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RRP Classes Offered by Chapter
March 8, 2010
 
The University of Cincinnati will instruct Ohio Valley NARI's final Repair, Renovate and Painting (RRP) classes to be held on the
U.C. campus. EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Final Rule (40
CFR 745) requires that renovations conducted for compensation,
must be performed by Certified Firms using Certified Renovators.
Renovation firms that wish to work in pre-1978 homes and child occupied facilities must apply to the EPA and pay a fee in order to become certified. Renovators seeking to become Certified
Renovators must successfully complete an EPA-accredited
renovator course or a course accredited by an EPA authorized
State or Tribe. This course is the EPA model course for Certified
Renovators and as such meets all requirements in 40 CFR 745.90.
This class will be conducted on the University of Cincinnati campus
at 2180 East Galbraith Road, Building A, 3rd Floor. The cost for
this program is $179 per person for members and $229 per person
for non-member companies. Note that additional classes will be
scheduled as needed. Register at www.naricincinnati.org or call
(800) 498-NARi and RSVP today!
Member Open House
March 11, 2010
 
Marsh Building Products and Marsh Window & Door Classics invite the NARI membership to their Loveland office (10078 East Kemper Road) on Thursday March 11, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.  With a focus on composite building products the presentation will encompass information about fiber cement siding, cellular PVC trim and moldings, and pultruded fiberglass windows and doors.  Also included will be information and discussions regarding performance, installation, finishing and maintenance of these materials.  Let's learn together about the application and performance of the latest generation of building materials NARI members will use to lead our industry in the future.
Also provided will be a review and update of the Energy Tax Credit for 2010 and a discussion of strategies to increase sales opportunities during the second year of this tax incentive. This presentation will offer .1 CEU for NARI certified professionals.
 
Join us and your friends for complimentary food, drink and door prizes with entertainment provided by the Marsh "Composite" Band.  
Register by March 8, 2010 by contacting the Ohio Valley NARI Office at 800.222.NARI, by fax 937.222.5794 or at info@naricincinnati.org.

Mini Two-Day Seminar:

March 16 & 18, 2010 
 
Timothy Roberts with Safety Alliance LLC will be conducting a 10-hour OSHA 10 Safety Course.  The 10-hour Construction Industry Outreach Training Program is intended to provide entry level construction workers general awareness on recognizing and preventing hazards on a construction site. The training covers a variety of construction safety and health hazards which a worker may encounter at a construction site.OSHA recommends this training as an orientation to occupational safety and health. Workers must receive additional training on hazards specific to their job. Training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention.The program will offer 1.0 CEU for NARI certified professionals.
This is a two day event beginning at 8:30a.m. and concluding at 2:00 p.m. each day. Instructor, materials, beverages and lunch will be included in the $50 registration fee ($55.00 for non-members). The seminar will be held at the Union Center Marriott at 6189 Mulhauser Road. West Chester, OH 45069. Please register online at www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARI and RSVP today!

First Aid Safety Class

April 8, 2010 
 
It is a requirement of OSHA that employees be given a safe and healthy workplace that is reasonably free of occupational hazards. However, it is unrealistic to expect accidents not to happen. Therefore, employers are required to provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace. The details of a workplace medical and first aid program are dependent on the circumstances of each workplace and employer.
Genise Lipscomb with the American Red Cross will be talking about First Aid Safety at our membership meeting at the Union Center Marriott.  You can register online at www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARI and RSVP today!
2010 PRO Expo: Presented by Pella
 
On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., the all-star event of the season, the PRO Expo, will take place at Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds.  At the PRO Expo, there are many opportunities to learn from dynamic, content rich education sessions with opportunities to earn CEU's. You may improve your business with new products and business tools. Best of all, there are plenty of chances to network with other professionals. Enjoy food, refreshments, and $10,000 worth of fabulous prizes.
 
Doors open at 3:00 p.m. for check-in. The Expo Floor includes Pella product displays, local vendor displays, food, beverages, entertainment and a keynote address. At 3:15 p.m., educational breakout sessions begin, and they continue until 8:00 p.m. Some of these sessions include:
·Why Pella? - presented by Pella
·Residential & Commercial Construction Trends - presented  by Hanley Wood
·Universal Design - presented by Kohler (AIA Accredited Course)
·The Future of Remodeling - presented by Mark Richardson of Case  Design/Remodeling, Inc.
·Window Replacement Solutions for Commercial Buildings - presented by Pella (AIA Accredited Course)
·Top Remodelers Speak Out: Best Practices to Strengthen Your Business - presented by Remodelers Advantage Inc.
·Greening the Bottom Line - presented by Reed Business Information (AIA Accredited Course)
·Integrating Siding Into Your Business - presented by James Hardie
·Transform Your Market - presented by Cygnus Business Media
·Challenges & Solutions for Today's Ceramic Tile & Stone Installations - presented by Schluter (AIA Accredited Course)

