News briefs

August 11, 2010

  • U.N. creates sustainable building program. The U.N. Environment Programme has launched an international effort to "green" the building and construction industry. Construction giants Lafarge, Skanska, and Arcelor are among founding members of the Sustainable Building and Construction Initiative, which aims to promote environmentally friendly practices across the global construction industry.

  • Chicago closes in on mandatory construction recycling. New rules for construction and demolition recycling in Chicago go into effect this month. The initial requirement for recycling will be 25% of all recyclable materials measured by weight for projects permitted after March 1, 2006. This will be increased to 50% after January 1, 2007.

  • NCARB architecture board may loosen its test-timing schedule. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards will propose allowing candidates to take its Architect Registration Examination (ARE) when they have completed 250 intern development program training units. Currently, candidates can only be made eligible for the ARE after having completed a full internship. Officials expect to offer the suggested change at the NCARB annual meeting, June 21 to 24 in Cincinnati.

  • U.S. developer plans a 2,000-foot skyscraper in South Korea. Atlanta-based developer John Portman plans to erect a 151-story tower as part of a 1,500-acre, $11 billion residential, office, and hotel complex about 20 miles from Seoul. The building's height would surpass the current world's tallest, the 1,671-foot Taipei 101 tower, but will fall short of the 2,300-foot Burj Dubai mega-tower currently under construction in Dubai.

  • Trump wants to build a Rhode Island casino. Donald Trump wants to make a deal with Johnston, R.I., a town of 28,000 that's six miles east of Providence and the site of the state's biggest landfill. The hirsute real estate and TV celebrity has launched a campaign to convince the town council that Johnston could become the state's gambling mecca, with its very own Trump-brand casino. Why Johnston? Because the location is perfect: just a few miles off Interstate 95, an hour south of Boston, and minutes from Providence.

  • With seven new towers, the Baltimore skyline could change dramatically. Baltimore's skyline is on the verge of changing more than at any time since the Inner Harbor renewal began in the 1960s, thanks partly to returning baby boomers. In the works: a 59-story hotel/condo/retail tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern; a 34-story residential building; two towers in Harbor East for a Four Seasons hotel and condo; a 21-story and a 17-story condo building; and a 21-floor apartment building.

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