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Water heater plant earns LEED silver
An A. O. Smith manufacturing facility in Johnson City, Tenn., earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.
The 470,000-sq.-ft. Johnson City facility manufactures residential and light commercial gas and electric water heaters.
Johnson City is the first A. O. Smith facility awarded LEED certification. To achieve LEED certification, given by the U. S. Green Building Council, a facility’s operation and maintenance must meet specific standards in energy efficiency, environmentally responsible business practices and maintaining a healthy work environment.
“This certification is the result of more than five years of work by the Johnson City team to reduce energy and water consumption, improve efficiency and reduce cost,” said Ajita Rajendra, president and chief operating officer of A. O. Smith. “It demonstrates the team’s commitment to operating to world-class standards in every facet of the business.”
Among the short-term and long-term initiatives that enabled Johnson City to earn the LEED certification were:
• Reducing water usage for compressed air cooling by $80,000 per year;
• Reducing the annual water usage in restrooms by 25% per year;
• Efficient lighting and ventilation systems that resulted in annual electricity savings of more than $40,000;
• A “green” cleaning program that reduced chemical costs by $5,000; and
• A long-term recycling program that has achieved cost savings of more than $30,000 per year.
In its submission to the Green Building Council, the plant listed its lighting and ventilation system and water usage programs as “innovative practices.” The Johnson City team customized a purchased software package to automate the building’s ventilation system. A series of 17 temperature sensors throughout the building enable staff to monitor and control the system to deliver improved efficiency.
The system has enabled the plant to reduce its energy consumption, as well as the amount of water required for its air-cooling compressors.
For the plant to get LEED
For the plant to get LEED silver must be something commendable, as not many people or companies take the effort to ensure that they comply with the guidelines, especially those in the industrial works. Good job!
Jeld-Wen recognized for safety record
Jeld-Wen received an award for its safety-related record that includes an 80% reduction in annual workers’ compensation injuries since 2002.
Jeld-Wen was presented with the 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award (“Teddy Award”) at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.
Since 2002, Jeld-Wen has reduced its annual workers’ compensation injuries in the United States by 80%. Entrants were judged on their safety improvement practices and results. While Jeld-Wen’s reduction in incidents was important in the judging process, the company was also praised for its development of training programs, tracking and feedback mechanisms, and a host of prevention measures. Previous Teddy Award recipients include AT&T, Nissan, Marriott and Frito-Lay.
“I would like to thank our employees for generating suggestions and ideas for continual improvement, adopting a culture of safety, and their unending commitment to safety,” said Kelly Beegle, VP insurance and risk management at Jeld-Wen. “The true reward is that our employees continue to have a safe and healthy work environment.”
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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Nov. 25, 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: Order files established the week prior extending as far out as early December, especially in 2×4, enabled SPF producers to maintain firm pricing in both the East and West. Both producers and wholesalers reported "steady" sales well into Tuesday. A short production week and enough prior Southern Pine lumber sales to push order files largely out through the week following the Thanksgiving holiday prompted producers to elevate dimension prices $5 to $10. Production cutbacks and prior sales put Coastal Species lumber producers in a good position entering the week. As a result, dry prices were stable. Limited supplies of green Doug Fir and moderately improved demand sent those prices higher. Inland lumber producers reported a little action on Monday, but the remainder of the short holiday week was quiet. A quiet week was anticipated, as many traders planned on taking all or part of the week off. Ponderosa Pine board prices were mostly unchanged at Spokane mills, the exceptions being 1×6 #2&Btr and 1×12 #3, which both came off $10. Idaho White Pine board producers reported good activity for Sterling grade. Prices for Standard and Utility were unchanged except for 1×12 Standard, which adjusted down $15 to close the week at $410. In Industrials, Ponderosa Pine producers had order files for Mldg&Btr well into December. Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr offerings from Chile were scarce, with very little availability before the first of the year. Sales activity was understandably "slow" in the Western Red Cedar market. Distributors showed limited interest in purchasing any near-term volumes. Orders for shipment in 2012 were placed.
Panels: OSB producers reported some follow-through from last week’s improved market. The volume of cash sales was light, and prices were firm. Most mill order files were into the week of Dec. 12, but buyers reported availability for next week. Although several Southern Pine plywood producers reported sales activity somewhat sluggish, it was more than they expected. Order files moved more solidly into and through the week of Dec. 12. Rated sheathing quotes were raised, and success was achieved at moderately higher price levels. Western Fir plywood sales activity was "surprisingly good" for some producers and "slow" for others. Order files extending into the front half of December buoyed prices and pushed them higher in a few instances. Canadian plywood prices, for both cash and contracts, were near last week’s published levels. Producers reported order files into the week of Dec. 12 or 19. Few changes in particleboard and MDF markets were evident, leading a few producers and buyers to describe the market as "status quo."
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