California approves mandatory green building code
New York City California had approved the most stringent, environmentally friendly building code standards of any state in the nation.
The new code, dubbed Calgreen, was approved Tuesday and will take effect next January. It requires builders to install plumbing that cuts indoor water use, divert 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling, use low-pollutant paints, carpets and floorings and, in nonresidential buildings, install separate water meters for different uses.
It mandates the inspection of energy systems by local officials to ensure that heaters, air conditioners and other mechanical equipment in nonresidential buildings are working efficiently. It will also allow local jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, to retain their stricter existing green building standards, or adopt more stringent versions of the state code if they choose.
The code was supported by a wide range of building industry and realty associations, as well as the state Chamber of Commerce. Industry officials said that it would increase construction costs only slightly.
The regulations were opposed by several private organizations that offer construction rating systems, including the U.S. Green Building Council, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Elizabeth Echols of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern California chapter said her group is most concerned with the provision of the code that would allow cities and counties to adopt more stringent standards, which she said could result in confusion for builders, local governments and the public, the report said. She rejected the notion, suggested by several speakers at the meeting, that her group was simply trying to protect its market share by discouraging a competing verification system.
State officials said the regulations create a single comprehensive code, clearing up confusion over varying regulations, and it allows builders to receive green certification without paying a third party.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the new regulations, saying the new rules will help the Golden State reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve 33% renewable energy by 2020.
“With this first-in-the nation mandatory green building standards code, California continues to pave the way in energy efficiency and environmental protection,” Schwarzenegger said. “Today’s action lays the foundation for the move to greener buildings constructed with environmentally advanced building practices that decrease waste, reduce energy use and conserve resources.”
Big 5 posts Q4 sales gains, raises guidance
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Big 5 Sporting Goods reported that for the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, net sales were $237.6 million, compared with net sales of $219.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Same-store sales increased 0.1% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
For the fiscal 2009 full year, net sales increased $30.8 million, or 3.6%, to $895.5 million from $864.7 million for the fiscal 2008 full year. Same-store sales decreased 0.6% for the fiscal 2009 full year.
For the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, the company expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of 28 cents to 30 cents, which is within the company’s previously issued guidance range and compares with earnings per diluted share in the prior-year period of 17 cents.
For the fiscal 2009 full year, the company expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.00 to $1.02, which is an increase of over 50% compared with earnings per diluted share of 64 cents in the prior year.
“We are pleased to deliver our third consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth together with a substantial earnings increase over the prior year,” said Steven Miller, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “Although our fourth quarter sales were slightly softer than plan, our merchandise margins exceeded our expectations, increasing 88 basis points for the quarter. We experienced strength in our hard goods and footwear categories, which comped positively in the low single-digit range for the quarter. The primary factor in our softer than expected sales was the performance of our winter product categories, which comped negatively in the high single-digit range for the quarter as most of our markets experienced unfavorable winter weather comparisons to the prior year. This led to our apparel category, which is heavily influenced by the sale of winter products, being down mid-single digits for the quarter.”
Dollar General president to retire
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General announced that David Bere, its president and chief strategy officer, has decided to retire at the end of the company’s current fiscal year, Jan. 29, 2010.
Bere’s retirement comes after eight years of service to the company. He took the helm of the company as president in the fall of 2006 and as interim CEO in July 2007. Before that, he served on the company’s board of directors, a position he held since early 2002.
“Dave helped lead the company through times of tremendous change and growth. He has been an invaluable friend and partner to me since I joined the company. We all wish Dave and his family the best in his retirement,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO.
The company does not intend to replace Bere at this time. Dreiling will assume the duties of president.