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Mohawk Group names Bandy Jr. as VP of Sustainability

Mohawk Group Names George Bandy VP Of Sustainability
George Bandy Jr.

Calhoun, Ga.–Mohawk Group announced that George Bandy Jr. has joined the organization as its vice president of sustainability. Bandy has spent over 22 years working in the sustainability field, and has amassed a rich experience within the discipline’s concepts and practices as they relate to positioning environmental, economic and socially responsible solutions for business.

“George is a seasoned sustainability leader who will bring a wealth of knowledge and valuable industry relationships to Mohawk,” said Michel Vermette, president of Mohawk Group. “Over the past few years, our company has made significant strides in our sustainability journey, embracing new ideas and leading the building materials industry in transparent manufacturing. We are confident that George will bring a fresh perspective to our approach and catapult us to new levels of leadership in the industry. We are incredibly proud to have him join the Mohawk team.”

He comes to Mohawk Group following 16 years with Interface, where he most recently served as the flooring company’s VP of Sustainability, and was also a member of Interface’s Americas Sustainability Council. In his role at Interface, Bandy traveled extensively as a highly sought after presenter on key topics including the business of sustainability, innovation in relation to nature, social sustainability and changing mindsets to a greener focus.

“Mohawk’s sustainability ethic already sets a high bar for businesses around the world at a time when the stakes for our efforts have never been higher,” said Bandy.  “As a manufacturing powerhouse, we can continue to make outsized contributions to solutions that ensure our children’s future. At the same time, we nurture the communities in which we live and work through our environmental stewardship, inspire actions that advance our society and provide the innovation that drives growth for our shareholders.  I am excited to join the Mohawk team and contribute to the company’s success.”

Before working at Interface, Bandy was employed as the University Sustainability Officer for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He is the immediate past board chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and has also served on the board for Second Nature, a non-profit that champions for higher education institutions to make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of learning.

When asked what truly sets Bandy apart, the sustainability industry’s most notable leaders point to his experience, charisma and depth of understanding. “George Bandy is the consummate sustainability leader on every level you can name,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.  “As chair of the USGBC board of directors during a time of explosive growth and change, his amazing ability to lead others to consensus and action was so critical to advancing our work to create a healthier, more sustainable built environment.  He deeply understands what needs to be done, and is brilliant in sharing with others why it matters in ways that are both inspirational and instructive, and we’re all better for it.”

 

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Two Shaw facilities achieve LEED certification

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.08.47 PMDalton—Shaw Industries Group has achieved the LEED Silver designation for Plant 72, an administrative building on the corporate campus, and the Shaw Family Health Center, both located here.

Recognized globally as the premier mark of achievement in green building, LEED certification requires that building projects meet specific thresholds to achieve different levels (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum). Points are accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

“These LEED certifications are a testament to Shaw’s holistic approach to sustainability,” said Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw. “We are focused on designing and operating our facilities to minimize environmental impact and maintain ongoing comfort and efficiency.”

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Ramanujam named incoming CEO of USGBC

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Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has named Mahesh Ramanujam incoming CEO. Ramanujam currently serves as COO and will move into the role after Rick Fedrizzi, co-founder and current CEO, steps down at the end of 2016.

Ramanujam joined USGBC in 2009 as senior vice president of technology before being named COO in 2011. Prior to joining USGBC, Ramanujam was COO for Emergys, a business transformation consulting firm in North Carolina.

“Since Mahesh first joined USGBC in 2009, he has transformed every corner of the organization, focusing on high performance and putting the needs of our customers and community members first,” Fedrizzi said. “His personal core values are deeply aligned with our mission and his comprehensive understanding of our work makes him the ideal leader for this role.”

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Greenbuild dates announced through 2019

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.25.01 AMDallas—Informa Exhibitions and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have announced the dates for Greenbuild International Conference & Expo through 2019.

“We are committed to rotating Greenbuild to very accessible locations to maximize attendee participation and exhibitor confidence,” said Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild group director, Informa Exhibitions. “We ensure Greenbuild takes place in different geographic locations and have scheduled a strong lineup that will take the event to the West Coast, Northeast, Midwest and Southeast.”

