2023 March Building Insight

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Janelle Guthrie


Hannah Cassara


Lena Anderson



Greg Lane


Al Audette


Josie Cummings


Janelle Guthrie


Jan Himebaugh


Stephen Hyer


Celebrating Women’s History Month

Like many women in construction, Darylene Dennon grew up around construction, but she took a few detours on the way to becoming the first tradeswoman to chair NAHB’s Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council. Dennon recalls how PWB started back in the 1950s and its growth and evolution over the years.

Want to fix Washington’s housing crisis?

Master Builders Association of Pierce County Past President Scott Walker says to help builders develop more housing for Washington families who desperately need homes, regulators need to reduce barriers and change their attitudes toward home builders.

Three women lead the way

Meet three women who have risen to the leading roles of Madam President in their respective local associations for 2023

Jenn Kavanaugh


Brenda Kwieciak


A legal challenge on the costly new energy code

Steps for success at the 2023 BIAW Winter Board Meeting


For editorial inquiries, contact Hannahc@biaw.com

Interested in advertising in Building Insight? Contact communications@biaw.com


Building Insight magazine is published on behalf of the Building Industry Association of Washington by Print Northwest.

Enter your project today!

Jackson Maynard @BuildingIndustryAssocWA

Associate member spotlight

International Builders’ Show Recap

ROII: The first line of defense against workplace injuries

Local happenings


A home in progress: but what does it take to get to that point? A lot of expensive, time-consuming hurdles. Builders have been sounding the alarm for years. Now, lawmakers are finally recognizing that the state’s housing and homelessness crisis is largely due to a dramatic lack of housing supply. Read more on page 18.

As always, we want to hear from you! We invite you to take a quick survey about your thoughts on Building Insight. Happy reading!

7 4 10 11 12 14 16 17 20 22 6 5 8 9 3 2023 Excellence in Remodeling President’s message How to stay safe around the most hazardous tools on your jobsite Housing at the forefront this legislative session
Executive Vice President’s message
Certified Builder
building insight | march 2023
Building Industry Association of Washington @biawofwa @BIAW2

President’s message

At the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Alicia Huey, an Alabama-based custom home builder and developer with more than 30 years in our business, stepped up to lead the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as our 2023 chair.

She’s not the first woman to lead our association. That honor goes to Shirley Wiseman who led NAHB more than 30 years ago in 1989, after serving as HUD deputy assistant secretary for single-family housing in 1983 and 1984 during the Reagan administration.

Opportunities to lead

Our local, state and national home builders associations have enjoyed strong leadership from women in our industry, from past chairs of the NAHB Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council like Darylene Dennon and Juli Bacon to BIAW second vice president and incoming PWB NAHB vice chair Luellen Smith, who will lead that council in 2024, all three from Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS).

At the state level, I’m proud to recognize Dottie Piazza, from my local home builders association, Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA). She served as BIAW president in 2002. And I’m so grateful to the late Audrey Borders, the BIAW past president who installed me as SICBA president and helped our association battle back to health in 2013. And finally, kudos to our most recent female BIAW president, Sherry Schwab from MBAKS, who led our association through the pandemic in 2020.

Fast forward to my year as your 2023 BIAW president. As I’ve traveled around the state this year to local installations, we’ve welcomed women leaders like Olympia

Master Builders president Becky Rieger, Spokane Home Builders Association president Sharla Jones and MBAKS president Traci Tenhulzen. Read more about these dedicated women on page 14.

As we celebrate Women in Construction Week, March 5-11, we’re featuring some of these standouts in this month’s magazine, but there are really too many to mention. You’ll find strong leaders in every local association, whether they have a formal PWB council or not.

An industry open to all

As builders, we welcome anyone who wants to join us in swinging a hammer, drawing up blueprints or laying a foundation. And while the industry continues to attract more men than women, the number of women joining the trades is climbing. Women now make up 11 percent of our workforce with more than 1.24 million working in construction.

Across all industries, women still lag when it comes to the gender wage gap, making roughly 80 percent of what men make, but in construction, that gap tightens to nearly 96 percent. Perhaps that’s one reason why we’re seeing more growth.

According to NAHB, the construction industry needs 1.2 million more skilled workers by 2025 across the U.S. Women can play an important role in addressing our labor shortage. We welcome anyone ready to work hard to help us build the American dream. And we hope everyone can experience the pride and satisfaction that comes with it.

Thank you to all our members who work together to make our association strong.

4 building insight | march 2023

Celebrate National Designations Month with

Bob Disney cuts the ribbon at the celebration of his donation of a tool trailer to the students at West Sound Tech.

Executive Vice President’s message

In late January, I spoke to a group of 320 people who gathered at the Lynwood Convention Center from across the Puget Sound region at the 2023 Real Estate Success Summit presented by The Lones Group.

Building Industry Association of Whatcom

County member Denise Lones kicked off the summit with a comprehensive State of the Market presentation, zeroing in on Washington’s urgent need for more homes to meet the demand of the state’s burgeoning population.

Change is imperative

Last month I wrote about BIAW’s legislative priorities and warned of dangerous bills that pose further threats to the state’s housing needs. As the 2023 session heads into the home stretch, we need your help even more.

On the positive side, a bipartisan coalition of representatives and senators has announced a commitment to permit reform and other pro-housing legislation desperately needed to build more homes Washington families can afford.

It’s moments like these when the expertise of our entire membership —builders and associate members—really shines. Each of our members has a piece of this story to tell.

