Building knowledge and connections
  • Department of Energy Names Dow to Lead Research and Development Team for Cost-Effective, Energy-Efficient Retrofit Solutions

    MIDLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Dow Building & Construction, a business group within Dow’s Advanced Materials Division, to lead a multi-year project that will combine research and residential in-home testing to develop enhanced home energy efficiency retrofit solutions and best practices. Dow will work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, as well as Michigan State University and Ferris State University, with select contributions from Duke Energy, DTE Energy Corporation and Exelon Corporation. Of the 15 research and deployment partnerships named by the DOE, Dow was the only private sector manufacturer asked to lead a research, development and deployment team.

    “Today, we know how to build a very energy-efficient new home, but there are still 76 million homes in America that were built prior to modern energy codes,” said Carol Eicher, business group vice president, Dow Building & Construction. “It is critical to establish new product solutions and application practices for retrofitting these homes, and what better partner than Habitat for Humanity, which is committed to making home ownership affordable and serves as a benchmark in this industry.”

    “Dow approached Habitat for Humanity 27 years ago with ideas about working together and thus became our first corporate sponsor,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Since then, Dow has worked with Habitat organizations worldwide to help us create energy-efficient homes. We are delighted to be part of this program that will help low-income families make changes to existing homes so they, too, can realize reduced energy costs.”

    The DOE retrofit project is part of a broader effort to reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and establish national guidelines and standards for retrofit methods, materials and practices. On Earth Day of this year, Vice President Joe Biden announced the DOE’s Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative, which brings communities, government, private sector companies and non-profit organizations together to deliver energy efficiency upgrades—or retrofits—to the country.

    Dow supports the DOE initiative and also views home energy efficiency retrofits as an important source of job creation for the nation’s construction industry. In June of this year, Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris co-authored an editorial in Forbes with Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune in support of the Home Star legislation which offers incentives to homeowners to weatherize their homes. According to the authors, the “stimulus program will jump-start one of our hardest-hit industries while helping to address a major energy guzzler: our homes.”

    Research goals established for the Dow-led Energy Efficiency Insulation Retrofit Program will draw upon the resources and know-how of every partner. The team will conduct pre- and post-retrofit homeowner market research, designed by Michigan State University, to build a stronger understanding of the considerations and concerns consumers have about retrofit costs, procedures and results. Innovative new solutions devised by Dow and Ferris State University’s Granger Center for Construction and HVACR will focus on establishing new products and application solutions in wall and roofing insulations as well as overall building air sealing. The team will also draw upon Habitat for Humanity’s knowledge of lower-income homeowner issues and Dow’s practical marketplace know-how and supply chain strategies to create a business model that results in the commercialization of affordable, prescriptive solutions that can be sold in the retail channel or practiced by retrofit contractors.

    The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies recently reported that of the 116 million houses in America today, approximately two-thirds were built before contemporary U.S. energy codes were adopted – one-third of existing homes are more than 45 years old, and another third are at least 25 years old. DOE has stated that retrofits of these older homes using existing technologies could reduce energy bills by $40 billion annually and lower total associated greenhouse gas emissions by up to 160 million metric tons a year.

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  • Research and Markets: The Architect's Guide to Preventing Water Infiltration - The Complete Guide to Preventing Architectural Water Infiltration Issues

    DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd's new book "The Architect's Guide to Preventing Water Infiltration" to their offering.

    The Architect's Guide to Preventing Water Infiltration - The Complete Guide to Preventing Architectural Water Infiltration Issues

    This insightful guide illustrates how to fortify buildings to withstand the onslaught of nature, primarily against wind and rain, with a back-to-basics look at water infiltration prevention techniques.

    This guide for architects and builders:

    * Includes an overview of general guidelines as well as coverage of applications such as those used in below-grade conditions, sealants, and membranes
    * Covers massing, orientation, seismic issues, wind loads, and discussion of building systems
    * Examines the key factors causing water infiltration in buildings: exposure, thermal loads, structural movement, and building configuration

    With solid advice from experts in the field, The Architect's Guide to Preventing Water Infiltration shows how innovations in today's construction techniques simply won't hold water if they don't follow the fundamental ground rules necessary to keep water out.

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  • Vecor Group Green Building Materials: Asian Innovation Award Finalists

    HONG KONG, July 28 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Green building materials company Vecor Group has been selected as a finalist for the Asian Innovation Awards 2010. Vecor's breakthrough recycling and manufacturing technologies stood out from nearly 300 entries to be shortlisted for the prestigious award. Vecor is also a finalist for the Credit Suisse Technopreneur Award, handed to the company that best applies a technology with the greatest potential for commercial success.

    Vecor Group has developed a suite of innovative processes and proprietary equipment that enable high-value recycling of fly ash -- a solid waste produced by coal power stations. Fly ash is a significant landfill liability in most industrial nations, with nearly 1 billion tons of fly ash destined for landfill in countries like the USA, China and India each year. Utilizing an exclusively licensed patent from the University of New South Wales, Vecor cleans up the fly ash, prepares and fires it to produce high-quality sintered ceramic tiles, pavers, bricks, blocks, and aggregates. Vecor's products are lighter, stronger and require less energy and water inputs to manufacture compared with standard building materials.

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  • An Affordable, Sustainable Community Opens in Urban Renewal North Portland, Oregon 'Alberta Arts' Neighborhood

    PORTLAND, Ore., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Winner of the Street of Dreams Award, the Most Innovative New Home Product Award, and the Realtors Choice Award for best curb appeal and best kitchen, Andre Koshuba is out to prove that design and luxury do not mean sacrificing sustainability or affordability. His latest project, which opens this Thursday, July 29 at 5110 NE 17th Avenue is the first completed home of five new Earth Advantage Gold developments. The home features mahogany and slate in a contemporary craftsman exterior. Interior features include: floor-to-ceiling windows, three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a den, and is only steps away from the restaurants and shops in the Alberta Arts community. Some additional features are: energy efficient appliances, slate accents, quartz countertops, bamboo floors, and a gas fireplace. The floor plan was designed to accommodate different lifestyles with a minimum of maintenance required, including those looking for a high walkability score (this home has a City of Portland score of 82).

    The 1,836 square foot Alberta Arts home is listed at $419,000, and homebuyers are eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for the 2.4-kilowatt solar system included in the home. A Bluetooth monitoring device is installed to measure solar power performance, providing homeowners with a clear understanding of how much electricity is being generated and the credit received when the meter runs "backwards." This occurs when the solar system contributes energy to the grid providing the homeowner with energy credits on their electric bill and saving them a minimum of 30 percent on their utility bills.

    To ensure not only sustainability but reliability, Beaverton-based solar installer LiveLight Energy (, and its partner Solar World of Hillsboro, offer the following warranties on the system: Solar World panels have a 25-year performance warranty; inverters have a 10-year warranty; LiveLight provides a 2 year installation warranty. Additionally, the panels are designed to withstand a snow-load and wind sheer per code for the area, and hail stones up to golf-ball size (approximately 2.5").

