Green Building News

Green Building News September 2007

September 7, 2007

Call for Submissions Designing & Building with FSC Award

Award to Recognize Building Project That Has Furthered the Cause of Responsible Forest Management

The Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) has announced a call for submissions for the third annual Designing & Building with FSC Award. This annual award recognizes building projects that have furthered responsible forest management through their purchase of FSC-certified wood products. The winning project will be announced at the GreenBuild ’07 Conference and Expo in Chicago, Illinois, from November 7-9, 2006. GreenBuild is the annual conference of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Ned Daly, chief operating officer of FSC-US, stated, “the Designing & Building with FSC Award is a positive signal to the marketplace that creating buildings with the use of FSC-certified wood products from well-managed forests has its rewards. In addition to having the peace of mind that the wood products they used did not derive from an area of social conflict or where high conservation values are threatened, previous award winners have enjoyed great media attention in the green building sector for their efforts.”

This award is open to owners, architects, interior designers, general contractors, builders, consultants or other professionals. Projects can be any building type, including commercial, institutional, mixed-use or residential. To submit a project, it must have used a significant amount (at least 50 percent of the new wood by cost) of FSC-certified wood and been completed during or since 2004.

Projects will be judged on the use of wood, inclusion of FSC- certified wood, efforts to progress certified forest products market transformation, overall wood design and appropriate wood use. To learn more about the award and download an application form, please go to the Green Building section of the FSC-US website. All applications must be received by 5:00pm (PST), Friday, September 14th, 2007.

The selection committee that will ultimately choose the winner consists of architects from around the country, representatives from the non-profit organizations Ecotrust, Dovetail Partners and Rocky Mountain Institute, representatives from Tembec Forest Products and Royal Plywood (both are suppliers of FSC-certified products) and a representative from Environmental Design & Construction magazine.

The award winner will be featured in a profile on the ‘Green Building’ page of the FSC-US website and featured in green building related print media.

 

DOE Announces More Stringent Criteria for ENERGY STAR® Refrigerators

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced increased energy efficient criteria for refrigerators carrying the ENERGY STAR® label. In order to qualify, full-size refrigerators must be a minimum of 20 percent more efficient than current federal energy efficiency standards, an increase from the existing 15 percent minimum. The new criteria, drafted with input from stakeholders and two rounds of public comments, will go into effect on April 28, 2008.

According to first-year annual projected sales data after April 28, 2008, 2.2 million ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerators will be sold, saving American families up to $23.5 million annually on their electric bills and over 230 million kilowatt hours of energy - enough to light every household in Washington, DC, for more than five months.

Current ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerators use 65 percent less energy than refrigerator models in 1980. It is estimated that any increase in product price for an ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerator would be offset within 3-5 years from the time of purchase by reduced electricity bills over 3-5 years from the time of purchase. Freezers and compact refrigerators are not included in these new criteria. ENERGY STAR® criteria for refrigerators were last changed in January 2004.

ENERGY STAR® is a joint DOE-EPA program, formed in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership that seeks to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. DOE and EPA work to offer businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy and money, while also helping to protect our environment. More than 9,000 organizations have joined ENERGY STAR® as partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses.

 

FTC Announces New EnergyGuide Label

Will Display Estimated Yearly Operating Costs Prominently on Most Appliances

The Federal Trade Commission today announced it has concluded a two-year review of the FTC’s Appliance Labeling Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 305) and, after substantial public comment and consumer research, has amended the Rule to improve the design and content of the EnergyGuide label required on most new appliances sold in the United States. The yellow EnergyGuide label, familiar to most appliance shoppers, helps consumers compare the operating costs of competing models and aids them in identifying high-efficiency models that will reduce their energy use.

The new EnergyGuide label (see illustration) has a streamlined look and will display estimated yearly operating costs prominently for most appliance types. This estimated cost information, which will appear on the labels in dollars per year, will provide consumers with a clear context to compare the energy efficiency of different appliance models. It also will help consumers assess trade-offs between the energy costs of their appliances and other expenditures. The new EnergyGuide label design will continue to display energy consumption information (e.g., annual electricity use) as a secondary disclosure for most labeled products.

The Regulatory Review Process
The amendments announced today can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release and will appear shortly in a notice published in the Federal Register. As directed by Section 137 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the FTC initiated a two-year rulemaking to consider the effectiveness of the consumer products appliance labeling program in assisting consumers with their purchasing decisions and in improving energy efficiency.

Over the course of the proceeding, the Commission held a public workshop, conducted consumer research and sought comments on proposed amendments to the Rule. As part of this process, the Commission explored a broad range of issues, including the effectiveness of the EnergyGuide label, its design and content and possible alternative label designs. The amendments announced today contain a new design for the yellow EnergyGuide label and several other changes to existing requirements.

 

RIMA Offers Special Program Luncheon at Metalcon 2007

The Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association (RIMA) will be presenting a special program workshop and luncheon at the 2007 Metalcon show in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The workshop will be held on Thursday, October 4th beginning with lunch at Noon in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
 
The seminar is entitled “Reflective Insulation, Radiant Barriers & IRCCs in Metal Buildings (R-Values & Thermal Performance).” Attendees will learn a variety of things including about R-Values and their test methods. How you get them, what they tell us, and how they compare to other insulation products. In addition to the R-Values, the session will cover how the thermal performance of different insulation products and insulation systems can have a greater impact on the energy efficiency of metal buildings. Energy conservation and efficiency are more important than ever, and the information covered in this program will prove invaluable to those interested in constructing more energy efficient buildings.

 

Green Skyline - October 3

Take a walk through the buildings that make Portland, Oregon's skyline among the greenest in the world. Five of Portland's most innovative high performance buildings will open their doors to show the public what smart design, construction and operations look like. Thinking of a green office renovation or new green building? Are your clients asking about natural ventilation, green cleaning products and energy efficiency? Take the tour and learn how you can contribute to Portland's green skyline.

 

Green Building Expo - October 5th and 6th

The two-day Expo, beginning Friday, Oct. 5 in Scottsdale AZ, will feature more than 50 programs and workshops and more than 100 exhibits showcasing state-of-the-art products and services that support sustainability and resource efficiency. All programs and events at the Green Building Expo are FREE and open to the public.


National Solar Tour - October 6

Find out how your neighbors are trimming their energy bills, increasing their energy independence and taking steps to address global warming during the National Solar Tour. The American Solar Energy Society is coordinating its 12th annual event in what is the largest demonstration of installed renewable energy technologies and energy efficient building practices in the U.S. Join more than 100,000 participants in 46 states on public tours of solar powered and energy efficient homes and buildings to learn about current solar technologies and rebates available. Find a tour near you.

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