BF: Which U.S. areas would you identify as “LEED”ers in sustainable building? RF: Each region is different and has its own unique environmental priorities and needs. I’ve been excited to see the work being done in the American Southwest recently, which is a region with an obvious and pressing priority: water conservation. We’re hosting our annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Phoenix this November, and Greenbuild is always a great opportunity for me to see the creative and regionally appropriate ways cities have been able to make green building part of their local culture. BF: Describe the correlation between a strong economy and a healthy environment. RF: There is more than a correlation between a strong economy and a healthy environment: It’s a direct and complementary connection. In today’s world, companies, organizations and governments that use only a short-term economic metric to measure success, do so at their peril. Real success comes when the triple bottom line is realized: economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social equity. Throughout history there have been strong economies that have been achieved by shortchanging the people and/or the environment. You see it when citizens’ health and well-being are negatively impacted by the air they breathe and the water they drink; the result is missed days of work, dollar after dollar spent on healthcare, and a low quality of life. Conversely, a healthy community environment is a strong indicator of the health of its economy. And in today’s circumstances, the innovation and new jobs that will be the driving force behind healing our environment also will help us heal our national economy. USGBC’s 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds 1. Invest in healthy schools and reinvest in our children and their future 2. Build or expand residential energy retrofit programs 3. Make affordable housing more efficient 4. Demonstrate leadership by greening public sector buildings 5. Maximize efficiency in the business community 6 6 . Build capacity through education and training 7. Leverage and extend recovery dollars with a revolving loan fund 8. Get buildings on the right track through retro-commissioning 9. Make informed energy-resource management decisions 10. Lay the groundwork for future holistic measures Ten Green Ways In May, the U.S. Green Building Council released a report recommending 10 ways federal recovery funds can be used for green building. From investing in green schools and home energy retrofit programs to creating a revolving loan fund, the Top 10 list can be used by governments from small towns to metropolitan cities and counties, as well as state […]
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
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Better Built Snares Two Projects from Army Corp Better Built Construction, based in Middletown, OH, has garnered two major defense contracts in the past four months. Better Built topped seven other construction firms last month to land a $9.1-million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers award to build a training support center at Ft. Campbell, KY. The Middletown-based firm also recently was tapped by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for one of the last major Wright-Patterson Air Force Base construction contracts. It won an $11.6-million contract to design and build a dormitory for students attending the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, relocating to the area in 2011. According to Joe Munger, Better Built’s director of operations, the Wright-Patterson project will add more than 100 new construction jobs to the area economy. The company has about 18 full-time employees and more than $30 million in government contracts. The 52,000-square-foot, three-story building will be located on base in the Kittyhawk Center, which houses many on-base amenities, across from the old theater on Broad Street in downtown Fairborn, a Dayton suburb. Construction will start this summer, Munger said. The 96-room dorm will service the 711th Human Performance Wing, housed in a 680,000-square-foot, $194.5-million complex, and will be home to about 200 airmen fresh from basic training, arriving for the aerospace medicine school. Occupancy is set for June 2010. To date, $226 million in construction funds have been awarded as the base prepares to receive about 1,200 people as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Process, the largest flurry of projects since World War II. The government soon will award the final construction award: a 140,000-square-foot, $40-million project at the Air Force Research Laboratory sensors complex. Ford to Build “Cleaner” Engine in Cleveland The first Ford Motor Co. plant to make a new line of fuel-efficient engines will be located in an existing facility in suburban Cleveland that has been closed since 2007. The Cleveland plant was chosen to make the 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engines that will be standard on the Ford Taurus SHO and optional on the Lincoln MKS and MKT, and Ford Flex cars. EcoBoost engines combine direct injection technology and turbo-charging for improved fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The EcoBoost engines can achieve up to 20% better fuel and 15% lower CO2 emissions, compared with larger displacement engines, without sacrificing power. The new EcoBoost engine will get an estimated 25 to 26 miles per gallon on the highway and 18 to 20 miles per gallon in […]