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Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 5:33 am
LEED-accredited professionals (APs) without a specialty are urged to enroll in the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) website to complete credential maintenance requirements or retest in order to become a LEED-AP with specialty credentials.
Under LEED 3.0, introduced earlier this year, LEED-AP must regularly complete credential maintenance requirements in order to retain their status as a LEED-AP, as detailed earlier. These requirements are the foundation of the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP).
Enrollment in the GBCI website is a voluntary, one-time process. If done by December 31st, all credential maintenance activities from July 8th onward and all volunteer and committee work done since January 1st can be counted toward the fulfillment of one’s requirements.
However, waiting until the new year precludes counting 2009’s activities. After the first of the year, only activities completed during the reporting period will be counted. A list of activities...
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:40 am
Two recent academic projects by the New York architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel have recently gained LEED certification, according to a recent Dexigner article. One project is comprised of a renovation and addition; the other is a new building.
The larger of the two projects, Paul Rudolph Hall at Yale University, is home to the Yale School of Architecture. The 114,000 square foot building, known for its Brutalist style, was formerly known as the Art and Architecture Building. Originally completed in 1963, the facility has been augmented by an 87,000 square foot addition, housing the Jeffrey Loria Center for the History of Art next door. Together, the combined facility is known as the Yale Arts Complex and houses a new arts library, renovated and new instructional spaces, and student and faculty support and gathering spaces, including a café. Completed in 2008, the Yale project garnered LEED Gold certification.
Meanwhile, the new Burchfield Penney Art Center, located on...
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 10:47 am
A pair of college buildings in the South and the Upper Midwest recently earned respective LEED Gold and Platinum certifications, providing further evidence of the widespread traction that LEED is gaining on college campuses across the country.
Outside of Burlington, North Carolina, Elon University’s 35,950 square foot Lindner Hall has garnered a LEED-Gold designation, according to a recent press release. Housing offices, instructional classrooms, a reading room, computer lab, and informal gathering spaces, Lindner Hall is 27 percent more energy-efficient than a comparable, conventionally built academic building. During its construction, more than 90 percent of waste was recycled or reused, and about 25 percent of building materials contain recycled content. The architecture firm Spillman Farmer, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, designed the facility.
Meanwhile, at Saint Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences has earned LEED...
Monday, November 30, 2009 at 8:29 am
PNC Bank's green wall is 2,380 square feet making it North America's largest.PNC Bank recently completed the installation of what ranks as the largest green wall in North America, Jetson Green reports. A hybrid of branding exercise and sustainability effort, the installation is located on the south elevation of the bank’s 30-story headquarters building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The green wall, made of 602 2’-0” x 2’-0” modular panels holding roughly 24 plants each, covers an area of 2,380 square feet on the building’s surface, making its area roughly that of a doubles tennis court. Eight different varieties of plants native to the Pittsburgh region, including some that will change color with the seasons, others that are evergreen, and still others that will bloom in the spring, can be found in the over 14,400 total plants that make up the green wall.
According to Jetson Green, the 24-ton green wall is mounted directly onto the face of...
Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 11:13 am
A recent Mother Nature News piece highlights outdoor outfitter REI’s achievement of LEED Gold certification for two of its new stores. The outlets, in Texas and Illinois, both achieved the certifications under the LEED for Commercial Interiors program. They bring the company’s total number of LEED-certified stores to six, and provide fuel for achieving the company’s stated goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.
The stores incorporated a host of green measures. At the Texas store, located in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, these moves included the addition of high-efficiency HVAC systems, a green building education program, the installation of solar panels, and a reduction in the amount of waste generated in the construction process. All in all, the Round Rock store consumes 50 percent less energy than a comparable, conventionally-built store.
The Illinois store, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, received credit for its location, close to...
Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 10:49 am
A CNet blog post points to the growth of home weatherization service companies as a major source of green-industry growth in the next year. Positioned at the intersection of growing consumer demand for weatherization services and a possible federal stimulus centered around weatherization (as reported earlier), companies that help homeowners lower their energy bills through weatherization can expect to see growth in the near future.
Local jurisdictions and nonprofits are looking to home energy savings as an effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, too. As one sustainability consultant interviewed in the article notes, this desire encompasses issues relating to both environmental and economic sustainability, as cities and towns look for ways to create and preserve jobs locally.
Below, a video produced for California’s Department of Community Services and Development introduces weatherization, common weatherization practices, and the various savings that can be gained...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:47 am
Global coffee giant Starbucks is upping the ante on its commitment to sustainability by participating in the LEED Volume Certification pilot program.
