EPA Helps Identify ‘Green’ Computers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is funding a grant to Portland, OR-based Green Electronics Council to develop a process that would assist corporate computer purchasers in identifying and choosing computers, laptops, and monitors that meet stringent environmental criteria. The council will create and maintain a green computer registry for corporate purchasers. In June, the council will begin to post registered products online.
The Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) includes 23 required criteria and 28 optional performance criteria organized into reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, materials selection and packaging, design for the end-of-usefulness and extending the life of a computer, and energy conservation.
“This program will give companies an easy way to identify green products that ensure they are making environmentally sound and cost-effective purchases when buying computer equipment,” says Wayne Nastri, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.
Facts on Controlling Mold Online
Launched in January, the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC) website (www.responsiblemoldsolutions.org) provides a wealth of information on mold prevention and moisture control. The organization is devoted to educating the public and the building industry on effective ways to combat mold in commercial and residential construction. According to the RSMC, common causes of moisture and mold in newly constructed buildings include:
- Plumbing system leaks.
- Air-conditioning condensation.
- Inadequate or incorrectly installed
- flashing around doors and windows.
- Poor roof design.
- Inadequate grading, leading to poor site drainage.
- Incorrectly installed insulation.
- High indoor humidity, exacerbated by inadequate ventilation.
- Condensation caused by moist air moving in and out of the building envelope.
- Large temperature differences.
- Leaking ductwork.
Multi-Family Housing Organizations Announce Legislative Priorities
Meeting America’s critical housing needs by bringing more balance to our national housing policy remains a top priority for the apartment sector, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Multi Housing Council (NMHC)/National Apartment Association (NAA) Joint Legislative Program, which released its 2006 policy agenda during the annual Capitol Conference. The event brought hundreds of apartment professionals to Washington, D.C., for face-to-face meetings with key legislators.
“We are delighted that three major initiatives we worked for in 2005 - bankruptcy reform, class-action lawsuit reform, and the terrorism insurance extension - were passed into law. In 2006, we’re planning to build on that success,” says Jim Arbury, NMHC/NAA’s senior vice president of government affairs.
These and other critical issues are outlined in the 2006 Legislative & Regulatory Priorities booklet posted at (www.nmhc.org/content/Servecontent.cfm?contentItemID=3149).
- In the Buildings Buyers’ Guide 2006, featured in the April 2006 issue of Buildings, the website for New York City-based Integrated Electronic Solutions Inc. (IES) was incorrectly printed. Correct information for this provider of security services is as follows: Integrated Electronic Solutions Inc. (IES), 55 W. 39th St., Ste. 805, New York, NY, 10018; phone (212) 575-7687; fax (212) 575-7949; website (www.iesusa.com).
- In the March 2006 issue of Buildings, Essex Electronics was incorrectly referred to as Essex Industries. Please turn to page 111 of this issue for a corrected version of their featured product.
Schools Get Help with Energy Benchmarking
In the recently issued Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program Technical Brief titled “Energy Benchmarking: Does Your School Get a Passing Grade?”, the California Energy Commission provides step-by-step instructions for energy-use evaluations in K-12 schools. The brief explains, “The new benchmarking system helps building operators and owners determine how well each building in the school district is performing.” The benchmarking process was developed through PIER research at 39 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 5 high schools, in cooperation with the West Contra Costa Unified School District and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. To view the technical brief, visit (http://esource.com/public/products/cec_form.asp).
First of Two Buildings at Jefferson Gateway Completed
The construction of the first of two free-standing, 3-story, Class-A office buildings - known as Jefferson Gateway at the Airport and located in Warwick, RI - has been completed. Both office buildings were designed by Vision 3 Architects, Providence, RI.
Michael Integlia & Co., the Providence-based developer of the two office buildings, had two goals in mind in developing the 8-acre parcel. The first was to create buildings that would have visually interesting exteriors. The second was that they be economical. Located on a park-like campus, the first building is 45,000 square feet, and the second building will be 75,000 square feet. To achieve these goals, Vision 3 Architects used a combination of metal and masonry on the exterior in response to the buildings’ proximity to the airport and other industrial buildings on Jefferson Blvd. On the interior, the public areas have been designed to be contemporary yet warm.
January 2006 Report Finds User Satisfaction with LEED Buildings
The LEED Building Performance in the Cascadia Region: A Post-Occupancy Evaluation Report shows generally positive energy performance and user satisfaction with the region’s LEED-certified buildings. Examining 11 of the region’s 31 LEED-certified buildings that have been occupied for at least 1 full year, the report indicated that users were somewhat dissatisfied with acoustics - but satisfied or very satisfied with all other indicators. The report’s information in terms of energy performance indicates that six of 10 buildings with design-phase energy modeling used less energy than those models predicted.
The Cascadia Region Green Building Council, which provided the report, promotes the design, construction, and operation of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. For more information, visit (www.cascadiagbc.org).
Clayco at Center of Charlotte’s EpiCentre
St. Louis-based Clayco has started work on EpiCentre, a retail and entertainment center in downtown Charlotte, NC.The Ghazi Co. (located in Charlotte) is the developer of the project that will surround a 48-story condominium tower on a 3-acre downtown site with a 10-story Starwood A-Loft Hotel. EpiCentre is expected to take 2 years to complete.
The Ghazi Co. project includes two 3-story buildings featuring entertainment, restaurants, and retail outlets; a multi-screen movie theater building; a parking garage; and a 2-level outdoor plaza for a total of 936,000 square feet. The 419-condo tower, known as 210 Trade, is being built by developer Flaherty & Collins of Indianapolis for $180 million. The A-Loft Hotel is being developed by Noble Investments of Atlanta.
The mixed-use development is located where the city’s convention center previously stood at Trade and College streets. The convention center was imploded in June 2005.