A laser focus on building homes

There are various reports out there of exactly how many new housing units the state currently lacks. But whether it’s 180,000 or 270,000, one thing is clear: Washington is woefully behind.

Challenge Seattle, led by former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, estimates we’ll need up to 2.5 million new homes by 2050 to restore our state’s housing market to “healthy.” And we’re not going to get there utilizing the same old approach to housing policy we’ve used over the last three decades under the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA).

Challenge Seattle says we need to build 2.5 million new housing units over the next 27 years. How many do you think were built in the last 27 years under the GMA? Just 1.1 million. Washington must do better.

Unfortunately, the governor and antihousing legislators continue to push measures that would make it more difficult and more expensive to build homes.

You can help

Not everyone can pull off a powerful housing summit the way Denise and her team did. But if you have a smartphone and a few minutes, you can make a difference in Olympia:

n Sign up for our text alerts: Text BIAW to 50457

n Visit our Legislative Action Center each week at biaw.com/legislativeaction-center/to learn which bills to sign in on to support or oppose

n Plan to join our BIAW Legislative Action Day on March 21 during our winter board meeting in Olympia

6 building insight | march 2023


DOSH Inspections: Don’t be caught unprepared

* Free for ROII participants

Excellence in Remodeling 2023

We invite you to submit your best remodeling project to this year’s competition.

Entries now open!

Each year, BIAW holds its annual Excellence in Remodeling (EIR) Award competition designed to recognize the state’s best remodeling and design work. The competition is open to all members of BIAW. Judging criteria includes aesthetics, special or unique design solutions, quality of craftsmanship, appropriate building materials, budgetary consideration and challenges or obstacles the project’s design requirements face.

Last year, BIAW members from across the state submitted 57 entries in 25 different categories. Once submitted, projects are presented before a blind panel of industry experts from various fields of expertise. Entry Deadline: April 21, 2023

Submit your entries online at Biaw. secure-platform.com/site or scan the code to the left with your smartphone.

EIR Awards Reception

BIAW will host the 2023 EIR Awards Reception in conjunction with the BIAW summer board meeting at The Centennial in Spokane on Monday, Jun. 26, 2023, from 7-9 pm.


If you have questions about submitting a project or the awards reception, please contact Education and Workforce Development Director Al Audette at ala@biaw.com or (360) 352-7800, ext. 105.

April 4

1 pm - 3 pm

BIAW - Tumwater

DOSH Inspections: Don’t be caught unprepared

* Free for ROII participants

April 6

1 pm - 3 pm

BIAW - Tumwater

Blueprint Reading Class

April 6

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

CESCL: Certified Erosion & Sediment Control Lead

April 19

8 pm - 5 pm

CESCL: Certified Erosion & Sediment Control Lead Recertification

April 21

8 pm - 5 pm

BIACC - Vancouver Online Online

Register at biaw.com/classes

7 building insight | march 2023

2023 BIAW Secretary focuses on community and connection

In 2017, after spending more than a decade as a health insurance consultant for another company, Nicole Ahola decided that in order to have the lifestyle she wanted, she would start her own health insurance agency. And with that, Ahola Benefit Consultants, LLC, was born.

Recently elected as BIAW’s 2023 Secretary, Ahola became involved with the BIAW Health Insurance Program in 2007. Over the last 15 years, she has been active with multiple local home builders associations and has served in several leadership positions, currently as vice president for her local, the Central Washington Home Builders Association (CWHBA). She is also an active member of CWHBA’s Young Professionals Committee.

Responsibility to community

Ahola’s goal while building her company was to establish a place that would positively impact the community while helping businesses flourish and teams grow. This vision continues to be at the forefront of Ahola Benefit Consultants today.

“I believe we have a responsibility to use our time and talents to make a positive impact on our corner of the world, no matter how big or how small,” Ahola said.

“You matter and what you do matters.”

Active in her community, Ahola currently serves as president of the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, where she also sits on the Business Development Committee. She is also active in her local Rotary Club, church and her children’s school.

Seattle to Cle Elum

Born and raised in the suburbs of Seattle, Ahola made the move to Eastern Washington nearly a decade ago and chose Cle Elum as the home for her business. Before entering the world of insurance, she earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington.

Right out of high school, she began her career working for Costco, starting in the warehouse, and eventually making her way to their corporate office. In 2007, after 10 years with Costco, she made an abrupt change and began her career in the insurance industry.

“The decade of experience I had with Costco gave me the understanding and value of customer service that I bring to my business today,” Ahola said.

The Ahola Benefit Consultants team continues to grow, now serving over 175 clients and more than 3,000 lives. Learn more about all they offer Kittitas County and the surrounding areas at AholaBenefits.com

8 building insight | march 2023 Associate Spotlight
I believe we have a responsibility to use our time and talents to make a positive impact on our corner of the world, no matter how big or how small.
—Nicole Ahola
Account Manager Ashley Armstrong-Ahola (l), President and Senior Benefit Consultant Nicole Ahola and Sales Account Manager Emma Johnson (r) make up the talented team at Ahola Benefits.

IBS 2023: Biggest show in over a decade

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show® (IBS) made its return to Las Vegas, Jan. 31–Feb. 2, 2023. The show drew nearly 70,000 residential construction professionals from around the country, including more than 1,200 from Washington state, making it the largest show since 2008.

