BUILDING TODAY

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News and Updates

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  • 01 Jun 2020 1:07 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The PBA Senior Officers have determined that the Summer Board Meeting will be held virtually. All committee meetings, as well as the Board of Directors Meeting itself, will be held via Zoom conferencing. This will replace the previously scheduled on-site meetings scheduled for the Bedford Springs Omni Resort.

    Revised committee dates and times will be announced shortly and registration for all meetings will be required for all attendees. The Board of Directors meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday, July 25 beginning at 10 a.m. - again prior registration will be required for all attendees. Members will receive an email with details soon.

    The officers had previously announced that the Summer Regional Meetings would be held remotely. Registration for the Regional Meetings is open - please find your local meeting here.

  • 29 May 2020 3:23 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Building in our increasingly humid and wet weather creates enormous challenges for delivering durable, safe, and healthy places to live. There is a growing need to develop more effective envelope and interior moisture management strategies to ensure we can meet these goals and reduce the likelihood of building defects arising over time.

    In Part 1 of this series, James Ball and Doug McCleery of MaGrann Associates will present an overview of the challenges and provide best practices for managing these complex building science systems from a design and construction perspective. Solutions will address managing moisture resulting from the envelope, building materials, humidity inside homes, and labor issues related to successful assembly strategies.

    With respect to construction defects related to moisture, you have the ability to manage your exposure to risk. In Part 2, insurance professional Jay T. Crosby of Emmanuel Risk Solutions and construction attorneys Lane Kelman and Matthew Skaroff of Cohen Seglias will discuss the key strategies and considerations for developers, builders, contractors, and subcontractors to protect themselves for moisture-related problems on a project.

    Protecting yourself from moisture claims begins with your contract, extends into insurance coverage, and ends with claim management.  Learn the key elements and nuances needed to make the best decisions to protect yourself on a project.

    Developers, builders, GCs, subcontractors, design professionals, and advisors should attend. Learn more about the program and speakers and register now at the links below.

    Part 1: Best Practices for Design and Construction (Click here to register.)

    Wednesday, June 3, 2020, from 2 to 3 p.m.

    Part 2: Best Practices for Risk Management (Click here to register.)

    Thursday, June 4, 2020, from 10 to 11 a.m. 

  • 19 May 2020 3:04 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Governor Tom Wolf today announced that starting today, businesses and employees in the real estate industry may conduct limited business-related activities statewide and provided guidance for this industry to operate in red phase and yellow phase counties.

    “We continue to review our policies and the scientific data to determine the safest approach for all activities in the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “While at this point more than two-thirds of the state will be in the yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan by Friday, May 22, we are still evaluating how industries may be able to conduct business appropriately in red phase counties, including the real estate industry.

    “This industry impacts numerous types of businesses and Pennsylvania homebuyers who are in the process of, or considering, purchasing a home. It’s critical that these businesses, regardless of whether they are in red phase or yellow phase counties, strictly adhere to all appropriate guidelines and guidance,” Governor Wolf said.

    Previously, businesses and employees in the real estate industry were permitted to conduct limited in-person activities in counties in the yellow phase of the commonwealth’s phased reopening plan

    The real estate guidance requires businesses and employees to follow all applicable provisions of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public, which includes provisions requiring that every person present at a work site, business location, or property offered for sale, wear masks/face coverings, and provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

    All in-person activities should be scheduled and limited to no more than the real estate professional and two people inside a property at any time, exercising appropriate social distancing.

    When conducting settlements/closings utilize remote notary, powers of attorney or the exchange of contract documents electronically or by mail wherever possible. Where it is not possible to conduct settlement/ closing via remote notary or POA, attendance in-person must be limited to required signatories and their legal counsel or real estate professional only, and steps to preserve social distancing must be followed to the maximum extent possible.

    Businesses and employees are also encouraged to provide sellers with relevant safety information and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing properties; utilize electronic marketing as much as possible; provide all individuals at an in-person activity with a verbal health screening; stagger scheduling of property showings; avoid physical contact with the property by staging in advance to prevent the need for interaction with items like lights, interior doors, drapes and blinds; and minimize time spent in the property by having discussions away from the property via remote means.

