year. When asked whether they planned to increase or decrease investment or stay the same in 15 different types of technologies, the majority of respondents – ranging between 69 and 89 percent – said their investments would remain the same.
Association officials urged public officials to take steps to help the industry recover in 2022 and avoid measures that will undermine the sector. They noted that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates will prompt many vaccine-hesitant workers to leave the relatively few employers covered by the orders and move to smaller firms that are not covered by the rule and employ over 60 percent of the industry’s workforce.
L&W Supply Corp. announced that it has acquired the assets of Holmes Drywall Supply with locations in Kansas City, Mo., Lee's Summit, Mo., and Topeka, Kan.
By acquiring Holmes, L&W Supply will increase its team of experienced associates and strengthen its presence in eastern Kansas. With the acquisition, L&W Supply now has three locations in the Kansas City and Topeka markets.
Founded as a family business in 1967, Holmes Drywall Supply is one of the area's largest distributors of drywall, metal studs, insulation and acoustical ceiling products serving commercial and residential contractors. The Holmes associates will continue to work at the locations, ensuring customers receive seamless access to the products and expertise they need to run their businesses.
“This acquisition allows L&W Supply to enhance our service to commercial customers and build deeper relationships with contractors and residential builders in the Kansas City and Topeka areas,” said Curt Jenkins, vice president of L&W Supply’s Central Region. “We are excited to welcome the Holmes associates to the L&W Supply family. Their commitment to customers over the past 54 years has made them a leader in the market.”
Given the high demand for fire- and sound-rated drywall accessories, as well as fully cured joint firestop devices, CEMCO will focus its attention and production resources on Fire Gasket, Sound Gasket, Fire Bead, 093X, SuperSeal-X, HOTROD TYPE X, HOTROD XL, Smoke and Sound Stop, and FireRip. In order to maintain the high level of service and delivery of quality products to all our customers, CEMCO will discontinue the following products:
Since 1942, MAX has been recognized, worldwide, as a manufacturer of high-end industrial tools and office products. MAX product engineers concentrate on developing products with highly innovative and durable features to support the ever-evolving needs of the professionals that use them. MAX entered the North American market with construction products in 1964, private labeling tools, then with the MAX brand in 1994.
L&W Supply has announced that Nick Popma has been promoted to the position of business manager (interiors) for L&W Supply’s West Region.
Armstrong World Industries announced that Austin So will join AWI as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.
Polyvision Inc. announced the appointment of Kevin McCoy as CEO.
KAI Design is pleased to announce the hiring of Charles Hoffmann, AIA as senior project architect at its Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, office.