Building knowledge and connections
  • enLux LED Track Lighting Units Announced

    Flexibility in Beam Spreads, Color Temperatures and Fixtures Now Available for Energy-Saving Units

    TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--enLux™ Lighting’s low-energy using, cool, R30 Series LED (light emitting diode) PAR lamp is now available with a gimbal ring, mini-swivel or gooseneck track lighting fixture. Either option can be readily used indoor or outdoor to illuminate areas requiring long-term lighting without the excessive heat and high energy cost of other lighting products. Fast and easy to install, the R30 track lighting units do not require an additional transformer unit or power supply.

    According to the company, the R30 PAR LED light can save more than 85 percent in energy use compared to incandescent lighting. It exceeds industry lighting performance standards while using just 14 watts of power, and has a 50,000 hour life.

    “We introduced the new concept of integrating the enLux R30 with the off-the-shelf track fixture to provide the lighting designer with a premium product that frees-up creativity,” stated DJ Chou, director of engineering for enLux Lighting. “The units are sleek and stylish, plus the R30 LED lamp is available to provide a 40, 80 or 160 degree beam spread, and color temperatures in a warm 2700°K, neutral 3500°K or a cool 4500°K, and with either a black or white fin.”

    Custom color temperature (CCT) and fin colors are available. The enLux R30 Series lamp is compatible with any dimmer on the market today.

    enLux R30 LED PAR lamp was the world’s first LED drop-in replacement for incandescent and halogen flood lights in 2004 and was Popular Science® magazine’s ‘Best Of What’s New’ Grand Award winner in the Home Tech Category for that year. The R30 Series is UL listed, CE certified and Energy Star compliant.

    enLux LED products are environmentally friendly and ‘green’, 100 percent recyclable and do not contain any toxic gases or hazardous materials, meeting compliance with California Title 22 Hazardous Waste Requirements, unlike incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.

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  • SunEdison and Xcel Energy Strike Deal for 50MW (AC) / 55MW (DC) of Solar PV Energy in New Mexico

    SANTA FE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SunEdison, North America’s largest solar energy services provider, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), and Xcel Energy’s regional operating company, Southwestern Public Service Company, today announced a deal for five photovoltaic solar installations in New Mexico that will total 50 megawatts (MW) in generation capacity.

    The five 10MW sites, to be located in Lea and Eddy counties in southeastern New Mexico, will comprise a utility-scale, ground-mount system that will be fully operational by the end of 2011. In total, the installations will generate enough power for more than 10,000 homes in its first full year of operation.

    This total project will enable Xcel Energy to continue meeting New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standard, which requires that regulated electric utilities meet 15 percent of their electricity needs by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020, through renewable energy sources.

    The five installations will be built, financed and maintained by SunEdison, under a 20-year solar power services agreement (SPSA) with Xcel Energy, which will buy the solar power generated by the plant.

    “We are thrilled to begin harvesting New Mexico’s rich solar resources, and we are equally proud to add this project to our growing base of wind energy, as we diversify our renewable energy portfolio,” said Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. “We are also pleased to be working with SunEdison, a leader in solar development with the experience and financial strength to ensure a smooth project completion.”

    This project eclipses the 8.22MW (DC) solar power system SunEdison activated for Xcel Energy in Alamosa, Colorado in December 2007. At 50MW, the Xcel Energy project will be one of the largest in North America.

    Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson said the project reflects New Mexico’s sustained commitment to solar energy leadership. “Excellent natural resources, competitive incentives and pro business policies have positioned New Mexico at the forefront of the clean energy economy, and our commitment continues to generate economic development and well-paying jobs throughout the state,” Governor Richardson said.

    New Mexico State Senator, Carroll Leavell commented, “I am most appreciative of SunEdison and Xcel Energy for working together for a renewable energy source that will serve southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. This will be of benefit not only as an additional source of energy but also as economic development for Lea and Eddy Counties.”

    Lisa Hardison, interim president of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, said, “Thanks to Xcel Energy, our vision to brand and market Lea County as the EnergyPlex is becoming more and more a reality,” Hardison said. “Xcel Energy’s infrastructure and commitment to the Renewable Portfolio Standard – energy development, overall – are critical to our efforts. With SunEdison in the EnergyPlex now, we have the nation’s most significant energy players across the petroleum, nuclear and renewables industries developing their projects right here.”

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  • A New Addition to the Avery Dennison Specialty Tape Advantage Solutions Portfolio

    High-Bond, Conformable Adhesive Acrylic Foam Tapes

    SHANGHAI, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The first four products in a new range of high-performance acrylic foam tapes are bringing a new dimension to the Avery Dennison Specialty Tape Advantage Solutions portfolio. Avery Dennison XHA 6600 series tapes offer a number of benefits for tasks where high ultimate adhesion and high temperature performance, coupled with conformability, are the key requirements. They are designed to meet the needs of critical fastening and bonding applications in industries that include transportation, building and construction, electronics, glazing, signage, domestic appliances, and furniture. The physical nature of the XHA 6600 tapes - an acrylic foam core into which the adhesive is mixed - delivers a versatile professional solution.

    The benefits of adhesive acrylic foam

    The still-tacky core of UV-cured closed-cell acrylic foam has a high density, making die-cutting and conversion easy. Its compound nature gives it high density, which in turn provides enhanced holding power and tensile strength. The conformable foam provides cushioning and impact resistance, even over irregular surfaces. Perhaps most importantly, XHA 6600 tapes offer the high temperature resistance required of many fastening applications today - up to 200 degree Celsius; and they are also moisture, solvent, and UV resistant, and UL approved.

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  • U.S. Green Building Council Maryland Announces 2010 Advocacy Agenda

    Green building is a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Maryland announced its 2010 Advocacy Agenda in advance of the 427th session of the Maryland General Assembly, which begins on January 13, 2010.

    USGBC is a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

    The need for green building has been created by the staggering impact that buildings have on the environment. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, and 13 percent of water consumption, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity.

    Through the following six initiatives of the 2010 Advocacy Agenda, USGBC Maryland welcomes the opportunity to educate our policy making public officials and to help establish Maryland as a frontrunner in green building and sustainable practices.

    GRAYWATER RECYCLING SYSTEMS. Water reuse strategies, including the use of rain water, are a key component of water conservation. Such measures are necessitated by the lack of potable water in some areas and overloaded sewerage treatment plants in other locales. Enact legislation prohibiting local governments from banning the use of Graywater by local codes.

    ENERGY LABELS. Buildings use 74% of all electricity in the U.S. The Maryland government can raise awareness of the need to reduce energy use by requiring that all government (state and local) buildings measure and publicly post their respective Energy Star rating.

    GREEN ROOFS. New government buildings in Maryland are currently required to be green and achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certified rating. Require those buildings, and any roof replacement on existing buildings, to have no less than 50% green roof coverage (a vegetated roof or appropriate reflective white roof). Such measures can be incorporated in a cost effective manner.

    EXPAND GREEN BUILDING PROGRAM. To reduce building operating costs, expand the existing State green building law to require that all construction on State owned or leased land achieve a minimum of LEED Silver or equivalent certification. Require that all capital projects funded with state money (in any amount) meet the same requirement. Expansion of the existing Act beyond wholly state-owned and funded buildings will reduce building operating costs and help achieve the State's energy and carbon emission reduction goals.

    STATE RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDIT. By 2022, 20% of Maryland power must be from renewable sources. Require that 20% of those Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) purchased by utilities in Maryland and 25% of solar RECs be derived from sources within Maryland. This will stimulate the production of renewable energy in Maryland and create green jobs.

    HEALTH CARE - GREEN BUILDING. Expand the existing State green building laws to require that construction of hospitals funded with state money, whether in part or in whole, achieve a minimum of LEED Silver or equivalent certification. Require that the State's policy for the Certificate of Need include specific requirements according to the LEED standards, as appropriate.

    Rex Wright, chair of USGBC Maryland, said, "Maryland has been a leader in green building, but there is more than we can do and should do."

    He went on to report, "This Agenda is the product of months of work by representatives of more than 600 member businesses and organizations. We believe this Agenda can provide sustainable goals for the 2010 General Assembly session."

