Wednesday, December 31, 2014

OSHA Wrap Up: December 2014

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is responsible for the regulation of safe and healthy work environments for working men and women by means of enforcing standards and conducting training, education, and assistance. Through numerous acts and statutes, OSHA holds companies to a standard of working conditions that is both beneficial and safe for both employees and employers. Often, companies either willingly or inadvertently disregard certain standards set forth by OSHA thereby violating the mandated regulations. When this occurs, OSHA steps in and assesses the extent of the violations and cites them in order to prevent further occurrences of such violations.

The following companies were cited with various OSHA violations in the past month:
  • In Evanston, Ill., workers at Arturo's Painting and Restoration Inc., were exposed to lead paint levels up to 1.2 times greater than the permissible exposure limit. In addition to the exposure, Arturo's failed to determine the exposure levels prior to having their workers remove the lead paint with sanders and scrapers. Upon OSHA's investigation of the site, the company was cited with 17 serious safety violations. Arturo's Painting and Restoration Inc. faces a proposed fine of $46,000 for the violations.
  • In Fostoria, Ohio, three workers at All-Set Roofing and Construction Inc. were exposed to fall risks at 15 feet up to install shingles and without fall protection. The Bowling Green Company had been previously cited for fall hazards at another job site. OSHA issues repeat violations if similar violations occur within five years of the original citation. OSHA cited the Bowling Green Company with proposed penalties of over $44,000.
  • In Cleveland, Ohio, after complaints of unsafe work conditions, OSHA inspectors uncovered dangerous levels of lead and copper fumes at Republic Metals Inc. OSHA identified the company's lack of engineering controls that would have reduced the exposure levels and failure to train employees on proper techniques for dealing with exposure hazards. Additionally, the company was cited for a lack of personal protective equipment and excessive noise exposure. OSHA cited Republic Metals Inc. with proposed penalties of over $42,000.
Compliance is not only important for the secure operation of a construction site or a plant but for the overall safety and protection of the site's employees. For training and extensive courses, visit GreenEdu.com to maintain compliance with all such OSHA standards and requirements.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

News Release: EPA Announces Annual Environmental Enforcement Results for 2014

Information originally released by the EPA on December 18, 2014: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-annual-results-fiscal-year-fy-2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for the enforcement and regulation of laws passed by Congress. These enforcements serve wide reaching benefits for the environment, the community, and companies who follow these rules. Were the EPA not to strictly enforce consequences on those who do not comply to such regulations, companies who do comply would be at a great disadvantage. For companies that are in compliance with EPA's laws and regulations, the penalties the EPA enforces even the playing field with those that do not. More than that, the EPA's enforcements benefit the environment overall.

In 2014 alone, the EPA was able to reduce air pollutants by nearly 141 million pounds and water pollutants by approximately 337 million pounds. Additionally, they were able to regulate the clean up of about 856 million cubic yards of contaminated water/aquifers. They accomplished this through fines and penalties as well as requiring companies to invest in methods that would reduce pollution and support the clean up of polluted sites.

The EPA was responsible for charging companies with fines that not only covered the violations they committed but also for the communities who suffered as a result of said violations. When companies' violate EPA regulations, the environment is often negatively affected and thus the EPA often cites companies with fines to cover the cost of cleaning up polluted sites.
  • Polluted sites across the country are being cleaned up while EPA conserves and recovers federal funds. This year, settlements will result in more than $453.7 million in commitments from responsible parties to clean up Superfund sites, and return $57.7 million to the Superfund trust.
Overall, EPA enforcement actions required companies to invest more than $9.7 billion in actions and equipment to control pollution and clean up contaminated sites.

In 2014, EPA pursued high impact cases that drove compliance across industries including Lowe's Home Centers. They developed a corporate-wide compliance program to ensure protection of children from dangerous lead paint exposure. As well, the EPA was strict on its accountability for criminal violators that threatened the health and safety of Americans. They directed funds from said violators to communities affected by those who were not compliant with the standards of health and safety necessary.

Much of the EPA's focus was directed towards reducing pollution in many sectors of American Communities. From electric power companies to chemical plants to contaminated stormwater, the EPA required companies involved in such pursuits to develop innovative programs to reduce their carbon impact. As well as develop new ways to incorporate and promote renewable energy. Federal facilities and companies were made to take responsibility for any toxic pollution they created and fund the means of cleaning up such pollution.

The EPA has a commitment to enforcement as was demonstrated throughout 2014 and past years. The EPA will continue to pursue and correct any violations in addition to developing new ways to remedy pollution and promote renewable energy innovations. Click here to read the full press release on the EPA's success in 2014.

EPA Media Contact:
Jennifer Colaizzi
Colaizzi.jennifer@epa.gov202-564-7776

Be sure to stay compliant with the EPA's enforcements in the New Year. For a full lineup of courses to ensure the safety of your worksite and employees as well as achieving EPA standard compliance, visit GreenEdu.com.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Maryland Pre-1978 Lead Paint Law

Previously, the Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Program was required for all rental properties built prior to 1950, but was optional for properties between 1950 and 1978. However, come January 1, 2015 it will be mandatory for all properties built before 1978 to comply as well. This new lead paint law will collectively affect home owners, contractors, landlords and project managers.

Especially impacted by this new law will be property owners, who will be expected to perform and enact the following requirements:
  1. Every landlord and property manager should distribute the following three forms on or before the tenant's move in date, and keep a signed statement from the tenant acknowledging receiving these items:
    1. The Notice of Tenant Rights
    2. The EPA brochure, “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
    3. A copy of the lead inspection certificate for the unit
  2. Ensure that the property is currently registered with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and to pay a $30.00 per property/unit registration fee
  3. Obtain a passing Full Risk Reduction Certificate prior to a tenant moving into the property. This certificate can only be issued by a select number of inspectors, licensed for this type of inspection.  The cost for this service can range from $200-$500 depending on the property and inspector chosen for the work.