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  • Empire State Building Unveils Innovative, Multi-Media Sustainability Exhibit at Visitor's Center

    Iconic Landmark Transforms Energy Retrofit Story Into a Permanent, Interactive and Compelling Consumer Experience

    NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Empire State Building today unveiled a $2 million interactive, multi-media sustainability exhibit at the second floor visitor's center, which showcases a $20 million energy retrofit project that was announced in April 2009 with President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. By communicating the compelling story of the building's award-winning retrofit program under way, the installation aims to educate the millions of people who visit the building every year on the positive global impact of both energy efficient building and sustainable living practices. Upon completion of the program, the Empire State Building will reduce total energy usage by more than 38 percent, energy costs by $4.4 million annually, and carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.

    To bring the Empire State Building energy retrofit program to life, Seattle-based design firm Hornall Anderson was selected to create a tangible and engaging sustainability exhibit. The Hornall Anderson design team matched existing materials throughout the building to create a space that reflects the iconic character of the Empire State Building and its Art Deco heritage. This thought-provoking installation translates the technical retrofit story into an easy-to-understand, compelling consumer experience that introduces the topic of energy efficiency in the context of the Empire State Building, New York City, and the planet. The vibrant exhibit combines physical artifacts with impressive technology and seamlessly integrates digital and sculptural elements to create interactive museum-quality displays that educate and entertain visitors on their way to the renowned Observatories.

    As visitors enter the exhibit, a transformational cube introduces the topic of sustainability. The cube illustrates and explains the harmful environmental impact of energy inefficient commercial buildings as well as the scope, vision and benefits of the sustainable global template in place at the Empire State Building.

    The Empire State Building is leading the charge in innovation and setting the groundwork for existing buildings around the world to follow suit. Most recently, the Empire State Building has been recognized for this initiative being awarded a commercial building ENERGY STAR rating of 90 out of 100, as well as first place distinction by The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) in the 2009 SBIC Beyond Green Awards.

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  • Isaacson Rosenbaum Shareholder Neil Oberfeld Speaks On Greeen Leasing: Essential Considerations for Sustainable Development

    DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Denver attorney Neil Oberfeld spoke this week to the Real Estate Section of the Boulder Country Bar Association, providing an overview of the quickly evolving area of green leasing.

    Oberfeld has spoken nationally and regionally to organizations including the International Council of Shopping Centers, United States Green Building Council, real estate councils, and bar associations, educating audiences on essential considerations for sustainable development, including green leasing.

    According to Oberfeld, his practice work includes ensuring that as more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings are constructed that the landlord and tenants understand energy-efficient goals and practices.

    "Green buildings are unique in many ways. A green lease protects both the owner and the tenant, guaranteeing the owner that his investment is safeguarded and making certain, from the tenant's perspective, that the owner constructs and operates the building in a manner that ensures energy efficiency," he said.

    "Sustainable building practices and green leasing are in a category that is quickly becoming a best business practice because of the great number of benefits and long-term cost savings," said Oberfeld. "What is important today is looking at all leases with a green perspective, working to meet client needs while achieving identified business goals. No doubt we will see green leasing grow exponentially in the years ahead."

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  • Price Pfister® Debuts Ultra-Modern Contempra® Bath Faucet

    Cutting-Edge Joystick-Design Makes Showroom-Style Modern Design Affordable

    LAKE FOREST, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Price Pfister®, a century-long leader in the residential kitchen and bath fixture industry, today introduced the ultra-modern, single-control, Contempra® Bath Faucet. One of the first joystick designs available at retail, this distinctly modern faucet builds on the already popular Contempra Collection.

    Eco-Pfriendly™ Style

    A fresh, cutting-edge design such as this could not be called modern without also being EPA WaterSenseSM Certified. A WaterSense certification means that this faucet meets high efficiency lavatory faucet standards of 1.5 gallons per minute. The new Contempra bath faucet also is certified to meet the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 61/9 Annex G lead requirements, which means it meets existing lead-free standards. While these lead-free standards have only been mandated in California and Vermont as of January 1, 2010, all of the Price Pfister new faucet designs introduced since that date are voluntarily meeting this standard.

    Price Pfister was one of the first manufacturers to partner with the EPA on the WaterSense certification program and was the first to have a faucet officially certified in 2007 with the Ashfield bath faucet, which remains one of the most popular designs from Price Pfister. It is known that by adopting water-efficient products such as these, and water saving practices, homeowners can save as much as 30,000 gallons of water a year, and reduce water consumption by 30 percent without sacrificing the water experience. Price Pfister Eco-Pfriendly™ Aerators also allow homeowners to convert their older faucets into environmentally friendly fixtures for immediate water and cost savings.

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  • IDEA Lauds Newly Introduced Thermal Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act (TREEA)

    BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International District Energy Association (IDEA) applauds Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo.; and Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., as well as Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., for introducing bi-partisan legislation that recognizes the economic and environmental importance of thermal energy and creates policies to support expanded use of district energy and combined heat and power systems throughout the country.

    Introduced July 21, the Thermal Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act (TREEA), represents an enormous opportunity to improve energy efficiency, increase energy security and cut greenhouse gas emissions through renewable thermal energy sources, combined heat and power and other energy-efficient technologies.

    “Since nearly one-third of the total energy consumed in the U.S. is used for heating and cooling buildings and industrial processes, it’s high time that national energy policies fully consider thermal energy,” said Robert P. Thornton, president of the International District Energy Association. “Currently, energy policies focus primarily on electricity and overlook huge opportunities for saving money and the environment through cleaner and more efficient uses of thermal energy. TREEA could help make that happen. Expanding existing and developing new district energy and combined heat and power systems are some of the best ways to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.”

    Combined heat and power (CHP) – also called cogeneration – is a way to dramatically increase the efficiency of power plants. Standard power plants typically convert around 35 percent of the fuel they burn into useful electricity and end up rejecting 65 percent or more of the fuel energy as waste heat into oceans, lakes, rivers or the atmosphere. District energy/CHP systems recover and use this waste heat for heating and cooling buildings in a surrounding area through a district energy system.

    “District energy and combined heat and power are not new technologies that require extensive testing or research,” said Thornton. “The McKinsey Institute, the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have all called for robust, immediate investment in district energy/CHP as a cost-effective approach to cut greenhouse emissions and deliver reliable, lower carbon energy.”

    District energy systems have been operating in the U.S. for more than 120 years and currently serve more than 7 billion sq ft of buildings, including landmark buildings like the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, Empire State Building, Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.

    “If a national objective is to stimulate jobs by investing in green infrastructure to improve energy security,” said Thornton, “there are hundreds of cities and campuses ready right now to invest in system renewal and expansion. This was borne out in 2009 when a U.S. Department of Energy funding program for district energy and CHP was oversubscribed by a factor of 25-to-1. The industry is poised for growth, and TREEA could help leverage the benefits the industry has to offer immediately.”

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  • ValleyCrest Forms Strategic Water Management Partnership with Irritrol® Rain Master® Smart Irrigation Control Systems

    Leading Integrated Landscape Services Firm Selects Innovative Smart Irrigation Control Provider as Preferred Partner

    RIVERSIDE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, the United States’ leading integrated landscape services firm, today announced that it has selected Irritrol’s Rain Master Central Control Systems as a preferred provider for smart, weather-based irrigation controllers. The Rain Master line of central controllers provide customers with precision irrigation solutions to better manage water usage – all while creating healthy landscapes.

    “ValleyCrest is partnering with Irritrol because we understand the importance of water management for our customers and also the need to simplify the application of complex technologies onto our customers’ properties,” said Roger Zino, president of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance.