IBS success thanks to BIAW member Bob Camp

A long-time leader from the Master Builders Association of Pierce County, Bob Camp, served as chair of the NAHB Convention and Meetings Committee in 2022, leading the effort

NAHB grants $10k to support BIAW’s document fee lawsuit

During IBS, BIAW President Gary Wray and General Counsel Jackson Maynard secured $10,000 from NAHB’s legal committee to support BIAW’s document fee lawsuit. Maynard approached the committee for additional funding to support BIAW’s appeal before the Division II Court of Appeals.

Filed in early November 2022, the lawsuit aims to stop the collection of a new surcharge that adds nearly $200 per document to the cost of common real estate filings. BIAW argues the

Immediate Past Chairman of the NAHB Board Jerry Konter recognizes NAHB Convention and Meetings Committee chair Bob Camp at the IBS House Party at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub on Jan. 31.

and Managing Your HBA During a Recession.”

During the session, attendees heard an economic forecast from NAHB’s Assistant Vice President of Economics and Forecasting Danushka

Nanayakkara Skillington, a panel of three executive officers from across the U.S. and NAHB Senior Consultant Donna Franza. Gamble spoke on the strategies Master Builders Pierce is implementing to prepare during the economic downturn.

Overall, Washington was well represented across NAHB and IBS with several other members and staff representing BIAW and local associations at meetings and presentations throughout the week.

IBS 2024 is scheduled for Feb 27-29, 2024 in Las Vegas.

Membership Matters

at BIAW and NAHB. For 20 years, he served as a National Delegate from Master Builders Pierce to NAHB, earning him the status of NAHB Senior Life Director in 2009.

On Feb. 2, Master Builders Pierce Executive Officer Jessie Gamble presented on a panel titled, “Membership Matters: Preparing for

9 building insight | march 2023 International Builders’ Show
NAHB 2023 PWB trustees, including MBAKS members Kimberley Martin and Sherry Schwab, take the oath of office during IBS.

Tips to stay safe around the most hazardous tools on your jobsite

Danger: Ladders, saws and nail guns

Nail guns, ladders and table saws are all important tools on a jobsite. Used safely, they are simply tools for completing tasks. Used incorrectly, they can become instruments of serious injury and death. It’s National Ladder Safety Month, but ladders aren’t the only risky tools out there. Check out these tips to stay safe!

has teeth to grip the wood if it kicks back as it passes through the blade. Stand outside the saw’s miter slots on each side of the blade. That way, any kickback will likely pass by you. Always wear eye and hearing protection.

Nail guns Ladders

First, make sure that the gun is in sequential mode as opposed to bump- or contact-trip. This adds an extra step in the firing process because, in sequential mode, you must pull the trigger rather than merely depressing the muzzle. This can prevent a significant number of injuries.

Next, when holding two boards together before joining them with a nail, such as when fastening parallel 2x4s to frame a door header, keep your hands clear of any place a misfired nail could make an unexpected exit from the wood. Finally, always wear eye and ear protection.

Table saws

Avoid kickback by using a splitter, a narrow piece of metal that guides and steadies the wood after it passes through the saw blade. Or, substitute the splitter for a riving knife, which

To check if an extension ladder is resting at the proper angle against a roof, put your toes against the feet of the ladder and extend your arms straight out. You should be able to comfortably rest your hands on the rung in front of you. When you’re on the ladder, keep a hand on a rung whenever possible. Maintain a steady center of gravity by keeping your belt buckle within the ladder’s sides, and closer to the wall than the ladder’s feet. A tool belt or apron will keep your hands free to climb. If you store your hammer on your hip, you can move the ladder without finding out the hard way that its claw was hanging from the top rung.

Chain saws

Get a pair of cut-resistant chain saw chaps—and a hard hat, ear protection and a face-visor combo, too. Invest in a good pair of boots and cut-resistant gloves. You don’t want to be slipping and sliding with a chainsaw in your hands. This may sound like a lot of

gear, but it’ll cost far less than the average chain-saw-related hospital visit!

Circular saws

Clamp your workpiece so you can keep two hands on the tool. Set the blade depth so that the tips of the teeth just barely protrude past your workpiece’s thickness. This applies to table saws as well. This will minimize the hazard of accidental blade contact with your sawhorse.

Use sawhorses. While the circular saw offers portable convenience, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to cut lumber braced against your knee. Reduce the chance of the blade binding in the kerf by cutting outside the sawhorse edges, never between the two horses’ rails. Always wear safety glasses.

Want more safety information?

ROII participants receive monthly and weekly safety materials. If you’re an ROII participant who is not receiving the monthly or weekly email and you would like to receive this service, please send your name, company name, and email address to bobw@biaw.com.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming an ROII participant, visit Roii.com.

building insight | march 2023 10

Former foes join BIAW in affordable housing fight

Housing bills are front and center in the legislature this year. Legislators have sponsored a large and growing list of housing legislation aimed at tackling the supply and affordability problem that our state faces. BIAW has been partnering with stakeholders to push a package of these bills forward.

BIAW participated in the Growth Management Act (GMA) roadmap collaborative process that builds upon the findings, concepts and recommendations in recent state-funded reports to make recommendations to the legislature on reforms to the state’s growth policy framework. The group produced several housing bills moving through the legislature this year.

The process brought groups from different perspectives and political interests together to work on a roadmap for housing reform. BIAW was very active in this process to ensure we had a voice in the final product. The group consisted of:


n Department of Commerce

n Washington Realtors

n Washington Association of Water and Sewer Districts

n American Planning Association

n Department of Ecology

n Front and Centered

n Washington State Association of Counties


n Association of Washington Cities

n Puyallup Tribe of Indians

n Futurewise

For years BIAW has been pushing for policies that now finally seem to be making headway. It has been a unique opportunity to partner with groups BIAW hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with on policy issues.

