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The Housing Recovery Where Will The Future Take Us? ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: 2009 Environmental Awards

Builder Connections


Every day the people of Pepco report to work around the clock in all kinds of weather to provide our community safe, reliable electricity. We‘re installing new transmission and distribution lines, building substations to meet our area’s growing demand for electricity, and investing in new technologies to reduce the length of outages and keep power flowing to homes and businesses throughout our area. Regardless of the weather, we want our business customers to have the power they need to drive the Washington area’s economy.

We’re connected to you by more than power lines.®

New fangled stuff. Old-fashioned service. Vintage provides innovative technologies to make homes safe and enhance lifestyles. Call us for security systems, home theatre, whole house music systems, home automation, and structured wiring.

Contact Rick Brokaw or Bob Hartwick 1-877-767-1800 Offices in Jessup, MD and Chantilly, VA

Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association 1738 Elton Road, Suite 200 Silver Spring, MD 20903 Phone (301) 445-5400 Fax (301) 445-5499 E-mail: Website:


IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC Representing Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St Mary’s counties in Maryland and Washington, DC

Executive Committee THOMAS M. FARASY President JAMES KETTLER Vice President/ Calvert Co. DOUG MEEKER Vice President/ Charles Co. FRANK BOSSONG, IV, P.E. Vice President/ Montgomery Co. MARTY MITCHELL Vice President/ Prince George’s Co. EDWARD “GUY” CURLEY Vice President/ St. Mary’s Co.

BRIAN “A.J.” JACKSON Vice President/ Washington DC ROBERT A. JACOBS Associate Vice President STEVE NARDELLA Treasurer CHAS STUART JR. Secretary WILLIAM M. SHIPP Life Director RICHARD A. SULLIVAN JR. Immediate Past President STEPHEN P. ELMENDORF Legal Counsel DIANE K. SWENSON, CAE Executive Vice President


The Road to Recovery Where Will it Lead Us?


2009 Environmental Awards Honoring Green Design and Construction


Builder Connections – The Place to See and Be Seen

Board of Directors Bill Bilo Hillary Colt Cahan Mike Conley Tony Crane Timothy Dugan Robert Harris Howard Katz Gary Kret Andrea Leahy-Fucheck David Lunden Steve Nardella David O’Bryan Stephen Paul

Nanci Porten Steve Proctor Marc Rose Andy Rosenthal Gary Rubino Ted Smart Ray Sobrino Stephen Spano Clark Wagner Peggy White Bryan Whittington Carter Willson


MNCBIA Staff Executive Vice President - Diane K. Swenson, CAE Communications Manager - Kelly H. Grudziecki Financial Services Manager - Linda Groft Director of Government Affairs - F. Hamer Campbell, Jr. Associate Director/Legislative Affairs Raquel Montenegro Associate Director/Regulatory Affairs Annette T. Rosenblum Membership Coordinator - Debi Turpin Member Services Coordinator - Samantha Ager Program Manager - Builders Development Guaranty Group Debi Turpin Program Manager - Home Builders Care Foundation Patricia B. Kane

Published for: Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association 1738 Elton Road, Suite 200 Silver Spring, Maryland 20903 301 445-5400 Fax: 301 445-5499 E-mail: Website: Published by:

Naylor, LLC 5950 N.W. 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 800 369-6220 352 332-1252 Fax: 352 332-3331 Website:

Publisher: Christopher Hodges Editor: Catherine Jones Project Manager: Jason Dolder Publication Director: Jason Ruppert Advertising Sales: Denise Creegan Marketing: Heather Zimmerman Layout and Design: Bill Kitson Advertising Art: Reanne Dawson

PUBLISHED October 2009 /MNC-S0609/8886 Cover photo Credit:






A Message from the President of MNCBIA


The Legal Pad


The Engineer’s Angle


MNCBIA Membership News Stars Club New Members Members in the News BIA’s “Most Wanted” List

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Index of Advertisers


The New Normal


Thomas M. Farasy • • • • •

hew! What is going on? Summer was supposed to be relaxed and a time to get ready for the fall market. Instead we chose to tackle how to change the paradigm of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association and reset our advocacy direction at the state level and decide where to focus our efforts over the next three to four years. We have met with Maryland’s lieutenant governor and several key secretaries on a broad range of topics, including:

