Closing the Climate Change Accounting Loophole — With a Billboard – Huffington Post

Closing the Climate Change Accounting Loophole — With a Billboard
Huffington Post, NY
a less-than-honest tally of our carbon dioxide costs – an accounting mistake that is already having enormous impacts in every corner of the US and world. The market price of emitting this pollution has long and, quite irrationally, been zero

Canadian seal hunt ‘collapsing’

Canada’s fishermen catch only 25% of this year’s seal quota, blaming falling prices for seal pelts and an expected EU ban on seal products.

charlie davidson: ‘uni’ table


the ‘uni’ table is cut from a single pieces of plywood
image courtesy of charlie davidson

charlie davidson, who previously participated in our designboom mart tokyo, has designed ‘uni table’,
made from sustainable plywood. for the design, davidson chose to use the
alpha system / traditional wood cut style joint that takes into account structural loading,
re-assembly and ease of manufacturing. to minimize the use of plywood, he came up with a solution
where a pair of legs could be cut from two smaller pieces of ply, which results in a jigsaw-like
connection to key the leg components together. the two pairs of legs are then joined together
with two side rails held in place by the alpha system. the table top then locks into the side rails.

the top is cut from the underside, using a standard 3 degree tapered cutter normally used in
machining wooden moulds that require a draft angle. this produces the tapered edges around the
tabletop’s edge and cuts the angled holes into which the legs locate and fiction locked into place.
the round cut maple’s natural beauty is maximized by the large table surface,
with its curved sides flowing with the grain of the veneer.


an exploded view of the table
image courtesy of charlie davidson


detail of the alpha system which locks the legs and table top together
image courtesy of charlie davidson

Closer to the sun: Satellite solar is out of this world

from Green Options by Jeff Kart

This is a notch up from high-altitude wind turbines.

It’s another type of space race, to be the first company to get solar satellites into orbit.

U.S. companies are aggressively researching the technology, reports Yale 360. One firm called PowerSat in Washington state has filed for patents to link as many 300 shiny satellites together in space, beam the energy to one big satellite, then transmit the power back to Earth.

The star trek also includes using solar-powered thrusters to launch satellites into orbit 22,000 miles above our planet.

This post contains additional media. Click here to view the full post.A California utility called PG&E also has signed a deal with Solaren for 200 megawatts of space-based solar power in 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Read more of this story »

UN warns of ‘megadisasters’ linked to climate change

Geneva (AFP) June 16, 2009 – The United Nations on Tuesday raised the prospect of “megadisasters” affecting millions of people in some of the world’s biggest cities unless more is done to heed the threat of climate change.

MIT Researchers Discover Why Concrete Breaks Down

from Green Options by Ariel Schwartz

The old saying “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” may not apply to sidewalks for much longer now that MIT researchers have figured out why concrete breaks down. As a result of the discovery, structures like buildings, bridges, and yes, sidewalks, could last for hundreds of years longer than they currently do. A nuclear waste container built to last 100 years could, for example, last 16,000 years.

Read more of this story »

eVolo 2010 Skyscraper Competition

from AMNP

dsky_b.gif

[’09 2nd place: The living bridge, Nicola Marchi + Adelaïde Marchi]

The eVolo Skyscraper Competition has definitely evolved into a really interesting way to test and showcase new ideas for high-rise buildings – a typology that is most definitely due for some real innovation.

All Aboard the Wind-Powered Railway

from Wired: Autopia by Keith Barry

train_windmills

The marriage of railway operators and wind farms could bring renewable energy to more people and energy-saving, higher-speed locomotives to America’s rails.

Freight company BNSF is considering allowing power companies to use its railroad rights-of-way (such as theChicago-to-California Transcon) to route transmission lines from remote wind farms to major cities. In exchange, BNSF would get lower electric bills and a constant source of power for their locomotives should BNSF go electrtic, according to RailwayAge Magazine.

The concept makes sense. Railroad rights-of-way tend to be largely hidden from view but they also lead to major population centers, and they could pass big midwestern wind farms. A wind-and-rail combination would position rail companies to benefit from any future “cap-and-trade” emissions policies. It also could cut emissions as diesel locomotives are replaced with electric trains, and investments in wind power would help further offset emissions.

