Volume 4 - No. 11

November 2009

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In This Issue
- AIA Commends House Passage
- Mr.greenpoints Launches New Web Site
- Fifty Percent Increase in Green Building
- Estimating Projects Seeking LEED« Certification
- Minimal Improvement in Architecture Billings Index
- Carbon Disclosure Project again recognizes PPG
- Producer Price Index Figures
- Construction Cost Trends for 2009
- DCD Cost Guides
- New Study: Green Building
- DCD is now partnered with CDCNews
- Conceptual Estimating
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2010 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook
As you know, square-foot costs can vary widely, making it difficult to use them for estimating and budgeting. But the 2010 ENR Square-Foot Costbook practically eliminates this problem by giving you costs that are based on actual projects -- not hypothetical models. For each building type you get a detailed narrative with background information on the specific project.
A Guide To Successful Construction Fourth Edition
Contractors can protect themselves and their companies at each critical stage of a construction project. This much-needed guide shows how to avoid lawsuits and other problems by explaining exactly what the architect's and contractor's roles are during the construction phase of a project - as well as the responsibilities of owners, developers, and construction attorneys. 
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AIA Commends House Passage of Small Business Relief Bill
    "The House's bipartisan passage of the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009 is an important step in restoring access to credit and lending for the millions of small businesses who are the backbone of our economy. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is pleased that the House listened to the thousands of architects who contacted their representatives asking them to pass this bill without a proposed amendment that would have crippled these programs right when they were needed the most," said Paul T. Mendelsohn, AIA Vice President, Government & Community Relations.
    "For small architecture firms, the ability to access short-term lines of credit can mean the difference between survival and liquidation. In this economic crisis, too many firms have faced the horrible choice of having to lay off staff or going without pay in order to keep their doors open. As Florida architect Mickey Jacob, FAIA, told the House Small Business Committee two weeks ago, architects aren't looking for bailouts. They need tools that help them and their clients create jobs through new building projects. 


Mr.greenpoints Launches New Web Site to Help Architects and Builders Achieve LEED Certification
    Mr.greenpoints launches new website www.mrgreenpoints.com with features unique to the industry to help architects, specifiers and builders identify green building products that can help earn points in green building certification programs. The service has capabilities not available anywhere else, including the ability to determine regionally manufactured materials to help users maximize the sustainability of products selections, stimulate local economies, and create green jobs.
    Mr.greenpoints launches a new website mrgreenpoints.com to help architects, contractors and home builders sort through the confusing green building product marketplace. Mr.greenpoints provides product sustainability information based on user-defined criteria as well as a clear summary of the growing number of certifications that confirm and validate green product attributes. In addition, the website will allow users to determine when a product may help achieve regional materials credits by calculating and ranking the mileage from the manufacturing location to a project site, a feature not currently available anywhere else. Regional credits are intended to help limit energy use on transportation, stimulate local economies, and create green jobs.
Fifty Percent Increase in Green Building Programs since 2007
Local policies to promote energy-efficient buildings continue to thrive despite prolonged economic downturn 
    In the wake of an extended global economic slump, local communities are pushing ahead and expanding their green building programs. More than one in five U.S. cities with populations greater than 50,000 surveyed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report having a policy to promote green buildings, accounting for more than 53 million people. The AIA initially conducted this survey in 2007 for a Local Leaders in Sustainability report that has just been updated. The new report, Green Building Policy in a Changing Economic Environment, is an inventory of policies and best practices intended to help policymakers advance a more sustainable legislative agenda for growth and development.
    The report also contains detailed case studies of the green building programs in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Nashville, and Grand Rapids, Mich.
Update to Estimating Projects Seeking LEED« Certification
"Four years and what have estimators learned?"
By Joseph J. Perryman MRICS  MAPM  LEED-AP 
    There is no doubt that, encouragingly, the LEED certification system is here to stay. Construction projects of all different types are now LEED certified and so many projects currently about to start design, and those already in design, are registered with the USGBC for certification. So what have I learned from budgeting for LEED certification during the design stages over the years on numerous projects?
    It has proved to be crucial that a LEED consultant be engaged as early as the concept design stage. The earlier the LEED consultant can engage the Owner, the Design Team and the estimator to meet to discuss the LEED goals and opportunities the better especially from a cost perspective. Certain points can be ruled out immediately based purely upon the project's location and nature. For example, point opportunities exist for renovation projects such as reusing the fašade etc. which, of course, can be ruled out completely if your project is a brand new building on an open site. Similarly, a site location in a rural area cannot seek the points that reward a dense downtown location with established public transportation nearby. An experienced team with LEED experience can very quickly ascertain the points that can be ruled out immediately based upon the project's inherent characteristics.

