12 Million Homes Powered By German Off-Shore Wind

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer
Germany’s position as the world wind leader was consolidated today with an announcement of 40 offshore wind farms to be built in German waters more than 12 miles off the coast. The goal is to get a total of 25,000 megawatts just from ocean-sited wind power by 2030. This would provide the first half of that; from a 12,000 MW wind farm. Germany is only just starting to dip its toes into off-shore wind production. It signed its first offshore wind project of just 15 megawatts a few months ago with the Alpha Ventus project that was co-financed by German energy giants Vattenfall, E.on and EWE and subsidized by the German government. Read more of this story »

In Seoul, Subway Riders Learn a New Way to Walk

from Wired: Autopia by Keith Barry
subwayseoul Starting October 1, riders of  Seoul Metropolitan Subway must walk on the right through stations, ending the longstanding Korean habit of walking on the left. The move is aimed at reducing pedestrian congestion and traffic accidents, though we had to check to make sure there’s no Korean equivalent to April Fool’s Day anytime in mid-September.

Environmentalism as a Step in Individual Evolution

from Green Options by Zachary Shahan
Environmental care is a practical, worldly thing. But it is also a step in one’s personal evolution. On the one hand, it is a practical response to the environmental problems we are facing. It is also a foresighted response to the issues (economic and environmental) that we might be facing if we don’t think more about the environment we live in and rely on. But, on the other hand, it is much more than that. Read more of this story »

Australia is #1 — New World Leader in Global Warming Emissions

from Green Options by Zachary Shahan
Australia has passed the US as the new world leader in CO2 emissions per capita. That is not the only climate change problem in Australia, though. Read more of this story »

Arizona Project Uses Algae to Turn Coal Pollution Into Biofuel

from Green Options by Nick Chambers

Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest electricity provider, has secured $70.5 million in stimulus funds toexpand an innovative project that turns carbon dioxide emissions from a coal power plant into biofuel using algae. While part of the funds will be used to scale up the algae processing portion, some of the funds will also be used to investigate the potential benefits of turning the coal into a gas prior to burning it for power. The concept of creating two products — electricity and fuel — from the same process is known as cogeneration. In this case, the cogeneration also helps to reduce environmental pollution. It’s an idea that has been gathering support as a way to make coal less polluting while finding an additional revenue source to pay for the pollution control itself. In fact, a while back I reported on a similar pilot project in Oregon. Read more of this story »

off architecture: jean moulin high school

lycee jean moulin will be built into the hilly landscape of revin in france all images courtesy of off architecture the architectural reconstruction project of lycee jean moulin in revin, france is to be completed by off architecture in association with duncan lewis scape architecture and jeans giacinto. located within a vast and undulating terrain with many curves, the architects want to install the new building into the topography of the landscape. they will utilize the constraints of the slope, so the school is elevated and recedes upwards, creating a pattern of movement. through incorporating the architecture into hilly surroundings, they want to ensure that the users of this new college will benefit from the natural qualities of the surrounding environment. the project is set to be completed for 2012. an aerial view of the architecture’s receding layers grass will be placed on the roofs of each level so that the building blends in with the green landscape appearing like a hill itself

It’s the end of the world as we know it

image
Dubai’s mega-project The World – a series of man-made islands in the shape of the major landmasses on the planet – is officially canceled, reportsTimesOnline.com

GreenSun Develops Colorful Solar Panels that don’t need Direct Sunlight

from Green Options by Jeff Kart
Solar power comes in many forms, from rigid to thin film. The panels are shiny, gleaming and ready to harness the power of the sun. They’re also usually silver. Yet they also come in colors, not just for looks, but for efficiency. Read more of this story »

Li�ge-Guillemins train station: a ticket to tomorrow

image Photo by Neil Pulling It is majestic, daring � and a destination in itself. This glorious new station in Belgium is the future of train travel, writesJonathan Glancey.