In addition to the groups listed to the left, BIAW has also been working closely on housing legislation with the Association of Washington Business (AWB), Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS), NAIOP (National Association of Investor-Owned Properties), and members of the Washington Construction Industry Council.

This year more than ever partners have been critical to come together to push legislation like:

HB 1026: Replacing unelected design review boards with administrative design reviews by local government employees to break down unnecessary barriers during the design phase of a housing project.

HB 1110/SB 5190: Increasing middle housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing.

HB 1245 /SB 5364: Increasing housing options through lot splitting.

HB 1252 /HB 1468: Impact fee deferrals.

HB 1296/ SB 5290: Concerning consolidating local permit review processes.

HB 1449: Amending reporting requirements for the project permit application processing timeline.

HB 1519: Concerning local project review.

SB 5058: Exempting buildings with 12 or fewer units that are no more than two stories from the definition of a multi-unit residential building.

SB 5258: Increasing the supply and affordability of condominium units and townhouses as an option for homeownership.

SB 5412: Reducing local governments’ land use permitting workloads.

SB 5473: Permit reporting and permit timeline.

SB 5609: Establishing housing approval requirements to eliminate Washington’s housing shortage.

SB 5466 /HB 1517: Promoting transit-oriented development.

HB 1133/SB 5357: Establishing limitations on detached accessory dwelling units outside urban growth areas.

As always, BIAW continues to fight a host of bills harmful to the housing industry. We want affordable homeownership and more housing for people at every level. We are committed to developing a comprehensive housing policy that includes more affordable homes to purchase or rent and we support the production of new housing at all levels, including single-family homes, the missing middle and condominiums.

Stay in the loop!

We hold a Zoom call every Tuesday morning during session to keep you updated on everything happening each week. To sign up for these calls, email josiec@biaw.com.

You can also receive calls to action by signing up for our text alerts by texting “BIAW” to 50457.

11 building insight | march 2023

Blazing trails for women in building

As the nation recognizes March as Women’s History Month, Professional Women in Building (PWB) councils in Washington and across the country continue to thrive as more and more women join the trades. With a staggering labor shortage contributing to project delays and rising home prices, residential

The latest national statistics show the number of women in construction sits at 1.24 million, reaching an all-time high after plummeting to 802,000 during the Great Recession. Mentoring is key to growing our future workforce

Past chair of the BIAW Workforce Development Task Force, Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) member and passionate supporter of PWB councils at the local and national level, Darylene Dennon says PWB councils provide a welcoming entry point into our association.

Like many women in construction, Darylene Dennon grew up around the trades, but she took a few detours on the way to becoming the first tradeswoman to chair NAHB’s PWB Council.

Dennon originally wanted to be a botanist and open a nursery. Early on, she worked for a landscaping company and learned to paint to help pay her way through community college. She eventually became an expert at detail work, refinishing decks and fine furniture, before heading to Alaska to work as a firefighter and local police/fire dispatcher. Returning to her roots, she and her husband started a painting and light remodeling company in 1988. Solid Energy, Inc. joined MBAKS in 1998.

Dennon went on to become the first woman president of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) Washington Council and eventually president of PDCA nationally from 2011 to 2013. She was also the first woman president of the Construction Industry Training Council, a state-certified vocational trade school in Washington.

Dennon supports groups like these because she’s a big believer in mentoring to empower others to empower themselves. That’s why she’s such a supporter of professional women in building—and its evolution over the years.

“Our members are passionate about what they do,” she said. “Most are looking for a support system that will help them develop personally and professionally, creating bonds that last a lifetime. Some just need some camaraderie and support they can’t get from other groups.”

NAHB Professional Women in Building: The early days

Dennon recalls how PWB started as a women’s auxiliary back in the 1950s.

“As women attended the national board meetings with their husbands, they wanted more to do,” she said. “A lot of them were in the business with their husbands but women weren’t allowed to be NAHB members at that time.”

building insight | march 2023 12
Darylene Dennon is a passionate supporter of Professional Women in Building (PWB) councils at the local and national levels.

NAHB chartered the Women’s Auxiliary in 1955 and by 1960, the group had launched a legislative committee. Next, they developed educational programs to promote the public image of builders and held housing conferences across the nation.

By 1965, the group had 59 local chapters, including one at the Seattle Home Builders Association started by Stina Johannesen in 1950. As the group continued to grow in influence and size, it changed its name to Women’s Council and became an affiliate of NAHB in 1990.

Women Building Hope in King and Snohomish Counties

While the NAHB Women’s Council continued to grow and evolve, Dennon and a group of women in building and remodeling at MBAKS started “Women Building Hope.” The eight women started the group to support incoming MBAKS President Sandi McAdams, the association’s first female president, and to give back to their community.

During her presidency in 2002, McAdams approved “Women Building Hope” as an ad hoc standing committee. In 2005, MBAKS President Donna Shirey supported the group in becoming nationally chartered with NAHB.

Continued growth and evolution

The NAHB Women’s Council changed its name to Professional Women in Building in 2007 and NAHB approved it as a fully integrated council in 2014.

“We changed our name to Professional Women in Building because that’s what we were: professionals,” Dennon said. “By then, more and more women were owning their own building and remodeling companies so it made sense to change the name.”

