NAHLE E-Newsletter
Oct. 7, 2014

How much LEED do you need?
Dallas Business Journal
LEED certification is about much more than solar panels and low-flow toilets. Short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, projects are graded on overall environmental sustainability, not just energy efficiency, said Jonathan Kraatz, executive director of the U.S. Green Building Council’s North Texas Chapter. That includes recycling policies, access to mass transit, walkability, the use of smart thermostats and energy management systems, water efficiency and use of natural light, just to name a few.More

Hyatt mandates LEED for all new projects
U.S. hotelier Hyatt has unveiled an ambitious plan designed to dramatically raise the sustainability and efficiency of its properties and hospitality operations by the end of the decade. The “Hyatt 2020 Vision” plan contains a set of measurable and actionable targets across three core focus areas, encompassing the use of resources, building smart, and innovation and inspiration. More

OSHA extends compliance date for crane operator certification requirements
Construction & Demolition Recycling
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule extending the deadline for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction final rule published Aug. 9, 2010 by three years to Nov. 10, 2017. The rule also extends by three years the employer’s responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely. The final rule becomes effective Nov. 9, 2014. More

To LED or not to LED? That is the question
By Pamela Tresp
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial and institutional buildings, public street and highway lighting consumed about 274 billion kWh for lighting — roughly 21 percent of total commercial sector electricity consumption in 2012. The October 2014 issue of LD+A magazine cited that electricity for lighting consumes totals up to 461 billion kWh each year.More

Net zero buildings = the future of the commercial market
Green Building Elements
The future of the green building market rests on net zero buildings. These projects promise innovative new design – like that seen in this net zero building proposal for a Mercedes-Benz office building in Armenia – integrate a number of advanced “green” materials to maximize efficiency with renewable energy sources that generate as much energy as the project uses on an annual basis. In other words, it uses zero energy, "net." More

Research collaboration addresses green building technology
Lux Research has entered into a collaboration that will address the lack of information available about green building technology and how it can reduce the world's electricity consumption. As buildings are responsible for 70 percent of global electricity consumption, Lux Research will partner with Dr. Richard Freeman, co-director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC) in developing a database of green building innovations. Freeman also holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University and directs the National Bureau of Economic Research/Sloan Science Engineering Workforce Projects.More

Why cities are the new frontier for extended-stay hotels
Urban areas have been receiving more attention for residential development and a focus on live-work locations. According to the Urban Land Institute, 61 percent of Americans would choose smaller housing in favor of a shorter commute to work and 53 percent prefer neighborhoods close to shops, restaurants and offices. Now is the time for extended-stay hotels to move out of commercial areas and suburban corporate parks. The urban evolution, has required the extended-stay product to “bend and flex,” according to Bill Duncan, Global Head, brand management for Homewood Suites by Hilton. More

Economy Watch: Construction Spending, ADP Reports
Commercial Property Executive
The Census Bureau reported on Oct. 1 that U.S. construction spending during August came in at an annualized rate of $961 billion, 0.8 percent below the July rate. Still, the August 2014 figure is 5 percent above the August 2013 annualized rate of $915.3 billion. Both private and public spending dropped this August. Spending on private construction fell 0.8 percent in August compared with July. Residential construction dropped 0.1 percent month over month, while nonresidential construction dropped more: 1.4 percent below July. Government spending on construction projects was down as well, declining 0.9 percent for the month. More

Federal affirmative action guidelines for construction haven't been updated in 30 years
The Nation
While sometimes it seems like our political system is broken, the corruption that mires Capitol Hill is nothing compared to the disrepair and erosion that plagues the roads and railways of the communities that Congress is supposed to be representing. The White House recently enacted a stop-gap funding measure for short-term infrastructure spending. Now, as pressure mounts on Congress to pass a full-scale infrastructure bill, activists see a turning point, too. More