News Wire


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Appraisal Institute, RESNET Agree to Coordinate Energy Efficiency Efforts

CHICAGO – The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers and a U.S. standards-setting body for energy efficiency rating and certification systems have agreed to work together to promote education, research and data standards.

The Appraisal Institute and the Residential Energy Services Network, known as RESNET, signed a cooperation agreement Jan. 21. The two organizations agreed to work together to present education programs on real estate valuation topics and building energy efficiency rating and certification systems to appraisers, builders, developers and other interested individuals.

AI and RESNET also agreed to cooperate in research and studies on topics of interest to both organizations. And they agreed to cooperate in developing data points relating to the rating of building efficiency and performance for use by appraisers in real property residential valuations.

“The Appraisal Institute is thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to further its leadership in green and energy efficient valuation by working with such a highly regarded organization as RESNET,” said Appraisal Institute President Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS.

“This agreement can serve to boost high energy performance homes in the market place. Residential real estate professionals will be given tools to better know the energy performance of the home being appraised and find comparable homes in the market,” said RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

American Institute of Architects Jacksonville Chapter Welcomes 2016 Board of Directors

Tyler Curl, AIA
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (February 3, 2016) – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Jacksonville Chapter welcomed the 2016 Board of Directors at the Chapter’s annual Board installation.

Tyler Curl, AIA, Reynolds, Smith and Hill, will serve as President. President-elect is Christopher Allen, AIA of Haskell. Jennifer Suharmadji, AIA, Stellar Group, Inc. is Treasurer. Michael Compton, AIA, Reynolds, Smith and Hill, is Secretary.

Chapter Directors are, Patrick Kern, AIA , Reynolds, Smith and Hill; Skip Yauger, AIA, Gresham, Smith and Partners and John Allmand, AIA, JAA Architecture, Inc . Tony Lamell, AIA of Stellar Group, Inc. is State Director.

For more information call 904.389.8421 or e-mail

AIA Jacksonville is a Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) representing and serving AIA Florida members in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties.  Within these counties, AIA Jacksonville represents and serves over 800 individual member architects, associates, and allied design professionals who are working in fields allied to architecture.  Organizationally, we are a local membership organization incorporated as a 501(c) 6 not-for-profit corporation and guided by the laws of the State of Florida.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More Than 110,000 Attend 2016 International Builders' Show, Design & Construction Week

WASHINGTON D.C -- More than 110,000 housing industry professionals packed the aisles at Design & Construction Week, held Jan. 19-22 in Las Vegas. This marked the third year of the co-located mega-event, which included the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the International Window Coverings Expo and The International Surface Event.

Official attendance for IBS was 59,687, which was 8 percent higher than last year's show. Nearly 1,400 IBS exhibitors filled more than 500,000 square feet of space, including a record-breaking 30,000-square- foot outdoor exhibit space. New products focused on home technology and increased energy efficiency: two factors boosting the return of buyers to the new home market.

"The packed crowds and positive energy throughout this year's Design & Construction Week are another indication of the residential construction industry's ongoing recovery," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.

IBS organizers also noted an increase in international exhibitors, with 460 exhibitors representing 25 countries and filling 72,000 square feet--or 14 percent of total IBS exhibit space.

Overall, Design & Construction Week boasted more than 3,750 exhibitors and 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.

"We reached our goal of creating the 'must attend, must exhibit' week for anyone and everyone in the residential construction industry," said Tom Swartz, chair of the NAHB Convention and Meetings Committee, during his report to the NAHB Board of Directors on the last day of IBS. 

Crowded education sessions held during the show demonstrated that builders and remodelers are taking a bigger interest in automating their purchasing, accounting and sales systems. There were more than 120 education sessions during the event.

Swartz noted the expanded educational offering on the show floor, with more than 30 companies offering almost 90 "Exhibitor Forums," and the addition of a new Exhibitor Forum Presentation Stage in Central Hall, where 16 exhibitors demonstrated their most innovative products.

Visit to see photos and videos of the show, as well as more information about the exhibitors, events, educational sessions and award winners.

The 2017 IBS, Jan. 10-12, moves to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Monday, February 1, 2016

LandSouth Commences Work on $24 Million Daytona Beach Apartments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  – LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development has broken ground on Integra Sands, a $24 million luxury apartment community in Daytona Beach, Fla. Integra Land Company of Lake Mary, Fla. is developing the 358,480 square foot project. Charlan, Brock and Associates of Maitland, Fla. is designing Integra Sands. Completion is scheduled for April 2017.

“The plan is for Integra Sands to attract a wide span of lifestyles, from students to young professionals to working empty-nesters,” noted LandSouth Construction President and CEO James Pyle. “With spacious interiors, sophisticated finishes and resort-style amenities the community offers the perfect balance between small-town charm and big-city comfort.”

Nestled on 14.5 beautiful acres, Daytona Beach’s newest apartment address will feature 264 garden style apartment homes in six four-story buildings and five two-story carriage houses with mail kiosks.

The community will offer one, two and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 705 to 1,385 square feet of living space in seven spacious floor plans. Interior finishes are to include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops with under-mount sinks, pendant lighting, vinyl laminate plank in living areas, contemporary carpeting in bedrooms, and ceramic tile in baths. 

