Industry News


A study released by civil engineers at MIT displays the potential of using stiffer pavements on the nation’s roads. The figures are significant, showing a reduction in fuel consumption of as much as 3% - adding up to about 273 barrels of crude oil per year or $15.6 billion at today’s prices.  It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 46.5 million metric tons per year.


The EPA and NASCAR are teaming up to promote green initiatives and sustainability.


A study focusing exclusively on design and construction professionals and trade workers, the McGraw-Hill Construction  report entitled "Construction Industry Workforce Shortages: Role of Certification, Training and Green Jobs in Filling the Gaps.", highlights concerns about skilled worker shortages and the promise of green building.


The Energy Department has announced that more than one thousand fuel cells have been deployed via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment.

Maintaining good indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the most important aspects of facility maintenance because it directly affects the health, productivity and comfort of building occupants. Even modern, well-ventilated buildings can have poor indoor air quality. In fact, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization recognize “Sick Building Syndrome” and “Building-Related Illness” as serious conditions occurring from new and remodeled buildings worldwide.1

The CUNY Energy Institute has developed low-cost batteries that are safe, non-toxic, and reliable with fast discharge rates and high energy densities, and has announced an operating prototype zinc anode battery system.  This system could have serious potential to reduce building and facility electric bills, and is scheduled for commercialization later this year.


White stopped being the official color of architecture a while ago. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV, Spain), new buildings have now been transformed and fragmented and they display movement and innovation thanks to the versatility of color.


Could plant derived biofuels meet 30% of the global demand for liquid transportation fuels?  An article published today in F1000 Biology Reports says the answer is yes.  Potential developments such as this would drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, without having an impact on food production.

As renewable energy sources are implemented as options at facilities and buildings across the U.S., new insights are continually discovered.  A study led by Liming Zhou, an atmospheric scientist at the State University of New York- (SUNY) Albany, provides insights about the possible effects of wind farms.
As many facility managers and building owners are aware, LEDs seem to reach a point where more electricity no longer imparts the same kick and productivity levels-off.  But there may be some very interesting developments on the way that will lead toward more affordable and efficient LED options.
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a three-part plan to help implement the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment initiative or “C3E” – a Ministerial program aimed at attracting more women to clean energy careers and supporting their advancement into leadership positions.

The American Lung Association released the State of the Air 2012 today, an annual report on air quality which lists both the cleanest and most polluted areas in the country. This year's report shows that although California still has some of the worst air in the nation, continuous progress in reducing ozone and particulate pollution has resulted in the state's air quality at its cleanest since the Lung Association's annual report began 13 years ago.


Construction, being a mature industry in the U.S., has always been competitive but there is a new fundamental shift in all contractors’ market perspectives. Experts agree, this is a “new normal” with smaller volumes, tighter margins and even more cautious owners.


If you are a building owner or facility manager, roofing costs have always been among your major concerns. In its January report, Reed Construction Data indicated that a faster-than-projected economic recovery will accelerate commercial construction activity and push materials prices even higher than general inflation. Combined with today’s soaring energy costs, it’s clear that managing commercial roofing costs is critical, especially for owners and facility managers with multiple buildings. Education and strategic budget planning are the best defense to managing a building.


With financial constraints impacting facility operations and the ever growing amount of new cleaning solutions appearing on the market, facility managers are constantly facing decisions for streamlining efficiencies and making the most of their resources. 


Researchers are currently developing a technology that uses nanotechnology, specifically nanocrystal-coated fibers, that can potentially harvest energy from hot pipes, engine components, factories, power plants, and even cars.

Sight and sound are crucial elements in the success of distance learning classrooms. However, there is much more to consider than just the types of audio and video equipment to be used. Proper classroom acoustics, good speech intelligibility, clear sightlines, proper lighting, and seating arrangements all need to be considered when developing an effective distance learning classroom that will benefit students and instructors alike.

Researchers at the Boston Medical Center (BMC)'s Injury Prevention Center (IPC) have found that one fall requiring first responder emergency medical services response occurs, on average, approximately every 56 hours at Boston Logan International Airport, with 37% of those incidents involving transport to a hospital.

Recent approval in March of a measure, the San Francisco Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance, is the most progressive stance on bicycle parking in commercial buildings in the country.

The EPA has released the annual listing of U.S. metropolitan areas featuring the most Energy Star certified buildings for 2011.  By the end of 2011, the nearly 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across America have helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.

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How to make your facility friendly to bicyclists.


Portable devices encourage sedentary workers to exercise while seated.


PACE program to drive building improvements.