Cool thing at Lightfair: WAC’s OLED chandelier

WAC Lighting's SOL OLED chandelier.

What did I see at Lightfair that was new? Though there’s one day left, the most intriguing product so far is the SOL OLED (organic LED) chandelier being shown by WAC Lighting, Garden City, NY.
   The chandelier features ORBEOS OLED Lighting from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Sunnyvale, CA. The circular satellite OLED panels rotate up, for indirect lighting, or tilt down to comfortably illuminate the surface below, or faces around a table. A central downlight also provides supplemental lighting on a tabletop.
   Exceptionally thin (2.1 millimeters), the OLED panels distribute quality light with solid color rendering (CRI 75) and a warm color temperature (2800K). ORBEOS panels are fully dimmable and deliver a uniform area of glare-free light. The SOL chandelier is crafted of aluminum and finished in black nickel. It is 18.5 inches in diameter and 2.2 inches tall.
   “SOL, our new decorative chandelier, is our first complete OLED fixture introduction,” said Shelley Wang, president of WAC Lighting. “We believe that the inconceivably thin, curved planes of the complete design, and the incorporated glare-free adjustable organic LED panels, will capture considerable attention.”
   Soft light from the ORBEOS panels is incorporated into the design and requires no additional light control from lenses or reflectors that traditionally result in a 10% to 40% loss in efficiency. ORBEOS light panels achieve energy efficiency without the use of heavy metals or other rare-earth materials commonly used in other energy-efficient sources. The OLEDs are made of layers of carbon-based materials that self-illuminate in various colors when energized, without having an impact on the environment.—Gary L. Parr

Are you lead-safe certified?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, expects more than 125,000 renovation and remodeling contractors to meet the April 22 deadline to be trained in lead-safe work practices. The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule is designed to protect millions of children from lead poisoning.
   Anyone receiving compensation for renovating, repairing, and painting work in residences built before 1978, and who disturbs painted surfaces, is subject to the new rule. Also affected by the RRP are those performing similar work on facilities occupied by children under six years of age, such as schools and day-care centers built prior to 1978.
   “This rule strengthens EPA’s goal to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint,” said Acting Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg. “To be certified, a contractor needs to take a simple one-day course. Beginning April 22, 2010, consumers should ask for proof of certification before work begins.” The certification is valid for five years.
   To date, EPA has certified 184 training providers who have conducted more than 4,900 courses. An estimated 100,000 people in the construction and remodeling industries have been trained. EPA has a number of efforts under way to expedite the training and certification process. Included are a print and radio campaign to highlight the benefits of hiring lead-safe-certified firms. As a result, it is expected that training capacity will continue to increase significantly as the April 22 deadline approaches. It is likely that many more contractors and renovators will seek and obtain training after the deadline.
   To locate local EPA-accredited RRP training providers using EPA’s search tool. Click here for information on firm certification. Learn more about the EPA’s lead program at http://www.epa.gov/leadGary L. Parr

Earn LEED credits with NCCER modules

Continuing education and LEED Professionals go hand in hand. If you need to earn CEUs, you might check out courses offered by NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research), Gainesville, FL. The organization has just had four of its modules approved by the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), Washington, for continuing education hours. With these new course approvals, NCCER can now help LEED Professionals meet all of the required continuing education hours established by the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute), Washington.
   “NCCER’s attainment of continuing education hours for these courses offers credence to the role the HVAC curriculum plays in training technicians, as well as the sustainable operations and maintenance community,” said Matthew Todd, HVAC subject matter expert and LEED AP for Entek Corp., Vancouver, WA.
   All four modules come from NCCER’s current HVAC curriculum and include:

  • Energy Conservation Equipment
  • Air Quality Equipment
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Alternative Heating and Cooling Equipment.

