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Codes in the Headlines

Posted by Ron Jones

Jul 13, 2017 1:01:08 PM

Serious code issues never make the news … unless it’s about a disaster or sensational failure.

Sadly, we usually only hear or read about codes in the wake of disasters involving buildings and other manmade structures. A good case in point is the recent catastrophic fire in a London high-rise apartment building where it is alleged that unapproved, possibly illegal, materials were used in a renovation that resulted in extensive destruction and tragic loss of life.

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Environmental Groups Pre-Release Anti-Spin Fact Sheet as Trump's EPA Preps Pro-Coal Document

Posted by Pat Remick, NRDC

Jul 10, 2017 12:41:44 PM

Energy experts warn that the upcoming EPA report underTrump's pro-coal appointee will be misleading and false.

At Secretary Perry’s direction, Department of Energy staff are preparing a study on the long-term viability of coal and other baseload power plants. His memo to staff ordering the study perpetuated several outdated and incorrect propositions regarding “baseload” resources, clean energy, and grid reliability. Here are three myths to look out for in evaluating the completed study:

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Sustainability Leads Innovation Trends

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jul 6, 2017 9:14:15 AM

Volvo’s bold announcement to end the production of new vehicle models with combustion engines by 2019 is yet another example of companies pushing a solid sustainability agenda, outpacing flaccid national policy and lagging regulation by responding to consumer demand with innovative, clean solutions. 

Yesterday, Volvo Cars shocked the world by announcing the complete phase out of combustion engines, stating that all new vehicle models will have electric or hybrid motors by 2019, and all existing models powered solely by gasoline or diesel will be phased out by 2024.

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The Flex House Debuts

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jun 29, 2017 2:08:21 PM

The Flex House, Green Builder Media’s latest demonstration project showcasing the concept of “Right-Sized” small-footprint, intelligent, and sustainable living, debuted with much fanfare this week at PCBC.

Green Builder Media and specialty modular builder Shelter Dynamics unveiled the Flex House this week in San Diego on the show floor at PCBC (Pacific Coast Builders Conference).  As expected, responses to the Flex House have ranged from curiosity to sheer delight, with the most common refrain overheard from visitors: “Wow, this is beautiful.  I could live here.”

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Building Intelligence: A New Path to Multi-family Success

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jun 19, 2017 4:19:04 PM

A growing list of machine-to-machine solutions vanquish many profit-killing variables of building rental properties.

The front end of a development project, once you get past the planning and permitting phase, is typically where good builders can really shine. And if you’re a reader of this magazine, chances are you’re already pushing the envelope in terms of craftsmanship, home performance and scheduling. But are you following the market, or leading the way? If current trends continue, the future of most residential construction lies in cities, not the old model of single-family production homes on greenfields. Sure, there will always be a market for one-off, high-end custom homes, but is this how you want to spend your twilight years, serving an ever-smaller group of ever-more-demanding clients?

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Study: Builders Who Put Clients on Hold Lose Potential Business In Seconds

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 19, 2017 12:47:42 PM

The patience limit for most North American callers is about 25 seconds.

EVERY CALL made to companies in the construction sector as part of the large-scale study, conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, was put on hold, compared to a North American average of 70 per cent. Those callers are being forced to wait for 25.31 seconds on average, less than the North American average of 28.39 seconds.

To make matters worse, they are left listening to inappropriate audio, which could increase the risk of caller-hang-ups. The research discovered 40 percent of construction firms leave customers waiting in silence, while 24 percent subject callers to generic music, 13 percent use beeps and seven per cent make callers listen to ringing.

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Join Green Builder Media at PCBC

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jun 15, 2017 9:55:26 AM

If you’re heading to PCBC in San Diego at the end of the month, don’t miss the debut of the Flex House, a model for “Right-Sized” living in a small-footprint, flexible space that is completely connected, intelligent, resilient and sustainable.   We invite you to join Green Builder Media, Shelter Dynamics, and co-hosts Bosch and Accella for cocktails and a tour of the Flex House on Wednesday, June 28 from 4:00-5:00 PT, in booth 705.

