Building knowledge and connections
  • Honeywell Helps London Break Ground on the Clinton Climate Initiative

    Building Retrofit Programme Will Be the First under the Global Carbon Reduction Initiative

    LONDON, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Honeywell today announced that it has been selected by the Greater London Authority (GLA) for a building retrofit programme that will increase energy efficiency in city facilities and cut carbon emissions. London is the first C40 city in the world to launch a comprehensive programme under the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), which the city and Honeywell joined in May to combat global warming.

    "The businesses and building owners collaborating on energy-saving building retrofits are saving money, making money, creating new jobs, and fighting climate change, all at once. I am very pleased that my foundation has been able to accelerate these projects that reduce carbon emissions and increase the use and market for energy efficient technologies around the world," said President Bill Clinton. "Working together, we can save energy, reduce carbon emissions, strengthen the economy, and secure the future."

    "Today marks the start of the transformation of London's buildings from the major source of carbon emissions in the city, to a beacon of modern, low- carbon efficiency," said London Mayor Ken Livingstone. "Honeywell is an acknowledged world leader in its field and I am pleased to be working with the company to deliver this exciting low carbon building programme."

    As part of the GLA programme, Honeywell will conduct a detailed analysis of 22 Transport for London (TfL) buildings and identify areas for energy- efficient improvements. Honeywell will present the findings to the GLA and TfL, which will then select the proposals that meet their carbon emission reduction and payback requirements, and award performance contracts to Honeywell to implement energy conservation measures in the chosen facilities. Typical projects include HVAC, mechanical, lighting and building automation systems upgrades.

    The performance contracts will allow GLA to pay for the facility improvements and upgrades through the energy savings they generate. Honeywell guarantees the savings so the work will not impact operating budgets or require additional taxpayer funding.

    The programme is expected to have a significant ecological impact. Honeywell anticipates that the potential carbon emission savings from work at the TfL facilities alone would be equivalent to taking more than 450 cars off the road.

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  • State's First Renovated Building Gets Green Designation

    U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Awards LEED® Silver Certification

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Department of General Services (DGS) announced today that the California Department of Rehabilitation’s headquarters in Sacramento has become the first State building to be awarded green building certification after undergoing a major renovation.

    To mark the achievement, a USGBC plaque designating the Department of Rehabilitation Building as "LEED-New Construction Silver" (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was unveiled today at the 721 Capitol Mall building during a ceremony for the building’s employees.

    The USGBC is the nation's foremost coalition of building industry leaders working to promote buildings that are energy-efficient, environmentally responsible, healthy places within which to work and conduct business.

    “Building green saves energy, conserves resources and helps us meet the ambitious goals Governor Schwarzenegger laid out for us when he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act and established his Green Building Initiative,” said State and Consumer Services Agency Secretary Rosario Marin.

    “I’m excited that our march to green State buildings continues today in this historic building along Capitol Mall in the shadow of our State Capitol. DGS is committed to continuing the push to increase energy efficiency throughout all State buildings,” said DGS Director Will Bush.

    Governor Schwarzenegger’s Green Building Initiative (Executive Order S-20-04) directs state agencies to reduce California's energy use at State-owned buildings 20 percent by 2015, while also reducing the impact State buildings have on climate change. His executive order also directs that state buildings like this one, and all future state construction and major renovation projects, should meet a minimum of LEED Silver certification in order to save energy, conserve water, divert waste from landfills and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Honeywell and City of Hillsboro Power Water Storage Facility With Solar Panels

    Power Purchase Agreement to Reduce Utility Costs, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Benefit the Local Economy

    MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Honeywell (NYSE:HON) today announced that the City of Hillsboro, Ore., has awarded the company a solar project that is expected to cut the city's energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install ground-mounted solar panels next to the Hillsboro Evergreen Reservoir water storage facility and sell the electricity the panels produce to the city for use at the reservoir. The panels are expected to generate more than 104,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, almost 20 percent of the power needed for the 15 million-gallon Evergreen Reservoir.

    Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of efficient energy technologies and renewable resources, will help fund part of the project. Honeywell also will work with Renewable NRG, an Energy Trust Trade Ally based in Portland, Ore., to install the solar panels. SolarWorld Group, a global manufacturer of solar technology with a new state-of-the-art fabrication plant in Hillsboro, will supply the solar modules and installation hardware.

    "The project directly supports our 2020 Vision Action Plan, which we put in place to positively shape the growth and development of the community," said Tom Hughes, Mayor of Hillsboro. "The power purchase agreement allows us to stabilize and reduce our utility costs, and it will benefit the Hillsboro economy by using local resources."

    The project will deliver environmental benefits as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 3.6 million pounds over the 20-year agreement. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 295 cars from the road for a year.

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  • Home Depot Settles Storm Water Violations

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Home Depot has agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty and implement a nationwide compliance program to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The settlement resolves alleged violations that were discovered at more than 30 construction sites in 28 states where new Home Depot stores were being built.

