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Architectural masterpiece embraces LED lights

BY Ken Clark

What would Frank Lloyd Wright think about LED lighting? We’ll never know. But one of his most famous projects has been retrofitted. 

You can call it: “Frank Lloyd Light.”

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation approached Christopher Thompson to collaborate on a project to incorporate green designs into Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West building in Scottsdale, Ariz. One result is a retrofit of the interior and exterior lighting for more than 5,000 lamps across the building’s landscape.

The project, called Energizing Taliesin West removed old incandescent light bulbs and brought light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

“As new advancements within LED lighting have developed, past issues of narrow light beams and high prices have been eliminated, which makes LEDs all the more desirable and available,” said Thompson. “The cost efficiency coupled with sustainable energy leads to the reality that people really won’t have a choice but to embrace LED. But finding what type of LED to use is an issue I expect to see amongst consumers.”

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Home Depot Canada holds buying day

BY Brae Canlen

Home Depot Canada held its annual "Meet the Buyer" day in Toronto on Nov. 7, an event that brought 22 small and medium manufacturers from Quebec and Ontario face-to-face with the retailer’s merchants.  Now in its third year, Meet the Buyer is a partnership between The Home Depot Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.

Manufacturers who catch the interest of Home Depot’s buyers are awarded a trial in select Home Depot locations, with the ultimate goal being sold across Canada. As a result of last year’s "Meet the Buyer" event, held in November in Ottawa, there are 25 new products now available at select Home Depot locations in London, Ottawa and online, according to the retailer. These products include organic waste bins, a two-in-one generator and a collapsible rain barrel.

"We were very impressed with the caliber of product submissions,” said Jeff Kinnaird, VP merchandising, The Home Depot Canada. “At The Home Depot Canada, we’re committed to nurturing small and medium-sized manufacturers as they build the capacity they need to do business with a large-scale retailer."

To qualify for a trial, a product must be innovative, made for retail sale to home improvement customers, and designed, manufactured or assembled in Ontario or Quebec. Since the program started in 2010, 115 manufacturers have participated, with 40 offered in-store trials.

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FMI releases 2013 construction outlook

BY Brae Canlen

FMI, the Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry, has forecast an 8% increase in construction activity for 2013. Robust growth in residential construction, as well as a few strong markets in nonresidential and non-building construction, will contribute to the expansion, the report said.

“The focus for 2013 will be on the movement of private money back into the markets,” FMI said. Total construction put in place for 2013 is forecast to be $892 billion, a solid improvement over the last few years, but still just edging out 2003 levels of construction activity.

In the residential market, rising housing starts bode well for 2013. In non-residential, power-related construction will continue to be one of the strongest growth sectors, along with communications, which is being powered by an insatiable need for speed and to send and store large amounts of multimedia files over the Internet. New healthcare construction will include a growing number of renovation projects to update current facilities for modern hospital design, using more technology in the rooms, as well as for improving air quality and reducing energy usage.

In the commercial sector, FMI expected more rethinking of construction space to accommodate smaller stores and combining in-store sales with online shopping. “Look for increasing multiuse projects,” the report said. New construction activity in the education and hospitality industries will be weak, FMI predicted. 

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