Green News — Feb/Mar, 2014

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Ace Hardware Acquires Emery-Waterhouse

Ace Hardware Corp., the nation's largest retailer-owned hardware-supply co-op, has acquired Portland, Oregon based Emery-Waterhouse, which distributes a wide variety of building materials to independent lumber, paint, industrial and hardware outlets.

Emery-Waterhouse's management team stay in place, and the company will continue supplying independent retailers as an independently managed subsidiary of Ace Hardware. Emery-Waterhouse has been a member of Distribution America, a national buying group composed of independently owned two-step distributors.


Building Science Online Training

Blue House Energy’s on-line course, Building Science Basics, enables builders to hone their knowledge of building science and energy efficiency, and understand the ‘why’ behind energy efficiency measures. The coursework is graphically rich, interactive, and accessible. For instance, Building Science Basics, which qualifies for BPI continuing education credits, is made up of 3 modules that can be consumed in 10-minute chunks. There are practice exercises, quizzes, and a final exam that leads to a certificate of completion.

“For those who have been away from school for a long time, online, self-paced courses such as ours are a great way to step back into training,” says Shawna Henderson, CEO of Blue House Energy. "The Building Science Basics course could easily become integral to certification programs for all tradespeople.”

For a video preview, visit


Trex 2013 4th-Quarter Sales Increase 38%

The Trex Company announced that net sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled $63.8 million, compared to $46.2 million for the same period of 2012 – an increase of 38%. Net sales for all of 2013 totaled $343 million, an increase of 11% over the previous year. “We brought 2013 to a very strong finish,” said Ronald W. Kaplan, President/CEO of Trex. “Our best-in-class high-performance product platform, coupled with our recently revised pricing strategy, is being well received in the marketplace."

Trex is the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking materials, with a product line produced from materials certified as 95% recycled.


50,000th Green Housing Unit Certified as LEED-H

Since 2007, t U.S. Green Building Council has certified that 50,000 residential units have met the standards for its LEED for Homes – making it the world’s most widely used residential green building program. From 392 housing units LEED-certified in 2007, the figure jumped to nearly 900 units certified within the year 2008 and nearly 3,000 certified within 2009. In 2012 and 2013 alone, USGBC certified more than 15,000 and 17,000 housing units, respectively.

Of that number 74 percent are within multifamily buildings, and 44 percent are classified as affordable housing. More than 82,000 units under construction are in the pipeline for LEED certification. Advantage of LEED homes include enhanced property value, healthier indoor environments, and energy and water savings that average 20 to 30 percent.


Green Home Building Reached $36 Billion in 2013

Green homes comprised 23% of overall residential construction in 2013 and are expected to grow to as high as 33% of the market by 2016, according on a study released at the 2014 International Builders Show. In raw dollars, that represents a leap from $36 billion in 2013 to as much as $105 billion in 2016.

The market for green homes accelerated during the housing downturn when green builders specializer encountered more consistent demand than comparable firms. The study contends that the top drivers to increased green home building activity include changes in codes and regulations, increased energy costs, wider access to affordable green products, and competitive advantage.

In 2013, 16% of builders were dedicated to green building with more than 90% of their projects green, and another 20% were highly invested in green activity with 61% to 90% of their projects green. Remodelers are also increasing their green focus, with 16% reporting over 60% of their projects are green today, which is expected to grow 32% by 2018.


Eastman Chemical Discontinues Perrenial Wood Line

Eastman Chemical Company has discontinued its Perennial Wood™ product line and business operations. The extended-life wood product utilized an acetylization process similar to the more widely known Accoya Wood system. Perennial Wood products will remain available in the market while supplies last.

“A lot of talented Eastman employees and external partners worked very hard on this project, and this outcome is not a reflection of their dedication or hard work,” said Tim Dell, vice president of innovation, marketing, sales and pricing at Eastman. “Additionally, this decision was not made based on product performance, but rather on the challenging economics of the product market.”

Eastman will provide continued support, and will honor the 25-year limited residential warranty for product sold at retail under the Perennial Wood brand name. Warranties must be registered within 30 days of purchase at or through the customer center at 800-530-7495. To learn where products can be purchased, visit


U.S. Mayors Plan Switch to LED Lighting

U.S. cities aim to significantly expand their use of energy-saving technologies over the next five years, according to a recent survey of nearly 300 mayors. 67% of municipalities plan to increase their deployment of new energy technologies over the next five years, with 82% of those cities looking to convert to LED and other energy-efficient lighting.

