Push to build "green" homes picks up steam
November 1, 2007 12:11 PM - Karen Jacobs, Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Soaring energy costs and increased concern about the environment are spurring builders to step up building homes that use less energy and water. More than 30 affordable homes being built this week during a Habitat for Humanity project in Los Angeles include materials designed to reduce energy costs and save the new homeowners money. "Green building certainly is becoming more mainstream within the affordable housing community," said Ted Bardacke, senior program associate with Global Green USA, an environmental group that works with housing developers.
Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects
October 31, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa.
US To Study Wildlife Vs. Wind Turbines
October 31, 2007 12:22 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Washington - A special wind turbine advisory committee will study and advise the Secretary and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ways to avoid or minimize the impact f wind turbines on wildlife and their habitats. The study only concerns land-based wind energy facilities.Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today named 22 individuals to serve on the panal. "By some estimates, wind power could provide clean and renewable electricity to meet up to 20 percent of the nation's energy needs," said Secretary Kempthorne. "This committee will help examine issues, such as site selection and turbine design, so we can develop wind resources while protecting wildlife."
Want to Stop Superbugs? Clean up Hospitals: Study
October 31, 2007 01:20 AM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hospitals seeking to keep patients from picking up infections should focus as much on cleaning up invisible germs as on removing the visible dirt, a British doctor argued on Tuesday.
Clean hands can only go so far in protecting patients from infection if doorknobs, bed rails and even sheets are covered with bacteria and viruses, Dr. Stephanie Dancer of South General Hospital in Glasgow writes in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
But other infection experts differed on whether clean equipment and telephones affect a patient's biggest risk of acquiring a "superbug" such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
Moderate earthquake hits Northern California
October 31, 2007 01:16 AM -
OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck in a rural area about 9 miles northeast of San Jose, California, Silicon Valley's biggest city, on Tuesday night, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The earthquake was felt across the San Francisco Bay Area just before 8:05 p.m. (11:05 p.m. EDT). There were no immediate reports of major damage but the San Jose Mercury News Web site reported phone service failed in a part of Palo Alto, home to Hewlett-Packard computer company and Stanford University.
It said the quake caused minor damage and residents poured out of apartments in downtown San Jose to survey the damage.
Pittsburgh Paints Goes EcoGreen
October 25, 2007 01:33 PM -
PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Paints, a global paint product manufacturer, today announced a major greening of it's product lines. The 2008-2009 season will see the introduction of a line of no VOC paints and a new color palette called "EcoEcho". Aside from being free of carcinogenic volotile organic compounds, the paints are pigmented to echo the growing interest in the ecological and environmental lifestyle choices and themes.
The paints, the company says, represent a cultural shift toward balance and authenticity as well as a quest for more organic and eco-friendly colors in the home. Part of the new line includes a thematic approach to colors called the 'Voice of Color' program. This approach to colors is based on the idea that every color has an emotional association and that individuals are drawn to different colors for reason inherently tied to their unique personalities. It's an ancient design notion, applied on a grand scale for the first time by a major paint manufacturer.
U.S. "Undoubtedly In Recession", Says Expert
October 24, 2007 05:27 PM -
LONDON (Reuters) - The United States has entered a recession, according to highly-regarded investor Jim Rogers, who told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday he was switching out of the dollar and into yen, the yuan and the Swiss franc.
The veteran investor, who predicted the 1999 commodities rally, also said he was still bullish about surging Chinese stock markets despite worries over a bubble.
Fears are growing over the health of the U.S. economy after the fallout from the subprime mortgage market crisis and the global credit crunch it triggered.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has already slashed borrowing costs by 50 basis points to 4.75 percent to try and shore up the world's biggest economy and is widely expected to lower interest rates again next week.
Sustainable Projects Compete for Millions, International Competition
October 19, 2007 04:13 PM -
Waltham, Ma. – Construction projects from all across North America are invited to compete for the widely recognized Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. The Holcim Awards will recognize projects that meet current needs for housing and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Holcim Awards, an international competition, is an initiative of the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction to celebrate innovative, future-oriented, and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe. The Holcim Awards are supported in the North America region by the Holcim Ltd Group companies Holcim (US) Inc., St. Lawrence Cement, and Aggregate Industries. The North American region includes the US, Canada, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
A Sustainable Holiday Spirit, in Mason, Michigan
October 19, 2007 03:48 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Ingham County, Michigan - The city of Mason, in Michigan has decided the spirit of the holidays includes the spirit of sustainability. And you'll see it brightly displayed on their holiday tree on the Ingham County Courthouse’s west lawn. For starters the city is replacing its incandescent holiday lights with energy-efficient LED Christmas lights. The 1200 new LED lights replace 500 old incandescent ones, draw a quarter of the power, 864 watts compared to the previous 3276 kilowatt hours; use professional weatherproof connectors and durable epoxy plastic, not glass bulbs. And, all 1200 lights can be plugged into one standard outlet. This will save the City about $250 each year while adding over 700 lights to its tree.
Turning Grey Into Green: Greywater Recycling Systems
October 19, 2007 03:13 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Atlanta, Georgia - First a word about something called "greywater". Greywater is basically washwater. As homeowners, we make a lot of it each day. It's all wastewater excepting toilet wastes and food wastes derived from garbage grinders. No surprise, this partially used water can be re-used in your home for toilet flushing and watering gardens. Good for you, good for your water bill and good for the environment. Especially in drought stricken parts of the country like Georgia where the state's Environmental Protection Division declared a level four drought for sixty-one counties in the state.