Green Building News

Green Building News September 1, 2010

Roofing Plant Paves the Way to Greener Operations, Recycling Nearly 100 Percent of Manufacturing Waste

CertainTeed Corporation's roofing plant in Shreveport, La., is teaming up with a Texas paving company to recycle nearly 100 percent of manufacturing waste. Paving the way with greener operations, CertainTeed is helping to divert approximately 15,000 tons of material from landfills each year. The waste is used by RK Hall of Texarkana to produce asphalt pavement used for highways and bridges.

"By finding an eco-friendly solution for disposing of scrap materials, the Shreveport plant is significantly reducing its environmental impact," says John Hardy, operational excellence leader for CertainTeed Roofing. "As a result of the partnership with RK Hall of Texarkana, the plant has also reduced transportation costs—a testament that going green has both environmental and economic benefits."

Using sustainable manufacturing practices, CertainTeed roofing offers a portfolio of 50 ENERGY STAR® rated products, many of which contribute to LEED certification and are eligible for energy efficiency tax credits through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. CertainTeed is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, plays an active role in the green building movement. For the second consecutive year, CertainTeed has been named ENERGY STAR partner of the year.


Housing Remains Highly Affordable for Sixth Consecutive Quarter

Bolstered by favorable interest rates and low house prices, housing affordability remained near its highest level nationwide for the sixth consecutive quarter since the series was first compiled nearly two decades ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released in mid-August.

The HOI indicated that 72.3 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. The index for the second quarter was slightly more affordable than the previous quarter and almost equaled the record-high 72.5 percent set during the first quarter of 2009.

Until 2009, the HOI rarely topped 67 percent and never reached 70 percent.

“Homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for almost a generation,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Interest rates continue to hover at historic low levels, the economy is beginning to rebound and with house prices starting to stabilize, conditions are beginning to draw home buyers back into the market, which is a positive step on the path to recovery.”

Syracuse, N.Y., was the most affordable major housing market in the country, edging out Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., which had held the top ranking for nearly five years. In Syracuse, 97.2 percent of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $64,300.

Also near the top of the list of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Among smaller housing markets, the most affordable was Springfield, Ohio, where 96.6 percent of homes sold during the second quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning a median-income of $56,800. Other smaller housing markets near the top of the index included Mansfield, Ohio; Bay City, Mich.; Monroe, Mich.; and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., respectively.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., continued to lead the nation as its least affordable major housing market during the second quarter of 2010. There, 19.9 percent of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the New York area’s median income of $65,600. This was the ninth consecutive quarter that the New York metropolitan division has occupied this position.

The other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability scale included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Honolulu, all metro areas that have lingered among the bottom rankings for several quarters.

San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif., was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the second quarter. Others near the bottom included Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Ocean City, N.J; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.; and Napa, Calif.


West Coast Green - Sept. 30 - Oct. 2

Held at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, West Coast Green offers a showcase for new and emerging products and technologies, an educational platform featuring experts, innovations and best practices - as well as a networking opportunity with thousands of participants.

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National Solar Tour - Oct 2 (in most areas)

The ASES National Solar Tour offers an opportunity to see how innovative green homes and buildings use solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies to reduce monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change. Now in its 15th year, this event is coordinated nationally by the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society in collaboration with dozens of partner organizations. It takes place annually during the first Saturday in October in conjunction with National Energy Awareness Month. Find a tour near you.


EEBA - Oct. 12-14

Sponsored by the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance, the 2010 Excellence in Building Conference & EXPO will be held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel in Oregon. The event serves as a cornerstone for building science education. and offers educational sessions at all levels of competency, covering every detail of the construction process.

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