Monday, October 28, 2013

LEED Remains Preferred Green Building Rating System for Federal Buildings

LEED Gold Certified Courthouse In Eugene, OR
LEED Gold US Courthouse in Eugene, OR. Source:
Originally released by USGBC on October 25, 2013:

Washington, D.C. – The General Services Administration (GSA) concluded again today that the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building rating system can and should be used in government buildings to advance energy efficiency and to save taxpayers’ money. GSA issued its recommendation today based on the findings of the EISA §436(h) Ad-Hoc Review Group on Green Building Certification Systems.

“LEED continues to set a global example for market transformation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, which oversees LEED. “As the premier rating system in the world, LEED will continue to inspire people and set the bar for healthy, energy efficient and high-performing buildings.”

GSA’s decision comes a year after more than 1,250 businesses and organizations urged GSA to continue to use LEED to improve the energy and environmental performance of federal buildings. In February, the National Academy of Sciences released a report on green building certification systems that recommended that the Department of Defense construct its buildings to LEED’s Silver standard or the equivalent.

“At this point, it is unassailable, LEED works. It has played a significant role in GSA’s achievement of its energy and sustainability goals,” said Roger Platt, senior vice president, global policy and law, USGBC. “Any government agency that chooses to follow the private sector in using LEED certification does so because the result is better buildings and savings for the taxpayer.”

More than 1.5 million square feet of space is certified using LEED every day, making LEED the most widely used high-performance building program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. More than 55,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising 10.4 billion square feet of construction space in more than 140 countries and territories. In addition, more than 46,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system.

A study by The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) found that GSA LEED certified buildings used 25 percent less energy than the national average and cost 19 percent less to operate. There are currently more than 4,000 LEED certified government projects with another 8,000 in the pipeline as registered projects. A recent report from GSA shows the agency has successfully reduced its energy use by nearly 20 percent since 2003 and water use by almost 15 percent since 2007.

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 and explore the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG).

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: National Environmental Solutions Inc.

National Environmental Solutions, Inc. provides training and consulting services in the Southeast. Their staff has over 30 years of accumulative experience to assure their students have the instruction needed to maintain federal, state, and local compliance. Courses are taught by Bonnie B. Maurras who has been helping to build a trained and certified Lead Abatement workforce of contractors,consultants,and healthcare providers in EPA Region 4 since 1994. National Environmental Solutions, Inc. provides quality training and meets the individual needs of their students, enabling the success of both the company and its clients.

National Environmental Solutions Inc. has received praise from GreenEDU students. "[The] instructor was very knowledgable and thorough," stated Bobby H., a GreenEDU student who attended a National Environmental Solutions, Inc. course. "Understanding of subject matter, and ability to pass that on was superb," said student John H.

National Environmental Solutions Inc. provides courses in both Soddy Daisy, Tennessee and Tucker, Georgia. They currently offer EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training in both of these locations.

As of April 22, 2010, anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be EPA Lead Safe Certified. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day.

The Lead Renovator Certification Initial course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and certification. Any contractor performing work on pre-1978 homes or child-occupied facilities must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training. Companies must also be registered as a Lead Safe Certified Firm with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The course concludes with a 25 question exam. Students seeking to work with lead paint should take this initial course and become lead-safe certified. Register for an EPA Lead Renovators course here!

About National Environmental Solutions, Inc.
The National Environmental Solutions, Inc (NESI) staff have an accumulative 35+ years in the Lead Abatement / Inspection / Risk Assessment field and a total of 26 years of experience in the Asbestos field. Since 1992, we have been helping all aspects of the Commercial and Residential Community within the Southeast EPA Region IV area to comply with EPA, OSHA, CDC, HUD and CPSC regulations, and throughout the years, our range of Lead and Asbestos training and consulting services have enabled building owners and operators to comprehensively approach the removal or control of Lead and Asbestos in all types of buildings. Our expertise in Lead and Asbestos provide the knowledge necessary for our students to rightfully comply with federal and state regulations.

For more information and registration, visit

Friday, October 25, 2013

First LEED v4 Certified Building in the World

first LEED v4 certified building in China
via Inhabitat
USGBC certifies buildings based on a rating system called LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, awarding buildings for various advancements in green building design, including energy efficiency, raw material sourcing, and an emphasis on life cycle assessments.

The newest version of this rating system, LEED v4, has been updated to include stricter standards, but this hasn't stopped the creation of incredible buildings. The Haworth Showroom in Beijing was recently announced to have received the first LEED v4 certification under the beta version of the rating system, earning LEED Gold status by achieving 71 out of 110 total possible points.

The Haworth Showroom is located in the Parkview Green building in Beijing, a center for tenants to access transportation, bicycles, and lounge spaces. Parkview Green's neighborhood, Fangcaodi, literally "green, grassy area", is home to homes, shopping centers, and offices with innovative technology and a passion for environmental protection.

