Al’s Column

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

By FCNews staff

REGISTRY PUBLISHED: The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute rolled out a new product registry that allows consumers, designers and builders to make more informed choices and calls for greater transparency from manufacturers. Over 200 certified products are eligible for LEED v4 credits, and more than 1,000 variations can be found using the new registry.
“We’re encouraging our certification holders to allow us to put up their scorecards,” said Bridgett Luther, president of the institute. “It lets stakeholders quickly see where manufacturers have done the hard work of continuously improving their products. Our certification is unique in encouraging companies to improve their products’ ingredients and processes. The multi-attribute nature of our certification becomes a powerful way to show a company’s commitment to making the world a better place for people and planet.”

MILLENNIALS REMODEL: Better Homes and Gardens has released findings from its sixth annual survey on the attitude and spending trends of home buyers. Research focused on Millennials’ preferences for their next homes and asked more than 3,200 prospective home buyers about home improvement spending, the importance of personalization and technology in home value.

In a presentation at the recent International Builders Show, Jill Waage, editorial director for home content, noted, “Millennials are swarming into the home marketplace armed with information, ideas and a desire for personalization. Homebuilders, designers and remodelers should know this generation expects you to work with them as collaborators, not just contractors.” Waage noted Millennials use a range of platforms, including social media such as Pinterest and Instagram, to express their personalities and share ideas on home design.

CORK COMPETITION: Globus Cork is sponsoring a competition for design and architecture students in the New York region called CorkFloorDesign.com. Students and student groups can submit cork flooring design concepts online to a judging committee that will select design finalists and a winner who will receive a $1,500 cash prize and publication of their winning design through press releases and various media outlets and websites.

Globus manufactures more than 2,800 variations of cork tiles. The winning floor will be created and photographed by Globus Cork and will be donated, including installation, to a non-profit community center in New York.

CONSUMERS STEADY: U.S. consumer sentiment was unchanged in early February, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading for the month. The preliminary reading stood at 81.2, unchanged from the final reading in January. Analysts expected a February reading of 80.6. The survey’s measure of current economic conditions fell to 94.0 from 96.8 in January, but the consumer expectations gauge rose to a six-month high of 73.0 from 71.2. “The good news is that confidence proved resilient to recent government reports of weak growth in income and employment,” said survey director Richard Curtin.
“The not-so-good news is that the full impact on household budgets from the harsh winter has yet to be registered.”

NYLONS RISING: Raw materials prices for nylon 6 are all on the rise, and several companies announced increases for their products last month.

DSM Engineering Plastics raised the price of its Akulon and Novamid polyamide 6 polymers. The firm said prices were increased by 100 euros per ton in Europe and by $0.10 per pound in North and South America.
Honeywell also announced a $0.10 per pound increase for caprolactam and nylon 6 resins in North America. BASF announced the same increase for its caprolactam and polyamide 6 polymers in North America.

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