Features also include state-of-the-art amenities, where residents will be able to enjoy a resort-style clubhouse, swimming pool, dog park, outdoor grilling areas and BBQ pavilion, fitness center and game room. Integra Sands will offer gated access at three landscaped entrances with private garage and surface parking available.

Residents will enjoy being conveniently located to entertainment, shopping, outdoor recreation, educational opportunities and great dining. With easy access to I-95, Integra Sands is also close to major employment centers including, Florida Hospital Daytona, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Advanced Technology College, NASCAR and the LPGA Tour.

“We are proud to have been selected for this exciting project, which will help to further the growth of Daytona Beach and offer residents expanded options for new luxury apartment living,” said Joe Passkiewicz, Senior Vice President, Development, LandSouth Construction. “There has been a growing demand for quality apartments in Volusia County in recent years, making it ideal timing for building Integra Sands.”

LandSouth Construction is currently working on apartments and mixed use developments throughout the Southeast including Lawrenceville, Ga., Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Sanford, Jacksonville, Davenport, Casselberry, Odessa and Orlando Fla., Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla. In its 18-year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 12,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes.

In building Integra Sands, LandSouth is using its unique integrated construction approach where each service component works together to provide a seamless delivery system. These components have been designed and refined to be complementary. 

Each is performance enhanced with proven procedures, tested systems and the very latest construction technology. By emphasizing results and exceptional service, LandSouth Construction has created a construction process to provide the best possible value for clients.

For more information, visit or call 904.273.6004.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

NAHB: 2015 New-Home Sales Reach Eight-Year High

Ed Brady
WASHINGTON  -- Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 14.5 percent to 501,000 units in 2015, the highest level since 2007, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Meanwhile, sales in December increased 10.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 from an upwardly revised November reading.  

"The December sales report is a great end to a very strong year," said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. "As we move forward in 2016, we should see the housing market continue to make lasting gains."

Sales increased in all four regions in December. The Midwest, West, Northeast and South all posted respective gains of 31.6 percent, 21 percent, 20.8 percent and 0.4 percent. 

"Relatively low interest rates and an improving economy are motivating buyers to make a new-home purchase," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Builders are upping their inventory in response to heightened consumer interest. Housing inventory is now at its highest level since October 2009."

The inventory of new homes for sale was 237,000 units in December. This is a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

TRAVEL: Starwood Hotels and Resorts and TripAdvisor Announce New Instant Booking Partnership

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.  and  TripAdvisor  announced today they have partnered to make Starwood’s global hotel portfolio accessible on the TripAdvisor instant booking platform. 

The partnership enables Starwood to market and merchandise its brands to a unique customer base, starting in the first half of this year.

“We are excited about an enhanced relationship with TripAdvisor as it allows us to deepen our touch-points with TripAdvisor’s global community of travelers while maintaining a consistent connection with guests before, during, and after their stay at a Starwood hotel,” said Julie Atkinson , Senior Vice President of Global Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts . “We appreciate the work TripAdvisor has done to expand upon the existing distribution models and the partnership will provide a clear benefit to our global hotel portfolio.”

With TripAdvisor instant booking, users click on a “Book Now” button to initiate a reservation. Travelers are reminded throughout the booking process that their reservation is powered by Starwood and are provided links and phone numbers to contact the hotel’s customer service associates directly; all support inquiries will be handled by Starwood’s customer care team.

“We look forward to expanding our relationship with Starwood, a hospitality leader and a longtime partner,” said Robin Ingle , Senior Vice President, Global Sales, TripAdvisor . “Adding Starwood’s robust brand offerings and acclaimed properties to our fast-growing instant booking platform provides the TripAdvisor community with even more choice and flexibility when booking travel.”

Monday, January 25, 2016

IBS: New products focused on home technology and increased energy efficiency

The expo halls and education sessions were packed at the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 20-22 for the NAHB International Builders’ Show® – another indication that the home building industry is one more leg up on its climb out of the doldrums.

More than 60,000 attendees walked through the doors, part of the more than 100,000 who attended this third annual Design & Construction Week, which included exhibits and education from the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, The International Surface Event and International Window Coverings Expo.

New products focused on home technology and increased energy efficiency: two factors boosting the return of buyers to the new home market. All together, IBS boasted nearly 1,400 exhibitors and more than 500,000 square feet of real estate, including a record-breaking 30,000 square foot outdoor exhibit space.

Show organizers also noted an increase in international exhibitors, led by China, whose participating businesses made up more than 35,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Builders and remodelers are taking a bigger interest in automating their purchasing, accounting and sales systems and crowded business management sessions designed to help them grow their companies’ revenue. There were more than 120 education sessions over the three-day event.

“The show is going really well. There seems to be a lot more enthusiasm and a lot more emphasis on technology than in the past,” said Michael Schwitter, business manager for ITW Alpine. “Attendance is up, a lot more people are coming by the booth. It seems like genuine interest.”

Michelle Barghout, Professional Services Manager for Sales Simplicity Software, agreed. “Everyone we’ve talked to has been a much more solid lead than last year. The quality of attendees and potential sales is much higher.”

In addition to the exhibit hall and education sessions, this year’s IBS featured the annual Spike party – with guest performers Hall & Oates – awards dinners, luncheons and breakfasts, networking opportunities and the NAHB annual meeting, where the board of directors elected Ed Brady, a home builder from Bloomington, Ill., as the 2016 Chairman of the Board.

Next year IBS moves to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The dates are Jan. 10-12, 2017.