Environmental Leader reports that not only does the room make use of fresh air and natural lighting, but the showroom has also reduced its energy usage by 59% through the use of energy-efficient LED lights and a more efficient HVAC system. Additionally, the room decreased its water use by 53% through its use of a greywater recycling system. During its construction, 60% of nonstructural interior materials were reused. The company reports that even the furniture is Greenguard certified or reused from other parts of their building. Haworth has purchased renewable energy credits for the next five years for the showroom and have continued this process with their many other LEED certified buildings worldwide.

The USGBC is releasing the updated, official version of LEED v4 next month at the Greenbuilding International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Want to become LEED certified or further your education? Check out our GreenEDU courses and packages for LEED Exam Preparation as well as LEED Continuing Education. Register for a course in your area or sign up for an online-anytime course to be taken at your convenience!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Highlights of LEED v4

LEED v4 green building rating system
With the USGBC updating to LEED v4, professionals in the green building field believe that the new version will impact everyone, not just contractors and architects. The new product standards are going make the business that create these materials work harder to master the rigorous checkmarks required for LEED v4.

Utilizing Transparency
"Update: A building product can contribute to a LEED point just by disclosing information related to environmental and health impacts. Even if your product contains carcinogens and has a large carbon footprint, it theoretically could contribute to two LEED points just by being transparent about these unfortunate facts.

This may seem controversial to some, especially with the inclusion of performance-related credits. Transparency is important for all companies, not just those involved with the update. Honesty is the way to go in business. When a company is honest and shows the public what they are doing and how they are improving, this creates trusts with clients.

For buildings, if a designer never reads the detailed product disclosures submitted for a LEED v4 project, manufacturers will know what they disclosed. With this included step add, materials can be improved before the next time of creation."

Using Life Cycle Assessment New Role
"Update: Using verified life cycle assessment (LCA) data to fully the environmental impacts of the entire life cycle of the product. Manufacturers are asked to provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or third-party verified life cycle assessments.

Having an EPD contributes to one point. Another point is given by showing that the product's impacts are below industry averages. Recycled content will contribute, but only to show responsibly sourced raw materials.

Firms that verify LCA data report an increase of new customers that want to produce EPDs. With this increase, LCA is may become a market differentiator or a baseline requirement to compete in a high-profile market."

Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials
"Update: Credit for raw materials sourcing requires manufacturers to report extraction locations and supplier commitments to responsible practices for 90% of a product's raw materials.

Before, some of this information was confidential for business relationship purposes. LEED v4 aspires to reward companies who have these conversations with suppliers before there is a problem."

Hazard-based Ingredients Reporting
"Update: Addressing the potential toxicity of building product ingredients. Products can contribute to one point by declaring all ingredients are more than 0.1 percent by weight, and another point if companies can prove that they are avoiding some of the most hazardous chemicals as determined by several governmental lists.

LEED v4 recognizes the Health Product Declaration, a hazard-based standard format for reporting ingredients and health warnings. The association presented its own format, the Product Transparency Declaration, which limits reporting chemical hazard warnings in favor of providing basic information on exposure risks to users.  LEED v4 could change the way hazards are reported with the hazard-based chemical assessment, rather than weighing the "healthiness" of product ingredients."

What This Means
"The new credits in LEED v4 are encouraging businesses to be transparent and accountable. Figuring out how to best implement more holistic sustainability reporting is a work in progress, but we see life cycle assessment, chemical hazard assessment and supply chain transparency as part of the new normal for manufacturers in every sector."

How GreenEDU Can Help
Green Education Services is also preparing for the new LEED v4 rating systems and credentialing exams. View our training options at to learn more.

The original post is by Mikhail Davis and Melissa Vernon. This post is edited and re-blogged from GreenBiz.Com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

MA University Aims for LEED Gold Certification With New Dormitory

University LEED certified dorms
An outside view of the new dormitory
At Bridgewater State University, located roughly 45 minutes south of Boston, MA, the school’s newest dormitory, Weygand Hall, aims to be a benchmark of energy efficiency. Designed by Perkins+Will, the new building is 160 square feet and contains space for 500 students to live in suite-style rooms. It has a geo-exchange heating and cooling system and was built by LEED standards. It took two years to create, but it certainly seems worth the time.

In the state of Massachusetts, the building is required to obtain at least a LEED Silver Certification, but the school and designers are shooting for LEED Gold Certification. The scale for approving the building as Silver or Gold Certified is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. If the building meets all the qualifications, they will be awarded the specific certification. With the recent completion, the school will soon find what LEED level they’ve achieved.

Per David Damon, Associate Principle on the project, Perkins+Will began the process by presenting the school with a plan of key concepts: minimize building energy usage (passive strategies), maximize energy efficiency (active strategies), generate renewable energy, and reduce energy consumption based on building operation. With this is place, they constructed eight strategies for improving energy efficiency, and found the use of mini refrigerators to be a major culprit during research. The numerous mini-fridges required more energy than many first thought. By eliminating mini-fridges in each room, it created an annual energy savings of $16,000. In their place, the school installed Energy-Star rated refrigerators in suites with four or more students. This cost the school roughly $53,000 to install, but with the savings from energy costs the money will be made back within three years.