Greenbuild will continue its pattern of rotating around the U.S. on the following schedule:

Oct. 5-7, 2016: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles

Nov. 8-10, 2017: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston

Nov. 14-16, 2018: McCormick Place (West Building), Chicago

Nov. 20-22, 2019: Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta

USGBC announces 2014
 “Best of Green Schools” honorees

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 12.27.59 PMWashington, D.C.—The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the 2014 “Best of Green Schools” recipients, recognizing 10 individuals, institutions, projects and events representing the best environmental efforts in schools across the country this year. The list highlights the national leaders and innovators in school sustainability for the year.

“Selecting the Best of Green Schools honorees is an exciting and challenging process, as there are so many fantastic examples of efforts being made in communities large and small,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools. “Some of the honorees go about their work quietly, others are in public positions and have the attention of a national audience. Every one of the honorees is a leader, taking risks, setting an example for others, innovating and diligently pursuing a world in which every student attends a green school within this generation.”

Recipients include The Monarch School, Houston, Texas; Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Mark Swiger, Wheeling, W.Va; Representative Brenda Gilmore, Nashville, Tenn.; Dunloggin Middle School Oyster Gardeners, Ellicott City, Md.; Bristol-Myers Squibb, New York; University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y.; Green Bronx Machine, New York; Learning Gate Community School, Lutz, Fla. and Annie Donnelly, West Palm Beach, Fla.

USGBC announces 2015 board members

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 2.11.31 PMWashington, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today the newly elected and appointed officers and directors to its 2015 Board of Directors.

“USGBC’s Board of Directors provides invaluable direction and perspective, collectively bringing decades of experience to the table and using their individual expertise to shape the future of the organization, the community and the green building movement as a whole,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Delivering on the promise of developing buildings that sustain and enhance the vitality of life within a generation is no small undertaking. Our Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from many different segments of the building industry and will undoubtedly make great strides in the coming year.”

USGBC’s membership elected the following individuals to serve as directors, for a term of three years each, effective Jan. 1, 2015:

Stephen Bushnell, Stephen Bushnell + Associates: Insurance seat

Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal, Inc.: Environmental Nonprofit Advocate seat

Amy Costello, Armstrong World Industries: Product Manufacturer seat

Denise Grabowski, Symbioscity: Urban/Regional Planner seat

Christopher Schaffner, The Green Engineer, Inc.: Sustainable Practice Leader: Engineer seat

In addition, at its recent meeting in New York, the Board named the following directors to fill appointed positions, each for a term of two years:

Mark James, Urban Green LLC:  Sustainable Community Leader seat

Vance Voss, Principal Real Estate Investors: Commercial Real Estate Executive Leadership seat

The Board elected Fiona Cousins, Arup, as chair-elect and Lisa Matthiessen, Integral Group, as secretary. Marge Anderson, Energy Center of Wisconsin, will serve as chair, and George Bandy, Interface, will serve as immediate past chair. Stuart Carron, ENERGIZE RE LLC, will continue as treasurer. New terms will begin Jan. 1, 2015.

“Both the promise and challenge of the future of green building are significant and I have no doubt this board is equal to the task of advancing the movement,” said Marge Anderson, USGBC Board chair. “With so many individual and yet complementary perspectives coming to the table, we are prepared to champion the inclusion of sustainable design and construction across industries, on large and small scales, in public and private spaces.”

USGBC’s Board includes elected and appointed directors who serve terms of three years and two years, respectively. The complete 2015 USGBC Board roster includes:

Officers:

Marge Anderson, Energy Center of Wisconsin, Chair

George Bandy, Interface, Immediate Past Chair

Fiona Cousins, Arup, Chair-Elect

Stuart Carron, ENERGIZE RE LLC, Treasurer: Facility Management and Operations seat

Lisa Matthiessen, Integral Group, Secretary: Sustainable Practice Leader: Architecture and Design seat

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman (ex officio)

Directors:

Jeff Baer, Deutsche Bank: Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets seat

Dan Burgoyne, State of California, Department of General Services: State and Local Government Agency Employee seat

Stephen Bushnell, Stephen Bushnell + Associates: Insurance seat

Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal, Inc.: Environmental Nonprofit Advocate seat

