Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content




Welcome to CAI’s new e-newsletter, created just for you. Each colorful, easy-to-navigate issue will arrive every month in your inbox containing the most up-to-date news, data, and calendar items created specifically for CAI informed members—and those who want to be. Everything you need to know about communities, courses, webinars, meetings—and especially about other CAI members—is now at your fingertips. And each new issue will be customized to include the articles you want to read most.


ThyssenKrupp's new elevator technology is a game-changer for high-rise construction.

Elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp recently introduced MULTI, a breakthrough, cable-free elevator technology that can move passengers sideways within a building as well as up and down.

According to a June 2017 press release, the world-wide company's newest innovation will replace the traditional cable-and-escalator system, which adds tremendous weight to a building and requires as much as 40 percent of a structure's internal space. “MULTI can achieve up to 50 percent higher transport capacity and reduce peak power demand by as much as 60 percent when compared to conventional elevator systems," the press release says.

The 160-year-old cable-type elevator system also limits the heights of buildings—since much of the mechanical equipment is located at the top—as well as the number of cabs within a single shaft and the speed at which passengers travel. Most high-speed cable elevators, such as those in New York City's World Trade Center, can travel at about 23 mph; the fastest elevator in the world—in the Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world—will travel nearly 45 mph.

MULTI, which employs a magnetic technology similar to Japan's high-speed bullet trains, according to a July 2017 article in TheAtlantic, can travel 59 feet per second. And, because the system allows for multiple elevator cabins to operate on a loop, it can move more people in a continuous flow, according to the article.

The new system also requires fewer and smaller shafts than conventional elevators and operates within a structure similar to a subway system. It can increase a building's usable interior space by as much as 25 percent, a critical point since currently about half of the world's population now lives in cities. By the end of the century, nearly three-quarters of the global population will be urban. Elevators today move about a billion passengers per day.

Because passengers can ride horizontally within a building—and eventually from a high-level floor of one multi-story building via horizontal shafts to another building—the system also expands high-rise architects' and developers' design potential.

MULTI has undergone comprehensive testing for more than two years at ThyssenKrupp's 807-foot research tower in Rottweill, Germany. The new technology's will be installed in OVG Real Estate's new East Side Tower, currently under development in Berlin.

>>Additional details about MULTI are available at


CAI's 2018 Board of Trustees, MRGs Take Office

Hammersmith Leads 2018 CAI Board; Bailey, Meskin, and Newcomb Chair Councils

John Hammersmith, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, chief executive officer of Hammersmith Management, AAMC, in Greenwood Village, Colo., became CAI's 2018 president​ on Jan. 1. Among many volunteer roles within CAI, Hammersmith served at one time as a board member and officer of CAI's Rocky Mountain Chapter and as chair of the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) Ethics Review Panel.

>>For a complete list of CAI's 2018 Board of Trustees and Council members, visit


Watch Your Back

How to Shovel Snow Safely

Lower back strain is one of the most common injuries related to shoveling snow. Here are some tips to help you prevent injuries and keep your back healthy while shoveling:

  • Before the first snowfall is predicted, make sure you have a proper shovel. The best shovel is one that is light weight, ergonomic, and has a curved handle. Your shovel should also be long enough so that you can avoid bending over while shoveling and short enough so that the load on the blade when you lift it is close to your body.

  • Make sure that you have other essential equipment, like warm, waterproof and skid-proof boots, as well as gloves, a hat, a coat and sunglasses to protect against glare.

  • Warm up before you start shoveling by walking around for five or 10 minutes, then stretch your arms, legs and back.

  • If possible, shovel when the snow is fresh rather than after it has been packed down and is heavier.

  • If the area you need to clear is large, shovel in stages starting with the most critical path first.

  • Switch hands often, and keep your hands separated with one hand closer to the blade.

  • Keep the loads light, rather than piling large amounts of snow on your shovel blade. If the snow is deep, shovel in layers.

  • Avoid bending and twisting as you lift, and empty each shovel full of snow. When possible, push the snow to one side as you clear the path.

  • Avoid throwing snow off the shovel blade, especially over your shoulder.

  • Take a break every 15 or 20 minutes to straighten and stretch your back.

  • Stay hydrated.

  • Stretch again when you are finished shoveling. If you do experience any back strain, apply ice packs for the first 24 hours, then apply heat to loosen the muscles.


Helter Shelter: The Problem with New-Home Warranties

By Michael J. Lowder, Esq., and Heidi E. Storz, Esq.