Prefab Resources, Tiny House Ideas, and Small Dwelling Design Links

from Green Options by Lucille Chi
Check out the prefab community blooming online these days! Tiny House Village is trying to connect communities of creative small dwellings. Ideas are abound for these eco communities with Resources For Life’sSmall House Society. Tiny House design has a great set of resources all linked here as well. Check out the plethora of architectural resources, Read more of this story »

loop.ph: sonumbra

as part of the ‘in praise of shadows’ exhibition at the V&Aloop.ph will be exhibiting sonumbra inside the jones gallery. sonumbra is an experimental body of work which explores how alternative sources of energy and low cost lighting can be crafted to provide light and shade for a community of people. parasols constructed from strands of lights laced together, have the potential to offer shelter from the sun by day and provide light for a local community at night through energy which has been collected from solar cells that have been embedded within its canopy. the use of the low cost, flexible, organic solar cells is a collaboration with riso DTU, the national laboratory for sustainable energy in denmark. the installation runs during london design week from september 19th to september 27th. the parasol-like form hanging down from the ceiling display of the architectural textile’s flexibility the form behaves like a fabric and can be draped, bent and folded

NBBJ: dalian stadium

image credit: li fang NBBJ has finalized their proposal for the new dalian shide football stadium in dalian, china. the structure is designed with principles of organic architecture in mind, modeling itself after a garden by having only what is needed to thrive. the design imagines if the ground were folded open to create two garden walls to contain the venue. this concept creates a strong visual impact and leaves both ends open to overlook the ocean and mountains nearby. the exterior of the walls are clad with living plants that naturally change colour throughout the year, while the inside features giant LED panels. a roof made from a flexible cable system covers the stadium and is interwoven with fabric to shield the fans from the elements. the design is an attempt to improve the in-stadium experience, rather than focus on the exterior form like many other modern stadiums. the stadium will have 40,000 seats and intends to set a new standard for sustainable stadium architecture. http://www.nbbj.com image credit: li fang

How Straw Bale Building Will Go Mainstream

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer
Building houses out of straw is as old as, well, as old as the medieval nursery story about the Three Little Pigs, and their houses; one of Bricks, one of Straw and something… it’s been a while. Straw building has a long long history. It is a great natural insulator. But it’s not so easy for the average builder to access straw, these days. You’ll not find straw insulation at your local hardware store. Read more of this story »

Google Reveals Plans to Develop More Efficient and Cost-Effective Solar Thermal Technology

from Green Options by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Solar Thermal As if Google isn’t already doing enough for the world of technology, they’re actually joining the solar technology movement in order to help increase the progress, which they believe has been disappointing to date.  Their goal is to use mirror technology for solar energy that will be cheaper and therefore more accessible to the masses, so cost isn’t such a contributing factor to why many are unable to make their homes a little bit greener. Read more of this story »

Water withdrawal and consumption: the big gap

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Water withdrawal and consumption: the big gapFreshwater use by continents is partly based on several socio-economic development factors, including population, physiographic, and climatic characteristics. Analysis indicates that: – Annual global freshwater withdrawal has grown from 3,790 km3 (of which consumption accounted for 2,070 km3 or 61%) in 1995, to 4,430 km3 (of which consumption accounted for 2,304 km3 or 52%) in 2000 (Shiklomanov, 1999). – In 2000, about 57% of the world’s freshwater withdrawal, and 70% of its consumption, took place in Asia, where the world’s major irrigated lands are located (UNESCO, 1999). – In the future, annual global water withdrawal is expected to grow by about 10-12% every 10 years, reaching approximately 5,240 km3 (or an increase of 1.38 times since 1995) by 2025. Water consumption is expected to grow at a slower rate of 1.33 times (UNESCO, 1999). – In the coming decades, the most intensive rate of water withdrawal is expected to occur in Africa and South America (increasing by 1.5-1.6 times), while the least will take place in Europe and North America (1.2 times) (Harrison and Pearce, 2001; Shiklomanov, 1999; UNESCO, 1999).

