Posts filed under ‘Compliance’

Another web database for Green Products

These are becoming more and more common.  I hope someone comes out with a rating on overall effectiveness soon.

This is really an update to yesterday’s post and features the site put forward by the folks at National Geographic (http://www.thegreenguide.com/).

The folks at Sustainablog (http://sustainablog.org/2009/01/13/shopping-for-the-green-and-local-online/) have reviewed the site and seem to give it good marks.

Excerpt: “ GenGreen’s local green directories already have an impressive collection of 35,000 green business listings, 800 green events and 400 green collar jobs listed in over 5000 cities and all fifty states.

It looks to me that going green is going to keep getting easier!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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January 13, 2009 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

New Web Tools to help you green up your building!

Tonight we have a couple of shiny new toys for those of you looking to green your buildings and companies.

The first is a site called GreenFormat.com (http://greenformat.com/).  It is a mateials database that should be a great help to architects and contracotrs everywhere.  I came across it in a story on Real Life Leed (http://www.reallifeleed.com/2009/01/csi-greenformat.html).

Excerpt: ” CSI made a wise choice in deciding not to try to define “green” in any way. Instead, they opted for an approach where they just provide information in an agnostic manner and leave you to your own conclusions. The reporting for each product is extensive… VERY extensive… perhaps even TOO extensive, which is saying something. You’ll find info about third party certifications, manufacturing and extraction locations, background info on the manufacturing process, shipping materials, product lifespans, buyback/recycling programs, and a host of other non-environmentally related testing info.

The next is brought to you by the folks at the Environment Defense Fund and their tool is call the Innovation Exchange (http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagid=31186). The link takes you to the getting started section.

Excerpt: “If your company is just starting to address its environmental impact, welcome. You can make satisfying progress through near-term changes, and we encourage you to do that.

But you’ll see the biggest environmental and financial gains in the long term by incorporating environmental opportunities into your overall business strategy.

Regardless of the type, size or location of your company, here are five fundamental steps you can take to understand your company’s biggest environmental opportunities, then set ambitious yet achievable goals across your entire organization.

Enjoy and I hope that this trend continues as it is often the hardest part of greening a poject is to choose the materials that are to go into it.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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January 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Water Sense – A National Rating System for Water Effeciency

I probably heard about this somewhere and ignored it, but water efficiency has it own government rating system, Water Sense. It is to water efficiency what and Energy Star Rating is to energy efficiency.

So what is Water Sense and why should you care?

It is important because it gives a defined standard that allows the consumer to purchase with confidence items and products to make the home or building more water efficient.  It has been mentioned in the news recently that potable water may be the next “oil” in terms of scarce commodities and that we should all do what we can to use less and to use what we must more efficiently.

Water Sense is a partnership program between the US Environmental Protection Agency and manufacturers to produce products that are compliant to the published standard.  At the Water Sense website (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/) you can find all about the standard, read about improvements to offered tools on water efficiency, and most importantly find rated products.  There is even a specific page for locating those items you are looking for to make your house more water efficient (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/index.htm).

This program even has some recent news brought to us by Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/vanguard_builds.php) where Vanguard Homes is going to build the first water sense complaint homes in North Carolina.

Excerpt: “WaterSense labeled new homes by Vanguard will be designed to be at least 20 percent more water efficient than homes currently being built under traditional standards, saving homeowners more than 10,000 gallons of water per year. These homes are designed to use significantly less water inside and out, through efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water delivery, appliances, landscape design, and irrigation systems. Via:Vanguard news release (pdf file)

I consider this very hopeful news and a giant step toward getting truly efficient buildings rather than just ones that concentrate on the current item that might be in fashion.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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December 3, 2008 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Invest in yourself with certifications!

The other day I heard a very wise piece of advice for the down economic times we are in and probably will be facing for some time.  It was “Investing in yourself will pay larger dividends in the long term that any other investment you might make”.

To that end I have a few of suggestions for those in the real estate and building management fields. The first was created and is supported by the International Facility Management Association and is the Certified Facility Manger (CFM) designation. This pretty much the gold standard for this type of certification and details can be found here: http://www.ifma.org/learning/fm_credentials/cfm_index.cfm

Another one that is sponsored by the International Real Estate Management (IREM) Association is the Certified Property Manager (CPM) and the dtails for this one can be found here: http://www.irem.org/pdfs/joinirem/PrepGuideCPM.pdf

The last one I will mention here today is through the National Association of Home Builders ( NAHB) and is one for a growing market, catering to the older demographic.  It is called Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH).  Of the three mentioned here this one is probably the the one with the lowest barrier to entry.  There are three days of instruction along with a test for each day to acquire the certification.  The details are here: http://www.nahb.org/meeting_search.aspx?list=1&sectionID=1048#

Of course all of these require a commitment to continuing education to maintain the the certification.  Good luck to all of you in your future endeavors!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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November 13, 2008 at 10:12 am Leave a comment

Green Building Code Stalled!