Job Creation and Stimulus Stormwater Regulation Implementation Pending changes to the Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations Chesapeake Bay Cleanup 2010 State of Maryland Platform for the Maryland State Building Industry Association We now face local issues at the federal level. As a result of President Obama’s Executive Order (#13508) on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, signed on May 12, 2009, several federal events were set in motion that will have a DIRECT impact on our business and affect our ability to do business in the years to come. On August 10, 2009, several of our members, led by Mitchell and Best’s Marty Mitchell, testified before a Senate panel regarding the Reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup. While you think of re-authorization hearings as being about MONIES, this one evolved into a hearing about issues, details and facts. If you were in attendance at this hearing, you would have walked away with some significant concerns: • The statistics and underlying scientific data have been collated to accomplish the pre-determined conclusion. • The new home industry will be overburdened with measures and regulations to clean up the Bay. On September 8, 2009, we met with Senator Cardin to discuss job creation, stimulus, appraisal issues and the Chesapeake Bay Clean Up. Some of the key points discussed in our meeting were: • The Senator urged us to reach out to our Senators and Representatives to extend the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit; we asked that it be extended and apply to all home purchases. (I urge you to reach out to your elected representatives in both the U.S House and Senate.) • We asked for an extension of the current increased FHA loan limits, which are due to expire in December, 2009. • We were invited and have commented on Federal legislation, recently drafted that would Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program and initiate new requirements through the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

On September 10, 2009, we participated in a conference call for homebuilders with EPA to review the draft 202 reports outlining the key challenges to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Some of the key points YOU need to be concerned about, include: • There are many contributors to the discharge of nitrogen, phosphate and sediment into the Chesapeake Bay, our industry is being lumped with existing homes; as a result we are being assessed the discharge results of homeowners and existing communities fertilizing their lawns, improperly maintaining their stormwater systems, etc. • The lack of appropriate data and statistics is alarming and seemingly of no concern to Federal officials. • New home construction does NOT create any discharge of nitrogen or phosphates. • The Federal regulation/legislation as drafted/proposed would give the State authority to control the issuance of building permits at the County level. I encourage ALL of our members to become informed on these federal measures. If there is any doubt as to the need for an active building industry association, these measures should quickly erase that doubt. Our association is needed now more than ever. We have been working on changing our State Building Industry format. This is an URGENT concern for all and it will take three or four years to climb to the next plateau. We have to start NOW. It is something that is clearly coming at the wrong economic time; but we have no control over these events. I urge you to become informed, engaged and to volunteer. As an industry, one of our strengths has been the ability to deal with rapidly changing conditions, the ability to be creative, and the ability to become actively engaged. We need your continued support of and involvement in the MNCBIA. I want to take a moment and recognize with deep sadness and sorrow the unexpected passing of our friend, board member, and treasurer, Bob Larkin. Bob is survived by his wife and our legislative advocate, Raquel Montenegro, and their son, Ian. Contributions to the Ian Larkin Education fund, with checks payable to MNCBIA, can be mailed to our office address. I also want to express my thanks, respect and appreciation to the MNCBIA staff. We reduced our staff by four in the third quarter of 2008, however, the scope of work for our association has GROWN. Yet, they get it done! Please reach out to these wonderful people and extend all the courtesies and appreciation that they deserve for their dedication and tireless work. Thank you for all you do.







cross the Washington metro region housing sales are up and housing inventories are down. According to research by Fulton Research, Inc. and Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS), sales in the eight Maryland and Northern Virginia counties surrounding Washington, DC, improved 15 percent from May to June of this year, reaching 5,734 units. At the same time the months of housing inventory supply declined to just under five months, the point of equilibrium at which existing home sales and new home sales even out. “Have we seen the bottom of the housing market?” asks Dan Fulton, president of Fulton Research. “Yes, locally. No, nationally. The national market is still months away from a bottom — and that is if we don’t see a double dip recession.” Hope and fear sum up the current state of the regional housing market. Local markets are improving, giving builders hope. The national market is still declining and giving everyone nightmares. Of course, there are local concerns, too. What happens, for instance, when the $8,000 federal tax credit sunsets on December 1? “The activity we’ve seen over the past six months comes from stimulus supplied by the tax credit and not from market forces,” Fulton says. “Everyone is nervous about the $8,000 tax credit,” says Deborah L. Rosenstein, vice president of sales and marketing with the Fairfax, VA-based The Christopher Companies. “Will it be extended? It has brought young people into the market to buy first homes, and that has unlocked other buyers to move up.”




