Centex Recognized For the sixth consecutive year, Dallas-based Centex Homes has been named to CMP Media's “InformationWeek 500,” a prestigious listing of the largest and most innovative users of information technology. Centex chairman and CEO Andrew Hannigan says this recognition confirms the value of Centex's investment in internet technology.

“Technology helps us find the best neighborhood locations available and allows us to use our two-year, fit-and-finish home warranty obligations quickly and efficiently,” he says.

WCI Up 107 Percent WCI Communities reports a 107 percent increase in quarterly orders and a strong backlog for its third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004. Despite the impact of four hurricanes, the number of new orders jumped to 1,006 from the 487 recorded for the same period in 2003. While orders for the quarter were strong, revenues for the quarter were far below expectations due to the storms, which resulted in delays with inspections and utility hook-ups, as well as lost construction time.

Brick Withstands The Storm A new study conducted at the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University demonstrated that homes built with brick offer dramatically more protection from wind-blown debris than homes built with vinyl or cement board siding. The test was representative of weather that would generate wind speeds between 100 and 140 mph. The test demonstrated that a medium-sized, wind-blown object would need to travel at a speed exceeding 80 mph to penetrate the wall of a brick home.

Law Firm Hammered When the D.C.-based law firm of Powell Goldstein was hired to propose tax shelter options to the NAHB Research Center, their plan ultimately resulted in accusations of tax fraud and a multimillion dollar employment suit in D.C.'s federal court—led by the Center's former president Liza Bowles.

On Sept. 30, a federal judge ruled that the firm failed to protect attorney-client privilege and ordered the firm to divulge any documents related to the tax plan and firings. The firm could also be called as witnesses in the case.

NAHB spokeswoman Donna Reichle claims it is office policy not to comment on litigation.

Emphasis On Environment Beazer Homes announced that its new Cambridge townhomes at OakLeaf Plantation will be built to the environmental standards outlined in the Environments for Living program. Benefits to buyers include a two-year Heating and Cooling Use Guarantee.

The performance standards established by Environments For Living were originally based on the Department of Energy's Building America specifications. This private-sector program was created by a subsidiary of Masco Corp.

Pulte, Ryland, Centex, Kimball Hill, and D.R. Horton are among the other builders who participate.