News

July 31, 2009

Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. is proud to announce that it has been certified as a B Corporation.

West Grove, PA – Since its infancy, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing has been committed to providing high quality products, honest and ethical business practices, environmental responsibility and concern for the community. Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance and accountability. The company became a B Corporation to align itself with other companies who are succeeding and doing good; proving that the two goals are not mutually exclusive.

Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on the long term interests of their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment and are held to a set of comprehensive and transparent performance standards that are measured by a third party. They measure a company's impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment and underscore the need for continual improvement.

Long a proponent of building with the environment, Hugh Lofting said, "It was important for us to reflect our company mission in how we measure company results and how we conduct day-to-day operations. We feel that taking a holistic view develops strong partnerships with clients, vendors and employees and results in better projects."

Becoming a B Corporation fits the company focus on sustainable construction techniques and materials. "More and more clients are asking how to incorporate elements of green into their homes. Almost all of the commercial projects we see specify FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified woods and many plan to seek LEED certification," says Lofting. Amy Cornelius, a member of our staff earned her LEED-AP from the US Green Building Council so that we could help our clients better understand green and their homes' impact on the earth.

Today the company provides green consulting to clients as well as Construction Management services for LEED projects. "We continue to be on the forefront of the green building movement and have the experience to help our clients in many ways," says Cornelius.

To learn more about B Corporations refer to http://www.bcorporation.net/ and http://bcorporation.net/hughlofting. For more information about Hugh Lofting Timber Framing please visit their website at www.hughloftingtimberframe.com.

Company Information: Contacts: Amy Cornelius/Hugh Lofting/Elliott Lofting.

For over 30 years, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc has been committed to the highest level of professionalism. Incorporating advanced technology with old world craftsmanship, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. is dedicated to hand-crafting energy-efficient homes and structures that are elegant and distinctive. One at a time.

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July 31, 2009

Owens Corning Introduces New EnergyComplete(TM) Insulation and Air Sealing System to Save Energy in U.S. Homes

EnergyComplete(TM) system affordable and safe to install Contractors, builders, homeowners are already benefiting.

TOLEDO, Ohio, July 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) today introduced EnergyComplete(TM) with Flexible Seal Technology, a whole home insulation and air sealing system. Affordable for both homeowners and contractors, this innovative system combines energy savings, safety and affordability. With the EnergyComplete system, Owens Corning provides homeowners and building industry professionals in the U.S. a new opportunity to reduce home energy use and lower related energy bills.

"Buildings are the number one user of energy in the U.S., consuming 40 percent of the country's energy resources - more energy than industry and more than transportation," said Karel Czanderna, group president Owens Corning Building Materials. "By delivering an energy efficiency system that meets the needs of homeowners and building professionals in performance, ease-of-use, safety and affordability, we have a great opportunity to dramatically reduce energy use today for new homes being built and the existing 80 million under-insulated U.S. homes."

Installed in two parts, the EnergyComplete system uses a new foam-based sealant to reduce air leakage, addressing a major source of energy loss, and proven PINK FIBERGLAS(TM) insulation to deliver exceptional thermal performance.

Homeowners Save and Live Comfortably

When used in new home construction, the EnergyComplete system meets Department of Energy recommendations, and exceeds the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) requirements by approximately 40 percent(1). Homeowners can save up to one-third(2) on heating and cooling costs and will experience enhanced comfort with a 40 percent reduction in perceived exterior noises compared to closed-cell spray foam.

The EnergyComplete system also provides consistent room-to-room temperatures and a reduction in the conditions that can lead to mold growth. The EnergyComplete system has even proven to be a first line of defense against pests and insects.

For existing homes, the EnergyComplete system can be installed in attics, basements, crawlspaces, or during a home addition or remodel project. The EnergyComplete system will help homeowners save on heating and cooling energy related bills for the life of their home. Homeowners are also eligible for a 30 percent tax credit on the cost of the EnergyComplete system for a maximum credit of $1,500 under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The EnergyComplete system is safe to install and can be applied while the house is occupied.

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July 31, 2009

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. Has Been Selected to Construct a $32.8 Million Highway Project in Hawaii

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (NasdaqGS: STRL), ("Sterling" or the "Company") today announced that its subsidiary, Road and Highway Builders, LLC, was notified that it was the apparent low bidder on a $32.8 million construction project on the Island of Hawaii for the Federal Land Highway Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Project construction is expected to begin late in the third quarter of 2009 and last approximately 24 months. The scope of the construction consists of the rebuilding of a 2-lane highway on Saddle Road, including excavation, embankment, asphalt paving and new drainage.

Joseph P. Harper, Sr., Sterling's President and COO, said, "We are pleased to add this project to our backlog. Rich Buenting, RHB's President, has been keeping an eye on this market for some time and one of our senior project managers has worked previously for this owner. This is the second of a series of projects to be built on the Big Island and we hope the first of many for us. As we have always said, we will continue to be opportunistic in these difficult economic times and look forward to this new challenge."

Sterling is a leading heavy civil construction company that specializes in the building and reconstruction of transportation and water infrastructure in large and growing markets in Texas, Nevada and other states where there are bidding opportunities. Its transportation infrastructure projects include highways, roads, bridges and light rail and its water infrastructure projects include water, wastewater and storm drainage systems.

This press release includes certain statements that fall within the definition of "forward-looking statements" under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including overall economic and market conditions, competitors' and customers' actions, and weather conditions, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including those risks identified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, such statements should be considered in light of these risks. Any prediction by the Company is only a statement of management's belief at the time the prediction is made. There can be no assurance that any prediction once made will continue thereafter to reflect management's belief, and the Company does not undertake to update publicly its predictions, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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July 31, 2009

Stimulus Construction Funds Have Little Impact to Date on Companies' Ability to Hire New Employees, Analysis Finds

Companies With and Without Stimulus Projects Hiring at Same Rate, In Part Because of "Disappointingly" Slow Distribution on Non-Transportation Stimulus Construction Dollars

ARLINGTON, Va., July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The stimulus plan appears to be having little influence on construction companies' ability to expand payrolls to date according to a new industry analysis of the impact of the federal program's construction spending released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The "disappointingly" slow pace of construction spending outside of the transportation sector is one of the main reasons for the relatively small impact on new hiring, the group noted.

"While the construction portion of the stimulus is having an impact, it is far from delivering its full promise and potential," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the contractors association. "With construction unemployment at almost double the national rate, it is disappointing to see so many stimulus programs getting off to such a slow start."

Sandherr said that five months into a federal stimulus program that has approximately $135 billion dedicated for construction projects, there is little difference in hiring and purchasing patterns between companies doing stimulus-funded work and companies that aren't.

For example, he noted that while 36 percent of construction companies with stimulus-funded work report plan to hire new employees, an almost identical percentage of firms without stimulus-funded work also plan to make new hires this year or next. He added that while 36 percent of construction firms with stimulus-funded work plan to purchase new equipment and supplies, a higher rate - 43 percent - of construction firms without stimulus-funded work report plans to purchase new equipment over the same time frame.

One reason the stimulus is having a limited impact on construction hiring and purchasing patterns, Sandherr said, is that outside of the transportation arena, little of the stimulus' authorized construction dollars have resulted in actual construction work. He noted that while the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for $4.6 billion in stimulus construction funds, the agency has only obligated $715 million and paid out $84 million.

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration has only obligated $656 million and paid out $12 million of its $5.9 billion in stimulus construction funds. And only half of one percent of the $6 billion in stimulus funds available for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's state clean water and drinking water programs has been put to use at this point.

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July 30, 2009

Energy-Efficient Facades Producer YKK AP Wins Renowned International Design Excellence Award

ThermaShade is only exterior architectural product among IDEA winners

AUSTELL, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--YKK AP's ThermaShade sunshade has won an IDEA Silver award in the Commercial & Industrial Products category in the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards.

The award was announced on July 29 in the Business Week IDEA report and on BusinessWeek.com.

ThermaShade is the only commercial building sunshade system that incorporates a thermally broken anchor to minimize energy transfer into the façade at the point of attachment. Sunshade systems without the thermal break feature can reduced the energy efficiency of the façade by nearly 5%. This patent-pending feature allows YKK AP ThermaShade products to be used with YKK AP curtain wall systems while maintaining the maximum thermal efficiency of both products.

ThermaShade is also the only Cradle to Cradle SM (C2C) certified sunshade system on the market. C2C certification recognizes the environmental merits of the product, green manufacturing processes and social responsibility.

"Building components are not the type of products that typically win design competitions. ThermaShade's strength is the way it adds to the energy efficiency of a building and at the same time offers an architectural element for building design," said Richard Braunstein, product development manager for YKK AP.

"The rapid deployment of more energy-efficient products and sustainable building solutions is our small part of responsibility towards supporting a strategic energy policy for the United States. ThermaShade is one example of such products and marks the beginning of our sustainable solutions platform," said Oliver Stepe, senior vice president for YKK AP.

The IDEA(R) (International Design Excellence Awards) program is an international competition honoring excellence in industrial design. Entries are invited from designers, students and companies worldwide.

The 2009 IDEA jury, comprised of 20 world-renowned designers and design thinkers, judged each entry on eight areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to the client/business; benefit to society; ecological responsibility; appropriate esthetics and appeal; usability testing; rigor and reliability; and design strategy category.

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July 30, 2009

ABSOLUTE Real Estate Auction for Downtown Denver Ball Park Loft

Selling Regardless of Price, Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 1:07 p.m.
2560 Blake St., Unit 101, Denver, Colorado.

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AJ Karas Auctioneers announces an ABSOLUTE Real Estate Auction, of a downtown Denver Ball Park Loft on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 1:07 p.m., selling regardless of price. The Auction will take place live and onsite at 2560 Blake St., Unit 101, Denver, Colorado, 80205. Bidders are encouraged to visit the last open house prior to auction on Saturday, August 1, 2009, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Denver Ball Park Loft being sold regardless of price, is a trendy main floor, Ballpark Loft in a turn of the century historic building. When you walk in to this unit the feeling is sophisticated and elegant, open and sunny, comfortable and spacious. Featuring newly refinished maple hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings and a dramatic wall of windows, this loft is one not to miss.

The Denver Ball Park Loft features: 2-Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, 2 Story, 1,936 sq. ft., 1 Deeded parking place, Central air conditioning, Ceiling fans, Washer and dryer, High speed internet access, Cable installed, Kitchen island, Dishwasher, Disposal, Refrigerator, Oven and stove top, 5-piece master bath, Window coverings, Walk-in closets and community work out room and party room.

Real Estate Brokers are encouraged to register bidders for the ABSOLUTE Auction, selling regardless of price, as a 2.5% broker participation fee will be offered. For more information bidders and brokers can log on to the AJ Karas website at www.ajkaras.com/blpr09. From there they can view a virtual tour of the property, review terms and conditions and register for the auction or they can call 303-954-8631.

AJ Karas Auctioneers is a Denver based company owned and operated by Janelle Karas. Karas has 17 years of real estate experience and has been working exclusively in the Real Estate Auction industry since 2002. www.ajkaras.com | 303-954-8631.

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July 30, 2009

Solar Energy Initiatives Announces Securing Land to Build a 300 Megawatt Solar Park in West Texas

-The Project Is Estimated to Generate Approximately $750 Million
-The Solar Park Will Be the World's Largest Non-Utility Owned Solar Park to Be Created in the Americas

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc. (OTCBB:SNRY), executing on a grass roots campaign, "RENEW THE NATION", to help redeploy a portion of the U.S. work force and focus on reducing the world's dependence on fossil fuels by selling solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, today announced that the Company signed a contract securing land for the design, construction and operation of a solar park in west Texas. A Limited Liability Company will be formed to own, finance and operate the solar park. Solar Energy Initiatives will sell the solar panels and balance of system to the LLC, generating as much as $750 million in revenue within a 6 year time period. During the first year of development, the project will generate over $100 million in sales. The revenue approximation is solely based on the sale of the solar panels and does not account for the sale of generated electricity.

Construction of the 300 megawatt system represents the largest non-utility owned solar park to be created. Preliminary work, including zoning, permitting, EPA approvals and other activities will begin immediately with construction set to begin in the next 18 months. The project will be constructed in various increments over the six year time frame. At full capacity, the solar park could generate enough green renewable energy to displace approximately 700,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, annually, that would have otherwise been produced by non-renewable power generation. The project could produce enough energy to provide power to approximately 60,000 homes.

"Solar Energy Initiatives is thrilled to have secured such a monumental contract," stated, David Fann, Chief Executive Officer of Solar Energy Initiatives. "The size and scope of this venture represents a significant milestone in establishing the Company as a true market leader within the rapidly expanding solar deployment sector. It is an incredible testament to our management team and Board of Directors that we have been successful in securing the contract to build the largest non-utility owned solar park."

Mr. Fann continued, "As we continue to attract additional funding for these projects from our partners we will bid on new projects that make strong economic sense for our Company. The deployment of these large scale projects will enhance our ability to negotiate panel prices with solar panel providers which will enhance our overall margins and drive our profitability. Management believes that the signing of the solar park contracts will assist us in working with additional municipalities and land owners to obtain additional contracts, increase our earnings and achieve our primary goal of improved shareholder value."

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July 29, 2009

EH&E Awarded Consumer Product Safety Commission Contract to Evaluate Homes Containing Chinese Drywall

NEEDHAM, Mass., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E), Inc., a leading Massachusetts-based environmental and engineering consulting firm, has been contracted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to study the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in homes built using Chinese drywall. The study will compare findings in 35 homes built using Chinese drywall with 15 "control" homes.

The drywall was imported into the United States earlier this decade due to a domestic shortage caused by a housing boom and construction following a series of hurricanes that struck the southeastern United States. It has been found that the drywall has high amounts of sulfur compounds, which are causing homeowners to experience foul odors, corrosion of electrical equipment and a host of health problems.

EH&E was selected for the project based on its high level of expertise and field experience in characterizing complex indoor environments. The company had been the prime contractor for IAQ to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and two of its principals, John D. Spengler, Ph.D. and John F. McCarthy, Sc.D., C.I.H., edited what is considered the most comprehensive guide available today on indoor air quality, the Indoor Air Quality Handbook.

"We're very pleased to have been selected for this important study," said McCarthy, President of EH&E. "Our team of dedicated professionals has the right experience in chamber simulations, advanced analytical assessment, data interpretation and comparative risk assessment to contribute to a clear understanding of the potential risks associated with these products."

EH&E expects to work throughout the summer and complete the study in the fall of 2009.

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July 29, 2009

Fenwick & West in Seattle Becomes First Law Firm in the United States to Gain Platinum LEED-CI Designation

Fenwick & West also received LEED Gold-EB for its Silicon Valley Office.

SEATTLE, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Fenwick & West LLP is pleased to announce that its Seattle, WA office is the first law firm in the entire United States to be awarded LEED-CI (Platinum) Designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the USGBC's leading rating system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient, and highest performing buildings. LEED Platinum is the highest possible certification.

Fenwick & West Senior Director of Facilities and Operations Julie O'Loughlin said, "When we first started out on the journey to find a new location for our Seattle office in February of 2007, we made a commitment to the firm that not only would Fenwick find an attractive office space, but that we would do everything in our power to design and build a LEED Certified space; a sustainable environment that would help distinguish us from our competition and make a positive statement to our clients, staff and attorneys. As of yesterday, we not only achieved our goal of LEED-CI certification, we actually surpassed it with a certification of LEED Platinum."

The Seattle office was designed to attain LEED-CI (Commercial Interiors) certification. LEED for Commercial Interiors focuses on tenant improvements in interior spaces in single and multi-tenant buildings. The Silicon Valley office was designed to attain LEED-EB (Existing Building) certification. LEED for Existing Buildings establishes a set of performance standards for the sustainable upgrades and operation of existing buildings. Both spaces were designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

Seattle office Managing Partner Stephen Graham said, "We are committed to running our firm as good corporate citizens. We believe that we must not only be outstanding lawyers, but we must be leaders in our communities. Fenwick has worked to revolutionize energy usage and improve sustainable practices on a daily basis. We are pleased that these efforts have been recognized."

Fenwick & West Managing Partner Kate Fritz said, "Over a year and a half ago, Fenwick & West was the first law firm certified by Santa Clara County as an environmentally sustainable 'Green Business' for the steps we had taken to employ sustainable practices to conserve natural resources. We thoroughly reviewed our day-to-day operations in order and assessed the ways Fenwick could and did conserve energy and reduce pollution, waste and water use."