Dennon won NAHB PWB Woman of the Year in 2015, then became the

first tradeswoman to chair the NAHB PWB Council in 2019.

In Washington, the Olympia Master Builders chartered its PWB Council in 2020. They continued to meet during the pandemic, giving associate and builder members opportunities to network virtually until they could gather in person again.

PWB looks to the future

BIAW second vice president Luellen Smith advanced to the role of NAHB PWB first vice chair at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas in late January. NAHB’s PWB Member of the Year in 2018 and former chair of the MBAKS PWB Council, Smith says she’s excited about PWB’s growth and potential.

Smith, who runs Rhino Wine Cellars with her husband, reported NAHB’s PWB Council exceeded its goals with 3,100 members and 80 chartered councils by the end of 2022.

The council continues to work on brand recognition and local council

support into the future. Statewide, BIAW’s 2023 budget includes $5,000 to support PWB Council development.

Both Dennon and Smith emphasize that Professional Women in Building has many male members and they welcome their support. They encourage members of MBAKS and OMB to join their local PWB Councils. Members without a local council can join as at-large members of the NAHB PWB.

“Anyone interested in being a part of Professional Women in Building, please let us know,” Smith said. “We need your help in mentoring the next generation in becoming even stronger, more confident and more successful as a part of PWB’s efforts to grow our industry.”

Members interested in forming a local council can contact BIAW Education and Workforce Development Director Al Audette at ala@biaw.com for more information.

13 building insight | march 2023
Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties Professional Women in Building (PWB) members gather at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) PWB Board of Trustees meeting in 2022. From left to right: MBAKS PWB member Melissa Irons, BIAW Past President and trustee Sherry Schwab, trustee Kimberley Martin, and NAHB PWB Vice Chair Luellen Smith.

Meet three women leading the way in 2023

March isn’t just Women’s History Month. The 25th annual Women in Construction Week also takes place March 5-11. It is a wonderful time to feature the great initiatives and work of women within our industry.

We’ve highlighted three women who have risen to the leading roles of Madam President in their respective local associations.

Corporate sales manager for Greenstone Homes located in Liberty Lake, Sharla Jones recently became the third female president of SHBA, the first since 2001. An active participant in SHBA committees and events for many years, Jones has worked her way through SHBA’s leadership chairs to the top role.

In her role at Greenstone Homes, Jones leads the sales team for one of the largest home and neighborhood builders in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene market. Greenstone has participated in SHBA’s New Home Tour every year since its inception in 2005 and has received dozens of industry and people’s choice awards for the quality of their homes.

Jones has actively participated in SHBA’s Fall Festival of Homes committee for the past few years, including serving as chair. She is also very active on SHBA’s events committee and was the key driver behind their 75th-anniversary celebration campaign.

A true leader, Jones is a great supporter of SHBA priorities. One of her recent contributions was engaging Greenstone in the Frame Your Future workforce development program as a founding donor. She has also brought her design background to SHBA’s office renovation project, where she is working to ensure the final look is a good representative of SHBA.

building insight | march 2023 14 14
President Sharla Jones Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA)

After earning a degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Becky Rieger entered the building industry in 2004, working for a local designer in Centralia. In 2010, she and her husband took the leap and opened their own company, Environmental Design, LLC, in Centralia.

Over the last 12 years, their business has continued to grow, conducting feasibility studies and wetland studies and developing septic designs. Rieger also serves as the Southwest Washington Representative for Washington On-site Sewage Association (WOSSA).

In 2011, Rieger joined OMB and in 2016 she became an OMB board member. After working her way through the ranks, she took the helm as the fourth female president of OMB.

Rieger is a dedicated member always finding ways to support OMB and regional building efforts. Her primary focus is involving the younger generation in the trades and education outreach. In her spare time, she can be found running in and volunteering for Lewis County’s Run Amok Club and supporting local charity fundraisers.

In December, Traci Tenhulzen of Woodinville-based Tenhulzen Residential Design Build Remodeling was installed as the seventh female president of MBAKS in its 114-year history. She has been a highly active member of MBAKS for 25 years, and a member of the board for the last three years.

“I appreciate the unique position that I am in being a female in a male-dominated industry,” Tenhulzen said. Tenhulzen began her career in the building industry in 2001. As owner and founder of an audit, training and safety company, she developed a network of commercial contractors, homebuilders and heavy equipment operators.

In 2007, Tenhulzen sold her company and began working with her husband, Michael Tenhulzen, in the remodeling business. In 2012, they strengthened their industry partnership and became co-owners of Tenhulzen Residential Design Build Remodeling, the family business.

Tenhulzen credits her success to preparing for each day and each job by leaving no stone unturned. She asks questions, does research, and relies on her years of sales and customer service experience. Her theme for her 2023 leadership year is “Root Connection – Together We Are Stronger.”

15 building insight | march 2023
President Becky Rieger Olympia Master Builders (OMB) President Traci Tenhulzen Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS)

Labor, business and homeowners file lawsuit to challenge costly new energy code

A coalition of trade associations, union representatives, businesses and homeowners has banded together to file a lawsuit to challenge the State Building Code Council’s new codes restricting the use of natural gas and propane in new residential and commercial construction.

New rules essentially eliminate natural gas and propane choice

The lawsuit is directed at three rules passed by the State Building Code Council late last year amending the state commercial and residential building codes, the energy code and the wildland urban interface code. As an example of the impact of the new changes, builders will be required to install heat pumps for space and water heating in all new buildings built after July 1, 2023. These changes remove the incentive for natural gas companies to run natural gas into new homes, which essentially eliminates the ability for home and property owners to have natural gas for ranges, fireplaces or other uses.