For more information regarding the new lead paint law visit http://www.mde.state.md.us/lead

Visit GreenEDU for information regarding Lead Inspector Certification requirements and available courses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Health and Well-Being in the Office

A healthy, happy workforce is a vital component of a productive, successful business in the long-term. Despite the obvious notion of the importance of office design, it has not had a major influence on the real estate sector nor has it begun to permeate financial decision making.

Evidence of how the design of an office impacts health, well being, and productivity of its occupants can be measured by:
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Thermal Comfort
  • Daylighting and Lighting
  • Biophilia - suggestion that we have an instinctive bond to nature
  • Noise
  • Interior Layout
  • Look and Feel
  • Active Design and Exercise
  • Amenities and Location
The concept of "green" buildings suggests the use of low carbon or energy efficient operation of the building. Though these are important to the health of occupants as well as the environment, it can be considered short-sighted to think that they are automatically considered healthier. Research has shown that there are three key areas that need to be addressed in increasing the health and well being of the occupants of the building. The first of which is to put users in control which allows occupants to have personal control over their environment increasing their productivity and desire to work. The next is understanding the importance of maximizing daylight. Daylight provides the necessary light for creating a productive environment while also reducing the use of electricity and fluorescent lighting. The last key area is the use of passive design through use of natural ventilation to promote the benefits of fresh air and adequate thermal comfort.

The framework for measuring the effectiveness of the office building is determined by three key features including physical, perceptual, and financial relationships. The financial measurements are used to determine objective aspects of the green building. The perceptual aspects are measured through self-reports from occupants. The physical aspects are measured in terms of the actual design and operation of the building itself. The relationship between these three forms of measurements are used to maximize the effectiveness of green buildings for the health and well-being of the occupants.

Green buildings are advantageous to healthy and productive occupants in terms of their good design, construction, behavior, and location. The reinterpretation of the "green" movement has been extended to include not only the environmental considerations but also health, well-being, and productivity.

To read the full report regarding the green movement for healthy buildings and healthy occupants, view Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices.


To learn more about the LEED green building rating systems, attend our FREE live webinar, offered every month! Visit https://www.greenedu.com/free-intro-to-leed-accreditation-webinar-courses to learn more and register.

OSHA Wrap Up: November 2014

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is responsible for the regulation of safe and healthy work environments for working men and women by means of enforcing standards and conducting training, education, and assistance. Through numerous acts and statutes, OSHA holds companies to a standard of working conditions that is both beneficial and safe for both employees and employers. Often, companies either willingly or inadvertently disregard certain standards set forth by OSHA thereby violating the mandated regulations. When this occurs, OSHA steps in and assesses the extent of the violations and cites them in order to prevent further occurrences of such violations.

The following companies were cited with various OSHA violations in the past month:

  • In Paris, Illinois, workers at Septimus Inc., a cornstarch processing plant, were exposed to combustible cornstarch dust in excess of permissible exposure limits as well as other hazards. Following an April 30, 2014 inspection of the facility by OSHA, the company was cited for 21 serious safety and health violations. The investigation revealed industrial vehicles in poor repair as well as electrical violations which would provide ignition sources for the dust. The citations carried with them a proposed penalty totaling $46,400 in fines by the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA.
  • In Portage, Wisconsin, workers cleaning a chemical spill at Penda Corp, demonstrated a lack of proper training in cleanup procedures in addition to not being provided the proper personal protective equipment. The investigation was prompted following a complaint that stated the improper cleanup of diphenylmethane disocyanate, an isocyanate. Workers experienced symptoms of overexposure to the isocyanate chemical including occupational asthma as well as other lung problems, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. The company was cited with seven serious violations and faces penalties of $49,000.
  • In Canton, Ohio, employees of TimkenSteel Corp were found to be exposed to multiple amputation and fall hazards. Following allegations from employees concerning unsafe working conditions amounting to two serious violations for failure to guard floor holes as well as missing guardrails on platforms of approximately 8 feet. Additionally, the corporation was cited for failure to guard cranes and crane trolley runways, another fall hazard. Upon a third inspection, three serious violations concerning exposure to moving machinery parts were discovered. OSHA cited 12 serious safety violations which proposed penalties of $77,000. 
Compliancy is not only important for the secure operation of a construction site or a plant but for the overall safety and protection of the site's employees. For training and extensive courses, visit GreenEdu.com to maintain compliance to all such OSHA standards and requirements.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Selecting a LEED Rating System: USGBC Launches Interactive Tool for Guidance

usgbc.org/discoverleed
This month, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) released a new, interactive tool called Discover LEED. Through a series of simple questions about your green building project, the program will help you pinpoint which LEED rating system is appropriate.

For example, users are asked to choose if their project is new or existing, residential or non-residential, and so on. Once a LEED rating system is determined, links are available to learn more about that particular rating system, or purchase the full LEED Rating System Reference Guide from USGBC.

Under LEED v4, which was launched in 2013, there are five green building rating systems, including Building Design & Construction (BD+C), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), Building Operations & Maintenance (O+M), Homes, and Neighborhood Development.

LEED for Building Design and Construction
The focus of this rating system is on institutional, commercial, & large-scale residential projects that are new or undergoing a major renovation. The LEED v4 version of the rating system offers specific guidance for the following project types that fall under this category:
  • New Construction
  • Core and Shell
  • Data Centers
  • Hospitality
  • Schools
  • Warehouse & Distribution Centers
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
LEED for Interior Design and Construction
The LEED ID+C rating system is applicable for the design and construction of complete fit outs in commercial spaces, and is focused on providing high-performance, environmentally responsible, and productive spaces. The LEED v4 version of the rating system offers specific guidance for the following project types that fall under this category:
    • Commercial Interiors
    • Retail
    • Hospitality
    LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance 
    This rating system considers buildings over their entire life-cycle and provides a means of maintaining existing buildings that already have sustainable features in place to ensure the continued reduction of environmental impacts. Under LEED v4, this rating system offers guidance for improvement work on the following project types:
    • Existing Buildings
    • Data Centers
    • Schools
    • Warehouses & Distribution Centers
    • Retail
    • Hospitality
    LEED for Neighborhood Development 
    LEED for Neighborhood Development brings sustainable design and development to the neighborhood and community level. It applies to new or redevelopment projects made up of housing, non-residential purposes, or a mix. It provides guidance for both the planning stage, as well as construction.