Damon blogged: “Over the past two years, Perkins+Will has been working with the University to create a dynamic environment where students can have a new kind of interaction on campus that pushes the boundaries of sustainability. It’s one thing to design an energy-saving, green-loving, tempered-by-the-earth building – it’s another thing to operate it to its fullest potential. That was the message that we brought to Bridgewater. It’s like most things in life: you can buy the most intricate smart device, but you only get the benefits when you know how to use [it].”

With LEED being the most widely recognized green building rating system in the world, it is important to know how to use the tools of the rating systems if you’re in the AEC industry. Green Education Services offers LEED Exam Prep training and continuing education courses. This is the best way to make sure you pass the challenging LEED certification exams on your first try. Learn from the LEED Faculty Members at GreenEDU with easy-to-follow educational materials, excellent presentations, and real-world examples that will help you understand the complex concepts. We offer both in-class and online options, so take a moment to explore the opportunities we have for you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

U.S. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Goes Global

For Immediate Release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
October 22, 2013 -- U.S. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Goes Global

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are partnering with the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, to announce the Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action. This is the first time National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week will be recognized internationally. More than 35 countries from across the world will take action and hold public awareness activities during this week.

“This year’s theme, ‘Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,’ underscores the importance of testing your home for lead and understanding how to prevent harmful exposures. Given that lead impacts children around the world, we are pleased to help National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week go global this year,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Joining with other countries to raise awareness about protecting children from the harmful exposure to lead will have a long-term positive effect on the health of children worldwide.”

This year, the partners will work to raise awareness about lead paint poisoning worldwide and the need to eliminate lead in paint. The goal during this International Week of Action is to reduce lead exposure and raise public awareness through activities that will take place in more than 35 countries. EPA translated educational materials on the hazards of lead poisoning and provided customized materials for international activities and events.

Examples of international activities include:
  • national outreach campaigns conducted by the Georgian and South African governments;
  • a medical professionals’ conference in India,
  • the release of a report on the lead content of household paints offered for sale in the Philippines; and,
  • outreach by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organization.
In the United States, paint containing lead was effectively banned for residential use in 1978. However, sources of children’s exposure to lead from paint can still be found in some older buildings. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Here are some simple tips to help protect your children:
  • If you live in a home built before 1978, have your home inspected for lead. 
  • Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead exposure. 
For more information about the U.S. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and a map of Lead Week Activities occurring in the United States and around the world, visit:

For more information about the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint visit:

Cathy Milbourn (News Media Only)


If you are a contractor working on homes built before 1978, help eliminate lead poisoning from renovation activities and avoid EPA fines - take an 8 hour certification class today at a location near you! Visit for more information or call 646-564-

Monday, October 21, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Wunderlin Environmental Training Services LLC

Platteville, WI- Wunderlin Environmental Services is an environmental consulting training company based in Wisconsin. They have regularly scheduled courses with no minimum attendance and are always guaranteed to provide their students with quality, timely instruction. All of their courses are approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, and they seek to help students get certified and licensed efficiently. Wunderlin's instructors have years of experience in the field and can offer insight to their students. Students will learn how to apply their knowledge and keep themselves, their coworkers, and their communities safe from hazards. Wunderlin Environmental Services also offers in-house training for larger groups upon request. They seek to provide students with the best learning experience with low prices and exceptional instruction.

GreenEDU students have taken courses with Wunderlin Environmental Services and provided positive feedback. Mark T. described his time in the class as "a great experience."

Currently Wunderlin Environmental Services provides EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial courses with GreenEDU.

As of April 22, 2010, anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be EPA Lead Safe Certified. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day.

The Lead Renovator Certification Initial course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and certification. Any contractor performing work on pre-1978 homes or child-occupied facilities must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training. Companies must also be registered as a Lead Safe Certified Firm with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The course concludes with a 25 question exam.

About Wunderlin Environmental Training Services
Wunderlin Environmental Training Services is a Wisconsin based company that provides training and consulting services to individuals working in the construction trades. Our trainers have over 30 years of field experience in construction, renovation and/or property management. We are both an EPA and a State of Wisconsin approved training provider for the RRP Lead Renovators Certification Initial Course and a State of Wisconsin approved training provider for the RRP Lead Renovators Certification Refresher Course. We provide in-depth classroom and hands-on training to contractors, painters, home renovators, property managers, and anyone involved in pre-1978 renovation. Our training staff is committed to providing you with a quality learning experience that will help you understand the rules and regulations associated with lead renovations and give you the skills necessary in order to perform lead-safe work.

To sign up for a course with Wunderlin Environmental Training, visit

Friday, October 18, 2013

Asbestos Causes Health And Legal Issues

With any project renovation or demolition project, there are potential risks for renovation and demolition. Skilled contractors evaluate the potential space before any work is done to have a firm understanding of the possible hazards. In many cases of decrepit buildings, asbestos can rear its ugly head, causing contractors to develop a plan for removal.

Recently, two articles appeared in the news: one about a school district taking careful measures to remove asbestos and another unexplained how an uninformed child turned into an adult with mesothelioma. In these two situations, one acted accordingly for the safety of children and the other lacked knowledge, and thus affected an entire town with asbestos. By drawing on these articles, we can illustrate the importance of asbestos safety.

