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Greenbuild Roundup, Day 1: $3m Google Grant, Top 10 Products, Niche No More

Here is the latest news from the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, taking place in San Francisco this week:

The US Green Building Council announced Google will award a $3 million grant aimed at encouraging change within the building materials industry and accelerating the creation of healthier indoor environments. The grant will focus on three areas: supporting research on building materials and health, developing new transparency tools and engaging stakeholders from across the industry.  The initiatives will be developed over the next two years.

BuildingGreen’s annual top 10 green building products list focused on resilient design and durability in the wake of more droughts, wildfires and the superstorm Sandy, the company said. The top products were Amorim’s expanded-cork boardstock insulation, Atlas CMU block with CarbonCure, CyberRain irrigation controllers, the GeoSpring hybrid electric water heater from GE, Haiku ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans, LoE-i89 glazing from Cardinal Glass Industries, Proglaze ETA engineered transition assemblies from Tremco, Viridian reclaimed wood, XS-P series streetlights from Cree Lighting, and WUFI software.

The global construction market has shifted and now views green buildings as a business opportunity rather than a niche market, according to a study released at Greenbuild by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with United Technologies. The report found 51 percent of firms surveyed said more than 60 percent of their work will be green by 2015. Only 28 percent of firms in 2012 report they engaged in green building work at that same level. Firms reported their top reasons to do green work are client demand (35 percent) and market demand (30 percent).

LiveWall announced its green wall systems can contribute to projects earning 10 or more LEED credits. The planted wall system, which is on display at the Greenbuild conference, may contribute to credits in a number of LEED categories including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere and materials and resources. The LiveWall installation may also contribute to Innovation in Design credits as well as regional priority credits, depending on the geographic location of the project.

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