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Standards & Compliance Briefing: LEED, WEEE, Energy Awards

Volkswagen’s Passat manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been named a platinum LEED-certified factory, making it the only auto making plant in the world to receive the such designation, the German automaker said. Its paint shop is expected to save 50 million gallons of water over 10 years, and special insulation is estimated to save 720,000 kWh per year.

At COP-17 in Durban the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) named the cities of New York and San Francisco as the recipients of the World Green Building Council’s Government Leadership Awards for Excellence in City Policy for Green Building. USBGC chose the cities for their international best practice in city-level government policy for green building initiatives.

Crescent Real Estate Holdings has completed LEED Gold for Existing Buildings’ certification of the 4.2 million-square-foot Houston Center. The office and retail space is Texas’s largest LEED EB Gold facility. Fort Worth-based Crescent manages six other properties in Houston that are LEED EB certified, and the company hopes to to get all 17 of its Houston buildings LEED certified by 2012, the company said.

Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., has become the first U.S. high school to be certified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings (EB). The campus has more than 1-million-square feet of facilities, and the school contracted with Siemens Building Technologies Division, Cannon Design and Sodexo to meet their energy and resource consumption reduction targets. According to Siemens, the school saved about $100,000 in energy costs during the certification process.

San Francisco International Airport’s 640,000-square-foot Terminal 2 has become the first airport terminal in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold certification. The $383 million renovation project was designed by Gensler and developed by Turner Construction, according to the World Interior Design Network.

American Liberty Hospitality’s New Embassy Suites has earned LEED Silver certification for its design, construction and operation. It is the first LEED-certified hotel in downtown Houston, and the only Hilton-branded, LEED-certified hotel in Texas. The hotel is also the first in Houston to install EV charging stations in partnership with ECOtality and The EV Project.

Environmental activists in Indonesia has taken a stance against a recently released 2011 Proper Index, a list of companies said to be environmentally responsible. The NGOs claims that the government-issued list includes a number of firms with questionable green credentials, and calls for these companies’ ratings to be rescinded, the Jakarta Globe said.

Members of makeITfair are calling for tough restrictions on e-waste exports to become part of the WEEE directive currently in revision with the Environmental Council of the European Union. According to makeITfair’s new report, “What a Waste,” the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Spain are the top European countries that export used computers to Ghana, with about 600 containers of primarily obsolete second-hand electronics arriving each month. Computers from U.S. municipalities, institutions and companies also arrive in Ghana, the report said.

Air filtration equipment manufacturer Camfil Farr received two Energy Awards in London this month. Its HVAC low-energy air filter won Energy Efficient Product of the Year, and the company was recognized for its carbon reduction initiatives with the Excellence in Carbon Reduction – Small Company award. The event looks for standouts across the energy industry for management practices, services or technologies that lead to energy efficient products and facilities, Industry Today said.

Electric power metering and monitoring equipment maker Continental Control Systems has updated its WattNode MODBUS meter, and has switched to 100% RoHs (lead free) production for all WattNode MODBUS models. With the release of Firmware Version 16, CCS has added three options utilizing the X (auxiliary) terminal on the MODBUS connector, according to AutomatedBuildings.com.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are named a Champion of Safe Cosmetics for its use of natural and safe ingredients, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) announced. EWG is one of the groups behind the campaign for safer cosmetics and the groups have issued a new report that seeks to ensure that ingredients are fully disclosed on packaging and that none of the ingredients contain hazardous chemicals.

California’s High Speed Rail Authority received a $928.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in November for a total of more than $3 billion in stimulus money. However, California’s lawmakers in Sacramento are debating how to write the project — with its estimated $100 billion price tag — into the next five state budgets without a clear source of public or private funding, according to ABC News.

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