    LEED for Homes
    This rating system guides the design and construction of high-performance homes. It encompasses single family homes, as well as low-rise and mid-rise multi-family units.


    Want to learn more about the LEED rating systems? Register for our 1-hour FREE Intro to LEED Certification Webinar!

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Renewing Your Lead Safe Renovator Certification: A Breakdown of EPA and State Requirements

    EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. The initial training is a 1-day course, and a 4-hour refresher course is required every five years. Since the EPA law was enacted in April 2010, many professionals are reaching the five year mark for their renewal. Below is more information on the requirements to stay in compliance.


    EPA Lead Renovator Renewal Requirements

    To re-certify as an EPA Lead Renovator and EPA Lead-Safe Firm:
    • Attend a 4-hour Refresher course within 5 years from the initial course date
    • Submit a firm application and $300 company re-certification fee to the EPA every 5 years*
    It is recommended that you submit your EPA Firm Re-certification Application at least 90 days in advance of your expiration date to avoid any gaps in your firm certification. You can complete this application online for faster processing.

    **UPDATED APRIL 2015: The EPA has issued an extension for some Certified Lead Renovators to complete the 4-hour refresher training.  If the initial course was take prior to March 31, 2010, the refresher training must be completed by March 31, 2016. If the initial training was completed between April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011, individuals have a one year grace period to take the refresher course, based on their original expiration date. There is NO extension for EPA firm re-certification.


    EPA-Authorized State Programs

    Thirteen states operate under their own lead safe certification program in lieu of the EPA federal
    program, and therefore have different renewal requirements.

    Below is a list of these EPA-Authorized States and the renewal requirements for each:

    EPA-Authorized State Individual Training Renewal Period Individual Renewal Fee Company Renewal Period Company Renewal Fee Refresher
    Training Schedule
    Alabama 3 Years $100 Annual Fee Annually $300 View Courses
    Delaware 2 Years $100 Fee Every 2 Years 2 Years $100 View Courses
    Georgia 3 Years $150 Fee Every 3 Years 1 Year or 3 Years $125 for 1 Year, or $300 for 3 Years View Courses
    Iowa 3 Years $60 Annual Fee Registration Required No fee View Courses
    Kansas 5 Years Registration Required, No Fee 5 Years $100 for Renewal ($200 for Initial) View Courses
    Massachusetts 5 Years** No Fee 5 Years $375 View Courses
    Mississippi 3 Years 1st & 2nd Renovator at the company are free, $75pp annually after. Annually $350 View Courses
    North Carolina 5 Years Registration Required, No Fee Annually $300 View Courses
    Oklahoma 5 Years No Fee 5 Years $300 View Courses
    Oregon 5 Years No Fee 5 Years $50 - $250 View Courses
    Rhode Island 5 Years $40 Every 5 Years 5 Years $40 View Courses
    Utah 5 Years $200 Annual Fee Annually $250 View Courses
    Washington 5 Years* $25 Every 3 Years 5 Years $25 View Courses
    Wisconsin 4 Years $50 Every 2 Years 2 Years $50 View Courses
    *State recognizes EPA extension for renewal.
    **State allows a 1-year grace period from your training expiration date, but no RRP work may be performed until re-trained and re-certified.

    For more information on renewing your Lead Renovator Certification, visit https://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-paint-rrp-refresher-overview. For a full line-up of RRP initial and refresher courses, be sure to visit GreenEdu.com.


    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Preventing Lead Exposure in Children

    In line with National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 19-25, the NCHH (National Center for Healthy Housing) released a report that outlines the outcomes and recommendations it has for the lead poisoning prevention strategies. In 2013, the NCHH met with prominent advocates in the fields of health, affordable housing, and education in order to create a blueprint which will serve as the ultimate agenda for preventing lead poisoning in children. The report outlines the outcomes the NCHH hopes to achieve with the assistance of various levels of government and the private sector.

    The health sector of this panel advocated the following outcomes:
    • Lead sources are identified and controlled before a child is exposed. 
    • Neighborhoods at greatest risk are identified to target resources and action. 
    • Children with elevated blood lead level test results receive home-based services to prevent further exposure. 
    The housing sector hopes to achieve the following outcomes:
    • Make 11.5 million homes lead-safe. 
    • No home that has poisoned a child poisons again.
    And finally the education aspect of the report intends to have:
    • Key education leaders, elected officials, the business community, and the voting public understand the educational benefits of preventing childhood lead poisoning. 
    • All children who have been exposed to lead have undeniable access to assessment and intervention services to improve their ability to learn.

    Click here to read the full NCHH report and learn about the strategies outlined for the prevention of lead poisoning in children.

    EPA News Release: EPA acts to protect children from lead-based paint hazards in eight Northern Calif. communities

    Release Date: 10/22/2014
    Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, 415-972-3165, skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov

    Untrained and uncertified companies renovating homes and schools can put children at risk

    SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with construction companies in Calif. that were not EPA-certified to handle lead-based paint safely before or during renovations in older housing and schools. The lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting rule requires companies to be properly trained and certified before working in pre-1978 homes and schools. The rule is designed to prevent children from coming into contact with hazardous lead dust.

    “More than half a million children in America have blood lead levels high enough to cause learning disabilities and behavior problems,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Lead-based paint remains in tens of millions of homes and is the main source of lead exposure for children, so contractors have to be trained and certified to ensure renovations are done safely.”

