Al’s Column

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Volume 26/Number 22; March 18/25, 2013

MEMBER BENEFITS: There are many reasons to belong to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA)—from training and education scholarship funds to discounts on insurance and shipping to a host of other benefits that far outweigh the cost of membership. A new benefit is expected to come out next month in the form of a whitepaper to help retailers properly classify independent contractors. This continues to be a major issue for many dealers around the country as federal and state rules are not only often different, there are differences among the various agencies interested in the classification. WFCA’s whitepaper is intended to provide members with the information necessary to properly classify independent contractors under the various federal and state laws. Being able to avoid the hefty fines that can come from misclassification is reason enough to join WFCA. Call 800.624.6880 for more.

CHALLENGE: Co-founded by renowned architect William McDonough, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has partnered with the Make It Right Foundation, founded by actor Brad Pitt to help rebuild New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, to challenge manufacturers. The task at hand is to create a product for the affordable housing market that is safe for human and environmental health and designed for re-use. Products need to excel in meeting the Institute’s criteria for cradle-to-cradle recycling while fulfilling Make It Right’s mission to provide homes for people in need.

PRIZES: Applications are due by June 30 and a number of worthwhile prizes await those who complete the rigorous process and create a product that meets the judges’ approval. Initially, up to 20 finalists will be announced on Sept. 16, and they will receive two months of media exposure and promotion for their products leading up to the announcement of the winners. Then on Nov. 15, at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, up to three will be announced. Each will share a cash prize of $250,000, with first place receiving $125,000, second winning $75,000 and third getting $50,000. Visit c2ccertified.org/challenge to learn more about the contest and to register.

LEED-ING STATES: With approximately 2.2 billion square feet of space certified worldwide under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED program through 2012, which states in the U.S. are leading the way? USGBC recently released its annual list of the top states for new LEED certifications. The per-capita list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data which is combined with new LEED certifications in 2012. The District of Columbia was once again the far and away winner with 36.97 square feet of LEED space per resident last year. As far as actual states go, Virginia was No. 1 with 3.71 square feet per resident, overtaking Colorado with 2.1 square feet per resident. Other states on the list include Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Washington, California, Texas and Nevada.

LEED-ING SPACES: USGBC’s list also points out the total projects certified and the total amount of LEED space certified in 2012. California, which came in ninth place at 1.46 square feet per resident led the way with 540 projects certified, accounting for more than 54.2 million square feet. Second place goes to Texas, which was tenth in per capita, with 224 certified projects totaling a little more than 36 million square feet. New York, which came in seventh in per capita, was third in total projects (214) and certified space (34.4 million). Based on total certified space the rest of the best would be Virginia, Illinois, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Washington and Nevada

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