Design a charging station, earn a commission

Duo-GardDuo-Gard is now accepting submissions for its Greenbuild 2012 Charging Station Design Contest. Architects, interior and industrial designers, engineers and students are welcome to submit conceptual renditions of a one-car solar charging station and canopy for a chance to have the design built and marketed nationwide by Duo-Gard. The winning design will be built and donated to the city of Philadelphia in celebration of Greenbuild 2013.

All entries must be submitted by 1 p.m. PT on December 7, 2012. The winner will be awarded a three percent commission of gross sales for the design during a five year period.

The winning charging station and canopy entry will be economical, aesthetically pleasing and flexible in design. A limited number of runner-up designs will receive a two percent commission of gross sales for a five year period.

For the official contest rules and additional information, visit the Duo-Gard website.

DuPont recognized for environmental leadership

DuPont was named recently to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 Leadership Index, which comprises 51 companies from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (Global 500).  Companies are selected based on analysis of their performance across sustainability metrics focused on greenhouse gas emissions, emissions reduction targets and the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

CDP’s Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index highlights the constituent companies within the Global 500 which have displayed a strong approach to transparency of information regarding climate change.  Companies are scored based on their climate change disclosure, with high scores indicating strong internal data management and understanding of material climate change-related issues.  DuPont received an index score of 94.

The Global 500 report including names of companies featured in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index can be found at  To see DuPont’s full CDP report for 2011. go to

In related news, DuPont has been named to the 2012 North America Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), one of the most respected socially responsible investment indices on the market.

The DJSI measures the performance of the world’s publicly traded sustainability leaders.  Companies are selected based on a comprehensive assessment of long-term economic, environmental and social criteria that account for general as well as industry-specific sustainability trends.

Philadelphia youth group completes first LEED Platinum-certified housing rehabilitation project

YouthBuild PhillyA comprehensive package of sustainable building products and building science expertise from CertainTeed helped achieve a whole-home approach to sustainability in what is set to be YouthBuild Philadelphia’s first LEED® Platinum-certified housing rehabilitation. The recent rehabilitation of 4620 Greene Street benefited from CertainTeed insulation, gypsum, roofing, siding, fence and railing products — all of which contributed to the lofty certification.

The Philadelphia rehab project is the first to be completed under a three-year national partnership between YouthBuild USA and CertainTeed’s parent company, Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company.  As part of YouthBuild USA’s “Green Initiative,” YouthBuild students are provided the opportunity to transform their lives through building green, energy-efficient, and healthy homes, by learning sustainable building skills, earning industry-recognized credentials, and developing environmentally focused leadership skills.

In addition, Sustainable Solutions Corporation (SSC) of Royersford, Pa. facilitated the LEED certification process, integrated green building practices into the renovation project, and provided green building training to YouthBuild students — services in which a large portion were donated.

The multifamily home will be sold to a low- or moderate-income family that has fulfilled eligibility requirements of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services and Philadelphia Housing Authority, and that family will have the option of renting the second portion of the house.

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School provides out-of-school youth in Philadelphia with the broadest range of tools, supports and opportunities available to become self-sufficient, responsible and productive citizens. YouthBuild Philadelphia is an innovative alternative education program that blends a rigorous academic curriculum with on-the-job training through community service. Students at YouthBuild Philadelphia earn their high school diplomas and make successful transitions to full-time jobs and post-secondary educational programs. For more information, visit

Jamaican Olympic coach credits Regupol track as key to team’s success

Usain BoltJamaica, led by super stars Usain Bolt (right) and Yohan Blake, dominated the track and field sprint events at the London 2012 Olympics. Soon after this record-setting performance, the team’s coach, legendary Racers Track Club Coach Glen Mills, was quick to attribute some of their success to the team’s training conditions at their home track in Jamaica.

“The Regupol track at our training and performance center at UWI Mona has definitely contributed to the fine performance of our athletes in London,” said Mills in a statement made Sunday, August 12, 2012, the last day of the Olympic Games.

