Chicago’s Alleys Turning Green
December 3, 2007 09:09 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
A new initiative will help make Chicago’s 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) of alleyways more sustainable. The miniature streets behind homes and buildings, used mainly for garbage collection and parking access, keep main roads cleaner and less congested but are prone to flooding. The city’s innovative Green Alley Program promotes improved construction techniques and materials that can improve drainage, reduce runoff, and relieve strain on the city’s aging sewer system.
Consumer spending flags, construction plummets
November 30, 2007 02:22 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer spending inched up by an unexpectedly small 0.2 percent last month and construction spending tumbled, according to reports on Friday that heightened concerns on the health of the economy.
Thermal Mass: What It Is and When It Improves Comfort
November 28, 2007 09:13 AM - , BuildingGreen
Heavy or massive objects like masonry, earth, and water can hold a lot of heat. Because of this capacity to act as a heat source (warming their surroundings) or a heat sink (drawing heat from and cooling their surroundings), materials with thermal mass affect comfort both indoors and out. (Oceans and lakes, for example, moderate air temperature changes because their thermal mass acts as a buffer.)
Buildings in climates with large diurnal (day-night) temperature swings, like the high-elevation Southwest, offer a classic example of the time-lag effect of thermal mass. Adobe and other types of masonry walls absorb intense daytime heat, keeping temperatures comfortable inside. During the cold night, the walls pour out their accumulated heat, keeping the inside warm. By morning the walls, if they are designed correctly, can again absorb the daytime heat.
Clinton Library Earns LEED Platinum
November 19, 2007 08:11 AM - , Green Progress
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week during Greenbuild that the William J Clinton Presidential Library has earned Platinum Certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Rating System. President Clinton received the certification plaque from USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi. This certification recognizes that the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, has implemented a continuous sustainability improvement process guided by LEED-EB. Leonardo Academy was the primary LEED consultant for this project, supporting the successful implementation of LEED-EB and advancing the Library’s LEED rating from the Silver Certification earned under LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) to the Platinum Certification earned under LEED-EB.
Grand Hyatt Dubai Opts for Solar Power to Reduce Costs, Climate Impact
November 15, 2007 09:43 AM - , Green Lodging News
DUBAI, U.A.E.—The Grand Hyatt Dubai has converted its main water heating system from diesel oil-fired to solar powered in a bid to reduce climate change and running costs. With the UAE’s carbon footprint spiraling, causing the country to be one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita in the world, the Grand Hyatt Dubai’s new solar panel heating system will reduce its own emissions dramatically.
Saving Energy With Window Films
November 12, 2007 07:10 PM - By Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
No matter what size your facility is, chances are great that it can benefit from the latest window film advancements. In fact, some window films can help generate up to 30 percent savings in heating and cooling costs. Once questioned because of stories about bubbling or fading—mostly untrue according to experts—window film today is a reliable product that can provide many benefits.
“Window film saves everybody money,” says Jeff Cohen, owner of Kustom Options, a window film installer based in Murrieta, Calif.
New Standard For Sustainable Carpets
November 12, 2007 07:05 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
CHICAGO—Architects, designers and end users will now have one Standard to identify carpets that have a reduced environmental impact. The first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved Standard—NSF 140-2007, Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard for environmentally preferable building materials—was introduced at Greenbuild 2007.
The unified Standard for sustainable carpet is voluntary, inclusive, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles, and offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact (silver, gold and platinum). By defining environmental, social and economic performance requirements, the Standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry.
J-PAL course in Nigeria promotes science-based approach in poverty fight
November 11, 2007 10:37 PM -
MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is technically located in Building E60 on the edge of east campus. But J-PAL's real laboratory is a primary school in a sub-Saharan African town, a household kitchen in a home in rural India, an unemployment line in a suburb of Paris-anywhere antipoverty programs are necessary to improve a population's health and well-being.
J-PAL is dedicated to fighting poverty by ensuring that policy decisions are based on scientific evidence. As part of that effort, J-PAL undertakes, promotes the use of and disseminates the results of randomized evaluations of poverty-alleviating programs.
U.N.'s Ban says global warming is "an emergency"
November 10, 2007 06:00 PM - Juan Jose Lagorio, Reuters
EDUARDO FREI BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) - With prehistoric Antarctic ice sheets melting beneath his feet, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent political action to tackle global warming.
The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed faster than anywhere else on Earth in the last 50 years, making the continent a fitting destination for Ban, who has made climate change a priority since he took office earlier this year.
"I need a political answer. This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action," he said during a visit to three scientific bases on the barren continent, where temperatures are their highest in about 1,800 years.
Bill Clinton, Green Building Council Launch Effort To Green US Schools
November 7, 2007 04:44 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Chicago - Today at the world’s largest green building exposition in Chicago, Greenbuild 2007, former President Bill Clinton announced a joint commitment to green all of America’s schools within a generation.
Earth Day Network (EDN) – a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) partner – and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) joined former President Clinton in making this announcement to the American public and media.
Today’s event formally kicked-off Earth Day Network’s national Green Schools campaign, which includes three major initiatives: greening all new and existing school structures within a generation; developing and building healthier play areas and recreational facilities for all students; and working to greatly improve the food children eat in K-12 schools. Along with USGBC and the Clinton Foundation, Earth Day Network will expand the green schools movement through legislation, education, and corporate and community volunteer greening efforts.