Blogs

  • 22 May 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Environmental Affairs Update May 2017--Issues and Regulations Affecting BIASC Members

    By Mark Grey, Ph.D., Director of Environmental Affairs

     

    During the first 5 months of 2017, BIASC has been aggressively advocating the homebuilding industry in California, trying to hold back the continual push for more regulations affecting home building, and build in wherever possible flexibility for compliance.  In addition, we’ve been working hard collaborating with our members and their consulting teams, public works agencies, and water supply and distribution utilities to ensure that the largest portfolio of water supply options possible are pursued as we move out of an historic 5-year drought emergency in California.

     

    Here’s a short overview of three important water quality issues affecting BIASC member businesses.

    1. EPA under the new Trump administration—opportunity to exchange information with US EPA Region 9 officials.  BIASC, the Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality (CICWQ) and the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition (CIAQC) have reached out to U.S. EPA and Trump administration officials and management concerning how BIASC and CICWQ/CIAQC could support the new administrations goals of reducing regulatory burden on business.  A meeting is being scheduled to share information on potential ways that air and water quality regulations could be changed and streamlined to continue to protect the environment and reduce the burden on builders and contractors.
    2. Increasing compliance flexibility for home builders subject to post-construction stormwater runoff regulations in southern California.  BIASC continued working on stormwater runoff permit implementation issues in Orange and Riverside counties within the Santa Ana and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s jurisdictions, focusing on development of compliance options and flexibility for new and redevelopment projects.  In addition, BIASC staff have been appointed to two different water quality improvement plan consultation panels (southwest Riverside County; south Orange County), representing the building and construction industries, and staff have participated in several workshops and planning sessions, and have prepared formal comments for Regional Board consideration.
    3. Renewing the Construction Permit General (CGP) for stormwater discharges. BIASC is working with CICWQ, California Building Industry Association (CBIA) and Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation (BILD) on potential modifications to the CGP, which is set for renewal in late 2017.  The CGP directly impacts contractors and home builders on projects generally greater than one acre in size, and its provisions directly affect the cost of housing regardless of project size.  A draft permit is expected for release late in 2017, with adoption scheduled for some time in 2018.   BIASC and its members have an ongoing dialogue with State Board staff concerning potential changes to the permit which will maintain water quality protection using the current risk-based best practices approach, while streamlining permit administration to reduce costs and avoid redundancies. 

     

    Mark Grey, Director of Environmental Affairs for BIASC, attended a day-long tour of Riverside County water supply facilities on Friday May 5, hosted by Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Larry McKenney.  The tour focused on a number of important water supply facilities critical to water storage and delivery in southern California, and included tours of water facility mitigation projects supported by the Metropolitan Water District.
  • 18 May 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    The Southern California Builders Safety Alliance or SCBSA is a regional committee created with the profound importance of worker safety in mind. 

     

    Representatives from many of our region’s top builders including CalAtlantic Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes, Shea Homes, Toll Bros and Warmington Homes have joined together to create a forum for education, hands on training, peer to peer evaluations and quarterly job site safety awards to keep our job sites safe for everyone involved.  

     

    The Alliance is currently seeking participation from additional builders to bolster its effectiveness to improve job site safety across the region.  If you are interested in receiving more information or in participating in the Alliance please contact Denise Kennedy at dkennedy@biasc.org.

     

  • 17 May 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Thanks to his NAHB membership, Dave Rauch just saved $1,000 on another new truck.

     

    But that makes it just another day at the office for Rauch, who estimates that he has saved about $12,000 a year for the past four years – and totally worth paying his dues to the BIA of Southern California.

     

    The founder and president of ProTec, which provides construction, repair, plumbing, maintenance programs and inspection services for home owners associations (HOAs) in Southern California and Nevada, Rauch had been mulling whether his BIA membership was a good fit for the company.

     

    ProTec focuses mainly on HOAs, but is also involved in the building industry as the largest provider of HOA maintenance manuals to builders in the United States.

     

    “The GM discount and customer service available through my NAHB membership was enough to decide that my BIA dues are worth it,” he said.