The track was installed by BSW at the University of the West Indies – Mona Campus in May 2010. All training leading up to the Olympics was conducted on this track and paid off in dividends. The Jamaican team returned to their homeland taking the following medals:

  • 100m – Usain Bolt, gold; Yohan Blake, silver
  • 200m – Usain Bolt, gold; Yohan Blake, silver; Warren Weir, bronze
  • 4 x 100m Relay – Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt, gold and new World Record

Competition Recognizes Innovative Use of Armstrong Commercial Products

Armstrong Design will accept entries for the second annual i2r (ideas 2 reality) Design Competition beginning September 10. Architects, interior designers and specifiers will have the opportunity to showcase their creativity with sketches or installed projects using Armstrong Commercial Floors and Armstrong Commercial Ceilings.

The competition has four categories: two Idea categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls, and two Reality categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls. A winner will be awarded in each category. For the idea portion of the competition, entrants can upload sketches or renderings created with Armstrong flooring or ceiling products in mind, providing them with an outlet to share creative concepts without having a finished installation. The reality portion is where entrants can upload pictures of completed projects in which Armstrong ceiling or flooring products were used. Idea winners will be chosen by online popular vote. Reality winners will be judged by a highly respected panel of International Interior Design Association (IIDA) professionals.

Submissions will be judged on the creativity of the design, the use of Armstrong products, originality of the design, and the successful incorporation of other interior products. If an idea or reality entry uses both flooring and ceilings/walls, the entrant may submit it in more than one category.

One winner from each category (4 total prizes) will receive an exquisite crystal trophy and will have the opportunity to choose either a Coalesse Hosu Chair by Patricia Urquiola, a $2,000 gift card, or $2000 cash equivalent.

And here’s an extra bonus: Armstrong will award cash prizes to two entries that demonstrate the best use of these special Armstrong products: either Clouds or Canopies in Commercial Ceilings OR Natural Creations or Rejuvenations in Commercial Flooring. Clouds and Canopies ceilings provide extraordinary drama and visual excitement. They can define a space, accentuate an area, control noise and make a serious design statement. REJUVENATIONS commercial vinyl sheet and NATURAL CREATIONS luxury vinyl tile are part of the Armstrong Continuum™ Color + Design system, which offers products designed to coordinate in both color and design with excellent durability and a UV-cured coating that provides low-maintenance options. The i2r Design Competition runs only from September 10 – September 28, 2012.

Voting opens October 1 and concludes October 8, 2012

Last year, winners in the Flooring category were: Reality Winner, Eckles Architecture & Engineering, Inc., New Castle, PA, for the McIntyre Elementary School and Idea Winner Adam Rohaly, Mount Pleasant, SC, for VCT Floor Mosaic. The Ceilings category winners were Reality Winner Vision 3 Architects, Providence, RI, for NaviNet and Idea Winner Interior Image Group, Inc., Dyer, IN, for Destinations.

For more information and to watch the video for the 2012 Armstrong “ideas 2 reality” Design Competition, visit Armstrong Commercial Ceilings or Armstrong Commercial Flooring.

Entries now being accepted for student architectural design competition

Kingspan Insulated PanelsKingspan Insulated Panels North America is now accepting entries for its Generation Kingspan Architectural Student Contest.

The contest encourages U.S. and Canadian students to create an innovative, Net-Zero Energy, and low-impact environmentally designed to be a possible Kingspan corporate office building using Kingspan’s Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) and reflecting its sustainable corporate philosophy.

The entry submissions and online design community voting phase of the competition starts today. Competitors who submit their entry early stand the best chance at gaining the most online design community votes.

The competition merges the benefits of a juried expert panel review with the wisdom of the crowd — with one winner determined by the judging panel and another winner determined by voting on the Generation Kingspan on-line design community. Both winners will receive an internship at an architecture firm, a $5,000 scholarship and a $1,000 cash prize.

The Generation Kingspan competition will culminate with a Grand Prize winner selection in November at the Greenbuild 2012 International Conference and Exposition in San Francisco. The top designs will compete for exhibit floor votes to determine the grand prize winner, who will be awarded an additional $5,000 toward their scholarship and a high spec laptop with a design software package valued at $5,000.