Amy Costello, Armstrong World Industries: Product Manufacturer seat

Duygu Erten, TURKECO: International seat

Mark Frankel, New Buildings Institute: Energy seat

Denise Grabowksi, Symbioscity: Urban/Regional Planner seat

Davor Grgic, Kohler: Business to Consumer Leader seat

Mark James, Urban Green LLC: Sustainable Community Leader seat

Sara O’Mara, Choate Construction Company: Constructor of Buildings seat

Kenneth Potts, McGough Companies: Developer/Real Estate Services seat

John Quale, University of Virginia: Educator (Post-Secondary) seat

Gerrit Reinders, Telkonet: Technology seat

Christopher Schaffner, The Green Engineer, Inc.: Sustainable Practice Leader: Engineer seat

Kevin Stack, Northeast Natural Homes: Residential Construction seat

Vance Voss, Principal Real Estate Investors: Commercial Real Estate Executive Leader seat

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RFCI proactively tackles tough environmental issues

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.13.20 PMResilient flooring manufacturers are often credited for driving category growth to new heights through innovative products, from sheet vinyl to LVT. Behind the scenes, the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) is doing its part to further this pattern of innovation.

Through collective resources of its growing membership, RFCI takes on issues that are too big for any one company to address alone—those that are regulatory in nature or non-governmental such as the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Dean Thompson, president of RFCI, said the group is currently focused on two matters: issues management and advocacy. “We are engaged with federal and state agencies and non-governmental authorities on regulatory issues at all levels,” he explained.

RFCI proactively develops programs that facilitate bringing products to market. “This includes our four sustainability building blocks: FloorScore, the NSF/ANSI 332 Sustainability Standard for Resilient Flooring, industry-average environmental product declarations (EPDs) and the new product transparency declarations (PTDs). PTDs are now moving through the process to become an ASTM standard, and we anticipate the standard will come to fruition in spring 2015.”

PTDs have become a recent focus for RFCI as the issue of transparency grows, specifically as designers ask for more information about the ingredients in products. “It’s clear that the transparency issue is not going away,” said Bill Freeman, RFCI’s regulatory and technical consultant. “We started looking at it in 2012 to provide information we think architects and designers want, starting with PTDs that disclose ingredients, including those considered hazardous. We had interest from many industries to use the same type of format. We thought the best thing was to take it through the ANSI process.”

According to Thompson, key developments in 2014 include the continued dramatic growth of LVT, demonstrated by the industry’s record capital investment in both new and expanded manufacturing facilities. Of particular note, Mohawk and Shaw, two of the largest manufacturers, have joined ranks with RFCI.

LVT growth has expanded RFCI’s role significantly, particularly with members from the supply chain like HPS Schönox, PLI Pak-Lite and SELIT joining the group. Thompson called it “a very positive development that has broadened RFCI’s base.”

Advancing advocacy efforts

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.13.55 PMBill Hall, counsel to RFCI, said the fundamental principles of advocacy in any government or non-government organization’s decision-making process involving vinyl flooring must be based on accurate information—sound, scientific principles, risk assessment and life cycle assessment. The group’s position has been that resilient flooring is not only a great choice for versatile, cost-effective flooring solutions—it is also a great choice for the environment as new innovations improve product recycling, indoor air quality, lower VOC emissions and contribute to a healthier planet.

He added there has been a focus by some to “tilt the playing field” against PVC products. “That is what we have dealt with most recently. We have to demonstrate that our products are safe and sustainable through precedent-setting sustainability programs the industry has put together.”

RFCI recently agreed to work with USGBC on improving LEED v4 with respect to product selection, along with other industry and non-industry groups. RFCI contends the materials section of LEED v4 is discriminatory toward vinyl products and uses programs which are not established by any consensus, including Red Lists, Cradle to Cradle and GreenScreen.

“They are people who arbitrarily decided what should and shouldn’t be used,” Hall said, contending an abscence of science. “Those organizations did not allow all impacted stakeholders to be involved in establishing those programs.”