    Details on each of these initiatives and the complete USGBC Maryland Advocacy Agenda 2010 can be found at

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  • Pentadyne GTX™ Flywheel Selected BuildingGreen Top-10 Product for 2009

    CHATSWORTH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pentadyne Power Corporation, ( the world leader in flywheel energy storage systems, announced the GTX flywheel has been selected as one of BuildingGreen’s Top-10 products of the year by the editors of Environmental Building News and GreenSpec®. This eighth annual award recognizes the most innovative and exciting green building products added to the GreenSpec® Directory during the past year or covered in Environmental Building News.

    “Our selections of the Top-10 Green Building Products represent a wide range of product types in many different application areas,” noted GreenSpec BuildingGreen founder and executive editor Alex Wilson. This year’s list is particularly diverse, ranging from a recycled-content concrete block, to a flywheel energy storage system for data centers, a mobile solar generator for job-site power, and an advanced modular classroom for schools. “Many of the Top-10 products this year have multiple environmental attributes,” said Wilson.

    “Pentadyne is honored to have our carbon flywheel energy storage system chosen as one of BuildingGreen’s Top-10 Products. This recognition showcases our flywheel’s green and energy efficient benefits. Just one flywheel eliminates 32,000 lbs of toxic lead and sulfuric acid from a facility, while allowing users to significantly increase back-up power reliability and save money,” stated Jeff Colton, Pentadyne’s Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

    The GTX flywheel provides ride-through power and voltage stabilization for large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems in facilities such as data centers, hospitals, and casinos. It is designed to provide high power output and energy storage in a compact, self-contained package and offers 25 percent more energy storage than previous models, allowing users to reduce the number of flywheels required. Pentadyne flywheel systems are reliable and environmentally sound alternatives to lead acid batteries which emit greenhouse gasses and dump lead and sulfuric acid into the environment.

    BuildingGreen’s Top-10 product selections, as in previous years, are drawn primarily from new additions to the company’s GreenSpec Product Directory. About 200 products have been added to the GreenSpec database during the past year. “New products are being introduced all the time, making it a challenge for our staff to keep up,” said Wilson. The GreenSpec database includes more than 2,100 product listings, representing several times as many actual products.

    A big driver in the development of green products continues to be the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which awards points for the use of certain product types or for the energy or water savings that certain green products can achieve. “Designers of LEED buildings are looking for green products, and manufacturers are responding,” said Wilson. In the online version of GreenSpec, users can find products organized by LEED credits.

    GreenSpec is the leading national directory of green building products. Products are selected based on criteria developed over the past 17 years. Manufacturers do not pay to be listed in GreenSpec, and neither GreenSpec nor Environmental Building News carry advertising; both are supported by users of the information. “Our policy of not accepting money from product manufacturers allows us to be objective in our review of products,” said Wilson. The GreenSpec product database is also available online as part of

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  • Silestone(R) by Cosentino Joins the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games as the Official Countertop Supplier

    Silestone helps Vancouver's Olympic Village aim for a cleaner, greener Olympics

    HOUSTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Cosentino, maker of Silestone Natural Quartz, is proud to have been selected as the sole countertop supplier for the 2010 Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C. This project developed by Millennium Water, will not only serve as a "home away from home" for officials and competing athletes, but it will also be one of the first LEED Gold neighborhoods in Canada.

    The Olympic Village development is the largest North American quartz commercial project in 2009. The design encompassed fabrication and installation of over 71,000 square feet of countertop surface. Silestone countertops and vanities were installed in 859 apartment kitchens and baths. Trademark Silestone colors in Capri Limestone, White Maple and Ivory Coast helped create beauty and efficiency while setting the precedent for clean and natural living. Silestone is the only countertop with GREENGUARD indoor air quality certification and built-in Microban protection providing a cleaner and safer surface.

    FAMA Industries, a Surrey, B.C., solid surface manufacturer, successfully completed the development. FAMA Industries worked with Commercial Surfaces Group and Stone Systems, both of St. Paul, Minnesota, to complete this sustainable project against the deadline of the Olympic Games. "When approached by the Millennium Group on their surfacing requirements for the Olympic Village, our decision to use Silestone was very simple. With the sheer size of the project, the accelerated schedule, and the rigid deadlines, we were confident that only Silestone could deliver; and they certainly did," remarked Mehran Aghtai, president for FAMA Project Supplies

    "Cosentino is honored to reflect the green vision for the Olympic Village through Silestone. We strive to be a part of projects that leave a positive impact on our environment," commented Lorenzo Marquez, marketing vice president for Cosentino North America.

    Cosentino is committed to the continuous improvement and development of eco-friendly processes through innovation and technology. As the market for green products grows exponentially, the growth of the company is directly linked to its green practices that respect, protect and rebuild the environment - from the early stages of mining and sourcing raw materials, to product manufacturing, distribution, fabrication and installation.

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  • Projectmates Releases Version 10.0 with Enhanced Financial Reporting Capabilities and Improved Performance and Profitability

    DALLAS, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Systemates, Inc. released its latest version of their Construction Management Software, Projectmates V10.0, that comes with a fully loaded financial module and an effective project progression tracker tool -- Earned Value Management. With a cache of offerings concentrated in the financial module, this new version is set to "wow" users, especially those with a soft spot for financial reporting. Projectmates makeover includes enhanced navigational tools, redesigned dashboards in portfolio management and a better-ordered and tabbed budget that facilitates an enhanced user experience and better visibility over budget. Like its predecessors, V10.0 is a product of company initiative for continuous improvement and valuable customer feedback, and provides many upgrades for customers to enjoy in 2010.

    Customers have already begun to rave about the layout, ease-of-use and monitoring capabilities of the software. "Our customers play a vital role in our growth and we incorporate a lot of their ideas and needs when we develop our new releases," says Hemant Bhave, Vice President of Systemates, adding that the new Earned Value Analysis tool in V10.0 helps project managers avert problems ahead of time, rather than letting the problem snowball into an unmanageable issue. With large government contracts now requiring the use of Earned Value Management to compare expected against actual at given checkpoints, Systemates takes lead in offering this important tool to its users in Projectmates V10.0.

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  • DECRA® Roofing Systems, Accomplishes Environmental Milestone with ISO 14001:2004 Certification

    (Corona, Calif.) - DECRA Roofing Systems, Inc., the leading manufacturer of stone coated steel roofing, announced today that the company recently fulfilled a significant milestone in their commitment to the environment by earning ISO 14001:2004 certification at the Corona California facility.

    This accomplishment demonstrates DECRA’s commitment to the environment and assurance to make continuous improvements to both its products and manufacturing process. DECRA began to establish objectives toward this certification by publishing “DECRA’s Environmental Commitment” and implementing policies in support of this commitment statement in early 2008.

    The International Organization for Standards (ISO) is the largest developer and publisher of international standards in the world. The ISO 9000 standards give organizations an opportunity to increase value to their activities and to improve their performance continually, by focusing on their major processes and on continual improvement.

    In addition to its ISO 14001:2004 certification, DECRA Roofing Systems is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and an ENERGY STAR® partner. DECRA was recently recognized at the Greenbuild show by the USGBC as a “Green Exhibitor Award Winner Advocate Level.” This is the second year DECRA has elected to participate in the Green Exhibitor Awards. DECRA Roofing Systems have been providing ageless beauty, superior performance and lasting durability for over 50 years. DECRA profiles are backed by a 50-year limited warranty, a 120 mph wind warranty, are Class 4 impact resistant, and steel is a non-combustible, Class A rated material.

    For more information on DECRA Roofing Systems, call 877-GO-DECRA or visit

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  • GreenWizard Opens Its Online Green-Product Database for Manufacturers to Post LEED-Point-Eligible Products for AEC Research & eProcurement

    For No Charge, Manufacturers Can Post Their Green Products in GreenWizard’s Free Public Database, so AEC Buyers Can Spec, Purchase, and Document the Greenest Alternatives

    CHARLESTON, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GreenWizard, LLC – a web-based “expert system” for architects, engineers, and contractors to spec, purchase, and document LEED-point-eligible green building products – today announced a new green-product database initiative.

    GreenWizard has opened its online green-product database so that building product manufacturers (BPMs) can post, describe, and offer documentation for LEED-point-eligible products. Today, for no charge, BPMs can access a web-based database tool to post green product listings in GreenWizard’s free public database.

