Tags : construction

Behind the Story: The big business of 'green' buildings and LEED certification

Can a 50-story Las Vegas hotel be environmentally-friendly?  This is the question USA Today reporter Tom Frank sought to answer when he began reporting on the increase in construction of so-called environmentally friendly buildings.  Through his investigation, Frank found that green commercial construction has increased.  Non-profits are behind the movement, but few have assessed the real impact of their programs.  Often, green building improvements are simply cheap routes to large tax breaks.  Frank’s ongoing Green Inc. series explores the challenges non-profit groups face in helping for-profit businesses “go green.”

His investigation began with an online search of the U ...

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Behind the Story: Investigating a building collapse, creating an interactive timeline

A normal day on the local government beat became two months of investigating for Lansing State Journal reporter Lindsay VanHulle.  After a portion of the residential St. Anne Lofts building collapsed in East Lansing, Mich., VanHulle discovered problems in the city’s building code and development programs.  Prior to the building’s collapse, these problems allowed unpermitted construction to continue for months.  

VanHulle’s findings were released in an interactive timeline for the Lansing State Journal in September.  Shortly before the article was published, East Lansing’s code enforcement and planning departments were restructured in an effort to improve communication ...

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