From the desk of Alex Vondeling.

I’ve heard of voided concrete, but not yet used in any project.  This product by Cobiax USA Inc seems like a pretty intriguing green option.  I would assume it would not cost more and perhaps less than conventional structural concrete systems.  I checked with CVM (structural engineers).  While they  are familiar with voided concrete they have not used it in any of their projects – perhaps since steel and wood seem to be far more common structural materials.


From the desk of Alex Vondeling

Check out the NYTimes article about the rebirth of the ipe wood from Coney Island’s boardwalk. Berks County Community Foundation Headquarters in Reading PA was ahead of the trend when it scored some of the reclaimed wood in 2009 for its grand staircase.  Looks like it’s also been installed in the new Barnes Foundation Museum. Click on the Image to read the article.

From the desk of Bryan Astheimer

Three green-building certification systems received a stamp of approval from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) this week for use in federal projects. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system; Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes; and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge got the OK. In 2007, LEED was the only certification system to pass the review.

Every five years the U.S. General Services Administration is required to review current green building certification systems to help identify a best system for federal use across all governmental buildings. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which calls for the system evaluations, states that GSA-endorsed systems are those that the director of the GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings “deems to be most likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally sound approach to certification of green buildings.” The purpose of the review is to evaluate how different systems help the government meet its green building objectives.

Read on…

From the desk of Drew Lavine

Something exciting in the energy world is happening. When Lucid started in 2004 the untapped potential for building occupants to impact energy use by changing their behavior was barely on the radar as an outlet for energy efficiency. After much pushing, prodding and proving, we are seeing behavior change and occupant engagement move into the mainstream. Learn More…

From the desk of Michelle Robinson

The WEc3 Water Use Reduction template has a field for “Percent of male restrooms with urinals,” which has always been an issue if there was one unisex bathroom compared to the multiple user male restrooms and how to complete this.

We just received a review comment that talked about entering “the percentage of males anticipated to use restrooms that contain urinals.”  I like this way of viewing it much better and feel that it more clearly explains what they’re looking for in the template.