While it is a fragile time for the economy and the housing industry, an emerging consensus forecasts the beginning of a national economic recovery some time between the middle and end of 2010. As the recovery matures, it will usher in a new era for the Washington regional housing industry. The new market will serve two new generations of homebuyers. The baby bust and echo boom generations will join the boomers. These homebuyers will act differently than homebuyers of the past. They will want energy-efficient, closer-in housing composed of infill, smaller singlefamily homes and transit-oriented multifamily townhouses, condominiums and apartments. The new market, at least in the Washington region, will also feature costly impact fees and permitting processes more difficult to navigate than ever.

Homebuyers Aren’t What They Used To Be The baby boom generation, which fueled suburban sprawl by demanding houses further and further away from urban areas, has reversed direction. “They want to sell their large, 5,000-sq. ft. suburban homes and move downtown into townhomes and condos,” says John McIlwain, senior fellow for housing with the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC. “The question is to whom will they sell?” continues McIlwain. “The next generation behind the boomers is Generation X, a much smaller demographic group. So you don’t need to build more suburban homes. That market will go soft before it gets strong again when the huge Echo Boom generation moves up from the starter homes they are buying today.”


McIlwain calls the Echo Boomers the future of the home building industry. The Echo Boomers generation is 84 million strong. By comparison, the Baby Boom generation, huge as it is, has a population of about 77 million. While some Echo Boomers may stay in the larger homes in the outer suburbs, many will likely follow their boomer parents back into closer-in circles around downtown and in downtown itself, continues McIlwain. If you don’t believe it, ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last year, the EPA issued a study called, “Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions.” The study examined residential building permit data from 1990 through 2007 for the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan regions. The goal was to determine if there had been a shift toward close-in redevelopment. The surprising answer: yes, and it is a large, growing shift. In fifteen regions, says the study, the central city more than doubled its share of permits. In 1990, New York City issued 15 percent of the residential building permits in the region. Between 2001 and 2007, the city issued 44 percent of the permits for the region. Similarly Chicago’s share of regional permits rose to 23 percent from 7 percent. In the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, the city’s share of permits stood at about two percent in 1990. By 2007, it had increased to about 14 percent. The trend is unmistakable. People are moving to the close in suburbs and downtown.

Evolution, Not Revolution “There are reasons to believe that homebuyers are moving closer in,” says David Crowe, chief economist, economics and housing policy

with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Energy costs for transportation, lighting, heating and air conditioning have surged and people will think about those costs when they buy,” continues Crowe. “Energy costs will drive people toward smaller homes closer to work and social amenities,” continues Crowe. “Energy costs will also drive people toward more dense and urban areas.” Then, too, the Echo Boomers are young, well educated and will likely remain mobile for a number of years while building their careers. While that bodes well for the multifamily rental market, it raises questions about when they will begin to drive the housing market. Crowe also notes that redeveloping existing neighborhoods with more dense residential construction will require permits. And permitting will likely be extremely difficult. Current residents won’t want more people moving into their neighborhoods. In addition, profitable redevelopment means treading water while acquiring properties and assembling assets. That requires deep pockets, and not many builders have deep pockets today. “So there are headwinds slowing down this kind of housing demand,” Crowe says. But it will eventually happen as the recovery matures. And it will probably happen sooner rather than later in the national capital region. Despite the terrible damage done by the recession to the region’s housing industry — housing production down 64 percent in the region, compared to 58 percent nationally — the regional economy remains strong in the one area absolutely key to recovery: employment. “The Washington region lost 35,300 jobs in the last year,” says Kenneth Wenhold, regional