    EPA recently settled with the following nine companies for failing to be certified before advertising, bidding on, or performing renovation and repair projects in older housing and schools. Each company was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and, in most cases, required to complete training and obtain certification:

    -- A & D Construction Inc., Hayward
    -- AB Builders, Pleasant Hill
    -- CF Contracting, Fairfax
    -- Cogent Construction & Consulting Inc., San Francisco
    -- EF Brett & Company Inc., San Francisco
    -- Nema Construction, Albany
    -- Regency Construction Company Inc., Carmel Valley
    -- Southland Construction Management Inc., Pleasanton
    -- Welliver Construction, Eureka

    EPA enforces the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and its Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint hazards from renovation and repair activities that can create hazardous lead dust when surfaces with lead-based paint are disturbed. Contractors who disturb painted surfaces in pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities must be trained and certified, provide educational materials to residents, and follow safe work practices. The U.S. banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978 but EPA estimates that more than 37 million older homes in the U. S. still have lead-based paint.

    Nationwide, more than 100,000 contractors have completed the process to become certified. A single day of training is required to learn about the lead-safe work practices, but many companies continue to operate without training or certification and without regard for the potential harm to children. EPA continues to pursue enforcement against companies that are not certified and uses information from the public to help identify violators.

    Lead exposure is more dangerous to children than adults because children’s growing bodies absorb more lead, and their brain and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead, which include: behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and damage to the brain and nervous system. Children under six years old are at most risk. Currently, no level of lead in blood has been identified as safe for children.

    Become an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Contractor - Attend the 1-day workshop at a training location near you! Visit https://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-rrp-overview or call 646-564-3546 for more information and our training schedule.

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    PEER to Lead the Way in Power System Performance

    What is PEER™?

    PEER™ is the Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal™ program is the driving force behind the vision to transform the way power systems are regulated, designed and operated. The program is modeled after LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) program for buildings, and the first comprehensive system for evaluating power system performance.

    The PEER™ System provides a rating system of power performance measurable across four outcome categories:
    • Enabling Customer Action - addresses customer care services, protection, participation, and incentives
    • Operational Efficiency - addresses electricity costs, microgrid contribution, general operational expenses, and indirect costs
    • Reliability, Power Quality and Safety - addresses power quality, supply availability, sustained and momentary interruptions, and safety
    • Energy Efficiency and Environment - addresses energy efficiency, air emissions, resource use, and renewable energy credits
    In addition, the PEER™ program provides performance metrics and design criteria based on issues that matter most to customers including:
    • Eliminating interruptions and improving safety and power quality; 
    • Being cost-competitive with greater transparency; 
    • Increasing system efficiency and significantly reducing environmental impacts; and 
    • Enabling and encouraging consumer and community participation.
    The idea behind the program is to advance the efficiency of the electricity system. The program empowers building owners and power providers to configure and operate their systems to maximum effectiveness. PEER™ is an addition to the number of certification programs and credentials supervised by the GBCI.

    The first projects using the PEER™ rating system will be presented at the Green Build Expo taking place in New Orleans, LA from October 22-24.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

    National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 19-25, 2014.

    Classically, "lead poisoning" or "lead intoxication" has been defined as exposure to high levels of lead typically associated with severe health effects. Exposure to lead can include contaminated air, water, soil, food, and other consumer products. The amount of lead in the blood and tissues, as well as the time course of exposure, determine toxicity. Children especially are more at risk for lead poisoning because their small bodies are in a continuous state of growth and development. For this reason, children absorb lead more quickly than do adults which causes greater physical harm. Children affected by lead poisoning face symptoms of physical pain and discomfort, behavioral problems, as well as learning disabilities.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/nlppw.htm
    This theme of this year's National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future."

    Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet hundreds of thousands of children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health. They can develop behavior and learning problems such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior. Stopping a child’s exposure to lead from leaded paint, house dust, or any other source is the best way to prevent the harmful effects of lead.  The CDC is committed to eliminating this burden to public health. Homes built before 1978 should be tested for lead paint especially if there are young children living in these homes.

    The CDC suggests parents take certain precautions to help prevent lead poisoning in children, such as:

    • Test your home for lead paint
    • Children or pregnant women should not be present during a renovation of a pre-1978 home
    • Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint
    • Regularly clean floors and windows with a wet cloth to remove household dust
    • Regularly wash children’s hands and toys
    • Avoid using traditional folk medicine and cosmetics that may contain lead
    • Avoid giving the child candies imported from Mexico
    • Check to make sure you dishes and storage containers are labeled lead-free
    • Remove recalled toys and toy jewelry immediately from children

    National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 
    • Testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects are the ultimate goals of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
    • Throughout this week, there will be events held across the country including Lead Screening Clinics, Lead Safety talks, as well as many others. More information about these events and their locations can be found on World Health Organization's website.

    Interested in learning how to safely renovate a home that might have lead paint? Become a Certified Lead Renovator. Learn more at https://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-rrp-overview

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    OSHA Wrap-Up: September 2014

    OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is responsible for the regulation of safe and healthy work environments for working men and women by means of enforcing standards and conducting training, education, and assistance. Through numerous acts and statutes, OSHA holds companies to a standard of working conditions that is both beneficial and safe for both employees and employers. Often, companies either willingly or inadvertently disregard certain standards set forth by OSHA thereby violating the mandated regulations. When this occurs, OSHA steps in and assesses the extent of the violations and cites them in order to prevent further occurrences of such violations.