The study, which was sponsored by Philips Lighting, noted that LED/energy efficient lighting was rated as the “most promising” technology for reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Retrofitting public buildings ranked as a top priority in improving the energy efficiency of city infrastructure. Mayors expect to utilize community revenues, supplemented by partnerships with the private sector, as the sources of financing these technologies.  

“This survey shows… how mayors are leaders in energy innovation, deploying new technologies, pursuing new efficiency systems, reducing their communities’ energy use and lowering costs for their taxpayers. Their best practices as well as the findings of this survey confirm that investing dollars in city energy efforts is a very good investment for the private sector and the nation,” said Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith.

“Mayors remain optimistic about the energy technology marketplace, with two in three cities anticipating increased investment, whether it is for state-of-the-art lighting or solar energy systems. It is not only cities who have a stake in this success, but the U.S. economy when new industries prosper because of these homegrown efforts,” added Gresham, Oregon Mayor Shane Bemis.

The survey, titled "Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities," was unveiled during a meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors 82nd Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. The survey can be found at


New Study Finds That Old Trees Grow Faster, Store More Carbon

Trees do not slow in their growth rate as they get older and larger — instead, their growth keeps accelerating, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
"This finding contradicts the usual assumption that tree growth eventually declines as trees get older and bigger," says Nate Stephenson, the study's lead author and a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The study was an international collaboration of 38 researchers from research universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.  The researchers compiled growth measurements of 673,046 trees belonging to 403 tree species from tropical, subtropical and temperate regions across six continents.

This continuously increasing growth rate means that on an individual basis, large, old trees are better at absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon that is absorbed or sequestered through natural processes lowers the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and can help counter-balance the amount of CO2 people generate.


Whirlpool Switches to Honeywell's Low-Emission LBA

Whirlpool Corporation has begun utilizing Honeywell's Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent in the sustainable energy efficient insulation found in its U.S.-made refrigerators and freezers. The global warming potential (GWP) of the new foam blowing agent is 99.9% lower than the foam blowing agents most commonly used in residential refrigerators, with no loss in performance. This is the first use of the innovative blowing agent in home appliances.

Solstice LBA has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is listed under the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP). Whirlpool has already voluntarily begun phasing out its use of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) in its U.S. refrigerators and freezers, and when the company completes the switch to Soistice by the end of 2014, the impact on global warming will be the equivalent of removing more than 400,000 cars from the road.


Benjamin Moore Issues Color Trend Forecast

Benjamin Moore Paint has unveiled its Color of the Year for 2014 to be "Breath of Fresh Air" (color number 806) as part of its Color Trends 2014 palette. Announced by newly appointed Benjamin Moore Creative Director Ellen O'Neill at the opening of the company's New York City showroom during Fall Market 2013 for architects and designers, Breath of Fresh Air is a gorgeous, ethereal blue serving as a "new neutral" that is livable and functional.

For its 2014 Color Trends collection, Benjamin Moore displays a collection that is not only rich and enduring, but livable for today's designer, as each hue resonates with many different styles."We know that color is the ultimate form of personal expression," said O'Neil, "so we curated this collection to help consumers create beautiful spaces with confidence." As color rarely exists in isolation, Benjamin Moore designed a palette of 23 colors that not only stand each on their own but also work well in harmony allowing the transitions of spaces and colors to flow seamlessly.


New GSA Recommendation Alters Sustainable Wood Standard

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has updated its recommendation on the federal government’s use of third party green building certification systems to include both the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED 2009 standard or the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes 2010 certification system. At the same time, GSA announced that it will conduct more regular reviews in order to keep up with the latest green building tools that the market has to offer.

While there are a variety of key differences between the two certification programs, the most noteworthy is the certified wood credit. LEED issues credits only for FSC-certified lumber, while the Green Globes standard awards points for both the FSC and the less stringent SFI standard.

At the same time, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative - SFI - is in the midst of engaging its stakeholders to develop more sustainable practices for its SFI 2015-2019 Standard. A 60-day public comment period running from January 6 - March 6, 2014 is designed to provide a transparent opportunity for anyone interested in the future of the program. The draft SFI 2015-2019 Standard includes new performance measures to conserve biodiversity in fiber sourcing; limit conversion of one forest type to another; and expand the definition of "controversial sources," which are not allowed in SFI-labeled products.


