Volume: 2, Issue: 19 - 05/10/2013
Now that a supplier of ready mix concrete has achieved three groundbreaking milestones involving environmental designations for its products, will a flood of other companies that provide materials for green buildings follow suit? The question arises after Central Concrete Supply Inc. became the first ready mix supplier in the United States to offer concrete environmental product declarations (EPDs). It also is the first such supplier to receive external verification of the EPDs in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) 14025 standard and ISO 21930. Furthermore, the San Jose, Calif.-based business, which serves the San Francisco Bay area, is believed to be the first U.S. company in any industry to produce EPDs at the individual product level.
What are the chances that other providers of concrete will seek these designations anytime soon? Will more suppliers of products for green buildings seek to produce EPDs at the individual product level? Click here to find out what Central Vice President and General Manager Jeff Davis told ConstructionPro Week in response to these questions.
Volume: 2, Issue: 16 - 04/19/2013
In its crusade to foster more energy-efficient buildings across America, the Obama administration wants to place a much larger financial emphasis on emerging technologies, according to ConstructionPro Week’s analysis of the recently released fiscal 2014 budget request. The administration is seeking $300 million for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program (BTP), but only the “Emerging Technologies” subprogram within BTP would receive more than a $15.254-million boost above the FY’12 enacted level. With an extra $70.056 million to work with in this subprogram, what would DOE be doing to advance such technologies? Click here to find out.
Volume: 2, Issue: 14 - 04/05/2013
A final version of a calculator that is designed to assist roofing professionals in measuring the energy and environmental benefits of modern roof system technologies should be available by year’s end, Jim Hoff, the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing’s vice president of research, told ConstructionPro Week. The RoofPoint Energy and Carbon Calculator is expected to offer the roofing industry an opportunity to deliver tangible data on the value of roof systems to building owners who are concerned with the environmental impacts of their building portfolios. ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 12 - 03/22/2013
Are changes to green building policies coming to your area sometime in the not-too-distant future? To help answer this question for you, ConstructionPro Week has compiled a list of 74 bills relating to green buildings that state and congressional legislators have introduced this year. Proposals address a wide variety of issues, ranging from energy audits at certain federal facilities to the formation of a Nonresidential Building Energy Retrofit Financing Program in California to the creation of a “green walls” tax abatement in New York. The list includes the following eight congressional measures and 66 state bills (with summaries of and hyperlinks for the state bills being accessible to ConstructionPro Network members. To join ConstructionPro Network, click here): ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 11 - 03/15/2013
When choosing ways to improve the energy performance of a building, often it is best to pick the “low-hanging fruit” first and leave the rest for later. This was one of the key takeaways from a presentation that Kelly Gearhart, founder and principal of Triple Green Building Group LLC, delivered during a webinar that WPL Publishing held last week.
A suitable time to pursue on- and off-site renewable energy options, for example, is “after you’ve done all of the low-hanging fruit, all of the easy stuff,” Gearhart said. “What I don’t recommend for our projects is to throw a solar panel or a wind turbine up on a very energy-inefficient facility. That effort and those dollars should be [invested in some of the more] fundamental areas first. [Once] you have … investigated and implemented some of these simpler opportunities, absolutely go for both on-site and off-site renewables. But, if you’re in a position where you’ve assessed your [building’s energy] performance and you see [that] you are well below the [performance of other buildings in terms of] energy use intensity …, you may have a lot of work to do before it makes sense to implement renewables on your site.” ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 9 - 03/01/2013
Volume: 2, Issue: 8 - 02/22/2013
Because there has been a reliance on rating systems, “we [as an industry] haven’t always incorporated the best practices in the key areas that make for good building performance,” George DuBose, vice president of Building Consulting Services with Liberty Building Forensics Group in Orlando, Fla., told various professionals attending a webinar that WPL Publishing held earlier this month. Among such key areas are indoor air quality, humidity control, and waterproofing, he said.
“We haven’t always incorporated those best practices because [of] the prescriptive nature of rating systems, and as those rating systems have influenced standards and influenced codes, we’ve seen that risk flow through all the way up into codes,” DuBose said. In addressing a target audience of engineers, architects, owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and construction law attorneys, he asserted that “building green is a noble goal, but it is a risky endeavor.” ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 7 - 02/15/2013
What are the realistic chances that the new Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy (ACNEEP) plan for doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030 will be implemented? Despite recent successes in getting energy-efficiency policies passed into law, advocates may find it difficult -- if not impossible -- to get the blue-ribbon commission’s ambitious blueprint for change fully carried out, given the sheer number of steps that would need to be taken by so many diverse groups.
The highly publicized “Energy 2030” plan, released earlier this month, contains at least 45 specific recommendations for improving energy efficiency across the country and relies upon Congress; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB); American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); International Code Council (ICC); state and local governments; public utility commissions (PUCs); and others to do their part in implementing it. Will all of the players cooperate? ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 6 - 02/08/2013
A growing percentage of construction professionals responding to ConstructionPro Week’s (CPW) questions about their experiences with green buildings are reporting they have worked on a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project that ultimately was not certified.
More than one-quarter (25.9 percent) of all architects, engineers, owners, contractors, and others responding to the Green Building Survey that CPW recently conducted indicated that at some point in their careers they had participated in a LEED project that did not garner certification. In CPW’s first Green Building Survey in late 2011, only 15.3 percent of respondents reported having worked on such a project. ... Read more.
Volume: 2, Issue: 5 - 02/01/2013
Will a new-and-improved ICC (International Code Council) National Green Building Standard (NGBS, or ICC 700), which recently received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval and contains greener features than what was included in the original version, gain significantly more appeal among policymakers across the United States?
Since NGBS was first published in 2009, the standard has proven influential across the housing industry through voluntary initiatives, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which partnered with ICC in 2007 to establish a “nationally recognizable standard definition of green building.” However, code adoption through local and state policymakers apparently has been a different story. ... Read more.