Green Building

Next Generation of LEED Out for Public Comment
May 21, 2008 08:49 AM - , BuildingGreen

On May 19, 2008, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) opened a public comment period for the most sweeping changes to its LEED Rating System since its original launch in 2000. The changes, which apply to all the nonresidential LEED rating systems that have been formally released, are largely in line with the plan that USGBC laid out at the 2007 Greenbuild conference in Chicago

Eco Friendly Flooring Doesn’t Have to be Drab
May 12, 2008 09:04 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Undertaking a home building project? Sustainable, eco-friendly materials are the only way to go — they’re better for you, as well as the planet. According to GreenBuilding.com, “the US EPA ranks indoor pollution among top five environmental risks, and unhealthy air is found in up to 30% of new and renovated buildings.”

A hard look at hardwood consumption

Many people enjoy using tropical hardwoods as garden furniture and parquet floors, but few consumers make the link with global warming. But the link is there, because some products are made from timber from areas like the Amazon and Southeast Asia that contain vast quantities of trees that absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, but where the overall number of trees is diminishing under pressure from unscrupulous loggers.

Proximity: A Very Green Hotel In North Carolina
May 1, 2008 09:39 AM - , MetaEfficient

The Proximity Hotel is proof that a hotel can be very green without sacrificing the comfort of its guests. The hotel is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it achieved a Gold LEED certification this year from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Proximity uses 36.5% less energy and 30% less water than a conventional hotel. It gets 60% of its hot water from 100 solar thermal panels on the roof. The hotel also boasts the first regenerative drive elevator, which recaptures energy as the elevator moves down. The guest rooms take advantage of abundant natural lighting with large energy-efficient “operable” windows that measure 7’4” square.

Top Ten Green Projects of 2008 Announced
April 23, 2008 08:51 AM - , BuildingGreen

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its Top Ten Green Projects for 2008. 1. Aldo Leopold Legacy Center (Baraboo, Wisconsin; The Kubala Washatko Architects)—The LEED Platinum headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation uses 70% less energy than a conventional building and achieves net-zero-energy performance. Extensive daylighting and passive ventilation contribute to the energy savings.

Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Is Evolving, Restriction On Movement Of Infected Plants Urged
April 21, 2008 07:54 AM - http://www.berkeley.edu/

The pathogen responsible for Sudden Oak Death first got its grip in California's forests outside a nursery in Santa Cruz and at Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County before spreading out to eventually kill millions of oaks and tanoaks along the Pacific Coast, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. It provides, for the first time, evidence of how the epidemic unfolded in this state. "In this paper, we actually reconstruct the Sudden Oak Death epidemic," said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley associate extension specialist and adjunct professor, and principal investigator of the study. "We point to where the disease was introduced in the wild and where it spread from those introduction points."

Challenges of Green Residential Development: Resistance to Change Intro
April 21, 2008 07:41 AM - , Triple Pundit

It all begins with education. Consumer awareness on green building is murky. To put it succinctly it is as clear as mud to most. If you ask anybody what going green means to them, they will likely respond, "environmentally friendly, using clean energy, conserving resources." But if you ask somebody how to build a green home you will generally find yourself confronting a blank stare.

Bangladesh company makes yarn from cotton waste
April 2, 2008 07:28 AM - Reuters

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has begun producing environmentally friendly yarn from cotton waste to save foreign currency on imports, a local company said on Wednesday. "We have set up the factory to produce cotton yarn by using waste from ready-made garment products to export to foreign markets," said Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, managing director of Evitex Polycot Limited (EPL).

65 Million Square Feet of Solar Rooftops: Powering 162,000 Homes
March 31, 2008 09:19 AM - , MetaEfficient

In an ambitious move, a Californian utility plans to create a massive, distributed “powerplant” by installing a total of 2 square miles of solar cells on the roofs of businesses. Southern California Edison plans to install 250 megawatts’ worth of solar power, generating enough electricity to power 162,000 homes.

New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain
March 26, 2008 09:52 AM - , MetaEfficient

Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent of all electricity demand in Spain. Spain’s wind power generation equaled that of hydropower for the first time in 2007.

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