The council also passed a new wildland urban interface code with real impacts on building new homes affordably. They also adopted a rule requiring builders to equip all new homes with carports and garages with 40-amp, 208/240-volt branch circuits for electric vehicles.

Unique coalition comes together

The lawsuit filed in Thurston County Superior Court attracted a broad coalition of more than 20 plaintiffs representing union tradespeople, home builders, remodelers, HVAC installers, potential new homeowners and energy companies.

“These overreaching rules were approved by an unelected body with no legislative authority,” said BIAW General Counsel Jackson Maynard. “This suit has united folks impacted by the costly and illegal rules across traditional political, economic and geographic boundaries. We are proud to challenge these decisions on behalf of union workers, families seeking affordable housing opportunities, builders, remodelers and more from all over our state.”

The suit alleges the State Building Code Council approved the rules without legislative authority and in direct violation of the state’s Administrative Procedure Act. It further alleges the council ignored cost studies and feasibility reports in making its decisions. The state will have 20 days to file a response.

Costly and dangerous

The new rules have widespread impacts across many trades and industries.

BIAW surveyed its members to estimate the cost of these rules. Members reported the heat pump mandate would increase the cost of a newly constructed home by a minimum of $9,200, assuming builders take the lowest cost path to WSEC-R compliance and receive the tax rebate from the Inflation Reduction Act. While the mandate allows natural gas heat pumps, none are commercially available for residential customers.

Eastern Washington residents, who frequently lose power during frigid winter months, will be particularly hard hit. The rule allows natural gas

of choice or necessity. That’s assuming a natural gas line is readily available for a new hookup.

Even if homeowners can absorb these added costs, supply chain, labor and various other challenges threaten to delay projects. Washington faces:

n A shortage of compliant heat pump units and their components

n Changes in refrigerant standards for heat pumps

n A similar mandate for California in 2023 increasing demand for heat pump units

Coupled with a lack of skilled workers experienced in installing both required electrical appliances and the necessary energy infrastructure, the upcoming code implementation will be challenging, if not impossible.

building insight | march 2023 16

New state directors: Steps for success at the Winter Board Meeting and beyond

Congratulations, you’re a new state director! The winter board meeting is your first opportunity to stretch your legs in your new role. Now what? Find out how to make the most of your time at board meetings, ask questions (and get answers!), meet your senior officers and BIAW staff, and more! State directors serve an essential purpose at board meetings. We want to make sure you have all the tools you need to succeed!

1. Attend the New Director Orientation

BIAW holds this orientation exclusively at the winter board meeting on the evening of the first day. At this event, you’ll receive guidance from BIAW senior officers and staff on all the committees. One of the most important meetings a new director can attend, the new director orientation is a great introduction to our board meetings, helping you learn what to expect and how to navigate future board meetings. Also, you will notice all new directors will have green name tags. This helps identify you as a new state director if you need help or guidance.

2. Plan your schedule

If you haven’t already, make sure you know what your local association expects of you. Check to see if you must attend specific meetings for reimbursement purposes. Once that’s established, you can choose where else to spend your time.

Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting

n The one meeting state directors should attend!

n The BOD is the final meeting on the last day of the conference

n Directors must sign in to receive a ribbon and secure voting privileges

What piques your interest?

n Membership, political, continuing education? More than likely, there’s a meeting that fits your passion

n You don’t have to be a state director to attend a meeting. All BIAW members can attend all open committee and council meetings

Social and networking events

Every BIAW board meeting offers ample time to socialize and network with fellow members

n Membership luncheon

n Social hours, legislative reception, etc.

3. Watch for BIAW communications

As a state director, you will receive emails before and after every board meeting. Emails may include notifications for:

n BIAW board meeting notices (meeting dates, events, hotel info/ reservations, etc.)

n Committee and council agendas and minutes

n Invitations to any special events happening at the meeting

To access these documents any time, visit BIAW.com and click “Log in” in the upper right corner to sign up. Once you create a user name, you will gain access to BIAW’s community portal to view and download meeting documents.

Questions during the meeting? Have questions and don’t know where to go? BIAW staff with the orange name badges or your fellow members are excellent sources of information! We’re here to help!

All members are invited to grab a box lunch and head to the Capitol. Held during the BIAW Winter Board Meeting at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake, don’t miss this chance to visit your legislator in person to discuss proposed legislation that impacts you and the residential construction industry.

BIAW will provide a chartered bus to transport members from the hotel to the hill.

n Tuesday, March 21

n $12 per person | 11:30 am - 3 pm

RSVP to your local association by March 6

Builder Legislative Action Day Hammers & Highballs

BIAW’s Annual Legislative Reception

After a day on the hill, members will have the opportunity to meet with new legislators and established leadership. During this evening reception, take the chance to visit with lawmakers one-on-one and discuss policy decisions that impact you, your employees and your business.

n Tuesday, March 21

n 7 pm - 9:30 pm

17 building insight | march 2023

Want to fix Washington’s housing crisis?

Let’s focus on getting to “yes”

While builders have been sounding the alarm for years, the governor and state lawmakers are finally recognizing that the state’s housing and homelessness crisis is largely due to a dramatic lack of housing supply.

