Green Building News

Green Building News October 2006

October 17, 2006

World Trade Center Complex Will Go for LEED® Gold Certification

The rebuilding of the World Trade Center is in many ways a memorial to those who lost their lives in the 2001 September 11 attacks and it is a tribute that these buildings will also be built to the highest green building standards. N.Y. Governor George Pataki announced that the Freedom Tower, World Trade Center Office Towers 2, 3, and 4, as well as the World Trade Center Memorial and Memorial Museum will all be designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED Gold certification requirements.

This groundbreaking announcement was made five years after the devastating attacks and includes an entire package of energy and environmental measures that will be incorporated into the design of the World Trade Center redevelopment. Plans for the Freedom Tower and other facilities at the World Trade Center site will feature state-of-the-art energy technologies to better protect environmental resources, utilize renewable energy sources, and maximize energy efficiency.
These buildings join over half a billion square feet of construction projects already involved with the LEED program, including World Trade Center 7, which was certified as LEED Gold in March 2006. These facilities will also be built to a design standard that is 20 percent more efficient than the New York Energy Conservation Construction Code.

"The decision to achieve LEED Gold is a fitting tribute to the importance of the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Using LEED sends a clear message that our buildings must be safe, healthy places for us to live and work," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "New York is to be commended for its leadership; the World Trade Center buildings will stand as a symbol of New York's courage and commitment to a healthy and sustainable future."

Governor Pataki also announced an agreement with Silverstein Properties that calls for the Freedom Tower and each of the World Trade Center Office Towers to utilize cutting edge fuel cell technology to increase efficiency and provide secure clean on-site power generation. These fuel cell installations, totaling 4.8 MW of power generation, will together constitute one of the largest fuel cell installations in the world.

"The redevelopment will be a global example of green building design and a constant reminder of our commitment to break the cycle of dependence on foreign energy," said the Governor. "By moving forward with state-of-the-art design and guidelines, New York will once again show the world our ingenuity, innovation and commitment to building a stronger, brighter future for all."

The creation of a "green" World Trade Center site builds on the progress in Battery Park City, the neighborhood closest to the site and one of the most environmentally responsible neighborhoods in the country. Battery Park City is home to The Solaire, the world's first green residential high rise and LEED Gold building, and Goldman Sachs is constructing a new office tower that will be designed to earn LEED Gold certification.

"LEED certification for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex demonstrates the resiliency of the United States," Fedrizzi continued. "Not only is our nation restoring the areas devastated by the terrorist attacks, but we are also doing so in a way that highlights our commitment to-and belief in-the future."


Entry Period Underway for Green Building Awards

Entries are now being sought for NAHB's National Green Building Awards, which recognize individuals, companies and organizations for helping to move green into the mainstream of the housing industry through their designs and construction practices.

New this year is a green land development award, which honors resource-efficient site design and development practices, including onsite recycling, preservation of trees and innovative storm water retentionfeatures.

The annual awards will be presented during ceremonies at the association's National Green Building Conference, which will be held in St. Louis on March 25 to 27.

The awards honor achievements in seven categories:

Advocate of the Year
Green Building Program of the Year
Outstanding Green Marketing Program
Green Project of the Year - Single-Family
Green Project of the Year - Multifamily
Green Project of the Year - Land Development
Green Project of the Year - Remodeling

Members are invited to submit a completed application package by Dec. 29, 2006.

For project awards, construction must have been started by June 2005 and substantially completed by December 2006. Winners will be notified by Feb. 15, 2007.


How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take to Protect the Environment and Save $30?

Saving $30, and protecting the environment, is as easy as changing a light bulb. If every American household changed a single light bulb to an Energy Star bulb, it would provide enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes, while saving consumers money.

"Change A Light, Change The World," which started this month, is an annual campaign by EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) that encourages Americans to replace a conventional bulb or fixture in the home or workplace with one that has earned the government's Energy Star label for energy efficiency. This year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is joining the campaign to extend its reach.

"Simply replacing a normal light bulb with an Energy Star bulb not only protects the environment and saves energy, but it will also help families save on their utility bills," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "HUD is especially concerned with the impact of utility costs on affordable housing. Low and moderate-income families spend a disproportionately large share of their incomes on utilities and are particularly vulnerable to spikes in energy costs."

Energy Star qualified bulbs and fixtures use one-third the energy of traditional models and last up to 10 times longer. In fact, consumers can save more than $30 in utility costs over the lifetime of one bulb. Replacing the most frequently used lights at home will yield the most savings.

Individuals who pledged during last year's "Change a Light, Change the World" Campaign will prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 3,000 vehicles and save $2 million in energy costs.

The less energy we use, the less energy electric utilities must generate, and less demand means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. If homeowners change just one bulb to an Energy Star qualified bulb they will prevent the release of more than 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Americans are invited to visit the Energy Star Web site to join the more than 110,000 who have pledged to replace at least one light at home, and see the positive difference even small energy-saving actions at home can make.


Brownfields 2006 Comes to Boston, November 13-15

Cosponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and International City/County Management Association, Brownfields 2006 will feature nearly 100 educational sessions and a multitude of other learning opportunities, including an exhibit hall, poster presentations, and mobile workshops. Anyone with an interest in brownfields redevelopment is encouraged to attend. Registration information at:


Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2006 - November 15-17

Greenbuild is held in Denver, Colorado this year and features three days of educational programs, workshops, tours and speakers alongside an expansive exhibit hall and sponsors. Organized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Registration information at:


Ecobuild Federal® 2006, December 4-7

Annual gathering in Washington, D.C. for federal government and AEC professionals and who design, construct, manage facilities and specify building products, materials and services. Exhibit accompanied by three-day conference program, committee meetings and technical sessions.
For more information visit:

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