    Smartly reducing water usage is the right decision for many reasons – it helps lower water and energy costs for property owners, improves plant health, reduces water-related damage to roads, sidewalks, and other site elements, and is just the right thing to do from the standpoint of environmental stewardship. Studies show that without proper water management systems in place a property typically is overwatered by 30 percent.

    Smart controllers adjust irrigation watering times based upon actual weather conditions; for example, watering less when cloudy and cool and more when warmer and drier. By appropriate application of smart controller technologies, in combination with other water management practices including drought tolerant plantings, use of drip irrigation, hydrozoning, and storm water management techniques, ValleyCrest can make significant differences in the amount of water used on the properties it services.

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  • Green Roofs Return Nature to Urban Landscapes

    KISSS Irrigation Systems Nurture 'Living Roofs'

    LONGMONT, Colo., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to cool buildings, reduce stormwater runoff and restore the natural environment, cities increasingly are turning to "green roofs". Municipalities can't rip up the concrete and steel that cover the urban landscape, but they can use rooftops to bring nature back to high-density areas.

    Green roofs are rooftops that are covered with vegetation. Planted over waterproof materials, they often include underground irrigation devices such as the KISSS Subsurface Capillary Irrigation system. KISSS is the most advanced subsurface irrigation system available, sustaining plant growth while reducing evaporation. Traditional roofs soak up the sun's energy and return it as heat. In contrast, green roofs enhance the environment by lowering air temperatures, absorbing rainwater, reducing runoff, and creating wildlife habitats.

    "Green roofs combat air pollution and bring urban areas back into balance with nature", said Edmund C. Snodgrass, a green roof expert from Maryland who has collaborated with colleges and universities to research the subject. "There is no factory in the world that makes oxygen for atmospheric consumption," he said. "Every bit of oxygen we breathe is produced by plants."

    To fight global warming, society must reduce its carbon footprint. Conservationists envision a day when someone flying over major U.S. cities will look down and see hundreds of patches of green where there once had been only concrete, pavement, steel and glass. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green roofs, which are increasing in use, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The potential for covering many of the nation's urban rooftops with vegetation "is very exciting," said Dan Silver, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Endangered Habitats League. "It has the benefit of supplying habitat for some native species, such as birds and butterflies."

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  • Premier Sacramento LEED® Gold Office Building Receives Gold Nugget Award of Merit

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Sacramento's 2020 Gateway Tower, the first privately-owned Class-A office building in the region to receive LEED® Gold certification, was awarded the Gold Nugget Award of Merit for best office/professional building.

    The Gold Nugget Awards honor outstanding achievement and innovation in architectural design and land use planning for residential and commercial projects throughout the western United States."We are committed to building the best executive office space in the region," said Greg Kelly, general partner of Bannon Investors, Ltd. "2020 Gateway combines the most up-to-date and environmentally-sound design and technology. It is what we are known for and what our tenants count on."

    The premier 12-story office building, is located five minutes from the state Capitol and 10 minutes from Sacramento International Airport. It incorporates recycled, durable building materials and energy efficient systems and equipment that cost less to maintain resulting in reduced building costs that are passed on to tenants. State-of-the-art day-lighting (75 percent of the interior space has access to natural lighting), individual area temperature controls and no off-gas from carpets, paints and sealants, allow employers to realize increased employee productivity. Building top signage, on site property management with complete maintenance program, free parking and wi-fi access in common areas are some of the amenities that make 2020 Gateway one of the most sought after office spaces in the region.

    Tom Aguer and Chad Cook of Aguer Havelock Associates, Inc. are the exclusive leasing agents for the building. 2020 Gateway was designed by LPAS Architecture + Design. The general contractor was Harbison-Mahony-Higgins Builders, Inc.

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  • Whirlpool Corporation Exceeds Commitment to Habitat for Humanity by $9 Million

    Company's donations to Habitat for Humanity ReStores surpass $10 million

    ATLANTA, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Habitat for Humanity International announced today that long-time partner Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) , the world's leading manufacturer of home appliances, has exceeded by $9 million a 2009 commitment to provide support to Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets with planned product donations.

    Habitat ReStores sell used and surplus building supplies at reduced prices. More than 60 Habitat ReStores in 23 states have received product donations from Whirlpool Corporation; for some, the products have resulted in additional revenue totaling more than $100,000. In Temecula, Calif., Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley has received more than $351,000 from sales of donated Whirlpool Corporation products.

    "It has made all the difference, night and day, with the opening of our ReStore at the worst economic time in recent history," said Tammy Marine, executive director at Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley. "Our fundraising decreased due to the economy, while the need had risen dramatically. Without Whirlpool, it would have been hard to sustain the building level we had achieved. But now we're doing more than ever."

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  • Hella Introduces New Line of “Green” LED Street-Light Products

    PLYMOUTH, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hella, a major automotive lighting and electronics supplier, is introducing a new line of energy-efficient LED street and area-lighting products designed to replace conventional lighting on streets, parking lots and commercial property throughout North America.

    Based on more than 20 years of LED development and manufacturing experience, Hella has developed a unique "retrofit" module to replace conventional lamps on existing installations, as well as high-power LED modules for new installations.

    The company's retrofit system simplifies the conversion process from conventional to LED street lighting. The 48-LED light module consumes 75 Watts while producing nearly 5900 Lumens.

    "Hella's new industrial lighting program will benefit Flora and the State of Illinois in a number of ways," said David Thompson, Flora’s city administrator. "More energy-efficient street lighting not only will have a positive impact on our city's annual budget, but also will support our commitment to improving the environment."

    Steve Lietaert, industrial product group director at Hella Electronics in Plymouth, Michigan, said the company is launching its new LED product line this month with an installation program in Flora, Illinois.

    "We expect to finalize a number of additional projects in Michigan and Illinois within the next several months," Lietaert added. "We're actively discussing retrofit programs with other cities, major power companies and several automakers."

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  • Leading Bay Area Environmental and Housing Groups Support Continued Planning for Alameda Point

    Sierra Club, Greenbelt Alliance and Renewed Hope Agree Public Review Process Should Continue

    ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three major environmental and housing advocacy organizations have announced their support for an in-depth study of the environmental and social benefits, and costs, of the latest development plan for Alameda Point prepared by SCC Alameda Point LLC. These three groups are: the Sierra Club, Greenbelt Alliance and Renewed Hope Housing Advocates.

    Kent Lewandowski, chairman of the Northern Alameda County Group of the Sierra Club, noted, “We are pleased that the City and the developer have already initiated the environmental review process mandated by CEQA, which requires review of environmental impacts, analysis of mitigation proposals, and public participation.”

    Jeremy Madsen, the executive director of Greenbelt Alliance, summarized the importance of this development plan. “The proposed development of Alameda Point is a win for Alameda and a win for the Bay Area. If we want a region that is climate-friendly and less auto-dependent, that safeguards our iconic landscapes and creates great neighborhoods for all Bay Area residents, this is exactly the right kind of development.” Laura Thomas, president of Renewed Hope Housing Advocates, explained, “There is no alternative to developing Alameda Point than for the City of Alameda to make a long-overdue contribution to regional needs for less expensive housing.”

    The proposed revitalization of 770 acres would transform the Naval Air Station, which closed in 1997, into a transit-oriented community that features an array of housing types for a variety of income brackets.

