Green Building

Utilities Remind Customers: Protect Home From Carbon Monoxide
December 31, 2007 10:07 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

SAN FRANCISCO - Many customers are turning gas furnaces on to stay warm as cold winter weather arrives in force. The west coast utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company reminds customers nationwide to make sure all gas furnaces and appliances inside the home are in proper working order. Gas appliances that do not burn properly can produce unsafe concentrations of carbon monoxide, a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that can cause serious illness and even death if not detected.

Smokers butt out in Germany and France
December 31, 2007 09:15 AM - Reuters

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - For years, anyone needing a nicotine fix in a German pub or French cafe didn't even have to light up -- the air was already so full of smoke that they only had to open their mouth and inhale. But that all changes on Tuesday when strict new bans take effect in two of Western Europe's final bastions for smokers, Germany and France. There was long and fierce resistance to the prohibitions on tobacco that other countries imposed.

Under the Canopy Launches Luxury Collection
December 28, 2007 08:00 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Under the Canopy, the premier organic lifestyle brand, founded in 1996, launches Canopy, a luxury organic home fashion collection. The debut range includes duvets, shams, decorative pillows, blankets, sheeting and towels all in 100% organic cotton. All dyes are low-impact and eco-friendly.

Rural Nigeria lights up with solar power
December 28, 2007 07:51 PM - Michael Simire, SciDevNet

LAGOS, NIGERIA - Nigeria has launched a solar power scheme that will eventually light up as many as ten rural communities with no access to the national electrical grid. A Lagos state government official, who wished to remain anonymous, said construction work had commenced on the respective projects and contractors were expected to start delivering them around mid to late January 2008.

Hotels: Energy Star Earns Its Keep
December 27, 2007 04:24 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News

Washington - There are currently 247 Energy Star labeled hotels listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star for Hospitality website. Close to 3,000 U.S. hotels have participated in this free government program since it was launched in 2002—mostly hotels in the 200-room range but any property 20 rooms and up can benefit. The two largest hotels that have earned the Energy Star are the Sheraton Waikiki with 2,228 rooms, and the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Towers with 1,215. The smallest hotels with a label are the 60-room Laurel Super 8 Motel in Laurel, Montana, and the 85-room Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old Saybrook, Conn.

Survey: Green Takes Strong Hold with Architects, Designers
December 27, 2007 04:06 PM - Glen Hasek, Green Lodging News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced the results of the 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA member architects in the United States are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. The index shows that green building has taken a firm hold on the industry and has captured the attention of both architects and their clients.

Greening The New Year
December 27, 2007 02:48 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

HOUSTON - According to a recent survey, 49 percent of all Americans will make a green New Year's resolution for 2008. Direct Energy, a large North American provider of energy and energy-related services is offering tips to help homeowners keep their green resolutions. "Making a green resolution is easy since it can yield tremendous benefits, such as reducing energy consumption, saving money and helping the environment," said Dave Walton, director of home ideas for Direct Energy. "However, like any New Year's resolution, keeping that commitment to energy efficiency can be a little harder, so we wanted to offer these quick and easy tips to help homeowners."

DoE Finalizes Regulations to Increase Energy Efficiency in New Federal Buildings by 30%
December 27, 2007 11:08 AM - US Department of Energy

“Dramatically elevating building efficiency standards to these unprecedented levels substantially transforms the way the federal government manages and uses energy,” DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner said. “These standards contribute to sound and stable efficiency policy that will yield real, substantive energy savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mortgage applications fall to lowest in a year
December 27, 2007 10:35 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications sank last week to the lowest level since the end of last year despite falling borrowing costs, an industry trade group said on Thursday. The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted mortgage application index fell 7.6 percent in the week ended December 21 to 603.8 -- its lowest reading since falling to 575.6 in the December 29, 2006 week. The MBA's weekly indexes have been exaggerated on the high side much of the year. Borrowers facing stricter loan standards often apply numerous times in search of getting one request approved.

Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire

The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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