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Congressional Committee to Meet in Chicago During GreenBuild PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Thursday, 11 November 2010 13:14

The House Committee on Science and Technology announced they will hold a field hearing on the eve of the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual International Conference and Expo in Chicago, Ill. to evaluate the topic of renewable energy integration into buildings. The hearing kicks off a week of focused discussions on public and private sector green building activities.

“This field hearing sends a strong signal to the over 30,000 that will be descending on Chicago to attend Greenbuild that Congress is keenly interested in understanding the successes and challenges to advancing renewable energy integration in our nation’s building stock,” said Chris Pyke, Vice President of Research, USGBC. “USGBC has long been a proponent of building-integrated renewable energy generation, highlighting its importance in the 2008 National Green Building Research Agenda.

”Key green building researchers, experts and practitioners are expected to testify at the hearing, which is open to the public and will be held on Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. at the LEED registered Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, Ill.

Greenbuild 2010 will feature an array of inspiring speakers and more than 100 education sessions and the world's largest exhibit hall devoted to green building with over 900 exhibiting companies with over1,800 booths showcasing the latest in innovative, cutting-edge products and services. For more information on the hearing and House Science and Technology Committee’s work on building technology,


TAGS: LEED, GreenBuild, green branding, green marketing, green advertising, sustainability consulting, U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC, Green Globes, ICC 700, renewables, solar marketing strategy


LEED2012 Draft Out for Public Comment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Monday, 08 November 2010 16:44

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released a draft of the next version of the LEED rating systems, and has opened the first public comment period for that draft. The comment period will run from Nov. 8, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2010.

According to USGBC’s website, a second public comment period is expected in mid-2011, and the rating system itself is expected to be released in November 2012. Although it had been dubbed “LEED 2012” informally during development, after the current “LEED 2009” system, the new version of the rating system is officially unnamed.

We would encourage product manufacturers to look over the LEED credits relevant to their products and provide the USGBC with comments, concerns and issues regarding the impact the changes might have on your product and its inclusion on LEED projects. Here is the Web site for posting public comments:

To learn more about how your product and services fit into LEED projects, call Green Apple Group at 407-517-4748.


TAGS: LEED 2012, green building, sustainability consulting, Home Star, USGBC, green marketing consutants, green advertising agency, branding, public relations, architectural sales and marketing, e-binder, product brochure, green product marketing, Green Globes

Green Rating Systems Changes Can Benefit Manufacturers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 11:59

Whenever new standards are adopted in the building industry they can represent challenges for building project teams, and that spells opportunities for product manufacturers, especially those making products with an impact on renewable energy generation and energy-efficiency.

The EnergyStar program will become more stringent next year and the LEED Green Building Rating System is set for an update in 2012 with public comment coming sooner. Public comment gives U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) members a chance to influence the new version of LEED for its rating systems on both the residential and commercial side of the business.

In January 2011, Energy Star will be changing from the current version to v3.0. One of the changes includes measuring residential buildings from a fixed benchmark of 85 on the HERS Index. The resulting HERS Index will then be adjusted by a Size Adjustment Factor -- or size penalty -- and that becomes the target HERS Index for the building.

According to one LEED Homes Provider in Florida, E3 Building Sciences, modeling under the new requirements for Energy Star can cost between $1,200 and $6,000 depending on the complexity of the design, which means about a 66% increase in costs under the coming Energy Star 3.0 version. Product manufacturers with solutions to help lower energy consumption in buildings can gain market share and increase sales.

As with all project teams trying to be more energy efficient, greater attention to the building envelope, lighting and HVAC will help project teams achieve the coming stricter Energy Star requirements. However, it's not just solar panel makers or insulation manufacturers that can gain by the coming changes in LEED and Energy Star. Manufacturers of water conservation products can also assist with not only the water use reduction program, WaterStar, but also the new Energy Star requirements because any hot water saved is energy saved, as it takes energy to heat water.

Check back with the Green Apple Group Blog for more updates and the impact LEED and EnergyStar on product manufacturers, as well as insights on the various other 1000s of green product rating programs out there in the market today.


TAGS: green marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, sustainability consulting, green consultants, LEED, USGBC, CHPS, WaterSense, EnergyStar, water conservation, energy-efficient, energy reduction, green building, green products, HERS Rating, HERS Index, solar panels, renewable energy, insulation, HVAC, lighting, Green Apple Group

GreenBuild Offers Green Social Events PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Monday, 25 October 2010 12:03

GreenBuild offers more than just serious stuff, including after-hours social events. Some are hosted by the trade show organizers and some of the exhibitors have their own parties. I've found in years past at these events, you'll meet some of the hipest, greenest people in the design community.

Here are a few of my favorite parties which are not included in a GreenBuild ticket:

Johnston Controls, Green Tie Event (You must have a tie to get in.)

Siemens (invitation only)

Environmental Design + Construction (Friendliest people!!!)

USGBC Host Chapter Party (Chicago USGBC)

Most of these are invitation only but if you go to the organizer's booth and befriend someone in charge of the events, they are usually very nice about getting you in.

Not sure if I'm actually going to any this year as I've stopped by all of the above in years past and had my fill. Call me on my cell (407-579-8683) if you hear of any other parties and I'll help spread the word.


TAGS: GreenBuild, LEED, USGBC, CHPS, GreenGlobes, green marketing, green advertising agency, public relations, trade show, branding, advertising, Web development, Web hosting, Green Apple Group, sustainability consulting, energy efficiency, interactive media, social media

Architectural Billings Index is Positive for First Time in over Two Years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Thursday, 21 October 2010 11:45
For the first time since January 2008, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicated a growth in design activity in September, increasing for the fourth straight month. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 50.4, up from a reading of 48.2 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was also up sharply, moving from 54.6 to 62.3 – the highest mark since July 2007.

“This is certainly encouraging news, but we will need to see consistent improvement over the next few months in order to feel comfortable about the state of the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “While there has been increasing demand for design services, it is happening at a slow rate and there continue to be other obstacles that are preventing a more accelerated recovery. Still, the strong upturn in design activity in the commercial and industrial sector certainly suggests that this upturn can possibly be sustained.”

Key September ABI highlights:
  • Regional averages: Northeast (56.7), Midwest (51.0), South (47.0), West (44.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (56.3), institutional (47.9), multi-family residential (47.0), mixed practice (44.2)
  • Project inquiries index: 62.3

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month. The regional and sector data is formulated using a three-month moving average.


Green marketing, architectural news, architectural sales, LEED, advertising, public relations, USGBC, AIA, CSI, green consultants, sustainability consulting, architecture, design build, project management, CAD, Building Information Modeling, BIM, Home Star, Cash for Caulkers, jobs report, solar energy, renewable energy, solar power, architect, branding, AIA Provider, CEU, continuing education

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