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  • Premier Power to Build 1.9 MW of Solar Electric Generating Capacity in Southern California

    EL DORADO HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc. (OTCBB:PPRW), a global leader in the development, design, engineering, and construction of solar power systems for commercial, government, and utility markets in the United States and Europe, announced today it will build 1.9 megawatts (MW) of solar electric generating capacity in greater Los Angeles at two locations for sportlifestyle leader PUMA North America, lessee of Brookvale International, LLC, in recognition of PUMA’s worldwide commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. The two buildings, in Carson and Torrance, are part of PUMA North America’s warehouse and distribution facilities.

    “We’re very pleased to build this project for PUMA in southern California,” said Dean R. Marks, chief executive officer of Premier Power. “PUMA has been a long-standing leader in many environmental and social initiatives, and we hope their example will be followed by other companies seeking sustainability and protection of the environment.”

    Premier Power will design, engineer, and build these roof-mounted solar photovoltaic electric generating systems beginning in the third quarter and finishing in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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  • NJR Clean Energy Ventures Announces Rooftop Solar Project with Adler Development and United Solar

    WALL, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR), today announced an agreement with Adler Development of Edison, NJ to lease space atop four, fully occupied buildings in central New Jersey for rooftop solar systems. The $17 million project, developed with United Solar’s technical expertise, will be capable of generating 3.9 megawatts of clean, renewable energy and offer lower costs to tenants while helping to reduce the facilities’ carbon footprint.

    “This commercial project represents our latest effort to identify real opportunities in the solar market,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of NJR. “By maximizing underutilized space to provide clean, renewable energy in the state, we are effectively leveraging our expertise to help provide savings to our customers as well as meet our state’s renewable energy goals, create jobs and grow our company. We will continue to build on this progress and look for new opportunities in the solar and renewable energy markets that will benefit our customers, company and state.”

    Recognizing the value of green buildings and potential energy savings for its tenants, Adler, will lease over 900,000 square feet of roof space to NJRCEV for a period of 20 years, helping reduce its facilities’ carbon emissions by 3,200 tons per year. Tenants of the buildings will be offered a Power Purchase Agreement from NJRCEV that is lower than their current utility rates.

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  • Office Depot Opens First LEED for Commercial Interiors Registered Retail Store

    Austin, Texas, Location One of 14 “Greener” Stores Planned For 2010

    BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot® (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, celebrated the opening of its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Commercial Interiors (CI) registered store at 2 p.m. yesterday. Office Depot expects the store to be certified a few months after opening. As part of the celebration, which will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Office Depot Foundation will make donations to local non-profit organizations. LEED CI is the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) recognized system for certifying high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental footprint.

    “Office Depot is at the forefront of corporate environmental sustainability,” said Kevin Peters, President of North American Retail for Office Depot, “and LEED CI is a step forward in our expanded effort to grow greener.” Through LEED for Commercial Interiors, Office Depot is able to integrate environmentally friendly attributes into its stores’ preexisting shells. Beginning with the Austin store, all new and relocated North American Office Depot retail locations will receive LEED CI certification, including 14 stores planned for 2010.

    According to Peters, Office Depot aims to continue the success of its LEED Gold certified store which opened in 2008. The store, also located in Austin, Texas, made Office Depot the first retailer to receive LEED Gold Certification on a store prototype. Among its many benefits, the LEED Gold store lowers carbon emissions by 23 percent and is about 15 percent more energy efficient (per square foot) than other Office Depot retail locations in Austin.

    “As a leader in green initiatives, Office Depot is focused on improving the environmental performance of our suppliers, our customers and ourselves,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. “We take our role very seriously and hope that our commitment to ‘green’ all new stores has a positive impact on the communities they serve.”

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  • UC Irvine Extension Launches Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development

    New Curriculum Incorporates Principles of Community Planning & Sustainability Integration

    IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--University of California, Irvine Extension today announced the launch of its new “Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development,” developed to meet the needs for interdisciplinary planning and development continuing education training that focuses on incorporating sustainability into community environments. The first of its kind, this program is designed to provide leaders and emerging leaders with the skills necessary to guide smart growth, identify sustainability best practices, implement public policy applications, and enhance collaborations for commercial, mixed-use, residential, civic centers, and parks from small to large metropolitan sites. Interested parties may register in August and begin taking courses for this program starting this Fall.

    “Our new certificate program was developed to provide participants an opportunity to gain the real-life skills necessary to incorporate elements from civil engineering, architecture, environmental and land use planning, community infrastructure, landscape architecture, transportation policy, water management, ecosystems design and community health and implement public policy applications to improve and enhance quality of life in communities,” said Kirwan Rockefeller, Ph.D., director of Sustainability Leadership at UC Irvine Extension. “These elements are increasingly important considerations in climate action plans, regulatory compliance of California’s legislation (i.e., SB375, AB32, and AB1881) and greenhouse gas inventories. The risks of climate changes primarily impacts virtually all of the ecosystem services on which humans rely, and as such our urban community and natural landscapes must adapt to these ecological changes to achieve long-term sustainability.”

    UC Irvine Extension’s Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Planning & Development will include five required courses for 15 quarter units. The program is open to individuals seeking a career change and those who currently plan, design, construct and maintain urban environments. LEED professionals seeking continuing education credits are also good candidates for this certificate program in sustainable community planning & development.

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  • Three Holcim (US) Inc. Plants Receive EPA's ENERGY STAR For Superior Energy Efficiency

    WALTHAM, Mass., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Holcim (US) Inc. announced today that for the second consecutive year, three of their plants -- Devil's Slide in Morgan, UT, Theodore in Theodore, AL, and Midlothian in Midlothian, TX have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") prestigious ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance.

    "We are extremely pleased with the performance of these plants," said Bernard Terver, President and Chief Executive Officer of Holcim (US). "Our management team and employees are committed to doing what we can to protect the environment and to conserve natural resources."

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  • Tioga Energy Helps Humane Society Silicon Valley Achieve LEED Gold

    Tioga Energy Helps Humane Society Silicon Valley Achieve LEED Gold
    State-of-the-Art Animal Community Manages Carbon Footprint and Saves on Electricity Bills with Solar PPA

    SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tioga Energy, a leading supplier of renewable energy services to commercial, government, and non-profit institutions, today announced the completion of a solar installation at the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) Animal Community Center, one of the first LEED Gold certified centers in the United States.

    “Humane Society Silicon Valley’s new facilities represent a progressive shift in animal care, and a smart approach to solar was paramount to the development’s success,” said Paul Detering, CEO of Tioga Energy. “We consider our team at Tioga to be revolutionizing the path to solar, and it gives us great pleasure to team up with an organization that shares similar pioneering interests to realize the economic and environmental benefits of solar.”

    The 274 kW solar shade structure and rooftop systems are composed of 1,335 photovoltaic (PV) modules that will provide an estimated 33 percent of all energy used at the facility. Under the terms of the SurePath™ Solar Power Purchase Agreement from Tioga, HSSV was able to avoid the large upfront costs typically associated with solar projects, creating significant savings from day one and over the life of the system.

    The solar system is one aspect of the center’s many green attributes: The first-of-its-kind facility was constructed using 90 percent of the concrete from the old building’s foundation and incorporates a number of energy and water efficiency technologies, including an advanced heat recovery system, dual pane windows and a reflective "cool" roof to minimize solar heating of the building in the summer and reduce air-conditioning costs.