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July 29, 2009

Greater Infrastructure Development in India Boosts the Cement Transportation Market, Finds Frost & Sullivan

MUMBAI, India, July 28/PRNewswire/ -- The consistent growth of the infrastructure and housing sectors has increased the demand for cement, bringing cheer to the cement transportation market. Apart from the influx of more global cement manufacturers, the cement transportation market will also benefit from favorable government initiatives related to various infrastructure projects and urban development, which can revive the housing sector also.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of Cement Transportation Market in India, finds that the industry dispatched 167.7 million tons of cement in 2008 and is expected to dispatch 263.8 million tons in 2014.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents, then send an e-mail to Ravinder Kaur/ Amrita Nandi, Corporate Communications, at ravinder.kaur@frost.com / amritan@frost.com with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, a brochure will be sent to you by e-mail.

The Government has raised budgetary allocation for roads under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP), which has considerably boosted cement consumption. Expected industry reforms from the new government are likely to result in an overall encouraging business environment.

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July 29, 2009

Metropolitan State Announces New Education Center for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Details of the $18 Million, Shovel-Ready Campus Will Be Unveiled at a Ceremony at 3 pm on July 29, with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson as a Keynote Speaker.

--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Metropolitan State University:

WHO: Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Hennepin Technical College are partnering on a 65,000-square-foot Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center on the Brooklyn Park campus of Hennepin Technical College.

WHAT: Details of a new, $18 million Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center will be announced by representatives of the three participating universities, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system chancellor, and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29, from 3 to 4 pm.

WHERE: The Brooklyn Park campus of Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Park, Minn. (952-995-1300)

WHY: "Crime and public safety continue to be important issues for this region," said Ginny Lane, Executive Director, Metropolitan State University School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. "The interest in law enforcement careers saw an increase after 9/11 and remains strong today. The new education center will help students emerge better equipped to deal with the complex law enforcement and criminal justice challenges of today, which often include a combination of analytical and communication skills."

BACKGROUND: The new center will include 12 "smart" or digital classrooms, a forensic lab, scenario-based training and simulation areas, two indoor target ranges and an outdoor tactical area. $14 million in funding has been received from the state of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities bonding appropriation. An additional $2 million was funded by Metropolitan State University and MCTC. A fundraising campaign will seek additional contributions when the center is complete in the fall of 2010.

Metropolitan State University, a member of MnSCU, provides high-quality, affordable academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels. It is the only state university in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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July 29, 2009

Whirlpool Corporation Account Manager Achieves Certified Green Professional Designation From NAHB

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Whirlpool Corporation recently announced that its Florida Contract division account manager John Whiteley has earned a Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The CGP distinction recognizes Whiteley as a building industry professional with knowledge of the best strategies for incorporating green building principles into home building.

Whiteley has worked in Whirlpool Corporation appliance sales for the building industry for more than 18 years. In his market, he works on numerous sustainable single- and multi-family building projects. Recent projects include the "Zero Energy Home," Gainesville, Fla.; the Sandpearl Hotel and Condominiums, Clearwater Beach, Fla.; Madera community, Gainesville, Fla. and even a major green renovation of his own home. His personal goal is to be known in his market as the "the green appliance rep."

"John's most recent accomplishment reinforces our commitment to being a comprehensive resource for helping builders incorporate more green elements in their home building efforts," said Tracy Frye, senior contract marketing manager at Whirlpool Corporation. "He is a perfect example of Whirlpool Corporation management who are working closely with the building industry to help set pace for sustainable construction."

The CGP curriculum incorporates training by leading building industry practitioners on a range of topics, including strategies for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective methods of construction, and how green homes provide homeowners with lower maintenance and good indoor air quality. Whiteley is required to maintain the designation by completing 12 hours of continuing education every three years, a portion of which pertains to green building activities.

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July 28, 2009

Alcoa Celebrates 50 Years on the Dow at Ringing of New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alcoa Chairman, Alain Belda, and CEO, Klaus Kleinfeld, rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this morning, commemorating Alcoa's 50 years as a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Today's event is part of the year-long celebration of the 120th anniversary of Alcoa's founding.

Of The Dow's current components, just eight have been included longer than Alcoa. Alcoa has been a member of The Dow longer than three-fourths of the nearly 100 companies included in the index since its creation in 1896. The DJIA is the best known market indicator in the world. Alcoa joined the Dow on June 1, 1959, as the Aluminum Company of America – demonstrating the importance of aluminum to the post-war industrial era and Alcoa as a leading-edge market indicator based on its wide variety of customers.

"In the 50 years that Alcoa has been a Dow company, we've grown from 17 U.S. locations to a global company with operations in 31 countries," said President and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, before ringing the bell that signals the start of the day's trading activity. "Since aluminum – today's "miracle metal" -- is widely used in virtually every industry, Alcoa has become an important contributor to the Dow Index's role as a barometer of the U.S. economy."

Joining Mr. Belda and Mr. Kleinfeld on this historic occasion were representatives of Alcoa's present and past. They included CFO Chuck McLane and Vanessa Lau of Alcoa's Global Rolled Products organization, representing Alcoa's 63,000 employees worldwide. Alcoa retiree, Bruce Cooper, represented retirees from across the globe. Dr. Richard Hunt, whose family in 1888 helped found the Pittsburgh Reduction Company – now Alcoa, represented the company's founders.

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July 28, 2009

Autodesk 2010 Certification Now Available for Design Professionals

Certified Associate and Certified Professional exams now available for newest versions of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Civil 3D Software.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADSK) , today announced that design and engineering professionals can become Autodesk Certified in AutoCAD 2010, Autodesk Inventor 2010, Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010, and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 software. Becoming Autodesk Certified allows professionals, and companies boasting Autodesk Certified employees, to validate their industry skills and knowledge, demonstrate expertise and gain credibility. Customer demand has contributed to the huge growth of Autodesk Certification over the past year, increasing the number of Autodesk Certified professionals to more than 100,000.

"With engineering and design fields becoming increasingly competitive, certification gives employees an edge at a time when having one is critical to career success," said Barbara Bowen, certification program development manager, Autodesk. "Autodesk Certification allows experienced designers and engineers to validate acquired skills by receiving recognition for their knowledge of specific Autodesk software applications."

Certification can only be achieved after passing a rigorous Autodesk certification exam, or series of exams, and companies like Parsons Brinkerhoff, a planning, engineering, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance organization, recognize the importance of certification and of having consistent quality of skills company-wide. In 2008, Parsons Brinkerhoff partnered with Autodesk to bring certification to their designers.

"We needed a reliable way to assess the skill level of our employees, ensure they were up to industry standards and equip staff for their next project," said Rebecca Arsham, CAD Training Manager, Parsons Brinkerhoff. "Our pilot program with AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D was extremely successful. With the Autodesk training model, our employees had an 83 percent and 71 percent pass rate on the Associate Certification and Professional Certification exams, respectively. Through this program, we have seen an increase in productivity and gained competitive advantage by marketing Autodesk Certified staff expertise on many of our projects."

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July 28, 2009

China Housing & Land Development Launches Newly Designed Corporate Website

XI'AN, China, July 27 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- China Housing & Land Development, Inc. ("China Housing"; Nasdaq: CHLN), today announced the launch of its redesigned, enhanced corporate website, http://www.chldinc.com/.

China Housing's new user-friendly website has been redesigned as an extensive information source for the Company's clients, customers, investors and stakeholders with streamlined navigability, enriched functionality, renovated appearance, improved accessibility and enhanced usability.

Based in Xi'an, the capital city of China's Shaanxi province, China Housing & Land Development, Inc., is a leading developer of residential and commercial properties in northwest China. China Housing has been engaged in land acquisition, development, and management, including the sales of residential and commercial real estate properties through its subsidiaries in China, since 1992.

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July 28, 2009

SWA Group Wins Master Plan Assignment for Mexico's University of Monterrey Including Site-Design for Tadao Ando Building

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SWA Group has won a design competition to provide master planning and landscape architecture improving sustainability for the 247-acre (100-hectare) campus of the University of Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico. The assignment includes a phase-one implementation of site design for the Art and Design School Building under construction by noted architect Tadao Ando, the 1995 winner of the Pritzker Prize.

SWA's assignment for the University of Monterrey (UDEM), Mexico's premier institution of higher education, will help transform the campus from a vehicular orientation to one that encourages pedestrian, bicycle and transit use. The master plan will also incorporate greater sustainability by use of indigenous plant materials, natural water-retention and filtration, low maintenance landscaping as well as site-design strategies to enhance the learning and collaboration among students and faculty.

Tadao Ando's structure, called the Gate of Creation, is a $34.5 million project encompassing 94,000 square feet (8,719 square meters), with spaces for design, research, teaching and exhibition, as well as 22 laboratories and workshops. According to the university, the building will help it establish Mexico and Latin America as a leader in the education of art, architecture and design.

"The landscape architecture and site design effort for UDEM is both a challenge and an honor that we are thrilled to be undertaking," said Rene Bihan, SWA's San Francisco-based managing principal overseeing the design team. "We will be working with the architect and the university to provide a proper landscape backdrop to what is considered one of the most significant architectural buildings in all of Latin America, while also helping the university move its campus to a higher level of sustainability."

SWA Group has completed related assignments in the region including the award-winning Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It provided landscape architecture for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, Stanford University, Soka University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo.

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July 27, 2009

Socially Responsible Architects Honored at the White House

Architecture for Humanity, recipient of the 2008 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Patron Award.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes Architecture for Humanity at the White House on July 24th as 2008 recipients of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Patron Award. This acknowledgment is for their work in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, building affordable community facilities for communities in need, and for demonstrating "that good design can indeed change the world."

The honor comes as Architecture for Humanity announces the eight finalists of the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom, a competition launched by the organization as part of a global initiative to invite the architecture, design and engineering community to collaborate directly with students and teachers to rethink the classroom of the future. More than 1,000 design teams from 65 countries registered for the competition. Over a four-month submission period, hundreds of ideas were generated around the world. Finalists submitted designs ranging from an outdoor classroom for children in inner-city Chicago, learning spaces for the children of salt pan workers in India, safe spaces for youth in Colombia, to a bamboo classroom in the Himalayan mountains.

About the Open Architecture Challenge.

The Open Architecture Challenge is an open, international design competition hosted every two years on the Open Architecture Network. It reaches beyond the traditional bounds of architecture by challenging architects and designers to partner with the broader public to address architectural inequities affecting the health, sustainability, prosperity and well being of underserved communities. All design solutions are licensed under Creative Commons and viewable at www.openarchitecturenetwork.org.

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July 24, 2009

BASF Promotes Energy-Efficient Windows for Stimulus Funding Building Projects

Oppanol(R) polyisobutylene is key ingredient in thermoplastic spacer system technology.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- With the passage of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, more than $50 billion in funding is available to modernize schools and federal buildings. Replacing older windows with new units that incorporate warm-edge thermoplastic spacer (TPS) technology can help upgrade these facilities while improving their energy efficiency.

"Windows are often overlooked when insulation needs are evaluated, but windows with TPS technology represent a significant opportunity to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs," said Markus Kamieth, Ph.D., Group Vice President, Performance Chemicals, for BASF in North America. "BASF promotes TPS technology because we believe it is the most sustainable solution for new windows."

TPS is a flexible sealant that replaces aluminum spacers in double and triple-pane windows. These windows out-perform the metal-based spacer systems, which actually allow heat to be drawn out of a building during the winter, and heat from the sun to be conducted into a building during the summer.

Kamieth stated that BASF recently conducted an eco-efficiency analysis which indicates that windows with TPS technology are better for the environment and have lower lifecycle costs than competitive technologies.

TPS sealants are distributed by companies such as ADCO Global Inc., Chicago, Illinois, which uses Oppanol polyisobutylene (PIB) from BASF as adhesive ingredients. Energy efficient windows with TPS are available from manufacturers such as TRACO of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

Architects such as Philip Elia of Elia Design, Troy, Michigan, are specifying windows with TPS systems for educational building projects because they are able to meet stringent design requirements, as well as energy efficiency needs.

One high-profile example is the historic Argonaut Building in Detroit, Michigan, the former General Motors (GM) Design Center, which is being renovated into a multi-use building for the College for Creative Services (CCS). The Argonaut was built in the late 1920s by Albert Kahn, a well-known architect, and has been vacant since 1999. GM donated the building to CCS in 2006.

"The building will encompass a graduate design school, a 300-student dorm, an 800-student arts-themed charter school for grades 6-12, a cafeteria, a 400-seat auditorium, commercial office space, and a specialized clay model and computer laboratories -- all of which have different heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) performance criteria," said Elia. "State, national, and city historical requirements were satisfied within stringent budget guidelines."

Elia selected TRACO's NX-300 Window System with the NEXGEN(TM) Energy Spacer(TM) for its performance in a cold Michigan environment. The NX-300 is a performance window product that meets current and future Energy Star requirements and contributes to the criteria of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System(TM), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Design Options.

"The standard features of the NX-300 windows allowed for the design of a relative humidity (RH) value to ensure a healthy environment for students and clay model laboratories," said Elia. "At the same time, we were able to maintain the historical sightlines of the original steel windows, a requirement by all three historical agencies, and a historically accepted installation technique within the existing triple-wythe brick masonry exterior wall."

Elia said, "With the use of TRACO NEXGEN energy efficient windows as an integral element of the sustainable and historical design the Argonaut Building will be an efficient building in every aspect."

Robin Randall, Vice President of Marketing for TRACO, noted that in addition to their energy-saving features, windows with TPS technology offer high resistance to stress caused by a variety of environmental conditions.

"These windows are better able to accommodate any type of stress, making them less prone to breakage, in the event of high winds or other acts of nature. Windows with TPS can be built in virtually any shape or size to give architects the flexibility to bring their vision to life," said Randall. "Our customers consider these windows to be the ultimate warm-edge technology available in the market and we are committed to providing them with high quality, high performance, and competitively priced products."

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July 24, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package (ARRA) Providing Opportunity for Government Contractors; Fringe Benefit Group's Prevailing Wage Plans Can Help Win Bids & Ensure Compliance

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is a bright spot in what has been a gloomy construction forecast for U.S. contractors. Contractors are registering to bid on ARRA jobs in record numbers, which means competition is fierce, and state and federal agencies are intensifying compliance efforts to ensure that the economic stimulus package monies are spent properly. The Contractors Plan (www.thecontractorsplan.com), powered by Fringe Benefit Group (www.fringebenefitgroup.com) is available to help government contractors stay compliant with government regulations and bid more competitively while providing quality benefits to their employees.

The ARRA includes a provision that all resulting projects fall under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act. The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in 1931, requires payment of locally "prevailing wages" including the "anticipated cost of prevailing benefits," commonly referred to as fringe benefits. Contractors performing service work for the government on non-construction projects are subject to a similar law, the Service Contract Act (SCA) of 1965. Prevailing wages are generally expressed as a per-hour wage and per-hour cash equivalent value of benefits, and are often based on a union scale. Prevailing wages are set by the U.S. Department of Labor and are included in the bid specifications of covered contracts.

Many Davis-Bacon and SCA contractors pay the fringe benefit portion of the prevailing wage as additional cash wages, believing it is the easiest way to comply with the law. But allocating the fringe amount to a bona fide benefit plan, such as The Contractors Plan from Fringe Benefit Group, results in significant cost savings on payroll burden because these monies are not subject to FICA, FUTA, state unemployment taxes and workers compensation insurance. Benefits that might be included in a bona fide benefit plan offering are retirement, medical, dental, vision and life insurance plans.

Utilizing its nearly 30 years of experience in this market, Fringe Benefit Group (www.fringebenefitgroup.com) can help government contractors and the insurance advisers who assist them with their prevailing wage benefits plans. As the first company to offer benefit plans for prevailing wage workers, Fringe Benefit Group is highly skilled at understanding, recommending and implementing retirement and health plan options for government contractors. Fringe Benefit Group analyzes a company's information and uses its plan design expertise to suggest options that maximize benefits for both owners and their employees.

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July 24, 2009

Eight Teams Named as Finalists in International Architecture Competition for Innovative Classroom Designs

Teams vie for US$ 50,000 to improve schools' learning environments.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eight teams were recognized today as finalists of the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom. Finalists submitted designs ranging from an outdoor classroom for children in inner-city Chicago, learning spaces for the children of salt pan workers in India, safe spaces for youth in Bogota, Colombia and a bamboo classroom in the Himalayan mountains.

The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge was hosted by Architecture for Humanity and principal partner Orient Global in collaboration with a consortium of other partners around the world. This truly global initiative invited the architecture, design and engineering community to collaborate directly with students and teachers to rethink the classroom of the future. Designers entering the competition were given a simple mandate: collaborate with real students in real schools in their community to develop real solutions.

