C hartered in 1941, the Greater Houston Builders Association is a trade organization whose members are involved in the development, homebuilding, and remodeling industry in 11 counties. The association interacts with the government, community and general public to enhance the business climate for its members, and to provide quality obtainable housing to the community it serves. The association is also active in community outreach and charitable events.
GHBA is the largest home builders association (HBA) in Texas, and the third largest in the nation. GHBA's mission is “To provide advocacy, education and meaningful services to benefit its members and the housing industry.” Learn more
Mission Complete: Houston's Best PRISM Awards
The winners of the Houston's Best PRISM Awards were announced at a black tie gala event on Saturday, October 4. With a fun James Bond "Diamonds are Forever" theme, this year's "mission" was successful, as more than 700 industry professionals and guests gathered at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for a night of mystery and intrigue.
For more than 30 years, the coveted PRISM Awards have recognized the best of the finest homebuilding industry professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners and a huge 'thank you' to all of the entrants, sponsors, SMC board members, judges and volunteer drivers for making the entire event joyful and memorable.
If you missed the show, check out all of the winners and finalists here, or stop by the GHBA to pick up your copy of the official Winner's Guide [9MB].
Event Video & Preview of PRISM 2015 Free Photo Downloads, courtesy of Perfect Image Signs
OSHA Announces New Reporting Requirements
(NAHB Now) - The federal Occupational Safety and and Health Administration announced a final rule that requires employers to notify the agency—within 24 hours—whenever an employee has an occupational-related in-patient hospital stay, amputation, or loss of an eye.
The rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and applies to all employers—even those with fewer than 10 employees.
Previously, OHSA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities, and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.
To make these requirements a little less burdensome, OSHA is developing a website for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options. You can also use NAHB's Recordkeping Toolkit to learn more about the revised regulation and what you need to do to stay in compliance. OSHA's New Website NAHB's Recordkeeping Toolkit
Updates to the COH Infrastructure Design Manual, Chapter 9 & 13
GHBA has been working with the City of Houston and Public Works Department (PWE) since last summer on changes to the City's Infrastructure Design Manual, in particular, Chapters 9 & 13, which provide guidance for city-wide stormwater detention.
Initially, PWE proposed to reduce the assumed percentage of impervious cover for single family residential lots 15,000 square feet or less from 75 percent to 50 percent. However, GHBA was successful in convincing PWE to raise their proposal to 65 percent. Additionally, the Mayor's staff proposed to allow residential builders to use porous pavement on driveways. Further, if builders choose to install porous pavers, up to 10 percent of the porous pavers would be considered as pervious.
GHBA accepted this proposal and worked with PWE in order to provide a pre-approved standard drawing of a porous paver system that builders may attach to plans. This agreement saves builders significant time and an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 as they will not be required to submit engineered site plans when choosing to use porous pavers. However, builders may elect to submit a separate signed and sealed drawing as long as it meets the minimum standards provided in PWE's pre-approved drawing. The revised regulations in Chapters 9 & 13 will go into effect on December 1, 2014. Read more
EPA's Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule
On November 14, the public comment period ends for EPA's proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule. This proposed rule broadens the EPA's regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act by expanding the definition of jurisdictional waters to include natural, man-altered or man-made tributaries.
This proposed rule will subject developers, farmers and ranchers to significantly more Clean Water Act permitting requirements, NEPA analyses, mitigation requirements and lawsuits challenging local actions.
Instead of providing helpful guidance, the EPA has created new and confusing terms in the proposed rule including "neighboring," "floodplain" and "riparian areas," thereby subjecting all such waters to new federal authority.
GHBA strongly opposes this rule and as a result, will soon circulate GHBA's comment letter as well as a draft letter for any interested GHBA members to individually submit to the EPA. Read More
Member Benefits & Quick Links
Houston Builder Magazine
The official publication of the GHBA, Houston Builder magazine provides up-to-date information on industry trends, products and news. Covers association-related educational opportunities, special events and meetings as well as political updates in relation to the building industry.
For advertising information, email Brittany Feldmann or call 832.215.7232.
Standardized Contracts for Builders & Remodelers
Custom builders & remodelers can save thousands in legal fees by using standardized contracts offered by the association. The 2013 - 2015 Texas Residential Construction Contracts Package is a valuable member benefit, free with your membership to the Custom Builders Council and/or the Remodelers Council.
Not a member yet? Join today!
Newsmaker of the Month
Though Larry Abbott was personally fulfilled in a career working at the Center for Criminal Adolescents in Syracuse, New York, the potential for paying his bills on his salary was always questionable. Larry left his home state in 1978 in his '73 Plymouth Duster, doling out his limited funds in D.C., South Carolina, Florida and Georgia on his journey to a more lucrative future. He ended up in Houston where, needing money, he was told "If you can swing a hammer you're hired."
Larry later set out on his own, and is now the founder and owner of Abbott Contracting. Larry joined the GHBA Remodelers Council to learn how to become more professional and to develop professional relationships. "I find the council members to be friendly and very willing to share their ideas, problems and solutions," said Larry... Read more
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