The Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) announced the call for entries for the 2007 Basement of the Year Award. The technological advancements in the poured wall industry enable contractors to complete complex projects more efficiently, according to Ed Sauter, executive director of CFA. “Each year, the projects submitted to this competition get more complicated and demonstrate the diversity afforded through poured wall foundations,” he continues. To submit a project in this year's competition, you must be a CFA Contractor member. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 28, 2006. Judging takes place at the CFA booth (N2027) during the World of Concrete, to be held Jan. 23–27, 2007 in Las Vegas. Submission rules and categories are available at

Near-Zero Energy Homes gain ground abroad and in Paterson, N.J. where BASF and more than 150 of its customers and strategic allies built a Near-Zero Energy Model Home. The home is 80% more energy efficient and faster to construct than conventionally built homes. The building envelopes the basement and first-floor walls using insulating concrete forms (ICFs). The green sandwich building system consists of structural concrete insulating panels (SCIPs) made with a core of EPS foam and a pre-engineered reinforcing cage surrounding and penetrating the foam. Green sandwich panels, used on the second floor and roof, are highly versatile, and can be used for roofs, walls, floors, pools, countertops, and fences. The project is designed to achieve a 95.5 HERS ENERGY STAR score and is a prototype for the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) newly launched rating system for the energy efficiency and environmental impact of homes.

Near-Zero Energy Home, Patterson, N.J.
BASF Near-Zero Energy Home, Patterson, N.J.

The Near-Zero Energy Home hosts seminars and tours for architects, builders, government officials, homeowners, and other interested parties. Once the demonstration phases are complete, the home will be donated to St. Michael's Housing Corporation. The project is part of BASF's international Better Home, Better Planet Initiative aimed at creating similar models in building and construction worldwide. For more information, visit Additional project information and photos can be found at

Visit Artistry in Decorative Concrete at the 2007 World of Concrete.
Visit Artistry in Decorative Concrete at the 2007 World of Concrete.

Upcoming event—The World of Concrete will be held in Las Vegas, Jan. 24–26, 2007. Plan to attend seminars, view exhibits, and see events such as Artistry in Decorative Concrete, the MASONRY CONSTRUCTION Challenge, and THE CONCRETE PRODUCER's Challenge, to name a few. To find out more information on this international event and to register, visit

Portland Cement Association (PCA) launches enhanced as green building gains momentum. Many designers search for reliable resources for sustainable building solutions. Recognizing this need for information, PCA introduced a new online resource——at the American Institute of Architects 2006 National Convention and Design Exposition in June.

This first-in-the-industry Web site is a clearinghouse for design professionals on the durability, versatility, and high performance of concrete in sustainable design. Its interface takes visitors to case studies, explanations of concrete-and cement-based applications and products, an extensive reference library, and green specification guidelines. Visit