Friday, January 29, 2016

Emerging Trends in Homebuilding

Recently a new report from Urban Land Institute has been making waves throughout the construction and design industries. This reputable and widely spread forecast outlines the transition from the post-recession slump in housing to the bright future ahead. Most interesting however, are some of the general trends covered in the report:

"18 Hour" cities such as Portland, Oregon are projected to rapidly grow
Smaller Cities Will Grow the Most. Places such as Austin, Portland, Raleigh, and Charlotte will likely grow at substantially faster rates than traditional, better-known big cities. Lower cost of living, better transit connectivity, and more open opportunities for investment are making these smaller cities attractive for residents, builders, and investors alike. Portland is already feeling the growth, as it's rental rates/cost are among the fastest rising in the nation (we've seen this firsthand, as we've provided surface protection to a number of new urban projects there). Austin is experiencing its own building boom, rent increases, and growth; and its skyline will soon feature a new tallest building---a residential skyscraper.

Decline in Home Ownership. It's been well documented for some time that millennials are waiting longer to purchase homes, and fewer are even doing so. Interestingly however, a decline in home ownership rates is being seen across all age groups. While the home ownership rate was 70% before the economic downturn, that rate has declined and has been stuck at 63% ever since. Even with the modest recovery taking place and the rapid growth of smaller cities, home owenership rates aren't growing. As a result, non-traditional housing options are increasingly popular. Microhousing units (residences smaller than 350 sqft) are cropping up in urban centers, and rental properties are increasingly desirable; as seen through the massive increases in rental cost in Portland, Austin, and other smaller cities. There certainly exist opportunities for new and creative housing solutions in cities.

Less Parking. Recently, a very popular image overlaying the amount of parking in Los Angeles relative to the size of L.A. has gone viral. It illustrates a big problem with modern cities; parking lots are an inefficient use of land.
The degree to which parking wastes urban space in L.A.
Urban density is increasing, public transit is improving, and fewer young Americans are choosing to own cars. Expect to see a transition away from parking lots towards parking garages and underground lots.

It will be interesting to follow 2016's new housing starts to see if any of these highlighted trends become apparent. Stay up to date with all of our blogging and social media efforts by checking in for our weekly blog postings!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Going Off The Grid; A New Generation Of Energy Efficient Homes

There's little doubt that home builders are focusing on crafting energy-efficient and increasingly sustainable homes. LEED certification has led to the development of commercial buildings with unparalleled energy efficiency. Modern curtain wall systems are cropping up in all big cities to provide an aesthetically pretty building that also insulates well. While efficiency is an important step towards decreasing negative environmental impacts, some new homes are taking things even further. It seems as though building off-grid self sustaining homes will be an increasingly popular solution for environmentally friendly minded buyers. 

CNX Construction recently debuted a new set of four homes in Thailand that use a combination of solar energy and a hydrogen fuel cell for all power. The combination of different power sources allows these homes to exist independent of the power grid, with ample renewable energy. Solar panels handle all energy needs during the day, and they also power the hydrogen fuel cell electrolyzer that handles energy needs at night. The only byproducts of the energy system are oxygen and water, making these houses contribute no pollution. 

Although the current return on using these technologies is an estimated 15 years, these houses were built as an example of what the future of homebuilding will be. As technology progresses, the return on self-sustaining homes will certainly be much shorter. Off-grid homes are certainly an exciting development in homebuilding. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Introducing Edge ProTect; Our New Do-It-All Surface Protection Product

Edge ProTect covers more surface than our standard Edge Protection

Our pallets have finally arrived and Edge ProTect is now stocked and ready for immediate sale. Edge ProTect is a new solution to provide greater coverage than standard edge protection. We envision it being used to protect mullions, edges, vertical surfaces, walls, and door jambs.

They are low-cost, reusable, and 100% recyclable. They measure 4" x 4" x 48"and provide .225" thick V-Board protection. We are currently offering Edge ProTect in cases of 6, however we can ship any quantity needed.

If you would like to learn more about Edge ProTect or would like to request a free sample, visit our website or email us at

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Products and Other Recent Happenings

It's been a Little while since we've last updated this blog page, but many things have happened. First off we hope all had a great holiday season and a fun New Year's.

A chilly New Years Eve in Central Oregon
We have continued to update our website to make it more user-friendly. We now have a completely revamped search engine that works wonderfully. Product categories, related product pairings, and product tags have all been updated to create an easier-to-use website than ever before. Visit our updated webpage and see things for yourself.

Further, we now warehouse Edge ProTect and Kraft Scrim Paper.

Edge ProTect is essentially a larger version of our popular Edge Pro edge protection. Edge ProTect measures 4" x 4" x 48", so it provides wider coverage on the surface it is protecting. It is already being used on projects to protect curtain wall components, mullions, and jambs. We have thousands of units in stock ready to be same-day shipped to your jobsite.

Kraft Scrim Paper is a popular low-cost was to provide waterproof protection to any surface. For years it has kepts many jobsite's surfaces clean, dry, and scratch-free. Unlike other low-mil papers, it resists punctures and tearing. Scrim Paper is commonly used on floors, countertops, walls, and surfaces with delicate finishes that are sensitive to adhesives. Because we now carry this product in-house, we can eliminate any lead time and ship it anywhere the same day you order it.

Visit our website or shoot us an email at to learn more about these new products.