Green Building

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.

Mauni Lani Named One of ”World’s Top Earth-Friendly Getaways’
January 29, 2008 03:12 PM - , Green Lodging News

KOHALA COAST, HAWAII—Mauna Lani Resort has been named one of the “World’s Top Earth-Friendly Getaways” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine in its January 2008 issue. The award winning Big Island green resort was recognized as one of the world’s top luxury, eco-friendly beach destinations, and is the only beach resort in the United States named in the collection.

Wood Chips and the U.S. Economy
January 24, 2008 10:22 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Unofficially the United States is now in an economic recession. Investment bankers Merrill Lynch say so. Officially, the US may not be in recession for months. That kind of announcement usually comes from the White House, but since this a presidential election year, and the party of the sitting president usually is ousted when there’s bad economic performance, the Oval Office will be slow to admit a downturn.

Energy savings in a piece of foam
January 22, 2008 12:33 PM - , Private Landowner Network

Common in many US homes (and perhaps homes in other countries) is the folding attic stair. More akin to a step ladder than a stair, the device, which folds into the ceiling below an attic, is used to gain occasional access to the space to expand storage options or for maintenance of equipment that might be residing there. The opening for the stair is fairly standard at about 2 feet by 5 and is covered when closed by a sheet of thin plywood attached to the ladder and its spring-loaded closing/opening mechanism.

Abu Dhabi unveil plans for sustainable city
January 14, 2008 09:24 AM - WWF

WWF and the government of Abu Dhabi today launched a Sustainability Strategy to deliver the world’s greenest city. Masdar City will be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city, meeting or exceeding a set of stringent sustainability goals established under the “One Planet Living™” programme established by WWF and environmental consultancy BioRegional.

New Green Building Technology Unveiled: Dirt Floors
January 14, 2008 09:21 AM - , Triple Pundit

Earthen flooring is nothing more than what it sounds like — humble, natural earth compacted with straw or other fibers and stabilized with various natural oils to form eco-friendly high-quality flooring. These floors are easy to clean, comes in a variety of textures, colors, and materials. It can be installed over nearly any subflooring, it integrates well with radiant heat systems and it’s one of the cheapest flooring methods either conventional or green.

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