    “Our Animal Community Center is an inspiring model of humane care, community involvement and environmental design, reducing energy costs while simultaneously creating a better environment for the animals,” said HSSV President Christine Benninger. “With Tioga’s deep knowledge and experience in solar finance, design and construction, we are able to capture the economic and environmental benefits of solar power, without the hassle.”

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  • A. O. Smith Introduces a Greener Option in Residential Water Heating

    Introducing the Cirrex(TM) Solar Thermal Water Heating System

    ASHLAND CITY, Tenn., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- When homeowners demand a "greener" option in residential water heaters, that's the new Cirrex Solar Thermal Water Heating System from A. O. Smith.

    Up to 70 percent of the energy needed for a home's water heating can be captured from the sun with this system, meaning the Cirrex can significantly reduce operating costs and monthly utility bills.

    Contractors will appreciate the simplicity of the Cirrex, which is an all-in-one system for easy specification and installation. The system includes solar thermal collectors, a pump station with integrated controls, a thermostatic mixing valve, an expansion tank with mounting kit, and an 80 or 120-gallon tank with collector temperature sensors. A. O. Smith provides all of the components, so contractors have one point of contact for all of their product support, sales, and service needs.

    Homeowners can rest assured they're getting one of the industry's most advanced solar thermal technology available on the market today. The solar thermal collectors generate as much energy as traditional photovoltaic solar panels, but at one-eighth the cost. What's more, opting for a bigger tank actually makes the Cirrex system more energy efficient and cost effective. The larger the tank and number of panels incorporated into the system, the more effectively the Cirrex can capture energy from the sun.

    With a Solar Energy Factor of 2.5, the Cirrex system is ENERGY STAR® qualified and eligible for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the total installed cost with no maximum. Additional state and local incentives may also be available. Check with the local power provider for details.

    "For homeowners who care about green energy and lower utility bills, there is nothing on the market today that can beat the Cirrex Solar Thermal Water Heating System," said David Chisolm, brand manager for A. O. Smith Water Products Company. "With the new Cirrex, we are proving once again that A. O. Smith is the innovation leader for the water heating industry."

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  • First Wind Begins Construction of Oahu-based Kahuku Wind Project

    Gov. Lingle, State and Community Leaders Attend Ceremony to Break Ground for a 30 MW Project That Will Produce Enough Renewable Energy to Power up to 7,700 Oahu Homes

    HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, held a groundbreaking ceremony today to commemorate the start of construction of its 30 MW Kahuku Wind project, the only utility-scale wind energy project on Oahu and one of the largest in Hawaii. As part of the ceremony, state, local and community leaders joined First Wind at the project site on Oahu’s North Shore to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the project, which upon completion will have the capacity to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power up to 7,700 Oahu homes each year.

    “The Kahuku Wind project brings Hawaii another step closer to reducing our state’s dependence on imported foreign oil and increasing our energy security,” said Governor Lingle. “These wind turbines will provide another source of clean energy for Oahu’s power grid, further building on the progress Hawaii has made in becoming a world leader in clean energy.”

    Located west of Kahuku town in the hills near Charlie Road, the Kahuku Wind project is incorporating innovative technologies. The project will consist of twelve 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty wind turbines. Manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Liberty turbines are the largest wind turbines manufactured in North America.

    Kahuku Wind will also include a battery energy storage system to assist in meeting performance standards and smoothing fluctuations in wind energy output. The battery storage system was developed by Xtreme Power, Inc. and will be the largest of its kind in Hawaii. The project will also include a dedicated communication system to connect the wind energy project to Hawaiian Electric Company’s system operations and dispatch center.

    Once completed, the project will support the ambitious Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to have 70 percent of the state’s energy for electricity and ground transportation come from clean energy by 2030.

    “Our continued collaboration with First Wind underscores the importance of power management systems in mitigating the variability of wind energy,” said Carlos Coe, CEO of Xtreme Power. “We are excited to work with First Wind on the Kahuku project and look forward seamlessly delivering clean energy to the Hawaiian grid.”

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  • Parex USA Announces the Launch of Allegro II

    Anaheim, CA – July 13, 2010 – Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey Stucco, and Merkrete today announced the launch of the new and improved Allegro II.

    With the use of an advanced polymer, the new formula has been changed to an improved richer product. The Allegro II advancements provide superior coverage, scrub resistance, hiding power and color fastness. "Allegro II is best used to change and refresh color on new and existing surfaces without affecting the existing surface texture," said Jenn Pregowski, Brand Manager. “Because Allegro II is a powder material, only water and the liquid tint color needs to be added to achieve the desired color. Allegro II fuses with the cement instead of simply adhering to the stucco surface like paint. Also, since Allegro II cures faster than paint, a second coat can be applied almost immediately after the first. It cures well in humid conditions and can be exposed to rain soon after application unlike paint."

    Due to its revolutionary product characteristics Allegro II is more economical than paint and won’t blister or peel like paint. In addition to the added benefits that Allegro II provides over paint, it won’t trap moisture in the wall that can create mold, is vapor permeable allowing the surface to breathe, and is not affected by exposure to UV and fade like paint.

    Allegro II is a flat, non-gloss finish. When Allegro II is used, no primer is necessary. Available in all standard LaHabra and El Rey colors . Custom colors available upon request.
    About Parex USA, Inc.

    Parex USA, Inc. Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 45 manufacturing sites in 18 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 2,700 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization.

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  • i2Systems Delivers LED Elevator Downlights Offering 75% Energy Savings

    ANSI-Binned LUXEON LEDs & Support Services Supplied by Future Lighting Solutions

    MONTREAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LED lighting developer i2Systems is now shipping the first solid state elevator downlights to be rolled out in volume, chopping energy consumption by 75% over conventional halogen models as well as lengthening lamp life from as little as 1,000 hours to 50,000. The new Apeiron A1161 fixtures utilize ANSI-binned LUXEON® Rebel LEDs and associated support services supplied by Future Lighting Solutions.

    The energy savings is significant because in-cab recessed lights account for as much as 70% of the energy costs involved in elevator operation. The use of i2Systems’ 5W recessed fixtures instead of 20W halogen versions makes it possible to light a six-downlight elevator cab with just 30W of power instead of 180W. The long LUXEON lifetime further reduces total cost of ownership by eliminating 19 out of 20 relampings, dramatically reducing replacement bulb expenses and related labor costs.

    Each Apeiron A1161 fixture has a 200-lumen output and is available with a choice of cool, neutral or warm white LEDs that have been tightly binned for color consistency through Future’s inventory management program. The use of ANSI-binned LEDs ensures an optimal combination of color temperature and color rendering while also enabling the emitters to qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR® program.

    The small LUXEON Rebel form factor enabled i2Systems to achieve a high lumen density that helped produce a uniform beam free of telltale LED “dots,” while the amount of forward light in the Rebel beam pattern helped deliver a wide 120° light distribution to illuminate both the floor and the walls of the elevator cab.

    A single power supply enclosure installs into the cab ceiling for simple wiring and easy serviceability, thanks to low LED power consumption that minimizes the size and weight of the transformer required to handle the necessary voltage conversions.

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  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Chooses Aircuity for Safe, Energy Efficient Labs

    Leading Teaching Hospital to Lower Energy Costs and Reduce Carbon Footprint by Optimizing Ventilation of Its Research and Lab Facilities

    NEWTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aircuity, the smart airside efficiency company, today announced that it has been selected to improve overall energy efficiency and optimize building ventilation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School known for excellence in patient care, biomedical research, teaching and community service.