    By accessing this growing database, buyers (especially the AEC community) can spec, document, and purchase (through eRFP & ePurchase) the greenest alternative products. Already, the architects, engineers, and contractors responsible for more than $250,000,000 in green building are eager to access GreenWizard to search for and analyze LEED-point-eligible products.

    BPMs can access the GreenWizard interactive database tool at, or arrange to send appropriately formatted files to GreenWizard’s staff.

    No other green product database exists with these capabilities.

    “In good and bad economies, building product manufacturers are eager to capture business, and through GreenWizard they can access a highly sophisticated green customer base,” said Jerry Lepore, President and COO of GreenWizard. “If manufacturers simply post their products’ green attributes, supporting documentation, and LEED point eligibility, GreenWizard will give them entre’ into a world of knowledgeable buyers, who are eager to spec green alternative products.”

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  • Duradek is very pleased to announce that our products qualify for LEED points

    LEED-certified buildings and products qualifying for LEED points are the hot topics in today’s environmentally-conscious climate.

    Duradek is very pleased to be a GREEN leader in our industry and can qualify for LEED points for Heat Island Effect on Roofs as well as points for Regional Materials.

    We already know that, despite the ongoing controversy surrounding PVC, the cradle to grave definition of ‘Green’ shows PVC products (and Duradek) in a much more favorable light than the alternative products.

    - Duradek is lightweight, so less structural requirements are necessary to support it and less energy is consumed in transportation as compared to EPDM and concrete pavers.
    - Duradek is a one-step application which compares favorably to the multiple application and re-application requirements of a liquid applied system, saving many job trips which in turn consumes much less energy.
    - Duradek has a long life span, which means less on-going restoration requirement of the structure and less materials going into the landfill.
    - Duradek has no chemicals that will leach into the ground at the end of life, unlike pressure treated wood.

    To read more about Duradek being GREEN, please go to
    Or call 1-866-591-5594 for more details.

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  • Pental Granite & Marble Adds Line of Greenguard Certified Marble

    Vermont Danby Marble is Highly Durable and Environmentally Friendly

    SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pental Granite & Marble, the Northwest’s largest importer and distributor of natural stone and tile, has announced the addition of the Danby Marble line from Vermont Quarries Corp. to its collection of products. Vermont Danby white marble are a Greenguard certified product and is the first line to have all marble grades certified under this program. Greenguard certified products must meet stringent indoor air quality standards and are screened for more than 10,000 chemicals.

    “We are very excited to expand our product offerings with the introduction of this unique line of marble,” said Peter Pental, president of Pental Granite & Marble. “These materials are not only striking and durable, but also qualify for green building and may help projects attain LEED points. They are ideally suited to stand up to conditions in kitchens and commercial settings.”

    Due to a very low absorption rate of just 0.07 percent, which is about half the rate of most granites, Vermont Danby is highly resistant to damage and can be used both indoors and out. The marble, which is available in ten distinct colors and patterns, was recently selected by Martha Stewart for her residence and has been featured on The Food Network's “All Star Kitchen Makeover.” Pental Granite & Marble is the exclusive distributor in the Northwest to carry the Vermont Danby collection.

    “This line of marble offers a luxurious look with varied veining,” said Pental. “It is one of those rare durable products that is highly sought after as well as environmentally-savvy.”

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  • Whirlpool Corporation and Beazer Homes Form Strategic Partnership to Provide Homeowners with Energy- and Water-Efficient Appliances

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Whirlpool Corporation today announced that the company will be the exclusive supplier of energy- and water-efficient appliances to one of the country's largest home builders, Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH) .

    Headquartered in Atlanta, Beazer Homes has ongoing operations in 16 states across the country, building high-performance homes designed to appeal to homebuyers at various price points across a wide-range of demographic segments.

    As part of the agreement, Beazer homes will now include in all of its homes ENERGY STAR® qualified Whirlpool brand dishwashers, which incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-50 percent less energy and water than standard models. In addition, homebuyers can select from a wide-range of other Whirlpool Corporation kitchen appliance brands, such as Whirlpool or KitchenAid.

    The Inside Advantage(TM) is designed to meet the needs of Whirlpool Corporation's trade customers and other building and design professionals. More than a program, The Inside Advantage(TM) allows the customer to leverage the strength of powerful brands that consumers recognize, innovative products, market insight and targeted services, all from one company.

    As part of Beazer Homes' SMARTDESIGN® initiative, the builder includes up to 10 eco-friendly features in every home it builds, including CFL bulbs, programmable thermostats and ENERGY STAR dishwashers. Other standard features include water-saving faucets and showerheads, as well as MERV-8 air filters and low-VOC paints and carpet, which contributes to healthier indoor air quality.

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  • Underwriters Laboratories and ICC Evaluation Service Announce New Dual Evaluation and Certification Program for Building Products

    NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading product safety testing organization, and ICC Evaluation Service, Inc® (ICC-ES®), the United States' leader in evaluating building products for compliance with code, today announced a partnership that will provide the building materials industry with a Dual Evaluation and Certification Program for building products. Together, the highly regarded UL Mark and the trusted ICC-ES Mark will demonstrate to tens of thousands of regulators, building officials, architects and insurers that the building products and systems they inspect, design and insure are compliant with appropriate codes and product safety standards.

    The Dual Evaluation and Certification Program simplifies the testing and evaluation process for manufacturers. They now have an easier way of conducting business. Through one point of contact for both UL and ICC-ES, manufacturers can conduct testing to UL safety standards, show code compliance via an ICC-ES Evaluation Report and get simultaneous postings of compliant products in UL's Online Certifications Directory and Code Correlation Database along with ICC-ES's online directory of evaluation reports and e-Codes Premium.

    In addition to streamlining testing processes, UL has enhanced the usability of its product certification information. UL's Code Correlation Database ( connects product certifications directly with specific applicable model installation code sections to help code authorities and other industry professionals find ICC-ES code-compliant products. The ease of viewing code sections and manufacturer listings in one location makes it the only database of its kind in the industry.

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  • eSolar’s Sierra SunTower Named Renewable Project of the Year

    5 MW Plant Honored by Power Engineering for Commercializing Breakthrough Solar Thermal Technology

    PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Power Engineering announced the selection of eSolar’s Sierra SunTower facility, a state-of-the-art solar thermal power plant, as the winner of "Best Renewable and Sustainable Project" at the 2009 Projects of the Year Awards. Each year, Power Engineering magazine editors recognize the world's best projects in four major categories: gas-fired, coal-fired, nuclear and renewable. The award comes less than four months after eSolar’s Sierra SunTower was launched and distinguishes the facility as an exceptional power generation project to meet growing global demand. eSolar celebrates this recognition along with its recent selection as a Technology Pioneer 2010 by the World Economic Forum.

    “eSolar has created a new blueprint for concentrated solar thermal, one that overcomes the barriers of cost that have long stood in the way of the technology’s tremendous potential to deliver renewable energy on a global-scale,” said Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar. “Concentrated solar power is gaining a reputation for reliable utility-scale energy generation, and eSolar is pleased to be distinguished as the industry leader.”

    eSolar unveiled Sierra SunTower, a 5 MW commercial-scale solar power plant, in August 2009. Located in Lancaster, California, Sierra SunTower is the only power tower facility currently operating in North America. Since completion, its thermal receivers have consistently produced super-heated steam with an average operating temperature of 800°F at a pressure of 900 psi. The facility delivers clean, renewable energy to the grid through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison.

    As eSolar’s first commercial project, Sierra SunTower showcases technological innovations that address the key obstacles facing utility-scale solar installations. eSolar dramatically reduces costs by using less steel and more software. By leveraging advanced algorithms for precise sun tracking, eSolar utilizes small, pre-fabricated plant components to drive down costs. Projects can be developed on small parcels of land close to existing transmission lines, thereby overcoming environmental concerns.

    The first of several solar plants planned for the Antelope Valley, Sierra SunTower delivered a boost to the local economy by creating nearly 300 jobs at the peak of construction; in operation, the site employs more than 20 permanent staff.