    The settlement, joined by the state of Colorado, requires that Home Depot implement a comprehensive, corporate-wide program to prevent storm water pollution at each new store it builds nationwide. Home Depot must develop improved pollution prevention plans for each site, increase site inspections and promptly correct any problems at its sites. The company must properly train its construction managers, as well as contractors and their personnel on the federal storm water requirements. Home Depot must also implement a management and internal reporting system to improve oversight of on-the-ground operations and appoint a high-level company official to oversee compliance at all company construction sites.

    "Storm water that runs off of large construction sites can carry sediment, debris, and other pollutants into surrounding waterways," said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "This settlement is an important step in protecting the environment around Home Depot's future construction locations."

    "EPA requires construction sites to take simple, basic steps to prevent storm water pollution," said Granta Y. Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "We expect a large corporation like Home Depot to comply with the law and protect the waters in the communities it serves."

    The government complaint alleged a pattern of violations that EPA discovered through state and federal inspections of construction sites and by reviewing documentation submitted by the company. The alleged violations include not obtaining permits until after construction had begun or failing to obtain the required permits at all. At the sites that had permits, EPA found violations of permit requirements that prevent pollution, such as silt and debris, from getting into storm water runoff. Violations included the failure to maintain adequate plans to prevent storm water pollution, failure to properly place and install fences around project areas to prevent silt from getting into storm water runoff, and failure to install controls at storm drains to prevent soil and sediments from reaching nearby waterways.

    The Clean Water Act requires that construction sites have controls in place to prevent pollution from being discharged with storm water into nearby waterways. Each site must have a storm water pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants. EPA also requires that all construction projects larger than one acre obtain a federal permit.

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  • Warning: 'Zero Carbon' Label for Buildings Offers Consumers a False Promise, Says Sustainability Expert

    KINGS LANGLEY, England, February 26/PRNewswire/ --

    - 'Whole System Thinking' Urgently Needed to Address Challenge of Climate Change

    The danger of the 'zero carbon agenda' that has gripped the UK property industry is that it ignores social and economic sustainability and could result in highly perverse outcomes, building experts and the home-buying public were warned today.

    Speaking on the first day of the Ecobuild conference in London, Dr David Strong, chief executive of Inbuilt Consulting, called for an urgent reality check and a change to "whole system thinking."

    "I am a strong supporter of zero and low carbon buildings. The drive towards zero carbon is very important - it has had a powerful effect in galvanising the UK housebuilding and property development community and in stimulating innovation."

    "But there is much more to delivering exemplary built environments than zero carbon," says David Strong, who recently won the 2007 Sustainability Leadership Award and is one of the founders of the UK Green Building Council.

    Commenting on recent prototype houses that meet the highest levels (Levels 5 and 6) of the Code for Sustainable Homes, David Strong warned that:

    "The single-minded scramble to design and build Level 6 homes gives out the message that this is the highest ambition and most worthy outcome we should aim for."

    "However, if we end up with 'zero carbon' Code Level 6 homes that are uneconomic to maintain, are built on flood plains, overheat in summer, have poor acoustic performance, poor indoor air quality or other unintended consequences, then we have created a generation of homes that are unfit for people. We can't call this sustainability. The so-called 'best' are in real danger of becoming the enemy of the good."

    Addressing the challenge of climate change requires a holistic approach to deliver genuine sustainability, explained David Strong.

    "We need whole system thinking. This means collaborative, multi-disciplinary, integrated team working like we've rarely seen before."

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  • Home Energy Professionals Honored for Their Achievements

    NYSERDA awards 14 partners for their commitment to saving energy

    ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) honored 14 of the state's leading contracting companies, home energy raters, trade allies and partners on February 6 at the ACI "Solutions for Success" 2008 New York ENERGY STAR for Homes Conference and Awards Banquet. As partners in the State's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) and New York ENERGY STAR Labeled Homes programs, the businesses and organizations were awarded for their commitment, professionalism and skill in expanding the field of home performance and residential energy efficiency.

    Nearly 150 contractors throughout New York participate in Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and over 500 builders and raters participate in the New York ENERGY STAR Labeled Homes Program, 433 of which attended "Solutions for Success." Both programs, sponsored by NYSERDA, help New York State residents save money on their energy bills while also reducing the State's overall energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

    "All of our program partners are creating powerful, positive outcomes in our State, helping to place New York at the forefront of energy solutions," said Paul D. Tonko, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "They have been a driving force in the State's energy and environmental savings over the last several years. The importance of their efforts reaches beyond the statistics; these men and women touch lives and help invest in a strong societal commitment to future generations."

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  • Masdar Headquarters to Be Located in World's First 'Positive Energy' Mixed-Use Building

    Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture win global competition to design Masdar's headquarters in first zero-carbon, zero-waste city

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Masdar announced today that it has chosen Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) to design its headquarters in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city fully powered by renewable energy. The headquarters will be the world's first large-scale, mixed-use "positive energy" building, producing more energy than it consumes. In addition to being the location of Masdar Headquarters, the building will accommodate private residences and 'early bird' businesses starting up in the city.

    Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said AS+GG is internationally recognized for high-performance, energy-efficient and sustainable architecture. "We know Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture share our vision for Masdar's headquarters. This building is at the heart of Masdar City, and its net positive energy design and new innovations will reflect our mission of developing sustainable future energy solutions."

    AS+GG teamed with Chicago-based MEP engineers Environmental Systems Design and structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti on the design, which includes numerous systems that will generate a surplus of the building's energy, eliminate carbon emissions and reduce liquid and solid waste. The complex will utilize sustainable materials and feature integrated wind turbines, outdoor air quality monitors and one of the world's largest building-integrated solar energy arrays. Compared with typical mixed-use buildings of the same size, the Headquarters will consume 70 percent less water.

    "In line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Development Plan, Masdar is choosing to emphasize sustainability over height. We hope and expect this will set a new direction for worldwide competition in sustainable design," Dr. Al Jaber continued.

    In addition to being the first mixed-use net positive energy building in the world, AS+GG's Masdar Headquarters will:

    -- Be the lowest energy consumer per square meter for a modern class A
    office building in an extremely hot and humid climate
    -- Feature one of the world's largest building-integrated photovoltaic
    -- Employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification
    -- Be the first building in history to generate power for its own
    assembly, through development of its solar roof pier before the
    underlying complex

    "We're thrilled to be working on a project of this importance and magnitude. Masdar Headquarters is one of the most significant developments of our time," said Adrian Smith, partner, AS+GG. "As a positive energy complex, the project will have a far-reaching influence on the buildings of tomorrow."

    "Masdar Headquarters will set a new paradigm for the way buildings are designed, constructed and inhabited," said Gordon Gill, partner, AS+GG. "The project represents the perfect integration of architecture and engineering, resulting in a dynamic, inviting building that outperforms any other structure of its type in the world."

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  • Reed Construction Data Inaugurates AIA Strategic Partnership Program

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to provide members with greater access to cutting edge decision making tools for their practice, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced an agreement with Reed Construction Data to become the first company under the new Strategic Partnership Program. This initiative will be limited to eight companies that closely align with the Institute's strategic initiatives and mission. These select companies will be able to demonstrate how their products and services can better support the more than 80,000 AIA members.

    "Reed Construction Data is a widely known leader in data and information systems for the design and construction industry, and it serves as an important endorsement that they recognize the value of this comprehensive opportunity," said AIA EVP/CEO Christine McEntee. "We anticipate that this partnership will help the AIA deliver greater value to our members through access to Reed's valuable products and services."

    Reed Construction Data CEO, Iain Melville, added, "This is a significant step for Reed Construction Data and an exciting time of change and development for the company. By entering this partnership with the AIA, Reed positions itself at the forefront of the adoption of Building Information Modeling technology and integrated data solutions for the practice of Architecture."

    The AIA and Reed plan to release more information regarding their partnership at the upcoming AIA National Convention in Boston, May 15-17.

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  • Kimball Office Awards New Office Furnishings to 8 New Orleans Organizations, Who Are Still In Throes of Rebuilding More Than Two Years After Hurricane Katrina Destroyed 80% of New Orleans Homes and Businesses

    JASPER, Ind., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Kimball Office today announced the eight recipients of its Smart Actions Campaign in New Orleans for new office furniture. The recipients include four for-profit businesses and four non- profit organizations, all working to rebuild their lives and communities post- Katrina. Together, they represent a cross culture of what makes New Orleans unique and inspiring.

    Kimball Office will formally introduce the recipients and unveil the new furnishings during a media event on Monday, February 25, at 1:30 pm CST, at recipient Dash Lumber's store and lumber yard (9100 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans).

    "We viewed this campaign as an opportunity for Kimball Office to give back," said Jeff Fenwick, Vice President/General Manager, Kimball Office. "But it is also an opportunity to bring national attention to the needs that still exist in New Orleans. We must focus on rebuilding the businesses, because without businesses, there are no jobs. And, jobs are everything for a city like New Orleans trying to re-grow its population. It is up to each of us to do what we can."

    "When we began this campaign," Fenwick noted, "we hadn't prepared ourselves for the stark reality that so many would still need so much. Almost half of the 56 applicants are still in temporary office space or temporary housing. So much in New Orleans is still unfinished. Yet today, Kimball Office is proud to support and reward eight organizations with new office furnishings in recognition of their efforts to rebuild."

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  • First Clinton Climate Initiative Project Signed With Johnson Controls

    Largest Mall in Mumbai, India to Benefit from Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program

    MILWAUKEE, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- K Raheja Corp, one of the largest developers in the realty and construction industry in India, has signed the first ever Project Development Agreement (PDA) under the Clinton Climate Initiative's (CCI) Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will perform energy efficiency retrofits in the Inorbit Mall, the largest mall in Mumbai. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving the energy infrastructure at the mall while reducing energy costs and operational expenses.

