tagged w/ Green Building
t’s a utopian fantasy- discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your ideals-, but in Spain where there are nearly 3000 abandoned villages (most dating back to the Middle Ages), some big dreamers have spent the past 3 decades doing just that.t’s a utopian fantasy- discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your... more
When we think about air pollution, we often picture busy roads with bumper to bumper car traffic or tall smokestacks releasing plumes of black, sooty smoke — not a roast turkey or a meatloaf.
But a new study out of the UK has found that kitchen appliances, particularly the stove and oven, emit noxious fumes at a rate up to 3 times higher than a busy city street.
The study, done by researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, took measurements from both a rural house and two urban apartments using gas and electric ovens. They tested for harmful pollutants such as Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Volatile Organic Compounds, and solid particulates small enough to become lodged in the lungs. The NO2 measurements in the apartment with the gas stove well exceeded the UK’s guidelines for indoor pollution and were a full three times higher than the concentrations they found on the street below.
The study is small, but it points to a broader problem of pollution in the built environment.
“We spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and work hard to make our homes warm, secure and comfortable, but we rarely think about the pollution we might be breathing in,” said Vida Sharifi, the professor who led the research.
This has been a major source of discussion within the green building community. As we make our homes and businesses more efficient, what are the consequences of trapping pollutants indoors?
A recent report from the Institute of Medicine looked at the issue:
“The outdoor environment permeates indoors in all but maximum-containment laboratory conditions. A building that was tightly sealed as a response to adverse outdoor conditions or because of efforts to reduce energy use might protect occupants from one set of problems but would increase their exposure to another: such buildings tend to have decreased ventilation rates, higher concentrations of indoor-emitted pollutants, and more occupants reporting health problems.”
That study was picked up by Fox News as “Green Buildings Hazardous to Health?” As leading green building experts explained, that interpretation was completely wrong. However, it did offer an opportunity to distinguish between an energy efficient building and a truly “green” building that takes a more whole-systems approach to design.
The Rocky Mountain Institute made a great distinction when the report was released:
“The issue of buildings and health effects has been studied in detail for many years, and it is well known that energy efficient buildings are not necessarily “healthy.” Ventilation is clearly one area where the two objectives are at odds. Other areas such as daylighting and moisture control are well aligned. These issues simply underscore the need for an integrative design approach to building projects, which enables designers to achieve energy savings as well as many other benefits.”
The University of Sheffield study on kitchen emissions is a reminder that we need to think about all forms of pollution — indoor and outdoor — when designing our buildings.
Continued at link
by Max Frankel and Stephen Lacey | June 11, 2012When we think about air pollution, we often picture busy roads with bumper to bumper... more
Old glass bottles, mirrors and windows have new life. EnviroGLAS is a new company putting a green twist on a century-old Italian concept of surface making. Reclaiming recycled matter and molding it into unique decorative surfaces and landscaping material.Old glass bottles, mirrors and windows have new life. EnviroGLAS is a new company... more
2 years ago
The City of Houston opened a Green Resource Center in the Code Enforcement Building to assist citizens and companies in finding green alternatives for new building and renovation projects. By offering classes, workshops, mixers and hands on demostrations of many products and services available the City of Houston helps make Houston a greener city to live in.The City of Houston opened a Green Resource Center in the Code Enforcement Building to... more
Turning an abandoned railroad overhead track into a jogging trail connector all while staying green was a two year project. Each brick doubles as a planter for seeds to cover the entire bridge in local water resistant plants and bushes all over the bridge.Turning an abandoned railroad overhead track into a jogging trail connector all while... more
Going beyond ticking boxes, complying with regulations or keeping up with the latest initiatives, ecological development guru Bill Reed uproots just about everything we think we know about ‘green’ and asks whether we are really delving deeply enoughGoing beyond ticking boxes, complying with regulations or keeping up with the latest... more
The Mars Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit’s mission planning software contributed to the technologies which were developed for this mind-bogglingly ambitious building project, producing what may be the most sophisticated environmental control system on the planet.The Mars Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit’s mission planning software contributed... more
Students at the University of Nebraska are developing technology to combat vampire energy and we want to know if you think it’s a good idea. What are your thoughts on these smart houses?Students at the University of Nebraska are developing technology to combat vampire... more
The caretakers of the Empire State Building have announced a change to a 100% renewable energy source.The caretakers of the Empire State Building have announced a change to a 100%... more
Ecovative Design is developing packaging material that is affordable and biodegradable. The secret: fungi and agricultural waste. In this month’s Nightly Business Report segment we visit Ecovative’s lab and get up close and personal with the new product that could replace plastic and styrofoam.Ecovative Design is developing packaging material that is affordable and... more
Environmental artist Rein Triefeldt calls on more than just stone to make his sculptures. In this week’s webisode, we look at his innovative way of making solar beautiful. Sorry Garden Gnome, these front lawn ornaments aren’t just pretty decoration, they produce energy too.Environmental artist Rein Triefeldt calls on more than just stone to make his... more
By Leslie Guevarra
Published November 11, 2010
Most people would not consider January an ideal time to plant crops, especially January in Montreal. But for Mohamed Hage, Kurt D. Lynn and Howard Resh, timing is one of the proof points of their project -- a commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse that's designed to yield produce year-round for an urban community.
