Regulations

Rapid growth for environmental insurance in construction industry

Many construction contracts now require environmental insurance. Image: Pixabay

May 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is paying closer attention to intrusion of potentially h...

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Roof collapse at Minnesota water park highlights failure to enforce codes

Some say that many governments in the Minneapolis metro area don't enforce building codes, which may have been the cause of a roof collapse at an indoor water park in the state. Image: Pixabay/jarmoluk

May 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Rural areas say they can’t afford to enforce state-adopted building code.

U.S. House scuttles EPA plan to expand definition of waters in Clean Water Act

Builders, farmers, and others had objected to the rule, saying the proposed definition would force landowners to get federal permits before they could work around them. Image: Pixabay/falco

May 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Construction industry officials said the rule would hamper developers, cost jobs.

First EPD covering PVC water and wastewater piping published

The Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association published the first environmental product declaration. Image: Pixabay

May 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Benchmarks impacts of seven PVC pipe products across their life cycles.

New ASHRAE standard offers test method to determine heat gain of office equipment

A new standard from ASHRAE allows a test method for determining heat gains from office equipment. Image: Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures

May 18, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The standard will aid engineers in configuring cooling systems in office buildings.

Surety bond forms specifically for design-build projects now available

The Design-Build Institute of America released a full set of bonds for design-build projects. Image: Pixabay/jingoba

May 08, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The documents are the first of their kind to be coauthored by designers and builders.

Widespread damage from Nepal earthquake due to poor implementation of building code

Much of the damage caused by the earthquake in Nepal was due to the poor implementation of building codes. Image: Wikimedia Commons

May 07, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Nepal’s code author says destruction was ‘inevitable.’

Lavish residential skyscrapers prompt concern over shadows

New York City is reconsidering its policy on megatowers as residential buildings grow taller. Image: Pixabay

May 07, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston among cities grappling with height regulati...

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Several states moving to repeal prevailing wage laws

Anti-prevailing wage bills that apply to state-funded construction projects passed in West Virginia and Nevada, with more coming up for a vote in other states. Image: Pixabay

May 07, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Anti-prevailing wage bills that apply to state-funded construction projects have been passed in W...

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New OSHA rule aimed at protecting construction workers in confined spaces

People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. Image: Pixabay/Unsplash

May 07, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The agency says the rule will protect about 800 workers a year from serious injury.

Colorado House kills construction defects bill

A bill that would have made it harder for condo owners to sue builders was defeated in the Colorado House of Representatives. Image: Pixabay/Unsplash

May 01, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The legislation would have made it harder for condo owners to sue builders.

New energy efficiency program, Tenant Star, gets OK from Congress

Tenant Star encourages tenants, who, in some buildings, consume more than half of the power used by the building, to take measures to save energy. Image: Pixabay/Unsplash

May 01, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The voluntary program for commercial and government buildings is modeled after Energy Star.

FEMA to require states to evaluate risks posed by climate change

States will be required to evaluate the risks of climate change before being granted access to disaster relief funds. Image: Pixabay/Antranias

May 01, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The aim is for states to do a better job planning for natural disasters they are likely to face i...

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Department of Energy asks for feedback on cost-effectiveness of building energy codes

Image: Pixabay/werner22brigitte

May 01, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

DOE’s RFI wants input on how to improve methodology on cost assessment.

New York State renews design-build authority

The state first approved design-build in 2011, and has entered into dozens of design-build contracts in the interim. Image: Wikimedia Commons

April 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Five state agencies are allowed to use design-build on certain projects.

OSHA’s estimated cost of silica rule said to underestimate impact by $4.5 billion annually

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition will cost the industry $5 billion per year. Image: Morgue File/PenMac

April 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The coalition says that OSHA’s flawed cost estimates point to flaws in the rule, and has urged th...

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2016 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings draft available for public review

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Bill Bobzien

April 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The comment period is open until May 29.

GBCI renamed Green Business Certification Inc.

GBCI is the only group to administer project certifications and professional credentials and certificates for the LEED system. Image: Wikimedia Commons

April 22, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The name change reflects the organization’s expanded certification and credentialing services....

Seattle’s size restriction on micro apartments blamed for rise in rents

Before the rule, micro-apartments were gaining popularity especially among young renters. Image: Museum of the City of New York

April 16, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Seattle’s city planner recently said that the council’s new rules have made small apartments more...

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New version of Building Energy Data Exchange Specification launched

The U.S. Energy Department launched the new version of Building Energy Data Exchange Speficiation. Image: Morgue File/DuBoix

April 16, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

BEDES is a dictionary that facilitates consistent exchange of building characteristics and energy...

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New York tops U.S. cities in walkability

New York is the most walkable city in the U.S. Image: Redfin

April 16, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Revitalization pushes Detroit and New Orleans up the rankings

USGBC will recognize energy and water standards for the Living Building Challenge
April 14, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

This move means that projects achieving the energy and water requirements in Living Building Chal...

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New York City preparing new codes for evacuation elevators

Rookery Building, Chicago. Photo: Velvet via Wikimedia Commons

April 14, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

New York City’s Fire, Buildings, and City Planning Departments in New York are writing rules to g...

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California imposes stringent new water standards

An aerial view of the California Aqueduct at the Interstate 205 crossing west of Tracy. Photo: Ikluft via Wikimedia Commons

April 12, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

California is the first state to adopt standards that are more efficient than those set by EPA's...

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Virginia surpasses Florida for strictest hurricane building codes

Photo: Arlington County via Wikimedia Commons

April 12, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Virginia has edged out Florida as the state with the most stringent hurricane building codes, acc...

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New Jersey Supreme Court puts control of affordable housing agency in the courts

The ruling comes after a decade of litigation over the agency's proposed rules to determine municipalities' housing obligations for low- and moderate-income residents. Photo: Rgkleit via Wikimedia Commons

March 16, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The court said the state’s affordable housing agency had failed to do its job, and effectively tr...

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San Jose adopts bird-friendly building standard

Photo: Don McCullough/Flickr

March 16, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The standard includes avoiding large chunks of transparent or reflective glass and adding frittin...

Energy Trust of Oregon offers financial incentives for net-zero buildings

Net zero office building prototype. Rendering courtesy HOK via Wikimedia Commons

March 12, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

The organization is offering technical assistance along with financial benefits.

Real estate interests push Congress for Census funding

Image courtesy Morgue File/kconnors

March 10, 2015 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The groups have joined forces to urge Congress to fully fund the 2020 Census and the annual Ameri...

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Charlotte, N.C., considers rule for gender-neutral public bathrooms

The proposal is a compromise on another plan that would allow transgender people to use either the women’s or men’s room. Image via Pixabay

March 05, 2015 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

A few other cities, including Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and Washington D.C., already have gend...

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