Renault unveils space buggy-style Twizy Z.E. concept vehicle

from DVICE by Adario Strange
Renault unveils space buggy-style Twizy Z.E. concept vehicle Renault rocked the auto world today by showing off the new Twizy Z.E. concept vehicle. The car’s futuristic design brings to mind visions of a space exploration surface buggy, sporting hexagonal wheel coverings and headlights as well as neon yellow trimmings. The company’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said, “[Twizy’s] distinctive layout combines advantages of both two- and four-wheel vehicles, offering maximum agility with stability.” Renault won’t commit to releasing this exact vehicle design to the public, but hopes to use the 15kW (20hp) electric motor that powers the Twizy in vehicles scheduled to hit the market in 2011. Via Renault

White House Unveils Landmark Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards

from Green Options by Nick Chambers

Today the Obama Administration released a 1,200 page document of proposed regulation changes that will drastically alter the fuel economy and emissions standards that auto manufacturers are required to meet in the US. Although it could be an incredibly contentious topic, it seems that so far the proposal has gained wide support from all sides of the spectrum including environmental organizations and industry lobby groups. The changes — which would alter both the Department of Transportation’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules — call for what amounts to about a 5% increase in fuel economy standards per year from 2011 to 2016 starting with 27.3 mpg in 2011 and ending with 35.5 mpg in 2016. In addition to the new economy standards, the White House has outlined the first ever greenhouse gas emissions limits for new cars sold in the US. Starting with model year 2016, each manufacturer’s new car fleet would have to meet an average limit of 250 grams of carbon emitted per mile driven. Read more of this story »

Dubai 2010 video depicts a futuristic Arabian metropolis

from DVICE by Adario Strange
Dubai 2010 video depicts a futuristic Arabian metropolisThe ever-growing state of Dubai recently took the wraps off its new, 7.6 billion-dollar Dubai Metro project. Other than its whopping price tag, what makes the project special is that it claims to offer the longest driverless metro system in the world.

Along with Dubai’s new metro system and adventurous architecture, the city’s residents also hope to make the city one of the world’s first truly sci-fi metropolises. Perhaps the most ambitious vision of the area’s future comes from Dubai-based post-production house Rolling Thunder via its “Dubai 2010” trailer that features everything from flying cars to the requisite mirror maze of sci-fi-style buildings. You can check out the full trailerhere.

Via The National

Dead Forests to Fuel Vehicles

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer


Here’s a resource we’ll have plenty of as ever wider swathes of our forests get decimated by pests like the Pine Bark Beetle. Dead trees. In an adaptation eerily reminiscent of Thomas Edison’s dictum We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property” a university has invented a technology to harvest one of the horrific effects of climate change.

The University of Georgia Research Foundation has developed an innovative way to turn dead trees into a liquid fuel and has licensed it to Tolero Energy in California. We could be driving on our dead forests as soon as 2010.

The technology represents a leap forward for the biofuels industry. Not only does the resulting biofuel need no additional refinement before blending with diesel fuel, but it is a naturally very low-sulphur biofuel.

And it would prevent additional CO2 from being released if the forest was left to decay.

But the biggest leap is in thinking of using a non-food source (at least for us humans) of biomass that we will have an ever increasing abundance of, as our climate gets worse and worse. And it doesn’t take scarce water resources to grow. Quite the contrary. Droughts and rising temperatures are all it needs.

Dead trees are one of the major sources of waste biomass, says Tolero CEO Chris Churchill.

Read more of this story »

Skyscraper Bridges

from BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh
[Image: “Skyscraper Bridges” by Raymond Hood (1929), as seen in the project PDF for Rael San Fratello‘s Bay Line].

$1.1 Trillion to Cut Carbon Emissions in India

from Green Options by Zachary Shahan


The United Nations stated a couple weeks ago that developed (rich) countries need to provide developing countries with about $500-600 billion a year to control global warming. This was a big increase from other predictions.

Big portions of these funds need to go to India, a large developing country that includes about one sixth of the world’s population. A new study shows what is needed to significantly cut growth in greenhouse gases in this top country.

Read more of this story »

Mercury-Laden CFLs to Overwhelm Minnesota’s Recycling Program

from Green Options by Dave Dempsey

A surge in the number of mercury-bearing energy-efficient light bulbs in use in Minnesota is expected to overwhelm recycling programs in the next few years and there’s no plan yet on how to recycle more of them.