Owens Corning Issues EPD for XPS Insulation

Owens Corning has announced a UL-certified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for its FOAMULAR® Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation – a first in North America for XPS rigid foam insulation. The EPD describes the environmental impact of the products based upon an established set of product category rules and independently verified life cycle assessment (LCA) data from cradle-to-grave. The assessment of a product’s environmental impact includes parameters such as raw materials extraction, transportation, manufacturing, packaging, use and disposal at end of life.

“EPDs help architects, designers, specifiers, and other purchasers make more informed sustainable purchasing decisions and meet industry standards, including the recently launched LEEDâ v4 rating system,” said Gale Tedhams, director of sustainability for Owens Corning.


Study Finds 70-Year Expected Life For Accoya Wood

The independent Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) has published a new report on the performance of Accoya wood, finding that its expected service life can extend to 70 years when used for window joinery and glazed doors.
Accoya is produced using Accsys Technologies’ patented acetylation process, that modifies wood to the core.  The process delivers outstanding levels of performance, including dimensional stability, class-1 durability and sustainability. Made with FSC certified wood from legal, manageable and sustainable forests, Accoya is in an attractive wood product which is Cradle to Cradle Gold certified, which is perfect for a variety of uses from windows and doors to external cladding, structural projects and decking.


Survey: Consumers Favor Eco-Friendly Packaging

Perception Research Services (PRS) recently conducted a survey among 1,515 shoppers to gauge perceptions of environmentally friendly packaging. Roughly two-thirds of shoppers surveyed said that they were concerned about the environment, and over 50 percent of Americans stated that they were more motivated to buy products that are supplied in environmentally friendly packaging.
"While many marketers are already taking steps to address environmental concerns, our research shows that they can benefit from doing more to help shoppers bridge the gap between their level of concern and taking action," stated Jonathan Asher, Executive Vice President at PRS.


2014 HVAC Expo Headed for Record Participation

The 2014 AHR Expo -- January 21-23 in New York City -- will be the largest HVACR event ever held in the Northeast.  The Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI. The Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is an honorary sponsor. For more information visit the Show’s website at

Optimism for improvement for the HVACR industry continue to grow, according to a recent survey sent to more than 1,000 manufacturers. 90% believe sales will increase, with 32% expecting sales increases of more than 10%. When asked which HVACR market segments would be the most promising in the new year, “Hospitals/Health Care” ranked first, followed by “Light Commercial,”  “Heavy Commercial”, “Data/Telecom Centers” and “Office Buildings."

Over 10.6 Billion Square Feet of LEED Buildings
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its second installment of the LEED in Motion report series: Places and Policies. The report states that there are nearly 60,000 LEED green building projects across the globe, spanning 10.6 billion square feet. Notably, Canada, India, China, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil lead the way for countries with the highest number of projects outside the U.S.
Remodeling Market Continues 2013 Growth
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) third-quarter Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) data of current and future remodeling business conditions continues to show soaring growth. Quarter-over-quarter increases are evident in nearly all components measuring remodeling activity.
Entering into the holiday season, which has been a slower season in recent years, remodelers are reporting the highest overall rating on business conditions for the sixth consecutive quarter. “Pent-up demand continues to drive the current remodeling market,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning & Research Committee and president of O’Grady Builders, based in Drexel Hill, Pa. “The general sense is that consumers are tired of waiting and feel more secure about spending money, which is also reflected in the higher values in jobs sold.”
Visit the site for more information
Study Forecasts Growth for Global Green Building
A new report by technology research firm TechNavio forecasts the Global Green Building Material market to grow by 17.9 percent over the period 2012-2016. Among the key factors is the increase is initiatives by government bodies. But analysts point to the need for strategic cost reduction, noting that a lack of public awareness of benefits of green building material pose a challenge to greater growth levels.
Chinese Hardwood OKed by International Trade Commision

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final negative determination in the unfair trade investigation of Hardwood and Decorative Plywood from China. The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP), the organization which filed the unfair trade petition in September 2012, expressed its deep disappointment over the ITC vote. Jeff Levin, counsel for CFTHP, noted that the ITC’s vote came despite the fact that all Chinese imports of the product were found to be unfairly traded in the U.S. market by substantial margins.
Mr. Levin stated: “This industry, which has seen large portions of the U.S. market for hardwood plywood captured by unfairly traded imports to the pronounced detriment of this manufacturing industry, will face the continued threat posed by Chinese imports. We do not believe that the ITC’s determination is reflective of the facts presented in this investigation -- or the realities of the marketplace.”
But, Mr. Levin noted, “As an American manufacturing industry, producers in this country will continue its fight for fair trade -- even with a demonstrably unlevel playing field.”

