Green Building

Arctic seed vault opens doors for 100 million seeds
February 26, 2008 09:41 AM - Global Crop Diversity Trust

LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY (26 FEBRUARY 2008) — The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries. With the deposits ranging from unique varieties of major African and Asian food staples such as maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, and sorghum to European and South American varieties of eggplant, lettuce, barley, and potato, the first deposits into the seed vault represent the most comprehensive and diverse collection of food crop seeds being held anywhere in the world.

Gravity powered lamp generates as much light as 40 Watt bulb
February 22, 2008 09:36 AM - ENN

Clay Moulton of Springfield, Va., who received his Master of Science in Architecture with a concentration in industrial design from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies in 2007, created the lamp as a part of this master’s thesis. The LED lamp, named Gravia, has just won second place in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition as part of the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City. Concept illustrations of Gravia depict an acrylic column a little over four feet high. The entire column glows when activated. The electricity is generated by the slow fall of a mass that spins a rotor. The resulting energy powers 10 high-output LEDs that fire into the acrylic lens, creating a diffuse light. The operation is silent and the housing is elegant and cord free — completely independent of electrical infrastructure.

LED Bulbs: Efficient lighting is here to stay.....
February 20, 2008 10:46 AM - , Triple Pundit

The introduction of LED light bulbs into the market has been hindered due to several factors. Namely: lumens (brightness) color (led produce blue radiance vs. white) market promotion and affordability. Although LED bulbs for residential and commercial applications are not quite where they need to be, they are starting to scratch their way into the market this year with more force than ever before.

Financing the Transition from a Brown to a Green Global Economy
February 11, 2008 09:51 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Nairobi/Monaco, 11 February 2008 - The biggest gathering of environment ministers to take place since the climate change breakthrough in Bali will be happening in Monaco later this month under the theme "Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge". More than 100 ministers from across the globe are scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) - the world's forum for environment ministers -alongside senior figures from industry and economics; science; local government; civil society, trades unions and intergovernmental bodies.

Flex Your Power Releases Guide to Hotel Energy Efficiency
February 10, 2008 09:44 AM - , Green Lodging News

OAKLAND, CALIF.—A new guide offer hotels simple energy-saving tips that can cut costs while increasing aesthetics and comfort. Flex Your Power, California’s energy efficiency marketing and outreach campaign, has released its Hotels Best Practices Guide. Tips come from all aspects of hotel operations, covering lighting, water, HVAC, windows, roofs, restaurants, laundry, vending and ice machines, office equipment, exercise rooms, pools, saunas, hot tubs and demand response programs.

Sweden Uses Humans to Heat Building
February 7, 2008 09:51 AM - ,

The gorgeous Greta Garbo was from Sweden. Uma Thurman, Candice Bergen, and the wide-eyed Gyllenhaall sibs all trace their pretty genes back to that icy country, too. We've got to say, as a people, the Swedes are pretty smokin'. And now, the people of Sweden are joining their hot bodies together for a good cause: To help the environment.

California to Require Net-Zero-Energy Buildings
February 5, 2008 10:11 AM - , BuildingGreen

Every two years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) releases an Integrated Energy Policy Report in which it makes recommendations for energy policy in the state, including changes to Title 24, the energy efficiency portion of the building codes. In its 2007 report, CEC recommends adjusting Title 24 to require net-zero-energy performance in residential buildings by 2020 and in commercial buildings by 2030. According to Panama Bartholomy of CEC, the commission does not need new legislation to incorporate these goals and is already moving to put them in place. “The 2008 standards will get us closer to these recommendations,” he said, referring to the Title 24 update currently moving through the state’s rulemaking process.

Chinese Factory Turns Environmental Bane into Boon
February 1, 2008 08:27 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

China is beginning to take advantage of an unusual energy source: cow gas. Cows emit a significant amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, when they belch and flatulate. According to People’s Daily, the world’s largest cow-dung methane power plant started operation on January 21 in China’s Inner Mongolia region. With an investment of 45 million RMB (roughly $US5.7 million) from the country’s largest milk producer, Mengniu Dairy, the plant is able to supply 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the national power grid.

New Solar Panel Technology Stylish and Sustainable
January 31, 2008 09:23 AM - ENN

The key component of the new modules is an organic dye which in combination with nanoparticles converts sunlight into electricity. Due to the small size of the nanoparticles, the modules are semi-transparent. This aspect makes them well suited for facade integration. The new solar cells are being developed by members of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, who will be presenting their new technology in Tokyo at Nanotech 2008, the world’s largest trade fair for nanotechnology.

Scientists Call For Urgent Research Into 'Real' Impacts Of Invasive Species
January 30, 2008 09:17 AM - CABI

As well as drawing attention to the rising cost of invasive species on a global scale —estimated at US$1.4 trillion in damage — GISP stresses that too much emphasis has been placed on the problems faced by the agricultural sector in developed countries rather than in developing countries and on the “full range of environmental, social and economic costs.” The report also emphasises that due to the lack of knowledge and research available on the severity of individual pests and the options for best controlling them, policy makers are being left in the dark.

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