News roundup: Husqvarna acquires Atlas Copco’s Light Compaction and Concrete Equipment business

The Atlas Copco LT6005 and LT5005 rammers feature a slimmer design than previous models, allowing contractors to easily work in tight areas, such as trenches.The Atlas Copco LT6005 and LT5005 rammers feature a slimmer design than previous models, allowing contractors to easily work in tight areas, such as trenches.

The Construction Division of the Husqvarna Group has signed an agreement to acquire the Light Compaction and Concrete Equipment business from Atlas Copco.

“Atlas Copco’s Light Compaction & Concrete Equipment business fits well into Husqvarna Construction’s strategy for expanding deeper into the market segment of concrete surfaces and floors,” said Kai Wärn, president and CEO of Husqvarna Group. “This step will further reinforce our leadership position in this segment and complement the recent acquisitions. Strategically, the build-up of the area also supports our overall ambition of growing the Construction Division’s share in the Husqvarna Group.”

Atlas Copco Light Compaction & Concrete Equipment is a part of Atlas Copco Power Technique, which had annual sales of $68.3 million in 2016. The acquisition includes product lines, operations and R&D in Bulgaria.

“We are known for creating innovative, integrated customer-centric solutions with a focus on customer productivity,” said Henric Andersson, president of Husqvarna Construction. “Atlas Copco’s light compaction and concrete product lines are logical expansions of our current product range within concrete surfaces & floors. It will allow us to support our customers’ business through the entire concrete floor creation process.”

More details will be announced closer to the finalization that is expected to happen during the first quarter of 2018. The acquisition is still subject to approval from competition authorities.

First half of H-2B cap reached

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the cap for the first half of the available H-2B visas has been reached.

The 66,000 available visas are split between the fiscal year and the 33,000 cap available for the first half of the fiscal year was reached on Dec. 15, USCIS announced on Dec. 21.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), aside from extremely limited exceptions, petitioners who contacted the USCIS for workers with a start date after Dec. 15 and before April 1, will not get their H-2B workers.

The announcement that the cap has been met comes almost a month earlier than the first half of the cap was reached last year.

NALP believes that many companies could be shut out of the second half cap as well, which starts April 1.

The organization and its H-2B Workforce Coalition is working to stress the urgent need for the 2018 H-2B cap relief to members of Congress.

“With the news that fully half of the available visas are already gone, we have an additional argument to support our cause,” NALP said. “We are also in constant dialogue about the importance of H-2B program reform that permanent cap-relief.”

BrightView-maintained campuses presented with water efficiency award

Oracle’s two campuses were presented with the overall award for efficient water use.

The Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards Coalition recognizes the best of the best in water use efficiency and selected Oracle as the role model among businesses as BrightView helped it save 91 million gallons of potable water in one year, a savings of $573,000.

BrightView maintains the landscape at Oracle’s World Headquarters in Redwood City, California, and its Santa Clara campus. The landscaping company installed HydroPoint WeatherTRAK smart controllers to the irrigation system, reducing water consumption by 29 percent. It took three months to convert more than 50 conventional controllers to smart controllers.

“We take the plant type, sprinkler type, slope and soil type and combine them into a formula to determine the water needs for each zone,” said Brandon De Young, vice president general manager at BrightView. “The controllers also alert us of any issues from the last water cycle.”

Aside from the controllers, BrightView also planted California native plants that required less water and changed the irrigation to drip and high-efficient matched precipitation rate nozzles.

Oracle has decided to have smart irrigation products install at all of their locations in California.

“It has been great working with Oracle and HydroPoint to support Oracle’s long-term goal of making their campuses more sustainable,” De Young said. “We all take pride in this achievement of being recognized and look forward to continuing this journey with them.”

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