Through the pilot program, introduced last year, Starbucks is required to certify at least 10 pilot stores, including both new construction and renovations, within a six-month time frame. The company selected 12 sites around the world for its initial round of certified stores, according to a Mother Nature News article. The eventual goal is LEED certification for 100% of company-owned stores
Domestic store locations include San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Bellingham, WA; Detroit, MI; Atlanta, GA; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and New York City. Abroad, the group includes Toronto; Lisbon; Manila; Taipei; and the Japanese city of Fukuoka.
Below, a promotional video touts the company’s involvement in the initiative.
The drive to certify stores arrives along with another initiative: the replacement and upgrade of lighting systems to feature...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:29 am
US Airways’ corporate headquarters facility in Tempe, Arizona, recently achieved a Gold certification under LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EBOM), according to a recent news release.
The facility, completed in 1999 and managed by real estate giant Hines, is also Energy Star-certified. The 218,000 square foot, 9 story office building is one of only five buildings in the entire country that has earned 10 consecutive Energy Star labels, and is the only building in Arizona to achieve this status.
The building’s LEED designation was achieved through a combination of maintenance upgrades and other operational changes that also included water-efficient landscaping, enhanced access to alternate transportation, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow fixtures, enhanced indoor air handling, an extensive building-wide recycling program. and many other features. As a result of the upgrades, the building is 45 percent more energy efficient, saving $1.41 per square foot in energy costs...
Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:50 am
The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) recently updated its website with three significant changes meant to provide clarity to would-be test-takers. The updates, seen here, are aimed at eliminating confusion for applicants relating to names, the GBCI’s test cancellation policy, and exam reference materials.
The first clarification puts emphasis on the appearance of a test candidate’s name. While cultural naming customs including using two surnames, or placing the surname before the given name, will be accepted, other variations on a person’s name, including use of nicknames, maiden names, and initials will not be accepted.
Second, the rate charged for cancellations and rescheduling the LEED exam is changing. Beginning on December 31st of this year, the fee for canceling or rescheduling the LEED exam will be $50.
Lastly, three new references will join the list of primary references available for those wishing to study for the exam. Starting December 1st,...
Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 8:16 am
Crayola, famous to children everywhere as the world’s leading brand of crayons, recently broke ground on a 15-acre solar array that will provide 10 percent of power needs for the company’s annual energy use, according to a recent article.
The solar panels being installed by Crayola will generate enough energy to produce nearly 1/3 of the crayons produced in a given year.When the array is finished, its 26,000 fixed photoboltaic panels will convert sunlight into electricity, to the tune of 1.9 megawatts. Crayola will purchase the power generated by the panels from a joint venture made up of local power authority PPL Corporation and UGI Energy Services, who are jointly leasing the land near the company’s Easton, Pennsylvania headquarters.
The array will generate enough energy to produce nearly 1/3 of the crayons that Crayola produces in a given year, the article notes. In total, the company manufactures more than 12 million crayons per day, which amounts to 3 billion...
Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 7:50 am
The Kips Bay Towers, a residential complex of 1,120 apartments located in Midtown Manhattan, were well-known as an architectural landmark long before the largest solar array in Manhattan was installed on the complex’s roofs in December, 2008. The buildings, designed by famous architect I.M. Pei, are now home to a 55 kW solar power system that produces 5 percent of the buildings’ electric demand.
Below, a video produced by the Network for New Energy Choices explores the project. According to the NNEC website, the New York-based organization advocates “policies ensuring safe, clean, and environmentally responsible energy options.”
--- Chris Timmerman Contributing Writer Green Education Services...
Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 10:49 am
Located in Austin, the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has recently become the world’s first hospital to achieve a LEED Platinum certification, according to a recent news release. Located on a 32-acre campus, the $200 million, 503,000 square foot, 169-bed hospital garnered 54 out of 69 possible points. The hospital opened in July, 2007.
Hospitals pose several unique challenges when it comes to meeting LEED certification standards. Patient care requirements and regulatory codes pose specific challenges, and a hospital’s scheduling is also unique, in that they operate around the clock, every day of the week/ This makes them more energy-intensive than many other types of facilities. According the news release, hospitals constitute 4 percent of the world’s building stock, but consumer 8 percent of the energy.
The Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has recently become the world’s first hospital to achieve a LEED Platinum...
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 9:06 am
The new visitor’s center at Monticello, President Thomas Jefferson’s retreat outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, has been awarded LEED Gold certification from USGBC. The Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center is one of only five visitor’s centers in the country to earn the certification, according to a recent article.
