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AFE Weekly Headlines
Jan. 13, 2009
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Obama Backs Building U.S. Smart Grid
from CNN
For years we've been hearing about the nation's crumbling and outdated electricity grid. The 2003 blackout that plunged 50 million people into darkness was a wake-up call. Then this summer T. Boone Pickens, who's planning on investing billions in building wind farms, called for massive investments to revamp our nation's aging grid, so that it can handle wind power distribution. Recently, President-elect Barack Obama called for a similar investment, perhaps billions, to begin work on a new "smart" electric grid to replace the nation's old, fragmented and inefficient system. More

Space Technology Inc.

Report: LEED Projects Underway in All 50 States
from Environmental Leader
Last month the U.S. Green Building Council released a three-page report (PDF) with statistics on the state of green buildings in America. Jetson Green says the authors of the report seem to have attempted optimism about progress in gaining market share for green building.The report said that over 4.2 billion square feet of commercial building space is involved with the LEED green building certification and that according to McGraw Hill Green Building Smart Market Report 2006, about 10 percent of commercial construction starts are expected to be green by 2010. More

Earthquake Drill Finds Weaknesses in Steel High-rises
from Los Angeles Times
Modern steel buildings have long been considered among the most sturdy in the event of a major earthquake. But a model of a massive quake in Southern California has sparked debate among scientists and engineers over whether these structures are more vulnerable than previously thought. The Great Southern California ShakeOut, the nation's largest quake drill, suggested that about five high-rise steel buildings in the region would collapse in the modeled magnitude 7.8 quake. More

Preventing Roof Collapse in Winter Weather White Roofs are the Trillion-dollar Solution
from Gristmill
A global "cool roofs" strategy can achieve huge benefits to saving money and energy -- the equivalent of several trillion dollars worth of CO2 reductions -- since it can increase the albedo (reflectivity) of the planet, thereby directly reducing the absorption of incoming solar radiation and hence planetary warming. The strategy proposed below "is equivalent to taking the world's approximately 600 million cars off the road for 18 years." More


Proposal Would Boost Energy-efficiency Requirements for Buildings
from Today’s Facility Manager
Changes to the purpose and scope of ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, as well as new lighting requirement, are being proposed through public review. ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings except Low Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low rise residential buildings. More

In Some Cities, Downturn Rekindles Building Plans
from The Wall Street Journal
With talk about a massive federal stimulus plan to jolt the economy back to life, developers and local planning officials are moving to push through real-estate projects to lay the foundation for their return to growth. To be sure, the credit crisis and recession have stalled major development projects. But the economic doldrums are giving impetus to several cash-strapped local governments to take a fresh, faster look at existing rezoning proposals that could add value to fallow or underused land and provide immediate jobs. More

Sustainable Buildings Put Tenants within Reach of LEED-CI
from Greener Buildings
Companies seeking U.S. Green Building Council LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) certification for their leased office spaces should make sustainability a fundamental part of their site selection process. The USGBC recognizes the importance of site selection and defines Sustainable Sites as a major category. LEED-CI Sustainable Sites criteria (under current guidelines) can deliver up to seven points — a significant portion of the total. More

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