More than 1,000 design teams from 65 countries registered for the competition. Over a four-month submission period hundreds of ideas were generated around the world.

Each submission was rated on feasibility, sustainability, innovation in learning and overall design quality by a team of interdisciplinary online jurors. After three rounds of reviews, more than 400 designs were narrowed to a shortlist of 52. On July 2nd, 2009, an international panel of jurors reviewed the designs at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival and selected eight entries as finalists for the competition. In September one of these teams will be awarded US$ 5,000 and the selected partner school will receive up to US$50,000 to realize their design. The finalists are:

The Blurred Classroom, Gensler, New York, NY, United States

Teton Valley Community School, Section Eight Design, Victor, ID, United States

Teksing Bamboo school, Petr Kostner, Sona Huberova and Martina Sobotkova, Czech Republic

Classroom for the Salt Pan Community, Rajesh Kapoor, Prashant Solanky, Bharat Karamchandani and Kiran Vaghela, Gujurat, India

A Sustainable Community Classroom for Uganda, Chris Soley, Farah Naz, Hayley Maxwell, Edward Crammond and Jessica Robinson of Gifford LLC, United Kingdom

Extending the Classroom, Built Form Architecture, Northwestern University Settlement House, Chicago, IL, United States

Justified Architecture in a Landscape of Transition, Architectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia

Adaptable Hillside Classrooms, Andrew Macintosh, Matthew Brown, Nilufer Kocabas of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold, United Kingdom

The need for safe, sustainable, smart classroom design has never been greater. Worldwide, 776 million people are illiterate. With less than six years left to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, the World Bank estimates ten million new classrooms are needed to reach its target equal access to primary education. In addition, tens of millions of crumbling facilities--including many in the United States--are in urgent need of upgrading. Meeting this need for classroom space will constitute the largest building project the world has ever undertaken. The world will need to spend in excess of US$ 100 billion just to meet current demand for classrooms.

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July 24, 2009

Hessen, Germany's Center for International Business, at Intersolar North America 2009, San Francisco, CA

Opportunities for U.S. solar companies in Hessen – an innovative state dedicated to finding solutions to meet global challenges.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The German State of Hessen U.S. Office for Economic Development participated for the first time in the Intersolar North America in San Francisco, CA; July 14-15, 2009 to meet with U.S. executives who are interested in establishing a European presence. Intersolar is one of the largest solar tradeshows in North America dedicated to bringing together companies across the global solar supply chain to improve the industry's global supply, distribution, training, regulation and business issues to advance solar as a significant part of the global energy supply.

Hessen, with its largest city being Frankfurt am Main, is a leader in Germany's environmental technology industry. In Hessen, U.S. companies can fully cover global markets and optimize their cost structure as the industry becomes continuously more competitive. Hessen's environmental technology industry encompasses approximately 2,400 companies 77,000 employees with €12.5 billion sales and an export rate of 25%. Hessen's solar industry, comprised of 250 companies, includes players such as SMA Solar Technology AG, Wagner & Co Solar Technology, Concentrator Optics, ralos, and BlueTec. Germany's solar industry is second in Europe after Spain.

Over 900 U.S. companies have successfully located to Hessen including SunPower Corporation, San Jose, CA; Ceilcote Air Pollution Control, Strongsville, IL; 3Tier, Seattle, WA; Golder Associates, Atlanta, GA; CAT PUMPS International Group, Minneapolis, MN and Hollingsworth & Vose, East Walpole, MA. Located in one of the "TOP 10" innovation regions in Europe, they find ample labor availability and with the completion of Kassel University's IWES (Frauenhofer -Institution for Wind Energy and Energy System Technologies) this year, it will have an additional institute to support future-oriented technologies. Other knowledge-based clusters in Hessen include Finance Center and Logistics Center Frankfurt, Software, Medical Technology and Biotechnology located throughout the state.

Hessen offers customer services to U.S. companies at no cost – inquiries are handled confidentially and without obligation. To meet with industry experts from Hessen at the Solar Power 2009; Anaheim, CA October 26-29, 2009 Booth # 393 please contact Kristina.Garcia@hessen-agentur.de.

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July 24, 2009

WARNING ALERT for Those Remediating Chinese Drywall and/or Other Defective Drywall

GAINESVILLE, Fla., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A leading forensic expert on building envelope, water intrusion, toxic mold, and Chinese drywall, Spiderman S. Mulholland, senior forensic investigator and national consultant with US Building Consultants and US Building Laboratories Inc., is issuing a warning to those conducting remediation on homes and buildings across states including Florida.

It should be noted that remediation protocols have not been established, and cross-contamination is occurring, even after homes have the sheetrock torn out and replaced, out gassing of sulfur compounds and other elements continues to occur. In fact, remediation further jeopardizes public health when it is done without adequate safeguards or by unqualified individuals.

Scientific tests and analysis of construction materials and their out-gassing properties associated to other materials found that absorption rates, higher levels of toxicity and cross contamination to be a serious factor; and other dynamics which will go unnamed at this time. In fact, under current remediation practices, we are observing the situation getting worse because proper controls are not in place; and there have been several unknowns that are just now being revealed through new science.

"In our opinion, if people are remediating now, they are probably doing it wrong," he said. "We have been warning builders, remediation companies, and homeowners for months not to start the remediation process yet. Without a proven standardized protocol for remediation, a secondary crisis can occur on top of the main crisis, essentially having to remediate a second time. "

USBCI is in the process of securing national warranties, but this cannot be released to the public until the proper remediation protocol has been certified with appropriate controls and backed by credible science. A rush to remediation IS NOT in the best interest of the homeowner, builder, remediation companies, or anyone for that matter. In our opinion, those who are performing restoration without proper control could be jeopardizing their own health since several key dynamics are at work during the restoration. Some new scientific testing is being conducted for the first time and this is proving to be more complex than what any of these scientist thought.

This article has been shortened from its original length for publication, to view it in its entirety visit our Web site.

To learn more about Spiderman Mulholland and USBCI, go online to www.usbcinc.com, or to arrange an interview, contact annie@usbcinc.com.

Source: US Building Consultants, Inc.

CONTACT: Annie Johnson, US Building Consultants, Inc., +1-352-505-6771,
annie@usbcinc.com

Web Site: http://www.usbcinc.com/

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July 23, 2009

ENVIROGLAS WOWS IKEA CUSTOMERS

IKEA Frisco customers are getting the opportunity to check out recycled glass and porcelain flooring tiles and countertops made from Dallas based manufacture, EnviroGLAS. The recent flooring and countertop installation in IKEA's kitchen and bath kiosk #41 and #46, is all part of the global retailer's new environmentally friendly product line.

EnviroGLAS founder and CEO, Tim Whaley, "We are extremely proud to be a part of IKEA's sustainable product line. Their passion to teach and communicate the importance of green initiatives with their customers truly reflects IKEA's commitment to the environment."

EnviroPLANK flooring tiles and EnviroSLAB countertops are made from unique mixtures of recycled glass; including recycled beer bottles, car windshields and plate and stained glass windows. Additional aggregate options include reflective mirror, mother-of-pearl and recycled porcelain called EnviroMODE - made from pre-consumer recycled Kohler(R) toilets and sinks.

In addition to the showcase rooms, EnviroGLAS has provided product swatches to view in a wide variety of aggregate and resin colors. One may even custom color the resin binder to match a paint swatch. EnviroGLAS products are truly unique.

April Berg, Public Relations and Marketing Manager of IKEA Frisco, "IKEA's vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people, and a big part of this vision is our commitment to the environment.
The aim is to make products which have minimum impact on the environment, and to manufacture them in a socially responsible way. EnviroGLAS was a natural fit for us with this same philosophy in mind."

Other EnviroGLAS products include EnviroSCAPE landscape aggregate, which is used as decorative mulch – quite stunning! EnviroGLAS products not only look good, they are low maintenance, extremely durable, have a lifecycle of over 40 years and contribute to 8 or more LEED credits.

EnviroGLAS founder Tim Whaley has over a decade of experience in the Terrazzo industry. His products were voted "2008 and 2009 Contractor's Choice Top Products" by Concrete Contractor Magazine, plus, he received the "2008 Greater DFW Recycling Alliance Environmental Award" and the "2008 North Texas Corporate Recycling Award" for EnviroMODE.

If you have any USGBC LEED project questions, or would like to request samples, please go to www.enviroglasproducts.com or call 888.523.7894.

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July 23, 2009

IHPA Launches Consumer Awareness Campaign for Hurricane Protection

LANTANA, Fla., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Tom Johnston, President of the International Hurricane Protection Association (IHPA), announced today the launching of the 'Get the Number' consumer awareness campaign. "The 'Get the Number' campaign is an educational tool to let consumers know what they should be looking for when buying storm and hurricane protection," Johnston said. "Consumers can ensure that they are buying and protecting their home with approved or evaluated products by simply requesting and confirming that the product they are buying has an awarded approval or evaluation number."

"Unfortunately, there are products out there being sold that have never been tested or evaluated," Johnston added. "With the increased hurricane activity that we have had over the last decade, and predicted to continue for the next 20 years, we have been able to gather an immense amount of information on what is needed and what fails in regards to protecting your home and family in cases of hurricane strikes. The accredited agencies know now what to look for and can hold the manufacturers' of storm and hurricane protection feet to the fire to insist that consumers are getting proper protection." Agreeing that, "it may be possible that an unapproved, untested product may work to some extent," but Johnston warned, "the bigger worry is that the product being installed on the consumer's home was tested and failed. That is why they are unable to present an approval number."

"Our research shows that the costs that contractors are charging for unapproved products are no different than what is being charged for approved products. It is a pretty simple decision; just 'Get the Number'."

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July 23, 2009

Yingli Green Energy Expands Its Footprint in the China Market

Hosted Forum to Drive Development of On-grid Solar Plants in China

Forms Strategic Alliance with Subsidiary of CGNPC to Develop On-grid Solar.

BAODING, China, July 22 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE:YGE) ("Yingli Green Energy" or the "Company"), one of the world's leading vertically integrated photovoltaic ("PV") product manufacturers, today announced its recent business developments in the China market.

China Market Business Updates

Yingli Green Energy hosted a forum in Baoding, the first of its kind in China, to discuss the establishment of industry standards and project financing in connection with the construction of on-grid solar plants in China. In attendance at the event were senior managers and representatives from more than forty state-owned utilities companies, state grid corporations, project design and development companies and the local government. The Company also announced the establishment of a strategic alliance with a subsidiary of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. ("CGNPC") to explore the opportunities for development of on-grid solar projects both in China and overseas markets.

Expansion Activities in Hainan Province

Yingli Green Energy has agreed with Hainan Provincial Development Holding Company Limited ("Hainan Development"), a state-owned enterprise, to form a joint venture, Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. ("Hainan Yingli"), to build manufacturing facilities with annual production capacity of 100 MW in each of polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and PV modules in Haikou, Hainan Province. Under the agreement, Yingli Green Energy will hold an 80% equity interest in Hainan Yingli. The establishment of Hainan Yingli will be subject to the approval of Yingli Green Energy's board of directors.

In addition, Yingli Green Energy has agreed with Hainan Development and Hainan Provincial Water Conservancy & Power Group Company Limited, a state-owned enterprise in Hainan Province, to form another joint venture, Hainan Green Islands Power Company Limited ("Green Islands Power") to develop and operate on-grid solar projects in Hainan Province. Under the agreement, Yingli Green Energy will hold a 20% equity interest in Green Islands Power. It is expected that Green Islands Power will develop on-grid solar projects totaling up to 300 megawatts from 2009 to 2011 in Hainan Province.

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July 22, 2009

CALMAC Energy Storage Boosts LEED Score for Independence Station Mixed-Use Development

HVAC System Aims to Contribute LEED Points by Optimizing Energy Performance.

FAIR LAWN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CALMAC today announced that Independence Station, a 57,000 square foot mixed-use building in Oregon, chose CALMAC's IceBank(R) Energy Storage System for eco-friendly cooling of the flagship project by Aldeia, LLC. Scheduled for completion in 2010, Independence Station is a $15 million mixed-use development that has the goal to be the highest scoring certified green building in the world, as measured by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)(R) high performance green building rating system administered by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Independence Station chose CALMAC's ice storage technology as part of the overall HVAC system to offset the energy usage during the peak demand hours. By using ice created during off-peak hours inside two ice storage tanks, the building will be able to run off grid during daily peak power times, thereby saving costs by minimizing expensive electricity demand charges. During the utility's peak demand period the building will operate on power produced by biodiesel generators and be cooled by the ice storage plant. During this time, excess power generated by the 125 kW photovoltaic system will be sold back to the utility, helping the utility meet peak demand load. At night, the computer-based building management system will decide when to shut down the generators, and start making ice. The goal is for Independence Station to be a net zero energy building using Smart Grid technology, with CALMAC's IceBank Energy Storage at the heart of the cooling system.

"Cooling a building represents the single, largest demand for electricity during hot summer months. CALMAC solves the problem of how to meet peak demand load with on site power generation," explains Jim Krumsick, the electrical engineer on the Independence Station project. "Making ice during off-peak hours in the summer reduces the load on the waste vegetable oil fueled co-generation system during peak demand hours. This allows us to downsize equipment and thus reduce costs and the environmental impact of on-site co-generation."

"Our goal is to earn between 64 and 66 LEED(R) Points out of a possible 69 – to make us the World's Greenest Building," notes Steven Ribeiro, Developer for the project. "As part of the overall HVAC system, CALMAC helps add crucial performance characteristics and flexibility with its energy storage technology."

"CALMAC is proud to be a part of the Independence Station project," says Mark MacCracken, CALMAC CEO and USGBC Board Member. "The HVAC system, which includes the IceBank Energy Storage System, is designed to earn LEED Points for Optimizing Energy Performance. CALMAC is dedicated to helping buildings lower their impact on the environment and the Independence Station project allows us to do just that."

LEED is a certification program by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance, green buildings. Its purpose is to promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas, which include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

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July 22, 2009

Cowboys Stadium and Hellas Roll-Up Turf Field Prove Themselves Sports-Worthy

"Football" has Officially Started at Cowboys Stadium Where Mexico Beats Haiti 4-0 and Costa Rica Beats Guadeloupe 5-1. Football?

ARLINGTON, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sound a little strange? The first football games at Cowboys Stadium were not American football, but the world's football, soccer. Mexico beat Haiti 4-0 and Costa Rica beat Guadeloupe 5-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal matches held at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, July 19th. These matches were the first sporting events held at Cowboys Stadium, and the first showcase of how the stadium and its interchangeable turf system will work for much more than just Dallas Cowboys football games.

82,252 fans attended the games — the third largest for a Gold Cup game in the U.S. and the largest soccer crowd ever in Texas. The new Cowboys Stadium is not only going to be one of the greatest stadiums ever built for American football, but thanks to the innovative turf system, it will be one of the best stadiums for soccer as well. Hellas Construction of Austin installed the removable turf system at Cowboys Stadium, the first three-field conversion turf system in the United States. The "roll-up" turf system can easily transform the playing surface, depending upon the scheduled event — from football, to soccer, to concerts or other events.

"We have a lot of different types of events already scheduled, so having the flexibility to change the field is very important to us," said Jack Hill, General Manager of Cowboys Stadium. "It is a one-of-a-kind, and adds another first to not only the largest stadium in the nation, but the most unique."

"The technology is quite unique," said Reed J. Seaton, President and CEO of Hellas Construction. "It allows the stadium to convert from pro football to college football to soccer or lacrosse in a relatively short period of time, so they can host any kind of sporting event and give the uniqueness of the kind of synthetic turf they want to play on."

It is critical to quickly transform the field into various event configurations. The patented SoftTop(TM) Removable System from Sportfield(TM), the same company that manufactured the turf at the old Dallas Cowboys' stadium, Texas Stadium, is made of interchangeable panels that make up three different fields. The field can be converted within 24 hours, and when not used, the panels are rolled-up and stored below the stadium. The SoftTop(TM) system is composed of Matrix(TM) turf, a monofilament spinneret yarn made up of different sizes and colors. This configuration creates the best traction and stability possible. It even helps to provide excellent light deflection under the stadium lights. The field has gone through extensive testing to guarantee its durability. So even with its flexibility, the system is built to last.

Find more information on the SoftTop(TM) Removable System at http://www.dallascowboysturf.com. On the site you will see three different fields available at the new stadium, as well as video and sound bites from Hellas and Dallas Cowboys leadership.