First Spaceport Ever Begins Construction This Friday

This newly-released image shows the sun rising over Spaceport America. It’s not build yet, but you are looking at the future. The beginning of the real future, the stuff dreams are made of. (more…)

High-Altitude Winds Hold Sky-High Promise for Meeting Electricity Needs

from Green Options by Jeff Kart

High-altitude winds hold enough energy to power the world 100 times over.

Though harnessing them is another issue.

You’ve heard of commercial wind turbines in farm fields, offshore turbines on the water, even small wind turbines on the rooftops of homes, but high-altitude winds are also being studied as a potential energy source.

The first-ever study of high-altitude winds by the Carnegie Institution and California State University says winds in the jet stream, about 30,000 feet up, would be the ideal source to exploit. And the sky over New York is a prime spot, along with population centers in the eastern United States and East Asia.

Read more of this story »

Saudi’s Kingdom hires Emaar for kilometre-high skyscraper

Saudi's Kingdom hires Emaar for kilometre-high skyscraper June 14, Jeddah

Kingdom group signed Dubai-based Emaar to develop and supervise the construction of a kilometre-high tower in Jeddah. The Jeddah Kingdom City and Kingdom Tower will comprise 23 million square metres (247 million square feet) of commercial, residential and office space on 530 hectares of land near Jeddah’s international airport. The centrepiece of the project will be taller than any building completed or under construction in the world…more

Ideas Competition for the Bering Strait Project Announces Winners

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

The Bering Strait Project international ideas competition recently announced the winning concepts in the professional and student categories. The Bering Strait Project attempts to span the Bering Strait betweenRussia and the United States via a bridge or a tunnel which would create an overland connection linking Asia, Africa and Europe with North America and South America.

image

Possible route of Intercontinental Peace Bridge across the Bering Strait (Wikipedia)
Promotion video of Bering Strait Project (Source)

Not many images of the winning concepts have been published yet – we keep on adding them as they come in. Add your entry by sending images to .

These are the jury’s winners:
Professional Category:

1st Prize (USD 55,000):

Diomede Archipelago: TALLER 301 – Julian Restrepo (Colombia), Pablo Forero (Colombia), Manuela Mosquera (Colombia), Susana Somoza (Venezuela), Tomas Jaramillo (Colombia)

image

Diomede Archipelago

2nd Prize (each USD 25,000):

Bering Strait: Rachdi Manal (France), architecture OFF (France)

Bridge the Memory: Jaeik Sim (Republic of Korea), Hyunwook Woo (Republic of Korea), Daekwon Park (Republic of Korea), Jonghyuk Lim (Republic of Korea), Dongjin Lee (Republic of Korea)

image

Bridge the Memory

image

Bridge the Memory

image

Bridge the Memory

EATURE-Australia’s carbon farmers in quiet revolution – Reuters

FEATURE-Australia’s carbon farmers in quiet revolution
Reuters
Carbon farmers are adopting zero or minimum tillage, which does not plough the soil, increasing stock rotation to allow land to rest, sometimes for years, and avoiding bare earth with year-round cover with crops, native grasses and weeds. 

The Tipping Point: China Takes Major Steps Toward Electric Vehicles

from Green Options by Ruedigar Matthes

With over 1.3 billion people, it is no wonder that China is the “tipping point” when it comes to electric vehicles (EV). At least that’s what Better Place CEO Shai Agassi says.

Better Place, a venture-backed company that aims to reduce global dependency on oil, doesn’t sell cars but infrastructure. The company recently unveiled a battery swap system in Tokyo that makes refueling an EV easier than filling up at the pump. The $500,000 station allows drivers to travel long distances without having to stop to charge their battery, eliminating EV’s ever present “range anxiety.” Batteries are quickly and easily swapped out so drivers can get back on the road.

But infrastructure is just part of the picture, and Agassi says that China is taking steps toward green-lightingelectric cars in a big way. “Once China does it, you don’t have a choice,” Agassi said.

Read more of this story »

Supermarket installs power-generating parking lot

from DVICE by AdamFrucci
Supermarket installs power-generating parking lotA supermarket in England is setting up a high-tech parking lot that’ll generate energy from cars driving on it. The free juice will power the cash registers and lights inside the store.

The system will work via a series of plates that, when driven over, will create a rocking motion underground which turns generators. As more cars drive over it, more energy is generated, about 30kw of energy an hour. It’s a smart idea, and we’ll have to wait and see if it catches on elsewhere.

Via Daily Mail

Huge Electric Semi Would Transform Trucking

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

When you think about the fuel-efficient vehicles we’ll need as we descend the other side of Hubberts Peak you think of an electric car, right? You just don’t think of a hybrid diesel electric Semi Truck, do you? 

