Design LEED for Homes Awards

Published on January 14th, 2011 | by Dawn Killough

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LEED for Homes Award Winners

LEED for Homes Awards

USGBC announced its 2010 LEED for Homes Award winners during Greenbuild in Chicago.  Among the winners was a LEED Platinum home built for under $100 a square foot, an affordable housing development named after Retired General Colin Powell, and one of the highest scoring LEED for Homes projects in the nation.

“This year’s winners embody the innovative work of dedicated leaders throughout the residential building community,” said Nate Kredich, Vice President, Residential Market Development.  “These innovators are helping to transform the market toward more healthy, high performing homes that are regarded as some of the best in the country.”

Affordable green seems to be the theme for the winning projects of 2010:

Project of the Year100K House in Philadelphia, built by Postgreen: The LEED Platinum home was built for less than $100 per square foot by focusing on compact development, streamlining the design and construction process, and focusing on implementing energy-efficiency strategies.

Outstanding Program CommitmentSacramento Habitat for Humanity: Seven of the ten homes built in 2010 received LEED Gold or Platinum certification.

Outstanding Production BuilderArtistic Homes: With more than 230 LEED-certified homes in its portfolio, Artistic Homes is the most prolific single family market rate builder of LEED-certified homes.

Outstanding Affordable DeveloperBlue Sea Development Company: Projects include the LEED Platinum General Colin L. Powell Apartments, Morrisania Homes in the Bronx and the Eltona, the first affordable rental LEED Platinum building in New York State.

Outstanding Single Family ProjectILM Design Build, 3404 Talon Court, Wilmington, NC: This project is among the highest scoring LEED for Homes projects, earning 113.5 points.

Outstanding Mulitfamily ProjectBastyr Student Housing at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, built by Schuchart Construction: The project exceeded initial expectations of receiving LEED Gold, received Platinum certification, and came in under budget and ahead of schedule.  It is the first LEED Platinum student housing project on the West Coast.

Outstanding Affordable Housing DevelopmentGeneral Colin L. Powell Apartments, built by Blue Sea Development Company and Habitat for Humanity New York City: The project is a 50-unit mid-rise affordable homeownership on a once boarded up street in South Bronx, NY.  Long-term affordability through energy savings was a key element of the project design.

Logo courtesy of USGBC.

Abolish the National Security Council

The Washington Post June 21, 1992 | Rick Inderfurth The National Security Council was set up to run the Cold War. As Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s visit to the United States so dramatically underscores, that war is over. Now American presidents would be better served by an agency that is prepared to tackle tomorrow’s security problems.

According to the 1947 National Security Act, the mandate of the NSC is to advise the president with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign and military policies relating to national security. Today the president not only needs to be advised on our military and diplomatic relations, but he needs to have advice on a series of new international issues – especially economic policy. Our national security apparatus should be reshaped to deal with this new reality.

To support that proposition, three witnesses are called. First, Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. “We are going to have to shift away from the stuff we spent the last 40 years doing. The world has changed,” he said in a recent interview. “The United States will rise or fall in the next 50 years on its ability to compete in international trade, and we had better get in the business of making success possible.” The second witness: the director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates. In a speech to the Economic Club of Detroit, Gates said the Bush administration is shifting U.S. intelligence agencies away from Cold War missions to the new challenges. “The most senior policy-makers of the government,” said the CIA chief, “clearly see that many of the most important challenges and opportunities through and beyond the end of this decade are in the international economic area.” The third witness: the American people. Last year’s survey of “American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy,” sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and conducted by the Gallup organization, found that the economic power of Japan has replaced long-standing military challenges as the most critical threat to U.S. vital interests in the next 10 years. Moreover, in this new era of worldwide economic competition, Americans are clearly worried about the ability of the United States to hold its own. Two-thirds of those polled agreed that America has been unable to solve its economic problems and that this has caused the country to decline as a world power. web site national security council

Throughout its history, the National Security Council has focused its greatest attention on traditional foreign policy and military concerns. Economic matters have rarely been an integral part of NSC deliberations. Part of this can be explained by the times, when Soviet nuclear missiles, not balance of payments deficits, posed a far greater threat to our nation’s well-being. Part of this can also be explained by the expertise and interests of those who have directed the activities of the NSC. Even the most prominent of national security advisers – McGeorge Bundy, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft – have felt far more comfortable dealing with geopolitical and military affairs than tariffs and rates of exchange.

Still, there has been the occasional effort to bring about a greater integration of national security and economic policy. In 1975 Congress amended the original National Security Act, making the secretary of the Treasury a statutory member of the NSC. President Ford vetoed the bill. site national security council

Adding the Treasury secretary to the NSC is no longer an adequate institutional response. A far more sweeping approach is needed. Serious study should be directed to thinking about how to amend the 1947 National Security Act, how to improve executive-legislative relations in the formation of national security policy and how to reorganize certain agencies. For starters, we might consider the following proposals for a different kind of NSC.

First, the National Security Council should be abolished and a new body created, the Global Policy Council. Its statutory membership would include those who sit on the NSC – the president, vice president and secretaries of state and defense – but the GPC would be expanded to include the secretaries of Treasury and commerce and the attorney general. Advisers to the new council should include those now serving in that capacity to the NSC – the national security adviser, the director of Central Intelligence, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – and would add the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the special trade representative and the chairman of the council of economic advisers. A body so constituted would certainly see economic issues assume their rightful place at council deliberations.

Second, the GPC would continue to be directed by an assistant to the president, but the new council director should appoint two principal deputies – one to oversee political, military and intelligence affairs and the other international economic. Moreover, the new GPC staff should include a greater number of professionals with economic experience.

Third, to address more traditional security concerns – those leading ultimately to the issue of war and peace – a page should be taken out of President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis when he created an executive committee of the NSC. A similar committee of the GPC could be established permanently to deal with those more strictly military or intelligence-related issues requiring presidential attention.

President Harry Truman, the first president to have the NSC at his disposal, described the responsibilities of the council this way: “I wanted some top-level permanent shop in the government to concern itself with advising the president on high policy decisions concerning the security of the nation.” That requirement remains as valid today as it was in Truman’s day, but the world has changed. New global challenges have gained prominence. Our institutions at the highest levels of government should be restructured accordingly.

The writer served on the National Security Council staff under President Carter. @Slug: C07RIC Rick Inderfurth

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About the Author

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon. She is currently a Contract Administrator at Rich Duncan Construction.  



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