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MNCBIA Builders Look Ahead Late this summer, MNCBIA asked members how they felt about the regions housing industry, now and through 2010. The results were mixed. “I’d call the results spotty,” says Tom Farasy, president of Terra Verde Communities, LLC in Burtonsville and this year’s MNCBIA president. “The consensus suggests that if a recovery is getting underway, it’s fragile, and it will remain fragile until we begin to see job growth. Our members are a small sample of the jobs market, but in the survey their response was that there would be virtually no hiring for at least the next 60 to 90 days.” In the survey, MNCBIA members predicted moderate activity in the low end of the market and slow sales in the middle and upper markets. Some report more traffic in August, while others complain of bumping along the bottom. Virtually all respondents want to see the $8,000 tax credit extended. Farasy says there seems to be little support for that in Congress, although the temporary rise in the FHA’s loan limit will likely be extended, since its cost is negligible. Survey respondents also listed numerous barriers to recovery, including lenders refusal to make new acquisition, development and construction (ADC) loans and jumbo loans, low consumer confidence and the volume of distressed sales, which depress prices for new and non-distressed properties. By far, the harshest comments were reserved for existing and proposed impact fees. One respondent calls them “devastating” and complains of being singled out by regulatory authorities. Another says new regulations will have a drastic impact if sites must be redeveloped to comply with new regulations. If that happens, he says, “projects could be abandoned.” Survey respondents mostly agree that difficult times will continue into 2010. Farasy lists two keys to getting through the coming months: “The resale market is up substantially because of the federal tax credit that expires on December 1,” he says. “So far, we believe, that most tax credit sales have gone toward distressed sales. Those properties have to be wrung out of the system before we will begin to see non-distressed sales. The tax credit is helping to do that. We’re lobbying to extend it — and to expand it to all homebuyers. “We also want to extend the temporary loan limit for FHA insurance. Congress raised it temporarily from $300,000 to $729,750. Extending that limit is particularly important to home sales in our area.”

director for the Mid-Atlantic with Houston-based Metrostudy. “By contrast, the New York City region lost 232,900; metropolitan Chicago lost 209,000; the Detroit region lost 154,000; and metro Atlanta lost 136,000.

“This area has been stable and lost far fewer jobs. That’s important because job losses lead to foreclosures.” And people with jobs will eventually start buying houses, townhouses and condos.



NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009PM 7 9/29/09 4:53:22

2009 Environmental Awards: Honoring Green Design and Construction


NCBIA’s Environmental Awards recognize builders, developers, land planners and engineering firms throughout the Greater Washington Region for their diligence in complying with a broad range of environmental regulations dealing with open space, water runoff, tree protection, sediment control and stormwater management and for their commitment to preserve, protect and enhance the environment. Here are the 2009 winners and a brief synopsis of their winning project. You can read the descriptions in their entirety at > “Industry Awards” > “Environmental Awards.” EYA was named a winner in the Green Building (Townhouse) category for Capitol Quarter (below), an 8.8-acre, 323-home neighborhood on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. What was once seven city blocks of dilapidated public housing units is now a vibrant mixed-income community of new market-rate townhomes, affordable workforce homes, and public rental apartments all within walking distance to two Metro stations restaurants, shopping, museums and the new Nationals Baseball stadium. Streets and home locations are pedestrian-friendly and courtyard areas provide outdoor living space. In addition to the neighborhood’s urban infill location, homes are designed to be environmentally friendly too. Capitol Quarter achieved Silver LEED for Homes certification through the U.S. Green Building Council and Silver Scoring in NAHB’s Green Building program. Features such as Energy Star labeling, low-emittance windows, low-flow toilets and faucets and recycled construction materials reduce environmental impact and conserve resources. Capitol Quarter represents a national model for how builders can implement green building and sustainable design on a larger scale. The consulting engineer was VIKA.

Gables Residential was honored with a Green Building (Multi-family) award for Gables Takoma Park (above), a 145-unit infill development in the environmentally conscious Takoma Park community in Washington, DC. This development is the first LEED project pursued by Gables, who received the Silver certification this past June, making it the first Silver certified apartment building in the District. This progressive example of environmentally-friendly living incorporates a number of green building features. More than 30 percent of the project’s materials were extracted, processed and manufactured locally and regionally. The project also used building products that included recycled content. The landscaping consists of native, adaptive plants and pervious paving materials, and a drip irrigation system minimizes potable water use. The building itself has a solar reflective roof, energy-efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances, lowflow fixtures and recycling chutes in the trash room. Gables Takoma Park truly addresses the environmentally-centered desires of the local demographic, while delivering an exceptional and responsible luxury rental product to the market. The consulting engineer was GreenShape, LLC.





Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. won an award for Green Building (Commercial, Institutional, Educational) for the Vansville Elementary School and Community Center (below) in Beltsville, MD. The 10-acre school site adjoins the Vansville Community Park and was designed and built to be Prince George’s County’s first LEED public school building. The building is oriented so all classrooms have a north south orientation to reduce heat gain and energy costs. Windows with sunscreens provide natural light and reduce glare. A geothermal system provides heat in winter and cooling in summer. Potable water consumption is reduced by 40 percent through the use of low flow fixtures and native, non-invasive plants that require no irrigation. The project included recycling of construction waste, selection of new building materials based on recycled content, selection of wood material from sustainable sources, and establishment of a recycling program. In addition to showcasing advanced sustainable construction techniques, the facility serves as a teaching tool for students, teachers and the community, highlighting the benefits of sustainable sites and high performance buildings.

