• House of Representatives Plans To Go Carbon Neutral

    WASHINGTON - A new report details plans to move the U.S. House of Representatives to carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2008, to reduce energy consumption in House facilities by 50% from 2006 levels by 2017, and to “make House operations a model of sustainability.” The initiative, headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D–MD), calls for the House to achieve carbon neutrality by purchasing electricity from renewable sources, purchasing carbon... >> Read the Full Article
  • Light-Emitting Diodes: Chasing White Light

    Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use semi-conducting materials to turn electricity into light; electrons jump from one material to another, emitting photons as they travel. Different semiconductor materials create different colors of light: most white LEDs use indium gallium nitride (InGaN), which actually emits blue light. The blue light excites a phosphor coating on the lens of the diode, creating a yellow light that mixes with the blue and makes it look white to the human eye. Manufacturers... >> Read the Full Article
  • Libya Creates World's Largest Sustainable Development

    Libya - Libya today announced the creation of an unprecedented sustainable development on its beautiful northern Mediterranean coast. The massive project includes a world class sustainable resort and spa, extensive wind and solar on the coast and desert area, growth of biofuel crops, closed loop water systems, sustainable transportation, housing, and the creation of a huge national ecological parkland that includes protection of the Mediterranean ocean and incorporates Tripoli and other... >> Read the Full Article
  • So Cal's First LEED Certified All-Solar Multi-Family Community.

    ORANGE, Calif. - Orange County's first all-green new-home community, opened its sustainable model homes to the public this weekend. It's also trendy Orange County's first LEED Certified residential community, and its first all-solar multi-family community. The community is called "Deopt Walk". Models range from 1,277- to 2,010-square-feet, and start in the $600,000 dollar range. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Product: Fencing Made From Ag Fiber And Recycled Plastic

    Torrington, Wyoming - Heartland BioComposites, of Torrington, Wyoming, has commercialized a new breed of composite wood using annually renewable wheat straw rather than wood flour, and has introduced its first product, a privacy fence. The company purchases regional wheat straw and compounds it with post-consumer high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The raw materials, which include 50–60% straw, 35–45% plastic, and less than 5% proprietary additives (described by the company as... >> Read the Full Article
  • How They Work: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Tapping the Earth's Mass

    Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), often called “geothermal heat pumps,” exploit the relatively stable temperatures found just 5 feet (1.5 m) or more below the surface, either depositing or extracting low-intensity heat. Heat pumps—whether ground-source or air-source—are basically air conditioners that can be run in reverse to provide heating as well as cooling. Air conditioners (and refrigerators) make a relatively cool place cooler by extracting heat from it and releasing the heat... >> Read the Full Article
  • Philips Introduces Lower Mercury Fluorescent Lamps

    Philips Lighting Company has announced a new line of T-8 fluorescent lamps using the company’s Alto II technology to replace its ten-year-old Alto technology. >> Read the Full Article
  • Long Island Town Requires LEED Certification

    Babylon, NY - Developers and builders in Babylon, New York, are preparing to register their buildings for LEED certification to comply with a 2006 local law that goes into effect in December 2007. The law requires all new commercial buildings larger than 4,000 ft2 (400 m2) to achieve at least a LEED Certified rating. >> Read the Full Article
  • Newer Fluorescents Have Less Mercury, But Recycling Continues to Lag

    When Philips Lighting Company first introduced its Alto technology in 1995, the average amount of mercury in a four-foot (1.2 m) T-8 Alto fluorescent lamp was 14 mg. By encapsulating the mercury and creating a chemical barrier coating to prevent absorption of the mercury by the phosphor coating, Philips was able to lower the amount of mercury in its Alto lamps to 3.5 milligrams (mg). In 2007, Philips introduced the Alto II line with 1.7 mg of mercury per four-foot lamp (see Philips Introduces... >> Read the Full Article
  • FEMA Investigates Emergency Housing Air Quality

    Washington - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced in August 2007 that it had suspended the installation, sale, transfer, and donation of emergency-housing trailers until concerns over high levels of formaldehyde can be investigated. A common ingredient in pressed-wood products, including particleboard, formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rashes; headaches; nosebleeds; and severe allergic reactions. The U.S.... >> Read the Full Article