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July 22, 2009

Sun Design Remodeling Team Receives 'Green Professional' and 'Aging in Place' Certifications

BURKE, Va., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Inc., based in Burke, Va., has received two new certifications that recognize its excellence in "green" design and construction and for helping clients remodel their homes to age in place.

Craig Durosko, president, has been awarded the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Green Professional designation. This recognizes builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes -- without driving up the cost of construction, according to NAHB. Durosko said, "Sun Design has worked with many of its clients to incorporate green principals using sustainable materials and energy friendly products and methods. I am very excited to receive this designation."

Mindy Mitchell, design consultant at Sun Design, has been awarded the Certified Aging in Place (often called "universal design") Specialist (CAPS) certification. CAPS recognizes the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential for home modifications for the aging in place. According to NAHB, aging in place means remaining in one's home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It enables people to live in a familiar environment late into life and "the reassurance of being able to call a house a 'home' for a lifetime."

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July 21, 2009

Fluor Wins UK FEED Contract for Scottish & Southern Energy

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today it was selected to conduct front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for a nitrogen oxide reduction program at the Fiddler's Ferry Power Station in Warrington, Cheshire, England. Fluor is currently performing preliminary engineering and construction planning services for selective catalytic reduction of emissions at Scottish & Southern Energy's (SSE) four-unit coal-fired power plant as well as providing client technical support and project cost estimation.

"Building on our other SSE work on projects like the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, our Fluor team is delighted to continue our excellent ongoing relationship with such an important player in the European power market," said Mervyn Sambles, vice president of Fluor's Power Group. "Clean energy initiatives are top of mind with business leaders and government officials alike. We are well-positioned to expand our service offerings for European power producers in this growing market segment."

Fluor began a feasibility study in late 2008 with the FEED work expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2009. SSE is competitively bidding the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for this clean air initiative. Scottish & Southern Energy is the United Kingdom's second largest provider of electricity.

"This is an important clean energy initiative in the UK and the larger European market," said David Eppinger, vice president of Fluor's Power Group. "Fluor is committed to assisting power generators like SSE to bolster their clean energy generation capacity."

Fluor is a proven global leader in providing plant betterment EPC services to power generation clients worldwide. In addition to selective catalytic reduction, Fluor is performing multiple clean energy projects such as flue gas desulfurization and carbon capture projects using Fluor's proven Econamine FG PlusSM technology.

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July 21, 2009

SKS Investments' 1100 Broadway Receives Highest Environmental Design Rating From U.S. Green Building Council

Office Tower Planned for Downtown Oakland One of Handful of Structures to Achieve LEED Platinum Pre-Certification Standard.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--1100 Broadway, a 20-story office tower planned for Oakland's revitalized downtown core, has achieved the highest level of environmental pre-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum ranking has been awarded to only a small group of buildings in the United States with 1100 Broadway to be among the first such structures in California to qualify for the rating.

"We are very proud to have achieved LEED Platinum pre-certification for 1100 Broadway," said SKS Investments Managing Partner Paul Stein. "We thank the USGBC for its recognition of our environmentally sustainable design for this building. Our goal for 1100 Broadway has always been to design and develop a building that will demonstrate how sustainable office buildings are an integral part of our country's effort to combat global warming and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, responsible development located near mass transit can play a meaningful role in the continuing revitalization of downtown Oakland."

1100 Broadway will utilize the latest in green technology, including photovoltaic solar panels, a high performance glass façade that will minimize cooling costs and maximize day lighting, a raised floor HVAC system, a living green roof, and a rainwater collection, filtration and reuse system. 1100 Broadway was designed by KMD Architects and green building consultant KEMA and will include the renovation of the historic Key System building.

The U.S. Green Building Council has recognized the design for 1100 Broadway as one that reflects "a realistic set of project goals and intentions to incorporate green features." The Council cited 1100 Broadway as a potential model for future green and sustainable development.

"We are pleased to have received LEED Platinum pre-certification," said KMD Principal David Hobstetter. "This pre-certification is a reflection of the project's unique aspects – a strategic location in downtown Oakland above BART, the restoration of the historic Key System building and the utilization of high performance building systems and substantial on-site solar power generation."

Located directly above the 12 Street/City Center BART Station, 1100 Broadway will be situated within a block of 20 AC Transit bus lines and close to both the I-880 and I-980 freeways.

Based in San Francisco, SKS was founded in 1992 and is a commercial and residential real estate firm focusing on value-added investment and development activity in Northern California. The firm has broad expertise in acquisitions, entitlements, financing, development, design/construction management, leasing, asset management and disposition.

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July 21, 2009

Union Leader Says Greening Buildings Key to a Green Economy

- Lawmakers, Real Estate Industry Told Training Needed -

NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Summit on "Green Jobs," 32BJ SEIU President Mike Fishman called on lawmakers around the country to prioritize buildings in their green strategies because buildings account for 60% of the country's total energy consumption and generate 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions.

"The real estate industry should take the lead in reducing carbon emissions and conserving energy," said Mike Fishman. "Passing strong Green legislation that mandates such reductions will make our cities cleaner and our environment safer."

In his presentation, Fishman emphasized the need for training and apprenticeship programs to ensure that building service workers can run their buildings more efficiently by saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He also stressed the need to create pathways out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

"The new green workforce is going to come out of retraining," said Fishman. "Training is the best way to ensure that our buildings are more efficient and building workers have the skills they need to do the job. Just as importantly, newly created green jobs must pay livable wages."

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July 20, 2009

Hope Yet, for Homeowners Affected by Chinese Drywall

Field Tests Indicate H2S Levels Reduced by 80%-90%.

CHAMPLAIN, N.Y., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Electrocorp, an industrial air purification company, is receiving national attention after field testing by a Florida company showed levels of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and other gases, emitted from tainted Chinese drywall that was used to build hundreds of thousands of homes across North America, were reduced by 80% to 90% after only 24 hours of operating Electrocorp's air purification equipment.

"We expected great results from these units," said Electrocorp's sales, merchandising and design consultant, Henri Chero, "but a reduction of up to 90% of H2S levels is truly exciting. There are many families who are desperate to stay in their homes. This field testing suggests there is hope yet, for homeowners who have been affected by Chinese drywall."

Electrocorp has developed a customized carbon filter specifically to reduce the H2S and other gases that have been found to leach from what has now become known as toxic Chinese drywall.

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July 20, 2009

L.B. Foster to Provide Sheet Piling for New Orleans Flood Walls

$23.1 Million USACE Contract Awarded to L.B. Foster for Gerdau Ameristeel PZC Piling.

PITTSBURGH, July 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- L.B. Foster Company (NASDAQ: FSTR) of Pittsburgh, PA has been awarded a $23.1 million contract to provide steel sheet piling to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the construction of T-wall type flood walls in the New Orleans area. The PZC(TM) piling will be manufactured in lengths of 20 to 75 feet at the Gerdau Ameristeel Petersburg, VA facility and stored for convenient availability at L.B. Foster's New Orleans storage facility. "Our local distribution facility will allow quick contractor access to the material required for T-wall installation in the USACE New Orleans District," said Ernie Koehler, L.B. Foster Construction Products Sales Manager.

T-wall construction is a field-proven design for effective flood wall structures that must withstand the surge elevation of a 100 year type hurricane. PZC-13 sheet piling will form an efficient below ground cutoff wall to prevent or minimize lateral water migration from undermining the T-wall. A protective coating of 16 mils of coal tar epoxy will be applied to the top 15 feet of each PZC steel sheet to assure long term corrosion resistance. "Our domestically produced PZC sheet piling is manufactured to be wider, lighter and stronger than traditional Z piling. The Army Corps has deemed this product to be an efficient solution for this type of critical application," noted David Maedgen, Gerdau Ameristeel Piling Sales Manager.

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July 20, 2009

NASA 'Builds' for the Future

HAMPTON, Va., July 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building on nearly a century of exploration, aeronautics research and scientific discovery, NASA's Langley Research Center broke ground today for the first building in its "New Town" program, a $200-million facility improvement project designed to enhance mission performance capabilities and renew current facilities.

In partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), NASA developed a master plan for modernizing the Langley infrastructure, while simultaneously reducing operations and maintenance costs.

"This plan focuses on the future requirements of the Center while maintaining our tradition of technical excellence," said Center Director Lesa B. Roe at this morning's groundbreaking ceremony. "Concurrent with the new construction and renovation is phased demolition of deteriorated and underutilized facilities that will reduce the Center's footprint and increase our environmental stewardship."

The federal government has embarked on a conservation program to reduce energy and water usage and increase renewable energy systems.

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July 20, 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Says ITC Green Centre is a "Monument to the Future"

NEW DELHI, India, July 19/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose the LEED Platinum rated ITC Green Centre to announce a vision for Indo-US collaboration on climate change. Secretary Clinton, after a tour of ITC's green building, said that, "The ITC Green Centre is a monument to the future. This Centre is a model of environmental stewardship and economic development, which provides inspiration as we approach the Copenhagen discussions." Secretary Clinton said that if buildings across the globe replicated ITC Green Centre's example, global energy use would be reduced by 20 %. She expressed her admiration for ITC's commitment and work on sustainability issues which underscored the fact that there was no conflict between poverty and economic development.

The ITC Green Centre is one of the world's first largest green buildings to receive the top-most Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The building, which has utilized innovation, cutting edge technology and design integration to achieve new benchmarks in energy efficiency and water conservation, is a manifestation of ITC's leadership in Sustainability Practices.

An exemplar from the developing world, ITC's Sustainability Vision has enabled it to become the only company in the world to be carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive, the three major global environmental distinctions. By embedding inclusive corporate strategies, its businesses have generated nearly 5 million livelihoods, many of whom represent the weakest sections in India.

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July 20, 2009

Whirlpool Corporation's Richie Heumann Earns LEED(R) AP Certification

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (July 20, 2009) – Richie Heumann, senior account manager of Whirlpool Corporation's North Atlantic Division, recently earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED(R) AP) certification. The LEED AP certification will allow Heumann to better support his trade customers with building solutions to help make constructing sustainable homes easier.

Now managed by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED Professional Accreditation distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED certification process. LEED APs demonstrate a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System.

According to the GBCI, a LEED credential provides employers, policymakers and other stakeholders with assurances of an individual's current level of competence and is the mark of the most qualified, educated and influential green building professionals in the marketplace.

Adding to his industry credentials, Heumann earned his Certified Green Professional (CGP) and Certified Graduate Associate (CGA) designations from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2008. This year, he also was recognized with the "Whirlpool Corporation Trade Relations Industry and Community Service Award." The award recognizes Heumann's ongoing leadership, building industry contributions and countless hours of community involvement.

"Richie's dedication and commitment to his customers and to sustainable building as a whole never cease to impress," said Mitchell Isert, North Atlantic contract division director at Whirlpool Corporation. "His sustainable building knowledge and leadership is an asset to Whirlpool Corporation and to his customers' building projects."

About Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation works to exceed expectations with appliances that help building and design professionals create homes of distinction. The company's The Inside Advantage(TM) Program offers Powerful Brands, Innovative Products, Targeted Services and Consumer Insight to support building and design professionals.

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion, 70,000 employees and 68 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.

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July 17, 2009

China Advanced Construction Materials Group Awarded New Contracts Totaling $4.1 Million for Hangzhou-Ningbo Railway

NEW YORK and BEIJING, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- China Advanced Construction Materials Group, Inc. ("China ACM") (OTC:CADC) (BULLETIN BOARD: CADC) , a leading provider of ready-mix concrete and related services in China, today announced that it has been awarded two new contracts to provide concrete manufacturing services for the Hangzhou-Ningbo railway construction project. Under the agreement, China ACM will supply 500,000 cubic meters of concrete and expects to complete the project by mid-2011.

Upon completion, the Hangzhou-Ningbo railway will cover approximately 150 kilometers, or approximately 93 miles. Train speed on this line will approach 188 miles per hour and will reduce travel time between Hangzhou City and Ningbo City to less than one hour.

Mr. Xianfu Han, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We continue to gain traction in providing our manufacturing services for China's growing network of railway systems. We are in a unique position to win these railway projects as one of only a select group of companies authorized to supply ready-mix concrete for government infrastructure projects. Our competitive advantages also include our advanced technologies, lengthy warranty period and superior pricing. The high profile projects we have been involved with in and around the Beijing area serve as testimonials to the quality of our work and the reputation we have established."

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July 17, 2009

Champion's Energy Efficient Windows, Doors and Patio Rooms Earn Green Seal Certification

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After an extensive, year-long process, Champion has earned Green Seal(TM) certification for its window, door and patio room products. Green Seal identifies products that are designed and manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner.

Green Seal inspectors visited Champion's Cincinnati and Denver manufacturing facilities to ensure that it met its energy efficiency and environmental standards. A team led by Rik Vonderhaar, Champion's Customer Service Manager, answered questions and helped facilitate the thorough examination process. Green Seal announced that Champion successfully met their manufacturing requirements and received certification on July 8.

"Champion is proud that our products not only save customers money, but are also manufactured in an environmentally friendly way," said Don Jones, President and COO of Champion. "The Green Seal certification is evidence of our hard work and demonstrates that we want the best for the homeowners who use our products and services."

Champion will be using the Green Seal trademarked logo on their products, website and advertising to demonstrate their commitment to continue to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Champion has also earned the Good Housekeeping seal and is certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and is ENERGY STAR(R) qualified in all 50 states. Champion is only the fourth window manufacturing company to achieve the Green Seal certification.

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July 17, 2009

HALL Wines Earns Distinctive Gold LEED(R) Certification

Officially First Winery in State of California to Reach Gold LEED(R) Certification Status

NAPA VALLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HALL Wines, the premier 21st century vineyard and winery, announces today that it has received the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) Gold Certification for its Napa Valley St. Helena winery, becoming the first winery in California to be distinguished as a Gold certified facility by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED(R) Green Building Rating System(TM).

The HALL St. Helena LEED(R) certified winery is one of most advanced wineries in California, with state-of-the-art facilities designed for ultra-premium wine production. LEED(R) is an internationally recognized certification system that measures a building or community's performance across all environmental metrics including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

"The certification of HALL Wines not only marks a momentous occasion for the wine industry of California, but demonstrates how all industries can choose to be solvers of our collective environmental challenges," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The HALL Wines project efficiently uses natural resources, makes an immediate positive impact on our planet and as a business leader, can expect to reap financial benefits over the lifecycle of the building."

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July 17, 2009

Hamptons Green Alliance Starts Work on a Net Zero Energy, Certified Carbon Neutral and LEED Platinum House on Long Island

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hamptons Luxury Homes (HLXH:Pink) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Telemark, Inc. has issued the following press release:

In what is believed to be a first in the Hamptons – if not the nation – a net zero energy consumption, certified carbon neutral and LEED Platinum home is being built from the ashes of a horrific fire.

Following the December 2008 fire that destroyed the home of the David Dubin family, the members of The Hamptons Green Alliance (www.hamptonsgreenalliance.org) came together through the efforts of a friend, fellow environmentalist and local architect, Richard Stott , AIA, LEED AP, of Steelbone Design Company and Flynn Stott Architects, PC to help rebuild the Dubin's home but with a unique feature – incorporating state-of-the-art materials, procedures and techniques as well as experimental building ideas to develop what they believe will be a first of its kind – a true energy conserving house and one that is expected to set the standard for constructing carbon neutral homes in the future.

Members of the HGA, which includes leading building contractors and suppliers in the Hamptons, have formed a team, led by Stott, Craig Lee of Lee Architecture, Frank Dalene and Bob Morsch, of Telemark, Inc. (co-founders of HGA), Roy Dalene and his son, Tim Dalene of Telemark, Inc. (General Contractor on the project) to carry out the rebuilding effort.

The group, working with the Long Island Chapter of the United States Green Building Council, intends to seek LEED Certified Platinum status for the house, as well as implementing a methodology developed by Frank Dalene, that can definitively calculate the carbon footprint of the actual materials, products and businesses that are used in construction, thereby establishing a true carbon-neutral status for the construction of the home. Furthermore, because the house is being rebuilt, the existing energy consumption records prior to the fire will be able to be utilized to determine the actual difference in energy consumption. "We believe this is one of the most significant aspects of the project," said Roy Dalene, COO of Telemark. "Normally, when homes or buildings are built for LEED certification there is not the opportunity to draw an actual apples-to-apples comparison of energy usage. Because there is this specific energy history, we will be able to quantify and prove the energy savings."