    The following companies were cited with various OSHA violations in the past month:
    • In Ravenna, Ohio, rubber production plant, Portage Precision Polymers has been cited for 15 serious safety and health violations. Most of the citations issued were for worker exposure to combustible dust and potential amputation hazards. Under certain conditions, combustible dust can become explosive when suspended in the air in the proper concentration. The amputation hazards found on the site included lack of machine guarding and failing to implement specific lockout procedures which would prevent machine operation during maintenance routines. The citations carried with them a proposed penalty totaling more than $61,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA received a complaint regarding the site which was then followed up with a thorough investigation. 
    • In Cleveland, Ohio, manufacturing plant, MCM Industries Co. has been cited for one willful and 17 serious health and safety violations. Both the willful and serious violations involved amputation hazards. The violations found on the site included lack of machine guarding and failure to implement specific lockout procedures which would prevent machine operation during maintenance routines.  The citations carried with them a proposed penalty totaling more that $126,000 in fines by the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA.
    • In Landsdowne, PA, masonry contractor, JC Stucco and Stone Inc. has been cited for three willful and three repeat serious safety violations. After an investigation was conducted by request of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections the company was found to using scaffolding that failed to provide adequate bracing as well as a lack of fall protection for employees working up to a height of 32 feet. The willful violations were cited fines of $200,500 while the repeat citations incurred a fine of $35,200. Thus totaling a proposed penalty of $235,700 in fines.
    Compliancy is not only important for the secure operation of a construction site or a plant but for the overall safety and protection of the site's employees. For training and extensive courses, visit GreenEdu.com to maintain compliance to all such OSHA standards and requirements.

    News Release: HUD Awards $112M For Lead Removal and Healthy Home Initiatives

    For Immediate Release September 30, 2014 by HUD
    HUD Contact: Shantae Goodloe, (202) 708-0685 - http://www.hud.gov/news/index.cfm


    HUD AWARDS $112 MILLION TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
    FROM DANGEROUS LEAD AND OTHER HOME HAZARDS
    Funding to make low-income housing safer and healthier


    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded more than $112 million in grants to 39 local and state government agencies and research institutions to protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards (see chart below).

    The grant funding announced today will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in nearly 7,000 low-income homes with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards. In addition, some of these grants will support research on increasing the effectiveness of hazard reduction methods. These programs have a demonstrated history of success, filling critical needs in communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents, and filling research gaps essential for being able to reduce hazard reduction costs.

    As HUD approaches its 50th anniversary next year, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including helping children and families secure quality housing by protecting them from the hazards of lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.

    "No person should ever be in harm's way when cooking dinner in their kitchen or playing with children in the living room," said Castro. "These grant awards will help communities eliminate home-related hazards and give families new opportunities to thrive. Housing is a critical source of stability, and HUD is committed to helping ensure that all Americans have a healthy safe place to live."

    "Millions of families and children are seeing their hope for the future threatened by poor health simply because of where they live," noted Matthew E. Ammon, Acting Director of HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. "Every child deserves to grow up in a healthy home and yet far too many continue to be exposed to potentially dangerous lead and other health hazards in the home."

    Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed. Housing improvements help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work, and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.

    The following is a breakdown of the funding announced today by grant program:

    Grant Program
    Funding Awarded
    Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program (LBPHC)
    $62,028,846*
    Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program (LHRD)
    $46,674,121*
    Lead Technical Studies Grant Program (LTS)
    $814,017
    Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Program (HHTS)
    $2,797,033
    Total
    $112,314,017
    * This includes the $11,402,967 HUD is awarding to assist in the promotion and development of programs to concurrently identify and address multiple housing-related health hazards with lead hazard control intervention work.

    HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards from lower income homes; stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control; support cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards; and educate the public about the dangers of hazards in the home. Read a complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded grants today.

    The funding announced today directs critical funds to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. HUD is also providing over $11.4 million to help communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities.

    Today's funding also directs funds to public and private universities and research organizations to improve methods to detect lead paint in the home, assess the effectiveness of lead laws, improve home fall protection for the elderly, improve sustainable pest management strategies, evaluate the health effects of smoke-free policies, and assess home air cleaning in reducing childhood asthma.

    Become certified to perform lead paint removal from homes - Lead Abatement Contractor/Supervisor training is available nationwide. Visit www.greenedu.com to learn more!


    The following is a state-by-state breakdown of the funding announced today:
    State
    Recipient
    Grant
    Program*
    Award
    Amount
    AZ
    City of Phoenix
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    CA
    California Department of Community Services and Development
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    City of Los Angeles
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    City of San Diego Environmental Services Department
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    County of Alameda
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    CT
    City of Hartford
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    DC
    District of Columbia
    LHRD
    $3,746,551
    DE
    State of Delaware Health and Social Services
    LBPHC
    $3,288,728
    GA
    City of Atlanta
    LBPHC
    $2,500,000
    IA
    City of Marshalltown
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    IN
    Purdue University
    HHTS
    $659,050
    IL
    City of Chicago Department of Public Health
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    City of Kankakee
    LBPHC
    $3,183,395
    MA
    Harvard University
    HHTS
    $724,726
    MD
    Quantech, Inc.
    LTS
    $498,517
    ME
    City of Lewiston
    LBPHC
    $3,395,159
    MI
    City of Detroit
    LHRD
    $3,637,000
    County of Muskegon
    LBPHC
    $1,100,000
    MN
    City of Minneapolis
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    MO
    City of St. Louis
    LHRD
    $2,500,000
    County of St. Louis
    LBPHC
    $2,496,364
    Kansas City Missouri Health Department
    LBPHC
    $3,216,136
    Washington University
    HHTS
    $724,996
    NH
    City of Nashua
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    NY
    City of Schenectady
    LHRD
    $3,190,570
    Erie County
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    Monroe County Department of Public Health
    LBPHC
    $3,270,000
    Onondaga County Community Development Division
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    OH
    City of Cincinnati
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    City of Columbus Department of Development
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    University of Cincinnati
    HHTS
    $688,261
    RI
    City of Providence
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    The Providence Plan
    LTS
    $315,500
    TX
    City of Fort Worth
    LHRD
    $2,400,000
    VA
    City of Roanoke
    LBPHC
    $2,179,064
    VT
    City of Burlington
    LBPHC
    $3,400,000
    WI
    City of Milwaukee Health Department
    LHRD
    $3,900,000
    Kenosha County Division of Health
    LHRD
    $3,900,000

    TOTAL:
    $112,314,017
    *Grant program abbreviations are as follows:
    HHTS - Healthy Homes Technical Studies
    LBPHC - Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program
                   (includes Healthy Homes Initiative supplemental funding, as applicable)
    LHRD - Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program
                  (includes Healthy Homes Initiative supplemental funding, as applicable)
    LTS - Lead Technical Studies



    About the US Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.


