Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

U-M Makes Serious Commitment to Going Green.

17 Jun 2010

Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Smith/JSmith Photo

Last week the University of Michigan announced that it has adopted LEED Silver certification as its standard for all major new construction projects.  The new policy builds upon U-M’s existing commitment to the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007+30 standard it adopted in 2009, requiring major projects be 30 percent more energy efficient than the nationally recognized standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers.

U-M buildings that have already achieved LEED certification include the Gold LEED Dana Building, home of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Silver LEED Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Two projects under construction, the Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospitals Replacement Project and a new Law School academic building are on track for LEED certification.

According to the USGBC, approximately 290 colleges and universities have made a commitment to a minimum LEED Silver standard or equivalent for new campus construction projects.  With so many institutes of higher learning putting an emphasis on sustainability, competition to be among the greenest is certain to increase. Kudos to U-M for keeping pace.

Michigan Awarded Significant Recovery Act Grant.

11 May 2010

Vice President Biden recently announced that Michigan will receive a $30 million Recovery Act grant to “ramp up” energy efficiency retrofits in Michigan homes, businesses, and public buildings.  The $30 million for Michigan is the second largest award among the 25 Retrofit Ramp-Up grants awarded to states and communities throughout the U.S. under the Department of Energy’s Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative.  The DOE estimates that the initiative will save households and businesses about $100 million annually in energy bills, and leverage private-sector investments to create some 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.

The Michigan Retrofit Ramp-Up Initiative’s (MRRI) winning proposal was developed by a coalition of stakeholders, including state and local governments, the state’s electric utilities, and a number of other public and private sector partners.  The MRRI seeks to identify ways to increase demand for energy efficient buildings and technologies, help build a skilled energy-efficiency workforce, and assist lenders in making investments in energy efficiency in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings.

Among other areas, the MRRI plans to concentrate on three commercial centers along the Woodward Corridor in greater downtown Detroit (although the exact locations and boundaries of the centers have yet to be identified).  Private, public, and institutional businesses in these neighborhoods will have the option to choose among varying financial incentives and loan enhancements for energy efficiency upgrades.  If you own or operate a business along the Woodward Corridor, you should keep this on your radar. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.