• New green building standard nears completion. A proposed new standard that will provide minimum guidelines for green building practices has been released for public review and comment through July 9 at www.ashrae.org/publicreviews. The standard is being developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
• The New York Times’s new home: Everybody’s a critic. Gawker.com got hold of the New York Times internal wiki site for the new energy-efficient Times building, where complaints about the building from the staff were being consolidated. For every innovative feature in the building, there’s a Times staffer with a beef. Comments range from “Can these shades PLEASE be fixed so they can be controlled by humans?” to “Why don’t the desk chairs have lumbar support as promised?”
• Architecture billings slightly up in April, AIA index holds steady. The American Institute of Architects reported the April Architectural Billings Index rating was 52.7 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), nearly identical to the 52.6 mark in March. Inquiries for new projects shot up a full two points to 63.8, up from 61.8 the previous month.
• NCARB: Nearly 5% more registered architects in 2007. The 2007 survey of state architectural registration boards by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) indicates that there are currently 112,650 registered architects in the U.S. This year’s findings reflect a 4.5% increase over the prior year in NCARB’s fifth annual survey.
• Nevada set to roll back green building incentives, avoid tax shortfall. Nevada legislators recently unveiled a plan to change the state’s green building tax breaks and head off a revenue loss for government and public schools approaching $1 billion. Property tax abatements that already have been approved, or were in the process of qualifying, could amount to a combined $642 million, based on estimates from the state Taxation Department and the Legislature’s fiscal analysts. Another $297 million could be lost in sales tax exemptions.
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