Oldcastle Glass has acquired Vistawall, a manufacturer of architectural aluminum glazing systems. The purchase, an investment of $190 million, will make Oldcastle Glass the largest manufacturer of architectural glass and aluminum glazing systems in North America. It adds Vistawall to a portfolio of four other aluminum glazing systems manufacturers. Tom Harris, current president of Vistawall, will lead Oldcastle Glass's Engineered Products division upon completion of the acquisition.
Royal Philips Electronics has purchased Color Kinetics Inc., one of the biggest names in the LED industry. The purchase will give Philips control over several patents for controls technology and for intelligence held by Color Kinetics, which already has more than 15,000 professional installations worldwide. Philips purchased Lumileds in 2005 and TIR Systems this year, both of which added complete LED system product lines to Philips' catalog. Philips will financially consolidate Color Kinetics into Philips Lighting division's Luminaires business group.
Twenty teams of college students competed in the U.S. Department of Energy's 2007 Solar Decathlon. The students designed and built solar-powered homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they were scored on energy efficiency as well as aesthetic design. This year's event took place Oct. 12–20. Members of the building industry were invited to a day of seminars and work sessions explaining the techniques used. The University of Colorado won the last decathlon, held in 2005. Go to www.solardecathlon.org for more information.
Global Green has announced the top 10 green cities as part of its Be A Better Planet Campaign. Hastings, Neb., was rated the greenest city, followed by Pelzer, S.C.; San Carlos, Calif.; Mill Valley, Calif.; Topeka, Kan.; Dover, De.; Spring, Texas; Lawrence, Kan.; Walnut Creek, Calif.; and Fairfax, Va.
The National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI) has teamed with Onset Computer to help log air-quality issues. Onset's pager-sized device will record temperature and relative humidity over a period of time. The data can then be imported to Oneset's HOBO-ware software for analysis. “Many consumers get a false sense of security.... The Onset devices allow the consumer to know if they are actually improving their air quality,” says NORMI chief operating officer Lance Eisen. The device will be available to mold inspectors, remediators, and technicians for real-time analysis.
The U.S. Department of Energy published this summer that 15 states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Vermont—have more than 12 percent of 2006 new home construction that meets or exceeds Energy Star guidelines. The homes are at least 15 percent more efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has created a calculator that will give lifecycle cost-benefit analysis to compare short- and long-term costs and benefits of green roofs versus conventional roofs. Working with Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance and the Athena Institute, Green Roofs will host the calculator on its website to help designers and engineers better understand green roofs and to present their clients with more information. See the calculator in action at www.greenroofs.org.
Greenbuild 2007, in Chicago Nov. 7–9, will present speakers, seminars, and building tours, all aimed to increase attendees' green IQ. Speakers include former President Bill Clinton, a roundtable of mayors from across the country, architect Thom Mayne, and Dr. Prem C. Jain, the chairman of India's Green Building Council. Details at www.greenbuildexpo.com.