To register, go to www.theproexpo.com/cincinnati. We hope that you can attend, and turn the knowledge that you and your company gain at the event into a home run!
Can Replacement Windows Live Up to Energy Claims?
By JLC Report
 
With window sales in a multiyear downward spiral, manufacturers have understandably embraced the tax-credit component for energy-efficient building products contained in the stimulus package. Companies like Andersen and Simonton are vocal supporters of new proposals like Home Star (sometimes called "Cash for Caulkers"). Besides being good for the industry's bottom line, the argument goes, such programs also have the potential to save vast amounts of energy and money.

But how much do replacement windows actually save? According to consultant Marc Rosenbaum - whose New Hampshire-based company, Energysmiths, specializes in energy-efficient houses - the numbers are less compelling than some might have you believe. "In a 6,000 heating-degree day climate, he says, replacing a standard clear insulated-glass R-2 (U-value 0.50) window with a triple-glazed R-5 (U-value 0.20 or lower) unit would save between 30,000 and 43,000 Btu per square foot per year." The more conservative 30,000 Btu/sf/yr estimate is probably more accurate, Rosenbaum believes, because the lower SHGC values typical of triple glazing also negate some solar gain.

In short, assuming annual fuel costs of $20 per million Btu, each $750 to $1,200 3x5-foot replacement window will save the homeowner something like $9 per year. If the existing windows were in good condition - even if they were no better than single-glazed windows with fitted storms - their high-tech replacements are unlikely to pay for themselves in energy savings during their lifetime.

A complex equation. As Rosenbaum points out, there are other factors to consider. Old windows may also be from five to 10 times leakier than new ones, which present another significant opportunity for additional energy savings. He also cautions that simple payback doesn't account for maintenance costs, inflation, the volatility of energy prices, or a window's expected service life. A more detailed life-cycle analysis would be needed to take these factors into account, though this data for new windows is hard to come by.

"The economics of windows have not really changed that much," says Bruce Harley, a technical director at Conservation Services Group, which manages residential energy-efficiency programs. "You can get much more savings from replacing a dog of an HVAC system than by replacing windows." The key, Harley believes, is to take advantage of energy-saving opportunities as they arise. "Do the HVAC if it's old, inefficient, and is likely to need replacement soon anyway, rather than waiting until it breaks. Insulation, air sealing, and duct sealing are relatively cheap and give you robust savings - they're no-brainers. Do a substantial layer of rigid foam if you're putting up new siding. Do windows if you're doing major renovations, and get the best ones you can possibly afford. Take advantage of the leverage you get if you are spending money anyway, to upgrade to the most efficient possible option, because the incremental cost will always be lower."

Realistic incentives. Energy experts like Rosenbaum use RESFEN (Residential Fenestration) software to calculate the impact of windows on heating and cooling costs, but a simpler way to estimate savings for different glass configurations in various climates is to use the Window Selection tool at the Efficient Windows Collaborative Web site (efficientwindows.org). If energy savings alone don't justify making the switch, tax credits contained in the current stimulus bill - currently 30 percent of the cost of the windows (up to a maximum of $1,500) - or in proposals like Home Star could provide the needed incentive for the homeowner to make the investment.
DOE Announces Support for Next Generation Lighting
 
More than $37 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will go to support high-efficiency solid-state lighting projects, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced Jan. 15. The 17 projects include funding for solid-state lighting core research, product development, and domestic manufacturing.
 
Solid-state lighting, which uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) instead of incandescent bulbs, has the potential to be ten times more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lighting, according to a DOE release.
 
Lighting accounts for approximately 24% of the total electricity generated in the United States. By 2030, the development and widespread deployment of cost-effective solid-state lighting could reduce electricity use for lighting by one-third nationally, according to the DOE.
 
"The United States must lead in energy efficiency. These solid-state lighting projects will help us significantly cut our energy use, reduce our carbon footprint, and save money," says Chu. "This funding will also support the United States as a global leader in this rapidly evolving industry, creating high-tech, value-added jobs."
 
This is the sixth round of DOE funding for solid-state lighting core technology research and product development, and the first time that DOE has funded solid-state lighting manufacturing projects. To see the full list of grant selections click here.
Seattle Designer Introduces New LED-Illuminated Doorbell Buttons
 
Spore introduced True, its first all-metal doorbell button this week. Entirely custom designed, True is perfect for modern or more traditional homes. A thin ring of LED-illumination circles the metal pushbutton, which is available in several finishes to coordinate with door hardware. A non-illuminated option is also available. While homeowners are scaling back on remodels and new construction, DIY projects and home makeovers are on the rise.
 