    CCI brings together energy service companies, the world's largest banks, and some of the world's largest cities in a program designed to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.

    K Raheja Corp recognized the benefits of the Performance Contracting model promoted by the Clinton Climate Initiative and chose to work with Johnson Controls based on the company's strong global track record and local presence in India. Under the Performance Contracting model, Johnson Controls will make energy upgrades and other improvements that will be paid back over time through energy savings. K Raheja Corp has had a strong commitment to green buildings and environmental responsibility for several years. In 2007, the K Raheja Corp pledged to design future projects to conform to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) Green Building Rating System.

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  • Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Extends Weather Exposure Warranties For Leading Paperless Gypsum Products

    ATLANTA, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC announces new weather exposure limited warranties for three of its leading paperless gypsum panels. The flagship DensGlass Gold(R) exterior sheathing and DensGlass Ultra Shaftliner(R) now feature 12-month weather exposure limited warranties, while DensArmor Plus(R) interior drywall now offers a six-month weather exposure limited warranty. These changes double the existing warranties of these products.

    "With time and labor costs under constant scrutiny, architects and builders depend on materials that can withstand inclement weather without incurring job site slowdowns," said Leo Bissonnette, general manager for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC. "Our paperless gypsum products have a proven track record of durability and flexibility that helps accelerate the design-build cycle, and we are backing their superior performance with these new weather exposure limited warranties."

    Building with paperless gypsum products gives project managers more latitude in scheduling crews because, unlike paper-faced panels, Georgia- Pacific's proprietary moisture- and mold-resistant fiberglass mat technology allows greater flexibility during construction. By using these products, general contractors can complete interior drywall applications, even before the building is dried in and while the exterior sheathing is still going up. Bissonnette adds that "Georgia-Pacific paperless gypsum panels can help projects stay on schedule, rain or shine."

    The new weather exposure limited warranties from Georgia-Pacific Gypsum apply to the following products sold on or after January 1, 2008: DensArmor Plus(R) Interior Panels, DensArmor Plus(R) Fireguard(R) Interior Panels, DensArmor Plus(R) Abuse Guard(R) Interior Panels, DensGlass Gold(R) Exterior Sheathing, DensGlass Ultra(R) Shaftliner.

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  • National Gypsum Enters Joint Venture to Produce Cement Board in Mexico

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Gypsum Company, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, announced today it has entered a joint venture with Panel Rey S.A. to produce PermaBase® cement board in Mexico. The new joint venture company will be PermaBase` de Americas.

    The joint venture plans to open its first plant in Monterrey, Mexico, during the fourth quarter of 2008. The product, used as exterior sheathing and as an underlayment for tile, will be sold in Central and South America as well as Mexico. For the past seven years, Panel Rey has sold PermaBase to over 300 distributors throughout Mexico and Latin America under an agreement with National Gypsum.

    “Sales have grown consistently, and we are ready to take our partnership with Panel Rey to the next level,” said Craig Robertson, general manager for National Gypsum’s PermaBase business. “The new plant in Mexico will allow us to streamline the supply chain by reducing freight and eliminating customs fees and duties.”

    “The use of PermaBase cement board for exterior facades has grown dramatically,” said Panel Rey CEO Nicholas Alverde. “With the expanding economy in Mexico and Latin America, this product is ideally suited to meet our country’s needs for renovation, rebuilding, and new construction.”

    PermaBase features patented EdgeTech ® technology which provides a superior product and a competitive advantage. The strong, rounded edges prevent cracking and crumbling during installation. These edges also protect the board during transit and handling at the jobsite.

    The joint venture will also produce PermaBase Flex, the only product of its kind in the industry. It is a ½-inch lightweight cement board that bends without time-consuming water saturation or scoring. The product is easy to handle, cut and install, which results in reduced skilled labor costs.

    National Gypsum has four PermaBase plants – one in Bromont, Quebec and three in the United States in Jacksonville, FL; Clinton, IN, and Dallas, TX.

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  • Best New Skyscraper of 2007 Stands in The Hague

    Building Data Provider Emporis has Selected the Best New High-Rise Building of the Past Year.

    DARMSTADT, Germany, February 18/PRNewswire/ -- The winner of the eighth annual Emporis Award for the Best New Skyscraper of the Year is a 43-story residential building called "Het Strijkijzer" in The Hague, Netherlands. It was chosen from a worldwide pool of 634 eligible high-rise buildings.