Another issue for RFCI is the California Prop 65 warning for listing DINP (phthalate). A compliance date is scheduled for Dec. 20. “We are of strong belief that the presence of DINP is well below any safe harbor level and should not trigger a warning label for vinyl products,” Hall said.

To that end, RFCI is working with the American Chemistry Council, which has filed suit against the listing of DINP—a listing that, he said, relied on animal data that has no relevance to humans. “We are also dealing with the California green chemistry program, which is involved in selecting products on the priority list that will have to go through an evaluation process to determine if any ingredients have to be switched.” RFCI’s ultimate goal is to make sure California does not select vinyl flooring for that list.

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Greenbuild focuses on product, manufacturing transparency

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

Manufacturers, groups develop new methods of disclosing product details

By Jenna Lippin

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 11.37.35 AMNew Orleans—Following a year that focused on product transparency, Greenbuild 2014 saw a continued emphasis on the movement with an increasing amount of manufacturers developing new ways to display product and production ingredients and methods.

Forbo, for example, was touting a label system called USEtox, which breaks down a list of ingredients and explains how they affect the health of users and the environment. According to Lori Lagana, marketing manager, the company is working on furthering the next stage of transparency. “We’re not at full transparency. EPDs [environmental product declarations] and HPDs [health product declarations] are not full transparency. You need to take the information and apply it to the actual products and how it impacts your health.”

She added that Forbo’s message is about the phases of transparency and advancing the movement. “While everyone is familiar with EPDs, and now everybody is pretty much familiar with HPDs, we’ve moved on to talking about a subject similar to how you wouldn’t buy a food product without knowing what’s in it and how it impacts your body. A complaint we hear is how there is no way to measure how a product truly impacts your body, and there is with USEtox. Basically what we’re telling people is you wouldn’t put this in your body without knowing what’s in it and how it affects your body. You can request the same thing from product manufacturers.”

In terms of product, the company highlighted its Marmoleum Modular offering at Greenbuild, particularly the Striato collection, with striated wood tones in 15 colors that progress from light to dark.

Also focusing on its green story, particularly in relation to Cradle to Cradle certification, was Shaw Contract Group. The company shares a philosophy with Cradle to Cradle and is trying to get to 100% less hazardous waste and 100% less waste going to landfill while cutting energy and water usage, explained Wanda Dunaway, director of education and government markets. “We’re trying to get a little better every year, and we have some lofty goals for 2030; you have to be a Cradle to Cradle company to get to those goals. We’re not just about not doing harm; the Cradle to Cradle philosophy is that you have products that go back into themselves.” Shaw Contract Group’s entire EcoWorx platform is Cradle to Cradle certified.

Also a focus at Greenbuild for Shaw Contract was its Cut and Compose collection. A portion of the proceeds from Cut and Compose sales will go to the Center for Green Schools to support its mission of healthy and sustainable schools. The product will launch Dec. 1; Greenbuild served as a preview.

Shaw’s residential division was also active at Greenbuild as Shaw Floors had product featured in the 2014 Living-Home. The 1,500-square-foot modular home that was situated in the middle of the show floor meets LEED v4 Platinum requirements and was available for tours at the show before its move to the Lower Ninth Ward, becoming part of the Make it Right Foundation’s Katrina efforts. The products from Shaw featured in the LivingHome include American Restoration Epic engineered hardwood and Fired Hickory porcelain tile. American Restoration is Cradle to Cradle certified Silver, while Fired Hickory features 40% recycled content.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 11.42.53 AMIn addition to the Living-Home, another popular stop on the Greenbuild floor was Interface’s space, which featured an interactive wall with materials such as natural salt, feathers and branches—materials that demonstrate how a cold, loud space can be changed to help inspire people.

“Our message is an expansion and continuation of the story of biophilic design,” said John Wells, president and CEO. “This idea of biophilia is sort of man’s relationship with nature and how that’s now really a big critical piece in the built environment.”

The company’s Human Nature line, introduced earlier this year, is a continuation from last year’s Net Effect, which came from the Net-Works program. Net-Works was a major initiative for Interface, which is made from fishing nets collected by Aquafil to help create Econyl fiber for carpet.

