Members of the Pennsylvania Builders Association recently gathered virtually for the Summer 2020 committee meetings and the Board of Directors meeting. Meetings were held using Zoom and, for the first time, did not overlap so that more members could attend the various committees.
Representatives from the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center updated PBA on the educational offerings available using new virtual platforms. The PHRC remains dedicated to serving the industry and the community.
Committees including the Non Dues Revenue Task Force, Workers’ Compensation, Workforce Education and Training, Communications, Membership, and Professional Women in Building brought members together to discuss issues and plan for the future. There were special considerations and discussion surrounding the spring shutdown in the Pennsylvania home building industry.
The Government Affairs Committee took place on Friday, July 24. The agenda was heavy with codes related issues, ranging from the ICC model code adoption process, resolutions to be sent to NAHB, RAC review updates, as well as ordinance challenges.
Other issues facing the GA committee consisted of an IAF request to allow PBA to submit an amicus brief to challenge the Ryan Fell Mortimer v 340 Associates, et al decision – which would “pierce the corporate view” and eliminate liability protections currently offered by LLCs.
Sarah Miller, PBA’s Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, gave updates on current legislative initiatives, including the passage of Act 34 of 2020 – the on-lot septic fix. This bill was one of the only pieces of legislation, that was non-COVID related, to pass and be sign by Governor Wolf during the shutdown.
For more information on Government Affairs, please contact Sarah Miller or Jill Pento at PBA.
Saturday’s Board of Directors meeting welcomed Carl Harris, candidate for the 2021 NAHB Third Vice Chair. Following Mr. Harris’ address to the membership, a resolution was passed for PBA to endorse his candidacy.
Jim Tobin, NAHB’s Chief Lobbyist, joined the meeting to provide updates on how NAHB has dealt with the pandemic and he also spoke about the upcoming election and the impact that it could have on the home building industry.
Immediate Past President Maria Coutts reported that the nominations committee had received no additional nominations for PBA 2021 President. Therefore, it was recommended to the Board of Directors to affirm the election of Cindy Cepko of Wayne Pike BIA as President-elect. The motion carried.
Additional nominations delivered to the Board included John Olson of Wayne Pike BIA as 2021 Secretary and Richard Clawson of the Indiana-Armstrong BA as Treasurer.
Lori Venema of West Branch Susquehanna BA provided the financial report for PBA through May 31. The sale of the PBA building in Harrisburg. The pandemic has presented challenges to PBA’s finances, but the sale of the building will reduce expenses going forward.
Members were updated on Membership, PaCAH activities, NAHB, and local associations prior to reports from PBA CEO Dan Durden and 2020 President Jon Sukonik that addressed PBA’s interactions with the Governor’s office, the PA legislature, members, the media, and local associations during the shutdown.
Both Jon and Dan thanked the membership for their patience and support during the unprecedented shutdown period.
At this time, PBA is planning for an in-person Fall Board Meeting at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center October 29-31 depending on the mandates from the Governor’s office.
We know there are many questions being raised now that businesses are opening throughout the state. PBA is providing you with an official link to the Governor's page that will answer some of your questions.
Among the topics covered in this official guidance, include:
QUESTION: Are masks required for operations where it would be unsafe to keep masks in place, or if an employee says they have anxiety and any mouth, nose covering can lead to panic attacks or other medical conditions?
ANSWER: Employees must wear masks unless the mask impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition that impedes the wearing of a mask, or if wearing a mask would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
QUESTION: Is it acceptable for workers to remove cloth face coverings when high temperatures and humidity may create unsafe conditions for operations?
ANSWER: Yes. An employee does not need to wear a mask if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition, or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task, including during hot and humid conditions.
Face shields should be considered as an acceptable alternative to face masks when high temperatures and humidity create unsafe conditions. Additionally, social distancing measures should be enforced when conditions are unsafe for wearing a mask and/or face shield. Employers should utilize discretion when determining unsafe conditions.
QUESTION: Does the masking requirement apply to workers who are outdoors, and who engage in heavy physical activity, such as employee of solid waste companies and landscapers?
ANSWER: Yes. However, an employee does not need to wear a mask if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition, or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
QUESTION: The commonwealth’s masking requirement differs from the CDC guidance on masking, which requires masking only when employees cannot maintain social distancing?
ANSWER: The Governor and Secretary of Health have chosen to employ safety measures beyond the CDC. Employees must wear masks at all times except when isolated from others in a private space or when it adversely affects their health.
