Green Building

Is LEED green enough? Conversations from Dwell on Design LA 2008
June 10, 2008 09:55 AM - , Triple Pundit

At this past week's Dwell on Design LA conference and expo, one of the most striking conversations centered on whether LEED standards are enough to meet the growing climate challenge. Energy consumption by buildings contribute to almost half of carbon emissions in the U.S. As a result, many city governments, including Los Angeles, have created ordinances for new buildings to comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

Green Building: It's not pretty, but it runs clean

Anyone who thinks all green buildings are shimmering towers of glass and steel can be forgiven for that mistake. Landmarks for the movement, after all, are soaring temples of natural daylight and engineering wizardry. But experts say most U.S. commercial buildings can be turned green without spending tons of money, bringing in construction cranes or making any change that can be seen from the street.

Solar Incentives Threaten Local Ownership
May 31, 2008 08:10 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Large, remote concentrating solar power systems are the new darlings of the solar industry. Some observers now see centralized, not decentralized solar as the future. But a new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance reveals that the economic advantage of centralized solar and absentee owned solar arrays rests on federal tax incentives that discriminate against locally owned, decentralized solar arrays.

Lighting an Efficient Future, Minus the Mercury
May 30, 2008 08:19 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

More and more countries are banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. But options to recycle the mercury-laden alternatives are often scarce.

USGBC to Outsource LEED Certification
May 28, 2008 08:33 AM - , BuildingGreen

In a move that will likely have far-reaching ramifications for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its influential LEED rating systems, the organization has announced that as of January 2009 it will no longer certify buildings. That responsibility will pass to independent, accredited certifiers overseen by USGBC’s sister nonprofit corporation, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). GBCI has administered the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP) program since January 2008.

Johnson Controls Aims for LEED Platinum
May 26, 2008 09:23 PM - , Triple Pundit

As I've remarked on numerous times in the past (links here), Johnson Controls remains one of the great unsung leaders in efficiency - having been making buildings more efficient since long before it became trendy. Now, they've taken their expertise to their own operations with a complete gutting and renovation of their corporate headquarters with LEED platinum as the goal.

Pioneers show Americans how to live "off-grid"
May 25, 2008 08:22 PM - Reuters

With energy prices going through the roof, an alternative lifestyle powered by solar panels and wind turbines has suddenly become more appealing to some. For architect Todd Bogatay, it has been reality for years. When he bought this breezy patch of scrub-covered mountaintop with views to Mexico more than two decades ago, he was one of only a few Americans with an interest in wind- and solar-powered homes.

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.

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