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Energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, occupant health—these concerns and more are driving the green building trend and surge in U.S. Green Building Council LEED-certified structures. The council predicts total revenue across the eco-friendly construction industry will grow to $290 billion by 2017, and they intend to certify 1 million commercial buildings by 2020.

Unfortunately, the benefits that green construction provides building owners—including reduced operating expenses, higher asset value and a reputation for environmental stewardship—may come at a cost to construction employees. In fact, a study conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training suggests that LEED-focused construction projects pose notably higher risks to workers.



If you believe you’ll never experience a
home fire, the odds are against you. The NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Division states Americans can expect to average a home fire every 15 years or five fires in their lifetime. While most of these fires will be small, cause little to no damage, and go unreported, you have a one in four chance of experiencing a home fire that requires fire department assistance.

Fortunately, you can improve your family’s chances of surviving—and protect your structure and other belongings—by following these tips:

Cook with care – Never leave the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Additionally, do not leave items on or in your oven to simmer, bake, roast or boil while you’re away from home. If you must leave—even to run to the store or pick up your kids from school—turn off the stove.



A required minimum distribution, or RMD, is the minimum amount one must withdraw from an IRA or retirement account each year. RMDs typically kick in after the owner of the account turns 70.5, and if your company offers any sort of employer-sponsored retirement plan (including profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and 457(b) plans) you could face serious consequences if your 70.5 and up workers fail to meet the RMD requirements.

Consider the following employer RMD responsibilities as well as the steps you should take to protect your invested workers and your plan, from alerting participants who are approaching RMD age to activating the fund withdrawal.



For many people, a home is their biggest investment—and the mortgage that accompanies it their largest financial commitment. However, it may not be one they should eliminate—at least according to the experts. When the gurus wax poetic about eliminating debts, they are generally speaking of high-interest obligations such as credit cards with APRs around 13 percent, not 30-year mortgages with interest closer to 4 percent.