First, in Cumberland, MD in order to build a new school, Allegany High, project mangers are demolishing a decrepit hospital. When developers began planning, they knew it was going to be a large task with the condition of the building. They carefully prepared for the removal of asbestos and upon further review found sources of mold. More importantly, the school is being just as cautious with both removals.

Scheduled to open fall of 2017, the estimated cost of the project is between $30--40 million. With this budget, school officials are able to carefully plan the removal of the unwelcome guests. The school and their developers realize the safety of the community is at stake with the demolition of this building because of the presence of asbestos and mold. When these substances are disturbed, they become airborne and are easy to inhale for the surrounding residents. Even in small doses, the dangers are large for humans.

School officials state that they are not going to rush through the abatement and removal because they understand the severity of the issues. With this kind of attitude, this will be a successful project because they are taking the process seriously.

Unfortunately, environmental awareness and resident safety is not always paramount for companies. In the United Kingdom, fashion designer Caroline Wilcox contracted mesothelioma from playing with asbestos as a child. She and some of her friends would have asbestos "snowball" fights with asbestos dust that gathered near their homes from an asbestos plant in Bowburn, Duhrum County. From such exposure, she fell quite ill and was not given a hopeful outlook by physicians.

With the available asbestos knowledge we have now, she took action and got a settlement from the company as a result of their negligence.

Ms. Wilcox states, "My case establishes that the people of Bowburn were exposed to the dangers of asbestos over forty years ago and were largely unaware or unable to do anything to protect themselves and their children."

Two separate issues where one party is aware of asbestos dangers and the other party has to see an illness in order to act. The green building community is progressing the knowledge base of the dangers of asbestos. We can see companies who have made poor judgement with asbestos are attempting to correct their mistakes. Education and proper training is crucial to stop such events from repeating.

To help professionals prepare for challenges, GreenEDU offers the following course on asbestos:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Energy Efficiency Wins Big in New Residential Building Codes
At the 2013 International Code Council (ICC) Annual Conference and Public Comment Hearings last week,  building code officials approved an updated regulation. The update is two-fold: it will reduce energy waste in new homes without effecting the code's energy-saving measures.

One of the most significant code updates under consideration, a proposal known as RE-188, adds a new optional compliance pathway to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It would allow builders to comply by using an energy rating index (ERI), such as the Home Energy Rating System known as HERS, to meet the code’s energy-saving goals instead of having to install many prescriptive energy efficiency measures specified by the code. Approximately 40 percent of new homes are already rated using the HERS system, which is utilized for compliance in other programs such as the new homes tax credit andENERGY STAR, making the timing ripe for this addition to the code as a compliance path.

"This is a cost-effective approach that will help cut utility costs for homeowners, give greater flexibility to homebuilders in complying with the code, and create a stronger market for even more efficient homes by giving home buyers an MPG-like rating to compare the homes side by side,"said Meg Waltner, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Manager for Building Energy Policy. Other groups to support the update are the Institute for Market Transformation and the Britt/Makela Group.

Through the update,  homeowners with experience reduced energy bills and greater information on their home’s efficiency. Builders will also have a new compliance option using this path: documentation of the ERI score and of meeting the mandatory code provisions prepared by a certified third-party. Under the HERS system, these third-party verifiers are certified energy efficiency experts and a random sample of their work is quality-checked; their involvement will help improve compliance by reducing the burden on code officials.

Many builders are expected to disclose the results of energy ratings to the home’s occupants, providing another layer of verification, and creating a better market for homes whose energy efficiency surpasses the current building code. And, if Congress passes the SAVE Act (which would improve the accuracy of mortgage underwriting by factoring in energy costs), these ratings would enable borrowers to more easily qualify for mortgages to buy energy-efficient homes or to refinance and improve their homes’ efficiency.

"With this updated building code, a broad coalition including advocates and homebuilders has overcome past suspicion to craft a solution to give builders greater flexibility to innovate and reduce costs while raising the bar for energy efficiency," said IMT’s Cliff Majersik.

At the ICC Hearings in Atlantic City, building code officials also defeated a proposal that would roll back efficiency levels from the current 2012 code.

This is great news for green builders. GreenEDU has training courses that prepare individuals for evaluation of energy efficiency. Our Green Building Education course, which is online any time, is beneficial not only for contractors and trades-people in the residential building and construction industry, but also for developers, real estate professionals, homeowners and for those seeking to gain a better understanding of the green building industry as it relates to residential construction. This course meets the LEED for Homes Green Rater eligibility qualification for 8 hours of education that comprehensively covers residential green building strategies.

GreenEDU also has Sustainable Building Advisor Program courses allow participants to identify and discuss the key practices of sustainable building; establish competencies in applying LEED™, Built Green™, and other relevant criteria or established guidelines to the built environment; and analyze the costs and benefits of incorporating sustainable building measures into a project.

All of our courses are designed to put you at an advantage in the growing field of energy efficiency.