    “The Sierra SunTower project from eSolar exemplifies the kind of creative thinking and innovation that Power Engineering magazine’s editors hope to foster through our annual Projects of the Year awards program,” said David Wagman, chief editor of Power Engineering magazine. “The eSolar team is to be congratulated for this outstanding project, which was our hands-down choice as the best renewable energy project of the year.”

    Winners were announced at the Projects of the Year Awards gala banquet held on December 7 as part of the POWER-GEN International Conference in Las Vegas.

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  • Control4 Brings Gold to LEED® for Homes Project

    Green Life Smart Life showcase home proves homeowners can integrate robust technology solutions with green living

    NARRAGANSETT, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Control4, the leader in affordable IP-based home control and entertainment systems, is proud to announce its contribution the Green Life Smart Life project’s LEED for Homes Gold rating from the US Green Building Council.

    Control4 provided the overall home control, energy management and entertainment solution for the Green Life Smart Life project. In the home, the Control4® O/S consolidated major subsystems such as lighting and HVAC into a single whole home automation platform. Providing everything from improved functionality and integrated third-party applications to personalized climate settings and remote management capabilities, the Control4® system’s contribution to the home’s efficiency helped lower the HERS rating to 58, a 42% improvement over the average American home.

    The Control4® solution uses a ZigBee enabled device to bridge data from the utility meter to the Control4® home automation system. This is one of the first non-trial residential installations of a Control4® energy management system in the country. The system monitors and aggregates data from all electricity loads in the house with real-time analysis of usage and cost.

    The Control4 system includes appliance modules that are programmed to manage load shedding of high-energy devices. The system individually manages and monitors the family charging station, the entertainment system rack, the lighting control system, and the televisions in the home.

    Control4 also provides interface for the whole home audio and distributed video system, and integrates Windows® Media Center running a quad CableCARD setup for TV, digital content, pictures and more. The home features the first residential system integration of Windows 7 with Windows Media Center on the Control4® platform.

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  • Girl Scouts and U.S. Green Building Council Working Together to Green Our Nation's Communities

    Collaboration to empower girls to help create healthier schools and communities

    NEW YORK, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two leading nonprofit organizations have joined forces to help girls take action to improve the environment and their communities by promoting green schools. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will team with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to leverage local Girl Scouts Forever Green projects as part of USGBC's National Green Schools Campaign. Girls will team with USGBC volunteers throughout its extensive chapter network to develop and use their leadership skills to significantly impact the environment by working in schools and throughout their communities to save energy, conserve water, increase green space, improve air quality and reduce waste.

    The announcement of the GSUSA/USGBC partnership coincides with the mass market release of the Girl Scouts' new series, It's Your Planet - Love It! The environmentally-themed books help girls tackle issues of conservation, pollution, and renewable and reusable resources and challenge them to take the lead in protecting the planet. The series, developed for girls in grades K-12, uses lessons and exercises that focus on leadership development.

    Green schools cost less to operate, freeing up resources to truly improve students' education. Across the country, school districts large and small are realizing the benefits of green schools. Students, parents, teachers and community members are making the difference, by letting decision makers know they want their schools built, operated, and maintained green. The Green Schools Campaign provides a natural way for Girl Scouts to apply their environmental lessons in their own educational community.

    USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC launched the National Green Schools Campaign in 2007, with the ambitious goal to provide a green school for every child in America within a generation. Through this campaign, USGBC supports federal, state and local initiatives that advance the green schools movement.

    "Through our partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, we have the potential to reach and inspire millions of girls - America's future leaders - to impact the way school buildings are designed, built and operated, enabling a healthier and environmentally responsibly built environment for future students and teachers," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC.

    Tens of thousands of Girl Scouts throughout the country are engaged in environmentally friendly projects in their communities as part of the Forever Green initiative. Forever Green projects are part of a range of activities leading up the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in 2012.

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  • Unveils a New Look

    Anaheim, CA – December 15, 2009 – ParexLahabra, the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra , El Rey Stucco, Teifs, and MerKrete Systems, today announced the launch of the new website.

    The new website features expanded content, incorporates colors and graphics and completely new navigational tools. The redesigned site aims to provide users with a clean uncluttered environment allowing users quicker access to the key information they are after.

    "We went to our primary users for feedback on our current site. Based on this feedback we were able to develop a site that not only met the needs of our users but also exceeded their expectations" said Quenton Roehricht, Parex Brand Manager.

    The launch is the result of over 6 months of work with partner BuildingOnline, the Building Industry leader in website design, and key members of the ParexLahabra team.

    "The new was designed and programmed by BuildingOnline, with the latest Web 2.0 technologies to provide fast and accurate information for today's EIFS and Stucco pros,” said Alan Wickstrom, President/CEO of BuildingOnline. “From the dynamic Product Selector, and customizable Submittal Package programs, to the Automatic LEED letter generator, our goal was to provide for clean design and an easy-to-use navigation/search functions to make finding and using this information readily accessible to all pros 24/7."

    "As a leading EIFS provider, we realize that users need to access the information they seek quickly,” said Mr. Roehricht. “This is especially true for audiences that are new to EIFS as an exterior cladding. With this new website we have been able to accomplish this and more."

    ParexLahabra Inc. is the US based parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra, El Rey Stucco, Teifs, and MerKrete Systems. The product lines of ParexLahabra Inc. are designed for the construction of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. The 2002, ISO 9001-2000 certification of Parex helped to substantiate ParexLahabra as a leader in the building materials industry with over 80 years of combined experience. For more information regarding ParexLahabra visit

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  • PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Facility in Casa Grande Becomes First Existing Food Manufacturing Site to Achieve LEED EB Gold Certification

    PLANO, Texas, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Casa Grande, Ariz., facility today became the nation's first food manufacturing site to be awarded LEED® Existing Building (EB) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

    "Constructing a building from the ground up allows you to be more thoughtful about the sustainable choices you make, but it's extremely challenging to retrofit a 25-year-old building to make it more environmentally friendly," said Jason Gray, technical manager, Frito-Lay Casa Grande. "However, we think the investment to have our facility meet LEED EB Gold standards is an important part for our sustainability strategy and another step in our journey."

    "In today's economic climate, organizations are reframing the definition of smart economic growth to include renovating and retrofitting existing structures to make them more energy efficient. Transforming this existing stock toward economic and environmental viability is imperative," said USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi. "PepsiCo's Frito-Lay manufacturing facility in Arizona should be celebrated for achieving LEED gold certification and demonstrating immense leadership in the green movement."

    To achieve LEED EB Certification, the company's Casa Grande sustainability strategy included implementing a number of green design and construction features, water reduction technologies and practices, as well as improved waste management.

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  • USFloors Earns First-Ever GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification for Bamboo Flooring

    Rigorous Indoor Air Quality Certification Augments USFloors' Sustainability Credentials

    ATLANTA, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is proud to announce that USFloors, Inc. has achieved the first-ever GREENGUARD Certification for a complete line of bamboo flooring. Though bamboo flooring has long been considered a sustainable choice because it is a rapidly renewable material, it now helps create healthier indoor environments by meeting the stringent chemical emissions standards of the GREENGUARD Certification Program(SM).

    Indoor air quality can have a significant impact on the health of building occupants and is therefore recognized as critical to the creation of healthy, high-performance interior environments by numerous sustainable building programs such as, the United States Green Building Council's LEED(R) program and the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) National Green Building Program. Both of these programs, and many others, identify the specification of GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified products as a strategy to improve indoor air quality and fulfill requirements for low-emitting materials.

    USFloors is a leading manufacturer of bamboo, cork and other hardwood flooring products for both residential and contract commercial environments. The company markets its contract products under the USF Contract brand.

    The GREENGUARD Children & Schools Program is one of the most stringent and rigorous indoor air quality certification programs in the world. Products certified to this standard have been screened for more than 10,000 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and undergo periodic verification processes to remain certified. The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, an independent, third-party organization dedicated to improving indoor air, oversees the certification program and develops the standards that guide it.

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  • GE’s New Solar Inverter Tackles Challenges of Integrating to Today’s Grid

    Using Wind Expertise and Proven Technology, GE Makes Solar More Reliable

    SCHENECTADY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technology used in GE’s (NYSE:GE) wind turbines, known for proven performance and reliability, is now bringing similar benefits to large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Building on a platform of power electronics, monitoring and controls that enhance wind energy grid integration, GE has developed a 600 kW solar inverter, which includes grid-friendly features to deliver performance in large-scale solar installations similar to conventional power plants.