    The governor today vetoed House Bill 2412, which does not provide enough safety protocols for the COVID-19 public health crisisFurther, the legislation would have placed restrictions on municipalities related to property transfers; specifically, it would have eliminated a municipality’s ability to issue use and occupancy permits and conduct safety inspections, which are conditions of a property transfer. 


  • 12 May 2020 4:33 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania’s reopening continues and we want to inform you of PBA’s latest actions in our continuing effort to protect members’ businesses. Among other initiatives, PBA leadership and staff have engaged in ongoing dialogues with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Labor & Industry and the Department of Community and Economic Development. Our persistent lobbying contributed to the change allowing for an unlimited number of workers outside of structures. Previously, the Administration limited residential construction to four workers per work site in total. We continue to push for more clarifications and for workplace flexibility.

    Among other things, we have asked the Administration to give residential construction parity with commercial construction in the number of workers allowed inside structures. In addition, we are pushing the Administration to relax unnecessary restrictions on construction as counties move from Red to Yellow within the Governor’s opening scheme. We maintain that most parts of residential construction are inherently socially distanced and should be able to resume more traditional practices when counties go to Yellow.

    We understand that the Administration still has not issued substantive guidance governing model homes and how they can operate. PBA maintains that model homes are an integral part of the residential construction business and we are lobbying for clear and workable rules.

    Finally, all our members are affected when some of our members cannot contribute their efforts to the homebuilding process. Kitchen cabinet manufacturing is still constrained by rules that do not govern many other lines of business. We have repeatedly raised this concern to the Wolf Administration and until we secure relief, PBA will not stop lobbying for a reopening of kitchen cabinet manufacturing and relief for all of the industry’s supply chain contributors.

    We are confident that PBA’s members can perform the vast majority of their jobs while still observing the latest safety mandates from the CDC, OSHA, and the PA Department of Health. Members just need the chance to prove that they can carry out their mission without increasing worker or customer exposure to COVID-19. PBA has been carrying that message to the Wolf Administration since the shutdown began. We will not stop until this crisis is over and we thank you for your continued support.

    Dan Durden, CEO
    Pennsylvania Builders Association

  • 04 May 2020 10:44 AM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) has revised and updated its guidance governing how to count workers on residential projects. As PBA has lobbied from the beginning and as was previously represented by the administration, exterior workers will not count against the four-workers-per-jobsite limit. The important revised answer is in response to the question “Do worker limits apply to work being done on the exterior of the property?”

    We understand that four workers inside is still less than ideal for some projects; but the ability to work with crews both outside and inside a structure should allow members much more flexibility in both scheduling and complying with safety guidelines.

    SEE THE UPDATED GUIDELINES HERE

    UPDATED FAQs HERE

  • 01 May 2020 12:51 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The PBA Summer Regional Meetings will be held in June via conference call or online through ZOOM. There will be no face-to-face meetings.

    Participating in a regional meeting is your chance to stay informed of PBA activities and benefits. It is also the perfect opportunity to voice your concerns and help shape upcoming legislative priorities. Regional meetings bring members together to network and represent the interests of builder, associate, and affiliate members in your area.

    Please check your region below and register for the appropriate meeting. You will receive information on how to access the meetings.

    MIDEAST REGION

    SOUTHWEST REGION

    SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

    SOUTHEAST REGION

    NORTHWEST REGION

    MIDWEST REGION

    NORTHEAST REGION

    NORTHCENTRAL REGION

    Not sure of your region? Click here to find out.

  • 24 Apr 2020 3:28 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    In order to keep our members informed, PBA wanted to share Sen. Toomey's proposed framework for reopening businesses in Pennsylvania.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Allentown, PA - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of President Trump’s bipartisan “Opening Up America Again Congressional Group,” released a conceptual framework for gradually and safely reopening Pennsylvania’s economy.

    Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework provides for a three-phase, county-based approach to reopening Pennsylvania’s economy.

    “Last night Governor Wolf made public his framework for gradually reopening the state economy beginning on May 8th,” said Senator Toomey. “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, my staff and I have had regular contact with the governor and his team about several issues, including how we begin the process of returning to normal life.

