February 17th, 2012 by TRT Blog
Over the past year, we’ve seen the importance that America places on environmentally-friendly procedures and regulations increase. Notable, there has been growth in green building all across the country, as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that recently compiling its list of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED)-rated buildings per capita.
In 2011, Washington, DC took the top prize for the most LEED-rated buildings per capita, rounding out at 18,954,022 square feet worth of commercial and industrial space, equating to 31.5 sq. feet per person. DC not only topped the list, but its competition has yet to gain signification ground. DC’s closest competition is Colorado, which only boasts only 2.74 square feet of green space per capita. Other states that made the top ten on the list are Illinois, Virginia and Washington state.
LEED is an important rating systems designed to evaluate green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. LEED is essentially a manual for green building and design; it provides a standard for which builders and architects can follow. With an increasing stress on green building, LEED was developed by the USGBC in 1998. Today the system has grown to include nine different rating systems encompassing various aspects and sectors of green building.
We are glad to see such a high percentage in DC, but more importantly, to see percentages in other states continue to rise. The importance of green building has never been higher and the trend towards LEED rated buildings is a great step towards overall sustainability. Read more here
October 11th, 2011 by TRT Blog
As we all know, legislation moves at a snail’s pace. So it’s unsurprising that legislation regarding energy efficiency and green building, two topics that Republicans and Democrats don’t exactly see eye to eye on, moves even slower. Regardless (and luckily), the United States has continued to make bounds of progress to advance and implement green policy.
The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced its “30 wins”, a mid-year review of hundreds of state bills trying to make their way into law this year. Although the wins include some legislation that did not pass, USGBC knows that any type of approved legislation can help get green going.
Wide-spread support for green measures has been the driving force behind the passing of landmark state legislation recently. Connecticut, for example, just passed a bill that created the country’s first green bank, which will provide loans for green projects. But Connecticut isn’t the only state in the race. Florida, Montana, Texas, Oregon and New Mexico have also begun to pass legislation to create state energy codes and standards, as well as tax credits for green projects.
Although few of us have seats in Congress, we all have the ability to influence the political agenda. Visit your local or state government website to view the current legislation, and participate in anything from green energy political meetings to a local neighborhood clean-up initiative. Trust us, you and the environment will be happy you did.
March 11th, 2011 by TRT Blog
More and more schools are taking advantage of grants and extra funding to undergo green renewal and repair projects. It’s the pursuit of the ideal green school that everyone is after. A school building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money.
Schools that were not necessarily set up or built as green operations, or do not have the funding to build new are adapting their facilities through repair and revitalization programs which see areas such as roofing, boilers, windows and lights being given facelifts or even replaced for more energy efficient counterparts. A positive side effect of this work is that learning environments will be much improved for students and staff through the re-use, regeneration or replacement of existing fixtures and fittings – a theme very close to our hearts here at The Refinishing Touch.
In Washington and Massachusetts schools, work is already underway to upgrade to more sustainable and energy efficient methods. In California, planning is underway to spend over $100 million on upgrades and refurbishments for the Sacramento City Unified School District courtesy of the three-year green schools fellowship program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Administrators are fast recognizing that the benefits of the work stretch much further than enhancing the green credentials of the school and the aesthetic surroundings. Over time, greater energy-efficiency means running costs are lowered and money can be saved within the school budget and re-directed to other resources. In difficult economic times, these small to medium building and improvement projects are also providing a much needed boost to local construction industries.
Saving energy, resources and money is at the core of every one of our projects. It is reassuring to see schools adopt these initiatives not just for the long term financial benefit. Seeing our children learn in a more sustainable environment allows them to absorb these practices and apply them as more environmentally aware and enabled adults.