For more information, visit

Vinyl Institute Recognizes Companies for "Environmental Excellence"
The Vinyl Institute’s annual Environmental Excellence Awards are based on outstanding performance under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and an outstanding track record of environmental performance for five or more years.
“These awards illustrate our industry’s unwavering commitment to concern for worker safety and the environment,” said VI President Dick Doyle. “Over the past 26 years this commitment has resulted in an 83 percent reduction in vinyl chloride emissions, while our industry’s PVC resin production has increased by 76 percent according to EPA figures.”
Vinyl Institute’s winner for 22 consecutive years of outstanding performance was Shintech, Inc.’s Freeport, Texas facility. Other awards went to: Oxy Vinyls, LP’s plant in Deer Park, Texas plant, for 12 consecutive years of achievement, and Oxy Vinyls, Pedricktown, New Jersey plant for 7 consecutive years of achievement; Formosa Plastics' Point Comfort, Texas plant for 5 consecutive years of achievement; Occidental Chemical’s Ingleside, Texas plant for 5 consecutive years of achievement; and Westlake Chemical’s Calvert City, Kentucky plant for 5 consecutive years of achievement. Offers Tools for Code-Compliant Walls
The Engineered Wood Association (APA) has relaunched, a free resource providing builders, architects, specifiers and code officials with tools to design and build safe, durable and code-compliant walls. The site compiles APA’s extensive library of wall-construction content, including how-to instructions, technical information, and CAD details for wood-frame construction, all in one convenient location.((Recent enhancements to the site include:
  •  APA Simplified Wall Bracing(: This section features the new APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method, which offers a more flexible, streamlined approach to wall bracing. The APA method expands on the simplified method included in the 2012 International Residential Code to make it applicable to a greater number of house plans. Builders can download APA System Report SR-102: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous Sheathing, Form SR-102, for full instructions on how to apply the APA method, as well as a quick-reference brochure that highlights the method’s benefits and four key steps.
  •  Advanced Framing: (In addition to providing the benefits of using advanced framing, this section offers APA's Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400, which outlines tactics to eliminate unnecessary and redundant framing members, providing more space for cavity insulation while reducing material waste. Advanced Framing: Time to Green up Your Structure, is a one-hour recorded webinar that describes advanced framing concepts and techniques. The webinar is available to view on demand.
  •  CAD Details: (Twenty new Advanced Framing CAD details highlight several advanced framing techniques, including large-opening single headers, ladder junctions, and openings in non-load-bearing walls. All of the details are available to download free in several common file formats.
LED Upgrade App For Commercial Building Owners

Lighting manufacturer Hubbell Lighting has developed a program specifically directed at helping commercial buildings upgrade their lighting by switching to LED lighting. The initiative, called creatchange®, helps building owners upgrade to new lighting technologies, resulting in up to a 3% increase in net operating income while at the same time improving the property value and attractiveness for tenants. Plus, the Cash Flow Positive program provides full project financing that can result in an immediate positive cash flow.
Commercial buildings represent over 80 billion square feet of space in the United States and consume 36% of all electricity. With studies showing over 36% of energy usage being wasted and lighting representing up to 30% of a typical building’s energy usage, an energy efficient lighting retrofit can represent one of the best ways for a building owner or manager to reduce costs. A well executed lighting retrofit that reduces energy usage by 60%
To learn more about Hubbell Lighting’s createchange® program for commercial buildings, visit
Tarkett Makes Recycling Program More Accessible
Tarkett’s ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program allows commercial flooring job scrap (rubber, vinyl and linoleum tile and sheet, wall base, floor finishing accessories and tread-cuttings) to be collected and returned to Tarkett to be repurposed or recycled. Since 2003, the program has recycled more than 91 million pounds of material in North America. (