Well, luckily, somebody is thinking about this fuel-efficient Semi, because we will still need to transport stuff even as the oil age slowly comes to an end.

Kioko Muthui has designed a humungous concept vehicle that would operate as a Series Range extended EV – a bit like the Volt – but instead of gas to run the onboard ICE, using a tiny amount of diesel.

Like the series hybrid Volt, this internal combustion engine is used only to generate electricity to run the truck as an EV, never to power the vehicle.

Read more of this story »

Smart Grid vs. Renewable Energy: Where Should We Invest?

from Green Options by Jennifer Lance

Smart Grid Technology Meeting energy needs while being efficient and using environmentally responsible technologies is probably the single greatest change that needs to happen to alter the effects of climate change now.  In the United States and the European Union, governments are backing smart grid and renewable energy programs. Undoubtedly, the two technologies go hand-in-hand, but where should we put our efforts (and dollars/euros) first?

Read more of this story »

monolab: rotterdam city tower

the dutch architecture firm monolab design a true high rise for rotterdam in the city’s maas harbour.
the tower is designed to give the city a contemporary high-rise that is iconic and practical. the tower
would stand 450 m tall in the city’s harbour connected to the land via a series of walkways where there
would also be a parking lot and another building project. the building’s façade would use photovoll glass
that harnesses solar energy to power the building. the tower also does away with a central core for
elevators and stairs by placing these elements of the outside. the interior of the tower would be filled with
a combination of office, residential and special commercial programming such as observation decks, gym
and restaurants.

http://www.monolab.nl

When the ruins begin to sing

from BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh
[Images: Three aerial photos of suburban Arizona by Daquella Manera, used through a Creative Commons license].

Malfunctioning fire alarms going off inside foreclosed homes have become a major distraction for fire departments in suburban Arizona, according to ABC15 News.
Fire fighters, however, cannot legally enter a property unless they see smoke or have obtained the owner’s permission. But in an era of bank ownership and rampant foreclosure, even finding the owners can take weeks.
The result is that “neighbors have to listen to the alarm until the battery dies, which can take days.”
First we were surrounded by ruins, and then those ruins

began to sing.

(Thanks to Steve Silberman for the link!)

XERO Project Green Building Concept: Veggie Does Dallas

Somewhat like a vegetarian version of the Dragonfly building in Manhattan, the XERO Project is a proposed idea of bringing local agriculture, orchards, gardens and food stalls into the city of Dallas, all under one roof. (more…)

Well-connected – Timber Trades Journal

Well-connected
Timber Trades Journal, UK
There are two issues around carbon [in building] – embodied energy and operational energy. [Traditionally] about 20% of a building’s carbon is embodied and 80% is operational, but we now have buildings where the ratio is more like 60:40,” he said – and 

The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind

The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind June 10

The appeal of integrating wind turbines into our buildings is strong. Rooftops are elevated above ground, where it’s windier; the electricity is generated right where it’s needed; and wind energy can make a strong visual statement. Dozens of start-up wind turbine manufacturers have latched onto this idea since it fits well with a strong public sentiment to shift from fossil fuels to renewables. What’s not to like about it?…more.

Russia Tower Site To Become Car Park

Russia Tower Site To Become Car Park June 12, Moscow

The planned 600 metre plus tower to stand in Moscow, the Russia Tower, has been officially junked with the site set to be transformed into a car park making it one of the most notable victims of the current global recession. The developer was expected to begin construction of the tower early 2009 but has struggled to raise the $2 billion in financing required, thanks to the relative weakness of the Russian economy compared to China and India…more.

Will Babcock & Wilcox’s tiny reactor make nuclear power practical?

from DVICE by PeterPachal
Will Babcock & Wilcox's tiny reactor make nuclear power practical?In the long march toward a green power grid, a lot of eyes are turning toward nuclear power. While the problem of what to do with the waste remains unresolved (waste is typically stored on-site), a new, more compact reactor design might make the issues of cost and construction time less of a concern. Babcock & Wilcox’s small-scale reactor is one-tenth the size of a normal one, and it’s able to generate 125 MW of power.

B&W says the power will cost less than $5,000 per megawatt. With an average home consuming about 1 kW, the reactor could lead to some seriously cheap power — possibly even cheaper than this mini reactor from Hyperion.