Entrepreneurs Hage and Lynn and horticulture and hydroponics expert Resh are the brains behind Lufa Farms, which unveiled details last week about its 31,000-square-foot greenhouse being constructed atop a two-story office building in Montreal's Marché Central neighborhood.
Construction of the specially designed greenhouse began in July and is expected to be complete before year's end. Planting is scheduled to begin in January. On that timetable, the first crops would be harvested six weeks later.
"We're right on the threshold of completing the first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse," said Lynn, Lufa Farms' co-founder and vice president, in an interview before taking the wraps off the project. "If it works in Montreal, it will work anywhere."
GreenerBuildings.com and GreenBiz.com have featured several articles on urban agriculture: farms called VertiCrops that mostly have been planted on the ground and were recognized by NASA for fostering water sustainability, the prospects for soaring high rise farms of the future, and another rooftop greenhouse business called Sky Vegetables, which was the subject of a piece last fall by GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower.
While the idea of urban farming isn't new -- small-scale rooftop farms and herb gardens are key draws for green restaurants such as Uncommon Grounds in Chicago -- Lufa Farms lays claim to being the furthest along with a large-scale operation.
According to Lynn, he and his colleagues started batting the idea around about three-and-a-half years ago.
"The economics of food today forces us into compromises," Lynn said. "If I'm shipping things 2,000 miles, all along the way I'm increasing the handling of the food, affecting its taste, its freshness. It's a long food chain. My children don't know what a true tomato tastes like.
"Our goal simply is to be a neighborhood food source and raise the bar on the issue of traceability. We think it's important that people know where their food comes from, that they can say, 'Yes, I can see where my food is grown. It's grown right over there.' "
Lufa Farms, whose next project goal is a rooftop greenhouse of about 150,000 square feet, aims to be the produce source for about 2,000 households within a three- to four-mile radius of the nearly three-quarter-acre greenhouse. People will be able to purchase produce via a subscription system.
The crops will include more than 20 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, bok choy, herbs, assorted greens and other vegetables, according to Lynn and his colleagues. The produce will be grown without pesticides or herbicides and be irrigated with harvested rainwater and recirculated water.
The greenhouse, which was designed to be lightweight but durable enough to withstand the rain, snow and temperatures of winter in Canada, will also be fitted out with irrigation equipment, heating, insulation, curtains, supplemental lighting and advanced computerized controllers. All are intended to maximize crop growth and minimize the resources used in the process.
Salad greens at the test project at McGill University.
Lynn said a Lufa Farm can yield 10 times the output of a traditional farm in an area of identical size. The business set up a 5,000-square-foot test farm at McGill University, and its bounty was shared among just about everyone associated with the project as well as a women's shelter and a food bank, he said.
"We had 200 heads of lettuce every other day," said Lynn. "We were overwhelmed with vegetables."
In addition to producing crops, the greenhouse in Montreal also is expected to provide benefits to the building that serves as its host. The greenhouse further insulates the building beneath it and by reducing the need for heating and cooling, helps the property owner save on utility bills. In terms of supply chain and distribution, the greenhouse crops won't require the refrigeration or the fuel expenditures typically associated with bringing produce to market.
"This is the ultimate green roof," Lynn said.