    “Because of the enormous energy cost of ventilating these critical environments, lab and research facility managers around the world are looking for ways to be more energy efficient without sacrificing lab safety for their researchers and staff”. said Rob Brierley, president and COO of Aircuity.

    Aircuity’s OptiNet system, a comprehensive suite of intelligent ventilation measurement and optimization technologies, will be installed in BIDMC’s research laboratories. The system’s Lab Demand Control Ventilation (Lab DCV) technology will continually sense and analyze the lab environments and provide ventilation inputs to adjust the air changes per hour (ACH) in the facilities as needed.

    By reducing the air changes when lab conditions are determined to be clean—and increasing the ventilation only when needed, Lab DCV helps to maintain safe and energy efficient ventilation to the hospital’s research and lab facilities. In addition, OptiNet’s continuous monitoring provides lab managers with critical information that they can use to analyze and improve lab procedures.

    “Lab DCV is one of the most impactful solutions that lab managers can implement to achieve the dual objectives of safety and savings.”

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  • Air Products to Build 1.5MW Solar Farm at Its US Headquarters

    Renewable Energy from the Sun to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels

    LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., July 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD) will build a 12-acre solar farm at its corporate headquarters in Allentown, Pa., capable of generating 1.5 MW of electricity. The 1.5MW is enough to serve the energy needs of nearly half of Air Products' administration buildings. The project is expected to begin construction this fall and be onstream in the spring of 2011.

    "For years, customers around the world have sought out Air Products' gases and materials to help improve environmental performance, and now we are excited to have this renewable energy opportunity right in our own backyard," said John McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Air Products. "Our employees are looking forward to putting our SunSource(TM) Solutions for photovoltaics to work thereby reducing our carbon footprint and generating sustainable, clean energy to power a portion of our campus."

    By utilizing the 1.5MW of renewable power, Air Products reduces its dependence on purchased electricity thereby lowering its carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint by more than 1,000 tons per year.

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  • McGuire Engineers Sets Eco-Example in Own Offices

    Smart, Budget-Conscious Design to Receive LEED Platinum Status

    CHICAGO, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- When it came time to move office space, the leadership at McGuire Engineers ( took the opportunity to create the ultimate "eco" office. The just-completed office space, which is under review to receive LEED Platinum certification, was designed by McGuire Engineers to showcase a wide variety of ideas the average office can implement to lessen its carbon footprint and create a healthier, more productive environment for employees.

    "Our office looks like an average workspace, but every aspect has been designed for energy efficiency as well as employee health and comfort - from the lighting to the carpet," said Bill Stangeland, president and principal of McGuire Engineers. "We have a real office and a real budget. We created a space for clients to walk through and think, 'I could do that.'"

    To design the office, McGuire carefully selected efficient light fixtures, sustainable, re-used and recycled materials, and controls to monitor and adjust energy usage. A virtual tour of the offices is online at

    The space includes features such as:

    - Energy-efficient lighting. The fixtures are ultra energy-efficient, but their efficiency is multiplied because of their placement and control. McGuire's offices use 0.78 watts per square foot, which exceeds ASHRAE's standards by 28 percent.

    - Reused, recycled, local and sustainable materials. McGuire used as much as it could from the old office space, including the old ceiling tiles and all the filing cabinets, which were re-painted in low-VOC paint by a local vendor. All lighting and furniture was sourced locally or regionally. The carpet tiles are 100 percent recycled, and low VOC-paint covers the walls. Key focal areas, like the lobby entrance and the conference-room credenza are made from Plyboo®, a sustainable plywood made from bamboo.

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  • Parex USA Announces the California Energy Code & Parex USA Solutions Brochure

    Brochure Highlights the Benefits of Parex USA Solution to Title 24 Requirements

    Anaheim, CA – July 8, 2010 – Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey Stucco, and Merkrete today announced the launch of the new California Energy Code and Parex USA Solutions brochure.

    This piece clearly explains the new code and how continuous exterior insulation helps meet the requirements of Title 24 in California. The use of energy is rapidly moving to the forefront of the construction industry. Construction of new structures has a direct impact on the environment as buildings are the single largest consumer of energy. The United States is experiencing a strong move toward regulations that promote high efficiency structures. California has taken the lead and enacted regulations of significance for new construction of commercial and residential buildings.

    "Everywhere you look the impact of energy usage and environmental concerns can be seen and felt,” Quenton Roehricht, Brand Manager, commented. “With structures accounting for the vast majority of energy use it is imperative from an operating cost perspective and environmental stewardship that we seek ways to limit the amount of energy consumed by the structures in our country.”

    The new requirements make it nearly impossible for many climate zones in California to meet code without the use of continuous insulation. The new brochure outlines how Parex USA’s EIFS and Insulated Stucco Assemblies provide an easy solution. Also included is an easy to understand method of determining how much continuous insulation is needed.

    “In California, Part 6 of Title 24 is having a significant impact on energy usage of new buildings,” Roehricht continued.” This piece was developed to help the building community understand how these changes may impact them and the solutions that Parex USA can provide to help them achieve meeting these new requirements."

    About Parex USA, Inc.

    Parex USA, Inc. Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 45 manufacturing sites in 18 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 2,700 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization.

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  • Parex USA Announces the Launch of Accel-Dry Acrylic Finish Accelerator

    Product Dries Acrylic and Elastomeric Finishes Quicker

    Anaheim, CA – July 8, 2010 – Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey Stucco, and Merkrete today announced the launch of new finish accelerator product, Accel-Dry.

    Accel-Dry is ideal for wet and cold climates as it allows finishes to dry quicker. This allows for jobs to be completed ahead of inclement weather or to be finished sooner in slower drying markets.

    "Accel-Dry gives applicators the product adaptability they need,” said Quenton Roehricht, Brand Manager. “Weather and other issues can cause longer drying times and inhibit how quickly an applicator can complete a job. With the Accel-Dry admix, applicators can add the accelerator into the finish and decrease the dry time, allowing them to complete the job fast."

    Accel-Dry can also be used to reduce the extended drying time often associated with darker tint colors. The product is very easy to use. Simply add Accel-Dry to the finish and mix.

    Accel-Dry has been tested for use in all Parex USA brands of acrylic and elastomeric finishes. For more information contact your Parex USA sales representative or visit

    About Parex USA, Inc.

    Parex USA, Inc. Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 45 manufacturing sites in 18 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 2,700 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization.

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  • Electrical Contractors Boost Skills for Unique Green Building Needs

    Training/Certifications Includes Wind Tower Rescue, Solar Roof Skills

    BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As support for solar, wind and other alternative energy sources continues to rise, more electrical contractors are training to provide the unique and necessary skills for green construction. According to the latest issue of Electrical Contractor magazine at, as more utilities, public and private enterprises back solar energy and wind farms that tie into the grid along with geothermal biomass and fuel cells, training is now the main priority to enable electrical contractors to wire the plants, design and install the technology and provide energy management solutions.

    After entering the solar market in 2002, O’Connell Electric Co. Inc. in Victor, N.Y. trained its electricians in solar and roof work and was involved in wind-generation work four years prior.

    “We entered solar cautiously, so we understood the whole installation process from A to Z,” said Tim Ehmann, O’Connell’s senior project manager. “We’ve gone through online programs as well as seminars offered by solar equipment manufacturers and joined the American Solar Energy Society,” he said. “When working with solar, no two installations are the same.”