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July 17, 2009

PlacesGreen.com Launches Energy Efficiency Services

Bay-area company works with residential and commercial properties to lower energy costs

SAN FRANCISCO, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- PlacesGreen.com launches efficiency services for home and commercial "places." The total efficiency service includes energy audits as well as linkages to complete retrofitting services. "We recognize that making our buildings energy efficient is moving from a choice to a necessity," says Heidi Young, Founder of PlacesGreen.com. "Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing energy bills and addressing the important issue of global climate change--all while creating green collar jobs and growing the economy." PlacesGreen is poised to capitalize on the governmental and environmental trends toward lower energy uses. In addition, many of these energy efficiency improvements will be eligible for various rebates and tax incentives.

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July 17, 2009

Skanska to construct highway in Poland for PLN 367 M, SEK 890 M

STOCKHOLM, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:

Skanska (STO:SKAB) has been awarded an assignment to construct a section of a ring road around the Polish city of Poznan. Skanska's share of the total contract amounts to PLN 367 M, or about SEK 890 M, which will be included in order bookings for the third quarter. The customer is the Polish Road Administration.

The project consists of an expansion of 14 km of the S11 highway west of Poznan. The assignment includes 12 flyovers, four traffic interchanges, one bridge, two pedestrian and bicycle bridges and a total of 12 km of local access roads.

The new highway will lead through traffic around Poznan and connect to the A2 and S5 highways. The project is being conducted by a consortium in which Skanska has 80 percent of the contract, which totals about PLN 459 million.

Work will begin in August and completed by the end of 2011. Skanska earlier this year completed an upgrading of another 14-km-stretch of S11 highway in the south of Poznan.

Skanska Poland is one of Poland's largest construction companies with sales totaling SEK 7.6 billion in 2008. The company has 5,700 employees. In Poland, Skanska is also active in commercial development and infrastructure development through Skanska Commercial Development Europe and Skanska Infrastructure Development.

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July 16, 2009

Tallest Building in Western Hemisphere is Renamed Willis Tower

Global Insurance Broker Willis Group Holdings Makes Iconic Chicago Skyscraper its New Midwest Region Headquarters

Name Change for Former Sears Tower Underscores Chicago's Growth as a Global Financial Capital

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere was renamed Willis Tower today in a changing of the guard that underscores Chicago's increasing importance as a major global financial and business center. Joseph J. Plumeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley officially introduced the new name together at a ceremony at Willis Tower attended by Chicago business, community and government leaders, the building's owners and management, and Willis' Chicago-area Associates.

Opened in 1973 as Sears Tower, the 110-story glass and steel structure remains the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,450 feet (442 meters). Willis Tower will be one of Willis' three largest office locations, alongside New York and London. The company will occupy more than 140,000 square feet (13,000 square meters) of space in the building when nearly 500 Associates move in this summer from five area offices. Willis plans to add more jobs in Chicago in the coming years.

"Every member of the Willis family is honored to be associated with such an architectural icon and privileged to call this prestigious business address our new Midwest Region headquarters," Plumeri said. "Above all, the naming of Willis Tower is an affirmation of our strong commitment to the great city of Chicago, its people and its future. Willis has been in Chicago since 1885, the same year that William LeBaron Jenney built the Home Insurance Building, the first skyscraper in the world. Over the years, we've grown as Chicago has grown, and we are delighted to be a part of the great future this dynamic city is building as a global financial center. We're proud to call Chicago our home."

Mayor Daley said: "Especially in these difficult economic times, a decision such as the one Willis has made sends an important message to all Chicago residents that our city is a vital place and that we are working hard to take the steps necessary to keep our economy moving. So I want to thank the company for their decision to locate in Chicago and for adding their presence to our skyline."

At today's ceremony, Willis presented a check for $100,000 to Chicago Cares, the city's premier volunteer organization. Willis' Chicago-area Associates have pledged thousands of hours of their time to serving the community. The company is also making a $100,000 donation to Chicago 2016 to support the bid to bring the Olympic Games to the city.

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July 16, 2009

LUMEnergi's Lighting Management Solution Reduces Energy Consumption in School Buildings Up to 70 Percent

Intelligent Lighting Control System Advances Energy Conservation With 2-3 Year ROI.

NEWARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LUMEnergi, a leader in energy-efficient lighting management solutions, announced today the availability of its comprehensive Lighting Management Control System (LMCS(TM)) for school buildings nationwide. LUMEnergi's solution significantly reduces energy consumption in schools, while providing and maintaining efficient and comfortable lighting throughout the building. Additionally, the LMCS solution cuts lighting costs by 50 to 70 percent to offer an unparalleled 2-3 year ROI, enabling schools to partake in efficient energy practices without sacrificing budget – a fundamental constraint for most U.S. school systems.

LUMEnergi's LMCS solution enables school administrators to customize the lighting in each environment according to its particular needs: classrooms, auditoriums and hallways have very different lighting requirements. Intelligent data collecting sensors evaluate the environment to autonomously regulate the lights based on availability of natural daylight. Additionally, switches for manual overrides allow teachers to adjust for specific needs, such as using projection screens, and allow faculty members to regulate individual office lights to their personal preferences if desired.

Occupancy sensors in the LMCS solution automatically dim lights when classrooms are empty to minimize daily consumption. This feature is also useful in hallways and other common areas such as restrooms, which remain unoccupied during most of the day, but would be unsafe to switch off altogether. With the LMCS controller, lights can be dimmed as the default setting and motion sensors adjust intensity as people go in and out.

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July 16, 2009

Omega Unveils Landmark Achievement in Green Building

As Congress and the President Focus on Energy Policy, New Sustainable Building Shows What's Possible

RHINEBECK, N.Y., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Omega Institute will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow, Thursday, July 16, at 3:30 p.m. to celebrate the Grand Opening of the much anticipated Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), an award-winning green building renowned for sustainable design and slated to be the first green building to achieve both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge(TM) certification.

Built on Omega's campus in Rhinebeck, NY, the OCSL is a state-of-the-art water reclamation facility and environmental education center that brings together wastewater recycling, clean energy, green architecture, and other sustainability elements that can be replicated locally and globally. Already fully functional, the OCSL will provide sustainability education for students, policy makers, developers, and the more than 23,000 Omega visitors each year.

"The opening of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living is historic for our campus and for our country," said Skip Backus, chief executive officer at Omega. "The OCSL demonstrates the critical intersection of environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and the new green economy. We are very proud to be at the forefront of this movement."

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July 15, 2009

Whirlpool Corporation Commends Centex as 'Excellence in Sustainability' Award-Winning Builder

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Centex Corp. has been selected to receive a Whirlpool Corporation Excellence in Sustainability award for its sustainable insight in the building community. Centex is the inaugural recipient of the award, which recognizes recent projects that demonstrate sustainable building practices, as defined by LEED and NAHB guidelines, while featuring sustainable appliance options from Whirlpool Corporation's portfolio of brands.

The Excellence in Sustainability awards are part of the Whirlpool Corporation Green Touch(TM) Program, which helps make it easier to design, build and market sustainable homes. The program provides builders with a variety of practical solutions to help make a sustainable difference, such as sustainable product options, design tools and marketing assistance.

"The method in which homes are built makes a major impact on the community and the world. While many builders are just learning sustainable building practices, Centex is acting as an excellent role model, representing the future of residential building," said Tom Halford, general manager of contract sales and marketing at Whirlpool Corporation.

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July 15, 2009

ACTE Commends President Obama's American Graduation Initiative for Community Colleges

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association for Career and Technical Education applauds President Obama's new American Graduation Initiative announced today, which will help create innovative programs, renovate and rebuild schools, and create a virtual infrastructure of online courses. The Obama plan recognizes the important role that these institutions provide to educate and train students and adults for the high-demand jobs needed to keep the United States economically competitive.

"It's refreshing to see President Obama acknowledge and emphasize the critical role that two-year colleges and training programs play with respect to building a pipeline of qualified workers," said ACTE Executive Director Jan Bray. "It's the first time in recent years that an American president has recognized the value of these institutions, and we hope that it includes technical colleges, career technical centers and all institutions that deliver postsecondary education and technical training."

President Obama's goal to push more students beyond high school is important since one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate's degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate. Equally important is ensuring fewer students drop out at the secondary level and receive the career education needed to direct them as they make postsecondary choices.

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July 15, 2009

Budget-Conscious and Energy Minded Customers Across New York and New Jersey Now Have Universal Supply Group, Inc. and The RAL Supply Group, Inc. as a New Source for the Acadia: Combined Heating and Cooling System

HAWTHORNE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Colonial Commercial Corp. ("Colonial") (OTC Bulletin Board: "CCOM," "CCOMP"), today announced a new distribution partnership, through its Universal Supply Group, Inc. and The RAL Supply Group, Inc. subsidiaries, with Hallowell International. As the price of oil gets ever-more volatile, budget-conscious and energy-minded consumers in southern New York and throughout New Jersey now have easier access to the Acadia: Combined Heating and Cooling System from Hallowell International.

The Acadia is a revolutionary new green technology used for residential heating and cooling. It provides a significant cost savings to the consumer by outperforming conventional fossil fuel-based heating systems, such as oil furnaces, by up to 300 percent.

How does it work? The Acadia is a single system engineered to comfortably heat and cool homes in all weather conditions, even temperatures as cold as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. When traditional heat pumps are put in colder climates such as the Northeast, a back-up heat source is usually required; this uses additional energy, resulting in a higher energy bill for the homeowner. The Acadia, through patented boosted compression technology, operates much more efficiently than a traditional heat pump, and also eliminates the need for a supplemental heat source.

"The Acadia system is a perfect complement to our expanded offerings of high-efficiency, energy-saving heating and air conditioning equipment. Our customers are demanding more affordable alternatives to oil and gas and the Acadia delivers," said William Pagano, CEO of Colonial.

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July 15, 2009

GE Targets Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE announced today that by 2015 it is developing a turn-key product portfolio that will empower consumers to build – both new home builders and existing homeowners – to efficiently consume, manage and generate electricity to enable an overall net zero annual energy cost. In addition to GE's current portfolio of energy-efficient lighting and appliances products and demand response technology that GE is currently developing, GE plans to develop residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products, well positioning GE to make the net zero energy home a reality.

"We have a long, trusted relationship with consumers, strong presence with home builders, demand response appliance technology and, the extremely critical, smart grid technology leadership of GE Energy that makes the GE net zero energy home an exciting prospect for our future growth," said GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO James Campbell.

The GE net zero energy home offerings will be comprised of three major groups within the product portfolio: energy efficient products, energy management products and energy generation/storage products.

Energy Efficiency Products: GE's portfolio of energy- efficient appliance and lighting products will help enable the net zero energy home by reducing energy consumption in the home.

* In 2008, the number of GE ENERGY STAR(R) qualified appliance models totaled over 550 models. In fact, 54 percent of the GE appliance products are ENERGY STAR qualified. The number of ENERGY STAR qualified lighting models totaled over 271. The majority, 99.3 percent, of the 2008 GE Compact Fluorescent lamp sales were ENERGY STAR qualified models.

* The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency have awarded GE Consumer & Industrial the ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence award for the fourth straight year. Also, this marks the sixth year that GE has been acknowledged as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.

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July 15, 2009

OH2 Medical Spa Achieves the First U.S. LEED(R) Certification for a Medical Commercial Interior

ATLANTA, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Placing it in a category all its own, OH2 Vein Treatment and Medical Spa has earned the country's first LEED certification for a medical commercial interior of its kind, making it one of the nation's healthiest and most energy efficient medical spa and venous treatment facilities.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the nation's leading evaluator of environmentally sustainable buildings, announced that OH2 Medical Spa achieved "LEED Certified" in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

"We are thrilled to have achieved certification with our first medical spa, and meet the very rigorous specifications of the USGBC's building and operational standards," says Dr. Randy Rudderman, co-founder of OH2. "Our commitment to the environment and the ultimate health of our patients remains our priority, as we believe eco-friendly buildings are essential environments for healing."

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July 15, 2009

Oklahoma City Community College Combines Campus Expansion with Energy Saving Improvements

- School to Receive Trane Energy Efficiency Award -

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Education leaders at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) recently completed infrastructure upgrades that have significantly decreased energy use and improved the school's learning environment while making the school more environmentally responsible.

In 1995, the school undertook an extensive expansion to upgrade aging infrastructure and to increase total square footage by 30 percent. The school also needed to address rapidly growing enrollment which today is nearly 22,000 students.

Between September 2003 and September 2008 alone, the new high efficiency infrastructure systems chosen by the administrators have decreased the school's energy use per square foot by nearly 35 percent.

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July 15, 2009

Renaissance Lighting Bolsters Its "Green" Initiative with Launch of an All-New LED Fixture Recycling Program

Company's commitment to sustainability considered key to protecting environment

HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Renaissance Lighting, a leading innovator in the development and manufacture of energy-efficient, ultra long-life solid-state luminaires, has established an industry-leading recycling program designed to keep Renaissance Lighting products out of the nation's landfills.

This latest move marks another milestone in a series of Green initiatives by the company, which was selected recently to the 2009 GoingGreen East 50 Top Private Company List in recognition of its ground-breaking energy efficiency and energy management technologies, "elegant product design, overall market potential and its compelling, highly energy-efficient family of LED lighting fixtures."

In addition to being 80 percent more energy-efficient than incandescent lamps and 30 percent more efficient than compact fluorescent lamps, Renaissance Lighting luminaires are now nearly 100 percent recyclable. This means that virtually all of the luminaire – from its reflector to mounting frame to LED light engine – can be recycled. Luminaires once destined for disposal in landfills will return instead to Renaissance lighting for a binning process and subsequently shipped to Potomac Metals Inc., a privately held independent scrap metal recycling company based in Sterling, VA.

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July 15, 2009

Walbridge Receives National Recognition for Its 'Green' Headquarters

Headquarters is first in City of Detroit to receive LEED(R) Silver CI Certification

DETROIT, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Walbridge, a Detroit-based multi-national full-service construction service provider, is pleased to announce that its world headquarters has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) Silver CI Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This makes Walbridge's headquarters' office space the first in the City of Detroit to attain this level of certification for a commercial interiors project.

There are four levels of LEED Certification bestowed by USGBC: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Certifications recognize new construction as well as commercial interior (CI) projects. The CI award received by Walbridge was for the renovation of the interiors of the two floors of the 777 Woodward building that comprise Walbridge's headquarters across the street from the popular gathering place, Campus Martius.

"We were excited to move our headquarters into the heart of Detroit two years ago," said Walbridge Chairman and CEO John Rakolta, Jr. "Today we're pleased to bring the city recognition that comes with the achievement of an exceptionally high level of sustainability in construction work.

"Constructing a green office space was the right thing to do for many reasons," he continued. "Most importantly, we wanted to foster a culture of sustainability and better benchmark the system that we lead many of our customers through."

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July 14, 2009

Forestry and Finance Experts Establish Finite Carbon to Facilitate U.S. Landowners' Participation in Carbon Offset Markets

Single-source solution includes all the in-house expertise and capital needed to take landowner from forest carbon inventory to selling offsets

WAYNE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forestry and finance experts with unique forest carbon project experience and knowledge of forest carbon markets have formed Finite Carbon, a company that provides a single-source, end-to-end solution, including the necessary capital, for landowners to create and monetize carbon offsets.

"We are exclusively focused on forest carbon and offer the most comprehensive forest carbon project development and commercialization service in the United States," said Finite Carbon President Scott Nissenbaum, a venture capitalist who co-founded the company.

"We have assembled a highly experienced and skilled team of pioneers," he said, noting that the team is led by Sean Carney, vice president of carbon finance; Sterling Griffin, vice president of project development; and Matt Delaney, senior forester.

"Team members have had a hand in more than a dozen forest carbon projects, including all three projects registered and approved under The Climate Action Reserve's [CAR] protocol. You won't find more forest carbon expertise under one roof," he said.

Nissenbaum, who for three years has been chairman of the board of directors of ImageTree Corp., a forestry industry technology-solutions company based in West Va., said that keeping forest carbon sequestered has been recognized as a necessity to meet global emission reductions.

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July 14, 2009

SolarMagic Retrofit of Affordable Housing Project Increases Energy Harvest by 22.6 Percent

National Semiconductor's Power Optimizers Reduce Annual Energy Costs for California's Affordable Housing Development

OAKLAND, Calif., July 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:NSM) , of Santa Clara, Calif., today announced the retrofit of an affordable housing project in Oakland with its industry award-winning SolarMagic(TM) power optimizers, boosting the electricity production by 22.6 percent. The 30-kilowatt solar system sits atop the Oak Street Terrace, a 39-unit affordable housing development specifically designed for low-income seniors.