Fluorescent light bulbs use only one-fourth as much energy per unit of light produced as incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. One CFL bulb contains 5 milligrams of mercury, about one-fifth the amount in a watch battery.

Read more of this story »

Extreme agricultural statuary

from BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh
[Image: “Endothelium” by Philip Beesley].

I mentioned a recent issue of Mark Magazine the other day, but I deliberately saved one of the articles for a stand-alone post later on. That article was a long profile of the work of Philip Beesley, a Toronto-based architect and sculptor, whose project the “Implant Matrix” BLDGBLOG covered several years ago.

In issue #21 of Mark, author Terri Peters describes several of Beesley’s projects, but it’s the “Endothelium” that really stood out (and that you see pictured here).

[Image: “Endothelium” by Philip Beesley].

Celebrating the Life of a Scientist that “Fed the World”

from Green Options by Steve Savage

Norm Bourlag (center) consulting with IRRI researchers

Dr. Norman Borlaug passed away this weekend at 95.  He left behind an amazing legacy of contribution to humanity.  It is likely that he saved more human lives than any other person in history.  He did it by developing far more productive wheat than had ever been grown.  His “short stature” wheat had shorter, thicker stems so that it could hold bigger heads of grain that would otherwise “lodge” (collapse over on to the ground where it can’t be harvested).  It was also resistant to the devastating wheat disease called “Stem Rust.”  This wheat ended up feeding millions of people around the world, particularly in Pakistan and India in the 1960s.  Borlaug’s breakthrough was a key part of the “Green Revolution” and it did much to address the hunger and poverty issues of the time.  For this, and his life-time of additional work Bourlag recieved the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Metal .  Only Martin Luther King, Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa have received all of these commendations.  He was also awarded theNational Medal of Science and a host of other awards from around the world.  There is an excellent article about the life and career of this remarkable man in the Des Moines Register.

Read more of this story »

Liquid-Filled LED Bulbs: 360 Degree Light

from MetaEfficient Reviews by Justin
Liquid-Filled LED Light Bulbs: HydraLuxLiquid-Filled LED Light Bulbs: HydraLux

I’ve been testing a new LED bulb called the HydraLux. These unique bulbs are filled with a clear liquid coolant (a non-toxic paraffin oil). Other LED bulbs use large metal fins or fans for cooling purposes. The advantage of using a liquid coolant is that the LED bulb can produce 360° light like a regular incandescent bulb. (more…)

Control4 readies first smart grid energy/home control module

from DVICE by Stewart Wolpin
Control4 readies first smart grid energy/home control module
Local power companies all over the country are helping to built a 21st century smart grid, complete with smart meters, which talk back to the grid, attached to your home. Control4 is getting ready to deploy its home Energy Management System (EMS) EC-100 so you can monitor and control not only your home’s energy consumption via data provided by the smart meter, but your A/V system, security, lights, HVAC, etc.

In March 2010, the EC-100, which has a 5-inch LCD touchscreen, will be initially deployed by the Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative in Austin, TX, in 35,000 homes in the first wave and an additional 30,000 in a second wave. The control module actually displays your energy use in a variety of sub-categories (lighting, kitchen, air conditioning, etc.) in dollars, and lets you automate your home to conserve energy. For instance, as the sun comes up, an expanded EMS Control4 Home Area Network (HAN) system could automatically lower the shades or, when you leave a room or your house, the system automatically adjusts the thermostat to use less power – in other words, your house could run on energy-saving cruise control.

In case you’ve never heard of them (honestly, I hadn’t until I got to Atlanta for CEDIA), Control4 sells arguably the most affordable and simplest home automation system around, along with a whole bunch of inexpensive modules to control everything from your A/V system to window blinds, all controlled using the ZigBee wireless control spec from your HDTV via one simple remote.

As the smart grid/smart meter trend grows, Control4 will supply the EC-100 to local power companies to distribute or sell at a subsidized price to their customers, or perhaps sell them directly to consumers. All to be decided.