University Experiences Mold Issue

Mold sample
Sample of contained mold

The University of Minnesota experienced some unwelcome guests during their fall move in: mold. Reported a few weeks ago, some students were forced into other available rooms until abatement measures could be taken at the affected dormitory, Frontier Hall.

Built in 1959, Frontier Hall was renovated in 2000. During the renovation, school officials state that the heating and cooling systems were updated. Mold thrives off of damp areas, so 13 years later, it makes sense that mold would have an opportunity to grow. All types of molds require moisture for growth. Because they lack chlorophyll, they survive by digesting plant materials and other food sources such as wood, fabric and even human athlete’s foot. Molds reproduce through creating a very large numbers of small spores, which is similar to plants creating seeds. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they begin growing and digesting in order to survive

The school states that this is the worst outbreak they have ever had. They feel as though since it was more humid during this move-in and the air conditioning was on full-blast, this could have caused the outbreak.

It is important to remove this mold as soon as possible and take the situation seriously. Mold, especially such a large outbreak, can cause numerous ailments such as:
  • Sneezing, runny nose, irritation of throat, red eyes, skin rash (dermatitis) 
  • ›Allergic Reactions: allergic asthma, hay fever, fungal sinusitis 
  • ›Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: rare, immune-related condition resembling bacterial pneumonia 
  • ›Toxic Reactions: liver damage, nervous system damage, immunological effects 
One interviewed student complained she felt that moving into the dorm triggered her allergies. After learning of the mold situation, she then understood her runny nose was a side effect of mold exposure. Some of the mold, located in the air conditioning units, can be costly to the student health. Undisturbed mold is a hazard enough, but the risk greatly increases when the organism is disturbed, as the spores can become airborne.

Instead of asking the students to review their rooms for mold, this should be left to professionals who can identify the source and plan a way to minimalism disturbance. Many people are not aware of the dangers of mold or what level of harm different types may cause. In this situation, hiring a mold consultant would be in the best interest of the school.

One company, My Cleaning Products, suggested using their Safe Shield, non-toxic mold remover and prevention solution. They state this could alleviate the problem while preventing growth. Used by professionals, their product is guaranteed to prevent mold regrowth for up to 4 months. While this is a temporary fix, the real key is hiring mold professionals to take of the job.

GreenEDU recommends taking some of our training courses. You can learn the mold basics in Introduction to Mold, which is great for several industries like insurance and construction. We also offer a Mold Inspection Course, a Mold Remediation Course, Mold Refresher training.

To sign up for a class, or to learn more about mold, please visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

California Lead Lawsuit Offers Opinions On Paint Responsibility and Abatement

DuPont Paint
Lead paint continues to cause issues
photo credit

The California lead paint lawsuit we mentioned in a previous post is coming a close. The five represented paint companies--NL Industries Inc; Dupont; ConAgra Grocery Products LLC; Sherwin-Williams Company; and Atlantic Richfield Co.-- presented closing arguments against a public-nuisance lawsuit by 10 California cities and counties seeking more than $1 billion to replace or contain lead paint in millions of homes.

As providers of lead abatement certification classes, GreenEDU knows the harms of lead-based paint in buildings. Abatement refers to any measure or set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, including removal, encapsulation, and replacement. Often, abatement projects will be conducted in response to state or local abatement orders. It is required that anyone performing abatement activities is certified and registered with the EPA.

We offer these classes because even in small doses, lead is most dangerous to children. When lead is introduced to a child's body, the side effects can include:
  • Poor muscle and bone development
  • ›Coordination problems
  • Speech and language problems
  • ›Deafness
  • Mental Retardation
  • Coma
  • Death
In this case, the plaintiffs want to hold these companies accountable for their insertion of lead into their paints. As a result of the lead, there are numerous cases of lead poisoning and defects in children in California. This case was previously thrown out, but was reinstated in 2006 after winning an appeal. If the judges rule in favor of the plaintiffs, it will be a huge step in the lead abatement discussion. In previous cases, New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin courts have sided with the paint companies, stating they were not responsible for the nuisance of lead paint produced years ago.

As a core piece of evidence in the case, the prosecution holds a document from 1937 entitled “Lead Poisoning, Report of Conference Physicians and Surgeons of Member Companies.” The authors were physicians who were employed by several paint companies and learned of the dangers of lead paint. The physicians were instructed to not repeat this information. The legal team for the prosecution stated, “They knew in the 1930s that lead poisoning of children was happening and they tried to conceal it.”

Don Scott, a member of the legal defense team for NL Industries, attempted to show that the company did not know about the risks of including lead in their paint during the first half of the 20th century. He supported his case with studies from medical doctors of the time.

Superior Court Judge, James Kleinberg, of San Jose, California, challenged the defense stating that England had already banned the paint as a result of harm to children in the early 1900s and American paint company, DuPont, had an advertisement in 1918 showing they did not put lead into their paint.

“Is it your position that if the American doctors that you cite say X, that’s the end of the issue, and that the court should not be concerned with these other pieces of evidence that are undisputed?” Kleinberg asked. “I am troubled by the idea that because American doctors, fine people I’m sure they were, say XYZ that’s the end of the inquiry.”