Spore's principle, Ted Pierson, says the True was in large part a response to the requests of his customers.
 
"Seattle is full of these great Craftsman-era houses, which I have always loved, but our modern doorbell buttons don't always work on them. I really wanted to design a button that would fit in with a very wide range of home and personal styles, and the True has been created with that in mind."
All of the buttons feature a metal body, which is available in three finishes: bronze, black, and brushed aluminum, which coordinates with stainless steel hardware. Illumination is available for all finishes in amber, blue or white, and the True is the first Spore product with a non-illuminated option.
 
Spore (http://sporedoorbells.com/index.html) was founded in 1997 on the realization that the doorbell button was a sadly neglected element of the home entry. Since then, Spore has been designing and manufacturing doorbell buttons and chimes from the circuit board to the faceplate.
 
Spore also consults with designers and architects on custom projects from the Gap to Seattle's Blue C Sushi. Spore products have been featured in international publications, including Wallpaper, GQ Germany, and the New York Times. True and the full line of Spore products can be seen and purchased through the Spore website (http://sporedoorbells.com/index.html). 
 
 
Starting Over, Surviving Is Not Enough.  It's Time To Find A New Way Of Doing Business
By Sal Alfano
 
Surviving is not enough. It's time to find a new way of doing business.
 
September 2008 seemed like the end of business. The daily news feeds were full of stories about falling home values, faltering banks, frozen credit, and foreclosed mortgages. It hadn't been a good year to begin with, but the true dimensions of what turned out to be the worst recession in more than 70 years hit home for remodelers when their voice-mail began filling up with messages from clients who were postponing or cancelling projects, many of which were just days away from starting. Some companies lost more than half of their 2009 project calendar in a matter of a few days. And then the phones stopped ringing altogether.
 
It is now clear that these events marked, not the end of business, but something nearly as unsettling: the end of business as we knew it. The country's plunge off the economic cliff has changed everything. And while there are signs that conditions are improving, it seems clear that when prosperity returns, the remodeling business will look nothing like what we were used to.
 
In many ways, it is already unrecognizable compared with just a few years ago. For one thing, consumers have changed. Although it's a buyer's market, flooded with competition from idled home builders, homeowners are nervous about making a commitment and are much more price-minded. Short-term, bargain-priced maintenance and repair work dominate their concerns, and even the more discretionary projects have smaller price tags, reduced scope, and a scaled down selection of fixtures and finishes.
Keeping step with the new remodeling consumer won't be easy, but merely surviving the boom-to-bust transition will not be enough to guarantee success when the economy strengthens. The expense reductions and layoffs that many thought were stop-gap measures designed to keep cash flow positive while they waited out the storm are looking more and more like the first steps toward a permanent reorganization and a new way of doing business.
 
If there is a silver lining in the dark cloud that shrouds the new year, it is the opportunity to start over and get it right this time. Younger companies - those whose memory begins with the post-9/11 boom - were most surprised by this recession, but they may adapt more easily than better-established companies that remain inflexible or are too slow to change. It's certainly not the future we imagined. What will make the difference is not the mess we're in, but what we do to get out of it.
Small Businesses Have Been Hit By A Wave of Cybercrimes.  Here's How To Protect Your Accounts.
By Rive Richmond
 
Cybercriminals have found a rich, new hunting ground: small businesses' bank accounts.
Just ask Sign Designs Inc., an electric-sign maker in Modesto, Calif. The first sign of trouble was a morning phone call from Bank of Stockton, Sign Design's community bank. It had just fielded a call from Chase Bank, whose anti-fraud team was questioning the legitimacy of a $9,670 electronic payment to a Chase customer in Michigan. Sign Designs confirmed it hadn't set up the payment, and the banks halted the transaction.
 
Checking its account online, Sign Designs quickly discovered the problem was much bigger: Almost $100,000 had been sent to 17 mystery people, all added as payees the previous day. Although Bank of Stockton immediately notified all the banks that had received funds, some $48,000 had already been picked up by "money mules," people recruited to shuttle money for online-crime groups, typically in Eastern Europe.
 
Bank of Stockton says it isn't responsible for the losses because its systems were never breached. Hackers had planted a malicious program on the computer of Sign Designs' controller and used it to steal his online-banking credentials. The California bank also says Sign Designs failed to take advantage of security measures that might have averted losses, such as requiring two staff members to sign off on every payment.
 
Sign Designs President David Johnston argues that Bank of Stockton should cover the losses because it didn't flag the highly unusual account activity nor did it bar two computers-the controller's and hacker's-from accessing the account with the same credentials at the same time. "I don't think they should offer a service that is not safe," Mr. Johnston says. "Do you expect I'm going to solve this? I'm going to take on these Russian thieves? Clearly I'm not going to [be able to] do it."
 
