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Owens Corning HQ earns Gold LEED-EB status

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Owens Corning’s Toledo, Ohio, global headquarters has earned gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Building (EB) program — it is the third existing building in Ohio to receive the designation.

The building first earned silver certification under the LEED-EB program in 2007 and has an Energy Star rating, which ranks it among the top 25% of energy-efficient buildings in the United States.

"The gold-certified LEED-EB status of our global headquarters building in Ohio is an iconic representation of Owens Corning’s deep commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency," said chief sustainability officer Frank O’Brien-Bernini.  "It’s also an example of the operating cost advantages that are achievable through sustainable building practices."

The company’s headquarters, built in 1996, was designed by architect Cesar Pelli, who included such environmentally friendly features as under-floor ventilation for energy-efficient air delivery, optimal use of daylight, the reuse of office partitions and recycling of carpet. In addition, 55% of the site was restored to a natural environment with low-maintenance native vegetation.

"Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council.  "While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like Owens Corning are addressing it through local solutions."

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Osmose grants patent licenses to Arch

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A patent dispute between two suppliers of wood-preserving technologies has led to a licensing agreement. 

Griffin, Ga.-based Osmose has agreed to grant a worldwide license to Arch Treatment Technologies to practice under certain patents owned by Osmose. The patents cover the use of micronized wood preservatives, including the patent that was the subject of a previous dispute between the two companies.

Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Arch Treatment Technologies is a subsidiary of Arch Chemicals.

Micronized wood preservatives are utilized to pressure-treat wood products commonly used in decks, fences, landscaping, agricultural, house framing and other general construction uses.

Both companies will continue to supply their portfolios of preservative products to consumers, contractors and builders, according to a release announcing the licensing agreement.

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UFP swings to loss in first quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Universal Forest Products (UFP) posted first-quarter 2011 net sales of $387.2 million, down 1.5% from net sales of $393.0 million in the same period of 2010.

UFP posted a net loss of $3.7 million compared with net earnings of $1.0 million for the first quarter of 2010.

"We are not satisfied with our results this quarter, but we know that our business was affected by challenging external factors, and we have reason for optimism for the balance of the year," said CEO Michael B. Glenn. "We expect a more stable market this year and have improved performance expectations, particularly in the back half of the year."

Among the key factors that hurt sales and profitability, according to the company, were major winter storms in January and February, plus a dramatic run in lumber prices in early 2010 that boosted margins in the year-ago quarter. 

The company is encouraged by the continued strength of the industrial market, Glenn said.

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