    Friday, September 26, 2014

    USGBC Project for Hazardous Materials Transparency

    In 2012, the USGBC created the LEED, Materials, and Health Project which consisted of three parts:
    • Consistency – harmonizing product transparency and optimization programs
    • Research – determining the effects of materials on health
    • Adoption – understanding where opportunities and challenges are for increasing the disclosure of ingredient profiles
    In an attempt to make product transparency the norm in order to focus more attention on building material ingredients, the goals of this project were straightforward:
    • Improve the indoor environment from a human health perspective
    • Reduce barriers to materials transparency
    • Improve the understanding of health impacts of building materials
    • Bring materials transparency and product optimization into the mainstream
    In order to successfully accomplish the goals of the LEED, Materials, and Health Project, the two most important aspects that need to be solved are: standardization and classification.  There needs to be a universal standard for labeling hazardous materials in place for a clear and concise disclosure of materials' ingredients. Additionally, there needs to be a scientific understanding of what the listed ingredients mean and the kind of handling and disposal they require.

    The big issue the USGBC was met with was the so-called labeling schemes companies use to sweep the true identity of chemical ingredients under the rug. Comparable to the food companies who use every name under the sun to place sugar in the labels other than the simple straightforward "sugar." When people are ill-informed or uneducated in regards to the complicated labels of scientific names, this can lead to the improper use, handling, or disposal of hazardous materials.

    The USGBC has met this issue with a number of events which bring in lecturers who lend their perspectives on how to deal with such deception on the part of chemical companies. In one particular event, in partnership with the Health Product Declaration Collaborative, "The Importance of Material Disclosure and Transparency for the Future Health of the Built Environment: A Community Developer’s Perspective" John Knott, the Executive Director of HPDC, discussed the importance of material disclosure and transparency to promote human and ecological health. Not only are these materials potentially dangerous to the people handling them, if they are not disposed of properly they can cause serious damage to the environment and even lead to long lasting health hazards.

    Another event hosted by the USGBC in partnership with the Green Science Policy Institute "Healthy Buildings: Reducing the Use of Flame Retardants and the ‘Six Classes’ of Harmful Chemicals" brought in Arlene Blum, Ph.D who discussed the approach of classifying the over 80,000 US-registered chemicals into six classes. The six class approach allows for a clear way of revealing the potential health hazards associated with individual chemicals. This approach has the potential to make understanding scientific ingredients more attainable for anyone involved in the handling of such materials.

    The next step in achieving healthy, green buildings is through a harmonious relationship between material transparency and a scientific understanding of the ingredients of said materials. In creating this relationship, it will be easier to foresee and reduce any potential health impacts in order to build a safer and more environmentally friendly structure.

    Learn more about the LEED green building rating system at www.greenedu.com/leed-certification. To achieve training and certification for the use and disposal of hazardous materials, visit Green Education Services for a full line-up of Hazardous Materials courses. 

    USGBC News Release: Increased Demand for LEED Professionals



    This post was originally published by USGBC on September 15, 2014:



    Studies Reveal Growing Demand for LEED-Credentialed Professionals Across Building Sector


    Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the results of a study of job postings from across the United States, revealing that demand for the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and LEED Green Associate credentials grew 46 percent over a 12-month period.

    “This figure tells a powerful story about the value that building-industry employers assign to knowledgeable, LEED-credentialed professionals,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “LEED is a transformative force within the building sector, and every day, our network of more than 197,000 LEED APs and Green Associates are helping to advance the industry and push building projects to new heights of performance and resource efficiency.”

    The study, conducted by USGBC education partner Pearson, using data provided by Burning Glass, found a total of 9,033 U.S. job postings from March 2013 to February 2014 that required a LEED credential. Top fields being advertised included available positions in mechanical, electrical and civil engineering; construction management; architecture; software development; sales management; property management; and interior design, among others.

    A secondary 90-day study conducted by Pearson, using data provided by Burning Glass, from January 2014 to March 2014 of 2,354 U.S. green-building related positions also found LEED as the skill in highest demand by a wide margin. LEED appeared in 59 percent of all postings, compared to the second-most-required skill, which appeared in 17 percent of the postings.

    The LEED AP credential affirms advanced knowledge in specialized areas of green building, expertise in a particular LEED rating system and competency in the certification process. It is suited for practitioners actively working on LEED projects to showcase their deep technical knowledge of LEED in both principle and practice.

    The LEED Green Associate demonstrates a solid, current understanding of green building principles and practices. It is ideal for both professionals newer to the sustainability field or looking to gain experience and exposure to LEED, as well as those working in diverse roles such as product manufacturers, students, real estate professionals, contractors and more.

    About the U.S. Green Building CouncilThe U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org.

    Prepare for your LEED credentialing exam with GreenEDU! Visit www.greenedu.com/leed-certification to get started.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    OSHA Fines for Dangerous Work Conditions in Easthampton

    Originally published on GazetteNet.com by Rebecca Everett.
    EASTHAMPTON — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the general contractor — which has a history of OSHA violations — and three subcontractors after finding unsafe conditions for workers renovating the former Dye Works building at 15 Cottage St.

    OSHA representatives in its Springfield office have performed several inspections — including some after complaints by workers — since renovations began in January on the 50-unit affordable housing project tobe called Cottage Square.

    According to OSHA records, the general contractor and three other companies failed to ensure the safety of those working above the ground and workers removing lead paint.