    Based on the proven design of the power converters that GE manufactures for its fleet of 12,000+ 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, the new solar inverter is suited for use in the multi-megawatt solar projects that are becoming an increasing percentage of new installations. “We believe that there will be significant growth in large-scale projects as the United States and the world strive to meet renewable energy targets,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewables for GE Power & Water. “The challenge will be integrating these larger solar projects—which are also powered by a variable fuel source—in a reliable way.”

    Because the energy output of a solar power plant is directly related to the availability of the sun, anticipating the load that the solar power plant will provide can present a challenge for the utility grid, causing the plant to trip off-line. In order to ensure that solar power plants stay online, providing cleaner, more reliable energy, the variability needs to be managed so that it is more predictable—even during disturbances such as intermittent cloud cover.

    GE’s wind converters include control functions that enhance integration—a requirement to meet grid codes. SunIQ*, GE’s suite of solar plant monitoring and controls, can manage voltage in a similar way. “As variable energy such as wind and solar continues to come online, there will be ongoing challenges with integrating into the grid,” said Abate. “Solar integration will need to be managed in order to ensure that it operates as a ‘good citizen’ on today’s grid.”

    According to New Energy Finance, demand for solar energy has grown about 30% per year for the past 15 years, while hydrocarbon energy demand typically grows less than 2% a year. As wind and solar power plants increase in size and number to meet these demands, they are beginning to have a greater impact on the grid, displacing more traditional sources of power generation.

    While some software changes were needed to modify GE’s wind converter technology for solar applications, the hardware has remained nearly the same, enabling GE to leverage its expertise in the manufacture of its extremely reliable wind converters. Engineering and design were completed at GE’s controls center of excellence in Salem, Va. The company already makes 4,000 wind converters annually and has increased production at the Salem facility to include solar. In addition to experience, GE offers the global resources necessary to effectively maintain high levels of performance in large-scale installations, including a global services organization, 24/7 remote monitoring and diagnostics centers and parts support.

    For more information about GE’s solar inverter, go to

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  • Global, Green Building Programs' Key Differences Explored in New AQS White Paper

    ATLANTA, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Air Quality Sciences, a world expert in indoor air quality (IAQ), has seen the rise of sustainable building programs and how vast and differed they can be. The popularity and prevalence of green building is not expected to slow any time soon. Results from a 2008 McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC) and World Green Building Council survey of international construction firms project that nearly all survey respondents (94 percent) will be building green on at least 16 percent of their projects (by 2013). The results go on to say that more than half of respondents (53 percent) will be building green on more than 60 percent of projects.

    A new white paper titled "Building Rating Systems (Certification Programs): A Comparison of Key Programs," takes a look at how key green building programs adopted by various countries differ from one another, explains what guidelines they have for indoor air quality and includes helpful summaries of each program. The white paper discusses the following green building programs and certifications:

    -- The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) - launched in the UK
    -- The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) - United States
    -- Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency(CASBEE) - Japan
    -- Germany Sustainable Building Certificate (DGNB) - Germany
    -- Green Building Evaluation Standard (also called the Three Star System)- China
    -- Green Globes System - Canada
    -- Green Star - Australia
    -- Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) - Hong Kong
    -- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - United States
    -- National Green Building Standard - United States

    While each program impacts building practices differently, they all include standards for controlling IAQ. This is an important program attribute since poor IAQ can lead to occupant health problems including allergies; skin and eye irritation; difficulty breathing and persistent cough; reoccurring headaches; and asthma. Poor IAQ is linked to indoor pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that linger in the air.

    Creating an effective IAQ Management Plan, targeted to a building's specific needs, including achieving LEED or other programs' environmental quality prerequisites and credits, requires expert help. Air Quality Sciences is dedicated to partnering with building owners, designers and facility managers in creating and maintaining healthy indoor environments. Protecting the health of building occupants is a key objective. AQS works with clients throughout the lifecycle of a building, from its initial design and construction through its long-term occupancy, operation and maintenance.

    "By compiling a review of leading sustainable building programs' top line information into one report, we hope to assist builders, contractors and designers in better understanding sustainable building practices," shared Tony Worthan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Air Quality Sciences.

    The full report "Green Building Rating Systems (Certification Programs): A Comparison" is available free of charge from the Aerias-AQS Indoor Air Quality Resource Center at under

    "Premium Content," then "White Papers."

    To learn more about this white paper and services offered, contact Air Quality Sciences at 770-933-0638. To learn more about what factors impact indoor air quality and the importance of a healthy indoor environment, visit Air Quality Science's knowledge and resource center dedicated to indoor air quality ( For a list of products that are certified as low-emitting of potentially dangerous chemicals and may help earn LEED points, visit the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute's site at

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  • ClearLite®’s Cutting-Edge ArmorLite™ SAFETY ECO CFL™ Featured in CNET Gadget Blog

    Article Describes ArmorLite’s Technology that Addresses the Concerns Surrounding Mercury in CFL Bulbs

    BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clear-Lite Holdings, Inc. (“ClearLite”) (OTCBB: CLRH), a leading innovator of eco-friendly lighting and the appreciably safer ArmorLite™ CFL, reported today Tim Hornyak, the writer of Crave, the CNET Gadget Blog, has featured ClearLite’s ArmorLite SAFETY ECO CFL because its SX-4000 silicon skin is designed to help capture the broken glass and mercury, when the bulb inside shatters, providing an adding level of safety between you and the toxins inside.

    The article, headlined, “CFL bulb with safety skin keeps mercury inside,” also described the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for dealing with the dangers of mercury contamination from broken standard CFLs.

    “Current EPA guidelines call for evacuating people and pets from the area where a bulb has shattered,” the article noted. “They also call for the room to be aired out for 15 minutes and the air conditioning to be shut off.”

    “We value the recognition that our ArmorLite CFL has received in the CNET Gadget Blog, Crave,” said President and CEO Thomas Irvine of ClearLite. "The Blog features all the newest and coolest gadgets and products hitting the marketplace and we see our SAFETY ECO CFL as being the next generation, cutting-edge product to have."

    To read the full article on CNET’s website, please visit:

    ClearLite constantly embraces innovation; its cutting-edge products help reduce energy use, provide a more natural light and now A Safer CFL. Unlike the commonly found spiral design CFLs, the patent-pending ArmorLite looks like an incandescent bulb. It is in fact a compact fluorescent light bulb hidden inside a glass-shaped safety-coated cover; it is similar in design to the incandescent light bulb that seems to be preferred by most consumers. ClearLite offers a wide range of green lighting solutions for both retail and commercial clients. It has focused on earth-friendly, energy-saving “natural” lighting and now A Safer CFL, the patent-pending ArmorLite SAFETY ECO CFL.

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  • NASA Names Thermablok(R) to Its Top 49 Product Spin-off List for 2009

    NASA's New Aerogel Technology, the Highest R-value Ever Developed, Now Set to Change the World

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA named Thermablok aerogel insulating material to its Top 49 list of products in the newly released 2009 edition of Spinoff, NASA's annual premier publication featuring companies that have successfully adapted NASA technologies to everyday products and made them available to average consumers.

    In NASA's 2009 Spinoff list, Thermablok joins an esteemed group of companies and technologies that have directly benefitted as a result of the space program. The list includes products in the fields health, transportation, energy consumption and creation, computer chips, and environmental technologies.

    Taking the newly discovered aerogel insulation technology developed by NASA - the highest insulating material in existence - Thermablok, based in Tampa Florida, developed a highly efficient product that may soon become a standard in the building industry. Aerogel, also referred to as "frozen smoke" has been difficult to adapt to most uses because of its fragility.

    The patented Thermablok material overcomes this by using a unique fiber to suspend a proprietary formula of aerogel which allows it to be bent or compressed while still retaining its amazing insulation properties.

    The process requires saturating the fiber with liquefied aerogel, then extracting the liquid using liquid nitrogen.

