Posted: Sep 11, 2018

Changing Times Reflected In The Plastic Straw Ban

By Scott Kriner

Product longevity is usually a good thing. It's certainly a great selling point for metal roofing, but it's also the reason why plastic drinking straws are in the cross hairs of environmental groups and government regulators worldwide.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018

Water Water Everywhere

By Scott Kriner

Environmentalists have focused on global warming caused by mankind. This has been somewhat controversial when scientists turn to graphs that show increasing temperatures of our atmosphere, especially as to whether it is caused by mankind or whether it is just a heating cycle as what took place before mankind showed up on the Earth. That’s a topic for another day.

Posted: Jul 10, 2018

A Reminder That Not All Government Spending Is Wasteful

By Scott Kriner

The US Government has its Departments and Agencies that work on a wide list of topics to improve the United States of America. Many are in the news on a regular basis, which reveals the inner working of these Departments and Agencies. But some, including the Department of Energy, we don't hear much about. That is not to say, however, that the agency isn't hard at work for the betterment of not only the United States, but the entire world.

Posted: Jun 05, 2018

Is Net Zero Energy Really Within Reach?

By Scott Kriner

Do you remember the Architecture 2030 initiative that challenged the building industry to build or retrofit all buildings to net zero energy standards or net zero Carbon by the year 2030? This was led by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. When it was first suggested 2030 seemed a long way off. Since then, more organizations jumped on the bandwagon since it seemed to be the right thing to do. This was supported by AIA and by individual states and even some territories.

Posted: May 08, 2018

LEEDv4.1 To Begin Beta Testing

By Scott Kriner

While I was attending the GreenBuild Conference and Expo in Boston last fall there was conversation just about everywhere about the potential of yet another version of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) in the near future. The buzz was filled with speculation, rumors, fake news and even leaked information. For a moment I thought I was in Washington, DC.

Posted: Apr 10, 2018

Those Future Generations? They're Already Here

By Scott Kriner

This column has covered numerous topics over the years but never have I written a column on a baby. So this is something different. The baby is no ordinary baby. It is my first grandson. He was born into this world on St. Patrick’s Day. He is now representing the “Future Generation”.

Posted: Mar 13, 2018

Congress Acts On Expiring Cool Roofing Tax Credits...But The Process Wasn't Pretty

By Scott Kriner

Some say that creating legislation in Washington, DC is like watching how sausage is made. We may like the taste of sausage, but as a kid who was frequently taken to a butcher shop, you DO NOT want to know what goes into that meat product. And if you want to know about what goes into Scrapple (a staple for the Pennsylvania Dutch) it’s even more eye-opening.

Posted: Jan 09, 2018

Resilience Gets Real

By Scott Kriner

Some believe that the topic of "Resilience" is the next movement within the design community, similar to what we have seen with sustainability over the years. There are many definitions of the term but the American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines resilience as the ability to respond to known and unknown risks and successfully adapt to changes caused by shocks and stresses in the built environment.

Posted: Dec 12, 2017

USGBC Laying Foundation For Next Changes In LEED Program

By Scott Kriner

In 2013 the USGBC launched LEED version 4 to eventually replace LEED 9. In 2016, LEEDv4 became mandatory for new projects. The change from LEED9 to LEEDv4 was significant. The newer version moved away from single attributes and replaced them with systematic approaches toward credit points. LEEDv4 was also much more complex than previous versions. With the new version in place for four years, USGBC announced at the 2017 Greenbuild conference in Boston they will be fast-tracking development of a new iteration, LEEDv4.1.

Posted: Nov 14, 2017

The Carrot Or The Stick - Government Incentives

By Scott Kriner

The federal government has provided incentives to home owners and commercial building owners since President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which changed U.S. energy policy by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types and energy efficiency. That legislation paved the way for home owners to receive tax credits for installing cool metal roofing.

Posted: Oct 10, 2017

3D Printed Materials Emerging In The Construction Industry

By Scott Kriner

A quick search on Google for information on 3D printing in construction reveals a great many headlines. Developed in the 1980s, 3D printing has seen many improvements in printing equipment, increasing both the speed and complexity of the items produced. Among the industries to embrace 3D printing and its immense potential is construction. The technology has been used to produce everything from individual components to entire structures.

Posted: Sep 05, 2017

Sustainability Efforts Of Ancient Rome On Display In Ruins Of Pompeii

By Scott Kriner

During my summer vacation this year my wife and I spent nine days in the southern region of Italy. For those who have never been to Italy it is beautiful in many ways. Some is natural beauty in the mountainous areas and some is man-made with buildings stacked vertically in the Amalfi coast and elsewhere in other areas.

Posted: Aug 08, 2017

This Is Not Your Grandfather's Company

By Scott Kriner

Our nation has gone through many phases over its proud history. We had the industrial revolution when construction was booming. We’ve gone through the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. We’ve seen the space age reaching to the stars and we have enjoyed the age of digital communication. Today we are in a phase that puzzles economists with the explosion of what some refer to as the “superstar companies”.

Posted: Jul 11, 2017

The ABCs Of Construction And Sustainability

By Scott Kriner

I was reading a magazine article recently and I got progressively more angry as the article went on. It was mentioning “AR” throughout the article, assuming that the reader knew what “AR” means, but never explained what the “AR” acronym meant. Finally, after wading through the entire article, I found the meaning of “AR”. It stands for “Augmented Reality.”

Posted: Jun 06, 2017

Help With Integrating Building Certification Programs Is On The Way

By Scott Kriner

There is no doubt that the mission of sustainability as it pertains to construction has exploded well beyond simply lowering the environmental footprint of a building. Today there are more and more building certification programs in general. The USGBC’s LEED program is the dominating choice. And the Green Building Institute’s Green Globes program is gaining traction, especially within the U.S. government. And we now see BREEAM, the world's leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings in North America.

Posted: May 02, 2017

FITWELL Launched As Cost-Effective Alternative To WELL Program

By Scott Kriner

One of the most popular aspects of sustainable buildings is its focus on the well being of the occupants in those buildings. According to the one expert source, there are 120 million employees working in buildings each day in the US. The cost for personnel represents 90% of total business costs. The productivity and health of staff are often affected by the conditions of the office setting.

Posted: Apr 04, 2017

The WELL Program Explained

By Scott Kriner

Health and Wellness in sustainable buildings continues to create interest as to how to quantify the level of occupants’ well being. One of the newer certification programs in this field is the WELL Standard which is gaining ground. WELL was first introduced in 2012 by the Delos Living LLC company. The group was initially supported by the Clinton Global Initiative to develop spaces that enhance occupant health and quality.

Posted: Mar 07, 2017

LEED Is Growing And Changing

By Scott Kriner

The USGBC’s LEED version 4 continues to grow in North America as well as across the globe. According to Mahesh Ramanujam, the new President and CEO of USGBC and GBCI, LEED is growing worldwide with over 36,000 certified commercial projects. That represents over 5 billion square feet of certified space. He also states that every day more than 1.85 million square feet of space certifies LEED.

Posted: Feb 07, 2017

The Green Police Regulate Product Sustainability Claims

By Scott Kriner

As sustainable (or "green") products continue to grow in popularity, the claims by marketers of those products often go a little too far in their boasting of the sustainability of the product. In an attempt to somewhat regulate the green claims being made, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created a Green Guides document in 1992. The guide has been updated repeatedly with the most recent update taking place in 2012. The Green Guides are designed to help marketing personnel avoid making environmental claims that mislead consumers.

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