Residential Construction Highest Since ‘05

Year end figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department indicate that residential construction is at the highest level since 2005.  Certain segments, such as multifamily construction, are expected to continue to grow in 2016

“I don’t think I have ever seen multifamily construction at this pace,” explains Mitch Permuy, CEO of Power Design, Inc., a full-service electrical contractor with more than 160 active projects.

At the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) held in Las Vegas in January, NAHB chief economist David Crowe says this rebound appears sustainable. “This growth in the industry is reflective of the country’s progress,” he says.

The Associated General Contractors of America says 80% of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls this year.

Miami Project Uses Crystalline Waterproofing

Miami’s largest downtown develop-ment project, the Brickell City Centre, is progressing quickly. The below-grade structures are now complete and construction has begun on the above-ground portion.  Much of the project relies on crystalline waterproofing technology to protect the project from any water penetration at the saturated mid-town construction site.

The Brickell City Centre is a gigantic urban development that will offer 5.4 million sq. ft. of residential and commercial space when complete.  Despite being built on land that was formerly a saturated swamp, the development includes a massive two-level underground parking that spans seven acres with a capacity for more than 3,000 cars.

The original waterproofing solution quickly proved unfeasible given the schedule and budget, and after initial tests proved successful, the developer switched to a waterproofing admixture from Penetron. The soluble bags of Penetron Admix SB were added during the concrete batch mixing process. The admixture was used in all below-ground structures and in the parking garage.


Two New Roofing Videos Available

In February, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) released a pair of videos that take in-depth look at the of low- and steep-slope roofing systems. The new video series, Asphalt Roofing 101: A System Above the Rest, is split into two segments for the purpose of educating both the homeowner and commercial property owner.

These new videos showcase the different kinds of low- and steep-slope asphalt roofing systems available and how a whole-system approach can provide long-term durability, reliability and value to a property.

“There are many important components that ARMA recommends for roofing systems, from using an underlayment and ice and water barrier on a residential roof to installing multiple waterproofing layers on a commercial property,” said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA. “These new videos add to the wealth of expert, trustworthy information that ARMA provides to industry members.”

Asphaltic technology offers a range of low-slope roofing options, including Built-Up Roofing (BUR), Atactic Polypropylene (APP) and Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS), as well as many different installation methods. The low-slope segment of Asphalt Roofing 101 details these different options so that a commercial property owner can make an educated choice when installing a new roof.

“These videos provide free, easily-accessible information that can help any property owner choose the best roofing option for them,” said Hitchcock. To view the Asphalt Roofing 101 video segments, visit,, or visit the ARMA YouTube Channel.

Waterproofing Miami Aquarium

In December, the Miami Museum of Science—due to open in 2016—completed the “epic pour,”  of its showcase aquarium.

The 1,200 cubic yard pour was completed in 25 hours using 131 ready-mix trucks and was waterproofed using Hycrete. The engineering firm Skanska uploaded a time-lapse of the mega-pour, which is available for viewing online.

The lens-shaped concrete tank is designed to let visitors walk underneath and look up into it. Hycrete is also being used to waterproof the concrete slabs and elevator pits.


Nu-Age Films Receives ICC Report

A high-tech vapor retarder made by Insulation Solutions, Inc. recently received a performance verification from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES).

The listing, ESL# 1009 provides evidence that the Nu-Age Film 6+vapor retarder meets consensus standards requirements.

ICC-ES president Shahin Moinian explains, “Although final approval of building products is always in the hands of the local regulatory agency, building departments have a long history of using evaluation reports to determine whether products are suitable for use.  Insulation Solutions, Inc. can now reference this building product listing to ensure building officials and the building industry that the product meets the requirements of consensus standards referenced in the I-Codes,”

Dario Lamberti, a product manager at Insulation Solutions says, “The ICC-ES Building Products Listing is beneficial for Nu-Age Films by showing code officials that it meets the requirements as stated in consensus standard ASTM D4397-10, Standard Specification for Polyethylene Sheeting for Construction, Industrial and Agricultural Applications, which is referenced in the International Building Code.”


National Coatings Receives ICC-ES Reports

National Coatings Corporation, a supplier of cool roof coatings, announced in January that they have received an upgraded ICC-ES evaluation report. This new report, ESR #2140, provides evidence that the four recently added AcryShield Roofing Systems meet code requirements.

“We are continually improving and expanding our ratings and reports on all our AcryShield and AcryPly Roof Coating Systems,” says Matt Kolb, president of National Coatings Corporation.

Supermarket Grows Produce On Site

Thanks to advances in green roof technology, shoppers in Massachusetts now have a new option for “hyper-local” produce.

A Whole Foods Market in that state installed a green roof on top of its store, using the American Hydrotech Vegetable Garden Roof System with 12” deep lightweight growing media. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots, minimizing waste.
Completed in 2013, reports that the 17,000-sq.-ft. rooftop garden provides an estimated 11,000 lbs. of vegetables per year which is then sold inside the store.