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SCHAUMBURG, ILL.—During the American Architectural Manufacturers Assn. (AAMA) 2016 National Fall Conference, the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee hosted two speakers who stressed the importance of wellness in buildings the industry assists in creating and renovating. Lauren Wallace (Epsten Group) focused on the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge, followed by Dr. Elliott Horner (UL), who gave those in attendance information on indoor air quality testing and its merits. “When we think of sustainability, we often think of environmental impact,” said Mark Silverberg (Technoform), chair of the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee. “But 92 percent of costs are employee-related, instead of maintenance and operation. We can help reduce depression, a leading cost of lost time. Glass and glazing have a major opportunity of making this net positive contribution.” Wallace went over the WELL Building Standard, the first standard to focus solely on the health and wellness of the people in the buildings. “We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, and we have potential to reshape public health and make a positive impact on wellbeing,” said Wallace.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The design and construction of healthier buildings is a key business benefit for building owners, developers, managers and investors, according to the results of a new SmartMarket Report released by Dodge Data & Analytics and to which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a contributing partner. “Our world is confronting massive challenges that affect our physical, mental and social well-being,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, Chief Operating Officer, USGBC. “We know that programs like USGBC’s LEED green building rating system and IWBI’s WELL Building Standard provide key solutions to business leaders who are looking for the best way to create healthier, more sustainable buildings. We will continue to educate and push the market to prioritize human health in the built environment, which has benefits that extend beyond the building itself to the cities, communities and neighborhoods where we live.” The report, “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016,” shows that the design and construction industry in the United States is poised for wider adoption of building practices that prioritize the physical, mental and social well-being of tenants and occupants.
TETIAROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA—The Brando announced its LEED Platinum certification. The luxury property earned the prestigious designation based on its commitment to conservation and sustainability efforts in the development and overall operation of the pristine island resort. This certification is the culmination of more than six years of work carried out by the resort’s owners, designers and architects, and establishes The Brando as the first project to earn LEED certification in French Polynesia. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. “It was understood from the first conversation with Marlon Brando regarding Tetiaroa’s future, that any development must keep the island’s atoll protected and preserved in its native state and be a model of sustainability,” says Richard Bailey, Chairman & CEO of Pacific Beachcomber.
LOS ANGELES—“You’ve probably heard someone say, ‘I’m going outside to get some fresh air’—as if the inside air isn’t fresh. Right? Well often, it’s not.” So begins a new video that tells the story of how untreated indoor air, when emptied of such impurities as allergens, bacteria and other pollutants, dramatically reduces the workplace sickness and absenteeism that are so costly to employers.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently moved to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The agency worked with the California Air Resources Board to help ensure the final national rule is consistent with California requirements for composite wood products.
NATIONAL REPORT—Two months ago, Delos announced the expansion of its Stay Well hotel room program into six Marriott hotels in the United States. According to Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos, the Marriott properties are the first hotel additions to the Stay Well program since October 2012. It was then that Delos landed the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as a client. (Delos has since launched a Stay Well Meetings program.) Stay Well rooms feature a number of upgrades to enhance the health and quality of a room environment—water purification, vitamin C infused shower, mattress and pillow encasements, etc. Stay Well rooms at the six Marriott hotels will be available for approximately $30 per night above prevailing rates. The notion of packaging together a group of green amenities and features, with the idea of making a guestroom healthier and more eco-friendly, and even deserving of a higher rate, is not a new one. For at least 10 years, PURE Solutions NA has worked with hotels around the world to offer PURE Rooms.
NORCROSS, GA.—ChlorKing’s new Chlor MSM (Mini Switch Mode) line of salt chlorinators is designed to meet the lower capacity needs of spas and smaller commercial pools, such as those at hotels and motels, while giving them the operating efficiencies and safety benefits offered for larger pools by the company’s Chlor SM (Switch Mode) line. Two models are available: Chlor MSM2 for spas and pools holding up to 2,500 gallons of water and Chlor MSM5 for pools holding up to 75,000 gallons.
ANN ARBOR, MICH.—Global public health organization NSF International and ASHRAE have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) dedicated to protecting public health by establishing safe management practices for building water systems. These systems include cooling towers, air-conditioning units for large buildings, hot tubs, large complex water systems (in hotels, hospitals, cruise ships and institutions) and decorative fountains, which can be attributed to public health concerns such as Legionella.
SMYRNA, TENN.—Franke Foodservice Systems announce that their variable speed kitchen ventilation control system, called VariVent, has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award. As a recipient of the 2016 Energy Star Award, VariVent is recognized as a promising technology that has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to high standards set by the EPA.
Until recently, fixing leaky ventilation shafts has been a non-starter for most hotels, motels and other hospitality facilities. The expense and disruption typically involved in finding, accessing and sealing leaky ductwork made remediation measures impractical at best. As a result, a tremendous number of U.S. lodgings across the country are plagued by the poor indoor air quality issues and high-energy bills that come from improper ventilation. That is changing. A new approach to duct sealing developed by the U.S. Department of Energy is helping solve this near ubiquitous problem. One case in point: While the JW Marriott hotel in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead district has always been a model of elegance and luxury, owners of the 28 year-old hotel building continued to struggle with issues related to a poorly designed ventilation system.