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Cost of Building Green

BY CSA STAFF

Despite popular notions to the contrary, it does not cost more to build an environmentally conscious facility than a traditional building, according to a recent report by Davis Langdon, a San Francisco-based consulting business that helps architects and building owners manage construction costs.

Green building, however, does require a different mind-set, advised Langdon. Sustainable features are too often tacked onto a project as an afterthought, making them appear as an added cost that can be easily cut.

“Until design teams understand that green design is not additive, it will be difficult to overcome the notion that green costs more, especially in an era of rapid cost escalation,” according to the Davis Langdon report, “Cost of Green Revisited,” which studied 221 new construction projects.

The report found no significant difference in the average costs for green buildings and non-green buildings. Green buildings were defined as those in which the primary goal was to achieve environmental certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

“Many project teams are building green buildings with little or no added cost, and with budgets well within the cost range of non-green buildings with similar programs,” the report said.

Costs varied widely for both green and non-green structures, indicating that there can be both low-cost and high-cost buildings in each category.

Most of the buildings surveyed were able to achieve green certification without any additional funding, while some required additional funding for specific sustainable features, such as solar panels.

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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