    Ehrmann said his firm has done about 90 percent of 20 wind farms in the state, and worked on the collection system for New York’s first wind farm. His company was involved in the collection system, designing and constructing a power station and substation used to drop voltage to appropriate levels for each turbine.

    “Wind projects put you up on a tower some 90 to 100 meters…you need to train in rescue procedures,” said Ehrmann. In addition to certification from manufacturers of tower rescue devices, his company has also received training in power and wiring of tower electronics through companies such as GE, and has worked on a wind turbine project for a new Cape Cod green business park.

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  • New Senate Bill Gives Cities Green Technologies to Clean Water, Lower Costs

    WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) today announced support for new Senate legislation designed to encourage green infrastructure – a novel, sustainable approach that uses natural systems of trees, plants and soils to manage rainwater instead of the overburdened and outdated infrastructure that currently exists in cities.

    “Green infrastructure techniques can save cities millions of dollars each year on water management and billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades. In addition, these natural systems actually remove pollutants from the water while helping clean the air, reduce the urban heat-island effect and lower energy consumption”
    In most instances, rainwater picks up pollutants as it flows from driveways, parking lots, roofs and roadways before pouring untreated through the sewer system into the nearest watershed or drinking water supply. Introduced by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act (S 3561) offers grants and technical assistance for communities to use green roofs, rain gardens and other sustainable approaches that naturally capture and clean the rainwater – often preventing the water from ever entering the sewer system.

    “Green infrastructure techniques can save cities millions of dollars each year on water management and billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades. In addition, these natural systems actually remove pollutants from the water while helping clean the air, reduce the urban heat-island effect and lower energy consumption,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO, Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “We applaud the leadership of Senator Udall for this legislation, and encourage swift action.”

    The legislation would create between three and five centers around the country to research best green infrastructure practices and provide technical assistance to communities. S 3561 also provides community grants to implement these practices and create a green infrastructure program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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  • Parex USA Announces the launch of LaHabra Exterior Installation Finish Systems (EIFS)

    Anaheim, CA – July 7, 2010 – Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey Stucco, and Merkrete today announced the launch of LaHabra Exterior Installation Finish Systems (EIFS).

    The EIFS product line is targeted for those who are LaHabra loyalists looking for the option of EIFS for both residential and lite-commercial purposes. LaHabra EIFS offers superior energy performance, moisture management, versatile design, low maintenance and long-term durability.

    "The addition of EIFS as an offering for LaHabra showcases the brand’s position as it continues to advance in the national market,” said Jennifer Pregowski, Brand Manager. “LaHabra is aiming high on product innovation, excellence in service, customer satisfaction, and trusted value."

    LaHabra offers three types of high performance EIFS to provide the best in both price and performance.

    · LaHabra Insul-Flex Standard
    · LaHabra Insul-Flex WaterMaster
    · LaHabra Insul-Flex WaterMaster LCR

    Insul-Flex WaterMaster and Insul-Flex WaterMaster LCR are LaHabra’s premiere EIFS. These systems use a proprietary liquid applied, water-resistive barrier with integrated drainage that delivers maximum moisture protection.

    LaHabra EIFS add to the R-value of a home or building wall. Since EIFS are used on the outside of the building, studs do not break the continuity of the insulation. LaHabra EIFS acts as a blanket of continuous insulation wrapped around the exterior of the building or home.

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  • AUI Contractors First Firm in Texas to Receive Green Contractor Certification

    Challenging Program by Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Recognizes Firm's Sustainability Practices

    FORT WORTH, Texas, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- AUI Contractors of Fort Worth was recently named a Certified Green Contractor by Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), a national construction trade association. ABC's Green Contractor Certification program recognizes construction companies that implement green practices and principles in the workplace, including headquarters, branch offices and jobsite offices. To achieve certification by ABC's National Green Building Committee, AUI Contractors submitted an application detailing its green efforts and underwent a third-party onsite assessment.

    AUI President Doug Alumbaugh said of the award, "We're honored to be the first general contractor in the state, and one of just a handful nationwide, to receive this recognition. Leadership and support of this sustainability effort has come from all levels of our organization, making this certification a real TEAM achievement."

    The Green Contractor Certification process involves a list of 13 prerequisites ranging from distributing documents electronically to establishing an aggressive recycling program. Companies are required to fulfill at least 12 of 36 elective items that include conducting a professional energy audit, water conservation efforts, and providing incentives for carpooling or using public transportation. Each company must achieve four education and training benchmarks, including instructing employees on sustainability issues and requiring at least 25 percent of managers to receive green building awareness education.

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  • Kwikset® Kicks-Off Cross-Country "LiveSmart" Mobile Tour

    LAKE FOREST, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kwikset®, a leader in the residential door hardware industry, today announced the launch of its first-ever cross-country mobile tour. Titled “LiveSmart,” the four-month long road-trip aims to show homeowners how easy it is to live "smart" and improve home security, simply and easily. The tour kicked-off this past weekend in Mass. and will make its way westward before coming to a final stop the weekend of Oct. 8 in Fontana, Calif. at the NASCAR races. The new Kwikset rig and mobile showroom team will set-up at various home improvement retailers across the country with a tent area featuring an emcee, games and tons of giveaways.

    More than three years ago, Kwikset introduced SmartKey® re-key technology, which allows homeowners to re-key their own locks anytime, quickly and easily, without removal from the door. This is a perfect solution when you have a set of keys that have been lost, loaned or unreturned. Homeowners with SmartKey no longer have to worry about the key the ex-babysitter or ex-housekeeper never returned. A set of lost keys no longer translates to lost time and money to schedule and pay a locksmith to change the lock. With SmartKey, homeowners are empowered to improve and maintain their own home and family's security in a matter of seconds, and there's no downtime where security is compromised while you wait for help to arrive.

    Kwikset's SmartKey Signature Series™ deadbolts also have earned the prestigious Best Buy rating from Consumers Digest Magazine in the residential deadbolt lock category. Selected based on performance and features, the “Best Buys” in residential deadbolt locks were announced in an article published in the February 2010 issue titled, “Peace of Mind: Top-Notch Door Locks and Safes.”

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  • Price Pfister® Debuts New Avanti™ Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet

    Avanti Brings Gourmet Style to Modest-Sized Kitchens

    LAKE FOREST, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Price Pfister®, a century-long leader in the residential kitchen and bath fixture industry, today introduced the new Avanti™ Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet. Price Pfister was amongst the first manufacturers to deliver a pull-down kitchen faucet at retail, and Avanti is the first pull-down kitchen faucet from Price Pfister designed on a smaller scale for homeowners who desire the style and functionality of a pull-down, but have more modestly-sized sinks and kitchens.

    “By nature, kitchen pull-downs are large in scale. In talking with our customers, we found that many of them loved the style and functionality a pull-down provided, but were hesitant to purchase them because they felt their sinks and kitchens were too small to accommodate such a large fixture,” said Brian Schaadt, product manager, Kitchen, Price Pfister. “While functionality is extremely important, homeowners also feel their fixtures reflect their personal taste, and rely on these pieces to bring a sense of style to the room without appearing awkward and over-sized.”

