Early Briefing: What Makes A Building "Green" ?

On Mondays, we turn the business section over to news about local companies:

Larry Laque, a Discovery Communications executive vice president for administrative and technical facilities, led an effort to install energy-saving lights such as these and to remove light bulbs in places where they were not essential. The company pursued the highest energy-saving rating possible, platinum. Photo Credit: By Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post Photo

* This week, we focus on commercial real estate. Not surprising, brokers and analysts report that the market slowed notably in 2007, with leases down 28.4 from 2006. We survey the damage.

Akridge chairman John E. Akridge III says the current real estate market decline is cyclical and urges patience.

We also look at the boom in "green" construction and renovation, focusing in part on Discovery Communication's recent efforts to reduce energy use and boost conservation at its Silver Spring headquarters. Discovery's efforts earned it a platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, one of just 62 buildings to be awarded the designation nationwide. See the story and a photo gallery here.

As part of that coverage, we also produced a graphic showing what can be done to make a building green.

*A group of prominent businessmen are leading an effort to restore the historic Howard Theater in the District, home to a once vibrant jazz and swing culture. They held a fundraiser to kick off the effort last week. See story and photos here.

* John Boland is waging a fight against the State Department after it decided not to hire him, even after he met all other qualifications, because he as a mild form of an obsessive and compulsive disorder. See Steve Barr's Federal Diary column.

* CACI, the Arlington government contractor, is having success with a program to hire veterans disabled during their war service. See story.

* They may not be up for Oscars, but Ritz Carlton is producing movie shorts to promote its brand. See story. The films can be viewed here.

* Under Armour founder Kevin Plank explains why cotton is the enemy in his question and answer with staff writer Tom Heath. See story.

By Dan Beyers  |  February 25, 2008; 8:09 AM ET
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