NEWS BRIEFS

August 11, 2010

• 'Restrictions on water use' biggest water-related problem for AEC firms.BD+C's exclusive survey of water-related issues among AEC firms shows that respondents who reported water problems said their firms experienced one or two water-related events over the last three years (mean: 1.77). Problems cited included “low pressure for fire sprinkler systems,” “leaks,” “inadequate detention capacity,” “clogged filters,” “storm control,” “old utility piping,” and “containment.” For more survey results, go to page WP10 in this issue.

• ASHRAE starts up new building energy modeling certification. ASHRAE is launching a Building Energy Modeling Professional certification to ensure that professionals modeling a building's energy use have the necessary skills to produce an accurate model. The first exam will be given in January at the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Orlando.

• Recession has pushed climate change to the back burner in real estate. The downturn in commercial real estate has downgraded climate change and alternative energy as a factor in real estate investment decisions, says a survey of U.S. financial industry leaders by the Urban Land Institute. The ULI survey found that investors are more apt to reshape their business strategies around cutting energy costs than cutting greenhouse gases.

• BIM Forum drops AGC from title, expands BIM meeting schedule. The Associated General Contractors of America BIM Forum will continue to be owned and operated by the AGC, but a new organization, BIM Forum LLC, has been created to bring more architects, designers, owners, attorneys, academic leaders, and other BIM pioneers into the group. Members will be charged $150 a year, but the group will expand its meetings beyond the three BIM conferences a year it currently holds.

• RCD sues McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge over trade secrets. Reed Construction Data has filed suit in federal court against McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Dodge has unlawfully accessed confidential and trade secret information from RCD since 2002 by using a series of fake companies to pose as RCD customers.

• NYC study shows little added cost for green projects. A study of 107 construction projects in New York City shows green does not always cost significantly more than traditional construction. The Urban Green Council found that the average construction cost for a high-rise residential building without LEED certification was $436 per square foot compared with $440 per square foot with certification. Some LEED projects with a Platinum or Gold rating were completed for less than lower-rated Silver projects.

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