Business & Industry

Sustainability Spotlight: Energy-Efficient Building Designs Recognized by EPA

In 2011, the ENERGY STAR Challenge launched a friendly competition among teams comprised of American Institute of Architects chapters in three U.S. regions. Intended to encourage members to submit projects that achieve ENERGY STAR status, their efforts have proved successful, and a total of 79 commercial building design projects achieved Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR certification in the past...

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Business & Industry

Manufacturers More Optimistic about 2011

U.S. purchasing and supply executives expect the nation's economy to continue to grow throughout the remainder of 2011, despite rising materials prices, new findings indicate. Manufacturers in the United States have a more optimistic outlook for sales, spending and hiring in 2011, yet prices for materials are seen climbing further, according to new findings from the Institute for Supply...

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Business & Industry

UPS Tests Composite Vehicles: Traditional Fuel with Alternative Design

Plastic is everywhere in our lives. Almost every item we buy has some sort of plastic component in it. Our cars have plastic and composite material in them already so the idea of a composite vehicle shouldn't come as a shock at all. So, is this the new green vehicle? UPS has partnered with Utilimaster and Isuzu to create the CV-23, a package vehicle made from lightweight composite body panels....

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Business & Industry

Worldwide Steel Output Increases Year-over-Year

Global steel output declined slightly between March and April, although production continued to make year-over-year gains, according to the latest data from the World Steel Association. Worldwide production of crude steel totaled 127 million metric tons in April, down slightly from 129 million metric tons in March, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reported last week. However, the combined...

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Business & Industry

Two New Publications Address Sustainable, Energy Saving Building Design

Two leading professional organizations, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have recently released publications that are must-haves for those in the business of sustainable building. Both important publications are freely downloadable resources available to architects, designers, builders, and...

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Business & Industry

Carbon Capture Makes In-Roads Despite Glaring Down Side

As the Obama administration promises to speed up oil production in the U.S., I can't help but make a striking comparison to the carbon capture industry. The price of oil has crept up yet again and speeding up production is another knee-jerk reaction to offer relief to consumers. Similarly, carbon capture is gaining momentum and is basically enabling our addiction to coal. Is this any way to make...

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Business & Industry

The Serious Side of a "Fun" Workplace

Many firms incorporate supposedly fun activities into their office culture with good intentions. However, pushing mandatory fun onto workers can result in unintended consequences. There are multiple benefits to having a fun and laid-back work environment: employee satisfaction, more creativity and positive company branding, to name just a few. It's little surprise, then, that many companies...

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Business & Industry

Paying for Your Beard and other Bizarre Taxes

Tolls on beards, bagels and body modification - history is littered with bizarre taxes. Here we round up a few of the more questionable taxes from the past and present. In his 1796 Farewell Address to the Nation, President George Washington spoke about a number of issues still threatening the young nation — involvement in foreign wars, the dangers of political parties, and the uncomfortable...

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Business & Industry

What Manufacturers Can Learn from Fast Food

Believe it or not, today's manufacturing plants and fast-food restaurants have a surprising amount in common. What production lessons can manufacturers learn from the modern fast-food industry? Step behind the scenes at one of today's major fast-food restaurant chains and you'll see an organization that is closer in spirit to a highly efficient manufacturing plant than a diner. The fast-food...

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Business & Industry

Weirdest Office Habits

Work can bring out the stranger side of human behavior. People often develop odd habits to help them think through difficult problems, cope with work-related stress or relax during downtime. While some idiosyncrasies may annoy one's coworkers, certain odd habits can actually improve performance. In fact, some of the world's greatest thinkers have also had some of the most eccentric work routines....

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