Housing recovery continues at U.S. Fed economic report | N.Y. roofing company marks centennial | Deal reached to build $1B Atlanta Falcons stadium
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March 8, 2013
NRCA SmartBrief
News for the roofing industry

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Housing recovery continues at U.S. Fed economic report
The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained a broadly optimistic tone in its latest Beige Book report on the U.S. economy, citing a pickup in consumer spending and a resurgent housing market as favorable signs. "For the Fed, it's slow progress but not enough to alter its rate of asset purchases," said economist Yelena Shulyatyeva at BNP Paribas in New York. Reuters (3/6)
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News & Trends
Construction gained 48,000 jobs in February
The construction sector gained 48,000 jobs in February. On the whole, nonfarm payrolls increased by 236,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%. January's payrolls were revised down to 119,000 from 157,000. Reuters (3/8), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/8), The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)/The Associated Press (3/8)
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N.Y. roofing company marks centennial
BSR, a roofing company in Binghamton, N.Y., has marked 100 years in business. Binghamton Slag Roofing began operations in 1913, and in the 1980s the company rebranded and split into BSR and Weathermaster. "We're a service business, so as long as there are people and businesses that need over-head protection, we've got a business that's fairly well protected. And we hope we've been serving the community the best we could," said Charles Griffiths Jr., the company's president. WBNG-TV (Johnson City, N.Y.) (3/7)
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Deal reached to build $1B Atlanta Falcons stadium
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to financing terms to build a $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium. The agreement means the city will fund $200 million of the project, while the Atlanta Falcons will kick in about $800 million. The Falcons will spend about $50 million on infrastructure improvements around the new stadium, and Falcons owner Arthur Blank's foundation and the city each will put up $15 million to enhance the surrounding neighborhood. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (3/8), The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.)/The Associated Press (3/7)
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Conn. school prepares for $1.7M partial roof replacement
Aging sections of the flat roof at the Emma Hart Willard Elementary School in Berlin, Conn., will be replaced because they are past their 20-year life span. The largest part of the roof is close to three decades old, while another section is 22 years old. The work is expected to cost $1.7 million. "We're fortunate to get such a long life, but if we wait too long, leaks will develop and the repair costs will go up sharply," said town engineer Arthur Simonian. The Hartford Courant (Conn.) (3/7)
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Energy & the Environment
Massive rooftop farm to sprout at renovated Boston warehouse
A rooftop farm -- covering more than an acre -- will soon be opened atop the renovated warehouse of the Boston Design Center, Kaid Benfield writes. The "Higher Ground Farm" will supply organic fruits and vegetables to the community, while reducing the urban heat island effect and controlling stormwater runoff. The structure is the first rooftop farm in Boston and is said to be the second-largest in the world, Benfield writes. Natural Resources Defense Council/Switchboard blog (3/7)
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Dow Chemical acquisition could benefit solar shingle technology
Dow Chemical has acquired solar startup company NuvoSun in what appears to be a bid to improve its solar roof shingles. NuvoSun developed a thin-film technology using a combination of copper, indium, gallium and selenium. The thin-film CIGS solar technology offers potential to improve the performance of Dow's solar shingles as a building-integrated photovoltaic product. Greentech Media (3/6)
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Study: Green roofs have potential to generate electricity
Green roofs could be used to generate electricity by harnessing a byproduct of the photosynthetic process in plants, according to research by a group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The study found that decomposition of organic matter generated by photosynthesis releases electrons and protons, which can be harnessed by a "Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell." The concept can expand the benefits of green roofs, said Marjolein Helder, one of the researchers. EnvironmentalResearchWeb.org (U.K.) (3/7)
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In the Office
Are you using your employees efficiently?
Maximize the productivity of your company by making sure all of your employees are taking on tasks that match their skill sets, writes Beverly Flaxington. Don't waste your highest-paid workers' time with low-value tasks. "Know what each task is 'worth' in terms of its importance to the organization's profitability," she writes. BusinessNewsDaily.com (3/6)
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Government & Regulatory
Democrats introduce bill to raise federal minimum wage
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., on Tuesday introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015 and tie future increases to inflation. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., signed on as a sponsor of the bill, which would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (3/5), Taunton Daily Gazette (Mass.) (3/5)
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"Like" NRCA on Facebook and receive 30% off in the NRCA Bookstore!
"Like" NRCA on Facebook and receive a code for 30% off any purchase in the NRCA Bookstore through March 15! First, "like" NRCA! Then, click on the "30 percent off" Exclusive Promotion tab to obtain the promo code.
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NRCA pamphlet helps customers choose professional roofing contractors
Designed for your potential customers, Insist on an NRCA Roofing Professional, is a pamphlet that outlines the steps customers should take to ensure they are dealing with reputable and professional roofing contractors during every project. The brochure advises customers to make sure their potential roofing contractors are insured and committed to safety; licensed and bonded; have positive references; offer warranties; have a professional maintenance program; and show application expertise. The member price for a set of 100 brochures is $50, and the retail price is $100. Purchase it here.
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Hope never abandons you, you abandon it."
-- George Weinberg,
American psychologist, writer and activist
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