    Lahnie Johnson is president and founder of Thermablok and its sister company, Acoustiblok, Inc. Johnson stated that just one, 1/4-inch x 1 1/2-inch strip of Thermablok added to just one edge of each stud before hanging drywall breaks the conductive "thermal bridging" which occurs through the stud, and can increase the overall wall R-factor by more than 40 percent (US Department of Energy/JM Laboratories.)

    Consisting of more than 95-percent air, Thermablok is virtually weightless, making it easy and inexpensive to ship and install. Made in the USA, Thermablok is 100-percent recyclable, will not age, and being hydrophobic it will not combine with or be affected by water. An excellent green product for today's environmentally friendly new construction and retrofits requiring no structural or permit changes. Anyone can install it.

    The honor could not be more fitting for Thermablok, as NASA is dedicating this year's Spinoff issue to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Thermablok uses the same aerogel technology that NASA applies to its space shuttles, astronaut's space suits, and other space technology, including more missions. Spinoff also summarizes the ways in which Apollo continues to provide tangible benefits to the lives of people in the U.S. and around the world.

    Since 1976, Spinoff has featured between 40 and 50 of these commercial products annually. These products are just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the thousands of products to which NASA's research and development has contributed. Spinoff maintains a searchable database of every technology published since its inception. "This database is truly inspirational for people of all ages," Johnson said.

    For more than 40 years, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program has promoted the transfer of NASA technology to the private sector in an effort to benefit worldwide competition as well as the nation's economy.

    Johnson, an inventor, entrepreneur, and former aerospace associate, is an enthusiastic proponent of NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program.

    "The results of the space program have contributed immensely to products and technology we all take for granted in our daily lives," he said.

    For more information regarding Thermablok, visit our website at, e-mail us at, or call us at 813-980-1400.

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  • Olympic Interior Paints and Exterior Stains Earned the Good Housekeeping Seal

    PITTSBURGH, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Since 1938, Olympic Paints and Stains have helped homeowners protect and beautify their homes. The consistently high quality and value of Olympic Paints and Stains, from PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) , has helped the brand to become America's most trusted paints and stains, with a wide, rich selection of colors and finishes as well as technological innovations such as, low-odor, zero-VOC formulas. In addition to the trust of homeowners across the United States, Olympic coatings have earned another prestigious honor - the Good Housekeeping Seal. Joining Olympic Paints, which was granted the Good Housekeeping Seal in early 2009, the entire Olympic Exterior Stains line of Maximum sealants and stains, as well as Olympic Wood Protector sealants and stains, will carry the consumer-trusted Good Housekeeping Seal beginning in spring 2010.

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  • SunEdison and SkyPower Receive Canadian Solar Award

    Canadian Solar Industries Association Honors First Light Solar Energy Park in Stone Mills, Ontario

    TORONTO, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic materials (NYSE:WFR) along with project partner, SkyPower, have been awarded the “Solar PV Project of the Year for Ground Mount” by CanSIA, the leading solar association in Canada. The award was presented for the 9.1-megawatt (MW) First Light Solar Energy Park in Stone Mills, Ontario, the largest solar energy park built to date in Canada. Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy & Infrastructure, Honourable George Smitherman presented the award.

    In presenting the award Minister Smitherman said, “The First Light Solar Energy Park’s grand opening made solar dreams real for a lot of people in the industry – not just in Ontario – but across the country. For being the spark that is without question the very first big bright light of solar in Canada – but certainly not the last, we offer our congratulations.”

    The system, covering 90 acres of land, approximately the size of 50 Canadian football fields, began transmitting energy to Hydro One Networks, the largest electricity transmission and distribution company in Ontario, on September 30. SunEdison and SkyPower expect First Light to generate more than 10 million kilowatt hours (kWhs), enough electricity to power approximately 1,000 homes in its first year of operation, the equivalent of taking almost 1,800 cars off the road and removing 8,000 metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

    Commenting on the award, SunEdison President and Executive VP of MEMC Carlos Domenech said, “We are honored that we have been recognized along with our partner, SkyPower, with such a prestigious award from CanSIA. It is a reflection of SunEdison’s commitment to Canada, and underscores the opportunities for renewable energy made possible in Ontario. SunEdison looks forward to continued development of rooftop and ground mount solar systems throughout the Province, and throughout Canada."

    During construction of First Light, SunEdison and SkyPower worked closely with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources to successfully preserve habitat for the endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike. First Light was built on bedrock that would have had limited use for other development, meeting the priority for protecting agricultural lands.

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  • UL Environment to Develop Standards Defining Sustainable Roofing Materials and Thermal Insulation

    New standards follow initiatives to define sustainable building materials

    NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- UL Environment, Inc. (ULE), a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification programs, announces a collaborative effort to develop sustainability standards for thermal insulation and roof covering materials. These standards will establish environmental requirements for products and associated parts based on life cycle assessment of raw materials, production, distribution, use and disposal.

    "UL Environment's standards will supplement the energy efficiency benefits of roofing and insulation by addressing and incorporating multiple aspects of sustainability," said Steve Wenc, President, ULE. "Our sustainability standards will establish guidelines for the development of more environmentally-friendly roofing and insulation products and help builders and consumers identify sustainable options for these key building components."

    ULE's new sustainability standards will be developed through a balanced, collaborative process and draw on input from UL Environment Standard Technical Panels (STPs) comprised of stakeholders such as manufacturers, product installers, distributors, users, consumer interest groups, government entities and testing organizations. These standards will set minimum environmental requirements and create a progressive and tiered approach allowing sustainability leaders to highlight their achievements.

    ULE's standards will complement existing credible and applicable single-attribute sustainability guidelines for roofing and thermal insulation. ULE's standards development effort for roofing and thermal insulation continues the organization's standards work around sustainable building materials, and follows the announcement of ULE standards initiatives defining sustainable doors, mineral and fiber board, ceiling systems, stone, ceramic, clay and glass, windows, building and glazing materials and associated hardware.

    ULE expects initial drafts of its sustainability standards to be completed in 2010. For more information, visit

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  • Underwriters Laboratories and ICC Evaluation Service Announce New Dual Evaluation and Certification Program for Building Products

    NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading product safety testing organization, and ICC Evaluation Service, Inc® (ICC-ES®), the United States' leader in evaluating building products for compliance with code, today announced a partnership that will provide the building materials industry with a Dual Evaluation and Certification Program for building products. Together, the highly regarded UL Mark and the trusted ICC-ES Mark will demonstrate to tens of thousands of regulators, building officials, architects and insurers that the building products and systems they inspect, design and insure are compliant with appropriate codes and product safety standards.

    The Dual Evaluation and Certification Program simplifies the testing and evaluation process for manufacturers. They now have an easier way of conducting business. Through one point of contact for both UL and ICC-ES, manufacturers can conduct testing to UL safety standards, show code compliance via an ICC-ES Evaluation Report and get simultaneous postings of compliant products in UL's Online Certifications Directory and Code Correlation Database along with ICC-ES's online directory of evaluation reports and e-Codes Premium.

    "This partnership between UL and ICC-ES brings two industry leaders together to create a one-stop-shop for building materials testing and evaluation needs in the built environment," says Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager, UL Global Building Materials and Life Safety & Security Industries. "The Dual Evaluation and Certification Program will provide manufacturers faster turnaround times and speed to market, while giving their customers two more reasons to trust the quality, safety and efficiency of their products."

    In addition to streamlining testing processes, UL has enhanced the usability of its product certification information. UL's Code Correlation Database ( connects product certifications directly with specific applicable model installation code sections to help code authorities and other industry professionals find ICC-ES code-compliant products. The ease of viewing code sections and manufacturer listings in one location makes it the only database of its kind in the industry.

    "ICC's 55,000 members now have access to the Dual Evaluation and Certification Program that will help them in their code-compliance decisions while saving time and money," said Mark Johnson, president, ICC-ES. "This is just one of the many benefits of working with a trusted partner in safety like UL, and we continue to look for new opportunities to expand this partnership to better serve our customers and members."

    In October, UL and ICC-ES announced their first dual listing partnership. To provide code officials and construction professionals with a reliable means to verify that Plumbing/Mechanical/Fuel Gas (PMG) products comply with applicable codes and standards, they established a Dual PMG Listing Program.

