Deerfield Elementary Recognized As An Energy Star Building By EPA: The Deerfield Elementary School in the Auburn Hills Avondale Schools district has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star designation for 2010. Energy Star is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. To qualify for this honor, Deerfield Elementary School had to score in the top 25 percent of other similar buildings nationwide for energy efficiency, based on the EPA’s National Energy Performance Rating System. The EPA compared energy use among these buildings and assigned a performance grade on a scale of 1-100. Buildings that received a score of 75 or higher were eligible for the Energy Star label. Deerfield Elementary achieved a rating of 87. Said Deerfield Elementary School Principal John F. Pagel: “By involving our teachers and students to help manage energy use in the classrooms at Deerfield Elementary, we were able to quantify our efforts and see the impact that small changes in our daily routines can make over the long run. Not only do we demonstrate our commitment to the environment through this achievement, we also lowered our energy costs and have learned a great deal about reducing overall energy consumption. The proof that these energy saving habits have become permanent is the feedback we are receiving from parents about seeing these strategies being applied at home.” Commercial buildings that have the Energy Star label use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Deerfield Elementary School improved its energy performance by getting commitment from all students and staff members to turn off lights and electronic devices while not in use; instituting a fourth grade Student Energy Conservation Team that was in charge of powering down computers in labs following instruction at the end of the day; placing heating and cooling systems on a time management system to use resources only when they were truly needed; and partnering with the daytime custodian, who was committed to being an energy watchdog. She helped manage use of electricity based on the daily academic schedule to eliminate waste.

Plante & Moran Receives Advanced QSA Certification from PCI: Southfield-based accountants and business advisers Plante & Moran PLLC said last week that it has obtained Qualified Security Assessor certification from the Payment Card Industry  Security Standards Council. The firm has also been an Approved Scanning Vendor since 2009. These certifications allow Plante & Moran to help organizations ensure they are complying with the new data security standards released by the PCI Security Standards Council. The QSA designation is the highest level of certification available from PCI and, combined with the ASV certification, allows Plante & Moran to be a one stop shop for all PCI compliance requirements, including those affecting the world’s largest merchant card users. According to Raj Patel, Partner and leader of Plante & Moran’s information security team at Plante & Moran, the certification program from PCI helps credit card vendors minimize and prevent fraud. More at

Basso Design Group Nominated for Pixel Awards: Troy-based interactive marketing agency Basso Design Group has been nominated in the fifth annual Pixel Awards in the Agency category for their Aftermath Web site, at The Pixel Awards recognize the best on the Web. They annually honor compelling sites that have shown excellence in Web design and development. Only 24 exceptional sites will win. Basso Design Group is one of five competing for the Agency category. Help them knock out the competition by voting for the Aftermath site! Votes can be cast every day through Nov. 30 at Basso Design Group services include interactive media, Web design and development, social media strategies, search-engine marketing and optimization, email marketing, graphic design, branding, corporate identity and communications consulting. More at

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