News briefs

October 01, 2002 |

Balfour Beatty balks at J.A. Jones bid.British conglomerate Balfour Beatty plc last month discontinued its bid to purchase Charlotte, N.C.-based contractor J.A. Jones Inc. Balfour's plan to finance the purchase through a stock sale fell through due to unfavorable market conditions in the U.K. The company said it spent $14 million in due diligence before withdrawing its bid. Philipp Holzmann AG, Jones's Frankfurt, Germany-based parent, which filed for bankruptcy in March, is reverting to a list of two to three original bidders for the company, a Jones spokesman says.

Curves keynote of hoops hall of fame. A 13-ft. illuminated basketball perched atop a 136-ft.-tall spire beckons fans for miles to the new Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which opened Sept. 28 on an 18-acre site in Springfield, Mass. Accompanying the orange-colored basketball is a 120-ft.-high diameter sphere, which contains a full-size basketball court. The notion of roundness is continued in the vast curved roof that covers the museum, retail spaces, and pedestrian bridge leading to a riverfront park.

"Our goal for the Basketball Hall of Fame complex was to create a bold iconographic composition of forms, which could be universally understood and appreciated," Robert Siegel, principal of design architect Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, New York City, said in a statement. Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Boston, was architect of record. Peabody Construction, Braintree, Mass., was general contractor.

Existing buildings, commercial interiors under green spotlight. Just months after Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council announced its LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) program, the organization launched the pilot phase of its newest green building rating system: LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI).

LEED-CI focuses on green standards as they relate to tenant spaces located within office buildings. It evaluates "greenness" in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor air quality.

Meanwhile, USGBC last month began finalizing LEED-EB, as 65 buildings were selected to take part in a pilot program. Expected to be released in March 2003, the standard is aimed at building owners and operators, says Michael Arny, LEED-EB committee chairman. "LEED EB is designed to be an ongoing rating system," says Arny. "We will encourage owners and operators to have their buildings rated each year to ensure they are maintaining their sustainable benefits."

One-third of the buildings chosen for the pilot are commercial structures. The remainder are institutional buildings, including schools and a hospital.

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