U.S. Green Building Council prevails in lawsuit
The U.S. District Court in New York City has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council that accused it of false advertising in connection to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The lawsuit, which sought class action status, was filed by Henry Gifford of Energy Saving Science and several others, who took issue with the LEED’s system because it gives out “energy saving” ratings regardless of how much energy or water buildings use.
The federal court dismissed the false advertising claims “with prejudice,” meaning that the plaintiffs are barred from filing a new suit based on those claims. The ruling simultaneously dismissed plaintiffs’ state law false advertising claims.
“This successful outcome is a testament to our process and to our commitment to do what is right,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Thousands of people around the world use LEED because it’s a proven tool for achieving our mission of transforming the built environment. We’re grateful that the court found in our favor so we can give our full attention to the important work before us.”
When contacted by email by Home Channel News, Gifford responded: “I and many other people are disappointed to see that for the immediate future, the building energy use standard for our industry and our country will continue to be a system based on predictions and anonymity with respect to how much energy buildings actually use, while the rest of the world focuses on saving actual measured energy.”
He added: “Nobody knows if it is more important to build with recycled material or locate a building near a train station. LEED claims to measure these unmeasurable things, while settling for estimates of the most important two impacts a building has on the environment: water use and energy use, both of which are measured every month.”
Alleged shoplifter made well-worn path to returns desk
It took at least 90 trips to the returns desk for a Pennsylvania man accused of shoplifting to steal $70,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in Allegheny County, according to a criminal complaint filed by the state’s Attorney General’s office.
Authorities are still looking for Jason Novak, whom they accuse of stealing merchandise, returning it for store credit, and then selling the gift cards on craigslist for 60% of their value.
Novak would fill a shopping cart with high-priced items such as range hoods, carpets and sinks, take them to the returns desk, and present false identification to conduct the transaction, according to the attorney general’s office. Investigators believe that Novak used at least 35 different Pennsylvania driver’s licenses.
Home Depot and Lowe’s were the victims of the theft. Authorities said that Novak used his shoplifting scheme at least 40 times at Home Depot and 50 times at Lowe’s.
Novak has been charged with multiple counts of retail and identity theft, forgery and criminal use of a communications facility. Agents who executed a search warrant on Novak’s house recovered 11 fake Pennsylvania IDs, computers and other electronic items.
The U.S. Postal Service and the McCandless Township Police Department assisted in the investigation.
I,ve been to banks where you
I,ve been to banks where you had to show your thumb print.. I think if he had to do that he would not have come back 89 more times.....
Quite frankly how that is
Quite frankly how that is written it is dumbfounding that anyone call fill a cart and then take to the returns desk. Thats insane how they got away with it.
Nonresidential construction slowing, survey says
Uncertainty in the market and difficulties of getting projects approved are putting the brakes on non-residential construction, according to a survey just released by FMI, a leading provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry.
The firm’s Nonresidential Construction Index (NRCI) slipped from 58.6 to a still positive 52.4 for the third quarter of 2011. Although the survey closed the week before the stock market slide, the uncertainty in the markets is reflected in the panelists’ responses, the company noted.
Most components of the NRCI are down this quarter as backlogs slipped again from nine months back to just eight months. After setting the question aside for two quarters, the survey asked again about cancellations and delays due to owner financing difficulties. The response was similar to that received at the end of 2010, except panelists noted delays weren’t caused as much by lack of financing now as uncertainty in the market and difficulties of getting projects approved and off the ground. Another factor mentioned was contractors taking more care to assure project financing was in place before the project got started.
The NRCI survey also questioned participants about the current connection between residential construction and nonresidential construction, as well as expected changes in infrastructure construction due to expected government budget cuts. Most panelists said there is still a bond between nonresidential construction activity and residential, but the ties might be weaker than in the past. Nonetheless, few expect there to be a strong recovery for nonresidential construction until residential gets more traction, especially for commercial construction.
Infrastructure construction is expected to pull back in all levels of government. Many panelists noted that this was probably necessary, but also amounted to lack of governments to recognize the job potential benefits of good infrastructure projects on both the economy and overall employment. If there was one concern reflected in the results this quarter, it was the government’s uncertainty and lack of direction, which stifles owners’ decisions to invest in capital improvements and infrastructure.
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