The defense team weakly replied, stating that there was no real evidence or case study against the use of the paint at that time.

For more information on the case, please visit the Bloomberg article.
To sign up for a Lead Abatement course, please follow the link or call Green Education Services at 646-564-3546

The case is California v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 1-00-CV-788657, California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara (San Jose).

Monday, October 14, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Ecologics Training Institute

La Placentia, CA- Ecologics Training Institute has been in business for over 33 years. They provide environmental consulting training in La Placentia, California. They offer training services in EPA Lead Certification, Asbestos Certification, and Hazardous Materials training. Additionally, they offer courses in both English and Spanish to accomodate the needs of their many students. Ecologics Training Institute seeks to provide their students with expert training and hands-on practice to let their students succeed in their professional lives.

Many GreenEDU students have taken courses with Ecologics Training Institute.  Eduardo M. gave them 5/5 stars and commented that he received "great teaching." Tatiana T. added that the instructor "was very nice, proficient and helpful."

Ecologics Training Institute currently offers several courses with GreenEDU in Southern California. Some of these courses include:

One of Ecologics Training Institute's most popular courses is their Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor training course. The Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor training is for any individual who performs supervision of persons permitted to enter the restricted and regulated asbestos abatement work area. The supervisor is also responsible for performing the duties of the OSHA competent person for the asbestos project, consistent with current EPA and OSHA regulations. 

Training for asbestos abatement professionals is required under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA), which is the authority under which EPA issued the EPA Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan. This course has been granted full approval by the EPA and various States to meet AHERA and ASHARA accreditation requirements for asbestos work in K-12 schools, as well as in public and commercial buildings.

An Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor must have completed this training, and have a valid certificate with them at all times while working on qualifying projects. This workshop prepares you to immediately apply your knowledge to the field, with extensive hands-on training and real-world examples from experienced instructors. It combines lectures, discussions, and hands-on demonstrations. Safe work practices, liability, and glove bag procedures are examined in detail. Asbestos Contractor/Supervisors also must take refresher courses to renew their license. State regulations determine how often they must take these refresher courses. To sign up for an initial or refresher course, check out Ecologics Training Institute's page! 

About Ecologics Training Institute
Ecologics Training Institute is an accredited EPA training provider that has been offering classes in Asbestos, Hazardous Waste Operations, and Lead since 1980. In order to satisfy the needs of our customers in the Southern California region, we happily offer our classes in both English and Spanish. With more than 30 years of experience providing our customers with quality training, we are confident that our classes will give you the skills and expertise necessary to perform work involving hazardous materials and waste.

For more information, please visit

Whole Foods Market and Hanini Develop Green Renovation Plan For New Store Location

Location for the Newark, NJ Whole Foods Market
Source: PBS
Whole Foods Markets (Whole Foods), in collaboration with the City of Newark, recently signed a lease on for space at the soon-to-be-restored historic Hahne & Company building. The developers,  Hanini Group (Hanini), are utilizing the newest green building initiatives for constructing this project.

Slated to open in 2016, Whole Foods will occupy a 29,000 square-foot space and provide both the downtown corridor and surrounding city with access to fresh, quality food. The new market will be housed on the ground floor of the 400,000 square-foot landmark building, which was once home to the Hahne's department store.

This is the first Whole Foods Market in Newark and is aligned with the city’s revitalization project. The company expects to employ 150 new team members. Newark’s Central Planning Board and Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission approved this project in July. This is the largest rehabilitation effort in recent years.

"We know that Whole Foods Market brings with them a deep commitment to community engagement and advancement, and we welcome them as a long-term stakeholder in our city's continued success," stated Mayor Cory Booker.

Together with a $7.5 million investment by Prudential, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (Goldman Sachs)  L+M Development Partners (L+M)  and Hanini Group purchased the building in early 2013 and are subsequently performing substantial predevelopment work in order to create a vibrant downtown in Newark.

Additionally, L+M and Hanini will co-develop with Regan Development Corporation and Crawford Street Partners, to provide more than 180 residential units, an underground parking garage, 80,000 square feet of commercial, community, and office space on upper floors, and 50,000 square feet of ground-level retail space in addition to the Whole Foods.

Green Education Services is excited for the renovation of the historic building. Renovation of a structure that has been defunct since 1988 will be a challenge for the developers and construction workers. Depending upon the previous work done to the building, there may be a great deal of tasks to undertake, such as: Lead Abatement, Asbestos removal and Mold remediation. GreenEDU offers certifications and refresher courses in these and other green building initiative classes.

About Whole Foods Market ®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic food retailer and America's first national certified organic grocer. The company's motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement.

About L+M Development Partners
Since 1984, L+M Development Partners has been an innovator in developing quality affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, while improving the neighborhoods in which it works. A full-service firm, L+M works from conception to completion, handling development, investment, construction and management with creativity that leads the industry. Community leaders, government officials and investment organizations turn to L+M because of its consistent track record of excellence.