The building, which opened to the public in April, includes many sustainable features, including geothermal heating and cooling, two green roofs, double-glazed windows and louvered blinds, advanced stormwater removal, enhanced wastewater treatment, water-efficient landscaping, use of regional materials, and maximized day-lighting of interior spaces. The building includes a ticket lobby, café, gift shop, exhibit pavilion and the Smith History Center, which includes gallery and instructional spaces.
President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Leslie Green Bowman told the Charlottesville Daily Progress newspaper that “in developing this modern...
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 8:34 am
Despite the number of jobs created in recent months by the federal government’s job stimulus package (estimates range from 700,000 to 1.5 million), most of these have come in piecemeal fashion, the NYTimes reports. And while the addition of these jobs has been undeniably welcome in a bad economy, many more are still needed. The most visible symbol thus far of the federal stimulus has been the enormously popular “Cash for Clunkers” program, which encouraged owners of old cars to exchange them for new, more energy-efficient models. Under Cash for Clunkers, consumers purchased nearly 700,000 energy-efficient cars in fewer than 30 days.
Enter “Cash for Caulkers,” a proposed federal stimulus program aimed at weatherization of America’s housing stock. The effort would put many contractors and construction workers back to work insulating homes and patching leaks as winter sets in. Homeowners would stand to gain by saving money on lower energy costs, and...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10:13 am
Hawaii recently became the only fourth region in the country to initiate a program to allow homeowners and businesses to install small to midsized renewable energy projects.The state of Hawaii recently became the fourth region in the country to initiate a program to allow homeowners and businesses to install small to midsized renewable energy projects, Cooler Planet reports. The ruling by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission pertains to the installation of solar panels and other small renewable energy efforts, and the subsequent sale of the energy back to Hawaiian power producers.
The policy is aimed at reducing Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuel for its energy needs. Currently the state ranks first in terms of fossil fuel dependency. Hawaii’s program, called a feed-in tariff or FiT, allows homeowners and businesses to sell energy back to utilities like the Hawaiian Electric Company (HEC), for rates that are higher than current energy prices. Hawaii joins a small group...
Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:14 am
The new Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building on the Phoenix campus of Arizona State University has recently received a LEED-Silver certification from the USGBC, according to a recent University press release.
Awarded last week at Greenbuild in Phoenix, the award comes more than a year after the building originally opened. Of the building, Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School of Journalism, said: “It’s a place that epitomizes not just the highest standards of journalism but the highest standards of sustainability….We’re extremely proud to receive this award.”
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building has recently received a LEED-Silver certification.The $71 million building, designed by HDR, was constructed with many sustainable features, including east-west orientation for solar control, exterior overhangs and sunscreens for shading windows, energy-saving materials to help optimize building-energy performance, low or...
Monday, November 16, 2009 at 7:59 am
At the Mars candy factory in Hackettstown, New Jersey, a recently-installed solar array will help defray the energy costs associated with manufacturing one of America’s favorite candies: the M&M.
The installation of the factory’s 2.2-megawatt, 28,680 panel solar array, on an 18-acre field next door, will provide 20 percent of the candy plant’s electricity during peak production times, equivalent to the energy it takes to power 1,800 homes. It will reduce carbon emissions by 1,000 metric tons each year, the equivalent of taking 200 cars off the road.
This installation is largest solar photovoltaic installation at any food-producing plant nationwide. It’s also the largest solar array in the state of New Jersey.
The Mars installation, commonly referred to as a “solar garden,” is the 11th-largest array of its kind in the entire United States, and cost upwards of $10 million, according to a recent Cooler Planet post.
Mars, the manufacturer of...
Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 5:46 am
Two universities in Massachusetts are looking to the sun to fuel on-campus buildings, as part of larger programs to reduce overall energy use.
At Smith College, an all-women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts, a recently-installed solar array is helping to power that school’s student center. According to a press release, Smith’s solar array will generate enough power over the next two decades to offset 238 metric tons of carbon emissions, roughly equivalent to the planting of 215 acres of trees. The panels will produce all electricity needed to operate the student center’s café.
The solar array is just the latest addition to Smith’s sustainable energy efforts. The college already has an efficient cogeneration plant on campus that uses a gas turbine to run both a 3500-kilowatt generator that provides heat and hot water to campus buildings. Over 99 percent of materials from the plant’s installation were recycled.
Meanwhile, at Brandeis...
Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 5:03 am
The Robert A.M. Stern-designed Comcast Center in Philadelphia has garnered the title of being the “tallest LEED-certified building the US” after earning a Gold certification for LEED Core & Shell (LEED-CS), according to recent articles in Inhabitat and World Architecture News.