    Two subcontractors are contesting the OSHA fines, including A Fast Blast of Connecticut, which was fined $47,600. The two other companies, including the general contractor, have agreed to pay fines for not protecting workers at the site.

    General contractor James J. Welch & Co. of Salem, which has a history of violations at other sites, paid $8,874 in fines related to violations at the Dye Works project in April and June. OSHA investigators were back at the site July 11 to check for a possible “fall hazard” after receiving a complaint from a worker, according to OSHA spokesman Edmund Fitzgerald. The issue is still under investigation, he said.

    Fitzgerald said he is not aware of any accidents at the 15 Cottage St. site.

    Arch Street Development of Boston is renovating the former mill building as part of an $18 million project — paid for partly through federal and state tax credits and subsidies — to create 50 units of affordable rental housing. The developer’s co-owner, Colin P. O’Keeffe, said that he wasaware that OSHA had announced $47,600 in fines against A Fast Blast, but did not know of any other violations at the site.

    He said it is the responsibility of the general contractor, to ensure that all employees are safe on the site, including those who work for subcontractors.

    “This is the first time we’ve seen this,” O’Keeffe said, adding that Arch Street and Welch worked together on a similar project in North Adams in 2009. “We’re on site more now than we have been earlier in the project. We’re meeting with Welch and subcontractors weekly and trying to keep an eye on all that happens.”

    He said that while having one OSHA violation is not unusual on a construction site, “a string of them” is more concerning.

    “All projects like this have a lot of moving parts, a lot of players,” he said. “But we’re pretty pleased with the way it’s going. There have been a few bumps in the road, but it’s going to be a great project.”

    He said the project is on budget and on track to have low-income tenants by January.

    Four companies cited

    The U.S. Department of Labor announced July 17 that Maher Industries, doing business as A Fast Blast, would face fines for failing to protect workers’ health while they blasted lead paint off walls during an April 1 inspection prompted by a complaint. The alleged violations included making no efforts to reduce the concentrations of lead and silica in the air when they were over the set exposure limits and failing to provide or train employees to wear respirators and coveralls.

    But the day the fines were announced, A Fast Blast Owner James Maher said that James J. Welch & Co. was responsible for ensuring that the workplace was not hazardous. He said he ordered his workers off the site because Welch refused to address his concerns about their safety.

    Voicemails and emails for representatives of James J. Welch & Co. were not returned Monday. The company has agreed to pay $8,874 in fines for 14 violations at the site. The amount was reduced from $21,022 as part of an informal settlement.

    On June 9, according to OSHA records, Welch violated OSHA regulations that prohibit using scaffolds that are not “fully planked or decked,” using a damaged or weakened scaffold, and allowing employees on scaffolds without protecting them from falling.

    After the same April 1 inspection that led to fine for A Fast Blast, Welch was fined for 11 violations including failing to monitor the exposure levels through environmental samples and biological testing of employees, and failing to provide protective clothing, respirators, and the training to wear them appropriately.

    Fitzgerald said that both Welch and A Fast Blast were fined for the lead paint issues because employers are responsible for their own employees. “Each employer was cited for the hazards to which their employees were exposed,” he said.

    Also accepting a $1,400 fine as part of an informal settlement was E.F. Fogarty Construction of Middleton. According to OSHA records, an inspection June 9 as a result of a complaint found that the company did not protect employees from falling from a low-slope roof by using guardrails, safety nets, harnesses, or a safety monitoring system.

    Patriots Environmental Corp. of Oxford is contesting $12,600 in fines for three alleged violations observed during a March 3 inspection prompted by a complaint. The majority of the proposed fines, $9,800, was levied for an alleged repeat violation of the requirement that an employer use guardrails or harnesses to prevent employee from falling in a hoisting area.


    The other two alleged violations had to do with using a ladder for a purpose for which it was not designed and failing to ensure a ladder to an upper level was secured at its top.

    Past violations

    O’Keeffe said he and his partner, Richard Relich, selected James J. Welch & Co. as the general contractor based on the company’s bid price, references and their past experience working together on the Clark Biscuit Apartments in North Adams.

    O’Keeffe said they typically do not research OSHA records for past violations when choosing a contractor.

    At the Clark Biscuit Apartments in 2009, Welch was fined $600 by OSHA for two violations: failing to add railings or other safety features to a stairwell and failing to mark exits.

    Since 2008, OSHA has cited Welch for 62 violations as a result of 11 inspections at Massachusetts construction sites. Those include 22 citations for failing to protect against falls, 16 violations about the use of electrical equipment, 12 violations regarding respiratory hazards, three violations regarding power tools, and other violations including failing to protect workers from impalement on exposed rebar.

    The construction sites are in Easthampton, North Adams, South Yarmouth, Cambridge, Boston, Holliston, Dorchester, and Allston.

    Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

    Ensure your workers' safety and stay compliant with OSHA Standards by registering for a licensing course through Green Education Services

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    GBCI and Bureau Veritas Partner to Facilitate LEED Certification

    The following news release was originally published by USGBC on July 31, 2014:

    Washington, D.C.— Today, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the third-party certification body for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, and Bureau Veritas SA, a leading global testing, inspection and certification body, announced a strategic business partnership. As part of the agreement, Bureau Veritas will facilitate LEED certification on behalf of GBCI for LEED green building projects.

    “This collaboration with Bureau Veritas helps us take LEED to the next level,” said Rick Fedrizzi, GBCI board member and president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Through our collaboration, we will leverage the scale and scope of Bureau Veritas’ operations and quickly build capacity and global reach to deliver best-in-class, third-party certification for LEED.”

    “Partnering with GBCI offers Bureau Veritas an active role in LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program,” said Didier Michaud-Daniel, CEO, Bureau Veritas. “LEED certification allows us to expand our certification offerings related to quality, human health, environmental protection and social responsibility: all incredibly important priorities for our clients and the communities in which we work.”

    The agreement will allow for enhanced customer engagement and local support for LEED.