    ICC, the parent company of ICC-ES, publishes the International Codes, which include the International Building (IBC), Fire (IFC) and Residential (IRC) Codes. The IBC has been adopted in 50 states plus Washington DC, the IRC in 48 states and the IFC in 42 states at either the state or local level. Between them, ICC and ICC-ES have on staff a full range of building materials product experts and professional engineers with product evaluation experience.

    UL has more than 100 years of building materials expertise and is the North American leader in fire safety testing, certification and research. The company is dedicated to working with architects, regulatory authorities, manufacturers, insurers, building owners, retailers and other partners in the building materials community to improve safety both at work and at home. For more information about UL's expertise in Building Materials and Life Safety & Security, visit the industries section on

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  • Avanti Systems - Our Green Policy: Sustainable Glass Systems

    We are taking this chance to Announce our Green Campaign. Avanti Green is a movement certifying all of our products within the LEED Rating System. Avanti is continually at the forefront of the Interior Glass Industry. We are striving to apply the same innovative philosophy to this new Environmentally Conscious Campaign!

    We are an Environmentally Conscious Manufacturer and Installer of a World Class Portfolio of Glass Products. Our Green Policy, tends to both Green Building and Manufacturing. We strive to make contributions to Sustainability within the Construction, Building, and Design Environments. In order to execute sustainability within these environments we implement green building strategies, efficient manufacturing aspects, recycled materials, and installation practices. Avanti is continuously at the forefront of the industry, and we strive to maintain innovation through all facets of our business. Avanti, exceeds the industry sustainability standards.

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  • Quaker Chemical Launches Website

    CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Conshohocken-based Quaker Chemical Corporation, a leading global provider of process chemicals and coatings, has launched a new website: This new site -- developed to showcase Quaker's high-performance, UV-curable floor coating system called RAPIDSHIELD(TM) -- offers industry-specific information and solutions via user-friendly navigation, making it easy for visitors to find exactly what they need. Visitors can access expanded content and technical information on the site, such as material safety data sheets and case studies, to receive technical assistance at the click of a button. To reach a more global audience, the website has literature available in multiple languages.

    The RAPIDSHIELD(TM) UV floor coating system is ideal for arenas, supermarkets, cafeterias, corridors, cold rooms, classrooms, offices, stairwells, stadiums, indoor parking garages, maintenance buildings, kitchen restaurants, leisure facilities, music and drama studios, laboratories, reception areas, retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers and other areas that cannot tolerate long shutdowns or interrupted production, or have environmental concerns about conventional concrete floor coatings. Visit the new to see all that this instant cure, UV coating has to offer.

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  • USGBC Maryland 5th Annual Green Building Awards - Call for Nominations

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Green Building Council, Maryland Chapter (USGBC Maryland) is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the 5th Annual Awards Celebration, which will be presented at the Athenaeum at Goucher College on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

    The USGBC Maryland Annual Awards honor green building projects, professionals and companies in the state of Maryland. Award categories include: Green Commercial Interior; Green Core & Shell; Green Existing Buildings Operation and Maintenance; Green New Construction / Major Renovation; Green New Construction; Green Home; Member of the Year; Member Firm of the Year; Young Professional Project; and Special Accomplishment.

    Now in its 5th year, the awards have quickly become the standard by which accomplishment in the green building industry in Maryland is recognized. According to Awards Committee Chair, Prescott Gaylord, LEED AP, "The green building awards are going to showcase the best and brightest green building projects in Maryland." Gaylord, USGBC Maryland Board Member and President of Baltimore Green Construction also notes that, "Maryland has some of the top green designers and builders in the world. These awards will showcase projects that are the future of design and construction -- they are what all buildings should strive to be."

    The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 11, 2009. For full details and a nomination form please visit or email

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  • Autodesk Launches Expanded Marketing Channel for Building Product Manufacturers

    Autodesk Seek Web Service Now Integrated with Autodesk Web Applications to Help Building Product Manufacturers Connect with Designers and Consumers

    LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced that it is expanding the Autodesk Seek web service to include additional targeted marketing channels for building product manufacturers (BPMs) that will help them reach and engage commercial and residential design professionals as well as homeowners. Autodesk is connecting Autodesk Seek to two Autodesk technology previews, Project Dragonfly, a home design application, and Project Showroom, an interactive web service that enables users to mix and match products in lifelike room settings.

    “Through technology and economic shifts, the building industry is in the midst of a rapid evolution that is requiring changes from building product manufactures to reach their customers,” said Jeff Wright, senior director, Autodesk Content Network. “Overall marketing budgets are down, yet designers are demanding richer information packaged for their specific needs from manufacturers. Having recognized this need, Autodesk is expanding the Seek web service to offer building product marketers a scalable, high-impact channel to connect with their target customers and measure their engagement.”

    Autodesk Seek is a web service that provides building designers with branded and generic building product models and associated design content via a web browser or directly from AutoCAD and Revit-based software applications. Designers can use Seek to quickly search and embed building products – including 3D models, 2D drawings and performance data – in their projects, which can greatly facilitate the building information modeling (BIM) process. First launched in 2008, Autodesk Seek has grown to encompass more than 36,000 products from nearly 1,200 manufacturers.

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  • Engineering Leaders and Industry Experts Make International Journey to Explore Active Solar Sludge Drying System

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Increasing interest in an advanced sludge drying system known as the THERMO-SYSTEM® Active Solar Sludge Dryer recently evolved into a multi-country journey for a noted group of engineering leaders and industry experts. Under the leadership of Parkson specialists, the group was able to tour both the largest THERMO-SYSTEM installation in the world as well as the THERMO-SYSTEM engineering center in Germany.

    The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the THERMO-SYSTEM technology and see it in operation at various sized installations. The first stop on the journey was Palma de Mallorca, on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, which is just off the coast of Spain. Palma, due to its high level of tourism, has a population equivalency of approximately 500,000 residents and is home to the world’s largest solar sludge dryer which happens to be a THERMO-SYSTEM Active Solar Sludge Dryer.

    In Palma, the group experienced the full capabilities of the THERMO-SYSTEM, including the innovative use of a unique and fully automatic robotic machine known as the Electric Mole®. The Electric Mole greatly optimizes the efficiency of the solar drying process by completely mixing and aerating the sludge inside the drying chamber at different intervals depending on the dry solids concentration of the sludge. The system is able to achieve over 80% dry solids and the elimination of virtually all pathogens using solar energy from the sun to provide nearly all the energy needed for drying.

    From Palma, the group traveled to Stuttgart, Germany for in depth technical training on the operation and wide ranging capabilities of the system. From an operations perspective, the group was trained on how the control system utilizes a complex and proprietary software program to automatically control all aspects of drying and therefore requires very little operator input or attention. The group also used the time to learn about the wide range of capabilities of the system by reviewing case studies on many of the 100+ installations throughout Europe.

    Included in the group were engineers from some of North America’s top consulting engineering firms as well as representatives from the petroleum and cement industries. Some of these engineers and industry leaders are already specifying the THERMO-SYSTEM technology, while others were interested in expanding their understanding of the technology’s possibilities. The representatives from the water and wastewater community were impressed with the high level of sustainability that this technology can bring to their projects. The cement industry representatives are evaluating the potential to economically turn wastewater sludge into a fuel for their cement kilns.

    THERMO-SYSTEM technology has been used in water and wastewater treatment plants ranging in size from 0.2 MGD to 40 MGD. The system’s sustainable; CO2-neutral drying process is highly automated and requires minimal operator attention and control. The end product is odorless, biologically stable and virtually pathogen free which maximizes disposal options.

    “In our focus on the process needs of the world’s water and wastewater treatment facilities, we consider it our duty to expose industry leaders to the technologies that we at Parkson can provide to increase sustainability, reduce energy costs and improve the world’s environment in general,” explained Mike Miller, Vice President of the North American Municipal Business Unit of Parkson Corporation. “That is why we have brought the THERMO-SYSTEM technology to America and why we have taken many of America’s engineering leaders and industry experts half-way around the world to explore the possibilities of making major improvements in sludge drying.”