Tarkett is now expanding the program by adding consolidators to the process. With trucks routinely delivering Tarkett product to distributors, the company realized those trucks could also transport materials slated for recycling on their return trip. Erv Parent and NRF Distributors, Inc. become the first distributors to take advantage of this new distribution/consolidation model.
Chicago's Commercial Buildings
Now Required to Report Energy Performance
The Chicago City Council'a new Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance requires the city’s largest buildings to benchmark their energy use for public disclosure. as a means to encourage property owners to improve energy efficiency. Municipal Code 18-14 covers an estimated 3,500 commercial, multifamily, and public sector buildings, representing less than 1% of the City’s buildings but 22% of total energy consumption. Merchandise Mart, Willis Tower, Chicago Public Schools and residential buildings with 50,000 square feet or more are covered by the ordinance. The city estimates the cost of compliance at $1,000 over two years for most buildings. Reporting requirements begin June 1, 2014 or June 1, 2015 based on building size.
IKEA to Begin Selling Solar Panels
According to an ABC News report, Ikea will begin selling solar panels to customers in the U.K. as a possible prelude to supplying solar in the U.S. An official for the home furnishings chain was quoted as saying that the company wants to make solar energy “an affordable reality for everyone.” Many of the international retailer's U.S. stores are already powered, in part, by solar panels and the company is also looking to add geothermal at many of its locations.
Milk Paint Earns Biobased Certification

The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. has earned USDA Biobased Certification for its traditional casein-based milk paint. The USDA Certified Biobased Product Label verifies that the paint’s renewable biobased ingredients meet or exceed USDA standards. Biobased products are materials composed of agricultural, forestry, or marine materials. Old Fashioned Milk Paint and the company's newest formula, SafePaint for walls, are made from natural materials including milk protein (casein), crushed limestone, clay and earth pigments.(( “We are pleased to take part in the USDA’s Biobased Labeling program and hope it will further set our natural paint apart from the many chemically produced paints currently on the market” said Anne Thibeau, the company’s president. (

GreenExpo365 Online Conference Coming Soon
The autumn online event on October 16 provides an easy-to-attend and free way for building professionals to learn the latest in green building practices. Perkins + Will Building Technology Researcher Ajla Aksamija, PhD, kicks off the day's AIA-registered continuing education webinars with a presentation on designing high-performance building facades. GreenExpo365 will be giving away copies of Dr. Aksamija's book "Sustainable Facades," via random drawing. Additional online educational sessions include
• "LEED V4 Update and Choosing the Right Path for Your Multifamily Project," presented by Kelsey Mullen, USGBC Director of Residential Building Development
• "Reaching Maximum Daylight and Ventilation," presented by Karen Davis of Milgard Windows and Doors

Green Roof System Installed on the Empire State Building

Four Xero Flor Green Roofs totaling 9,100 Square Feet have been installed on New York City's landmark Empire State Building: 21st floor east (3,450 square feet), 21st floor west (3,450 square feet), 25th floor northwest (1,000 square feet) and 30th floor west (1,200 square feet). The green roofs on the 21st floor feature rooftop patios with outdoor furniture for the enjoyment of office tenants.

“Xero Flor is a well-engineered system with the strength and durability required for the challenging conditions on the Empire State Building,” said Rainer Gerbatsch, RRC, LEED AP, president, Commercial Roofing Solutions, Inc., Clifton, N.J., roofing and waterproofing consultant for the project. “Xero Flor has a long-standing record of reliability, and we have had success with the system in other projects, most notably on the Javits Convention Center.”
For more information, visit
Residential Solar Energy System Prices Lower in 2013

The average cost residential solar panels continues to fall, thanks to a mix of federal solar tax credits, state subsidies, manufacturer rebates and solar installation loans have helped drive record sales and consumption of solar power.

The average installed price of residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) systems fell between 6-14% in 2012 depending on regional U.S. pricing, according to Tracking the Sun VI, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As hard costs decreased, consumer use of solar has increased; solar energy consumption in the first four months of 2013 is a third higher than the same period in 2012.
Rocky Mountain Institute Releases Solar Cost Reduction Roadmap

The Rocky Mountain Institute has released a report that examines how to substantially reduce solar photovoltaic (PV) “soft” costs over the next eight years. The report, Non-Hardware “Soft” Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013-2020, charts a pathway to achieve Department of Energy SunShot target costs of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020.