Minimal Improvement in Architecture Billings Index
Level of inquiries reaches highest mark in two years
    As the nonresidential construction industry continues to struggle, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed a nominal improvement in September. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI rating was 43.1, up slightly from 41.7 in August. This score indicates a decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 59.1, its highest level since September 2007.
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Carbon Disclosure Project again recognizes PPG as industry leader
    PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) has again been recognized as a leader for its carbon disclosure transparency and emissions management by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) within the S&P 500 Index companies in the CDP's 2009 Leadership Index (CLDI).
   PPG scored 81 of a possible 100 points in the CLDI, ranking second in the materials sector, which had an average score of 59. In addition, PPG ranked third among materials companies for the CDP's pilot "performance-based" metrics, which measure a company's plans and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies report data voluntarily to the CDP.
   "We are pleased to be recognized yet again as one of the world's leading companies in carbon disclosure and for our performance to reduce emissions, especially among a high-performing peer group," said Reg Norton, PPG vice president, environment, health and safety. "PPG recognizes the need to address climate change, and as a corporate citizen, we not only have a responsibility to set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions-reduction and energy-conservation goals, we see it as a fundamental business strategy that will enable us to sustain success into the future."
Producer Price Index Figures Show Limited-Time Construction Costs Sale Coming To An End, Top Construction Economist Says
September Data Shows Costs for Most Construction Materials Higher with Copper, Aluminum and Steel Seeing "Significant" Increases
    Construction costs, which had been relatively low for much of the past year, are beginning to climb at an increasing rate, signaling the end to the "limited-time" sale for construction, according to a new analysis of the latest producer price index released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today.
    The analysis by Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, found significant upward movements between August and September 2009 in the prices of copper (10 percent increase), aluminum (2 percent increase), and steel (3 percent increase). All three products are essential components for the vast majority of construction projects. The construction economist added that since the prices were collected a month ago, copper, aluminum and diesel fuel have moved to multi-month highs.
Construction Cost Trends for 2009
    After several years, the slide in housing is now joined by commercial construction, with the entire industry down approximately 10%. Public works is the only bright spot in the industry with virtually every segment up over last year, probably due to the economic stimulus. Lodging and office construction, once segment leaders, have both become casualties of the credit crunch, and are now down. Construction costs are now flat compared to last year, with increases in labor offset by decreases in materials (-10%).
DCD Cost Guides
The DCD LEED« Square Foot Cost Guide
   Design Cost Data™ magazine includes a new Square Foot Cost Guide in each issue. These square foot cost guides have been assembled from projects in our database, the DCD Archives online at DCD.COM. These guides are provided to the industry by DCD as a benchmark for future building costs.
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New Study: Green Building to Support Nearly 8 Million U.S. Jobs Over Next 4 Years
USGBC/Booz Allen Hamilton Report Shows Green Construction to Contribute $554 Billion to U.S. GDP Between 2009 and 2013; Also Shows Strength of USGBC Membership
    Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy - including $396 billion in wages - over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages.
   The economic impact of the total green construction market from 2000 to 2008, the study found, contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product; created or saved 2.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs; and generated $123 billion in wages.
    The study also assessed the U.S. Green Building Council's 19,000-plus member organizations and found that they generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue, employ approximately 14 million people, come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies.
   The study was released at the USGBC's annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the industry's largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. 
DCD is now partnered with Construction Data Company, publisher of CDCNews.com
DCD customers get 2 FREE months of access to CDCNews, on any new subscription to any new territory!
    ABOUT CDCNEWS:  Established over 30 years ago in Philadelphia, we began reporting construction data for the commercial construction industry. We now publish 30 regional reports in 18 states and counting.
    CDCNews.com is the premier publisher of construction project data in the Eastern Region of the United States.
    Features Include: Access to In Design Projects, Timely Bid Results, Direct Access to Editorial, Easy Project Tracking, Complete Bidders List, And so Much More.
The Nation's #1 Conceptual Cost Estimating Software And Project Archiving System
    D4COST is the nation's #1 building cost estimating software for conceptual estimating created from ACTUAL projects that have been built. D4COST supplies you with a library of 1,100 real projects (buildings) NOT an average. D4COST is the best source to validate any preliminary cost, develop a reliable preliminary or conceptual square foot cost estimate, cost feasibility, valuation study, or budget. 
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