   These modules are readily available individually or as a spiral-bound unit titled Green Topics for HVAC. For more information on all green updates, visit NCCER’s online catalog at www.nccer.org .—Gary L. Parr

CBP December E-Newsletter now available

The CBP December E-Newsletter will be sent to subscribers in the next couple of days. Blog readers and Twitter followers can read it now by clicking here. Be sure to check out the award-winning activity by various USGBC chapters, many tips offered by Trane Inc. for sustainable building, and a new online training program from the BlazeMaster CPVC plumbing people.—Gary L. Parr

Two to tango: Indelval and Salto

CBC Flooring, Commack, NY, has tapped South America and Europe for inspiration. The company is now the exclusive North American source of Indelval brand rubber flooring from Argentina.
And it launched a brand of its own, called Salto Exceptional Flooring. (In Italian, “salto” means to jump or to leap. “The Salto brand is characterized by leaping into the future or forward thinking in the commercial flooring industry,” a company executive said.)
Indelval products are made with a high content of natural rubber harvested directly from rubber trees. The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

Rubber flooring is often spec’d for sanitary flooring in laboratories, clinics and hospitals; for conductive flooring when there is a need to control electrostatic discharges; for installations where heavy traffic requires a durable floor; for transport flooring for buses and trains; and as sports flooring, including glueless interlocking options.
Indelval-lobby
The product has a good green story: the color pigments are eco-friendly, the manufacturer recycles waste from the manufacturing process, and  it uses only recyclable packaging materials.
The company says the products and installation systems will contribute to a number of LEED credits, including Materials and Resources Recycled Content 4.1 and 4.2, Reuse 3.1 and 3.2 and IEQ Credit 4.1 and 4.3 for indoor air quality.
The Salto brand “is designed to satisfy unmet market demands, irrespective of material,” said Jeff Collum, CBC’s director of flooring.
Unica, the first product in the line, is a recycled 18-inch by 18-inch limestone tile with 80% recycled content: 10% post-consumer and 70% pre-consumer recycled content. No two tiles look exactly the same. They are available in 28 colorways.
CBC says Unica is California Section 1350 compliant, the basis for many indoor air-quality certifications. The tile and installation system contribute to LEED credits, including Materials and Resources Recycled Content 4.1 and 4.2, Reuse 3.1; and IEQ Credit 4.1 and 4.3 for indoor air quality.
The product is so new that photos are not yet available. I had thought about hiring some paparazzi to stake out the factory and grab some shots. But the budget choice was paying for pix or attending Greenbuild. I’ll see you in Phoenix. Ciao. Jim Carper

Talking trash

I attended my college reunion this month and walked around campus, noticing what had changed in the 30 years since I received my diploma. Some buildings had been razed, others looked a little shabbier. A new dormitory occupied a rose garden where we had held a post-graduation reception.
   Being amongst all those youngsters made me feel a bit old and in the way. Then I spied a newspaper recycling bin, which cheered me up because it meant the kids haven’t given up on an ancient medium. It’s not all online, download, or freeshare with the next generation. They have stuff they throw away. Do they ever. Colleges will recycle an estimated 50 million tons of waste in this year’s RecycleMania competition. That’s pretty cool.
   When I returned to the office, I found a catalog of waste bins from Magnuson Group, Woodridge, IL. These stylish containers would go a long way in sprucing up dear old alma mater.Jim Carper

The T3, designed by Studio Manade, is for indoor use.

The T3, designed by Studio Manade, is for indoor use.

Magma Design's Moai, for outdoor areas, has icons showing acceptable waste.

Magma Design's Moai, for outdoor areas, has icons showing acceptable waste.

The satin stainless steel Bilbao receptacle, designed by I+D Vilagrasa, is available in black.

The satin stainless steel Bilbao receptacle, designed by I+D Vilagrasa, is available in black.

Road trip: Milwaukee USA

Work spaces are 6 ft. away from windows to allow for daylight penetration.

Work spaces are 6 ft. away from windows to allow for daylight penetration.

If we had had a building-management system (BMS) in my house when I was a teenager, my dad wouldn’t have yelled at me because I left the lights on or took long showers. Controls could have turned off the television and shut off the water. On the other hand, when he asked me on Saturday mornings what time I came home the night before, the BMS would have shown him that my “about 11:30” was actually 2 a.m. So, be careful what you wish for, right?
   On Tuesday, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) held an open house for customers, and I tagged along. I spent the morning with engineers in Milwaukee, soaking up the possibilities of integrating controls and uses of automation software by commercial building managers. It’s fascinating stuff.
   The engineers (dressed in matching orange JCI polo shirts and khakis) demonstrated the power of integrating access, security, and HVAC systems in an office setting. They showed how a facilities manager can receive e-mail alerts about the status of boilers, and then log on remotely with an iPhone to adjust the equipment. JCI is also big on using diagnostic reports for pro-active maintenance, like replacing parts before they break.
In the afternoon, I toured the company’s recently renovated headquarters in Glendale, WI. JCI has the lofty goal of achieving Platinum LEED status from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, for four buildings on its corporate campus.