    The many reasons for choosing Het Strijkijzer included its structurally expressive folded-triangle shape which responds well to its small site. The triangular shape is indented along most of its height, forming a V-shape. The building thus appears differently from every angle, yet can be recognized at once by its prominent overhanging crown. Designed by AAArchitecten and developed by Vestia, Het Strijkijzer is currently the tallest residential tower in The Hague and the 14th-tallest all-residential tower in Europe. The development is unique because of its developer's intention to provide affordable housing for young people. Its 351 residential units include 51 luxury rental apartments and 300 studios for persons between ages 18 and 27.

    The Silver Award for second place goes to "Newton Suites" in Singapore, a 120 meter (394 foot) residential tower with a strong emphasis on environmentally sustainable design. The Bronze Award goes to "Ontario Tower" in London, a 106 meter (346 foot) residential tower by the River Thames whose design was inspired by the factory chimneys and ship smokestacks of the London of the Industrial Revolution.

    The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the only award of its kind presented each year to individual skyscrapers on a worldwide basis.

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  • Visionary Architect Daniel Libeskind to be Focal Point of Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center Exhibition

    NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The intuition, dynamism and creative ingenuity of world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind is the subject of a new exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, curated by art historian Cynthia Goodman and Studio Daniel Libeskind. The CAC exhibition moves architectural designs beyond constructive forms to the realm of creative acts as illustrated by Libeskind, the architect of the nearly completed residential project, The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge in Covington, Kentucky.

    This exhibition brings together three of Libeskind's North American museums: the Denver Art Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, represented by three independent, but related structures and allowing for an interactive relationship between the visitor and architecture. Images of Libeskind's first North American high-rise project, the Ascent, as well as the aforementioned projects, are on view.

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  • CWA Announces Entry Deadline for Journalism and Photography Awards

    BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Construction Writers Association (CWA) announced that entries for its annual CWA Journalism Awards and the CWA Photography Awards programs must be postmarked by Friday, March 7, 2008. Winners will be recognized at the association's 2008 annual meeting April 30-May 2 in Alexandria, VA.

    CWA presents six awards annually:

    * the Kneeland "Ned" Godfrey Award for a body of work
    * three Robert F. Boger Awards for feature articles, special reports, and
    * two Gordon B Wright Photography Awards for a single feature photograph
    and for a series of related photographs

    CWA's journalism and photography awards are given to the individual, not to the publications in which their work appears.

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  • Local Construction Firm to Host 'Building Green' Seminar

    Expert will share details on growing trend with public and professionals

    NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A nationally recognized speaker on "building green" will discuss the fiscal and environmental advantages of the practice during an all-day seminar set for Feb. 28 at the Kent State University Stark campus.

    Hosted by The Knoch Corporation, a North Canton-based builder, the event is open to the public as well as to builders, building owners, architects and developers.

    Paul Shahriari, an expert on building green and a faculty member of the U.S. Green Building Council, will speak about eco-friendly building practices that have been proven to conserve natural resources, reduce operating costs, and boost employee productivity and satisfaction.

    "As builders, we believe that 'going green,' either in new construction or when remodeling, is a vital strategy for the good of our environment, and we want to educate others about its importance," Knoch President James B. Fenske said.

    Fenske noted that the Building Council's nationally recognized "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" certification program, which Shahriari will discuss, is surging in popularity. Over 8,000 commercial projects are now seeking LEED certification, more than twice as many as last year. LEED certification also is available for home builders.

    Practicing what it preaches, Knoch's new headquarters is in a structure that was remodeled using green building principles. The company is now seeking to have the building designated as one of the first LEED-certified commercial interiors in the state.

    The seminar lasts from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and includes meals. The cost to attend is $125 per person. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible. To do so, go to or call (330) 244-1440. The seminar will be held in the Kent State Stark Professional Education and Conference Center, 6000 Frank Ave., N.W., North Canton.

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  • Environmental Concerns, Healthy Eating, Home Remodeling Key Trends In 2008

    ROSEMONT, Ill., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- With the "green" movement leading the way, increasingly conscientious Americans also want to eat better, improve their home environment and escape to the great outdoors. Hundreds of new products highlighting these major trends will be on display at the 2008 International Home + Housewares Show, March 16-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

    "The environmental or 'green' movement certainly seems to have been the 'hot' topic of 2007," says A.J. Riedel, senior partner of Riedel Marketing Group. "I've seen more coverage by the consumer and business press this year than I have ever seen before." The rising cost of fuel, energy concerns in states such as California and former Vice President Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," all have pushed the issues of global warming and the environment to the forefront for many consumers.

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  • Georgia-Pacific Wood Products' Next-Generation Wall Sheathing Eliminates Need to Install Building Wrap

    ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC continues to strive for innovation in construction with the introduction of its patent-pending Nautilus(TM) wall sheathing at the 2008 International Builders' Show. Nautilus wall sheathing is a first-in-class OSB panel with a pre-applied weather-resistant barrier that eliminates the need for separate building wrap installation.

    Nautilus sheathing offers builders and contractors an efficient installation process because it combines sheathing and building wrap installation into a single step. This process eliminates the need for a separate crew to install building wrap, which helps reduce costs and can save time on a construction project. Nautilus panels can also resist rain and moisture during the construction period, which can help avoid costly moisture- related problems.