    “The governor’s proposal represents progress and it shares many similarities with my own plan. However, our plans do have several differences; my plan allows for the following:

    • With Pennsylvania’s health care systems not being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, most of the state should resume some level economic activity immediately
    • Provides counties with the flexibility to account for isolated statistical anomalies
    • Allows doctors and hospitals to resume elective procedures immediately - provided safety benchmarks are met
    • Expanded and improved testing for at-risk health care workers, including those in nursing homes

    “No one plan will account for all the variables that we must address to open Pennsylvania in a gradual and safe manner. I look forward to working with the Wolf administration on addressing these challenges.”

    A summary of Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework is available here

    A full overview of Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework is available here.

  • 23 Apr 2020 1:51 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim enforcement guidance to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators (N95 FFRs). The action marks the department’s latest step to ensure the availability of respirators and follows President Donald J. Trump’s Memorandum on Making General Use Respirators Available.

    Due to the impact on workplace conditions caused by limited supplies of N95 FFRs, employers should reassess their engineering controls, work practices and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for N95 respirators.

    If respiratory protection must be used, employers may consider use of alternative classes of respirators that provide equal or greater protection compared to an N95 FFR, such as National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved, non-disposable, elastomeric respirators or powered, air-purifying respirators.

    When these alternatives are not available, or where their use creates additional safety or health hazards, employers may consider the extended use or reuse of N95 FFRs, or use of N95 FFRs that were approved but have since passed the manufacturer’s recommended shelf life, under specified conditions.

    This interim guidance will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. This guidance is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. Visit OSHA’s Coronavirus webpage regularly for updates.

    For further information about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

    OSHA has released two memos to update Guidance for Respiratory Protection in response to limited supplies of masks and PPE on jobsites. 

    See, https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-04-03/enforcement-guidance-respiratory-protection-and-n95-shortage-due-coronavirus

    and, https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-04-03/enforcement-guidance-use-respiratory-protection-equipment-certified-under

    OSHA FACT SHEET

  • 23 Apr 2020 12:45 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    Understanding the COVID-19 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Process for Small Business to Apply for Loan
    Monday, April 27
    1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    FREE

    REGISTER HERE

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to create unprecedented challenges for employers across Pennsylvania and the nation.  Based on the number of significant legislative and policy changes occurring on both the state and federal level, the Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association are presenting a free 1 hour webinar as a public service to review the recently enacted Payroll Protection Program (PPP), and the process banks follow to provide loans to small businesses, as well as tips for small business to apply for the loans.  

    WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS

    We are pleased to present Clem Rosenberger, President and CEO for NexTier Bank & Federal Policy Committee Chair, PA Bankers to present an update on the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP), explain the requirements for business to qualify, and present best practices for small business to follow when applying for the loans.

    Then PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr, and PA Bankers President and CEO Duncan Campbell will provide a brief coronavirus update and the latest developments for Pennsylvania employers and banks. 

    We will cover:

    • A review of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) elements and what this means for business
    • Who is qualified to receive a loan under the PPP
    • What process most banks follow to determine how the loans are administered
    • The process small businesses or non-profit should follow to apply for the loan
    • The minimal requirements to be eligible
    • How loan forgiveness is defined
    • Best practices for compliance
    • Latest update on COVID-19 for PA employers

    The speakers will open up the last few minutes of the webinar to answer questions from participants.


    REGISTER HERE

  • 23 Apr 2020 12:42 PM | Rick Cochran (Administrator)

    I would personally like to extend a hearty thank you for all the efforts put forth by our amazing Staff, Volunteer Leadership and the Membership of PBA in helping to get residential construction open again. There are still a lot of details to be worked out related to Guidance associated with job site activities over the next week. PBA is working closely with the Governor’s office on this issue and will provide you with the information as soon as it is available.

    The value of membership in PBA showed best during this time of crisis. Effective 5/1, construction is the only industry allowed to restart operations again and it was even moved forward by a week from the original date announced just a couple of days ago. Once the guidance documents are set, please follow them as a sign of why we were singled out. The long term health of Pennsylvanians remains a top priority for us at PBA. Godspeed.

    Jon Sukonik, President
    Pennsylvania Builders Association

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