PCBC (Pacific Coast Builders Conference) is right around the corner—June 28 & 29 at the Convention Center in San Diego—and Green Builder Media is proud to debut the Flex House, a small footprint, resilient demonstration home that showcases high-performance building products, advanced smart home technologies, and an integrated solar system.

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UL Environment to Demonstrate New BIM Project Tool at NeoCon

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 8, 2017 6:05:00 PM

The new SPOT mobile app features more than 45,000 products and allows users to obtain info on green products anywhere.

BIM project users attending NeoCon will be able to see a demo of UL Environment’s new SPOT app for REVIT™ in Booth # 7-139A. Launching soon, the new SPOT app for REVIT™ will allow users to access product data from SPOT, our sustainable product database, and assign it directly to their BIM project. This will provide unprecedented visibility into trusted green product information, enabling greater accuracy in green building reporting and certification to regional, national and international building standards.

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The Beauty of Choice

Posted by Ron Jones

Jun 8, 2017 9:47:27 AM

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”

When he wrote those words in the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau was possibly suggesting that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. But perhaps he also meant that each of us is seeking what satisfies us the most, not necessarily what appeals to the greatest number of our neighbors.

It may be fair to say that for the most part humans are social creatures. Additionally, probably few other species are so specialized and as interdependent as people, which has a good deal to do with how we are able to avail ourselves of a seemingly endless set of options to choose from in our daily lives.

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Northeast Window and Door Association Doth Protest New Warranty Rules Too Much

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jun 5, 2017 4:14:57 PM

A bill under consideration would require window, siding and roofing companies to cover labor costs under existing warranties. What are they afraid of?

Why is it that associations always seem to begin every political discussion with the word "no?" We see it in both national and state level associations for most industries. In the building industry, prominent examples are the fight to keep sprinklers out of residential codes, the battle against low-flow toilets. They lost both of those, thank goodness. Millions of gallons of water have been saved, and not a few lives.

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Trump’s Terrible Climate Decision: A Perfect Time to Emancipate

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jun 1, 2017 10:52:25 AM

All indicators suggest that President Trump is about to pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Agreement, designed to reduce the planet’s carbon emissions and mitigate the risks of climate change. The decision, considered by many to be short-sighted and damaging for both the environment and the U.S. economy, benefits only one group: the fossil fuel industry. But perhaps this is just the shove that the sustainability movement needs to emancipate itself from federal funding and decisions.

While not a huge surprise, President Trump’s expected decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement (which he claims will harm our nation’s economy, hinder job creation, and create oppressive regulations for domestic companies) deals a substantial blow to everyone in the sustainability sector—and, really, to anyone that cares about the environment. 

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Energy Efficiency: A Political Fatality?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

May 25, 2017 10:18:43 AM

Energy efficiency is considered by many to be one of the least expensive, most effective, and bipartisan ways to achieve our nation’s economic and environmental goals. But President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposes draconian cuts to energy efficiency programs, which would result in job losses, higher energy bills, and a marked decrease in our nation’s innovation and global competitiveness.

Experts—from both sides of the aisle—in the energy efficiency sector are petrified by President Trump’s recent budget proposal, which calls for a $3.1 billion decrease in funding for energy programs administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), including a dramatic 80% cut in residential energy efficiency programs.

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A Crack in U.S. Solar: Will Suniva’s Trade Case Cripple the Industry?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

May 18, 2017 10:42:22 AM

The burgeoning solar industry is transforming at an exponential rate. To the benefit of customers—and the detriment of manufacturers—prices continue to drop dramatically, thanks to widespread adoption in the commercial, industrial, utility and residential sectors. But a looming trade case may bring the flourishing U.S. solar industry to its knees.

Solar has become one of the fastest growing global industries as the marketplace and technology have both come of age.  In 2016, the U.S. added approximately 10.6 gigawatts of utility-scale solar power.  Between 2009 and 2015, the price of solar decreased by 70%, and now solar has reached or surpassed price parity when compared to fossil fuel energy sources in most markets. 

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