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  • Autodesk Launches New Solutions for Building Information Modeling

    Updates to Revit Platform, AutoCAD Civil 3D and Autodesk NavisWorks Help Building Teams and Civil Engineers Create Better Projects through Design Innovation

    SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its World Press Days event, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today announced updates to its comprehensive software solutions for building information modeling (BIM) including Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and Autodesk NavisWorks. BIM is an integrated workflow built on coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations. By adopting BIM, architects, engineers, contractors and owners can easily create coordinated, digital design information and documentation; use that information to accurately predict performance, appearance and cost; and reliably deliver the project faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact.

    "Demand for innovation and efficiency in building design, civil engineering and construction continues to drive the AEC industry's adoption of BIM," said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions. "Autodesk is continually working to provide our customers with technology that provides competitive advantage and design innovation. Our BIM solutions offer complete, effective design and analysis tools and continue the revolution in AEC workflow catalyzed by our Revit platform."

    Autodesk's 3D modeling technologies are helping customers understand and improve the performance and operation of their designs before they are built. Through highly regarded analysis technology from Robobat, Intelisolve, and NavisWorks -- all now part of the Autodesk portfolio -- Autodesk's 2009 BIM solutions help architects, engineers and designers to make better design decisions earlier in their process. The updated BIM solutions also improve project collaboration and integration between the building design, civil engineering and construction disciplines.

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  • Better-Connected Homes Increase Tornado Protection

    IBHS says affordable options exist but aren't implemented in inland areas of U.S.

    TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The devastating tornadoes that recently stunned five states are a reminder of nature's power and unpredictability. But according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), houses in inland areas of the United States would have a greater chance of surviving violent windstorms if they were better-connected.

    About 1,300 tornadoes are reported in the U.S. each year with activity increasing between March and June. While only a few specialty buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a severe tornado, good construction choices can give added protection and increase the likelihood that at least part of a home will remain standing to provide some shelter. Strengthened homes near the storm's edge would have a good chance of surviving intact or with minor cosmetic damage.

    However, according to IBHS, homes in inland areas of the United States are typically held together only with nails, instead of straps connecting the roof, walls and foundation, which is commonplace in hurricane-prone areas and should be considered by anyone who wants to increase their property's protection from other severe windstorms.

    IBHS offers these tips for increasing structural wind resistance for new wood frame houses:

    -- Have the builder install metal straps to connect the roof structure to the walls. This should only cost a few hundred dollars for a typical 1,500 to 2,000 square foot house.

    -- Have the builder use straps and wood structural sheathing to tie the structure together and anchor it to the foundation. High wind guides such as those from the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) provide helpful graphics of these elements.

    -- Consider installing a safe room. FEMA offers construction guidelines or you can contact the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) for more information.

    "A home has to be well-connected in order to distribute the forces caused by wind pressure, which reduces the chance it will come apart or collapse," said IBHS Vice President and Director of Engineering Tim Reinhold. "The good news is these connections are relatively inexpensive when used during construction, maybe adding three to four percent to the price of a home."

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  • Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Lauds Inclusion of Taliesin, Taliesin West, Other Wright-Designed Buildings on U.S. World Heritage Tentative List

    Wright's Own Homes Are Part of a Serial Nomination of 10 Private and Public Buildings Designed by Wright

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- TALIESIN WEST -- Taliesin and Taliesin West, the homes and studios that world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright constructed in Spring Green, Wis., and Scottsdale, respectively, for his personal use, are one step closer to attaining potential designation as World Heritage Sites along with eight other Wright-designed buildings -- a move that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation lauds as a testament to the enduring global importance and influence of Wright's work.

    Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced recently the selection of 14 U.S. sites to be included on a new United States World Heritage Tentative List. The 14 properties are now eligible to be considered for nomination by the United States to the UNESCO World Heritage List, which recognizes the most significant cultural and natural treasures on the planet. The new sites can be considered over the next 10 years for formal nomination by the U.S. as World Heritage Sites.

    Taliesin and Taliesin West, already National Historic Landmark properties, are owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the only organization that Frank Lloyd Wright himself established to protect and perpetuate his life's work and the original organization to bear his name.

    "We are delighted that Taliesin, Taliesin West and the other Wright buildings have been named to the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List," said Phil Allsopp, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. "It is a singular recognition for these iconic structures. I'd like to thank our colleagues at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy for coordinating all of the applications from 'Wright sites' around the country. Ron Scherubel's team did a first class job. From our own experiences with Taliesin and Taliesin West, we have found that architects, designers, scholars, historians and, indeed, the general public, revere our two properties not only for their historical legacy, but also as exemplary embodiments of Wright's passion for design innovation and experimentation. His visionary principles regarding the interplay between humanity and scale and between the built and natural environments still resonate today as we strive to create sustainable communities."