All of this, of course, puts aside the issue of nuclear waste, which would be presumably the same amount as a normal-size reactor. At least B&W has equipped the pint-size reactors to be able to store waste on-site for their entire 60-year lifespan. That seems to be good enough for the Obama administration (for now), so if this new design can help get us on the road to safe, practical nuclear power, we say bring it on!

Babcock & Wilcox, via Treehugger

Zero Waste Week

from Sustainable Melbourne by Kate Archdeacon
Could you survive a week without throwing anything away?   An invitation from the Ethical Consumer Guide to join the “Zero Waste Week” trial. Can we live with zero rubbish for one week?  It’s a basic concept,  yet may be not-so-basic to implement. Join us on a […]

More Urban Sprawl

from Sustainable Melbourne by Virginia
Melbourne’s urban sprawl will push another 50,000 houses into surrounding farmland in the next 15 years, putting further pressure on Melbourne’s stretched transport system. Despite Government planning policies backing increased city density, almost half of all new housing expected in Melbourne over the next decade will be built on Melbourne’s fringes where there is little […]

European Parliament votes for `zero carbon` building rule – Environmental Expert (press release)


Sofia Echo

European Parliament votes for `zero carbon` building rule
Environmental Expert (press release), Spain
All new homes, shops and offices built in the European Union could have to meet tough ‘zero carbon‘ building standards from 2019 after the European Parliament voted to strengthen rules designed to ensure buildings generate renewable energy onsite. 
Europe sets 2019 deadline for zero-energy new buildings Energy Efficiency News
all 211 news articles

Humanity’s carbon budget set at one trillion tonnes

from New Scientist – Online News

To avoid dangerous climate change, we must burn no more than 25% of remaining fossil fuel reserves, two comprehensive new studies show

What smart meters will do for you

Smart meters will let you monitor gas and electricity use

from BBC News and Sport Search: energy

A revolution in the way you think about and use energy in your home is about to get underway, the Energy Retail Association says.

Wind Turbine Output Boosted 30% by Breakthrough Design

from Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst

Passive structure design of “Wind Energizer” by Leviathan Energy reportedly increases wind turbine efficiency 30% in field tests.

Technological advancements in wind energy efficiency have generally come incrementally and usually made via a process of increasingly large wind turbine blades. Put simply, the model has been: longer blades = more output per turbine.

But that pattern of incremental improvements may be a thing of the past if Leviathan Energy has anything to say about it. Leviathan Energy has completed initial testing on their Wind Energizer unit and is reporting gains in wind turbine output in the ballpark of 30% — and as much as 150% at lower wind speeds.

The principle theory at work is that by placing passive objects around a wind farm it will change the circulation around a large wind turbine. The advancement is not in the turbine itself, but rather in the area around it, as such, units can be adapted to any wind turbine from any manufacturer.

“This is a disruptive technology,” Leviathan Energy CEO Dr. Daniel Farb told me via telephone from Israel last week. “We are changing the environment of the wind turbine; this is a very different approach.”

Read more of this story »

Russia To Ring The Arctic With Floating Nuclear Power Stations

from Gizmodo Australia

Poor Mr. Polar Bear. When he’s not jumping from melting ice chunk to ice chunk trying desperately not to drown, he’s avoiding the floating Russian nuclear power stations and their potential toxic waste.

Property Council says high-rise is the solution

from CTBUH Global News

April 30, BrisbaneBrisbane could see more than 1000 new 20-storey apartment towers dotted across the skyline in the next 20 years. While understanding some residents may be concerned at dramatic changes, Property Council state executive director Steve Greenwood agrees with Lord Mayor Campbell Newman that Brisbane city needs to “go up if we can’t go out”…more

Islands at the Top of the World – Airships Revisited

from InfraNet Lab by neeraj

[Luxury cruises by Airship Ventures Zeppelin NT over San Francisco]

As energy costs rise and resources continue to deplete, seemingly defunct technologies tend to resurface. Airships are one such innovation, garnering more attention in recent years after decades of dormancy. Airships are ‘lighter than air’ structures that remain aloft with a lifting gas, such as helium. Propelled in a similar fashion to boats – using rudders and propellers, airships are presently used for advertising, tourism and aerial observation. New innovative research, however, is improving the speed and maneuverability of airships, making them a competitive means of transport in a fuel starved economy.