Soft costs account for more than 50 percent of total installed residential costs and over 40 percent of commercial costs. The report details the actions required to reduce these costs by 2020 across four key areas: customer acquisition; permitting, inspection, and interconnection; installation labor and financing. The report identified residential installation labor as facing the most uncertain near-term path toward roadmap targets.

“Even in light of drastic solar panel cost reductions over the past four decades, rooftop solar systems in the U.S. still are not economically competitive for the vast majority of commercial and residential customers,” said Jon Creyts, program director at Rocky Mountain Institute. “Soft cost reductions represent a major challenge and opportunity for stimulating SunShot-level PV deployment in the United States.”

Visit for more information.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 20-26
In advance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 20-26, the U.S. EPA is working to raise awareness of toxic lead hazards and spread information about ways to minimize or prevent exposures to lead. The Agency has a range of free information, outreach materials and other resources available online:
Throughout the year, EPA works proactively with professionals employed in the home and building renovation and repair trades to encourage their compliance with federal laws and regulations designed to prevent exposures to lead caused by renovation, repair and painting activities. EPA similarly strives to educate homeowners and consumers who do their own renovation, repair and painting, to follow lead safe work practices.
Information about EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program is available online:

New Website for Hardwood Specifiers

A new website has been launched to assist those using or specifying hardwood products, Specifically designed for woodworkers, architects, designers and hobbyists, this site provides a great deal of information on over 70 hardwood species.
The site allows users to compare working properties of multiple species at one time, as well as allowing woods to be sorted by their wood tone. For example, if you are designing a contemporary space and require a dark wood, you can simply sort for all of the available woods that fall into that category.
In addition to having wood grain photos and in-depth working properties for 26 Domestic woods and 45 Imported woods, there's also an Inspirations Gallery with photos of hardwood furniture, flooring, kitchens and woodwork. The site offers information on selecting the type of hardwood for a project, species specific information, finding a hardwood supplier, installation of hardwoods, repairing installation problems related to hardwood products, and finishing hardwoods.
The Hardwood Distributor’s Association represents some of the largest and best-known suppliers of hardwood lumber, hardwood plywood, hardwood moulding and hardwood architectural millwork.


More Than One BILLION Tons of Steel Recycled

More than one billion tons of steel have been recycled by the North American steel industry since 1988, according to the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), a division of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). SRI marks its 25th anniversary this year with this milestone achievement and the release of the 2012 steel recycling rates.

For 2012, the overall recycling rate for steel was 88 percent, with nearly 84 million tons of steel recycled. “The steel industry’s internationally-recognized energy efficiency, coupled with the recycling rate that is the highest of any material, proves our commitment to sustainability and resource conservation,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “For 25 years, steel’s recycling successes have been spearheaded by the SRI and we look forward


CABA launches Home & Building Automation Marketplace

The Continental Automated Buildings Association has introduced a new online tool for the home and building automation industry. In collaboration with MultiView, Inc., a Web publishing company, CABA has launched the Home and Building Automation Marketplace, an industry-driven search engine that features the sector's best suppliers and vendors. To receive a complimentary listing go to:


Two New Wood Environmental Product Declarations

The American Wood Council (AWC) and Canadian Wood Council (CWC) have announced the release of two new environmental product declarations (EPDs) for laminated veneer lumber and wood I-joists. This brings the available EPD total for North American wood products to six.  The previous four (released in May) include softwood lumber, softwood plywood, oriented strand board, and glued laminated timber.  
EPDs are standardized tools that provide information about the environmental footprint of the products they cover.  The North American wood products industry has taken its EPDs one step further by obtaining third-party verification from UL Environment, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories and an independent certifier of products and their sustainable attributes.
Based on international standards (ISO 14025 and ISO 21930), EPDs have worldwide applicability and include information about product environmental impacts such as use of resources, global warming potential, emissions to air, soil and water, and waste generation.
“With the U.S. Green Building Council membership’s recent approval of LEED v4 and its point recognition for disclosure and optimization of building product life-cycle impacts, the value of these six industry-wide EPDs in green building rating systems has taken a significant step forward,” said AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski.
For more information and to download currently available EPDs and Transparency Briefs for wood products, visit


Certainteed EPD for Sustainable Insulation

CertainTeed has become one of the first insulation manufacturers to provide third-party verification of its product's environmental performance by issuing its first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Sustainable Insulation®.