    Unique New Style
    The Avanti Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet features a unique curvature that starts at the base of the faucet and twists its way up toward the spout. This curvature gives the design a bit of contemporary flair for kitchens with more modern décor, yet remains simple enough to coordinate well with most kitchen styles. Avanti is available in one- or three-hole configurations and installs with or without a deckplate. The new kitchen pull-down also features two modes – spray and stream – which can be conveniently controlled on the sprayhead during use. Avanti is available in Stainless Steel ($178) or Tuscan Bronze ($198) at The Home Depot nationwide. For more information on Avanti, click here.

    Price Pfister Inc., a Stanley Black & Decker company based in Lake Forest, Calif., has been a leading manufacturer of residential kitchen and bath fixtures for 100 years. Black & Decker, which recently merged with Stanley, is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

    Price Pfister products are differentiated by excellent quality and backed by the Pforever Warranty, which covers finish and function for the life of the product. In March of 2010, the Petaluma™ Two-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet by Price Pfister was honored with the Consumers Digest Best Buy distinction in the kitchen faucet category. For more information on Price Pfister products, call 1-800-Pfaucet (1-800-732-8238) or visit

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  • Whirlpool - ENERGY STAR® Market Transformation Award

    Whirlpool Canada continued to stay strong, earning its fifth award as ENERGY STAR® Manufacturer of the Year. We added 25% more ENERGY STAR® qualifying models than 2008 and saved Canadians more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh). Through innovative products with advanced energy efficient features and public relations efforts including a record-high investment in educating consumers about ENERGY STAR® qualified products, we hope to continue this success and bring you efficient, top performing products, year after year.

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  • Help ‘Rock’ Our World by Transforming Yours with GreenRock® Coarse

    100% Eco-Friendly, Water-Saving and Low Maintenance Solution For DIY Homeowners and Landscape Architects

    SIMI VALLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This summer, environmentally-aware homeowners and landscape architects are looking to go ‘green’ while also saving some ‘green’ ($) by incorporating the latest trend in rock landscape design into their back/front yard remodels. That’s why, Recycled Aggregate Materials Company (RAMCO), pioneers of completely eco-friendly decorative rock landscaping solutions, has launched its newest line of 100% recycled rock ground cover perfect for transforming any yard into a professional-looking work of art — to include its 1” sized rock, GreenRock® Coarse.

    Not only are consumers diverting waste concrete from landfills by purchasing GreenRock Coarse, they’re saving precious time and money by eliminating the need to water thirsty lawns and gardens — a huge benefit especially for homeowners who reside in drought tolerant environments. Plus, for those who prefer to stay clear from ever having to push around a lawn mower or pick up a garden hose, it takes virtually no maintenance to keep your yard looking like paradise with GreenRock Coarse. For whatever reason you chose to ‘go green’, GreenRock’s unique visual appeal gives you little reason not to.

    The secret behind GreenRock Coarse’s natural color and texture is the company’s renowned technique for incorporating its special blend of 100% recycled concrete roofing tiles, concrete paving stones and concrete block. The bigger the project the better for GreenRock Coarse, as it’ll take on anything from large flower beds to complete backyards. Plus, the product is LEED accredited and can help contractors who use it earn LEED credits.

    RAMCO is no stranger to the recycling industry as the company was one of the first to help save valuable natural resources and limited dump space by crafting a recycled aggregate road-based material which quickly became the choice of several city, county and state agencies looking for such a 100% recycled solution for their city streets.

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  • Holcim (US) Inc. Announces 3rd International Holcim Awards Competition Open

    Holcim (US) Inc. Announces 3rd International Holcim Awards Competition Open

    Call for Entries Begins July 1, 2010

    WALTHAM, Mass., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The 3rd International Holcim Awards competition offering a total of $2 million in prize money is open to: sustainable building and civil engineering works; landscape, urban design and infrastructure projects; and materials, products and construction technologies. The Awards are an initiative of the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

    Entries must be submitted online at by March 23, 2011. The competition celebrates innovative, future-oriented and tangible projects and visions from around the globe and is open to anyone involved with approaches that contribute towards a more sustainable built environment. The 3rd International Holcim Awards competition is comprised of five regional competitions in 2010/11 and the global phase in 2012. Step-by-step instructions on how to enter the competition are available at:

    Holcim Awards (main) and "Next Generation" (student) categories

    The main category of the competition is open to architects, planners, engineers, project owners, builders and construction firms that showcase sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues with contemporary building and construction. Projects are eligible for the competition if they have reached an advanced stage of design. Construction (or commercial production in the case of materials, products and construction technologies) must not have started before July 1, 2010. In addition, the Holcim Awards seeks visions and ideas for the "Next Generation" category, open to student projects created within university programs at final year bachelor level or above (including master's and PhD).

    Measuring up to "target issues" for sustainable construction

    Submissions in both categories are evaluated by independent juries, using five "target issues" to define sustainable construction. Three of these align with the triple bottom line concept of balanced social, environmental and economic performance. The rest cover contextual and aesthetic impact, and innovation and transferability. For further details see:

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  • United Heartland's Headquarters Building Awarded LEED® Green Building Certification

    MILWAUKEE, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The new headquarters facility for national workers compensation insurer, United Heartland, was recently awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The project received this certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. Irgens Development Partners was the project developer. The building is located at 15200 West Small Road in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

    "One of our main goals for our new headquarters was to come up with an environmentally-friendly and efficient design that would positively impact our organization and the local community," said United Heartland President, Stephan Cooper. "Our experienced project team helped us to achieve this vision and we are delighted to have received this added validation from the USGBC."

    In addition to United Heartland and Irgens, other important project team members included Kahler Slater Architects, HLA Business Interiors, Beyer Construction and CB Richard Ellis.

    "United Heartland's LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The work of forward-thinking companies and innovative project teams such as those presented here are a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."

    LEED® certification is established on a point-based rating system that acknowledges water efficiencies and waste reductions, energy and atmosphere management, materials and resource repurposing, and recycling.

    Some of the recognized environmentally conscious features of the United Heartland project include:

    - More than 79% of the construction waste was recycled or reused to divert more than 145 tons of waste from a landfill.
    - High-efficiency, dual-flush toilets, non-water urinals, and low-flow lavatories, showers, and kitchen sink reduce water use by 47% compared to a typical building.
    - High-efficiency, glare-free windows provide generous access to natural daylight and views. More than 87% of all spaces in the building have access to natural day lighting. Over 93% of all spaces have access to views to the outside.
    - Over 31% of the total materials value is comprised of building materials and/or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.
    - Implementation of a green cleaning program to reduce exposure of building occupants to contaminants that adversely impact the indoor environment and use of sustainable cleaning systems and products.

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  • Wheeling Business Owner Robert Bertog Elected President of Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

    WHEELING, Ill., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert (Bob) Bertog, Certified Landscape & Snow Professional and President of Bertog Landscape Company, was recently elected President of the 2010-2011 Board of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). Bertog's new role is effective July 1, 2010.

    Drawing on his tenure of successful leadership at Bertog Landscape Company, Bertog will work with his Board to uphold the mission of the ILCA and strengthen and grow the organization.

    "As a long-time member of ILCA, I've had the benefit of learning from other members in ways that have helped our business grow," said Bertog. "I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to give back to my fellow members through my term as President."

    Bertog Landscape Company has been an ILCA member since 1977. Bertog himself has been an active participant in the organization since 1993 and a Board member since 2004.

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Unilock Benjamin Moore