The monthly newsletter for architects, contractors, and owners involved with commercial construction.

Welcome to the December 2009 issue of Commercial Building Products' E-News industry newsletter. This newsletter is designed to keep you abreast of the business side of our industry. You are receiving this newsletter because you are a Commercial Building Products subscriber. See the instructions at the end of this issue if you no longer want to receive this newsletter. If you like what it has to offer, please share it with co-workers so they might also subscribe. We encourage your feedback.—Gary L. Parr, Editorial Director,


USGBC chapters recognized for their "green" efforts

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, has recognized seven of its nearly 80 local chapters with its Annual Chapter Awards of Excellence. The awards, presented at the Greenbuild Show this past November, recognize chapters that excel in providing local green building outreach and education and in fostering best practices among the green building community. The awards are sponsored each year by USGBC national member Milliken & Company, Spartanburg, SC. "Our chapters are the driving force behind USGBC’s efforts to make green building a reality for everyone within a generation," said Heather Tomlinson, vice president of community.
   The Advocacy & Influence award recognizes chapters that have developed and implemented a successful green building advocacy campaign, resulting in the adoption of local green building legislation and the potential for state-wide legislation. The winner for a small chapter was the Cincinnati Regional Chapter. Through its efforts, the chapter cultivated a strong relationship with the mayor of Cincinnati, who has since signed on to the Mayors’ Alliance for Green Schools, and helped move the state of Ohio one step closer to implementing legislation requiring LEED Silver Certification for any state-funded project.
   The Community award recognizes efforts to expand the green building community within its area by building relationships with other local organizations, fostering proactive partnerships, and leading a meaningful dialogue among the groups and the local community, as a whole. In the large-chapter category, the award was presented to the Chicago Chapter for its work on the Urban Open/New Horizons Community Garden project. The Vermont Green Building Network received the award in the small-chapter category for leading an innovative website project involving the Vermont Green Home Alliance.
   The Education award recognizes chapters that have made a significant contribution to green building market transformation through diverse, quality, and purposeful educational offerings. The James River Green Building Council, in central Virginia, received the large-chapter award for creating and implementing educational programs that present wide audiences with unique opportunities to get involved. The South Carolina Chapter received the small-chapter award "through the development of high-level, consistent, and impactful educational programs that allowed each of the chapter’s four branch regions to provide LEED and green building learning and community-building at a grassroots level.
   The Organizational Excellence award recognizes initiatives that have improved or enhanced chapter leader development and demonstrated excellence in organizational practices, including areas such as board leadership, communications, planning, and overall organizational efficiency. The winner of the Organizational Excellence award in a large-chapter category was the Delaware Valley Green Building Council for significantly increasing organizational efficiency, transparency and communication, developing a strategic plan to advance program and advocacy goals, and investing in a new website with a rigorous data-, event-, and committee-management system. The Georgia Chapter won the small-chapter award for its successful merger of the state’s two existing entities in Atlanta and Savannah, forming one, balanced organization focused on green building market transformation across the entire state of Georgia.
   Click here to learn more about these and other USGBC chapters.

Trane offers "green" building fundamentals

When putting together a sustainable building design, HVAC-system manufacturer Trane Inc., Piscataway, NJ, suggests using these principles to guide your efforts:

  • Select a building site that integrates with a sustainable building design. The location, orientation, and landscaping of a building affect the environment and energy use.
  • Optimize energy use. It is essential to find ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce load, and use renewable energy resources.
  • Conserve water. A sustainable building should use water efficiently; re-use and recycle water; and reduce, treat, and control site runoff.
  • Use environmentally preferable products that minimize life-cycle environmental impact and have a reduced effect on human health and the environment.
  • Improve indoor air quality. A facility that maximizes daylighting and has appropriate ventilation and moisture control will
    have a significant impact on occupational health, comfort, and productivity.
  • Optimize operational and maintenance practices. This will reduce energy and resource costs and prevent system failures. For example, ensure that building automation overrides are removed and building controls are maximized to optimize energy use without sacrificing comfort.

For more tips and guidelines from Trane, download this pdf.


Train online, then install BlazeMaster fire sprinkler systems

BlazeMasterBlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems, a division of Lubrizol Corp., Wickliffe, OH, is now offering an online training program, designed to provide installers with tips and guidelines regarding proper handling and installation techniques for CPVC fire sprinkler systems. The interactive program allows viewers to proceed at their own pace and answer questions throughout the program to help assure understanding of the individual modules. The training program is available at
Training modules include:

  • listings and approvals for BlazeMaster CPVC fire sprinkler systems
  • chemical compatibility
  • industry best practices for handling and installing CPVC pipe
  • joining pipe and fittings
  • considerations for choosing stand-alone and multipurpose designs
  • communications with other trades.

After passing the online test, participants receive a Certificate of Completion and an installer training card.
The program is not designed to replace on-the-job training provided by an authorized BlazeMaster field trainer. While the program provides an overview of recommended handling and installation procedures, and a discussion of industry best practices, it does not offer the in-depth instruction or hands-on experience provided by an on-site program. The BlazeMaster experts encourage online participants to schedule a follow-up, in-person training session that complements the online training. Successful completion of this training course does not imply compliance with any national or local regulations.

Mounties to use Genetec IP video for Olympic security

Genetec Inc., Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada, recently announced that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have selected Omnicast, Genetec’s IP video-surveillance solution, as the managing platform for the perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Omnicast is intended to be used in conjunction with other state-of-the-art security technologies to secure several official Olympic sites and sporting venues.
  Among the Omnicast features that initially interested the RCMP were its network-based open architecture, which allows infrastructure flexibility and choice of best-of-breed hardware, and its interactive alarm management and advanced graphical mapping capabilities. Omnicast is ultimately intended to give the RCMP a bird’s-eye view of the Olympic sites and the tools to quickly respond to situations.
   "Our Omnicast solution was designed for the large and complex requirements of such a deployment, offering the RCMP the latest advancements in security technology while ensuring a smooth and quick installation," said Steve Bocking, director of sales, Canada. "As a Canadian-based company, we are proud to be a part of this historic event, and thrilled to help the RCMP provide both the participants and the spectators with a safe and memorable 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."

Trane provides website resources for architects

To help architects, working on a new building design, find information that will help them increase energy efficiency, acoustics, and indoor air quality, Trane Inc., Piscataway, NJ, has assembled a website at The site also provides resources to help designers earn LEED points and, in general, create sustainable designs.

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