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  • Long Beach Community Solar Program Extended

    Due to Overwhelming Demand Program Broadens To Signal Hill

    LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Long Beach homeowners are so hungry for solar power that they successfully lobbied leading installer SolarCity to extend its Community Solar Program to Feb. 29. Not to be left in the shade, Signal Hill residents are also eligible to participate.

    In all 307 Long Beach and Signal Hill residents have attended free solar seminars outlining SolarCity's Community Solar Program, which enables residents and businesses who band together to purchase solar power systems at deep discounts. The residents in the program are inches away from the goal at which time the entire community will receive up to 30% off of what they would pay as if they purchased as individuals.

    "The people in our community care deeply about our environment and share a vision to make a difference," said Mary Barton, one of more than two dozen residents who have already purchased installations and a champion of the local effort. "At the same time, we want to save money on our electric bills. This Community Solar Program enables us to do both."

    The local acceptance of solar power reflects a nationwide trend. Residential photovoltaic installations more than quadrupled to 11,600 between 2002 and 2007, according to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

    Still, purchasing solar power now makes the most economic sense because state rebates on the systems are rapidly declining. Federal tax credits are due to expire on Dec. 31, 2008. With both incentives in place, the return on investment is around 10 years.

    In addition, the City of Long Beach announced this week that it has reduced its permitting fee by more than 20 percent for photovoltaic systems of up to 6 kilowatts. The fee is now $514.01.

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  • Fifth Mexican Housing Day to be Held in New York and London

    - International investors will learn about the sector's challenges, prospects and business opportunities -- The housing sector will continue growing, and nearly USD 26 billion will be invested in 2008

    MEXICO CITY, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Mexican Housing Day will be held for the fifth consecutive year in New York and London, providing Mexican government officials and private entrepreneurs an opportunity to present the challenges and prospects of the Mexican housing sector to the international financial community.

    The meeting, headed by Carlos Gutierrez Ruiz, director general of the Mexican Housing Commission (Conavi), and to be attended in New York by Mexico's Secretary of Economy, Luis Sojo, confirms Mexico offers significant business opportunities in the field of housing within the complex international financial market.

    At Mexican Housing Day, which will take place in New York on Friday, February 8, and London on Monday, February 11, the head of Conavi will discuss the Felipe Calderon administration's public policies, as well as the housing sector's challenges and prospects in Mexico.

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  • Helping the World's Oceans Begins at Home With Solar Energy

    Boulder-based environmental film company Oceanic Preservation Society exposes rising mercury levels in the world's oceans, Boulder-based Bella Energy provides solar electric system to power film studio.

    BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Bella Energy, a Boulder based solar energy company that installs and maintains solar energy systems in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region, has installed a 22.8 kilowatt solar system on Oceanic Preservation Society's Boulder film production studio.

    Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) is a non-profit organization that makes films about the declining state of the oceans, founded by Boulder residents Louie Psihoyos, a career National Geographic photographer, and his retired-ballerina wife Viki Psihoyos. Louie was the main contributor to the "Material World Project," a U.N. sponsored show of family portraits depicting 40 families from different countries with their material possessions.

    Louie Psihoyos knows that renewable energy production is the best way for an individual citizen to reduce the country's dependency on polluting coal plants. He has made a personal commitment to use solar electricity to lower his carbon footprint not only for his studio but also his car, a Zenn electric car. "We are doing what we can here," says Louis Psihoyos. "Our OPS film team uses a dozen monitors, editing machines and tons of RAD for data storage. The place literally throbs with electricity."

    Scientists are studying a connection between increasing CO2 levels and mercury content in the oceans and in our seafood, which can cause neurological and heart problems. The highest concentrations of mercury are found in larger predator fish, so high that experts warn women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and children not to eat such fish as fresh tuna, Chilean sea bass, swordfish, shark or grouper. Alarmingly, seafood provides 70 percent of the planet's protein.

    "Since our upcoming film points out the connection between increasing levels of CO2 in the air and mercury levels rising 2% a year in the oceans, we tried to lower our own personal carbon footprint and set an example to others," says Viki Psihoyos. "We are practicing what we preach."

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  • Material Technologies Holds First Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor Training for Private Inspection Firms

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Material Technologies, Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: MTTG) ("MATECH") held its first 4-day training for private inspection firms last week. Company officers and inspectors attended a four-day training in St. George, UT last week to learn how to implement an EFS inspection, which includes: receipt of contract, field inspection, collection and analysis of the data, and the preparation of a report. Attendees participated in 3 days of classroom and laboratory training with a final day of written and practical testing on day 4.

    Conventional bridge inspections are mostly visual, often done by inspectors using binoculars from a distance. This is not an adequate means of inspection, since 90 percent or more of the fatigue cracks are completely missed with visual inspection alone, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The fifty states of the U.S. as a whole have 190,000 metal bridges, with 39,000 structurally deficient and 35,000 functionally obsolete.