In the 30 years since legislators adopted Washington’s Growth Management Act, the state’s population has grown by 60 percent while the number of housing units increased by just 33 percent. According to the Lt. Governor’s report, “Redefining Economic Success in Washington,” the state has the fewest number of housing units per household of any state in the country.

Challenge Seattle estimates Washington needs roughly 2.5 million more homes by 2050. If builders are ever going to meet this goal, the state’s approach to building housing must dramatically change.

Barriers at every step of the process

Master Builders Association of Pierce County Past President Scott Walker, Certified Builder, says to help builders develop more housing for the Washington families who desperately need homes, regulators need to reduce barriers and change their attitudes toward home builders.

Vice president at Rush Residential, Walker has been working for the last 18 months to secure preliminary plat approval for a modest development of 20 homes in unincorporated Pierce County near Gig Harbor. The property already has access to the water and sewer infrastructure necessary to build, but it’s taken 18 months and he’s still waiting for a hearing to approve the development.

Once he passes that hurdle, it’s on to the permitting process. According to BIAW’s recent report on the permit delays, Pierce County’s average permit approval delay is 7.8 months,

building insight | march 2023 18
Rush Residential recently completed The Cove, 13 new homes minutes from Gig Harbor’s historic waterfront. Taken June 2022.

adding roughly $46,864 to the cost of a median-priced new home. And that’s just the average. Walker says he generally allows 12 to 24 months. There’s no way to predict with certainty when the project will move forward. Once it clears the permitting phase, the project will enter the development phase which Walker estimates could take up to 12 months.

Finally, after clearing all those hurdles, Rush Residential can schedule crews to build their new community and provide homes for 20 families.

Meeting the state’s housing challenges

Builders across Washington face similar frustration. How can the state’s builders possibly produce 2.5 million more homes when they face barriers such as these at every step of the process?

“Leadership can identify goals,” Walker said. “But they need to set a tone from the top all the way to the local permit counter. Jurisdictions need to consider what’s best for the community, then employ some flexibility to help us work together to get to “yes,” instead of digging through every possible objection to get to “no.”

Companies like Rush Residential invest their time and money in new developments such as these to help provide families in their community an opportunity to achieve their dreams of home ownership, Walker said.

But these investments involve a great deal of risk, especially in uncertain times when inflation, costly energy code requirements, fluctuating material costs, supply chain issues and labor shortages continue to plague the industry.

“The market is ever-changing,” Walker said. “Time is one of the biggest risk factors. That’s why it’s so important to treat builders like customers who are good for your community, trying to build quality homes.”

Getting to “yes”

BIAW’s External Affairs team looks to experiences such as Walker’s to help legislators understand the barriers to home building in Washington. At the local level, local association governmental affairs staff work with members to illustrate these issues for local jurisdictions at meetings and homebuilding tours.

Earlier this year, a bi-partisan coalition of legislators announced support for a variety of pro-housing bills, including measures to:

n Develop more certainty in local project review to reduce permitting delays and provide flexibility with accountability to local governments (HB 1519)

n Replace unelected design review boards with administrative design reviews by local government employees to break down unnecessary barriers during the design phase of a housing project(HB 1026)

n Increase housing options by allowing property owners more opportunities to split their lots (HB 1245/SB 5364)

n Amend reporting requirements for project permit application processing timelines to improve transparency and accountability (HB 1449)

n Eliminate duplicate reviews once a development has been approved under the Growth Management Act (SB 5412)

Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, also introduced a bi-partisan bill requiring local governments to approve the construction of enough new homes to meet their share of the state’s housing shortage through 2033.

Several bills supported by the governor to address housing challenges continue to move through the legislature as well. One would consolidate local permit review processes (HB 1296 / SB 5290) and another promotes development near transit hubs (SB 5466).

All of these measures passed the legislature’s first committee cutoff, and all of them support efforts to build the housing our state needs. Whether the legislature and local jurisdictions can truly get to “yes” remains to be seen, but they’ll never make a dent in our state’s housing crisis unless they do.

Legislators need to hear from you! BIAW’s External Affairs team tracks upcoming legislative hearings and provides guidance to help you share your views on important bills each week. Stay in the loop at biaw.com/ legislative-action-center.

You can also text “BIAW” to 50457 to sign up for text message action alerts. Save (360) 215-8655 as BIAW in your contact list.

19 building insight | march 2023
Jurisdictions need to consider what’s best for the community, then employ some flexibility to help us work together to get to “yes.”

ROII: The first line of defense against workplace injuries

As an employer, you want to do everything you can to keep your employees safe. You probably already have a number of safety protocols in place, but do you know why they’re so important? Or what happens when those protocols break down?

That’s where we come in. We’ll help you identify risks in your workplace and offer suggestions for alternative safety measures or equipment to help prevent injuries from happening.

At ROII, we believe that a safe workplace is not only better for employees—it’s better for business. Our goal is to help you eliminate injuries through improvements in workplace safety and preventative strategies. If an employee is injured, we’ll help you help them get better quicker with a successful return-towork experience. Businesses that participate and share our goal can earn an average refund of 39%. Only ROII has returned over $500 million in refunds to participating companies since 1982.

In-house services you can count on

What’s the best part of ROII? We know it’s hard to pick just one thing. But let’s get real: It’s not all about the refunds! While ROII offers more services than you can shake a 2x4 at, here’s a peek into some of our participants’ favorites:

Claims Assistance: Our seasoned claim reps go straight to L&I on your behalf to get claims closed quicker. Rest assured, we’ll keep a pulse on your claim every step of the way.