     

    His company has a fleet of 80 vehicles and 20 trailers, and needs to buy an average of one new vehicle a month – making the NAHB Member Advantage discount a money-saver all year, Rauch said.

     

    “I used to be a Ford guy, but now I am only buying GM vehicles,” Rauch said. “I renewed my membership specifically for this GM discount.”

     

    It’s one of many savings NAHB members can take advantage of – and a great perk when added to the advocacy, education and networking programs your HBA, state and national associations provide.

     

    Learn more about the Member Advantage program or contact Christy Ronaldson for details.

     

    Read the original blog post on NAHB's blog here.

  • 10 May 2017 by Ali Sahabi

    As featured in the San Bernardino Sun.

     

    San Bernardino County lost a true reflection of what a good American citizen should be when California State University, San Bernardino President Emeritus Dr. Albert Karnig, who devoted his life and career to inspiring our region and our neighbors to be the best they could be, passed away suddenly last Thursday. This Thursday, his family, associates, friends and many beneficiaries of his remarkable and wide-ranging career will gather at CSUSB’s Coussoulis Arena at 2 p.m., followed by a reception at the CSUSB reflecting pool to celebrate a life that focused on improving all of our lives every day.

     

    As president of one of the largest and most honored homebuilding associations in the nation, I have had the good fortune to work with many community leaders in many capacities. I had the great honor to join our membership in awarding Dr. Karnig the Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter Community Service Award in 2004 while working with him on a great many community projects. Like my fellow homebuilding professionals, I also had the great pleasure of calling him a friend, and always found Dr. Karnig to be the model for a responsible citizen who took his responsibility and commitment to the community very seriously.

     

    Beyond his legendary academic achievements, Dr. Karnig committed his talents to serve our entire community in nearly every capacity. We are all richer for his efforts here in our region.

     

    Born in 1942, the child of Armenian immigrants who fled the Armenian genocide during World War I, Dr. Karnig’s story proved to be in many ways the great American story. He spoke only Armenian until he started school and went on to become an award-winning author of books, studies and important academic papers as well as garnering numerous awards for his distinguished scholarship and leadership. As an educator, Dr. Karnig’s accomplishments during his 15 years as president are too numerous to detail, yet the ones that best illustrate his role as a community leader involve his role in CSUSB’s breaking records in enrollment and the diversity of both the school’s faculty and student body.

     

    His legacy includes raising millions to build a non-state-funded, four-building campus in Palm Desert and creating the President’s Academic Excellence Scholars Program. More importantly, during his presidency, CSUSB generated some of the highest African-American and Latino student retention rates of any California university — over 70 percent of the graduates were the first in their families to complete college. Ultimately, his tenure positioned CSUSB to be one of the most respected universities in California.

     

    While I am sure that soon Dr. Karnig’s life and career will be memorialized by emblazoning his name in public places, what is most important about Dr. Karnig’s life is that it will always serve as an example of what a life invested in serving one’s community can be.

    Our region faces many challenges in the future, yet thanks to people like Dr. Karnig, we and future generations of community leaders will know just what can be accomplished and — thanks to his contributions — will be better equipped to meet those challenges.

     

    When we gather together on Thursday to remember his remarkable life and achievements, we will call it a celebration of life. Let’s remember that every day of Dr. Karnig’s life brought something positive to all of our lives and this great place we call San Bernardino County.

     

    He gave us much to celebrate.

     

    Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC, is president of the Building Industry Association Baldy View Chapter.

  • 09 May 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    NARI offers tips in honor of National Home Improvement Month

     

    In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.

     

    What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

     

    1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.

     

    2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.

     

    3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.

     

    4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.

     

    5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.

     

    6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.

     

    7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.

     

    8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.

     

    9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.

     

    10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

     

    As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

     

    About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the medium for business development, a platform for advocacy and the principal source for industry intelligence. NARI connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has a positive remodeling experience. NARI is a nationwide network of nearly 6,000 member companies and their employees. Consumers may wish to search www.NARI.org to find a qualified NARI professional or call NARI National at (847) 298-9200.