Groutless Indiana limestone and an LED fixture earn LEED points

Groutless Indiana limestone and an LED fixture earn LEED points


   Upon arriving at the 1966 vintage HQ, I thought I was on a James Bond movie set. One building seems to hover over a lake. (Remember the water palace in Udaipur, India, from Octopussy? No? I don’t blame you. Roger Moore played Bond in that one.)
   The campus is a smorgasbord of green techniques and sustainability practices, including the use of renewable energy. A short list:

  • Reclaimed and re-used materials from demolition.
  • Solar roofing and a solar field. All electricity generated is consumed on campus.
  • Geo-thermal heat pumps. There are 272 wells drilled 300 feet deep.
  • Daylight harvesting. Natural light penetrates well into interior spaces.
  • Heating and cooling systems tucked under a raised floor. This provides comfort from “toes to nose,” my guide told me. The alternative–running the plenums overhead and blowing heat downward–is inefficient because heat rises.

Sun shades on the building exterior mitigate solar gain.

Sun shades on the building exterior mitigate solar gain.


   Other techniques include a green roof, LED lighting, sun shields, cisterns, rain gardens, permeable pavers in the parking lot, and locally sourced building materials, including low-flow plumbing fixtures from Kohler, WI, and limestone from Indiana.
   Company employees are such strong evangelists for energy conservation that I felt guilty for not driving my hybrid to Milwaukee. On the other hand, when I got home, I immediately turned off my computer printer and monitor. Then I took a very short shower.—Jim Carper

Some recycling tidbits

Some interesting (at least to me) tidbits from an recycling article written by Natalie Ermann Russell of Simple Life and posted at CNN Technology. Click here to read the whole article, if you care about saving our environment. ;)Gary L. Parr

  • Office paper, which has long fibers, is worth a lot more than the “mixed paper” of cereal boxes, which has shorter fibers.
  • Plastic, glass, and metal containers are cleaned to remove food, but paper is not. Food particles can contaminate an entire batch, as the food (along with the paper) begins to biodegrade if it is left to sit.
  • All steel products, for example, contain at least 25 percent steel scrap, which requires 75 percent less energy to produce than “virgin” steel.
  • As for aluminum cans, recycling just one saves enough energy to run your TV for 2½ hours.

DOE parts with some cash

Finally! U.S. Dept. of Energy (Washington) secretary Steven Chu announced Thursday that more than $106 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to nine states to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, these states will implement programs that cut energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.
   “This funding will allow states across the country to make major investments in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy and create jobs at the local level,” said Chu. “It will also promote some of the cheapest, cleanest, and most reliable energy technologies we have—energy efficiency and conservation—which can be deployed immediately. Local communities can now make strategic investments to help meet the nation’s long-term clean energy and climate goals.”
   States receiving immediate funding are Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.
   These awards to the state energy offices will be used to support state-level energy efficiency priorities, along with funding local conservation projects in smaller cities and counties. At least 60% of each state’s award will be passed through to local cities and counties not eligible for direct EECBG awards.
   Projects eligible for support include developing an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, conducting energy-efficiency audits and retrofits, improving transportation programs, creating financial-incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, developing and implementing advanced building codes and inspections, and installing renewable-energy technologies on municipal buildings.
   For a full list of awards to date, visit www.eecbg.energy.gov.—Gary L. Parr

Defining the “green” language

Can you define bioswale? Carbon neutral? Stumped by emissivity? Surely you know the meaning of sustainability?
   Green terms get thrown around like potatoes in an Animal House food fight, but I’m betting most people wouldn’t do well on a 20-question definition quiz.
   Help has arrived. Check out the “Green Industry Definitions” online dictionary, assembled by the Metal Construction Association, Glenview, IL.
   My favorite is biomimicry, just because it’s fun to say biomimicry: The science of studying nature and its models, systems, processes, and elements, and taking creative inspiration from them to design materials or processes.
Study up. Quiz Friday!—Gary L. Parr