Covell Communities won the only Land Development award for Chester River Landing (above) in Chestertown, MD. This community was created from an EPA recognized Brownfield site, previously a fuel transfer and storage location. Environmental concerns along the Chesapeake tidal areas are at a critical point with new construction development along the shorelines. Covell reestablished a wetlands conservation area and redeveloped tidal wetlands that had been silted in over the years. Oyster shell walking paths along the shoreline allow for a reduction of impervious surfaces. Below the paths a drainage system collects any remaining material and runoff and redirects it to a control pond before it reaches the Chester River. All homes include features such as tankless water heaters, high efficiency HVAC systems, Energy Star rated appliances, argon filled windows and maintenance free exteriors. Combine the construction methods and materials used as well as the environmental improvements to the surrounding area, and Chester River Landing is a truly unique development. The consulting engineer was McCrone Engineering. Congratulations to all the winners. Your communities, developments and projects are shining examples that builders truly do care about the environment. BUILDING IN MARYLAND AND WASHINGTON, DC




Builder Connections: The Place to See and Be Seen


ozens of MNCBIA’s builder members brought their key personnel out to the 4th Annual Builder Connections event on September 24 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD. In a tough business year it is vital that our builder and developer members seek out bids from our Associate members, who repeatedly name “networking” as one of the number one reasons they joined our Association. Builder Connections, which won an NAHB Association Excellence Award in 2007 for Best Service Delivered to Members, continues to rank high on the list of BIA events and supports our motto of “Doing Business with Members.” The concept: Associate members are encouraged to meet with as many builders as possible within three to five minute intervals in the hopes of making a business connection. Armed with timers, builders are responsible for making sure people do not exceed their time limit. For some, this is the chance to introduce their firm in a no-pressure situation to companies they normally end up cold calling. For others, it is the opportunity to get reacquainted with people they have done business with for years. It is true, that five minutes may not be enough time to thoroughly assess someone. But it is enough time to get your product, your service and yourself in front of the people who make the decisions. Thanks to the builder companies who participated including, Banks Development Co., Bozzuto Construction Co., Carter Inc., Craftmark Homes, D R Horton, Inc., EYA, Haverford Homes, IDI, MD, Kettler


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Brothers Homes LLC, Kettler Forlines Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes, Liberty Homebuilder Inc., Michael Harris Development, Inc., MidAtlantic Builders, Inc., Miller and Smith Homes, Mitchell & Best Homebuilders, LLC, Rosemark Design/Build, Steuart-Kret Homes, Timberlake Homes, Warren Brothers Construction, Winchester Homes and Woodside Communities. And a special thank you to our sponsors, Elite Co-Sponsors, Georgetown Insurance Service Inc. and Builders Mutual Insurance Company and Event Sponsors, 1st Mariner Bank, Geo-Technology Associates, Inc., Gutschick, Little and Weber, P.A., Macris, Hendricks and Glascock, P.A., VIKA and Washington Savings Bank. Overall the evening was a huge success, and the volunteer members on the Builder Connections Committee deserve much praise for calling and writing and twisting a few arms to get both Builders and Associates alike out to this important event. Thanks to, Chairman, David Little, Gutschick, Little and Weber, P.A., Brooke Burns, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Tom Hyde, Miller and Smith Homes, Rob Jacobs, Acacia Federal Savings Bank, David O’Bryan, Charles P. Johnson and Associates, Inc. and Jerry Stuckle, SmarTech Homes, Inc.