1.27 million displaced by China’s Three Gorges Dam: report

Beijing (AFP) Sept 13, 2009 – China has relocated 1.27 million people to make way for the controversial Three Gorges dam development, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, state media reported

$900 Billion to Cut China’s Emissions with Wind Power

from Green Options by Zachary Shahan


As mentioned in previous posts, the United Nations is calling on rich (developed) countries to provide developing countries with $500-600 billion a year in support to tackle climate change. A recent report declares that India needs $1.1 trillion in the next several years to cut emission growth by 50-60% by 2030. Another report from the last week says that China could cut its emissions by 30% by 2030 as well with $900 billion of investment in wind energy.

Read more of this story »

Volkswagen’s Diesel-Hybrid L1 Concept Gets 170 MPG, Available by 2013

from Green Options by Jerry James Stone

Volkswagen will display an updated version of its 1-Liter concept this week at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The diesel-hybrid car which only weighs around 800 lbs gets an jaw-dropping 170 MPG. So who wants one?

It was seven years ago when VW first announced the idea. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch–currently the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group–drove a prototype of the car from Wolfsburg to Hamburg. It was the world’s first car to travel 100 kilometers on just a single liter of fuel. But the concept wasn’t ready for production as the body’s carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) was too costly for consideration.

Read more of this story »

Finalists of the UPTO35 Competition Revealed

image In June 2009, OLIAROS, a young Greek property development company, issued a call for architects up to 35 years old to submit proposals for the design and construction of a model, affordable student housing complex in Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio (KM), an area in the historic center of Athens, Greece. Finalists have just been announced – view them at Bustler

Dirty coal is here to stay

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Dirty coal is here to stayCoal producers are already taking advantage of the oil shortage and might even more in the future. In 2004 43 % of the electricity produced in the world came from coal.

Certified Emission Reductions

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Certified Emission ReductionsOne certified emission reduction unit is equivalent to a one-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (measured in CO2 equivalent). Circles have only been drawn for countries that have issued more than 50,000 CERs. Certified Emission Reduction units issued by host parties.

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I’m working through Greenstar Interiors Version 1.1 today and I have found one interesting item.

When undertaking a tenancy fiout you are not allowed to take soil off the site and bring it back.

Stockpiling of soil for re-use. as fill on-site or off-site cannot be used in the
calculation of waste re~used or recycled.

“Stockpiling of soil for re-use. as fill on-site or off-site cannot be used in the calculation of waste re~used or recycled.” Greenstar Interiros V1.1

That’s one impressive tenancy fitout that requires soil removal.

Philips Demonstrate Transparent OLEDs

via MetaEfficient Reviews by Justin on 4/23/09

Philips demonstrates transparent OLEDs (think windows that double as lamps at night).

NovaLED unveils an OLED lamp.

The Podcar: A Cross Between a Taxi and a Personal Bus

via Green Options by Amiel Blajchman on 4/17/09

https://i0.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2009/02/82129088_b889581914.jpg

Masdar City, located within Abu Dhabi, is introducing personal rapid transit “podcars“.

Basically, a cross between the convenience of grabbing a cab and a public bus; the podcars will be a component of Masdar City’s public transportation system.

As part of Masdar City’s car-free design; these podcars will be part of a network of electric taxis without drivers (!). The first of these podcars (also known as personal rapid transit – PRT) are set to debut this year.

EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Pose a Threat to Public Health

via Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst on 4/17/09

drax coal-fired power plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published findings of a study on Friday, suggesting that climate change endangers public health and welfare. The landmark findings could be the basis for federal regulation of CO2.

The proposed endangerment findings, which will now move to a public comment period, also state, “In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act.”

Chief among the findings is that global climate change has the potential to make U.S. air quality management more difficult, and therefore future air quality management decisions should begin to account for the impacts of climate change.

Tasmania wombat poo paper a hit

via BBC News | Science & Environment | UK Edition on 4/18/09


Paper made out of wombat droppings is helping a local industry in Tasmania to buck the economic trend, the BBC’s Phil Mercer reports.