L+M is a double bottom line company, where its success is measured not only in financial returns but also by the positive impact it makes. L+M brings a superior level of commitment to its investments in developments, and equally important, to its investment in people. Additional information can be found at

About Hanini Group
Hanini Group takes great pride in its integral involvement in the renaissance of Newark's downtown, and the development projects it has carried out successfully in the past nine years. Hanini Group's involvement in the design and construction of select retail space, as well as the creation of unique and modern residential units has contributed significantly to the outlook for the future of Newark's real estate market, both commercially and residentially. Hanini Group brings a fresh perspective to Newark's emerging development, while staying ahead of the curve by using the latest green building practices.

About the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs
Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys the firm's capital by making investments and loans that benefit urban communities. Through its comprehensive community development platform, UIG is a catalyst in the revitalization of underserved neighborhoods. UIG is part of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYS: GS) . To learn more about UIG, visit

About Prudential
The Prudential Insurance Company of America is a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYS: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2013. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fire Prevention Week

This week, October 6--12, is National Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.

The NFPA created this observance to remember and learn from The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. During this disaster, 250 people lost their lives and 100,000 were homeless. By teaching Americans about how fire safety, we are able to prevent such a loss from occurring.

This year focuses on preventing kitchen fires. The biggest hazard that comes to mind is a grease fire. Contrary to what many believe, it is a terrible idea to throw water onto a great fire. In fact, this makes the situation worse. Instead of putting out a flame, the water reacts with the oil and can cause an explosion. The way to put out a grease fire is by throwing baking soda on top of it and putting a lid onto the pot. This way, there is not oxygen to further provoke the fire and it is squelched with the compound in the baking soda.

Some statistics from NFPA:
  • In the U.S. in 2011: 370,000 responses to home structure fires; 13,910 injuries, 2,520 deaths and $ 6.9 billion in damages
  • Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
  • In most years, heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. Fixed or portable space heaters are involved in about 4 out of 5 heating fire deaths.
  • Electrical failure or malfunctions caused an average of almost 50,000 home fires per year, resulting in roughly 450 deaths and $1.5 billion in direct property damage. 
  • On average, there are 32 home candle fires reported per day.
  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
For professionals in the field, GreenEDU offers Arc Flash NFPA 70E Training Courses. The NFPA 70E is a comprehensive standard that establishes the best electrical safety practices standards on how to protect electricians from electric arc flash and arc blast exposure and resulting potential injury and death.

GreenEDU also offers training for taking care of facilities after a fire with our Cleaning and Restoration classes. Our training programs prepare industry specialists in the use of technologies and procedures geared to help restore customer items to their pre-loss condition. 

Take a moment to review the fire prevention resources. Using these tools can help prevent a future disaster.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Green Project Management Receives 2013 IPMA Achievement Award

One of GreenEDU's training partners, Joel Carboni from Green Project Management (GPM), recently received the 2013 International Project Management Association Achievement Award. 

GPM’s initiative to develop the PRiSM Methodology, related training programs, UN development goal integration, and international registration called, “Applying Sustainability to Project Delivery,” took the bronze prize at the 27th International Project Management Association (IPMA) World Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia. This is the first time the IPMA honored a U.S.-based organization.

“Our project's goal was to establish an enhancement to existing project management methodologies using a framework for sustainability that delivers far more than business objectives; it creates a better tomorrow for all,” stated GPM president, Joel Carboni.

This project is an exciting development in the field of sustainable projects. GreenEDU congratulates team members Joel Carboni (USA); Monica Gonzalez (Argentina); Lorena Perdomo (Spain); Jeff Hodgkinson (USA); and David Simo (USA), on a job well done.

Founded in 1965, the International Project Management Association (IPMA®) is the World’s first project management association. With over 55 Associations, IPMA members develop project management competencies in their geographic areas of influence through creating relationships with practitioners with corporations, government agencies, universities and colleges, training organizations and consulting companies.

For more information, please visit

photo credit: Green Project Management

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: ACCESS Training Services

Pennsauken, NJ- ACCESS Training Services provides environmental consulting training services in multiple disciplines. Students can get certified in state, local, OSHA, EPA, HUD, and DOT compliance training. ACCESS Training Services focus on providing interactive instruction for their students, ensuring an effective training experience. The instructors are experienced in environmental training and consulting and are able to provide applicable instruction while answering questions students may have about the field or regulations. Additionally, ACCESS Training Services keeps students engaged by using multimedia presentations.

GreenEDU student Michael A. stated that the "class was very informative." Anthony G commented that he "learned more than I expected... The instructor was very informative and kept the class active."

ACCESS Training Services currently has over 100 upcoming events with GreenEDU in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Some of these courses include:

ACCESS Training Services provides several mold certification courses. Molds are found everywhere within interiors and exteriors, and can grow on almost any substance when moisture is present. Molds reproduce by spores, which can be carried by air currents. When these spores land on a moist surface that is suitable for life, they begin to grow. Mold is normally found indoors at levels that do not affect most healthy individuals. 