The Legal Pad

Green Homes and Building Codes – One of These Things is Not Like the Other By Erica A. Leatham, Meyers, Eisler & Leatham, LLC


t’s all turning green. Initially, green building standards were imposed for commercial buildings, but now most jurisdictions have green standards for residential construction, as well. Although the question remains if buyers are willing to pay the premium for a “green” house, legislative bodies across the country are mandating some level of sustainable construction for single-family homes. Montgomery County adopted legislation in 2008 requiring that all new residential construction meet Energy Star guidelines beginning in 2010; and other local jurisdictions have followed. Everyone acknowledges that sustainable building is an important goal; however, these new laws raise several important legal issues: what can be included in the new “green” home and what are the enforcement mechanisms. In addition to government bodies, universities and individual homeowners are promoting green design. Students at Florida State University and Florida A&M University created a smaller energy-efficient model home. The “Off Grid Zero Emissions Building” collects solar energy to power some of the home’s electric needs, but also diverts some energy into a system that converts water into hydrogen, which is then stored and used for other electric power, such as for the specially converted Viking kitchen appliances. Throughout the United States other homeowners, students and engineers are developing technologies like these that will change the way homes are built. The issue lies with how these innovations can or will tie in with traditional building codes. While Montgomery County and the City of Rockville are in the process of adopting updated codes, not all jurisdictions are doing so, and, even when they do, with the rate of

change in the technology industry, these codes quickly become out dated. For example, if a client wanted the hydrogen-powered Viking appliances used by the Florida State team, would the building code allow it? And, how would they count toward achieving the home’s ultimate energy efficiency goals?

Interesting situations could evolve when the owner wants a specific system that is not anticipated in the relevant code.

There are a handful of different green building standards for residential construction. Montgomery County references the Energy Star guidelines and NAHB has developed a National Green Building program, and there are other competing systems. In some cases, the Code specifically references the standard to be used, others create their own standards and others leave it to the discretion of the owner/ builder. Interesting situations could evolve when the owner wants a specific system that is not anticipated in the relevant code (such as the hydrogen-energy system). In that case, each builder, owner and jurisdiction will have to independently resolve the variance, if such leeway is available under the building code. An ancillary issue is who will pay the premium for green building. Montgomery County has acknowledged this as an issue, and with input from MNCBIA, is working toward cost effective options for compliance with the

Energy Star law. The federal stimulus package also includes incentives, in the form of rebates and tax credits, for energy efficient homes and the State of Maryland and various Counties and Municipalities are also providing modest monetary incentives for energy-efficient “upgrades.” Finally, the “green” issue just now coming to the forefront is what happens once the standards have been met and the home certified – is the process finished at that point or is there an obligation to ensure that the home actually functions more efficiently? The U.S. Green Building Council, administrator of the LEED program, is wrestling with this issue: if a building is certified LEED Silver, but not performing as a LEED Silver building, what happens? The USGBC is considering options to decertify buildings (over the objections of many owners). In other instances, owners are holding builders, architects and engineers responsible for under-performing buildings. To hedge against this threat, some insurers are now offering “Green Building” insurance. The residential side of green building has not yet evolved to this level, but homebuilders should take care not to over-commit in their discussions and/ or agreements with owners. Similarly, careful attention must be given to the exact requirements and obligations contained in any new law or regulation mandating energy efficient performance.

Erica A. Leatham is a land use attorney with the firm of Meyers, Eisler & Leatham, LLC and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She may be reached at or 240283-1163. This article is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice; it is intended for general informational purposes only.





The Engineer’s Angle

Low Impact Development – Does It Perform as Intended? By David B. Logan, PE, Bohler Engineering


hen I say “Low Impact Development” or “LID,” what comes to mind? Expensive, non-functional, and short lived? Or do you think green, responsible, and sustainable? No matter which side of the fence you may favor, the ultimate success, or failure, of LID practices is dependent upon education, planning, implementation and maintenance. LID practices cannot be generalized one way or another without a few important considerations. So how do you ensure that LID practices are successful on every one of your projects?

Plan The Work Take the time up front to layout your subdivision or development utilizing existing natural features and selecting appropriate LID practices. For example, your stormwater needs to leave the site at the same place it always has, so why not utilize the drainageways that have always been there? Your alternative is to grade through the natural drainageways. This can lead to higher infrastructure costs in the form of: • Storm pipes and structures • Larger stormwater quality devices • Larger detention facilities and less lot yield • Increased common maintenance costs In addition, utilizing yard areas around residences keeps the stormwater management truly on the local level instead of routing to large regional facilities. When properly designed, these LID practices need minimal maintenance such as mowing the lawn or adding planter mulch every couple of years. Landscaping is critical to the form and to the function of LID areas. Aesthetically, the wrong landscaping will leave any LID looking unkempt and unsightly, while the appropriate landscaping will cover the residue and sediment




left behind from the stormwater. Functionally, the landscaping needs to be able to survive in the climate as well as be able to tolerate periods of both inundation and dryness. Some of the main failures of LID practices can be attributed to poor or misguided design, which is avoidable with proper education and preparation.

