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CertainTeed has answers on recycled content

BY Brae Canlen

CertainTeed Insulation published a white paper titled “Understanding Recycled Content Reporting,” as a response to a recent ruling by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

A new LEED Interpretation Ruling (LIR), released Oct. 1, ruled manufacturers can no longer use an average of multiple places of manufacture when reporting recycled-content claims, according to the report.

The Valley Forge, Pa.-based manufacturer said the purpose of the white paper is to help architects, specifiers and builders navigate the new process for recycled content claims. A number of manufacturers aggregate data or use averages across multiple plants, which is no longer acceptable for LEED documentation, according to the report. 

 

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October’s job report: Digging deeper

BY Brae Canlen

The nation’s employment report for October, released Nov. 2, indicated modest gains in job growth (an additional 171,000) and a slight rise in the unemployment rate, from 7.8% to 7.9%. But a closer look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the construction industry — especially in the residential building sector — scored some impressive gains.

Employment in the construction industry rose 17% in October 2012 compared with the previous month. For residential buildings, the growth was 2.6%. Non-residential construction dropped 2.0%.

Measured another way, by specialty trade contractors, employment increased by 16.8%. Residential specialty trade contractors posted 6.7% job growth between October 2012 and September 2012, and non-residential contractor jobs were up 10.1% during that time period. 

Retailers added 36,000 jobs in October, with gains in motor vehicles and parts dealers (+7,000) and furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000). Retail trade has added 82,000 jobs over the past three months, according to the U.S. Labor Department, with most of the gain occurring in motor vehicles and parts dealers, clothing and accessories stores, and miscellaneous store retailers.

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Deltec Homes introduces the Solar Homestead

BY Ken Clark

In Asheville, N.C., the combination of modern building techniques meet the centuries-old idea of sustainability in Deltec Homes’ new award-winning Solar Homestead.

The Solar Homestead is a self-sustaining dwelling designed to produce as much energy as it consumes. The home’s fully panelized building kit can be shipped anywhere in the world, and its sleek and functional layout and technology help maximize energy savings and minimize their impact on the environment, according to the Deltec Building Co.

The Solar Homestead was the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon, a project of the U.S. Department of Energy to highlight the comfort and affordability of energy-efficient construction. It is the first time a Decathlon winner is being made available to the consumer.

“This home is a true mix of form and function — as attractive and livable as it is efficient,” said Steve Linton, president of Asheville, NC-based Deltec Homes, builder of The Solar Homestead. “In this design, we are using some of the most forward-thinking practices and technologies in building science. We believe this home exemplifies the next generation in green building.” 

Designed to be a “net-zero” home, the Homestead uses a highly efficient building enclosure and solar technology to produce its energy. Customizable options allow homeowners to adapt the design to meet their specific “net-zero” living goals.

The Solar Homestead’s main house features two bedrooms and one bath in 1,032 sq. ft. of living space. An optional outbuilding module provides an additional 135 sq. ft. for a full or half-bath and a third bedroom or office. A grand porch and solar canopy connect the living spaces, and additional outbuildings can expand living and storage options even further into the outdoors. 

“The Solar Homestead is a modern take on the self-sustaining homesteads established all those years ago,” said Linton. “Like those early homes, ours connects indoor and outdoor living and utilizes renewable energy resources, but in new way tailored to fit the needs of today’s family.”

Features like super-insulated double stud framed walls, triple-glazed windows and doors, and innovative heating and cooling systems add to the efficiency of the home.

The Solar Homestead is manufactured by Deltec, a leading builder of energy-efficient homes for more than 40 years, and designed by students and professors in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design at Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, N.C. ASU was one of 20 collegiate teams competing in the 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon that challenged participants to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

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