Most new homes come with some form of a warranty from the builder or developer.

Over time, these documents have become exceedingly complex and can include dozens of pages of terms, conditions and prerequisites that a homeowner or association must follow to get warranty work completed.

Like any contract, a warranty should be reviewed by an attorney to ensure that a home buyer can get the protections a warranty is supposed to provide—preferably before purchase, but especially when associations or homeowners have construction defect concerns.

Sometimes a warranty’s terms aren’t enforceable under state law, but homeowners are unlikely to know that. Warranties also may contain disclaimers and waivers of liability for the builder’s construction defects or include clauses that waive the homeowners’ right to a jury trial if they file a construction defect claim. These documents can require very specific deadlines and steps, like scheduling a mediation conference, which homeowners must take before a builder will correct a covered defect.

Warranties also may require binding arbitration—often with an arbiter the builder specifies. Not surprisingly, a homeowner’s chance of getting a fair hearing may be less likely if the arbitration service is a repeat customer of the builder.

What can you do if your association or homeowners are chained to an unfair warranty?

  • Get your association’s attorney in the loop at the first sign of construction defects. He or she should be the primary contact with the builder no matter what the warranty says.
  • Work with the attorney to engage an engineer who represents the homeowners or association to determine the nature, cause and extent of the problems and the appropriate repairs.
  • Ask the attorney to pursue a mediation conference with the builder instead of binding arbitration to resolve the dispute.
  • During the mediation conference, the attorney should negotiate with the builder to perform repairs recommended by the homeowners’ engineer. The attorney also should negotiate for reimbursement of all homeowner and association expenses associated with enforcing the warranty. This might include the cost of hotels, pet boarding, furniture storage, engineering fees before and during repairs, and attorney and inspection fees.  
  • Ask the builder to reset the warranty period or issue a new warranty that starts when the repairs are complete.

Reputable builders will provide reasonable, fair and legal warranties. They will resolve construction defects without the need for arbitration actions or lawsuits. But if your association or homeowners find themselves chained to an unfair warranty, consult an attorney who specializes in association law or construction defect law.

Heidi E. Storz is a partner at the law firm of Benson, Kerrane, Storz & Nelson, P.C., which exclusively represents homeowners and associations affected by construction defects in Colorado and Minnesota. Michael J. Lowder is an associate with the firm who has successfully assisted homeowners in navigating their way through unfair warranties.

>>For More Information

CAI has a number of resources that managers and homeowners who are pursuing remediation of construction defects can reference, including 
Construction Defect LitigationThe Community Associations Guide to the Legal Process (Member price: $29.95) and 
Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction (Member price: $7.79). Both are available through the CAI Bookstore at Several on-demand webinars also address the topic of construction defects. Visit the CAI website for more information and a listing.

©2015 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited.


What's Inside Those Walls?
Understanding Community Water and Waste Pipes
Wed. Feb. 14 2 ̶ 3pm
Water and waste pipes have limited life spans, and most community associations don't have reserve funds dedicated to this vital part of their infrastructure. This webinar will help managers and association boards better understand how the water and waste water pipe systems work within their homes, buildings, and multi-unit properties.

>>Details and registration information are available at

Each year, CAI provides financial support for up to four homeowner leaders to attend the CAI Annual Conference and Exposition. This highly competitive scholarship honors CAI member Jerry Fien's longstanding commitment to homeowner involvement in CAI. Recipients, who must be CAI members in good standing for a minimum of two years, will receive paid registration for the conference and up to $1,000 to cover travel and lodging expenses. The 2018 Conference & Exposition is May 9–12 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

>>Access details about eligibility and the application form at 

Should associations have strict rules for how board candidates can promote themselves and their positions? >>Tell us what you think at

There's still time to register for the Community Association Law Seminar, brought to you by CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). This annual event offers excellent opportunities for professional networking and provides a unique learning opportunity to discuss emerging trends and legislative issues critical to the practice of community association law. Register today at

Industry professionals and homeowner volunteer leaders from around the world attend CAI's Annual Conference and Exposition to network, discuss critical issues, and learn about the latest on operations, leadership, innovative business practices, and new products and technologies. Sponsorship opportunities and registration information are available at


CAI provides the most comprehensive, expert education courses for community association managers seeking to increase their skills, knowledge, and job opportunities. Sign up for one of CAI's Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) to obtain training and credentials that will increase your earning potential and accelerate your career.

>>Check out upcoming courses available in your area today at

© 2017-2018 Community Associations Institute