    MATECH's EFS is being used by states in three different ways -- as a means of prioritizing already limited repair and rehabilitation funds, as a traditional inspection tool since EFS finds cracks smaller than other technologies which leads to less expensive repairs, and as a repair/retrofit verification device.

    The firms which attended the training did so at their own costs in order to provide the EFS inspections to their existing clients in the near future. One official stated, "This technology will revolutionize the way we view bridge management and inspections." Companies will be licensing the technology from MATECH in order to execute contracts across the U.S.

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  • Evening Rose Town Center Breaks Ground and Stakes Commitment to be Greenest in Florida

    K2 Urbancorp's mixed-use commercial center would be the first Traditional Neighborhood Development in Florida built to the U.S. Green Building Council's "LEED NC" standards

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Five prominent Tallahassee businesses joined in groundbreaking ceremonies Saturday for what promises to be one of Florida's most exciting new green developments -- the Evening Rose Town Center.

    The 120,000-square-foot Town Center compliments K2's adjoining 132-home Evening Rose residential community and will complete the developer's vision to create one of the state's first completely "green" Traditional Neighborhood Developments.

    Like all of the homes being built by K2 Urbancorp at Evening Rose, the Town Center will be built to strict environmental and energy efficiency standards independently verified by third parties and certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

    The first businesses to sign leases with the $80 million new-urbanism inspired development -- located near the intersection of Capital Circle Northeast and Mahan Drive -- are expected to open their doors by late summer.

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  • O-I World Headquarters Achieves LEED Certification

    Building's design and construction follow sustainable practices

    PERRYSBURG, Ohio, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE:OI) today announced that its new world headquarters building in Perrysburg, Ohio, has been awarded silver LEED certification, recognizing it as a truly environmentally-friendly structure.

    The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System(R) established by the U.S. Green Buildings Council is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED certification is based on the number of points accumulated in the areas of sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy/atmosphere, materials/resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation/design process.

    "LEED construction promotes the use of environmentally-friendly practices and products for new buildings and major renovations," said Joe Zunk, project superintendent, specializing in LEED certification at Lathrop Company, the contractor that built the new headquarters. "As non-renewable resources become consumed and non-recyclable waste piles up, environmentally-responsible construction practices continue to be at the forefront of the construction industry and at the top of minds for sustainability-focused companies such as O-I."

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  • As Builders Race to Go Green, La Jolla Pacific Expert Provides Road Map

    Don Neff to Advise on Green-Building Programs at Upcoming Builders Show, Feb. 13-16
    The International Builders' Show 2008

    ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As builders race to build more environmentally sensitive homes, they face an expanding array of programs to guide their efforts, including the National Green Building Program from the National Assn. of Home Builders, debuting Feb. 14, 2007, during the International Builders Show. These programs present a maze of choices that impact builders’ cost, marketability, risk and profitability.

    In attendance at the show — taking place Feb. 13-16 — to assist builders in choosing the best fit is nationally known construction expert Don Neff of La Jolla Pacific, Ltd., a construction quality and risk management consulting firm in Irvine, Calif.

    In addition to the widely recognized LEED rating system, according to NAHB, there are currently approximately 50 locally grown green building programs across the country. Neff’s firm has been working with developers and builders on evaluating the sometimes-confusing array of protocols.

    “Builders want to know which program will give them the most bang for their buck in terms of appeal to homebuyers and long-term energy-savings and/or sustainability.”

    At the same time, it is important to validate design techniques, systems and qualifications of trade partners to ensure proper performance, limit liability and avoid “green-washing,” such as substituting inferior products for higher-priced choices.

    “These programs are valuable for offering guidelines to building design and product selection, with some requiring higher-cost materials and more rigor in terms of specifications and performance.”

    “Through performance standards and inspections, we aim to minimize the risk of construction defect litigation and maximize the probability that a good quality product will be built,” Neff said.

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  • Rockefeller Foundation Invites Public Nominations for the Jane Jacobs Medal

    Deadline is February 4, 2008

    NEW YORK, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rockefeller Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal on its website through Monday, February 4, 2008. The 2008 Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medals will recognize two living individuals whose creative vision for the urban environment has significantly contributed to the vibrancy and variety of New York City.

    The Jane Jacobs Medal was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2007 to honor activist and author Jane Jacobs, who died in April 2006 at the age of 89. The Foundation's relationship with Jane Jacobs dates back to the 1950s, when it funded Jane Jacobs for the research and writing of her classic book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

    "There is a growing concern among New Yorkers about the development of their city," said Darren Walker, Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "Jane Jacobs' principles, such as promoting diversity and respect for neighborhood knowledge, are as important today as they were at the height of Jane Jacobs' activism 50 years ago. The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to underwrite the Jane Jacobs Medal as a means of celebrating and encouraging continued civic action in our great city today."

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Unilock Benjamin Moore