Completed in 2005, the multi-story apartment building was initially designed to be as energy efficient and eco-conscious as possible, and is constructed out of recycled and natural building materials. Jigar Shah, solar visionary and founder of SunEdison, installed the solar system and is providing the power generated through a power purchase agreement, where residents lock into a low, fixed-rate for electricity.

"For over four years, our Oak Street installation has been helping residents pay less for electricity, and the addition of SolarMagic has dramatically boosted system performance," said Jigar Shah. "SolarMagic is helping us get 22.6 percent more power out of the same panels, making the system even more productive and cost-effective."

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July 13, 2009

Langan 'LEEDs' the Pack With Well Over 100 LEED APs Firmwide

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Langan Engineering & Environmental Services employs an astounding number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) - 121. As a member of the United States Green Building Council, which governs the LEED program, Langan made a commitment to significantly grow the number of LEED APs in the firm by investing in training and encouraging employees to become accredited. The result: nearly 30 percent of Langan's technical professionals are LEED APs.

With such a large number of in-house LEED APs, Langan is well positioned to partner with clients, architects, MEP firms, and contractors seeking LEED certification on new construction and major renovation projects. In fact, given Langan's expertise in land development engineering and environmental services, as well as landscape architecture and planning, the firm can provide critical assistance in securing project LEED points in categories ranging from sustainable sites to water efficiency to indoor air quality to energy and atmosphere.

"Langan recognized that sustainability in general and LEED certification in particular are the way of the future, so we took steps to incorporate green thinking and green building into our culture and business practice," said Michael Szura, LEED AP, ASLA, Director of Langan's Landscape Architecture + Planning Group and head of the firm's internal Green Team. "With well over 100 LEED APs, I am confident that no other consulting firm can match our integrated suite of services and comprehensive knowledge of LEED certification."

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July 13, 2009

Textured Coatings of America Gets Top Green Building Award

Company's COOLWALL(R) Technology Can Reduce Energy Demand by More than 21%

PANAMA CITY, Fla., July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Textured Coatings of America (Texcote), a leading manufacturer of specialty coatings for residential and commercial buildings, has been named the "Top Green Coating Project" by the Journal of Architectural Coatings.

The designation came as a result of applying Texcote's energy efficient COOLWALL(R) coating system to the Lake Mary, Fla., office building of Burke, Hogue, & Mills Associates Inc., an architectural firm that specializes in sustainable design. COOLWALL Textured Primer and COOLWALL SUPER-COTE were applied to the exterior of the facility and reduced the building's energy demand by up to 21 percent. This helped Burke, Hogue, & Mills achieve LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In choosing COOLWALL, the Journal of Architectural Coatings considered the product's ability to reduce carbon emissions, performance and the product and building's lifecycle.

"We are proud to have received this recognition from the Journal of Architectural Coatings," said Jay Haines, President and CEO of Texcote. "We design our textured and smooth coatings not only to be environmentally friendly solutions for all types of buildings, but also aesthetically pleasing for our customers. We are especially pleased that the Journal recognized COOLWALL for the energy savings and low VOCs that it can provide."

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July 13, 2009

The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) Announces a New Partnership with State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund)

Group Policy Discount Program Saves Policy Holders Who Are AIACC Members Substantial Dollars

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Institute of Architects, California Council is pleased to announce its designation as Group #707 as part of a new partnership with State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund), a worker's compensation insurance provider.

Establishment of this group discount program benefits AIACC members who have policies with State Fund, providing a substantial reduction in their insurance premium costs. This effort is just one of many ways The AIACC is helping save their members money, while providing a valuable product and service from State Fund during these tough economic times.

State Fund is a self-supporting, non-profit enterprise, which has provided worker's compensation insurance to California employers at cost, with no financial obligation to the public since 1914.

Architectural firms wishing to benefit from both membership in The AIACC and inclusion in The AIACC Group #707 program should visit The AIACC website at www.aiacc.org and click State Fund, or call The AIACC at 916-448-9082.

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July 13, 2009

TobinDudleyStarr and Optima Engineering Recognized for Green Design and Building Practices

U.S. Green Building Council and Real Estate & Construction Review Bestow Awards on Optima's Corporate Headquarters Project

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- TobinDudleyStarr and its client Optima Engineering are receiving kudos from the green building industry for Optima's new 14,000-square-foot headquarters in the South End district of Charlotte. The interior of the company's headquarters, located on the top floor of a new LEED Core and Shell-certified office building, was designed by TobinDudleyStarr's Interior Design Practice, led by Amy Johnson. The project recently achieved a Platinum-Level LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) certification, and has been recognized by two green building industry groups.

Earlier this spring, the Charlotte Business Journal, in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council Charlotte Region Chapter, recognized the office upfit with a Green Award in the Commercial Project category. More recently, the editorial advisory board of the Real Estate & Construction Review deemed the headquarters "one of the best new green projects in the Southeast region," from more than 2,500 nominated projects.

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July 10, 2009

Chipotle Mexican Grill First Restaurant Ever to Receive Platinum Level LEED(R) Certification

Restaurant in Gurnee, Ill. Represents Pinnacle of Green Building Design

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)(NYSE:CMG.B) announced today that it has been awarded Platinum level LEED(R) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its Gurnee, Ill. restaurant. The restaurant was built in 2008 under the LEED for Retail pilot program and is the first restaurant to receive Platinum level certification, the USGBC's highest LEED certification level.

"Part of changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food is designing and building restaurants in more environmentally friendly ways," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "Our team worked hard to ensure that sustainable elements that made sense for this location were seamlessly incorporated into the design of the restaurant, while still giving it the iconic look of a Chipotle."

The Gurnee, Ill. Chipotle restaurant opened in the fall of 2008 and was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use. The planning and construction process was carefully managed by Chipotle in conjunction with the USGBC.

"Chipotle's commitment to the LEED certification process has demonstrated a passionate commitment to green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The project's effective use of natural resources and sustainable design elements serve as a model for other LEED for Retail projects, and Chipotle has become a driving force in the green building movement."

In addition to a variety of recycled building materials and environmentally friendly systems, the Gurnee restaurant includes a six kilowatt wind turbine that generates a portion of the restaurant's energy on site, as well as a 2,500 gallon underground water cistern that harvests rainwater to irrigate the landscape.

Chipotle has designed and built other restaurants in Minneapolis and Long Island, NY to comply with LEED certification standards and is awaiting final certifications on those projects.

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July 10, 2009

Lost Cove Marina and RV Park, with Home, on Alabama's Smith Lake to Sell in July 31 Auction

CRANE HILL, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lost Cove Marina and RV Park on Alabama's Smith Lake will sell at auction Friday, July 31, with Advantage Auction & Realty Inc. managing the sale. Also selling separately in the same auction will be a nearby waterfront home site.

The marina, located on approximately 1.04 acres with approximately 300 feet of waterfront, includes 16 covered boat slips, and four RV lots with electrical and water hook-ups. Selling with the marina are a three-bedroom brick home and a "bunk house" building with a section formerly used as a general store.

"Smith Lake has become one of Alabama's favorite freshwater getaways, and this marina offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle while earning income off the boat slips, boat launch, bunk house and RV lots. In addition, the marina has a jet ski dock with lifts," said Marold Pigg, president of Advantage Auction.

The recently renovated home selling with the marina is brick, with three bedrooms and a large back porch overlooking the water.

The waterfront home site, which is selling separately, consists of approximately 1.5 acres with approximately 168 feet of water frontage.

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July 10, 2009

PREI(R) Enters New Joint Venture with GEO to Develop Megaprojects Communities in Mexico

MEXICO CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prudential Real Estate Investors has formed a new 10-year joint venture with Corporacion GEO, S.A.B. de C.V., to invest in land and develop megaprojects that will create urbanized land for real estate developers of all sizes. GEO is among the largest construction companies in Mexico focused on low-income housing and community development. PREI(R) is the real estate investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU)

The joint venture, with PREI acting on behalf of institutional investors, seeks to provide for the necessary investment in infrastructure, urbanization, equipment and peripheral services required to develop sustainable megaproject communities.

"We are delighted to expand our relationship with GEO, one of our key partners in the region," said Roberto Ordorica, managing director of PREI-Latin America. "This relationship is an important part of our commitment to the Mexican real estate market. It also gives our investors the opportunity to play an important role in ensuring land for megaprojects development through and investment that provides the potential for medium and long-term success."

"GEO maintains an unwavering vision of developing high-quality self-sustaining communities," said Luis Orvañanos, chairman and chief executive officer of Corporación GEO. "The important partnership between GEO and PREI has been critical in achieving this goal. Further, this new structure guarantees an investment horizon of at least 10 years to develop GEO's large-scale Megaprojects and DUIS (Integral Sustainable Urban Development) initiatives. We have delivered more than 25,000 houses in Zumpango, Mexico, to date and will continue to work hand in hand with urban planning of key areas, to foster orderly and sustainable community growth."

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July 10, 2009

Strong Wind for State's Economy

Study: Desert Claim Wind Power Would Create 282 Jobs & $33m in First-Year Economic Activity; 36 Jobs & $6.2m Ongoing

EFSEC to Hold Final Hearings July 13 in Ellensburg, July 21 in Seattle

ELLENSBURG, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Desert Claim Wind Power project will create 282 jobs and generate more than $33 million in new economic activity throughout Washington state in the year it is constructed, an ECONorthwest study estimates.

Once in operation, Desert Claim will create 36 jobs and $6.2 million in new economic activity statewide annually, the study also estimates. Economic activity includes all purchases of goods and services, payroll and income from jobs generated by the wind farm’s construction and operation.

"Our study shows that the Desert Claim project will have a significant impact on the economy, particularly during the construction phase," said Stephen Grover, a managing director at the economics consulting firm ECONorthwest and author of the Desert Claim statewide economic impact study. "With Washington's unemployment rate currently above 9 percent, Desert Claim will help sustain jobs in the hard-hit construction sector and create new renewable-energy jobs once the wind farm is in operation."

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July 09, 2009

MXenergy Offers Energy Efficiency Tips for Summer Cooling Season

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense most of us face, according to the US Department of Energy. This season, MXenergy is reminding everyone that there are smart ways to reduce our energy consumption – and keep more money in our wallets for our summer vacations.

"We are committed to working with our customers on ways to reduce their energy consumption and encourage everyone to do all they can to live more energy efficient lifestyles," said MXenergy CEO Jeffrey Mayer.

According to the US Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at a cost of over $11 billion annually to homeowners; switching to high-efficiency air conditioners and sealing leaks around the home can reduce energy use by 20%–50%. As part of MXenergy's ( http://www.mxenergy.com ) commitment to preserving natural resources and working with its customers on energy efficiency, the company offers tips to help stay cool this summer.

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July 09, 2009

SolarCity Introduces Affordable Solar Financing Option for Small, Medium and Large Businesses

SolarCity's New Power Purchase Agreement Can Allow a Wide Range of Businesses, Churches, Schools and Other Organizations to Adopt Solar Power for Less Than They Currently Pay for Electricity

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SolarCity(R), whose residential solar lease (SolarLease(TM)) has become one of the nation's most popular ways for homeowners to go solar, today announced an affordable new solar financing option for businesses of all sizes. SolarCity's Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) can allow even small and medium-sized businesses, churches and schools to adopt solar power for no money down and pay less than they previously paid for electricity. The SolarCity PPA also allows organizations to lock in predictable electricity rates to protect themselves from rising energy costs. SolarCity's PPA is a unique, full-service solar option — the company provides financing, design, installation, monitoring and maintenance. While PPAs have typically been used to finance massive solar farms, SolarCity's PPA can finance commercial solar systems as small as 20 kilowatts (approximately 2,000 square feet), or up to 1,000 kilowatts (approximately 100,000 square feet) or more, with generating capacity suitable for organizations of many different types and sizes.

"Historically, it has been difficult to create a solar financing option that generates immediate savings for smaller commercial installations," said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's CEO. "SolarCity has made it possible by eliminating middlemen and by creating the infrastructure and economies of scale that allow us to lower the cost of installation for commercial projects."

SolarCity has applied a number of key innovations to create the industry's most affordable PPA. The company created a new fund with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation last month that can finance PPAs for a wide range of commercial installations. SolarCity has also developed proprietary software to analyze the potential solar production, financials and environmental impact for each business, manage thousands of ongoing projects simultaneously, and scale and automate key processes to reduce costs. The company has leveraged experience gleaned from working with more than 500 different building departments to create additional operational efficiencies. Finally, SolarCity proactively monitors system performance via its SolarGuard(R) monitoring service, troubleshoots issues if they arise, and absorbs the cost of operation and maintenance. SolarGuard also provides a Web link that businesses can use to display their solar production and resulting environmental benefits for employees and customers.

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July 09, 2009

Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life Approaching Completion in Palo Alto

Multi-generational Jewish Community Center Transforms South Palo Alto Neighborhood with more than 350 Residences.

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life (TKCJL)is approaching its completion with final touches being added to meet its scheduled opening on September 1st. Developed by Sares Regis Group of Northern California for the Jewish Home in San Francisco, the Oshman Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Federation, the TKCJL is a collaborative initiative founded in 2001 to strengthen and enhance Jewish community life on the South Peninsula by supporting the development of a multi-purpose, intergenerational Jewish campus that will be open to the entire community. Upon completion, the $270 million project will be a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly campus to provide senior housing, educational opportunities, cultural experiences and recreational and fitness activities. The campus will feature 193 units of senior housing, multiple dining venues, along with a spa/salon, a state-of-the art fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, concert, play and lecture venues, music studio, library and business center as well as preschool and after-school programs for infants to teenagers.

The 8.5-acre campus will be home to the 145,000 square foot, two-to-four story multi-use Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and the 310,000 square foot Moldaw Family Residences with independent and assisted living facility for seniors – all over a podium parking structure. The senior residences will be comprised of eight, four-story buildings and will include 193 units consisting of one-and-two bedrooms. The center will include Independent Living Opportunities, as well as assisted living units and a memory care facility, offering varying levels of senior care.

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July 09, 2009

The FNGA and FRLA Team up to "Green Up"

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) has added the Florida Natural Gas Association (FNGA) to its list of strategic partners. With restaurants using up to five times more energy per square foot than any other commercial building, the FRLA aims to help its members save money- and take environmental responsibility- through the use of clean, efficient natural gas.

Partnering up for mutual gain and growth, both Tallahassee-based groups will learn and benefit through the continual sharing of resources. Through cross-industry networking and various niche marketing efforts, the 2009 collaboration aims to create growth opportunities; combine the organizations’ branding and messaging; increase web traffic; and ultimately, expand the reach of both markets.

Promoting the use of natural gas, the FNGA aims to build and retain a stronger presence in Florida's $57 billion restaurant industry, as well as "green up" the food service industry. The FNGA will use FLRA.com to feature natural gas news, energy rebates, exclusive member rates and more.

GetGasFL.com, FNGA.com's sister web site, will help drive FRLA membership- and feature multiple efficiency tools, including a carbon footprint calculator and commercial energy benchmark data. The FNGA will facilitate commercial kitchen upgrades by providing recommendations for new natural gas equipment, as well as cash rebates and incentives to offset the initial cost of including natural gas. Beyond the immediate, the FNGA will provide long-term solutions for sustainability and success.

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July 08, 2009

CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. Registers 225 Office Buildings for U.S. Green Building Council's "LEED EB" Rating

57 Million Sq. Ft. of Space Significantly Expands U.S. Green Building Inventory

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) has enrolled 225 office buildings in the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED(R) EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Existing Building) Program, an achievement that will significantly increase the number of existing office buildings operated under "green" standards. Enrollment of the properties is the first step in the process for attaining LEED EB certification.

At the end of 2007, CBRE committed to enroll a minimum 100 buildings in the then-emerging LEED EB process, and 18 months later the company is now the largest third-party manager of buildings in the leading program for environmental sustainability. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The properties that CBRE enrolled in the LEED EB program total more than 57 million sq. ft. and are owned by more than 55 different investors and corporations in 21 states.

"When we made our commitment in 2007 there were fewer than 60 buildings in the entire country with LEED EB designation," said David Pogue, CBRE's National Director of Sustainability. "The key to our success has been building a strong foundation, by both partnering effectively with our clients and deploying a strong internal certification team with great technical expertise and a genuine passion for enhancing sustainable practices in the buildings we manage."