Work The Plan Once the plan has been designed on paper, it is time to put it to work. Fine grading is a key component to proper functioning of LID features. Without correct fine grading to route the storm runoff to where it needs to go, and to keep it there, the LID facility will not function properly.

Take the time up front to layout your subdivision or development utilizing existing natural features and selecting appropriate LID practices.

Certain LID practices require appropriate compaction. Others, like infiltration trenches will not function if the filter media is installed too early while construction traffic continues to drive back and forth over it. It is critical for the designer to provide enough detail and for the contractor to understand the intent. For example, if a rim elevation is intentionally designed eight inches higher than finished grade to allow for stormwater to pond, the designer needs to note this on the plans. Otherwise, a diligent contractor might


make the “mistake” of revising the rim and installing it at the finished grade thereby eliminating any chance for ponding.

Fad Or Future? Although we hear about LID almost daily, LID practices were first developed over 20 years ago. Judging by the number of jurisdictions around the country who are implementing LID design guidelines, codes and details, LID practices are here to stay. But herein lies another challenge. Many jurisdictional staff also need the education in order to facilitate successful implementation of LID practices. Without this, the effectiveness of the LID features cannot be fully understood and many plans have been rejected due to these misunderstandings.

Avoid The Avoidable According to the LID literature, the practices perform wonderfully. But what is the story on the street? The failures or lack of LID practices in any development can be traced back to lack of education of any of the following individuals: • Planner/designer • Owner/developer • Jurisdictional Reviewer • Contractor With proper education at the private and public levels, LID practices can be an effective way to be green, responsible, and sustainable while still making economic sense from the beginning of a project. David B. Logan, PE is a Senior Project Manager at Bohler Engineering in Sterling, VA. He is licensed in VA, MD, DC, WV, DE, and AZ. David has 20 years experience in the design of Master Planned Communities including residential and commercial developments.

MNCBIA Membership New Members (as of September 1, 2009) BUILDERS

East Coast Roofing Roofing Contractors Joseph Anastasi Ph: 301-673-0394 Sponsor: Andy Rosenthal

Estoril Construction, Inc. Building Single Family Robert Mellor Ph: 301-652-9336 Jefferson Apartment Group Building Multi-Family Greg Lamb Ph: 703-563-5200

Hockstein, Inc. Floor Covering Kevin Duffy Ph: 301-336-6600 The Maison Group Executive Search Matthew Metro Ph: 240-395-0480 Sponsor: Tom Farasy

ASSOCIATES Annadale Millwork Corporation Millworking Gene Frogale Ph: 703-817-7715 Builders Mutual Insurance Company Insurance Broker Jodi Vedelli Ph: 919-227-0295 DeFiore Designs Custom Cabinets Fred DeFiore Ph: 703-489-3863 Sponsor: Marc Rose

Sandy Spring Bank Winchester Homes


SalesMark, LLC Real Estate Pam Meding Ph: 301-446-2250 Sponsor: Tom Bozzuto

FRIEND Beers + Cutler Bowman Consulting Bozzuto Group Burgess & Niple, Inc. Charles P. Johnson & Associates christopher consultants ltd. The Columbia Bank Craftmark Homes Dewberry Ben Dyer Associates, Inc. Fraser Forbes Company, LLC Furey, Doolan & Abell, LLP GE Appliances IDI-MD, Inc. Kim Engineering Macris, Hendricks & Glascock, P.A. Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc. Military Veterans Miller and Smith Homes Porten Homes Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. Slenker Communities Terra Verde Communities LLC The Magruder Companies Ward & Klein Washington Gas

GOLD Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP BB&T DGG-MC Linowes & Blocher, LLP PEPCO Pleasants Development Rodgers Consulting SILVER Acacia Federal Savings Bank Georgetown Insurance Service, Inc. Greenhorne & O’Mara Inc. K. Hovnanian Homes Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. McMillan Metro P.C. Miles & Stockbridge P.C. BRONZE Bank of America Elm Street Development Gutschick Little & Weber, P.A. Holland & Knight Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd. O’Malley Miles Nylen & Gilmore Provident Bank Reznick Group P.C.

