Green Building

Intelligent disaster relief
December 27, 2013 11:46 AM - Kieran Dodds/Panos, SciDevNet

The "fragmented" coordination between relief actors in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan last month underscores the need for artificial intelligence to streamline disaster response, says a team behind such an effort. The ORCHID project, a consortium of UK universities and private firms, aims to make this possible by combining human and artificial intelligence into an efficient complementary unit known as a Human Agent Collective (HAC).

Smart is at a whole new level for homes
December 27, 2013 10:13 AM - Editor, ENN, Sierra Club Green Home

Smart homes have gone to a whole new level with Panasonic's showcase center in Tokyo, Japan. Panasonic's new technologies feature hydroponics, air ventilation, color customization, and energy consumption. The energy consumption specifically is integrated into a grid of other smart homes that share excess energy; respond to energy needs, and track community usage trends. The resultant home is a zero-emission smart house combining with nature’s elements.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: The Benefits of Laundry-to-Landscape Greywater Systems
December 26, 2013 04:28 PM - Madeline Valinski, University of Delaware, Class of 2015, Environmental Studies

Approximately 30% of household water use is for outdoor use in the form of garden irrigation. Outdoor water usage is very seasonal, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and outdoor water usage is highest when water availability is the lowest due to drought conditions and heat. The top three uses of water in the household are for landscaping, sewage, and laundry. Yet a simple laundry-to-landscape system could reduce one of these high water wasters. A laundry-to-landscape system might not be the only step to make the garden water neutral; approximately 15% of household water use is for laundry, which could at least reduce outdoor water usage by 50% if a laundry-to-landscape system were installed.

The "state" of Energy Efficiency
December 26, 2013 09:47 AM - Mary Mazzoni, Triple Pundit

Conversations about energy use in the U.S. often revolve around expanding domestic production or spurring renewables. It’s easy to forget another significant piece of the puzzle — energy efficiency. In its 2013 scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the most energy-efficient states based on policy and program efforts that improve efficiency in homes, businesses, industries and transportation systems.

20,000th LEED Project is Certified
December 24, 2013 12:16 PM - Green Building Law Update via, Clean Techies

Earlier this month, while few people were watching, the 20,000th LEED commercial project was certified! Wow. In the event you missed the huge happening on December 4th, it is a LEED 2009 Commercial Interior Certified project in Knoxville, Tennessee. This green tenant improvement portends enormous business opportunities associated with the U.S. Green Building Council and the existing built environment.

A little less coal for China
December 24, 2013 09:02 AM - Kieran Cooke, Ecologist

Coal mining companies in Australia have been enjoying the good life in recent years, making millions of dollars from feeding the seemingly insatiable energy appetites of Asia's tiger economies - particularly that of China. But a new report by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) at Oxford in the UK warns that Australia's coal mining party could be coming to an end.

Out with the old and in with the new--light bulbs that is!
December 23, 2013 09:25 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

As of January 1, 2014, 60 and 40 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States. Retailers will sell out what is on their shelves and not restock incandescents. George W. Bush signed the phase-out, which was called for by The Energy Independence and National Security Act, in 2007. The bill also includes improvements in energy efficiency for lighting and appliances many of which have been in stores for several years.

Los Angeles IS cool! Even the roofs!
December 23, 2013 07:24 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the U.S., has made history by becoming the first major city to require all new and refurbished homes have a "cool roof." On December 17, 2013 the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an update to its Municipal Building Code. A cool roof is one that "reflects and emits the sun's heat back to the sky instead of transferring it to the building below," according to the Cool Roof Rating Council.

Damming the Congo
December 18, 2013 09:42 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is looking to capture the more of powers of the Congo River in what will be the largest and most powerful hydroelectric dam in the world. The Grand Inga Hydropower Project will produce up to 40,000 megawatts of electricity, doubling current dam champion, Three Gorges in China. The dam will generate more than one third of the electricity currently produced in Africa as it captures the force of the 1.5 million cubic feet per second cascading into the Atlantic Ocean.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Must we drink bottled water?
December 16, 2013 04:10 PM - Alyson Leppla, Earth Science Education, Class of 2015, University of Delaware

More than 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the population of the United States. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water, yet almost every U.S. household has access to safe drinking water.

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