Project partners include Fonds de Placement Immobilier BTB, which owns and manages the office building where the greenhouse is being built, Westbrook Greenhouse Systems, the GKC architectural firm and FDA Constructions.By Leslie Guevarra
Published November 11, 2010
Most people would not consider... more
Green Home Designs - Get started going green today... Do your part for yourself and the Earth, find your eco-friendly home plans and builder...
Types of Self-Generated Power
• Solar – This type of energy harnesses the heat from the sun through the use of solar panels and uses the energy produced to produce electricity for the home and to heat water for household appliances such as heat units and air conditioners, hot water heaters and heated floors.
• Wind- Using wind turbines to produce electricity for your green home is another choice for harnessing the force of nature for alternative energy. Using the power of the wind to produce household electricity can save quite a bit of money for the homeowner. The initial cost of a wind turbine system may seem expensive but is far outweighed by the benefits of the power provided.
• Biodiesel- By burning low emission fuel sources such as corn pellets, wood, or other alternative fuels, energy produced can be used to power homes in virtually any section of the country. This makes for efficient heating and cooling of homes that lessens the use of traditional power sources during critical months of the year.
• Geothermal- This use of the earth’s natural ground temperatures to heat and cool homes allows for a moderate indoor climate to be gained without placing a strain on traditional heating and cooling units by heating or cooling the water employed by these systems to be moderated by the temperature of the ground before it enters the system.
There are a lot of great earth conscious architects and contractors around the country that can aid and assist you in the development and planning of a green, energy efficient home. While the initial costs of putting some of the products and techniques into your new home may seem daunting, the overall benefits and the cost savings are definitely worth the trouble and time.
Visit http://www.usgbc.org/ for the The U.S. Green Building Council
Visit http://www.leapadaptive.com/ one of the Finest Green Architect in America
Finding a green architect who can design the best eco friendly home to fit you and your family’s desires and needs is not easy and will take a little time; but it can its own greatest reward when you see your lowered utility bills. Make sure you find the builders who appeals to your personal tastes and your building desire for a green home from design to occupancy. Also be sure to ensure they follow your green standards and only employ subcontractors who aspire to following the same green building standards.
Authors LeapAdaptive.comGreen Home Designs - Get started going green today... Do your part for yourself and... more
by Rosie Powers, Media Consortium blogger
The Obama administration finally agreed to assemble solar panels on the roof of the White House. It’s encouraging news, considering that Congress was unable to pass climate change legislation this year.
While Congress may not get it, citizens across the country have committed to building green using energy-efficient guidelines such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a rating system set out by the U.S. Green Building Council. Green buildings are no longer reserved for the wealthy or the province of distant countries. They are becoming a well-traveled path to a sustainable future.
Consideration of inward, rather than outward, urban development encourages major cities to be more self-contained and sustainable in the realms of energy and water usage. Inclusion of building features such as solar panels and energy-efficient window and wall insulation insure that energy is self-produced and not wasted.
The White House panels
Activist Bill McKibben and 350.org led the campaign to reinstall solar panels on the White House. McKibben and several college students began their road trip in Maine and delivered the panels on Sept. 10. The the solar panels were rejected at first because the administration did not want to “give the right another talking point comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter,” writes Salon. But the Obama administration changed its stance and accepted the two panels Oct. 5. Beth Buczynski of Care2 has the story.
Although the installation of the solar panels is encouraging, it doesn’t change the fact that Congress has not passed any substantial climate legislation this year. Furthermore, President Barack Obama faces an uphill battle with Congress regarding the regulation of carbon emissions, according to Agence France Presse in AlterNet.
At Grist, David Roberts claims that many senators have opposed climate legislation not only to align with their party, but because of ignorance. Roberts quotes a senate staffer:
“That fact is, he said, most senators, even the ones directly involved in the fight over climate policy, don’t know the rudimentary facts about climate change or clean energy. They understand very little about the policies in question or how those policies will affect their constituents.”
Yet sustainable development has gained momentum, despite a lack of congressional backing. Cities such as Portland and Seattle have championed self-sustaining, inward development, while Chicago is building its first pre-fab home this fall. LEED is a common, third-party evaluation of a building’s environmental sustainability. The rating system measures carbon emissions, water conservation, energy efficiency and consciousness about materials and resources used for the project.