    “GBCI and Bureau Veritas will be able to offer local touch points and resources for green building teams on the ground in a way that we have never before been able to offer,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operating officer, USGBC, and president, GBCI. “Connecting with our customers and deepening our engagement with them will help accelerate the adoption of green building practices and deliver its benefits to these key economies.

    “We want our users to have a positive and seamless experience with LEED, no matter where they are across the globe,” added Ramanujam. “GBCI is building world-class infrastructure to support the uptake of green building around the world.”

    Earlier this year, USGBC released its list of the top 10 countries for LEED outside the U.S., with Canada taking the lead, followed by China and India.

    “USGBC projects significant growth in green building activity in countries like China, India and Brazil in 2014,” said Ramanujam. “Looking at the LEED project registration and certification trends of these countries and across the globe, it is critical to build up the infrastructure to support this development.”

    Worldwide, more than 60,000 commercial projects are using LEED, totaling 11.2 billion gross square feet. Additionally, more than 154,000 residential units are using the LEED for Homes rating system.

    The growth of LEED reflects its global adaptability as the world’s most widely used and recognized system guiding the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings. LEED is a critical tool in creating structures that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; create healthier indoor environments for workers, students and community members; and lower utility bills for building owners through reduced energy and water use.


    About the Green Building Certification InstituteThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of professional credentialing and project certification programs related to green building. GBCI is committed to ensuring precision in the design, development, and implementation of measurement processes for green building performance (through project certification) and green building practice (through professional credentials and certificates). Established in 2008 to administer certifications and professional designations within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating Systems™, GBCI continues to develop new programs and offer the marketplace validation that building certifications and professional designations have met specific, rigorous criteria.
    About Bureau Veritas
    Bureau Veritas is a global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC), delivering high quality services to help clients meet the growing challenges of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. They are a crucial leader in the promotion of social and environmental integrity by excelling beyond compliance with standards and regulations. They promote truly innovative buildings that are truly represent the ideals of going green and being LEED compliant.

    Want to learn more about green building and LEED Certification? Check out GreenEDU.com for a full line up of courses to get you up to speed and to prepare for the LEED Exams.

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    Universities for Sustainability

    Back to school means new books, new pens, new clothes, and new LEED certified buildings? Out with the old, in with the new (and improved)! Colleges across the country and beyond are taking new initiatives to promote energy efficiency to benefit both their students and the environment.

    With the push towards sustainability picking up more and more momentum, it's no surprise that new residence halls around the country are following suit. Across the country, universities have been striving towards creating initiatives that reduce waste, incorporate renewable materials, and promote healthy lifestyles. These leaps in sustainability have also been seen in the way many new buildings, especially residence halls, are being designed. In fact, two recently built dorms, one at Pacific University and another at UW - Madison have gone so far as to achieve LEED Gold Certification. Both residence halls boast unique designs and are built with the occupants' and environment's health and well-being in mind. 

    Pacific University most recently opened the doors to its Cascade Hall, which achieved LEED Gold Certification this year. This building is the sixth building on the Pacific University campus that has achieved LEED Certification. For more information regarding Pacific University's LEED successes visit www.pacificu.edu

    On the UW - Madison campus, Aldo Leopold Residence Hall opened in August 2013 and just recently achieved its LEED Gold Certification. The residence hall prides itself on its solar paneled roof, green power (wind), as well as numerous other features that add to its impressive sustainability strides. For more information about UW's sustainable building designs visit http://www.news.wisc.edu/23026.

    Additionally, at New York University there are many sustainability projects in effect around campus. NYU Unplugged 2014 encouraged residence halls to turn off lights and unplug devices when they were not in use. The initiative saw an energy reduction in over a dozen residence halls. NYU has also promoted initiatives to encourage recycling and composting throughout the dining halls in the hopes of reducing the carbon footprint. The benefits from these initiatives will no doubt have incredible positive future outcomes in addition to their current success. The NYU Sustainability Initiative is a relatively new task force and the work they have already accomplished is immensely impressive. 

    Interested in learning more about sustainability and LEED? Visit GreenEDU.com for a full line-up of LEED Exam Prep courses. GreenEDU also offers a number of Energy Efficiency Training courses to learn more about energy audits, retrofits, and energy-saving practices!

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    LEED Certification 2014 - Important Terms and Deadlines

    What is LEED(R)?
    LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Created by the United States Green Building Council, LEED provides a point system for green buildings and their construction, awarding points for 5 main areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Buildings can then be awarded levels of certification--Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The more points a building gets, the higher their level of certification. Learn more at GreenEDU's LEED FAQ page.

    What is LEED v4?
    LEED v4 is the newest version of LEED building expectations. It takes the next step forward in designing healthier, more sustainable buildings. LEED v4 encompasses all aspects of the building process into a more cohesive endeavor. It covers everything from the design process to the materials used. Interested in learning more about the latest version of LEED? Attend our free Intro to LEED webinar!

    What is Greenbuild?
    "Greenbuild is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building." At Greenbuild, industry leaders, experts, and other professionals with the passions of green building come together to share their expertise and the methods they use in their everyday work to successfully further sustainability. Participants have the opportunity to learn from these experts and take the knowledge they have gained and apply it to their own work. Last year the conference took Philadelphia by storm, and this year the conference will be held in New Orleans beginning October 22, 2014.

    Upcoming LEED Certification Deadlines:

    Want to have your project certified in time to share your experience at Greenbuild 2014? Keep these certification deadlines in mind:


    For expedited review*, keep these deadlines and surcharges in mind:



    In order to achieve LEED Certification by the end of 2014, keep these deadlines in mind:


    For expedited review*, keep these deadlines and surcharges in mind:


    * If you plan on submitting an application for expedited review, contact GCBI 10 days prior to submitting the application.


    For more information regarding LEED Certification deadlines, fees, and surcharges, visit usgbc.org.

    If you are planning on taking the LEED Exam, make sure you are fully prepared by registering for a LEED Exam Prep course!