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Vote on new LEED standards postponed

BY Ken Clark

Saying it needs to address concerns raised by members, core LEED users and stakeholders, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced June 4 that it will delay balloting on LEED 2012 until June 1, 2013. (One caveat: The possibility also exists that the balloting could take place earlier in 2013 if USGBC members and the market indicate readiness for ballot, the announcement said.) Because of this date change, LEED 2012 is being renamed LEED v4.

In addition to the ballot date change, other actions include:

• Keeping LEED 2009 open for registration for three years;

• Continuing to ask for the market’s assistance in "test driving" LEED v4 to gain important insight during a time when improvements in usability infrastructure can be made; and

• Committing to a fifth public comment that will open on Oct. 2, 2012, and run through Dec. 10, 2012, to take advantage of Greenbuild, where USGBC will hold public forums and educational sessions on site in San Francisco. This will help stakeholders better understand requirements as well as any final changes that may appear in the new draft. Greenbuild will also serve as a platform to debut new forms, submittal documents and LEED online enhancements that will help improve and enhance the user experience

“This is 100% in response to our members’ desire that we give them a bit more time to absorb the changes in this next version of the rating system,” said USGBC president and CEO Rick Fedrizzi.  “We want to do everything we can to ensure that the market can fully embrace LEED v4 because it represents significant progress on carbon reduction and human health. Greenbuild will provide us the perfect venue to experience the look and feel of the new system as an integrated package. Then we can take the first part of 2013 to make sure the consensus body has everything it needs for a successful ballot.” 

For more information please visit usgbc.org/LEEDv4.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. Nearly 47,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems.  In addition, more than 20,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with nearly 80,000 more homes registered.

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For investors, The Home Depot sets its priorities

BY Ken Clark

Atlanta-based The Home Depot heads into its 20102 investor and analyst conference today with a full slate of priorities.

The company pointed to four key strategic priorities:

• On creating an emotional connection with customers, putting customers first and simplifying the business;

• On its merchandising transformation and portfolio strategy, including innovation, assortment and value;

• On continuous operational improvement, incremental supply chain benefits and shareholder value built through higher returns on invested capital and total value returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases; and

• On building a competitive platform across all commerce channels. 

“The Home Depot has a strong foundation of customer service, product authority and value creation,” said CEO Frank Blake in a press release. “We will continue to build on our strategic priorities as we look to 2015 and beyond.” 

The company still expects sales to be up approximately 4.6% for the year on a 53-week basis and diluted earnings per share to be up approximately 17%.

In 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.395 billion, up from $67.997 billion in 2010. Net earnings for the company were $3.883 billion, up 14%.

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Towers of CLT timber have green implications

BY HBSDealer Staff

An article in the New York Times explains the virtues of cross-laminated timber, or CLT, in building applications — including a nine-story tower.

One of several varieties of the larger category of engineered wood, CLT is used in one of the world’s tallest wood residential buildings, a nine-story building in London. In the United States, the idea has yet to take off.

The article quotes Pete McCrone of Whitefish, Mont.-based Innovative Timber Systems: “This is the way we ought to be building.”

CLT buildings offer a lower carbon footprint compared with steel or brick, according to its promoters.

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