Additional building standards have also emerged. Architect Jason McLennan has created the “Living Building Challenge”, which requires new structures be self-sustaining in regards to energy and water usage. Jonathon Hiskes of Grist writes that although the rating system is more strict than LEED, around 70 buildings have striven to meet the challenge.
“The point of our whole movement is to create abundance of life, and a healthy ecosystem for all future generations,” McLennan told Hiskes. “We have a current industrial system where nobody knows what’s in our materials, and there’s no plan for where they go with those chemicals when their lifespan is over.”
The rise of the eco-city
Congressional members and ecologically concerned citizens should look abroad for the best examples of sustainable building initiatives. Tianjin, China, the country’s third largest industrial city, began construction of one of the country’s first eco-cities. The proposed city, which would be 11.6 square miles, would house a population of 350,000 and include contributions of sustainable building material from Japanese company Hitachi and Dutch company Philips.
Tianjin’s developers say the city “will serve as an ultra-efficient alternative to ill-planned and heavily polluting mega-cities not only elsewhere in the country, but around the world.”
Siben Linden, a well-known German eco-village, is composed of straw buildings that serve as multi-family homes for around 80 adults and 30 children, according to Athena and Bill Steen of Chelsea Green. The village is agriculturally self-sustaining and is powered by photovoltaic systems. As a result, the total carbon emissions equal about 10 percent of the average German energy usage.
The future may seem far away, but with regards to sustainable development, it’s closer than we think. Congress just needs to realize it.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Rosie Powers, Media Consortium blogger
The Obama administration finally agreed... more
The financially transparent open collaborative approach to social enterprise the Campus TV is founded upon extends to its second physical location.
The Earthship Florida property is located in Manatee County, about a 15 minute drive from Sarasota.
The 10 acre site will be home to a number of educational and sustainable business models. The evolution of this project is the subject of this show on the Campus TV.
You are invited to PARTICIPATE if you have ideas to contribute. ALL money invested and earned will be reported on the show with full financial transparency - specifically the value of "outside" contributions.
We represent a new way of doing business. We believe most of the current problems we face can be addressed by financially transparent social enterprise. We enable new innovative ideas to get commercialized by plugging into real world ongoing projects - eliminating the need for traditional venture capital.
firstname.lastname@example.orgThe financially transparent open collaborative approach to social enterprise the... more
Ben Walsh was tired of the experts telling him that Net-Zero Energy Homes could not be built at an affordable cost, so he decided to build a hybrid that used green technologies in a hybrid design. In the process he invented a unique engineered wall assembly that increases energy efficiency by 40 to 50 percent. However there was an even better feature. In order to obtain building permits, his patent-pending assembly was 3rd party tested by OSU. As an engineered product, it was required to go through lateral commercial testing and to everyone's delight, its seismic performance was literally astounding. The first five homes are currently being marketed just below $260,000. These homes produce enough power on-site to supply the energy needs of a family of four. The technical article, a companion piece to this piece, will be published on August 9, 2010. http://greenlandlady.com/site/business/portlands-green-building-rock-star/Ben Walsh was tired of the experts telling him that Net-Zero Energy Homes could not be... more
With the population increasing at a staggering rate, many schools are struggling just to figure out how they're going to provide each student with enough space to learn.
That's why American Modular Systems (AMS), one of the largest modular manufacturers in the West, decided to create the Gen7 modular classroom- a high-quality, energy-efficient, green learning space that can be constructed and delivered to schools in need quickly and affordably.
Constructed using a high amount of recycled and recyclable materials with low- and zero-VOC interiors, and a learning-enhancing acoustical design, the first-ever Gen7 modular classrooms were delivered earlier this month to the Bolsa Knolls Middle School in Salinas, Calif.
Keep reading: http://ow.ly/2iQRbWith the population increasing at a staggering rate, many schools are struggling just... more
360 State Street's lucky first residents are packing this week and will begin moving in August 1st, 2010. Those of us who fell in love with this development are eager to see how a truly 21st century beacon of innovation and sustainable design can perform even when 'people' have taken over the driver's seat for energy and water usage. The phenomenal 400kW Fuel Cell system is in operation and as quiet as a mouse..
http://greenlandlady.com/site/business/living-the-platinum-dream-360-state-street/360 State Street's lucky first residents are packing this week and will begin... more