Wednesday, March 8, 2017

MHBA Addresses Issues With State Officials in Massachusetts

Industry Gathers in Boston
a report from Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the MHBA:  

I want to personally thank the twenty plus industry representatives who endured downtown Boston traffic to meet with me this week.  We discussed many issues happening in Massachusetts, and I gained valuable insight and guidance from local builders.

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We also talked about MHBA’s Consumer Awareness Program and some other recent success stories.   Members enthusiastically offered their opinions and insights into our marketing efforts and ideas on how the association could grow.  

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I was particularly pleased with the level of passion and commitment to work together that I heard from many of the builders and manufacturers.  The following day, I testified at the public hearing for the 9th Edition of the proposed new Massachusetts Building Code.  Most of the comments I heard focused either on the inclusion of sprinkler systems in one and two family homes or the inclusion in the energy codes of electric vehicle and solar panel wiring readiness.  It seems as if our building codes have gotten away from providing a minimum level of safety and entered into the world of personal behavior modification.  

Rather than discuss the specific code changes, I felt it was important to send a broader message to the board.  I have included that testimony here.
Oral testimony for BBRS Public hearing on March 7, 2017:

Mr. Chairman, members of the BBRS board, thank you for allowing me to speak today. 

My name is Tom Hardiman and I am the director of both the Modular Building Institute and the Modular Home Builders Association, representing the commercial and residential modular building community. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with about twenty modular home builders, manufacturers, and developers to discuss not only the issues we are having in Massachusetts, but the opportunities for growth here. 

We feel that the modular industry can help the state address important social issues such as affordable housing and homelessness as well as reduce the amount of construction waste that ends up in our landfills.  We feel that the industry can build high quality, energy efficient homes and buildings and do so in a safe and controlled working environment. 

However, to do this, we need a set of fair and predictable rules and regulations.  We are here today to commit to working with the BBRS and the program to ensure public safety while also providing a path towards greater economic opportunities for Massachusetts businesses and workers. 

We also need a program director.  We do not feel that this program can operate efficiently without filling the current vacancy. Given the enormous growth potential in this state, it is necessary to have a fully staffed and fully functioning program. 
Our goal is to work with the BBRS and within the program to demonstrate why we believe “Modular Means More.” 

Again, I thank you for the opportunity to speak here today.

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