Olympic Village earns LEED certification
This year’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Games include a first-of-its kind environmentally friendly Olympic Village, certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development program.
The 17,000 athletes at the Olympics use the village as their temporary home during the games. Under the USGBC’s program, the village was awarded a LEED-Gold certification.
The project is part of a pilot program and is one of eight developments – as well as the first international project – to achieve certification under LEED for Neighborhood Development. Nearly 240 projects from 39 states and six countries are now registered to participate in the pilot program, according to the USGBC.
“The information learned during the pilot program will be used to make further revisions to the rating system and certification process, and the resulting draft rating system will be posted for public comment before it is submitted for final approvals and balloting,” the council said in a statement.
The Neighborhood Development program calls on builders and suppliers to develop “green” plans across four categories: Smart Location and Linkage; Neighborhood Pattern and Design; Green Construction and Technology; and Innovation and Design Process.
The council also noted the partnership between the United States and China began in 2004, when the U.S. Department of Energy and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology developed a “Protocol for Cooperation in Clean Energy Technologies for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.”
“China’s growing population, its emerging economy and the opportunities and challenges it represents ensure that China will play a key role in the future of our planet,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the USGBC.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization, founded in 1993, with the goal of “a sustainable built environment within a generation.”
Kuiken Brothers opens new DC
Kuiken Brothers, the nine-unit chain of New Jersey lumberyards and design centers, will hold an Aug. 19 groundbreaking on a new distribution facility in Succasunna, a community in Roxbury Township. The 12-acre facility, built on the site of a Wickes lumberyard destroyed in a fire, will encompass 130,000 square feet of covered storage. Kuiken Brothers already operates a design center, KB Concepts, on the same site.
“This has been on the drawing board for five years,” company president Doug Kuiken told Home Channel News. The distribution center will serve all of the Kuiken Brothers locations with dimensional lumber, panels, engineered wood products and other building materials, Kuiken said.
Ranked No. 64 on the HCN Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard, Kuiken Brothers serves the northern New Jersey and southern New York markets from Fair Lawn, Emerson, Midland Park, Ogdensburg, Wantage, Garfield, Succasunna, Roseland and Warwick, N.Y. Revenues in 2007 were $130 million.
Lowe’s earnings decline 7.9 percent in Q2
Lowe’s weathered market headwinds well in the second quarter, beating earnings estimates and seeing gains in lawn and garden and a spike in consumer spending due to economic stimulus checks.
Net earnings declined 7.9 percent to $938 million, down from $1.02 billion in the same period last year. Net sales rose 2.4 percent to $14.5 billion from $14.2 billion in last year’s second quarter.
Comparable-store sales declined 5.3 percent, a better-than-anticipated result for stores opened more than one year.
“Our sales results for the quarter, while better than our forecast, reflect the realities of the continuing macroeconomic pressures on our industry,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Niblock said the retailer saw “relative strength” in seasonal sales, particularly lawn and garden, in large part because of comparisons to a drought period in last year’s second quarter. He added that the company saw a boost in sales presumed to be from economic stimulus tax rebate checks that were issued to a large number of consumers in the second quarter.
Still, “weakness in bigger ticket projects continues, particularly in markets most impacted by the housing downturn,” Niblock said.
In the second quarter, Lowe’s opened 23 new stores. Currently, the retailer operates 1,577 stores in the United States and Canada. In the third quarter, the company said it expects to open 38 new stores. Lowe’s projects a sales increase of 1 percent to 2 percent in the third quarter, alongside a comparable-store sales decline of 5 percent to 7 percent.