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A green guide for public housing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Siemens Industry, in collaboration with the Green Seal organization, has published a guide for public housing owners and operators to help them reduce the use of energy, water and toxic chemicals. Called "Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual: A Guide for Public Housing Authorities," the publication is now available free online by clicking here

A selection of public housing authorities funded the manual through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Green Seal and Siemens collaborated to develop the manual and customize it for regions of the United States with geographically specific guidelines and information.

The manual covers a broad range of facility maintenance and management best practices, including HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, landscaping and recycling. Unit maintenance is addressed, as well as a section providing suggestions and tools on ways building owners and operators can engage residents and encourage them to participate in improving the sustainability of the communities in which they live.

"For the first time, public housing authorities and building owners have access to a peer-developed source that provides practical, actionable guidance in an easy-to-use format that transcends the ‘how’ and reveals ‘why’ these recommended actions are important for the longevity of the housing developments they manage,” said Mike Kearney, senior director for the building technologies division of Siemens Industry. 

"The Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual is unique in that no other green operations resource focuses on multi-unit housing or provides such comprehensive, detailed guidance for free,” said Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal. “The guidance is more than academic; these are practices facilities managers can start implementing today to take a significant step toward a sustainable society.”

 

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Miracle-Gro and Rachael Ray plant garden in South Philly

BY HBSDealer Staff

Miracle-Gro and celebrity chef Rachael Ray installed the Camden Children’s Garden in South Philadelphia, introducing the neighborhood to fresh produce from the garden to the dinner table.

In five days, 16 raised beds, a vertical flowerbed, 2,869-gal. rainwater cisterns and an iron fence were built from the Miracle-Gro donation of gardening soils and construction supplies. The garden’s afterlife will be managed by the Camden City Garden Club, which operates the Camden Children’s Garden and many urban gardens on vacant lots in Camden. Residents in the South Philadelphia neighborhood can volunteer to maintain the garden and grow produce in the raised beds.

"We are so excited to partner on this South Philadelphia garden and help educate this neighborhood on the fun and ease of gardening," said Carlos Hernandez of Miracle-Gro,

The Camden Children’s Garden was featured on the "Rachael Ray" show Monday Sept. 26.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Sept. 23, 2011

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report. 

Lumber: Sales were slow in the SPF lumber market to begin the week, with some reports that sales activity declined even more as the week progressed. With order files reportedly extending out into the week of Oct. 3, western mills were not inclined to lower quotes in search of business. Southern Pine lumber producers sold about as much volume as they wanted, often drawing the line at a week’s worth of order file. "I don’t want to sell any more than that at these price levels," said one producer. The sales pace in the Coastal species lumber market faded for mills, leaving most prices at or near where they began the week. Moderate sales activity helped keep market prices firm or up slightly for Inland species lumber. The bright spot in the Ponderosa Pine market was #2&Btr Commons. Producers reported steady sales and improving prices. Idaho White Pine producers reported a firm market, with 8-in. and 10-in. Sterling leading the way. Demand for Eastern White Pine Selects was on the slow side, while Premium moved well. A weaker market for Ponderosa Pine Moulding and Shop lumber was reported. Pressure from buyers for lower Shop prices forced some producers to drop prices in spite of previous sales at higher levels. Several Western Red Cedar producers reported an uptick in sales. With the calendar approaching the last quarter of 2011, buyers were interested in key lengths that would sell readily.

Panels: OSB prices in U.S. markets were virtually unchanged, with the exception of the Northwest, which saw prices come off $5. Carryover from the high level of sales activity the previous week was limited, but Southern Pine plywood producers experienced what several called "a good week of sales." Price increases were considerably more modest, with most rated sheathing ranging from $5 to $10 higher. Sales of Western Fir plywood "wound down as the week progressed," in the words of a trader, but producers were able to push some sheathing prices modestly higher before the pace slowed. Market activity in Canadian plywood was quieter at the mill level, partially due to order files that extend to the week of Oct. 24 in some instances and cheaper wood in the hands of secondaries. Producers quoted prices based on C$325 for 9.5 mm delivered Toronto. Few changes occurred in either MDF or particleboard markets, in regard to both prices and primary drivers. Producers were generally able to book production, which continued to leave order files running about two weeks, give or take a few days.  

For more on RISI, click here.

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