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July 08, 2009

Executive Director Chosen to Lead Orangeline High Speed Rail Project

PARAMOUNT, Calif., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Orangeline Chairman Bruce Barrows is please to announce the appointment of Michael Kodama as the new Executive Director of the Orangeline Development Authority.

In his new role, Kodama, will spearhead the creation of the Orangeline High Speed Rail system in Southern California. This forward thinking transit corridor project is a joint initiative composed of leaders from the cities of Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cudahy, Downey, Glendale, Huntington Park, Maywood, Palmdale, Paramount, Santa Clarita, South Gate and Vernon. The Orangeline High Speed Rail System is a high speed, environmentally friendly, grade separated transit system designed to link cities, foster sustainable land-use development, reduce traffic and alleviate air pollution.

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July 08, 2009

Statement by American Road & Transportation Builders Association President & CEO Pete Ruane Regarding the Texas Transportation Institute's Annual "Urban Mobility Report"

WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Road & Transportation Builders Association President & CEO Pete Ruane released the following statement regarding the Texas Transportation Institute's Annual "Urban Mobility Report:"

"It should be a real wake-up call to political leaders and the public that it took the greatest economic downturn in nearly 80 years to cause a slight reduction in traffic congestion. As the report points out, the fact remains there has been a 50 percent increase in the economic costs of traffic congestion over the past decade, which amounts to a growing 'hidden tax' levied on American families and businesses.

"The answer is clearly more highway and public transit capacity. Congress should reject the Obama Administration's call to delay the multi-year surface transportation authorization bill for 18 months. Robust new investments aimed at creating additional transportation infrastructure capacity and providing more travel options will help stimulate economic recovery and better prepare the nation for the mobility challenges that come with it."

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July 07, 2009

A FIRST for Paris: Landmark New Office Tower Sets Highest Standards for Advanced Environmental Development

The lowest Carbon Emissions Office Tower per occupant in France uses 75% less energy than previous building

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--President Nicolas Sarkozy saw a stunning example of state-of-the-art environmental technology on June 30 when he toured the newest rising star on the Paris skyline: The 50-story FIRST building.

Upon completion in 2011, FIRST will be the tallest office tower ever built in France – second only in height to the Eiffel Tower.

But it is not only the size of this elegant structure that caught the President's attention: It is its cutting-edge commitment to the most advanced environmental standards.

FIRST is the largest HQE certified office tower in France. Its use of sustainable materials to reduce future energy needs and its energy-saving construction techniques are unprecedented for a project of this scope.

The slender, helical-shaped tower which spirals upwards like a richly-sculptured silhouette, is rising on the site of the former AXA Tower in the exclusive La Defense district, one of Europe's prime business centers and home to dozens of multi-national corporations.

The building, where approximately 5,700 people will work, is being co-developed by affiliates of AXA France Assurance and by Beacon Capital Partners of Boston, Ma. who will assume ownership upon its completion.

Upon completion FIRST will:

* Use 75% less energy than the AXA tower, yet is 10% larger.
* Achieve 85% lower CO2 emissions than AXA tower.
* Be one of the lowest Carbon Emissions Office Tower per occupant in France.
* Employ innovative energy saving designs that allow for more occupants and much less artificial light as well as "Double Skin" exterior design that dramatically reduces cooling and heating requirements.

During the ongoing construction process the carbon footprint will be reduced by about 50% with the renovation of FIRST rather than a complete demolition of the former building.

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July 07, 2009

Fluor Secures Kearl Oil Sands Contract in Canada

New EPC Contract for First Phase of Imperial Oil's Kearl Project

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR) announced today that it was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for infrastructure and offlease facilities for the first phase of Imperial Oil's Kearl oil sands project, a surface mining and bitumen extraction operation located 70 kilometers northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta. For this project, Fluor will book approximately $1.5 billion in 2009, with the majority of the award recognized in the second quarter of 2009.

"This significant project award expands our presence in the upstream side of the Canadian oil sands business, a key growth market for our company," said David Seaton, Fluor's senior group president for Energy & Chemicals, Power and Government. "Imperial Oil is a long-time client and we are thrilled to continue our relationship by helping them achieve their Canadian heavy oil growth strategy."

The Kearl project is envisioned to be developed in three phases and could ultimately produce more than 300,000 barrels per day of bitumen. The first phase of the project is expected to begin production in late 2012.

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July 07, 2009

HACKER INDUSTRIES, INC. DONATES FLOOR UNDERLAYMENT TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. – JULY 07, 2009 - Hacker Industries, Inc.., a leading supplier of cementitious floor underlayments and acoustical control products, recently donated FIRM-FILL® 2010 Gypsum Concrete Floor Underlayment to the San Diego Habitat for Humanity (SDHFH). The product donation provided a smooth, hard surface for finished floor coverings in SDHFH’s new Roosevelt Garden Condominiums in Carlsbad, Calif.

“Hacker Industries, Inc.’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity began many years ago,” said Kerry Hacker, vice president of Hacker Industries, Inc. “This is truly a great cause, and we are very proud to contribute our products to the Roosevelt Condominiums and continue our support for Habitat for Humanity.” In 2008, Hacker Industries, Inc. celebrated its 25th Anniversary by teaming up with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes in New Orleans’ Musician’s Village.

Roosevelt Gardens is an 11-unit condo complex consisting of six 674 square foot one-bedroom units and five 894 square feet two-bedroom units. FIRM-FILL 2010 not only provided a flat surface for the project, but also offered high compressive strengths matched with sound and fire resistance. “This is SDHFH’s first set of buildings where the floor/ceiling design required this type of product. I am more than pleased with the end product, and the service that Hacker Industries and Hi-Tech Gypsum provided,” said Joe Carton, General Superintendent for SDHFH.

Hi-Tech Gypsum, Inc., a Licensed Applicator of Hacker Industries, Inc., installed approximately 2,400 square feet of FIRM-FILL® 2010 in the first building and is expected to pour the second building later this year. Hi-Tech Gypsum also contributed labor and materials to the project.


About Hacker Industries, Inc. –

Since 1983, Hacker Industries, Inc. has supplied value to the construction industry by delivering only the highest quality cementitious floor underlayments. The full line of FIRM-FILL Gypsum Concretes, GYP-SPAN Radiant and sound control products provide the solution to the most demanding project specifications. Hacker Floor Underlayments are listed in over 86 UL floor/ceiling assemblies and achieve excellent STC and IIC sound ratings.

About San Diego Habitat for Humanity (SDHFH) –

SDHFH is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that offers families in need a hand up, not a handout. By building homes in partnership with families in need, SDHFH seeks to eliminate poverty housing and substandard living conditions in San Diego County, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. They invite people of all backgrounds, all faiths, or no faith, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

For more information about Hacker Industries, Inc. please call (800) 642-3455, visit www.HackerIndustries.com or e-mail info@hackerindustries.com.

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July 07, 2009

Hurricane Resistant Homes Save Lives During Hurricanes in Coastal Areas

Deltec Homes Hurricane Resistant Homes Withstand Hurricane High Winds

ASHEVILLE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Deltec Homes hurricane resistant homes provide people who choose to live near coastal areas a safe round home from high winds and water versus traditionally built homes. As of June 2, 2009, the forecasters from Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University anticipate a slightly below average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall.

"In four decades, we have never lost a Deltec Home to a hurricane. Our homeowners continue to tell their own real life stories of their hurricane resistant homes so others may realize the hurricane resistant home benefits of owning a Deltec Home" said Joseph Schlenk Marketing/Sales Director of Deltec Homes.

Peter Levin lives in Miami, FL. His home, a Deltec round home, survived Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 storm which destroyed areas in south Florida. "The eye of Andrew passed over our home," he said. "All we lost were a few shingles."

A few years later, Levin's hurricane resistant home endured Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in the same year. Homes around them were destroyed, but their Deltec hurricane resistant round home was undamaged. He knows why. "It stood because of the round shape. The wind has no place to hit it, so it just goes around. It's a natural shape," he explained.

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July 07, 2009

SRS Energy Installs Sole Power Tile(TM) System on Residence in California's Coachella Valley

- Riverside County Home One of First Residential Installations of New Solar Roof Tile -

PHILADELPHIA, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- SRS Energy, a leading developer of sustainable solar roofing products, has completed one of the first residential installations of the Sole Power Tile(TM) system at a residence in Bermuda Dunes, CA. The Sole Power Tile(TM) is the first building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing product designed for curved roofing systems.

"This installation illustrates how homeowners can go green and make smart, sustainable choices without compromising curb appeal," said Marty Low, CEO of SRS Energy. "The revolutionary design of the Sole Power Tile system will enable this home to generate clean solar energy for decades to come."

The Sole Power Tile system seamlessly blends with several styles of US Tile's clay tiles, providing energy and preserving the home's roofline, unlike unsightly roof-mounted solar panels. The combination of clay and solar tiles delivers the Spanish-style aesthetics of traditional curved clay tile roofs commonly found in the Pacific West and Southwest.

The Sole Power Tile system employs cutting-edge thin film solar technology, valued for its ability to convert a greater range of light - including the light at dawn and dusk - into solar energy when compared to other solar technologies. The curved design of the tile allows for greater air circulation under and around the tiles, helping to prevent degradation in performance caused by the region's desert heat.

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July 06, 2009

Florida Based Environmental Firm Develops a Solution for the Chinese Drywall Problem

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the course of several years, the United States had experienced rapid growth in the commercial and residential construction market. This construction boom, coupled with several destructive hurricanes that required extensive rebuilding activity, resulted in a dramatic shortage in domestic building materials including drywall. Construction companies turned to foreign sources of drywall. Due to its abundance and inexpensiveness, millions of pounds of Chinese manufactured drywall were imported into the U.S. to alleviate the drywall shortage.

This imported Chinese drywall was manufactured using many different filler materials. One such filler material is fly ash, which is a byproduct of the industrial burning of high content sulfur coal. One or more volatile sulfur compounds can be retained in the fly ash and, thus, retained in the drywall. The drywall can emit gases containing sulfur-based contaminants.

SabCo, Inc., a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida based environmental firm, under the direction of Ronald G. Huggins, MS, MPH, Ph.D., CIH, CIAQP, an expert in Indoor Air Quality, and is a certified expert in state and federal litigation cases for Indoor Air Quality and Toxicology, has developed a specific process, referred to as the RISS System(TM), to remove the toxic and corrosive compounds from the Indoor Air caused by gases being emitted by Chinese Drywall. This process is believed to be so unique and specialized that a patent application for this technology has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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July 06, 2009

Parex Announces Reset of EIFS and Stucco Assemblies - Improvements Address Changes in the Market

Anaheim, CA – July 1, 2009 – ParexLahabra, the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra , El Rey Stucco, Teifs, Mer-Krete and Mer-Ko, today announced the complete reset of Parex EIFS and Stucco Assemblies products.

The reset improvements address the challenges of the economy as Parex enhances its EIFS and stucco assemblies to strategically position itself for rapid growth as the market environment improves. The reset was focused on Parex EIFS and stucco assemblies.

Parex EIFS is now targeted to take advantage of the growing focus on energy efficiency and moisture management. Parex EIFS are now categorized by name and moisture management capability. This has transformed the Parex systems into an easy-to-understand good, better, best matrix. Parex now offers EIFS in Standard and a premium Optimum system, in addition to, increasing levels of moisture management options. “The finalization of the Parex reset is the culmination of an 18-month project, said Quenton Roehricht, Parex Brand Manager. The reset really is about taking Parex, a strong brand in the industry, and ensuring it is well positioned for continued growth. We may be in a challenging market today but the market ahead is filled with opportunity”. The goal of the improvements is to help audiences new to EIFS easily understand the benefits and differences between EIFS and other claddings. The reset also clearly defines the various features between the different systems.

Parex stucco assemblies have been re-engineered and enhanced to emphasize the benefits of using a complete stucco assembly from one manufacture, as opposed to standard field mix stucco. All Parex stucco options have been re-branded into the Armourwall family of stucco assemblies. In addition to the introduction of the Armourwall product line, new assembly options have been developed to address the market’s need for enhanced moisture protection and crack reduction.

A main component and benefit of the Parex reset has been the expansion and enrichment of warranty and coverage terms. "We wanted our warranty to logically align with how we have restructured our systems and assemblies.” Quenton said. “Customers will notice a significant improvement in warranty coverage corresponding to the level of system chosen. The new warranty reflects an extensive review of what was previously offered and expanding the coverage based on what customers desire.”

“There is a significant demand and opportunity for products that are energy efficient, assist in moisture management and are durable, Quenton commented. Parex has a superior line of these products. The reset helps to ensure that our customers are well positioned to take advantage of these growing trends”.

About ParexLahabra Inc.

ParexLahabra Inc. is the US based parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, La Habra Stucco, El Rey Stucco, Teifs, Mer-Krete and Mer-Ko. The product lines of ParexLahabra Inc. are designed for the, new/retrofit, construction of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. The 2002, ISO 9001-2000 certification of Parex helped to substantiate ParexLahabra Inc. as a leader in the building materials industry with over 80 years of combined experience in the US construction industry. For more information regarding ParexLahabra visit www.parexlahabra.com.

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July 06, 2009

Parex Launches 121 Optimum Base Coat and Adhesive New Product Responds to Applicator Requests in the Market

Anaheim, CA – June 30, 2009 – ParexLahabra, the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra , El Rey Stucco, Teifs, Mer-Krete and Mer-Ko, today announced the launch of Parex 121 Optimum Base Coat and Adhesive.

Parex 121 Optimum was specifically designed with applicators in mind. Applicators in the market were surveyed to better understand what they wanted out of a bagged base coat and adhesive product. Based on this feedback, the proprietary 121 Optimum formula was developed to be easier for applicators to apply and handle on the wall. “The product was developed to have a creamier consistency to help reduce arm fatigue”, said Quenton Roehricht, Parex Brand Manager. “We have also improved the working time of the product allowing applicators to make corrections as needed”.

Parex 121 Optimum Base Coat & Adhesive is a dry bagged product that is a required component of our Optimum EIFS series, however it can be used in all of Parex EIFS. Overall, the product provides the ability to achieve a more efficient application process for a superior EIFS installation. In addition to EIFS, 121 Optimum can be used as a level coat for cement and masonry walls or for mesh embedment in Parex Krak-Shield (crack reduction) assemblies.

”There has been quite a bit of excitement for the launch of 121 Optimum”. Quenton commented. “Applicators, involved in initial product testing, have eagerly anticipated its launch. We are very pleased with the outcome of 121 Optimum”.

About ParexLahabra Inc.
ParexLahabra Inc. is the US based parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, La Habra Stucco, El Rey Stucco, Teifs, Mer-Krete and Mer-Ko. The product lines of ParexLahabra Inc. are designed for the, new/retrofit, construction of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. The 2002, ISO 9001-2000 certification of Parex helped to substantiate ParexLahabra Inc. as a leader in the building materials industry with over 80 years of combined experience in the US construction industry. For more information regarding ParexLahabra visit www.parexlahabra.com.

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July 06, 2009

Research and Markets: The Typical Architecture Firm in the U.S Has 10 Employees and Annual Revenue of $1 Million

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/84b054/architects_offices) has announced the addition of the "Architects Offices" report to their offering.

First Research is the leading industry intelligence company that helps sales teams perform faster and smarter, open doors, and close more deals. First Research performs the "heavy lifting" by synthesizing hundreds of sources into an easy to digest format that a sales person can consume very quickly to better understand a prospects business issues.

Executive Summary

Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:

The US architecture industry includes about 17,000 firms, with combined annual revenue of $20 billion. Large firms include Gensler, HOK Group, and Perkins+Will. The industry is highly fragmented: only about 100 firms have annual revenue of more than $100 million. The typical architecture firm has 10 employees and annual revenue of $1 million.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Demand for architects' services depends heavily on the volume of residential and commercial construction. Because most costs are fixed, profitability depends on a constant inflow of work. Architectural firms are often small because there are few economies of scale in the industry: architectural design can be done as well, and for the same cost, by a small or large company.

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July 03, 2009

Architectural Team Looks to Win Department of Energy Competition by Using Thermablok(R) Aerogel Insulation

The DOE's 2009 'Solar Decathlon' includes entries from all over the world

TAMPA, Fla., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Living green is a matter of striking the right balance between innovation and environmental stewardship. With that in mind, Tampa-based Thermablok(R) donated 2,000 linear feet of its revolutionary aerogel insulation material to California architecture and design students participating in the 2009 "Solar Decathlon." The Solar Decathlon is a prestigious international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges 20 college and university teams to design, build, and operate the most aesthetic, energy-efficient model home possible.

