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The Freeman Company disclosed that the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded LEED® Silver Certification in the building design and construction rating system for new construction to the Freeman Chicago Facility. Freeman is the first general contractor in the event industry to achieve this status for new construction using sustainable design and construction methods.

In order to achieve LEED Silver, a building must go above and beyond. Freeman has been recognized for its innovation by using 20 percent less mercury in their lamps, having 33.99 percent of the building’s material content manufactured using recycled materials, and ensuring 95 percent of the building’s wood is Forest Stewardship Council certified. Additionally, the project aimed to utilize its’ local resources. Freeman’s building documented that 41.54 percent of its building materials originate from within a 500 mile radius of the project site.

With state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning units and fans, all working in unison with the mechanical aspects of a warehouse and office environment, thinking green has driven the facility to reduce energy use overall. Through awareness and system sensors as well as the insulation properties of the facility as a part of the planned build, the Freeman Chicago facility allows for efficient use of energy. This is in effect in every aspect of the operation from motion-activated lighting throughout the facility conserving electricity; natural gas heating; reduced fixture water use; to dust collection and filtering and reduced waste generated by those systems.

LEED certification of the building was based on a number of green design and construction features designed to save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of the occupants and the surrounding community. In order to become a LEED certified building, the building’s impact is measured using a criterion that includes: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environment quality, innovation, and regional priority credits.

The LEED certification requires buildings, and it’s designers to become smarter and more innovative. In fact, LEED projects are responsible for diverting over 80 million tons of waste from landfills. In order to become a LEED Certified Building; the following minimum requirements must be met:

•Develop an erosion and sedimentation control plan.
•Consume 20 percent less water than the average building.
•Participate in a commissioning plan that projects the energy cost savings will be 29 percent.
•Do not use chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) in the HVAC system.
•Create a thorough recycling program.

Published in the March 2015 Edition of American Recycler News

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced five people to prison terms in federal court in Greeneville, Tennessee, for conspiring to commit Clean Air Act offenses in connection with the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials at the former Liberty Fibers Plant in Hamblen County, Tennessee.

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Buildings today are designed for easy, cost-effective construction, with little attention paid to how costly and difficult it might be to someday demolish structures and recycle construction materials.

Construction employers added 48,000 jobs in December and 290,000 for the year, the largest annual increase since 2005, as the sector’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Washington residents can recycle fluorescent lights and other mercury containing lights for free at 130 sites throughout the state, with more being added in the months ahead.

With its recent exit from bankruptcy, Detroit, Michigan is making a steady comeback.