Despite these accolades, the Comcast Center’s reign may be short-lived. As previously reported, the Empire State Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) are currently working on improvements that are expected to earn LEED certifications for both buildings.
Many of the 1.25 million square foot, 975 foot tall building’s LEED-worthy features are visible in its high-performance façade. Sheathed in silvery high-efficiency curtainwall and sunscreens, the building also features louvers at the base, optimizing daylight in the 120-foot tall winter garden at the building’s base. These louvers help optimize daylight and views from the winter garden...
Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 7:49 am
Treehugger reports on the Brooklyn Bowl, a century-old, formerly abandoned iron foundry recently renovated into a combination bowling alley and concert venue. The 16-lane Brooklyn Bowl recently received LEED certification, making it the first bowling alley in the country to receive such a designation. It’s also the first live music venue in the country to receive LEED certification.
Owners Charley Ryan and Peter Shapiro teamed up with Pete Atkin of GreenOrder, a sustainability-strategy and managing consulting firm, who told Treehugger that while it has become a matter of course that new office buildings gain LEED certification, LEED-friendly clubs, restaurants, and bars are much rarer.
The bowling alley’s LEED credits reflect a mix of sustainable moves common to many projects pursuing LEED certification, along with a few that are unique to this project type. On the conventional side, much of the building was preserved, including flooring and walls. Meanwhile, the...
Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 7:16 am
A recent study led by the USGBC and reported by Mother Nature News reveals that the “green” construction industry helps support over 2 million jobs nationwide, adding up to more than $100 billion in GDP and wages. The study, released this week at Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, was prepared by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and includes valuable data for anyone interested in the growth of the coming green economy.
The study forecasts significant growth, too: up to eight million jobs tied to green construction are expected by 2013. LEED has been and will continue to play a major role in job creation: 15,000 jobs have been created thanks to LEED-related spending since 2000, and 230,000 more jobs as a result of LEED are expected by 2013, as use of LEED continues to spread.
The jobs being created as a result of green construction projects are varied. The study focused on five major job sectors: nonresidential construction; residential construction; electric power...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 8:07 am
Fast-food outlet Chipotle will soon add solar panel systems to 75 of its restaurants, according to a recent article. Installations are already underway at the chain’s outlets in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Denver, where the company is based.
Chipotle's installation of solar panels on 75 of its stores is anticipated to reduce their carbon emmissions by 41 million pounds.Each restaurant’s panels will produce a combined total of 500 KwH of energy, making the chain the largest direct producer of solar energy in the restaurant industry. The energy generated by the roof-mounted panels will reduce peak energy consumption in the restaurants, commonly occurring between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m , the article said. As this is when peak demand occurs across the grid, this will help Chipotle’s managers avoid having to pay peak energy rates. This is a particular problem for fast-food restaurant franchise owners, whose thin profit margins depend on volume sales.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 9:56 am
In addition to the obvious benefits of reduced solar heat gain, shading devices can help achieve LEED points also based on their material content.Fabric shading devices—a diverse set of products ranging from traditional awnings to futuristic woven metal mesh—can help a building achieve LEED certification in a number of ways. These shading features not only reduce glare while providing thermal and UV solar protection, they can enhance daylighting and reduce HVAC demands.
Of course, the reduction in heat gain provided by shading devices is straightforward—thereby addressing Energy and Atmosphere (EA) Credit 1, Optimize Energy Performance—but incorporating fabric shading devices as part of a building’s exterior envelope can also contribute to a building’s LEED-worthiness in less obvious ways.
For example, a fabric shading system can earn a project up to two points for Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 4.2, Recycled Content, if the shade in question...
Monday, November 9, 2009 at 7:01 am
Last week, USGBC launched its new Pilot Credit Library, a unique “wiki” approach to facilitating the introduction of new prerequisites and credits into the LEED system, Tropolism.com reports.
The Pilot Credit Library website explains the central importance that a credit-by-credit pilot process has in LEED v.3, the newest version of LEED that was released in April 2009. Credit piloting is a valuable addition in that it enables the LEED rating system to remain adaptable: it allows the introduction of new ideas to LEED without waiting for the launch of a new version of the rating system.
The Pilot Credit Library works thus: project teams pursuing certification under LEED 2009 are encouraged to review pilot credits that are currently available on the Pilot Credit Library website. Teams that wish to participate in the testing of these pilot credits and prerequisites fill out a project registration form, and then incorporate the credit in question into their project. In turn,...
Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 6:22 am
The Atlanta headquarters of the 50,000-member American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, commonly known as ASHRAE, recently received a LEED-Platinum rating from the USGBC. The building joins an elite group: it is one of only six Platinum-rated buildings in the state of Georgia.