To create the EPD, UL Environment evaluated life cycle assessment data for CertainTeed’s fiber glass Sustainable Insulation on critical environmental impacts, such as raw material extraction and use, production processes, packaging, logistics, through end-of-life – providing independent verification of the data in accordance with ISO 14025. The new EPD joins CertainTeed's library of EPDs for acoustical ceiling solutions, which includes data on more than 21 of the company's ceiling product families.

"By issuing an EPD for Sustainable Insulation, we are providing transparent, reliable environmental information on the product's performance so our customers can be confident in its true environmental performance from cradle to grave," said Drew Brandt, vice president of marketing and R&D for CertainTeed's Insulation Group. "The EPD positions CertainTeed as a leading manufacturer that is prepared for the release of LEED v4, as new credits are available for published life cycle data."

Sustainable Insulation includes both pre- and post-consumer recycled glass and a sustainable, plant-based binder that contains no added formaldehyde, acrylics, dyes, or unnecessary fire retardants and is GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low chemical emissions. Rigorous monitoring and energy management at the plants has reduced the amount of energy needed to manufacture the product, and Sustainable Insulation's highly compressed packaging allows CertainTeed to transport more products on one truck from strategically located distribution centers, minimizing transportation impacts.

Sustainable Insulation can reduce energy costs throughout the life of a structure with no additional energy or maintenance. It is available in a variety of R-values ranging from R-11 to R-38 and is designed for use in standard wood stud and steel-frame wall and ceiling assemblies. Sustainable Insulation resists moisture absorption and won't settle or lose its R-value over time. Kraft-faced batts and rolls also act as a vapor retarder to help prevent condensation and mold growth in the wall cavity.

For more information and to view the full EPD, visit


Insulation Manufacturers Utlized Over 2 Billion Pounds of
Recycled Materials in the Making of Insulation Products in 2012
According the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, U.S. insulation manufacturers used almost 1.6 billion pounds of recycled glass in the production of residential, commercial, industrial, and air handling thermal and acoustical insulation in 2012. NAIMA Canada members  used nearly 300 million pounds.

In addition, U.S. and Canadian producers used more than 474 million pounds of recycled blast furnace slag in the production of thermal and acoustical insulation.  Since the Industry's recycling program began in 1992, NAIMA members' plants have diverted over 43.8 billion pounds of recycled materials from the waste stream.  "NAIMA members are committed to promoting sustainability by using recycled materials to produce energy-saving insulation products that improve a building's energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact," said Kate Offringa, President and CEO of NAIMA. "Fiber glass, rock wool and slag wool insulation are some of the best choices available for residential and commercial building."

While recycled content is just one indicator of a product's environmental impact, the survey results illustrate the significant impact that an industry can affect through the conscientious use of materials. For more information about the environmental benefits of fiberglass, rock wool and slag wool, visit or today.


Dept of Energy's Free Electricity Storage Handbook

The Electricity Storage Handbook is a how-to guide for utility and rural cooperative engineers, planners, and decision makers to plan and implement energy storage projects. The Handbook also serves as an information resource for investors and venture capitalists, providing the latest developments in technologies and tools to guide their evaluations of energy storage opportunities. It includes a comprehensive database of the cost of current storage systems in a wide variety of electric utility and customer services, along with interconnection schematics. A list of significant past and present energy storage projects is provided for a practical perspective.

The Handbook is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute in collaboration with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

New WaterSense Specification for Commercial Kitchens

The U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program has released a final specification for water- and energy-efficient commercial pre-rinse spray valves, the first commercial kitchen product eligible to earn the WaterSense label. Pre-rinse spray valves – used in commercial food service establishments to remove food waste from dishes prior to dishwashing – can account for nearly one-third of the water used in the typical commercial kitchen.  By utilizing a WaterSense modommercial kitchen could save more than 7,000 gallons of water annually and the amount of energy needed to power its convection oven for more than three weeks.


Free IAQ Guide from ASHRAE

To promote improved indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings, ASHRAE is offering a free guide for achieving enhanced IAQ. The Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction and Commissioning provides strategies to achieve good IAQ using proven technologies and without significantly increasing costs.