Sign Designs is among a growing number of small businesses whose bank accounts have been drained in increasingly sophisticated hacker attacks over the past two years. Losses have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars in the past year or so as more organized-crime groups, emboldened by the success of fellow criminals, move online, says Shawn Henry, assistant director of the Cyber Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which issued a public warning about the problem in November.  Small businesses are proving a rich target for hackers because they-and the smaller regional banks they often use-tend to have fewer technical and financial resources to stop attacks. And unlike consumers, they lack legal protections from identity fraud, so they typically are forced to absorb the losses.
 
"Small businesses are really in a bind," says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner Inc. "They need to protect themselves." Experts offer the following suggestions for small businesses seeking to ward off an attack: 
 
Defend Computers 
Hackers often take aim at small firms' computers because they are easier to infiltrate than banks' systems. One common mode of attack is to send a "spear phishing" email containing an infected file or a link to a malicious Web site to employees with access to the firm's financial accounts. Once the employee opens the attachment or goes to the Web site, malware is installed on the computer that allows criminals to access banking logins and passwords. While up-to-date antivirus software offers substantial protection against malware, it isn't 100% effective.
 
Accessing your bank account through a computer that isn't used for anything else-no email or Web surfing-and isn't connected to the local network offers strong protection, says William Nelson, president of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an industry group that collects and shares threat data.
 
Another option is to use an obscure computer operating system such as Ubuntu or Web browser such as Opera because attackers rarely create malware for them, security experts say.
 
If you use Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser, make sure you have the latest version, IE 8, which includes security features to help prevent attacks. Consider using Explorer in "protected mode," which restricts files that try to install on a computer without the user's consent, and set your "Internet zone security" to "high," which disables some of Explorer's less-secure features, according to Microsoft.
 
Protect Accounts
Ask your bank to set up "dual controls" on your account so that each transaction requires the approval of two people-a good guard against fraud, security experts say. Establish a daily limit on how much money can be transferred out of your account, and require that all transfers be prescheduled by phone or confirmed via phone call or text message. If possible, impose restrictions on adding new payees, security experts say.
 
Check bank balances and scheduled payments at the end of every workday, rather than the beginning, and immediately contact your bank if anything is amiss. Banks use the Automated Clearing House system to transfer funds to payees' banks. These transfers usually aren't paid until the next morning, so timely action could halt the completion of a fraudulent transaction, Mr. Nelson says.
 
Shop for a Bank
Review your agreement with your bank and know what rights you may be waiving by not using certain security measures. While agreements between banks and commercial customers typically absolve banks of responsibility for fraud losses, the bank down the street may offer better protections, so shop around. Also, consider adding insurance coverage for fraud losses.
 
Many banks, concerned about damage to customer relationships, have stepped up their defenses against cyberattacks, rolled out new protections for customers and begun sharing more threat information with each other and law enforcement, Mr. Nelson says.
 
An emerging motivator may be a growing number of lawsuits by small companies claiming their banks didn't have "commercially reasonable" security.
 
A judge in a closely watched case involving a self-employed couple's personal and commercial accounts said in refusing to grant a summary judgment that a jury might find fault with the adequacy of the bank's defenses, which the plaintiffs argued weren't state of the art at the time of the theft. The case-Shames-Yeakel vs. Citizens Financial Bank-was settled in late December under confidential terms. The plaintiff's lawyer, John Soumilas of Francis & Mailman PC in Philadelphia, says he pursued the case as one of consumer-identify theft, where protections are ample.
 
Still, David D. Johnson, a digital-media lawyer at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP in Los Angeles who wasn't involved in the case, says the judge's action suggests that "a bank can't simply rest on its laurels, on its security measures that worked last year," and avoid liability. The judge declined to comment, and Citizens Financial didn't return a call for comment.
 
Reach Out
Connect with law-enforcement agencies before an incident occurs, suggests Mr. Henry. He says small businesses should consider joining the FBI's InfraGard, a group of businesses, academic institutions and state and local law-enforcement agencies that seek to ward off cyberattacks and other threats by sharing information and intelligence.
 
He also urges companies to report all computer crimes immediately to the FBI. The agency has relationships with law-enforcement organizations around the world that are starting to bear fruit, he says, pointing to the recent arrest of 120 people tied to Romanian groups that allegedly stole money from U.S. companies and citizens.
 
"In the cases where we have put hands on somebody, it was the result of a victim company raising their hand and saying this happened," Mr. Henry says. "If they hit you today, they're hitting the guy down the street tomorrow."

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February 24, 2010

QUICK LINKS

Construction Workers

Ohio Valley NARI

800.498.NARI (6274) | Fax: 937.222.5794 | info@naricincinnati.org