Climate Change May Wake Up Sleeper Weeds

via Earth News, Earth Science, Energy Technology, Environment News on 4/19/09


https://i1.wp.com/spacedaily.com/images/karoo-thorn-tree-weed-sm.jpgCanberra (SPX) Apr 20, 2009 – Weeds cost Australia more than A$4 billion a year either in control or lost production and cause serious damage to the environment. In an address to the GREENHOUSE 09 conference on climate change, CSIRO researcher, Dr John Scott, said, however, that those cost estimates were only based on the damage caused by weeds known to be active in Australia.

Bionic Penguins to Destroy Humans from Water and Air

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/20/09

Bionic penguins that travel underwater independently. Bionic flying penguins. Robotic arms made of fiberglass rods with free will. Molecubes that assemble into infinite-growing robots. All for real, as this video shows. I’m leaving the planet.

Valley twin towers have green hue – Brisbane Times

via greenstar location:australia – Google News on 4/21/09

http://nt3.ggpht.com/news?imgefp=4_O0oHaeW-cJ&imgurl=images.brisbanetimes.com.au/2009/04/22/484970/420valleynew-420x0.jpg
Brisbane Times

Valley twin towers have green hue
Brisbane Times, Australia
National architecture firm BVN says it has received a six-star green star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. BVN designer Rob Vider said the buildings were designed to allow in more natural light, but highly efficient window glazing

RAILWAYCOVER

via Design Under Sky by Adam E. Anderson on 4/21/09

https://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0128.gif

In Collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel and Catherine Venart German landscape architecture firm Topotek 1 was commissioned to create an open space that cover a set of train tracks.

A concrete cover over subterranean train tracks provides a connection between the newly constructed housing complexes south of Theresienhö-he in Munich. A new type of open space is conceived on this extraordinary site between Bavaria Park, Theresienwiese and West Park. The train tracks beneath the large concrete cover constituted the starting point for the project design developed in collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel and Catherine Venart. A series of play boxes was installed / Several play boxes were installed on the cover, in a row as an allusion to the trains traveling beneath; this procession of containers transports material and, in a figurative sense, the powers of the imagination, just like a toy box.

This newly developed site incorporates three materials that can also be identified as elements of landscape: a sports and playing area are made of rubberized tartan, a moraine is formed by a lawn and, between them, there is a large expanse of sand and gravel (der Bezug war falsch – “ma-terials” und dann wurden die Bereiche als Subjekte genannt). A pine grove accentuates the slightly curved north perimeter of the track. Along both sides of the open space green front-gardens connect the project with the adjacent housing. The landscape cover is a generous open area accessible from all sides which, on the one hand links the residential areas on both sides by means of imagined movement but on the other hand, provides a soothing contrast to the density of the adjoining housing developments, and a sense of the being faraway within an absurd locality.

https://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0041.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0050.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0068.gifhttps://i1.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/_DSC0099.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/www.designundersky.com/storage/blog-images/2009/april/overpass/plan.gif{All Imagery by Topotek 1}

Developers often see green as requirement

via CTBUH Global News on 4/21/09

Developers often see green as requirement

April 19, Atlanta

At the Brookwood, one of Buckhead’s newest high-rise condominiums, it’s easy to spot the floor-to-ceiling windows, stone countertops and private balconies that add zeroes to the price. Harder to find are the energy- and water-efficient technologies hidden in the closets, plumbing and walls that have the Brookwood on track to earn Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council…more

Green and mean: The downside of clean energy

via New Scientist – Online News on 4/21/09


How do you choose between a wilderness and a power station? The tough choices associated with large-scale renewable energy projects are dividing the green movementhttp://feeds.newscientist.com/c/749/f/10897/s/3f022cd/mf.gif

New tenant sues over GPO ‘delays and defects’ – The West Australian

via greenstar location:australia – Google News on 4/21/09

New tenant sues over GPO ‘delays and defects’
The West Australian, Australia
“The refurbishment of the GPO is an elegant and practical enhancement to the city’s heart and is the first heritage building in WA to achieve Green Star certification,” she said. “As is common with any major refurbishment there were a few minor areas

Army Stops Making ‘Eco-Friendly’ Tungsten Bullets Because They Cause Cancer

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/21/09

https://i1.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/bullets.jpgThe Army’s tungsten-based bullets were designed to be more eco-friendly, but research showing tungsten increases cancer risk pushed them to pull the plug. The problem, Danger Room points out, is that tungsten munitions are everywhere.

