Photo by AP Wideworld

Collapse Kills 54 in Latvia

The city council of Riga, Latvia, has announced the names of the 54 people killed on Nov. 21 by the roof collapse at the Maxima supermarket in the city's Zolitude district. Investigations are focusing on the construction of a garden on the store's 4,000-sq-meter roof, according to the store's locally based main contractor, S.I.A. Re Re.

Since opening two years ago, the roof had supported snow loads "substantially" greater than the soil being placed, according to the contractor. The roof was inspected by independent engineers two days before the collapse, the company adds. The building is owned by a subsidiary of Nova Scotia-based Homburg International Group. The city, police and Re Re have initiated separate investigations into the incident.

Draft Energy-Use Standard For Data Centers Out for Review

ASHRAE is seeking public comments until Dec. 30 for its draft Standard 90.4P, Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings. The standard is a response to requests to recognize the data centers' unique energy performance profiles. Standard 90.4P proposes a performance compliance path, known as power utilization efficiency (PUE), developed by The Green Grid.

Alabama County Exits Bankruptcy

A federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 21 approved Jefferson County's plan to exit bankruptcy, signaling a series of rate increases for customers and refinancing of $1.78 billion in sewer debt; also, creditors have agreed to more than $1.4 billion in reductions. The Alabama county will be able to fund sewer-system operations and make required system upgrades under the new plan, ruled Thomas Bennett, a federal bankruptcy judge.

Pipe Quick Fix in Boston Drama

In eight hours on Nov. 17, Boston Water and Sewer Commission crews fixed a water-main break that required digging a 20-ft-wide hole in the city's downtown theater district. However, the agency is continuing to study what caused the 8-in.-dia, 44-year-old cast-iron pipe to rupture. Crews replaced the damaged pipe with a new 12-ft-long section using mechanical couplings to seal the seams on both ends. The accident required evacuation of 100 guests from a nearby hotel.