Human Nature comes in a long, skinny plank format that has been successful with designers because it allows for design versatility. “The cool thing is it mimics nature with a pebble texture and smooth blends,” said Lauren White, interactive marketing manager. “This is how nature would design a floor versus something that stays consistent across the entire space.”

MP Global’s green message reflected how its products take what would normally be “tossed out” in the textile industry and turned into sustainable flooring underlayment, said Deanna Summers, marketing director. “Our primary message is getting people to understand the things they put underneath their flooring do impact their health, their budgets and their overall way of living while helping increase comfort.”

At the show MP Global showcased its “bread and butter,” QuietWalk in addition to its LVT-specific LuxWalk, which includes fibers made from recycled soda bottles.

Roppe was also emphasizing product from the vinyl segment, namely its Health and Learning line that comes in a coordinating pallet of both rubber and vinyl. Because the company has always focused on resilient, sustainable flooring with its popular rubber products, environmental initiatives are nothing new for Roppe.

“We’ve always been a partner with FloorScore,” said Dee Dee Brickner, marketing coordinator. “There’s a lot of different third-party certification we’re looking into now.

“People are concerned with different types of flooring and sustainability, but we’re continuing to push our sustainability message that rubber flooring is recyclable.”

Net Zero Zone

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 11.43.24 AMHanley Wood, The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and EMerge Alliance unveiled the world’s first Net Zero Zone at Greenbuild 2014, making it the first conference and expo to have space where booths are fully powered by an on-site microgrid including alternate energy generation and distribution. “This is an important step for the trade show industry and sends a strong message to the entire green building movement that hybrid power in buildings is both popular and practical,” said Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild’s show director.

The official launch of the Net Zero Zone took place on Wed., Oct. 22, with Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED technical development, USGBC; Rick McConnell, president of Hanley Wood, and Roberts acting as the official “plug pullers.”

The Net Zero Pavilion, a specially designated exhibit area inside Greenbuild’s expo hall powered by the microgrid, showcased 11 exhibitors in 1,500 square feet of exhibit space, while the Net Zero Networking Lounge hosted sponsor representatives and educational presentations available to all show attendees.

“The Net Zero Zone illustrates one of the main themes of this year’s conference: resiliency,” said Kate Hurst, director of conferences and events, USGBC. “At USGBC, we can’t think of a better place than New Orleans or a more important venue than the largest sustainable building conference in the world to introduce this evolved approach to electric power.”

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USGBC announces extension of LEED 2009

Picture 1Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today that it will allow LEED users to register projects under the LEED 2009 rating system until Oct. 31, 2016. The original date for LEED 2009 registration to close was June 15, 2015. Extending to October 2016 gives LEED users and members of the green building industry additional time to prepare for LEED v4, the latest version of LEED, which features increased rigor and multiple updates.

“When USGBC launched LEED v4 last year, we set out with one goal in mind—to raise the bar in a way that challenges the building industry to reach higher than ever before. This is our nature and USGBC and its members’ collective mission,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & founding chair, USGBC. “However, the market has requested additional time to prepare for LEED v4, so we are responding.”

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USGBC, Honeywell collaborate on facility sustainability

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.32.32 AMWashington, D.C. – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Honeywell announced they are working together to deepen facility sustainability by integrating USGBCs new LEED Dynamic Plaque, a near-real-time monitoring tool with integrated building automation technology from Honeywell to measure and provide performance feedback to help optimize operations.

The LEED Dynamic Plaque assesses facility performance in the categories of energy use, water consumption, waste output, occupant transportation and human experience, aggregating data to provide an overall performance score that reflects the LEED rating system LEED rating system—the world’s most widely utilized green building rating system and recognized standard for leadership in sustainability.

The plaque is an appealing, easy-to understand display ideal for mounting in a prominent location so tenants and guests can view and better understand the building’s ongoing rating. It also features an app for anywhere access, helping further incentivize occupants to engage in actions that can positively impact sustainability.

By integrating with Honeywell technology, the plaque automatically receives information from core building systems that contribute to a facility’s LEED performance score, in addition to input from occupant surveys and waste tracking information. The score updates as data feeds in and can raise awareness of likely issues—and potential fixes—that could affect operations.