MNCBIA’s Most Wanted List Listed here are firms whose membership in MNCBIA has lapsed. WE WANT THEM BACK! Please encourage these companies to reinstate their membership. Allen Roy Builders, Aspen Enterprises, Inc., Bethesda Too, LLC, Capitol Components & Millwork, Ceemar Construction Co., Inc., D & S Drywall Inc., Frank’s Well Drilling Inc, Henderson Drywall Inc., K.C. Company, Inc., Lenhart Traffic Consulting, M J Wells & Associates, LLC, New Homes Guide, Provident Bank, Soil Consultants, Inc., Taylor Wiseman & Taylor, The Insco Dico Group, Whittington Design Build, Wood Visions Construction, Inc.


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MNCBIA Membership Members in the News Roger D. Winston, the managing partner of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP’ s Bethesda office, was named chair of the 30,000-member Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) in August. As chair, he will play an important and highly visible role during a time of unprecedented change in the real estate industry. The ABA section Mr. Winston leads consists of 69 committees that study and address issues vital to the practice of real estate, trust, and estate law nationwide. It provides technical analysis of real estate issues to the federal government, develops

guidelines and holds educational programs for lawyers across the country, and provides states with model legislation on a range of issues. ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC (ECS), announced the promotions of Salvatore V. Fiorentino, P.E., LEED AP, to North Regional Manager and Henry W. Brown, ScD, P.E., LEED AP, to Principal Engineer by the ECS Board of Directors. ECS, ranked in the top largest engineering firms in the United States for 2009 by Engineering News-Record, is a diverse consulting firm specializing in the related fields of geotechnical, environmental, and construction materials engineering. JEFFCO’s President, Jeffrey Robins, recently


became one of the select group of professional builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals nationwide who have earned the Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation, identifying him as someone with knowledge of the best strategies for incorporating green building principles into homes. In three days of course work, the CGP curriculum incorporates a variety of information tailored to green building and business practices. The CGP curriculum incorporates training by leading building industry practitioners and academics on a range of topics, including strategies for incorporating green-building principles into homes using cost-effective methods of construction, and how green homes provide buyers with lower maintenance and good indoor air quality. Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. announced that Kevin J. McCormick, P.E. has joined the firm as an Associate. Mr. McCormick brings more than 19 years of engineering experience to his position, including a career in public and private consulting in Anne Arundel County. Prior to joining LSA, Mr. McCormick was President of John E. Harms, Jr. & Associates, Inc.

ADVERTISER.COM Appliance Distributors Unlimited Inside Back Cover Bowman Consulting Group, Ltd. .........................................14 CV Security Inc. .............................. Inside Back Cover Hockstein’s Wholesale Floorcovering ....................................................... 7 Long Fence Company Inc. ........................................................13 M&T Bank ......................................Outside Back Cover Macris Hendricks & Glascock, PA Pepco Services Inc. ......................Inside Front Cover Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. ................................................13 Vintage Security ................................................ 3

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS APPLIANCES Appliance Distributors Unlimited............. Inside Back Cover ATTORNEYS Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. ................13 AUDIO/VIDEO CV Security Inc........................................ Inside Back Cover ENGINEERING Macris Hendricks & Glascock, PA ....................................10 FENCING Long Fence Company Inc. ................................................13

civil engineering I landscape architecture I planning

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS M&T Bank .............................................Outside Back Cover

surveying I environmental I geothermal

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL FLOORING PRODUCTS Hockstein’s Wholesale Floorcovering................................ 7

Annapolis 410.224.7590 Rockville 301.519.8999

SECURITY SYSTEMS Vintage Security................................................................ 3 SURVEYORS Bowman Consulting Group, Ltd........................................14 UTILITIES Pepco Services Inc..................................Inside Front Cover


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009 407247_Bowman.indd 1



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introducing Meet HomeShare™ home system - a very big idea in the enjoyment of your home. It’s Sony’s multiroom entertainment solution that will keep everyone entertained, wherever they are in the home. High definition video in any room. Access to your iPod® music throughout the house. An intercom so you can call the kids down for dinner without ever raising your voice. Access a security camera that lets you see who’s at the front door from the master bath. All at the touch of a button. All in perfect balance. Whether installed in the living room, kitchen or bedroom, HomeShare™ delivers your entertainment needs and enhances the way you live throughout your home. It’s never been easier to enjoy all your music and video, wherever you are in the home!

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BUILDING in Maryland and Washington, DC  

The official publication of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is a bi-monthly, color magazine reaching builders,...

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