    About Parkson Corporation:

    With 25,000 global installations, 50 years of experience, and a collective 1,600 years of employee water experience, Parkson Corporation is a leading provider of advanced solutions in water recycling and treatment and is committed to providing clean water for the world. Parkson treats over 7 trillion gallons of water per day. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, with offices in Chicago, Montreal, Dubai, Pune and partners in Latin America and China, Parkson is an Axel Johnson Inc. company. To learn more, visit

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  • Whirlpool Corporation Honored with “Vendor of the Year” Award from Bath & Kitchen Buying Group

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (Dec. 2, 2009) – Whirlpool Corporation was recently recognized with the “Vendor of the Year” award from the Bath & Kitchen Buying Group (BKBG) at its annual Fall Conference in Dallas, Texas.

    “This award recognizes Whirlpool Corporation for a job well done,” said Eddie Schukar, vice president of vendor relations. “The company brings a level of quality and professionalism that we are proud to be associated with at BKBG. All brands under the Whirlpool Corporation umbrella are meaningful to our group and are well received by our member showroom designers.”

    The annual award is judged on a number of criteria, including quality and value of the product, quality of customer service, quality of representation in the field, overall perception of the relationship between the vendor and the group, as well as the relationship between the vendor and the individual showrooms it supports.

    “We gladly accept this award as a tangible sign of our dedication to BKBG and their quality designer showrooms,” said Scott Ramsay, national sales manager, contract indirect sales for Whirlpool Corporation. “We look forward to a continued successful relationship with BKBG.”

    About BKBG

    Founded in 1995, BKBG, the industry’s only member-owned buying group, has helped more than 500 dealer showrooms profit through group volume purchasing, the production and distribution of quality marketing materials, information sharing through networking at national and regional activities and the delivery of education.

    About Whirlpool Corporation

    Whirlpool Corporation works to exceed expectations with appliances that help building professionals create homes of distinction. The company’s The Inside Advantage(TM) Program offers Powerful Brands, Innovative Products, Targeted Services and Market Insight to support building professionals.

    Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2008, 70,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. For more information on Whirlpool Corporation and its offerings for building professionals, please visit or call 1-800-952-2537.

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  • Austin Property Owners Have Even More Options for Going Green

    Austinites launch eco-friendly solution for countertops

    AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Austin's Custom Tops is Austin's eco-friendly solution to countertops. Austin natives and co-owners, Eric Riley and Shaun Hrncir, founded their company, amidst a waning economy, in an effort to help homeowners and builders reduce costs, while reducing their impact on the environment. With only a small number of other companies offering green products in Texas, Austin's Custom Tops have proven to be a pioneer in the industry with their new product, ECO(TM) by Cosentino.

    ECO(TM) by Cosentino countertop is a sturdy and tenacious surface made of 75 percent recycled content consisting of post-industrial or post-consumer materials and is adhered by an environmentally friendly resin which comes in part from corn oil. This non-porous countertop comes with a warranty unlike other "green" countertops. One of the biggest positive feedbacks that we are getting from our customers is that they can gain points toward LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building which will save them money. There are other eco-friendly surfacing materials in the market today, but no other reutilizes materials that have reached the end of their life cycle, thus saving on the creation and consumption of natural resources.

    Spurred by their love of nature and the outdoors, Riley and Hrncir have been active in the environmental community, participating in groups such as the Sierra Club and the American Consumer Council. In an effort to preserve their beliefs when opening their business, Riley said they researched many variations of eco-friendly countertop options. "We wanted one that not only had a high percentage of recycled material, but also one that lived up to our standards for quality."

    Austin's Custom Tops is a full service countertop company specializing in residential and commercial installation, with a portfolio ranging from a downtown loft to Army Barracks. ECO(TM) by Cosentino is composed of 75% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material, including: mirrors salvaged from houses, building and factories; glass from windows and bottles; porcelain from china, tiles, sinks, toilets and decorative elements; industrial furnace residuals from factories in the form of crystallized ashes; stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing, and fabrication; and is bonded together with an eco-friendly resin made in part by corn oil.

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  • Green Buildings Markets Reach Higher Levels With Improved Awareness, Finds Frost & Sullivan

    SINGAPORE, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The rising environmental consciousness of consumers in Asia Pacific has placed the Green Buildings market on the threshold of significant growth. In markets where awareness of the long-term benefits of Green Buildings is markedly low, governments' and Green Building councils' regulations, incentives, and certification systems are proving invaluable.

    This awareness issue, compounded by the high upfront costs of the buildings and early market development stage in some countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, makes it imperative for builders to depend on regulatory support and Green Building Certification programs.

    New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Green Buildings - A Strategic Analysis of the Asia Pacific Markets, finds that the market accounts for less than 6 percent of the total building markets in 2009 and estimates this to reach 17 percent by 2015. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the potential of Green Buildings markets across various sectors such as commercial, residential and education.

    The councils are playing a pivotal role in increasing the awareness and knowledge about the advantages of Green Buildings among various stakeholders. Already, market stakeholders in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are well educated about the merits of Green Buildings. New government initiatives such as the Neutral Carbon Emission 2030 strategies will further promote the market.

    These marketing efforts are not a recent development. Green Buildings have been promoted since 2000 but the market has still not realized its potential and this offers substantial scope for growth. Nearly 14 percent of the new buildings in developed countries such as Australia and Singapore are Green, and the rest of the countries in the region are expected to follow suit. In fact, close to 30 percent of the new buildings in the Asia Pacific are expected to be Green by 2015.

    Builders will also be hoping to benefit from corporate social responsibility as well as Green Building recognitions, as Green brands have better marketability. Although builders win considerable orders from government and non-government projects, most of their business is expected to come from premium customers. Interestingly, the next wave of growth will be seen in buildings that target middle-class consumers.

    If you are interested in more information about this study, please, then send an e-mail to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

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  • RedBuilt™ Engineered Wood Products Secure FSC Certification

    Chain-of-Custody Certificates from Forest Stewardship Council Can Help RedBuilt Customers Earn LEED Green Building Certification

    BOISE, Idaho--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RedBuilt™ today announced the Forest Stewardship Council has awarded chain-of-custody certificates for engineered wood products the company manufactures at its plants in Chino, Calif., and Stayton, Ore. RedBuilt FSC-certified products now include their open-web truss line (Red-L™, Red-W™, Red-S™, Red-M™, and Red-H™), as well as Red-I™ joists, RedLam™ Laminated Veneer Lumber and sourced glulam beams. In addition to these certifications, RedBuilt expects to extend their chain-of-custody to their Delaware, Ohio plant in January. FSC’s accredited third-party certifiers evaluate forest management activities and track forest products.

    The company has a strong history of efficient wood fiber utilization and responsible fiber-sourcing practices, and is proud to add RedBuilt FSC-certified products as an option to the construction industry.

    According to Jeff Jack, RedBuilt’s Manufacturing Technical Director, FSC certified products can help the company’s customers earn LEED green building certification. “This certification removes any barriers to specifying and purchasing RedBuilt products when you’re seeking green certification, whether that be LEED or other,” Jack says.

    LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system the U.S. Green Building Council employs for evaluating a structure’s resource efficiency. It is becoming a requirement for many public works projects, and a growing number of architects, developers, engineers, specifiers, and others are adopting the organization’s sustainable building and development practices.

    Jack says incorporating FSC-certified building materials like RedBuilt’s engineered wood products and open-web trusses can earn points toward LEED certification. RedBuilt products can contribute to the following LEED points: MR4.1-2, MR5.1-2, MR7, and EQ4.4, and they support seven different categories of the Green Globes building rating system.

    In addition, Jack points out RedBuilt products contain no urea formaldehyde. He also says the steel RedBuilt employs as web material in its open-web trusses and joist hangers include recycled content.

    RedBuilt — formerly the Commercial division of Trus Joist® — has been recognized as a world leader in developing wood-based structural solutions since 1960. Acquired in August by Atlas Holdings LLC in partnership with a group of former leaders of Trus Joist Corp., RedBuilt offers the industry’s most innovative engineered wood products and building systems for commercial, industrial, and multifamily applications. RedBuilt’s offerings include composite wood-and-steel open-web trusses, engineered wood I-joists, engineered lumber like LVL, and complementary components, product engineering, and onsite technical support, as well as a range of concrete-forming and scaffold-plank solutions.

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