New post up on DJC blog: “FSC: Our Only Choice for Natural Forests”

Stephen’s newest post is up on the Daily Journal of Commerce Daily Blog. It’s all about the importance of Forest Stewardship Council certified products. The DJC blog has recently gone subscription only, so Stephen’s post has been included below in it’s entirety.

Each second, one ton of old growth trees is ground into pulp for paper we use for writing or wiping our bottoms. Thanks to Greenpeace and the commitments made by Kimberly-Clark, that’s about 20 pounds less per second than in 2009.

As consumers of trees, it’s vital we know the impacts of our purchasing choices, as we are fundamentally disconnected from the upstream effects that these choices create. Unsustainable logging and deforestation are not just tropical problems to be solved – right here in North America, we harvest 10,000 square kilometers of ancient forests each year. That means our North American notepads and bums account for 660 pounds of ancient old growth ground up each second.

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GH wins “Custom Builder” category at EAI’s first annual Green Builder Awards

Last week, a panel of judges voted to award Green Hammer Earth Advantage Institute’s first annual Green Home Builder Award in the category of “Custom Builder”. Build Team Manager Rob Cellini attended the 10th Annual Golf Tournament & Green Home Builder Awards at McMenamin’s Edgefield to receive the award.

Read the press release and see the winners from other categories here.

Rob Cellini accepts the Green Home Builder- Custom Builder award from Earth Advantage Institute’s Sean Penrith.            (photo from Earth Advantage Institute’s Facebook page)

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Green Hammer is Preferred Partner in Earth Advantage Institute’s New Commercial Green Building Certification Program

PORTLAND, OR– (September 12, 2012) – Earth Advantage Institute (EAI) http://www.earthadvantage.org, a nonprofit sustainable building organization, has launched its Earth Advantage® Commercial (EAC) green building certification program.

Earth Advantage Commercial has been redesigned based on a model founded by EAI in the late 1990s. Prior to EAI becoming a nonprofit in 2005, the first EAC program was a subsidiary of Portland General Electric and was responsible for certifying over 50 buildings. The updated program offers a rigorous green building certification that is accessible and cost effective for commercial buildings smaller than 100,000 square feet. Ninety five percent of all commercial buildings fall into this smaller category; however, green certification is often overlooked due to its perceived complexities and cost. EAC is a specific green building solution for this building type.

In 2010, EAI began piloting a retooled commercial certification concept in collaboration with Energy Trust of Oregon. Ten new buildings were involved in testing program requirements and viability. Late last year, EAI determined that the success of the pilot projects warranted a full national launch of the program in 2012. In August 2012, 12 representatives from 8 architectural, engineering, and green building consulting firms successfully completed the 2-day Project Trustee training and credentialing exam to become part of EAC’s Preferred Partner network. The Preferred Partner network is a new rapid deployment delivery mechanism for EAC certification that will initially be concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and the west coast. Stacey Stemach, principal at the EAC Preferred Partner Ambient Architecture, said, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to certify new and existing buildings with the Earth Advantage Commercial program. The EAC program is best suited to the types and sizes of projects that we have in our practice.”

The program is based on three levels of certification: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. The measures are cumulative and prescriptive, allowing for a greatly simplified certification process, which EAI’s pilot program found to be missing in the market segment. Developers, architects, engineers, green building consultants, and builders welcome a prescriptive, simplified, and cost effective pathway to certification for commercial buildings smaller than 100,000 square feet. These professionals note that the absence of such a certification option is a strong deterrent against certifying smaller buildings.

“The success of our EAC pilot in Oregon, along with the tremendous interest we’ve received from across the country, is a clear indication that there is a demand for green building certification options for small commercial buildings. EAC is fully prepared to meet that demand,” said Diana Fischetti, the commercial program manager at EAI. “We are excited to work with our Preferred Partner network and many smaller commercial building projects that will now be empowered to ensure their buildings are built sustainably.”

The following are initial EAC Preferred Partners who employ graduated Project Trustees from the EAC training: Ambient Architecture, Brightworks Sustainability Advisors, Chesshir Architecture, Green Hammer Design & Build, Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch, Pinnacle Architecture, Steele Associates Architect, and System Design Consultants.

About Earth Advantage Institute
Earth Advantage Institute works with the building and design industries to implement sustainable building practices. Its nonprofit mission is to create an immediate, practical, and cost effective path to sustainability and carbon reduction in the built environment. The organization achieves its objectives through a range of innovative certification, education, and technical services programs. Residential energy efficiency programs nationwide use its Energy Performance Score (EPS) label to estimate savings and measure home performance.

For more information contact:
Diana Fischetti
Commercial Program Manager
Earth Advantage Institute
503.968.7160 x29
dfischetti@earthadvantage.org

SOURCE: Earth Advantage Institute

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Stephen Aiguier Named One of Top Leaders to Watch in 2012

Sustainable Business Oregon recently named Green Hammer’s Stephen Aiguier as one of the Top 10 Built Environment Leaders to Watch. You can check out the rest of honorees here.

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CLI Grand Opening

Last Saturday, several Green Hammer folks were lucky enough to attend the Capaces Leadership Institute‘s Grand Opening, celebrating a truly remarkable achievement. Stephen was inspired to write about the project in his bi-monthly Daily Journal of Commerce post.

For two years, migrant farmworkers in Oregon have volunteered their time fundraising and building one of the world’s most innovative commercial office buildings, free of any bank debt and with little obligation to utilities. This first example of a Passive House office building to seek certification in the United States is the new home for the Capaces Leadership Institute (CLI). Not only is this an outstanding achievement, it’s a reminder to us all in the industry about what sustainability truly means. Read more…

Gene, Rob, Stephen and Alex at CLI’s Grand Opening Celebration.

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Inaugural Post at Sustainable Business Oregon

Stephen is now blogging once a month over at Sustainable Business Oregon! His first post is an important one: “It’s the unlikely doing the improbable to achieve the amazing.” Read more about the Grand Opening of the Capaces Leadership Institute‘s new Passive House office building, and the amazing history behind it.

To know that an organization like Capaces Leadership Institute exists and how it put together its new building — without debt and by the goodwill and volunteer time of hundreds of stakeholders — makes me proud to have played our part. It reminds me of the truth in the words of Cesar Chavez, the man who inspired us when he said “Si se puede!” Yes we can. Read more…

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Is there illegal wood in your guitar?

While Pickathon is certainly one of the most earth friendly, sustainably run music festivals around, there’s one part of the action that gets overlooked- the instruments. Check out Stephen’s latest blog post over at the DJC.

From renewable energy to the ban of single-use dishes, cups and utensils, Pickathon is setting the sustainability standard for other festivals. This is why amid the festivities I couldn’t help but ponder the irony that some musicians were playing Gibson guitars and likely other brands made from illegal timber. Read more…

 

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