When students from the California College of the Arts (CCA) and the Santa Clara University, California began preparing for the competition, they approached Thermablok(R) President and founder Lahnie Johnson for information regarding energy-conserving Thermablok aerogel insulation. Thermablok's aerogel nano-technology, developed in conjunction with NASA, is the highest insulating material known to exist.

It is estimated that 40-percent of our energy is used controlling the temperature in buildings alone. Most of this energy escapes from the building primarily through the conventionally insulated walls and windows in a process termed thermal bridging (an ever greater problem when popular foam is used in a wall.)

Taking the newly discovered aerogel insulation technology, Thermablok(R) developed a highly efficient product that may soon become a standard in the building industry. Tests by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Laboratory and J.M. Laboratory indicate that adding just one, 1/4-inch x 1 1/2-inch (6.25 mm x 38 mm) strip of Thermablok to each stud before hanging drywall breaks the conductive "thermal bridging" path, and can increase the overall wall R-factor by more than 40-percent.

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July 03, 2009

City of Palo Alto Demonstrates Energy Efficient Streetlights Embedded with Echelon's Technology

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ:ELON) announced today that the City of Palo Alto is demonstrating smart, energy efficient streetlights based on Echelon's LonWorks(R) technology. The City aims to reduce energy and maintenance costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions, while improving light quality. Currently, the city's 6,300 streetlights cost around $700,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs.

Streetlights networked with Echelon's intelligent controls make the lights themselves smarter. The lights are able to communicate with maintenance and management software. They can also be remotely dimmed, monitored and controlled. The combination of command and control for individual lights and an ability to communicate with expert systems can reduce a city's energy consumption, light pollution levels, and the operating and maintenance costs associated with streetlights.

The demonstration compares the energy efficiency of new lighting technologies, including LED and induction, with the existing high pressure sodium lights. The city plans to replace all 6,300 streetlights by 2015, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 600 to 950 metric tons per year, or the equivalent of removing approximately 120 cars from the road for a year. The project is in line with the City's Sustainability Policy and the Climate Protection Plan.

"Palo Alto is committed to implementing cost-effective energy efficiency measures and has been a leader in implementing new energy saving technologies. New streetlight technologies offer the benefits of reducing energy usage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and has the potential to improve overall light distribution and visibility on Palo Alto streets," said Shiva Swaminathan, senior resource planner, City of Palo Alto.

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July 03, 2009

L.B. Foster Rail Products Awarded $6.5 Million Chicago Transit Authority Contract

Dearborn Subway Project Fast Tracked with Expedited L.B. Foster Product Deliveries

PITTSBURGH, July 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Rail Products business unit of Pittsburgh, PA based L.B. Foster Company has received a $6.5 million contract for transit rail and associated rail products for use on Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Dearborn Subway Project. L.B. Foster has begun delivery of 80ft rail sections, direct fixation (DFF) fasteners, insulated joints and contact rail insulators for the construction on the long delayed project which will modernize the subway to eliminate slow zones on CTA's Blue Line.

The Dearborn Subway Project is being fast tracked with deliveries of L.B. Foster's 115RE HH rail, DFF and other rail products to be completed by September 2009. "We quickly gained materials approval and expedited product manufacturing to meet the critical construction schedule," said Joe Mahoney, L.B. Foster Rail Products Regional Manager, Midwest District. The Rail Products group is successfully employing just in time deliveries from its various facilities to meet all project deadlines.

The project is scheduled to complete construction in December 2009. The Dearborn Subway is one of many major Chicago Transit-Authority projects to use L.B. Foster products.

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July 03, 2009

Oregon Office Building Earns Highest Green Globes Rating for Green Design and Sustainable Operations of an Existing Building

PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Columbia Square, a 313,000-square-foot office building and flagship property in the Melvin Mark Companies real estate portfolio, has been awarded 4 Globes by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) for achievements in green design and sustainable operations. The building was rated under the Green Globes environmental design and assessment tool and the 4 Globes designation is the highest possible rating.

Columbia Square is the first existing building in the nation to be awarded the Green Globes prestigious 4 Globes rating and is the first existing building in Oregon to achieve a Green Globes certification at any level.

The Green Building Initiative, who own and operate Green Globes in the U.S., is a national not-for-profit organization headquartered in Portland seeking to promote practical green building approaches. Green Globes is the leading environmental assessment tool for existing buildings in North America and is preferred by building owners because it offers an affordable and user-friendly approach to green building certification.

"Investments in sustainable practices are good for the environment and a sound business strategy for building owners," said Jim Mark, CEO, Melvin Mark Companies. "They allow us to create high performance work environments for tenants and help us manage our energy costs, which keeps our buildings profitable and competitive. I am proud that our deep commitment to environmentally-friendly practices is recognized by the Green Building Initiative."

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July 03, 2009

Recharge Mower: Beautifying Your Landscape without Damaging the Environment

LOS ANGELES & TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A greener lawn. A greener planet. That is what the riding Recharge Mower(TM) is all about. Simply power the unit overnight by plugging the Smart charger into a standard wall outlet and for only pennies of electricity, you will have up to 3 hours of continuous cutting time. The proprietary power system in combination with the efficient dual cutting blades and heavy duty rear drive motor means you are able to handle virtually any residential size lawn.

The Recharge Mower(TM) has been engineered to make the transition from cutting the front yard to rear effortless. The 27" cutting deck and included rear grass catcher, allow the Recharge Mower to pass through a standard fence gate. The unit is very easy to operate by either physically fit or even mobility challenged adults. In fact, most of the controls are positioned for easy hand operated control.

Unlike other push and riding mowers, the Recharge Mower(TM) uses NO GAS - NO OIL – NO SPARK PLUGS – NO TUNE UPS and the unit is very quiet. That all means you can environmentally care for your lawn along with the sound landscape.

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July 03, 2009

Research and Markets: The Commercial Real Estate Revolution: Nine Transforming Keys to Lowering Costs, Cutting Waste, and Driving Change in a Broken Industry

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd's new report "The Commercial Real Estate Revolution: Nine Transforming Keys to Lowering Costs, Cutting Waste, and Driving Change in a Broken Industry" to their offering.

As it currently operates, the commercial real estate construction industry is a disaster full of built-in waste. Seventy-percent of all projects end over budget and late. The buildingSMART Alliance estimates that up to fifty-percent of the process is consumed in waste. Almost every project includes massive hidden taxes in the form of delays, cost overruns, poor quality, and work that has to be redone. Building new structures is a fragmented, adversarial process that commonly results in dissatisfied customers and frequently ends in disappointment, bitterness, and even litigation.

The industry must change—for its own good and that of its customers. But while the industry has tried to reform itself, it can't do it alone. Real change can only come from business owners and executives who refuse to continue paying for a dysfunctional system and demand a new way of doing business.

The Commercial Real Estate Revolution is a bold manifesto for change from the Mindshift consortium—a group of top commercial real estate industry leaders who are fed up with a system that simply doesn't work. The book explains how business leaders can implement nine principles for any project that will dramatically cut costs, end delays, create better buildings, and force the industry into real reform.

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July 02, 2009

Alcoa's Kawneer Business Introduces AA(R)3350 ISOPORT(R) Window Designed to Enhance Energy Efficiency

Versatile Window for Commercial and Institutional Applications Increases Thermal Performance, Safety and Security

NORCROSS, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Kawneer business, the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum building products and systems for commercial construction, introduced its new AA(R)3350 ISOPORT(R) Window, designed to enhance the views and energy efficiency of commercial and institutional applications. Available in single-hung, double-hung or fixed with an innovative polyamide thermal break design and factory glazing, the AA(R)3350 ISOPORT(R) Window is highly versatile, leading the way in thermal performance at a competitive price.

Kawneer's AA(R)3350 ISOPORT(R) Window combines distinctive features, superior aesthetics and simplified fabrication and installation to provide architects and glaziers with a product that meets their needs. The unique shape of the polyamide thermal break enhances the performance of the window by maintaining the continuity of the thermal break throughout the window frame and sash. Adding to the energy efficiency of the window is 1-inch insulating or laminated glass, which provides high thermal performance and enhances STC and OITC (sound resistance) performance. AA(R)3350 ISOPORT(R) Window features powder coated die-cast sweep locks and keepers for maximum security and a push-button feature on sweep locks prevents windows from being opened accidentally. In addition, an integrated locking system automatically secures the operable sash when closed, preventing upper sash drift on double-hung windows.

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July 02, 2009

EMSI Consults on First LEED(R) Gold Restaurant in Washington, DC:

EMSI's Expertise Employed for Sustainable Design

WASHINGTON, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Environmental Market Solutions, Inc. (EMSI), an environmental and green building consulting company, provided sustainable design and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification consulting to Founding Farmers, the first upscale-casual, full-service restaurant to be awarded LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED CI) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). EMSI is part of Carrier Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) .

Founding Farmers, an 8,500 square foot restaurant in downtown Washington, DC, received LEED Gold certification in recognition of the restaurant's high standards for energy and environmental performance. "EMSI was honored to participate in the design of Founding Farmers," commented Ken Langer, president, EMSI. "It is always a privilege to support organizations committed to environmentally conscious building solutions."

According to the USGBC, the project has achieved a number of "firsts" in the retail food service industry, including being the first restaurant in Washington, DC to be awarded LEED certification and the first full-service, upscale-casual restaurant in the country to earn LEED Gold.

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July 02, 2009

Four Kramer Levin Attorneys Certified as LEED Accredited Professionals

Join Select Group of Attorneys Nationwide and Enhance Firm's Expertise in Green Initiatives in New Construction and Renovations

NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP announced today that associates Inge Hindriks, Elizabeth F. Larsen, Pamela Swidler and Michael S. Warren have received credentials from the Green Building Certification Institute as Accredited Professionals in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP). As part of the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Green Building Rating System, the LEED AP program was developed to assure that professionals have the latest knowledge and understanding of green building practices.

With this certification, the four lawyers join a select group of attorneys (approximately 500 lawyers nationwide out of 102,000 total LEED AP designations) who have recognized the significance of green building trends on the future of the building industry and have responded by getting certified to become LEED APs.

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July 02, 2009

Green Building Alliance Announces Final Product Innovation Grant Recipients

Fourth Round Brings Total Disbursements to $978,000

PITTSBURGH, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Green Building Alliance (GBA) announced the final four recipients of its Product Innovation Grants who will share a total of $150,000. These winning Pennsylvania projects, selected through a competitive process, all seek to develop and introduce new and enhanced building products to the fast-growing green marketplace. This is the fourth round of Product Innovation Grants awarded since GBA began its Green Building Products Initiative in 2006. Overall, 19 Pennsylvania projects have received more than $978,000. Previous grants were awarded in December 2007, June 2008, and December 2008.

"In times of economic uncertainty, everyone is searching for greener products to help reduce operating costs, improve employee productivity and satisfaction, and optimize economic and environmental life cycle performance," said Holly Childs, GBA's executive director. "For the past two years, our Product Innovation Grant program has encouraged collaborations between private-sector companies and university teams throughout Pennsylvania that support the marketplace for greening new and existing buildings. As Pittsburgh claims the seventh-largest number of LEED(R)-certified buildings in the U.S. and a strong, innovative local green building product market, the city continues to be a green building thought and practice leader."

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July 02, 2009

PeopleCube Offers Three Webinars on Real-Estate Measurement, Management, Forecasting, and Cost Savings

Learn How To Leverage Alternative Workspace and Workplace Business Intelligence To Determine Actual Real-Estate Usage, Forecast Future Needs, and Avoid Unnecessary Expenditures

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PeopleCube, provider of intelligent workplace, resource, and energy management technology, today announced that it is extending its ongoing webinar series with the addition of three programs that will run throughout the month of July. All of the webinars focus on effectively utilizing real estate and minimizing associated costs. They are free of charge.

"Given the state of the economy—and recognizing that real estate is the second-largest cost (after labor) for most organizations—it's more important than ever for companies to gain an accurate view of current and future real-estate needs, so that they can avoid unnecessary expenditures," said Rick Boyink, vice president of North America for PeopleCube. "Our complimentary webinars give facility managers and real-estate executives insight into determining how their space and assets are being used now and enable them to predict future needs, potentially saving thousands—even millions—of dollars in direct operating costs within their real-estate portfolio."

The three new webinars are "Leveraging Alternative Workspace Strategies to Reduce Costs," "How to Capture Actual Use of Space," and "Workplace Business Intelligence: Better Real-Estate Management Begins with Better Real-Estate Measurement." Sessions are available throughout the month, and attendees may select the dates they prefer when registering at PeopleCube's Resource Center, http://www.peoplecube.com/resource-center-overview.htm. Visitors to the Resource Center will also find complimentary white papers, case studies, and on-demand workshops.

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July 02, 2009

Research and Markets: The Latest US Residential Real Estate Market Report is Available Today

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "US Residential Real Estate Market Report Q2 2009" report to their offering.

This report contains ratings and benchmarks for investing in residential real estate in 379 US markets. Markets are defined by US census Metropolitan Statistical Areas or Metropolitan Divisions. For each market, there is a two page profile with charts and tables.

Each profile contains:

* Market ratings and analysis

* An "investor grade"/starter-home property price. This is a proprietary benchmark for the lowest price for properties currently on the market that are suitable for investment uses such as rental or resale

* A "most you can afford" price, which is the highest investment price supported by current rents in the area, after accounting for financing and other ownership costs

* Rent, historical property values, and historical annual rate of appreciation in this region

* Housing inventories including "for sale" and other properties (distressed/foreclosure and FSBO)

* Local data for population, employment, and wages

* Benchmarks for investment affordability, price outlook, return on investment, and investment volatility

In addition to the individual city profiles, the report contains maps, tables, and charts comparing metro areas within 14 geographical regions ("Florida", "New England", etc.).

This report is designed for investors and asset managers, but will be useful to home-owners and those contemplating first time property acquisition. It also provides context for multi-family and residential REIT valuation.

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July 02, 2009

Solar Energy Initiatives Announces Green Energy Alliance with RS&H and K Power Inc.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc. (OTCBB:SNRY), executing on a grass roots campaign, "RENEW THE NATION", to help redeploy a portion of the U.S. work force and focus on reducing the world's dependence on fossil fuels by selling solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, today announced that the Company is a founding member of the Green Energy Alliance, a strategic affiliation with RS&H, one of the nation's leading facilities and infrastructure consulting/engineering firms, and K Power Inc., a provider of full service solar energy solutions to commercial and industrial users. The Green Energy Alliance will combine member areas of expertise providing turn-key solar solutions including project financing to commercial and solar park projects located in North America and the Caribbean.

RS&H and K Power are leaders in energy and power generation/construction and as a combined entity possess the ability to build commercial solar projects and solar parks that could extend to well over 100 megawatts. The newly formed relationship will provide Solar Energy Initiatives with both new business relationships and access to capital through affiliated relationships. The companies' parallel operational focus and business strategies provide a platform for a long lasting and mutually successful relationship.

"This alliance provides Solar Energy Initiatives with the experienced and capable relationships needed to target larger sized commercial solar projects," stated, David Fann, Chief Executive Officer, of Solar Energy Initiatives. "We believe that the Company now possesses all the necessary tools to target more large scale and higher margined projects much like the 18 megawatt solar park that we recently announced. It is important for our strategic business plan that we form strong partnerships with top notch power companies, funding partners and consulting firms so that we can continue the rapid market penetration we are experiencing. We look forward to signing new contracts that mirror and exceed our $80 million solar park in California."

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July 02, 2009

Waste Management of Oregon Opens Ultra-Green Recycling Center

Metro Council President David Bragdon Welcomes Innovative Approach to Boost Recycling and Reduce Landfill Waste

HILLSBORO, Ore., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management of Oregon today christened an expansive and ultra-green recycling center that will dramatically increase recycling and reduce landfill waste across Washington County.

The recycling center will accept construction and demolition castoffs that, in the past, have ended up in landfills. It will collect, sort and reclaim these materials - concrete, asphalt, wood, and metals - for use in new ways.

The 65,000-square-foot facility is central to Waste Management's efforts to help local and regional governments achieve aggressive new sustainability goals.

"This is a significant investment for Waste Management and a reflection of our commitment to advancing sustainability in Oregon," said Dean Kattler, vice president for Waste Management's Northwest Market Area.

"Recovering debris from construction and demolition sites and then putting it back to work in the community synchs up with our broader company strategies to use traditional waste in innovative, sustainable ways," Kattler said. "Instead of ending up in the landfill, these materials will be recovered and reused."

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