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Green Building Codes

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Do you know the green building code basics? City and state governments continue to adopt new ordinances that support sustainable building, and the new laws require new ways of doing business.

In recent years, more and more municipalities have been adopting green building codes as a strategy to help them to develop in a more sustainable fashion. Green building codes are issued for the purpose of improving public health, safety, and general welfare. They encourage sustainable construction practices in planning and design, energy efficiency, water efficiency and conservation, environmental quality, material conservation and resource efficiency; improvements in these areas have been shown to reduce negative effects and enhance positive environmental impacts.

The Economic Stimulus Bill: Where Has the Money Gone?

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly known as the economic stimulus bill, was signed by Congress on February 13, 2009, and then signed into law by President Obama four days later. The government made a total of $787 billion available -- $275 billion for federal contracts, grants, and loans, in addition to $288 billion in tax cuts and $224 billion for entitlement for education and health care. Specifically relevant to the AEC industry is ARRA’s targeting of infrastructure development and enhancement using the $275 billion.

Environmental Product Declarations

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Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) describe the impact of products on the environment and help consumers to make informed, green choices. A life cycle assessment (LCA) made by a verified third party determines the EPD and facilitates the comparison of the environmental impacts of goods and services.

Case Study: Clinical and Translational Science Building, Part 1

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Francis Cauffman designs a medical facility for the University of Rochester that unites research with practice.

This first article in a three-part series on the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Building provides an overview of the workplace strategies Francis Cauffman used to integrate the 11 diverse departments of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute under one roof. Follow Buildipedia throughout the month of May to learn more about the engineering details of the building and how it achieved LEED Gold certification.

The List

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Does your home repair to-do list seem to be taking over your life? Jeff Wilson, host of Buildipedia's At Home channel, sympathizes and offers sage advice for how to tame that ever-present "Honey-Do" list.

Every aspiring handyman (or handywoman) has a List. Not the list you make when you head out to the home improvement store for materials, or even the short list of things you need to accomplish this weekend. I’m talking about THE List.

Contractor Selection Moves Beyond the Low Bid

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Two large-scale construction projects, one an interdisciplinary research building on the University of Colorado campus and the other a new arena located in Lincoln, Nebraska, shift away from awarding contracts based solely upon lowest bid.

Many business-as-usual practices within the building industry are being rethought. Among them is the practice of automatically awarding a contract to the lowest bidder. It is becoming more common for clients, architects, and general contractors to team up early and work closely together for the good of the client, the project, and the project’s end users. Such is the case for the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, with a new building on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder that was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and for the new Haymarket Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Forecasting the Green Job Market

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With the United States trying to pull itself out of a recession, something must be done to create more jobs. Some believe the green job market is the key to the future. And so, I have taken some well spread out snapshots examining the prospect of the green job market in this country.

Can an Owner's Representative Deal Directly with a Sub-Contractor?

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Welcome to the On Site channel’s Construction Administration Column. When a construction observer gives instructions directly to a subcontractor, it can lead to contentious claims. David A. Todd, P.E., CPESC, discusses how to address the issue.

Columnist David A. Todd, P.E., CPESC, has 37 years of experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and has performed much construction administration during that time. He will answer questions from our readers or from his own practice and will provide answers based on his understanding of the construction process.

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