Comprising an office building dating from 1965 (which was renovated in 2008) and a new 4,500 square foot addition, ASHRAE viewed its 34,500 square foot headquarters as the perfect vehicle to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, thereby “walking the talk,” according to a press release from the organization.
The building’s LEED-worthy features address optimization of energy use, heat island reduction, water-efficient landscaping, materials reuse and water use reduction. To these ends, a the building’s roof was retrofitted with a reflective roof membrane; landscaping was edited to eliminate the need for landscaping irrigation; over 75 percent of the...
Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 5:25 am
The city of Evanston, Illinois—a Chicago suburb of over 74,000 that is most well-known as the home of Northwestern University—recently enacted a new law requiring all new commercial buildings in the city to be built to a LEED-Silver level or better, according to a recent article. Evanston joins an ever-increasing roster of cities and towns nationwide that are making LEED a requirement for different kinds of building projects, as reported by this blog in August.
Evanston is now requiring all commercial buildings to achieve LEED Silver or better.Evanston’s ordinance applies specifically to new commercial construction over 10,000 square feet in the city at the moment, while a plan to extend the requirement to interior renovations is also in the works.
Evanston is somewhat unique compared to other cities that have enacted LEED-related ordinances, in that it deals with private building projects in particular. As this article explains, this is a reaction to the Evanston...
Friday, November 6, 2009 at 5:40 am
The owners of the iconic Taipei 101 tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings, are instituting a $1.8 million renovation scheme over the next 18 months that will bring the building up to a LEED-Gold standard, a recent article reports.
The 101-story building, the centerpiece of the Taipei skyline, was the tallest building in the world, upon its completion in 2004. It was knocked out of the top spot in 2007 when the Burj Dubai was completed.
The renovation will result in a savings of up to 20 million New Taiwan Dollars (TWD), equivalent to over $600,000 yearly, while cutting the building’s power and water consumption by 10 percent. Project managers expect that waste emissions will be cut by an equivalent amount.
“Taipei 101 aims to raise people’s awareness about our environment and be a pioneer of international green building certification for existing buildings,” Harace Lin, Chairman of the Taipei Financial Center Corporation, said.
Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 9:11 am
The Historic Vine Street Village project at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden recently received a Platinum certification from USGBC, making the Cincinnati Zoo the greenest zoo in the country, according to a recent article.
Cincinnati’s zoo is the first in the country with multiple LEED projects and the 2nd zoo in the country to receive Platinum certification. Historic Vine Street Village is the first Platinum project in the city of Cincinnati and the third Platinum-rated project to be certified in Ohio.
The Cincinatti Zoo is the greenest zoo in the nation, boasting multiple LEED certified buildings.The other LEED-certified project at the Cincinnati Zoo is the Harold C. Schott Education Center, which opened in 2006. Historic Vine Street Village is a collection of buildings housing the ticketing, guest relations, and membership departments, and were designed by Cornette-Violetta Architects of Cincinnati.
The buildings’ LEED-worthy features include 10 kW of...
Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7:41 am
When guessing which state is the top producer of wind energy, chances are you’d name a Midwestern state such as Iowa, given its gently rolling expanses and growing reputation as a center for alternative energies, such as biofuel.
But Iowa is actually the first runner-up. The winner? Texas.
According to a recent article, the world’s largest wind farm recently began operation there this month, and the state now has almost three times as much wind power capacity as Iowa, giving it a comfortable lead. Meanwhile, California leads the nation in the production of solar energy, with new technologies such as solar roofing tiles (as mentioned in the previous post) taking root. How did these two states, considered polar opposites to some, come to be the two leaders in the renewable energy race?
Wind turbines in Texas, the nation's leader in renewable wind energy production.The article cites the sheer size and availability of empty land as a partial reason for Texas’ success....
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 8:56 am
A recent article points to the emergence of shingles, tiles, and other building materials that are able to harness solar energy without the typically bulky appearance of roof-mounted solar panels.
Though these new technologies have not supplanted the solar panel yet, they do point the way to a more aesthetically pleasing and energy-conscious future, proponents claim.
Alfonso Velosa III, one of the authors of a report on the development of these “building-integrated photovoltaics,” shared his enthusiasm with the New York Times. “The new materials are part of the building itself, not an addition, and they are taking photovoltaics to the next level — an aesthetic one.”
Solar tiles, a type of building-integrated photovoltaic, are visually appealing while still able to harness free solar power.Roofing tiles to match the styles of homes across the country—from the terra-cotta tiles commonly found in California and the desert Southwest, to shingles that...