First published in 2009, the guide is the result of collaboration between ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Building Owners & Managers Association International, the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, and the U.S. Green Building Council… with funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The guide can be downloaded for free at

The free download is being offered in support of the presidential theme of 2013-14 ASHRAE President William P. “Bill” Bahnfleth, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, ASME Fellow. His theme, “Shaping the Next,” focuses, in part, on making buildings safe, healthy, productive, comfortable environments in harmony with nature.

“As we move forward in shaping the next generation of buildings and systems, good indoor air quality must be a central focus of our efforts,” Bahnfleth said. “The health and comfort of buildings occupants is too important to leave IAQ as an after-thought in design, construction and operation. By making this publication available to the industry, we are providing guidance to help ensure the use of best practices for good IAQ, allowing all of us to enjoy the benefits of a better indoor environment cost-effectively.”

The book describes 40 strategies for achieving critical IAQ objectives related to moisture management, ventilation, filtration and air cleaning and source control. It also highlights how design and construction teams can work together to ensure good IAQ strategies are incorporated from initial design through project completion.


Target Announces LEED Certification for Additional 44 Stores

Target Corporation has announced that an additional 44 Canadian stores have been awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This announcement means that all 68 newly launched Target locations have been awarded LEED certification - a first for any major retailer in Canada.

Target is pursuing LEED certification for all 124 stores scheduled to open in Canada this year through the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED Volume Program, which streamlines the certification process for buildings in both Canada and the U.S.

"Environmental sustainability at Target is fundamental to our business, and we have been working hard in Canada over the past few years to open our most sustainable collection of stores to date," said Derek Jenkins, senior vice president, External Relations, Target Canada. "We are confident that all 124 store locations opening this year will be awarded LEED certification, making Target a leader among Canadian mass retailers when it comes to having sustainable store buildings."

In order to obtain certification, remaining Target stores will undergo various rounds of audits throughout 2013, which must meet stringent criteria across five LEED categories including: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

NAHB Now Accepting Submissions for the 2014 NAHBGreen Awards

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is now accepting submissions for its 2014 NAHBGreen Awards. Each year, NAHB recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for excellence in residential green design and construction practices and for green building program and advocacy efforts.

The awards will be presented on Feb. 5 during an event held in conjunction with the 2014 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

“In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in green building, and the industry has responded by designing and constructing high-performance homes that reflect not only green and energy efficient principles, but also innovative design,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Each year, NAHB recognizes the very best work in this sector in its NAHBGreen Awards.”

In an effort to create a more streamlined submission process and to make it easier and quicker for applicants to apply, the applications for all Project of the Year categories have been revised this year and can be submitted online. The awards are open to both NAHB members and non-NAHB members. To be eligible for the Green Project of the Year categories, projects must have been started no earlier than January 2010 and substantially completed by December 2013.

Categories include: Project of the Year—Single Family, Project of the Year—Multifamily, Project of the Year—Remodel, Project of the Year—Green Site Development, and Advocate of the Year.

All homes and developments must be scored to either the 2008 or 2012 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard®, to ensure fair comparisons for judging purposes. This can be done by downloading the scoring spreadsheets at  

All entries must be received by Oct. 15, 2013. Application fees are $250 for Project of the Year categories and $150 for the Advocate of the Year award.

For more information, or to apply, please visit

World Energy Council: New report highlights alarming slowdown in energy efficiency improvements

The World Energy Council (WEC) will soon release a report detailing how more still needs to be done to unlock the potential of energy efficiency to deliver energy and carbon savings.

"Over recent years there has been a general slowdown in energy efficiency improvements.
The main concern is that absolute energy demand is still growing…” stated Dr Christoph Frei, WEC Secretary General. “While the progress highlighted in this report is encouraging, it is clearly not enough. We will need to develop new policies and strategies to meet the challenge of securing tomorrow’s energy today,”

The report, “World Energy Perspectives: Energy Efficiency Policies”, reviews the latest energy intensity trends and analyses the policies in 85 countries representing more than 95% of global consumption. It finds that since 1990 energy productivity improvements have helped avoid 9.6 gigatonnes of CO2emissions.

The World Energy Council (WEC) is a UN-accredited global energy body with more than 3000 member organizations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders. Further details at and @WECouncil


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