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Top 10 states for green building

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington — Illinois tops the United States Green Building Council’s ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED-certified construction for last year. The list highlights the regions around the country that are at the forefront of sustainable building design and transformation.

The per-capita list includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2013.

USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures measuring human intervention in constructing green buildings, allowing for a fair comparison of the level of energy-efficient building taking place among states with significant differences in population and, accordingly, number of overall buildings.

Here is the ranking of the top 10 states:

Rank State Projects certified in 2013
1 Illinois 171
2 Maryland 119
3 Virginia 160
4 Massachusetts 101
5 (tie) New York 259
5 (tie) California 595
6 Oregon 47
7 North Carolina 133
8 Colorado 124
9 Hawaii 17
10 Minnesota 51

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New ASHRAE/IES energy standard achieves savings reduction

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — The requirements of the 2013 revision of an energy standard recently published by ASHRAE and IES will result in buildings that could achieve 6% to 8% more efficiency than buildings built to the 2010 standard.

Published in October 2013, ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL), in support of the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program, conducted the energy savings analysis on 110 addenda included in the standard.

PNNL’s analysis shows that the site and energy cost savings are 37.7% and 37.8%, respectively, by using the 2004 standard as baseline for the regulated loads only. For the whole building energy consumptions, national aggregated site energy savings a­re 29.5% and energy cost savings are 29.0%.

On a nationally aggregated level, building-type energy savings range from 19.3% to 51.9% and energy-cost savings from 18.6% to 50.6%. These figures include energy use and cost from the whole building energy consumptions including plug and process loads.

The energy reduction was achieved through 33 addenda related to major changes to requirements regarding building envelope, lighting, mechanical and the energy cost budget. The most significant changes are:

Building Envelope. Opaque elements and fenestration requirements have been revised to increase stringency while maintaining a reasonable level of cost-effectiveness.

Lighting: These changes include improvements to daylighting and daylighting controls, space-by-space lighting power density limits, thresholds for toplighting and revised controls requirements and format.

Mechanical: Equipment efficiencies are increased for heat pumps, packaged terminal air conditioners, single package vertical heat pumps, air conditioners and evaporative condensers. Also, fan efficiency requirements are introduced for the first time.

Additional provisions address commercial refrigeration equipment, improved controls on heat rejection and boiler equipment, requirements for expanded use of energy recovery, small motor efficiencies and fan power control and credits. Control revision requirements have been added to the standard such as direct digital controls in many applications.

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Sprouts Farmers Market, Athleta among brands in expansion mode

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. is expanding. The natural-foods supermarket chain expects to open 22 to 24 stores in fiscal 2014, including five locations in the Atlanta area.

Sprouts currently operates more than 165 locations in eight states.

Meanwhile, Gap Inc. continues to expand its newest banner, Athleta, with about 30 additional U.S. stores on tap for fiscal year 2014.

In more store expansion news:

  • Lowe’s Cos. plans to open approximately 15 home improvement stores and five neighborhood hardware stores this year.
  • Macy’s will open stores in Sarasota, Fla.; Las Vegas; and The Bronx, N.Y., in fiscal 2014. A new Bloomingdale’s will open in Palo Alto, Calif., to replace an older store in the same shopping center.
  • Aventura Mall, in the Miami suburb of Aventura, plans a significant expansion that will include a new three-level, 241,000-sq.-ft. retail wing and parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in 2014.
  • Pancheros Mexican Grill will open 16 new locations in 2014.

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