It was reported this week that ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers http://www.ashrae.org/) has pulled the plug on standard 189 committee. Apparently this is in response to several trade associations applying pressure to halt the work. There are 2 different posts on Buildinggreen.com (http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2008/10/17/Green-building-code-standard-committee-disbanded):

Excerpt: “From the article: “Speaking off the record, multiple sources reported signs that ASHRAE had been influenced by various trade associations, which were either unsupportive of ASHRAE’s involvement in a green building standard as an engineering association, or had objections to basic premises of the standard, such as its approach to various building materials.”

The original post and full story can be found here: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2008/10/17/Uncertain-Future-for-ASHRAE-Standard-189/

Even though there has been a comment posted on the first post stating that the committee is being reconstituted with additional members I am leery of the direction this is taking.  I would assume that there would be significant disagreements in any such process, but I feel that this is a direction that may ultimately weaken the overall standard, making it far less effective.

This standard is especially needed in the face of growing desire by local and state regulatory agencies to place green building codes in force.  On the site Greenbuildinglawupdate.com (http://www.greenbuildinglawupdate.com/) there is ongoing discussion about the various local pressures being placed on the construction of new buildings and how this patchwork of regulation is making it much more difficult to get green buildings permitted and built.

Lets hope that this is all straightened out soon and the committee is back on track before Christmas!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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October 19, 2008 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

IFMA announces new floor space measurement standard!

With the approval of this new standard by the America Society of Testing and Materials (http://www.astm.org/) of the new International Facility Manager’s Association, IFMA (http://www.ifma.org/) there is now a common standard on how to measure leaseable floor space in a building.  No longer will there be 2 competing standards from IFMA and BOMA (Building Owners and Manager’s Association http://www.boma.org/).

Excerpt from IFMA’s press release (http://www.ifma.org/tools/prdetail.cfm?id=322):

The International Facility Management Association now has a new floor area measurement standard. The American Society for Testing and Materials recently approved and published “E1836-08: Building Floor Area Measurements for Facility Management,” a standard that provides a definitive procedure for facility managers to use when measuring and classifying floor area in buildings.

The standard provides a simple, step-by-step procedure to measure floor area that makes it easier and faster to determine how much floor area is available for space planning. It includes measurement rules for floor areas in text form and an easy-to-read matrix. ASTM-E1836-08 should be used in tandem with “E2619-08: Measuring and Calculating Building Loss Features that Take up Floor Area in Buildings,” which allows users to determine the amount of floor area that is rendered unusable for occupants or core business functions by specific physical elements of the building.

Essential for allocating and charging back space, IFMA’s new standard can be applied to space planning, strategic facility planning and specifying occupant requirements. It enables owner-occupiers and tenants to perform space planning activities and charge back business units for the amount of space they occupy.

This new standard provides a common measurement to allow collaboration between The Building Owners and Managers Association International and IFMA standards, eliminating the overlap of terms between the two organizations.

“This standard is positioned well for the future. It is the first time two standards have been put in alignment,” said Lynne Blair, president of LY Blair & Associates and chair of the IFMA Standards Committee. “Using this standard, we can share data more easily than ever before. The new standard allows for the reduction of costs by facility managers and building owners and helps transfer data between departments in an organization, which had previously been a stumbling block.”

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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September 26, 2008 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

Residential Fire Sprinklers – Coming soon to all new construction!

Today the International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org/) has voted overwhelmingly to include the requirement for fire sprinklers in its code for new residential construction.

This is from an article at Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/fire-sprinklers-to-be-mandatory.php)

Excerpt: “This could be a real boon for greener, healthier houses. Currently, a lot of furniture, plastics and even bedding and clothing are treated with fire retardants like Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) that are building up in our bloodstreams and in women’s breast milk. As we noted earlier, “Once again, it is a design problem; it would be superfluous to add fire retardants to furniture or electronics if there was a fire suppression system in every house, and the most effective system of all is a sprinkler system.”

An even more thorough can be found at the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/24/us/24code.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin

I can completely agree with this code improvement as I have been in low income housing for some time and it is not only required in a lot of jurisdictions but is usually mandated by the financing sources. I can also personally attest that it saves lives and property.  Great Job ICC!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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September 25, 2008 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

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