The U.S. Green Building Council and Home Depot have collaborated on a microsite on the retailer’s website that allows homeowners and homebuilders to search the store’s database for green products, many of which can contribute points or help meet prerequisites for LEED for Homes projects.The microsite lists more than 2,500 products sold at Home Depot that qualify as green and can be used to bring a project closer to LEED for Homes certification, according to a recent USGBC press release.Citing a McGraw-Hill Construction study that indicates the market share of green homes in residential construction is growing, USGBC and Home Depot point out that, beyond marketing their brands and services, the new website reinforces the idea that green building — or at least many of the products that go into it — is accessible to most consumers.A handy toolIf the website is promoted vigorously enough, it likely will increase awareness of LEED for Homes, although it’s not clear it will lead to more program certifications, Nadav Malin, president of BuildingGreen, told GBA. Malin added that USGBC and Home Depot apparently have focused extensively on training store employees to offer proper guidance on green products in the retailer’s inventory.He did point out, however, that the website — which includes a tool designed to allow users to search for products in more than 20 categories, and includes a LEED point rating for most of those products — doesn’t indicate which LEED for Homes scoring criteria the points apply to.“Without that piece of information,” he noted, “this whole presentation is much less useful than in might otherwise be. Someone could conceivably buy a product based on this label assuming that it will help them earn a certain point, only to find out that it has the label because of a different point entirely.”We’ve asked for clarification on this issue and will update this post as soon as we get a response.
The StandUp4SEALs Beach Challenge will mark its third year in Ocean City on May 23 with a new name and a broader beneficiary base.A standup paddleboard race is open to individuals or relay teams.The event is now known as the Memorial Beach Challenge and will benefit not just the families of Navy SEALS killed in service but the families of fallen heroes in all branches of the military, according to an event c0-founder, Mike Vaules.Registration is open for the Challenge’s three events: a stand-up paddleboard race, a beach obstacle course race and a fun run for kids.Register and get more information at memorialbeachchallenge.com.In its first two years, the event became a popular part of Ocean City’s Memorial Day Weekend calendar with more than 600 competing in the combined events in each year.Kids climb makeshift sand mounds as part of the fun run in the Memorial Beach Challenge.The Challenge provides a spectacle for visitors watching obstacle-course competitors run through a water-filled pit sprayed by a fire hose, crawl under the Ocean City Music Pier, carry sand-filled sacks, perform calisthenics, traverse balance beams, and climb walls.The stand-up paddleboard race includes a box course that starts and finishes on the beach and takes racers through the surf.This year’s event is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, May 23, on the beaches surrounding the Ocean City Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace. The bulk of the course will be between Fifth and 14th streets.The Memorial Beach Challenge benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation, the 31 Heroes Project (named for the SEALS killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011) and the Travis Manion Foundation. Manion was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a Marine from Doylestown, Pa., who was killed in action in Iraq on April 29, 2007. One of the obstacles in the annual Beach Challenge is a water-filled pit.