Entire State of Texas Could be Powered by Solar

via Green Options by Jake Richardson on 4/22/09

parabolic trough

A recent study released by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, and several environmental organizations has concluded that solar technology alone could supply electricity for the whole state.

They cite a number of mind-blowing prospects from a variety of sources, all pointing to Texas as having the number one solar generating potential of the US states.

Oxfam predicts millions more victims of climate change

via Earth News, Earth Science, Energy Technology, Environment News on 4/22/09


https://i1.wp.com/spacedaily.com/images/climate-spix-sm.jpgLondon (AFP) April 21, 2009 – Hundreds of millions of people will become victims of climate change-related disasters over the next six years, Oxfam said Tuesday, urging governments to change the way they respond to such events.

Toronto Trying to Force Green Roofs – Could Your City be Next?

via Green Options by Stephen Boles on 4/21/09

Green roof on top of Chicago City Hall

North of the border a controversy is starting to gain steam in the nation’s largest city, Toronto. The city has proposed a by-law that would make ‘green roofs’ mandatory in new construction of condos higher than 7 storeys and office or retail complexes greater than 54,000 square feet (about 1/4 of a Wal-Mart Supercenter). The proposed law would require 30-60% of the surface area of buildings’ roofs to be green (depending on the size of the building) and violators would be subject to fines up to $100,000.

Light Bulb Condom Does Not Protect Against STDs, Only the Dreaded EU

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/23/09

https://i1.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/bulb-condom_01.jpgDepending on your location, you may have heard that the European Union is banning all frosted incandescent bulbs in order to stimulate the adoption of efficient lighting. This bulb condom helps get around the rule.

Sky-Terra Towers Poised to Steal the Last Remnants of Sunshine from Humanity

via Gizmodo Australia on 4/23/09

https://i0.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/04/borek-ed01.jpg

Sky-Terra were designed with the intent of creating a green space in the sky. But am I the only one who sees a flaw with this logic?

Emission Free: 5 Huge Renewable Energy Projects to Watch For

via Green Options by Dave Levitan on 4/23/09

A wind farm in Germany

In February, President Obama called for a doubling of the US renewable energy capacity within three years. Yesterday, Obama visited a wind energy company in Newton, Iowa and again emphasized the importance of new forms of power generation:

“Now, the choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline. We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy.”

With billions in stimulus dollars heading toward improving the electricity grid and building sustainable energy infrastructure, emission-free power may be coming to your neighborhood sooner than you think. Here are five of the biggest, most ambitious projects that are in the pipeline, both in the US and elsewhere.

Citi Achieves First Ever LEED Platinum Accreditation for a Data Centre – StreetInsider.com (subscription)

via “embodied energy” – Google News on 4/22/09

Citi Achieves First Ever LEED Platinum Accreditation for a Data Centre
StreetInsider.com (subscription), MI
priority item for Citi allowing both the LEED requirements and embodied energy calculations to influence the selection — The recycled content of the materials specified on the project reached 27% with local sourcing of materials exceeding 40%.

I’ve noticed a new trend in the last few weeks.

Communities are now lobbying Councils and Politicians to preserve existing buildings not because of thier historical significance or even the prominence of the architecture, but rather the embodied energy within the structure.

This is likely to have a significant impact on future public works developments. In particular I would think that hospitals and stadiums are a prime candidates for this type of community activism.

I also note that the Green Buildings Council in the United States has joined the cause for the memorial Coliseum redevelopment in Portland. Save the Coliseum

Developers look to be safe in the short term but major government sponsored developments have a new risk to add to the books. Particularly those with long development timelines.