Safety and Prevention: The best injury claim is the one that never happens. Because prevention is our top priority, we’re here to help you develop and implement effective safety strategies.

Risk Management: Our job is to identify risks and assist you with implementing preventative measures to avoid claims from happening. If a claim does occur, we offer strategies to help control the severity and cost of the injury.

Return-to-Work: Our goal is to keep injured workers engaged in the recovery process and connected with their employers to help ensure better outcomes. Each claim is unique, as is our customized return-to-work strategy approach.

There are no hidden fees or charges when you choose ROII. We’re one of the most trusted names in the industry, and we’re here to give you the best possible experience—and that means transparency when it comes to cost.

So what does this mean for you? It means that when you choose us, you can rest assured knowing we won’t be charging you extra for anything.

With rewards like these, not every business can qualify. Participants must share a high bar for excellence and safety. And in return, they get to reap the rewards.

Contact us to find out if ROII is a good fit for your business. Email enroll@biaw.com or call (360) 352-7800 or complete the online inquiry by going to ROII.com/inquiry

building insight | march 2023 20

belong to the workers’ comp safety program trusted by more washington businesses.

belong to the workers’ comp safety program trusted by more washington businesses.

Get ready to join the crowd. By joining in on Reward #15: participation in the state’s largest, longest-operating Retro (Retrospective Rating) safety incentive program. There are a number of reasons businesses choose ROII. Let’s start with the numbers themselves. With an average savings of 39%, ROII consistently delivers better L&I refunds. In fact, ROII has returned over $500M in refunds to participating members since 1982. No wonder ROII is Washington State’s largest workers’ comp safety program.

Get ready to join the crowd. By joining in on Reward #15: participation in the state’s largest, longest-operating Retro (Retrospective Rating) safety incentive program. There are a number of reasons businesses choose ROII. Let’s start with the numbers themselves. With an average savings of 39%, ROII consistently delivers better L&I refunds. In fact, ROII has returned over $500M in refunds to participating members since 1982. No wonder ROII is Washington State’s largest workers’ comp safety program.


21 building insight | march 2023

president Traci Tenhulzen, BIAW second vice president Luellen Smith and MBAKS executive officer Jerry Hall take time out for a quick photo during the Remodelers

[1b] Guest speaker Kevin Rindal, DC, Vimocity, speaks about innovative strategies to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) before they occur and how to promote movement health in the workplace.

[2] The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIACC) welcomes Alexa Lee, sales manager at GRO to its board of directors. Lee brings seven years of construction industry expertise to her board role as well as a slate of philanthropic and community service contributions.

22 building insight | march 2023
[3] During the Home Builders Association of TriCities (HBATC) general membership meeting held in January, BIAW President Gary Wray swears in the HBATC 2023 board.
1a 1b 2 3 4
[4] MBAKS PWB members and guests pose for a photo during their PWB Soiree at the Flatstick Pub in January.

[5] Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) joins the business community for lunch at the Association of Washington Business. (L-R: BIAW Executive VP Greg Lane, AWB President Kris Johnson, Newhouse and former Congressman Sid Morrison)

[6] MBAKS first vice president Trevor Johnson, BIAW EVP Greg Lane and MBAKS 2020 president Brian Holtzclaw met up after Lane’s presentation at the 2023 Real Estate Success Summit presented by the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County member, The Lones Group.

[7] Kitsap Building Association past president, life director and board member Wayne Keffer, Certified Builder, judges projects in the West Sound Technical Skills Center Skills USA competition in Bremerton. Students from four counties competed with the winner advancing to the state competition.

[8] Olympia Master Builders’ PWB Council members and guests played golf games at the PWB event at the Golf Loft in Tumwater.

23 building insight | march 2023
5 6 7 8


March 20-22

Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake

2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW

Olympia, WA 98502

Don’t Miss Events!

New Director Orientation

Monday | March 20 | 5 - 6 p | Ballroom

Congratulations, you’re a state director! Now what? Find out how to make the most of your time at board meetings, ask questions (and get answers!), meet your Senior Officers, BIAW staff and much more!

Builder Legislative Action Day

Capitol Hill Visit + Boxed Lunch

Tuesday | March 21 | 11:30a - 3p | $12 pp

Grab a boxed lunch and head to the chartered bus awaiting to take you to the Capitol. Visit your legislator to discuss proposed legislation that impacts you and the residential construction industry.

RSVP to your local association by March 6

Hammers & Highballs:

BIAW’s Annual Legislative Reception

Tuesday | March 21 | 7p | Ballroom

Here’s your chance to meet with new legislators and established leadership. Visit your lawmakers one-on-one and discuss policy decisions that impact you, your employees and your business.

Spike Awards

Wednesday | March 22 | 9a

Board of Directors Meeting

Join us as we celebrate BIAW’s 2022 top membership recruiters. We’ll also announce the Top Spike — BIAW’s #1 recruiter.

Builder Appreciation Awards

presented by the Associate Advisory Council

Wednesday | March 22 | 9a

Board of Directors Meeting

Help us honor those builder members nominated by their local association for their local, state and community contributions in 2022.


Since its inception, BIAW has awarded over $670,000 in scholarships and grants. We provide scholarships to students pursuing a career in the home building industry and grants to organizations with programs dedicated to educating tomorrow’s home builders.


Scan the code for eligibility requirements or visit BIAW.com

Building Industry Association of Washington 300 Deschutes Way SW, Ste. 300 | Tumwater, WA 98501 (360) 352-7800 | BIAW.com |
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