Each month RTM explores the top news and headlines affecting architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) communities.
This month in the news: HVAC manufactures pledge to lower greenhouse gases, builder confidence rises on multifamily strength, and green roofs gain popularity.
Several HVAC companies participated in the industry roundtable hosted by the White House to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The event was moderated by Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor Brian Deese, who oversees climate, conservation, and energy policy. The Administration’s Climate Action Plan seeks to leverage new opportunities to reduce HFCs. U.S. industry is leading the way in helping fulfill that pledge by investing millions of dollars to develop and deploy the next generation of safer HFC alternatives, and by incorporating climate-friendly technologies into the cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, foams, and other products they manufacture and use.
Multifamily starts accounted for 37.6% of total annualized housing starts at 1.206 million, which were up 17.5% in September. However, single-family starts rose by only 12%, meaning that multifamily continues to be the engine powering the housing sector’s ongoing recovery and growth. Census’ latest estimates explain rising levels of home builder confidence, which can be associated with job creation, economic growth and the release of pent-up demand. NAHB Economics released its monthly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for October, which at 64 was the highest it’s been since October 2005.
Cities are encouraging the use of green roofs to relieve pressure on the stormwater/sewer system. In Hoboken, N.J., Mayor Dawn Zimmer encourages the installation of green roofs. The city has a combined stormwater/sewer infrastructure that backs up during heavy rainfall. The cost of a green roof is expensive at $15 to $30 per square foot, so Zimmer wants to offer tax incentives to help cover the cost. Green roofs have the potential to extend the lifespan of the roof and reduce heating and cooling costs, making the installation costs easier to bear for commercial and residential owners.