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Green Design News

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has entered into a strategic relationship with Autodesk, San Rafael, Calif., to facilitate further adoption of sustainable design and green building. The two parties plan to work on several initiatives to make green design easier and more efficient through the use of technology.

“We hope the relationship between Autodesk and USGBC will help democratize sustainable design by creating an industry-standard technology platform for green building,” said USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi.

In other news, the USGBC is piloting its Portfolio Program, which is designed to help companies achieve LEED certification quickly on a large number of buildings.


PlayNetwork, Redmond, Wash., has partnered with BroadSign Intl., Eagle, Idaho, to offer full-service video media solutions using BroadSign Suite software. The software allows network operators to handle both the technical and media placement aspects of managing digital-signage networks.

Waste Management

Environmental Waste Solutions, Media, Pa., has changed its name to Retriever Waste Management.


F.C. Dadson (FCD), Greenville, Wis., is building and installing counters, kitchen-styled islands and an interior signage package for Sociale, aMinneapolis-based make-and-take meal-assembly chain.

Comfort Upgrade Reduces Costs

An equipment upgrade is keeping shoppers and tenants comfortable at Urban Retail Properties’ Tanglewood Mall, in Roanoke, Va., while adding savings to the bottom line. The retrofit, part of a major renovation, involved replacing the center’s 33-year-old chilled-water plant with a new, 1,800-ton system from Trane.

Mall management decided to replace the existing plant for several reasons. Not only was it showing its age and becoming unreliable and costly to maintain, it also was wasting energy. The mall, which acts as the utility and invoices tenants for electricity and chilled-water use, wanted to cut energy costs. Additionally, the old cooling towers leaked so much water that Trane expects the replacements to save $5,000 in domestic water-usage annually, plus the cost of the lost water-treatment chemicals.

The change-out occurred during the summer months, with no disruption to mall business. The new plant, which includes two high-efficiency centrifugal chillers and Marley cooling towers, is controlled by software (Trane Tracer Summit) that optimizes the system components for maximum energy efficiency, while monitoring the system for problems. Tanglewood technicians can access the plant from home with their new laptop service computers.

In addition to the efficiencies achieved by the new chillers, supply-side pumping horsepower will be reduced by converting the plant to a variable-flow primary pumping system.

“Trane worked to provide a state-of-the-art chiller plant that will carry the mall well into the future,” said mall manager Jake Repass. “The coordination of the project has gone very smoothly.”

Total Control

METRO, Canada’s third-largest supermarket chain, is expanding its use of Emerson Climate Technologies’ E2 integrated facility-management technology, bringing the total number of installations to 90 locations. The system manages all lighting, refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and other store equipment, enabling multiple stores to be monitored from a central location.

In addition, METRO has selected Emerson’s wireless temperature-monitoring system (Verifresh) to provide temperature data with regard to its food-safety initiative. The system is easily installed in both new and existing stores, with virtually no disruption to shopper experience. Emerson Climate Technologies, a division of Emerson, is based in St. Louis.

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