• LEED certified versus LEED certifiable in Boston. A new building code in Boston requires all new private developments over 50,000 sf to be LEED certifiable... but not LEED certified. After a 12-month study, a city task force recommended an amendment to the Boston Zoning Code Article 80 (Development Review and Approval), requiring the buildings to be designed and planned to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification standard but not to actually be certified.
• Architecture Billings Index points to major downturn in commercial construction. Reflecting the deteriorating conditions in the housing market and overall economy, the Architecture Billings Index tumbled almost nine points in February. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects reported the February ABI rating fell to 41.8, its lowest level since October 2001, and down dramatically from the 50.7 mark in January (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 54.3.
• UAE hotels produce double the CO2 emissions of European hotels. Five-star hotels in the United Arab Emirates are producing twice as much CO2 compared to similar hotels in Europe, according to a study on hotel carbon emissions. The study, undertaken by Dubai-based facilities management company Farnek Avireal, found that, on average, a five-star hotel in Dubai produces 6,500 tons of CO2 annually, while a similar hotel in Europe produces only 3,000 tons a year.
• JPMorgan Chase may not build Ground Zero office tower. With its move to acquire struggling investment banker Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase may nix plans to build a 42-story office tower for 7,000 employees in Lower Manhattan. The company said it would most likely move its investment-banking unit into Bear Stearns's HQ at 383 Madison Ave.
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