Currently, I imagine that most structural engineers are at least familiar with the concept of sustainable design and the larger green building movement. Many firms are incorporating sustainable design techniques into their practice and are able to serve clients wanting green buildings. And, according to a recent survey by Structural Engineer, a small, yet growing percentage of practicing structural engineers (2 percent) have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) designation from the Green Building Certification Institute.
Response to Are IBC and IEBC morally defensible?
If a building’s lateral system is seriously damaged, and if that lateral system is found to have been deficient, should it be upgraded during the course of already substantial repairs instead of just put back to its deficient state? The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations says yes. The International Existing Building Code’s development committee says yes. FEMA says yes. And code officials who voted at the International Building Code hearings in February, by an overwhelming majority, say yes.
Life cycle assessment and structural engineering practice
"Don’t drive your sport utility vehicle to the farmers’ market, buy one food item, and drive home again … even if you are using reusable bags." This admonition in a New York Times article (Dec. 10, 2007) on the local food movement typifies the big picture of sustainability.
Green building impacts, goals, and contracts
Q: The current trend is moving toward green building design, as well as toward the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards being implemented throughout the country. What is the legal impact of all of these standards?
Study investigative reports to avoid structural failures
The long-awaited and highly anticipated official reports of two major structural catastrophes that made international headlines are slated for release this month. They are the final reports of the 2004 roof failure at the De Gaulle International Airport terminal in Paris and the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.
Wood products are regaining popularity due to increased interest in renewable building materials, stronger pre-engineered products to meet a wide variety of specialty applications, software to help determine accurate load calculations, and associations working diligently to assist engineers, architects, and contractors.
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Green block, green roof, structural panels, and design guide
Integrity Block, a manufacturer of sustainable building materials, developed the first green block replacement for structural, architectural, and landscape applications. This next generation in block design is touted to have critical improvements, such as superior energy efficiency, distinctive architectural finish, and the use of natural, sustainable, and recycled materials to generate valuable LEED credits. No more expensive than standard concrete masonry units and using the same building process, Integrity Block delivers superior thermal performance, which decreases heating and cooling costs. This block is engineered from a proprietary soil composite and offers natural, distinctive colors for a unique finish.
Integrity Block, www.integrityblock.com
Searching for green foundations
With environmental consciousness becoming a way of life, interest in conservation, resource depletion prevention, construction material recycling, and building green is growing. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), current initiatives involving the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system are found in 90 cities, 29 counties, 20 towns, 30 states, 12 federal agencies or departments, 15 public school jurisdictions, and 37 institutions of higher education across the United States.
Walking that fine steel line
Structural engineers are issuing steel mill order drawings earlier than in the past, due in part to accelerated project schedules and long lead times for structural steel procurement. Developers and architects understand that early procurement can reduce the overall construction schedule up to several months, allowing earlier occupancy and other benefits.