Because common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth, and mold spores are ubiquitous, mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture indoors. Mold growth may also be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials such as concrete. Flooding, leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, or indoor plumbing problems can lead to mold growth inside.

The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is stopping the source of moisture. Next is to remove the mold growth. Significant mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture. In extreme cases of mold growth in buildings, it may be more cost-effective to condemn the building rather than clean the mold to safe levels.

Remodeling and demolition contractors, building owners and managers, safety and health professionals, building inspectors, maintenance personnel, or anyone who may have the responsibility of identifying and mediating indoor air quality issues and has minimal experience in dealing with mold, mildew and moisture problems should register for a mold certification course. Mold is a growing problem, and the demand for mold certified workers is increasing. Get certified with ACCESS Training Services today

About ACCESS  Training Services
At ACCESS Training Services, Inc, our mission is to provide high quality, customized training, using state-of-the-art techniques. Our highly experienced certified instructors apply more than 45 years of experience and focus their delivery techniques upon interactive methods to maximize trainee involvement. ACCESS ensures an effective training experience by maximizing trainee participation and applying the information to the work place.

For more information and to register for a course, visit

USGBC Certifies Gold Whirlpool's New TN Facility

The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded Whirlpool's Cleveland, TN facility as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified. The state-of-the-art facility is a green work of art. With a total of 1.5 million square feet that includes manufacturing facility, testing lab and distribution center, this is the largest cooking equipment and accessories infrastructure in North America. The building features:
  • Utilized Forest Stewardship (FSC) certified wood for the building of the infrastructure. This wood strives to have a negative effect on the forest from which it is cultivated. 
  • New plumbing techniques--they utilize rainwater and a small percentage of base line water, which alleviates the total usage of water. 
  • Recycled Construction Materials--an estimated 20% of building components utilized were recycled.
  • Increased efficiency of HVAC systems through reflective roofing materials and pavement. 

GreenEDU offers a free Introduction to LEED Accreditation Webinar which gives a one-hour overview of USGBC's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and the LEED AP and Green Associate credentials. The webinar includes learning the following: the differences between various LEED rating systems; the registration & the certification processes for projects; the accreditation process and the associated credentials; the roles of USGBC and GBCI during the different processes of building certification and professional accreditation. This is a great to gain insight into the world of LEED at no cost.

Mr. Lee Utke, Senior Director of Global Real Estate, Whirpool Corporation, stated, "Receiving LEED Gold certification for the facility is a point of pride for our employees who believe in giving back to and protecting the environment in the communities Whirlpool calls home."

Whirlpool did not just limit its green initiatives to the building structure. The company has provided special parking for carpoolers and low emission vehicles, as well as showers for employees who choose to bike to work.

Per USGBC's website, the following criteria are used when deciding upon certifying a building project:
  • Sustainable sites credits encourage strategies that minimize the impact on ecosystems and water resources.
  • Water efficiency credits promote smarter use of water, inside and out, to reduce potable water consumption.
  • Energy & atmosphere credits promote better building energy performance through innovative strategies.
  • Materials & resources credits encourage using sustainable building materials and reducing waste.
  • Indoor environmental quality credits promote better indoor air quality and access to daylight and views.
How many points received for each listed category qualifies the company for either a Silver, Gold or Platinum certification, with Platinum being the most prestigious.

About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion in 2012, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at

About LEED
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics. The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction -- Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The certification was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation

Friday, October 4, 2013

Partner of Green Education Services Helps to Bring Job Boom to Boston Metro Area

One of GreenEDU's training partners, Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston (BRAGB) has been an integral player in the construction job growth in the Great Boston Metro area. Within the past year, more than 8,700 new construction jobs have been added, with BRAGB assisting contractors and construction workers to obtain the necessary support and training required to fill these openings.

BRAGB's CEO, Gerry-Lynn Darcy, stated,“You look at Assembly Row, you look at the Seaport District, there are cranes everywhere. The growth is tremendous. The demand has far surpassed the supply.”

Currently, BRAGB offers a MA Construction Supervisor License (CSL) Continuing Education - 12 Hours course held in in Mansfield, MA; Natick, MA; Gloucester, MA; and Plymouth, MA. The course is designed for CSL renewal for current Massachusetts contractors. The 12-Hour Package consists of six, 2-hour sessions over two days that fulfill the necessary requirements for Code Review, Energy, Building Practices, Safety Practices, Lead Safety and an Elective.

The Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston (BRAGB), a trade Association affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders and Home Builders Association of Massachusetts, has represented the industry since 1944. The Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston has evolved into one of the leading trade associations in New England. 

The Association has hundreds of members that include small, moderate, and large volume builders, who construct single family, multi-family, and commercial properties, and remodeling contractors, who do projects ranging from kitchens and baths to full house renovation. Associate members represent property management professionals, sales and marketing individuals and firms, suppliers, retail and wholesale dealers, architects, engineers, land planners, attorneys, accountants, financial institutions, and realtors.

GreenEDU is proud to be affiliated with an association that is so dedicated to the success of those professionals we serve in the industry. 

To read the full article, please click here.