Aluminum – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Used in a wide variety of ways in the building construction market, aluminum is a very versatile green building material, especially when it’s recycled. Everything from huge external building structures to delicate window blinds can be manufactured from this lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant metal. Doors, windows, and awnings are popular products made from this material, as well as parking canopies, warehouses, and other commercial outbuildings. Solar panels typically rely on low-weight aluminum framing components in solar installations on residential and commercial…

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Minneapolis City Center NFL Showcase: Finishing Touches Take Place On US Bank Stadium

We have enjoyed following the vision and ensuing work leading to the development of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, now scheduled to open this August. Here is the most important item to keep in mind about this project: we’re not just looking at a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium replacing the old Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. Here the $1.1 billion investment involves a new kind of product for a sporting franchise and a government. This new-fangled stadium product represents the savvy evolution…

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Study Shows LEED-ND Fails To Provide Affordable Housing

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) by Nicola Szibbo, PhD, a planner with the City and County of Honolulu, found that only 40 percent of LEED-ND certified projects included affordable housing. With very little incentive in the credit structure, many developers choose not to include affordable housing, and there are no consequences for doing so. LEED-ND is a green certification program for neighborhood developments, sponsored by the US Green Building Council, the association that…

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Delta Americas Opens LEED Platinum & Net Zero Headquarters

Delta, a global specialist in power and thermal management solutions, announced opening its new Americas headquarters in Fremont, California. The facility was designed to meet LEED Platinum and net zero standards. According to press information, this 180,000 square-foot facility is a testament to Delta’s commitment to sustainability. Over 1,000 MWh of electricity is expected to be generated per year through Delta’s solar photovoltaic power system. Additionally, the new building features a geothermal heating and cooling system that reduces HVAC  energy consumption…

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What Is LEED? – Innovation and Regional Priority Credits

This is the eighth and final post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the remaining posts looked at each of the six credit categories: Sustainable Sites, Location and Transportation, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.  We hope you have enjoyed the series!   Innovation Credits This credit is worth 1-5 points.  Projects can earn additional credits for innovations in green building.  There…

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What Is LEED? – Indoor Environmental Quality

This is the seventh post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, the fourth at Water Efficiency, the fifth at the Energy and Atmosphere credits, and the sixth at Materials and Resources.   Indoor Environmental Quality The quality of the air on the inside of a building is important to all the occupants, as it can contribute to illness…

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What Is LEED? – Materials and Resources

This is the sixth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, the fourth at Water Efficiency, and the fifth at the Energy and Atmosphere credits.   Materials and Resources What materials are used, where they come from, how they are made, and how they are disposed of are instrumental in determining how green a project is.  Using…

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Sustainable Forestry Initiative lumber

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Recognized By BREEAM

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has been recognized by green building rating system BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) for its ability to allow the construction industry to responsibly source forest products. Their efforts to make one of the greenest building elements- wood!- even greener are definitely worth taking notice of! According to the BREEAM website, its “assessment uses recognized measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction, and use.” “The…

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What is LEED? – Energy and Atmosphere

This is the fifth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, and the fourth at Water Efficiency. Energy and Atmosphere Improving energy efficiency is one of the easiest ways to save money and improve the sustainability of a building. Therefore almost a third of the points available in LEED are found in…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased  to post this second in a series of solar energy  articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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water efficiency

What Is LEED? – Water Efficiency

This is the fourth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system.  The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, and the third at the Location and Transportation credits. Water Efficiency Fresh, drinkable water is a precious commodity that is only available in a limited supply.  Therefore, prudent use and treatment of waste water are very important as we look to expand our built environment and shrink natural treatment areas.  Credits…

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Public transportation connectivity

What is LEED? – Location and Transportation

This is the third post in a series on the LEED green building rating system.  The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category. Location and Transporation The LEED Location and Transporation category of credits is based on where the project is located, its connectibility to public transportation, and making accommodations for those using alternative transportation modes. LEED for Neighborhood Development Location This credit is worth 3-16 points.  If the project…

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Construction site

What Is LEED? – Sustainable Sites

This is the second post in a series on the LEED green building rating system.  The first post provided an introduction to LEED. Sustainable Sites The first category of LEED prerequisites and credits has to do with the location and piece of land the project is built on.  LEED Sustainable Sites credits deal with protecting natural habitat, keeping open spaces, dealing with rainwater, and heat island and light pollution reduction. Construction Activity Pollution Prevention This measure is required for LEED…

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C-SIS exterior sheathing system

Exterior Sheathing System Improves Energy Efficiency

Composite Panel Building Systems announced the introduction of a new sheathing system that can improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and homes, as well as new construction projects.  The C-SIS exterior sheathing system combines insulation, an air/water barrier, structural components, and a water drainage plane into a compact panel that can be installed easily over traditionally framed walls. The C-SIS insulated sheathing system is designed to replace traditional plywood sheathing that is installed on the exterior of a framed…

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Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives. Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.” Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF,…

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LEED certification

What is LEED? – Introduction

This is the first post in a series about the LEED rating system for green buildings.   LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  It is a green building certification program that requires a third-party to review, judge, and certify a project as meeting certain mandatory requirements and reaching a certain level of “greenness.” There are several LEED rating systems available for different types of projects.  They include: Building Design & Construction (BD+C), Interior Design & Construction (ID+C),…

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Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles Now Available in Delaware & Hawaii

We are happy to report the Dow line of solar shingles is now available in two more states. Dow Solar announced today that the availability of DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles, an award-winning residential solar roofing system, is expanding to Delaware and Hawaii. Delaware and Hawaii are among the smaller states in the nation, both in population and geography. But in the solar industry, the two states rank in the top ten, which drew Dow Solar’s attention in determining the next…

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