February 2017
Welcome to 2017
Housing Starts Forecasts Lukewarm
If forecasters are to be believe d, 2017 should see another moderate uptick in housing starts in the US, even if people in the building industry don't feel overly optimistic about their prospects. Considering the roller coaster ride that the industry went through in the late 2000's, there's something to be said for slow and steady growth. 

According to a recent US Census Bureau News Release, there were 1.166 million housing starts in the US in 2016, a 4.9% increase over 2015 levels. Below is a summary of some forecasts for 2017, where experts are forecasting a moderate increase over actual 2016 starts.  
  • Fannie Mae:  1.308 million starts
  • Freddie Mac: 1.26 million starts
  • NAHB:  1.258 million starts
  • Nat'l Assoc. of Realtors:  1.221 million starts

The lukewarm feel to these forecasts is not unlike what respondents to a recent Random Lengths survey said, where approximately 50% of those responding believe that starts will be below 1.2 million while only 15% believe they will be above 1.3 million. Considering that housing economists believe that the fundamental demand for housing in the US is in the 1.5 to 1.7 million starts range, there may be room for optimism, and continued growth. Follow these links to see more on the outlook for 2017:

Fannie Mae December 2016 Housing Forecast

Freddie Mac Outlook - January 30, 2017

EPA Formaldehyde Emissions Rule on Hold
Executive Order Requires 60-Day Review
A recent White House memorandum will delay the effective date of the EPA’s rule on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. The memo instructs agencies to postpone the effective date for regulations that have been published, but have not yet taken effect. The original effective date of the regulation was February 10, 2017. Several members of the PFS TECO staff participated in a recent series of training webinars regarding the EPA formaldehyde regulation, during which it was stated by EPA representatives that the effective date has been changed to March 21, 2017.

The change will primarily impact accreditation bodies and third-party certifiers, who must now wait until March 21 to seek EPA approval. Unless results of the agency review further delays the implementation of the regulation, manufacturers, importers, fabricators, suppliers, distributors, and retailers will be required to comply with the requirements of the regulation, as applicable, beginning on December 12, 2017. 

Call (608-839-1081) or email Steve Verhey, PhD, for more information.  
Husom Appointed to MHCC
Jim Husom, PFS TECO President & CEO, has been appointed for a 3-year term to serve on the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The MHCC is an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regarding revisions and interpretations of HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, and related procedural and enforcement regulations. Jim will serve as a member in the category of General Interest/Public Official. In addition to serving on the main committee, Jim will also serve on the Structure & Design Subcommittee and the Regulatory Enforcement Subcommittee.

For more information about the MHCC, email Jim Husom.  
Timber City - Innovation with Wood
National Building Museum Exhibit Challenges How We Think About Wood
Since last September, the Timber City exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington DC has challenged the notion that wood is an antiquated building material . The exhibition demonstrates the many advantages offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including surprising strength, fire resistance, sustainability, and beauty.

Drawing attention to the recent boom in timber construction worldwide,  Timber City  further highlights several U.S. based projects, including two winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize.  

 Engineers Week

Engineers Week, February 19-25, is a time to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and bring engineering to life for kids, educators and parents.   

Read more about Engineers Week at the DiscoverE website.

Meet Our Staff
Marcus Henkel
DAPIA Plans Examiner
Cottage Grove (WI) office
PFS TECO welcomes Marcus Henkel to its corporate staff as a DAPIA plans examiner for manufactured homes clients. Marcus joined PFS TECO in October and brings several years of experience in the construction industry for manufactured and modular construction. He attended Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI, where he obtained three Associates degrees: Business Management, Accounting, and Marketing. Marcus is originally from Fennimore, a small town in southwestern Wisconsin.

 “Marcus provides a perfect fit for our Manufactured Structures group,” stated Bob Gorleski, Director of the PFS TECO Manufactured Structures Division. “He has hands-on experience in all facets of residential manufactured homes and we're happy to have him on our team.”

Marcus lives in Madison and during his free time enjoys bow hunting and snowboarding.  He's looking forward to his first snowboarding trip to Colorado's Rocky Mountains later this month.  

Engineered Thoughts
"One man's "magic" is another man's engineering."

-- Robert A. Heinlein
American novelist and science fiction writer

Calendar of Events
Feb 20-22, 2017
Austin, TX
Visit Ron Reindl and Deepak Shrestha at the PFS TECO booth
   Mar 1-4, 2017
Atlanta, GA  
Mar 17-20, 2017
Mar 28-30, 2017
Portland, OR
Visit Steve Winistorfer at the PFS TECO exhibit booth #403
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PFS TECO, 1507 Matt Pass, Cottage Grove, WI 53527, USA  •  P: 608.839.1013