All submissions will be reviewed first by online voters visiting and participating on the contest website. Online reviewers will have the ability to assign badges to designs based on the three key elements of the design competition: 1. Design/Vision, 2. Sustainability, and 3. Energy Efficiency. In addition, commenting capabilities will enable students, expert voters and entrants to discuss the designs for crowd-sourced learning opportunities. The online community winner will be based on the design that accumulates the most badges.

Complementing the above, the competition also supports a winner, reviewed by an expert jury. The 2012 jury includes:

  • Kingspan Insulated PanelsAP, Professor and Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University

Submissions for Generation Kingspan must be received by October 31, 2012. To learn more about the competition, register online and download materials, visit

Sustainable practices award recognizes commercial architecture and design firms

ZeftronZeftron nylon, a premium nylon 6 fiber brand for the commercial marketplace, today announced the launch of its fourth annual Sustainable Practices Award. The award seeks to recognize innovative projects in the architect and design community that are helping create a more sustainable environment.

Professionals interested in submitting an entry can do so starting today and through Sept. 30, 2012, by visiting A Grand Prize winner and a Runner Up winner will be selected from the entries received. The Grand Prize winning firm will have a $1,000 check in its name made payable to a sustainable organization or charity of its choosing. The Runner Up firm will have a $500 check in its name made payable to the sustainable organization of its choice. Both firms and their winning projects will be promoted by Zeftron nylon through a variety of activities.

How to Enter:
Submissions can be made directly online. Entries will be accepted from July 23, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2012. There is no cost to enter. Submissions are judged on originality, sustainable commitment and innovation.

The Sustainable Practices Award is open to all commercial architect and design firms in the continental United States. Projects must have been completed within the past 18 months. Projects submitted for this award do not need to include carpet made with Zeftron nylon.

The Grand Prize winning firm and the Runner Up winning firm and their respective projects will be promoted via various publicity activities, including trade media and social media engagement. The winning firms and their projects will also be showcased on the Zeftron nylon Sustainable Practices Award website.

National Gypsum introduces four CE classes

National Gypsum Continuing EducationNational Gypsum has recently released four new online continuing education courses for the architectural community. Course topics include finishing gypsum and designing for high STC ratings, abuse and impact resistant gypsum and high-performance gypsum products.

The courses include:

  • Abuse and Impact Resistant Gypsum: Stronger and Safer Walls. This course reviews the ASTM C 1629 test standard for abuse and impact resistant gypsum and uses this data to distinguish between abuse resistant and impact resistant gypsum board. Learn how to specify the appropriate gypsum board when a project requires abuse or impact resistant properties.
  • Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board: Designed for High STC Wall Assemblies. This course covers key acoustical terminology and third party recommendations for Sound Transmission Class-rated walls. Learn  how acoustically enhanced gypsum compares with existing solutions for achieving higher STC ratings and decreasing sound transmission while increasing valuable square footage.
  • High-Performance Gypsum: Protect Against Mold, Moisture and Exposure. This course focuses on the superior performance characteristics of gypsum products manufactured with fiberglass facing, which replaces the paper facing typically used on gypsum board. In addition, participants will learn about the basic applications, attributes, advantages and limitations of each of the four common product types.
  • Finishing Gypsum Board: Appearance and Indoor Air Quality. Understand trade terminology and applicable standards for specifying the final level of finish for gypsum board. In addition, this course reviews industry-accepted practices for maintaining Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) during construction and after occupancy and examines how finishing practices and products impact indoor environmental quality.

All of the courses are approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and offer one health, safety, and welfare (HSW) learning unit. Each completed program will earn the participant one credit. To learn more or to register for the courses hosted by Ron Blank & Associates, visit

Allied Building Products Launches Solar Website

Allied Building Products Corp. has expanded their website and now have a section dedicated to their Solar Division.

The Solar Division of Allied Building Products Corp. supplies solar panels, mounting hardware, inverters and monitoring systems designed for the commercial rooftop market as well as products geared towards the residential market. The company stocks a full line of solar products, including solar panels from leading solar photovoltaic (“PV”) manufacturers such as Solyndra and SolarWorld.

Allied has more then 180 locations around the country and can provide preliminary designs for commercial solar projects, rooftop delivery, roofing product recommendations, construction financing, credit services, and financing programs for solar projects.