There are several other answers to specific questions. We encourage all members to review the guidance. Please visit the FAQ section of the Governor's website here.
PBA encourages members to review all of the applicable guidance from the state and adopt safety policies only after you have determined how that guidance applies to your particular situation and your individual employees.
With the end of the “school year” upon us, the members of PBA want to take a moment to honor the determination and dedication of all the students enrolled in the Endorsed Trade Programs throughout Pennsylvania. It has been a difficult year but we are all inspired by your enthusiasm to contribute to the workforce of the future.
Despite the fact that many of you have not been able to celebrate in the traditional sense this year, please know that PBA members are all proud of your accomplishments and will continue to support you in the years ahead.
Again this year, PBA’s Endorsed Trade Program – with incredible support from the Pennsylvania Foundation for Housing and the numerous local home builders associations across the state – has been able to honor students with the Outstanding Student Award. Students were nominated by their instructors and received a cash award to help them take the next step in building their careers.
Brian Adams, Middle Bucks Institute of Technology for Building Trades Occupations (Home Builders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties)
Zach Augustine, Somerset County Technology Center - SCTC, for Masonry (Somerset County Builders Association)
Samuel Barnhart, Connellsville Area CTC, for Electrical Occupations (BA of Fayette County)
David Bates, Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, for Construction Trades (Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh)
Ian Beichner, Keystone High School/Clarion County Career Center, for Construction Technology (Tri-County BA)
Mason Cessna, Bedford County Technical Center, for Building Construction (Blair-Bedford Builders Association)
William Chechel, Monroe County CTI, for Carpentry (Pocono Builders Association)
Zoe Cotton, Carbon CTI, for Carpentry (Carbon Builders Association)
Jakob Dixon, Indiana County Technology Center, for HVAC (Indiana-Armstrong Builders Association)
Daniel Hessler, Upper Bucks Technical, for Carpentry (Home Builders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties)
Eric Hill, State College Area High School, for Building Construction Technology (Builders Association of Central PA)
Megan McClure, Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, for HVAC (Builders Association of Central PA)
Tyler Mesick, Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center, for Carpentry (Home Builders Association Of Northeastern Pennsylvania)
Gavin Miller, Indiana County Technology Center, for Carpentry (Indiana-Armstrong Builders Association)
Collin Morton, Cumberland Perry AVTS, for Masonry (Home Builders Association of Metro Harrisburg)
Austin Presely, Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center, for Building Property Maintenance (Home Builders Association Of Northeastern Pennsylvania)
Jamie Sarver, Somerset County Technology Center - SCTC, for Electrical (Somerset County Builders Association)
Emily Smith, Williamsport Area High School, for Construction Trades (West Branch Susquehanna Builders)
Renee Taylor, York Tech - Home of the Spartan Nation), for Carpentry (York Builders Association)
Tyler M. Troup, Pennsylvania College of Technology, for Building Construction Maintenance Degree 4 Year (West Branch Susquehanna Builders)
Please check out the PBA Facebook page frequently for pictures of these awesome graduates.
PBA congratulates you all and everyone from the Class of 2020!
The PBA Summer Board Meeting will be held virtually this year with all meetings conducted through online meeting technology.
Registration is now open for the various committee meetings and the Board of Directors meeting.
PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required for all meetings. Registrants will receive links and information about the individual meetings prior to the meeting dates.
Information on how to participate in the committee meetings can be found here.
Below is the schedule of events. - REGISTER HERE
Wednesday, July 22
10:00 a.m. - PHRC Meeting
11:30 a.m. - Non-Dues Task Force Meeting
1:00 p.m. - Workforce Training and Education Committee Meeting
Thursday, July 23
10:00 a.m. - Membership Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m. - Communications Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. - Workers Comp Committee Meeting
3:00 p.m. - Builder Services, Inc. (BSI) Board of Directors Meeting
Friday, July 24
9:00 a.m. - Associates Council Meeting
10:00 a.m. - Governmental Affairs Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. - Professional Women in Building (PWB) Meeting
Saturday, July 25
9:00 a.m. - New Board Orientation
10:00 a.m. - Board of Directors Meeting
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.
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.
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 crisis. Further, 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.
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
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
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.
Not sure how to use Zoom for the Regional Meetings? Click here.
Not sure of your region? Click here to find out.
DOWNLOAD THE REGIONAL PACKET HERE
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