GREENGUARD Offers Mold-Reduction Program
The Atlanta-based GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is presenting a mold risk reduction program to the industry that, for the first time, certifies the design, construction, and operation of newly constructed commercial and multifamily properties. Prevention is the key, according to GEI. Diligence throughout the building’s life-cycle - from initial design to ongoing occupancy - is critical. Leveraging the nation’s experts, this program certifies those buildings that meet the standard and monitor compliance throughout the term of the loan or building life. The certification includes:
1. Building Design.
A. Site Features.
B. Building Systems.
C. Materials Selection.
A. Moisture Management Plan.
B. Water Incident Response Plan.
3. Building Operations.
A. Operations and Maintenance Plan.
This program ensures that buildings use best practices for safeguarding against the damage and resulting losses that are caused by mold. As court judgments for mold continue to cloud new buildings, this mold-prevention measure is a way for building owners and lenders to manage financial risks.
For additional information, or to pose questions, send an e-mail to (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (800) 427-9681.
Advance University Accredited by AEE
Rosemont, IL-based Advance Transformer Co.’s Advance University - an online ballast training program offered in three course levels - is now officially approved by the Atlanta-based Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) for its Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program.
The program awards two professional credits for the successful achievement of Course Level 1 and one credit each for Course Levels 2 and 3. The first level (Ballast Basics 101) covers ballast basics. The second level (Ballast Basics 201) covers more basics, and also features ballast troubleshooting techniques as well as an intro to many newer lighting technologies. The third level provides an overview of the DALI lighting standard and its use in creating new and powerful lighting designs. Each level consists of 10 or more lessons and is followed by a short quiz.
Visit (www.advancetransformer.com/university) to register for Advance University.
Two NFPA Documents Focus on Security
A worldwide leader in consensus code development, the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced two new documents centered on improving security and life safety in the built environment.
The 2006 editions of NFPA 730, Guide for Premises Security, and NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Security Systems, were developed to address contemporary security matters.
At the core of NFPA 730 is the security vulnerability assessment, which provides a systematic and methodical process that examines an organization’s vulnerabilities.
For more information on these documents, visit (www.nfpa.org).
New Regional Centers Bring Cutting-Edge Electrical Training Closer to Home
Education is a journey. But for union electrical workers, the continuing quest for knowledge - to hone the varied skills that power America safely - once meant traveling hundreds of miles from home to reach the nearest training center. Today, however, that vital education is now coming to the workers, through a groundbreaking new program developed by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC). That program is creating a nationwide network of regional training centers, each staffed and equipped to keep union electrical workers up to date in a rapidly changing industry.
Explains Michael Callanan, executive director of NJATC, “Many in our industry had clearly expressed the need for regional training, for bringing continued education closer to our members. So, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) jointly rolled up their sleeves and met that need by creating venues throughout the country to bring the quality training we’re known for directly to our members.”
For 2006, regional training sites have already been established in Portland, OR; Pittsburgh; Detroit; and Birmingham, AL. At the centers, union members can take advantage of a range of course offerings that cover cutting-edge topics such as computer technology, fiber-optic and photovoltaic systems, copper structured cabling, traffic signal operation, alarm systems installation, and work zone safety.
New Info Helps Keep Facilities Safe for Birds
Birds & Buildings, a Chicago-based forum devoted to raising awareness of bird collisions within the architecture, design, and building communities, has formed a tutorial for designing bird-safe buildings. Initially offered for architecture students, building owners and facilities professionals can also take note of this five-part presentation.
Birds collide with glass windows because they look like air, reflecting trees, clouds, and the sky, according to Birds & Buildings. The Bird-Safe Design Tutorial presents building-design solutions such as using angles for the building itself, placing awnings over windows, installing glass that doesn’t reflect the sky, and using window screens or sun shutters. It also features photos of buildings that are not designed to be bird-friendly (including features such as all-glass structures, flat glass, and courtyards).
For more information on the tutorial, visit (www.birdsandbuildings.org).
The Metal Initiative Takes Further Initiative
In an effort to gain increased entry to important building owner and facilities management audiences, The Metal Initiative (TMI) has teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Intl. as a “Sustaining Partner.” To help both organizations offer their respective constituents ongoing education, TMI is creating a “grassroots” education program - directed to local BOMA chapters - on the cost advantages and sustainability of metal roofs and walls.
In other news, TMI announces that the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has joined the coalition of metal-related companies and associations. According to MBMA General Manager Charles M. Stockinger, “We support TMI’s goal of establishing the value and long-term benefits of metal in the commercial roof and wall markets.” Toy Henson, TMI’s director of marketing, concurs with this assessment, noting that the MBMA’s decision to join The Metal Initiative reflects the metal building industry’s continuing desire to help provide accurate information about metal roofing and wall systems so that building owners and architects can make informed buying decisions.
For additional information on The Metal Initiative and its sponsors, visit (www.themetalinitiative.com).
Confidence in U.S. Real Estate Grows Among Foreign Investors
The Washington, D.C.-based Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) recently released the results of its 14th annual survey, which tracks foreign investors’ confidence in U.S. real estate as a conduit for their investment dollars. Some highlights follow:
- Confidence in the U.S. real estate market in terms of security and capital appreciation is at an all-time high, with 74 percent of survey respondents saying the United States was the most stable and secure market for their investments, up from 60.7 percent in 2004.
- “Depending on an investor’s risk appetite, real opportunities to invest now exist in many different regions and product types. At the same time, for many reasons - including transparency, market fundamentals, and the sheer size of the market - foreign investors have expressed an extremely high degree of confidence in the U.S. real estate market going forward,” says Mark Baillie, AFIRE chairman and head of real estate, North America and Europe, at Macquarie Real Estate Inc.
- Office buildings have come out of a 6-year slump to become foreign investors’ No. 1 pick for their investment dollars.
- Foreign investors will invest some $150 billion in U.S. real estate in 2006 (AFIRE members have $470 billion invested in real estate globally).
- Top five U.S. cities are Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and San Diego.
- Top five global cities are London; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Paris; and Tokyo.
- Most attractive property types are office buildings, hotels, retail, industrial properties, and multifamily facilities.