[Strato Cruiser Concept design by Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown]

Jetfuel currently accounts for twelve percent of the CO2 emissions in the United States. With increases in air travel, once ‘impractical’ alternatives such as biofuels and airships are becoming viable solutions to lower fossil fuel consumption. The Spirit of Dubai, an airship primarily used for advertising, boasts that it uses less fuel in a week than a Boeing 767 consumes by traveling from gate to runway. The low fuel consumption has incited explorations into the cargo transporting ability of airships, particularly when speed is not vital. Airships are also useful for ‘hovering’ – sparking design interests from surveillance and observation to an ‘internet airship’ that can provide wireless access to mobile computer users.

[Lockheed Martin\’s solar powered HAA]

Recently, Lockheed Martin was contracted by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Air Force to construct a prototype airship that would be solar powered. Termed the HAATM (High Altitude Airship), the airship is an unmanned structure that is located high above the jetstream (where the airs are calm) to provide surveillance and weather monitoring. The large surface areas of airships (which greatly increases their drag) provide an ideal site for solar farming – harnessing energy while transporting goods and people.

[Aeros\’ Aeroscraft ML866]

[Aeros\’ Aeroscraft ML866 – size comparison]

The Russian company, Ros AeroSystems is developing a high altitude airship that can carry 1200 kg – effectively transforming the routes that cargo is distributed. With an average daily power consumption of 100-230 kW, the ‘Berkut’ is equipped with solar cells to reduce energy consumption and increase endurance.

The American company Aeros has developed an ‘aeroscraft’ that can cruise at speeds of 200km/hr. An aeroscraft is a partially buoyant airship that also has gas cells that allows it to control lift while in the air or on the ground. Further, the 64m aeroscraft is being examined and tested to carry loads up to 60 tons. While unable to seat large number of passengers (currently seating only 20), the aeroscraft ML866 comes equipped with mobile program – conference rooms, libraries, hotel rooms, etc., effectively absorbing the grey goo of airport urbanism within the transport vessel itself.

[Manned Cloud, a flying hotel proposed by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud]

While airship travel is appealing, there are still some challenges to overcome before air cruises become universal. First, is the reliance on helium. While helium is the second most abundant element in the observable Universe, it is quite rare on Earth. Although hydrogen gas is more buoyant than helium, it does not have the non-flammable characteristics of helium. Secondly, the load capacity of airships needs to increase to make these viable for mass transport. Currently, they are ‘luxurious’ only because they have more space than load capacity. By increasing their passenger and cargo capacity, they can attract a larger-than-luxury consumer base. The last obstacle to overcome would be traveler’s patience. Perhaps being in an island on top of the world will be worth the week long trip to Europe.

High-rise plan to halt the sprawl

from CTBUH Global News

April 30, MelbourneMelbourne could house an extra million people within existing boundaries by accelerating multi-level development on main tram and bus routes, according to an ambitious plan before the State Government. A draft report, obtained by The Age, proposes a radical rethink of the urban planning system in a bid to overcome persistent obstacles to higher-density housing development…more

Office block to be carbon neutral – Sydney Morning Herald


Sydney Morning Herald

Office block to be carbon neutral
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Grocon chief executive Daniel Grollo said the Pixel Building went a step further than “carbon zero” projects by guaranteeing all carbon used in the construction of the $6 million, four-storey office block would be offset over the life of the building, ..

Less than 25 per cent understand zero-carbon challenge, says report – Architects’ Journal

from zero carbon – Google News

Less than 25 per cent understand zerocarbon challenge, says report
Architects’ Journal, UK – Christopher Sell
The consultation, which aims to find a practical definition of zero carbon, was launched by the Communities and Local Government consultation in December 2008, following calls from industry that existing definitions ofzero carbon were unworkable for 
Zero Carbon Hub releases report on zero carbon definition Building Sustainable Design
Zero carbon homes report released PlanningResource (subscription)
all 4 news articles

How one in 1,000 can equal 50%

from BBC News and Sport Search: energy

What do you do when that family snapshot of your child playing on a golden beach is ruined by the ugly car park to the right of the picture? Crop it out. Unfortunately, statistical pictures are also heavily cropped to alter the stories they tell, says Michael Blastland in his regular column

3XN: Saxo Bank

from AMNP

3XN has recently completed construction of the Saxo Bank Headquarters in Copenhagen – a ‘young dynamic internet bank’ that was founded in 1992 and focuses on online-trading.

The architectural design is based on Saxo’s cutting-edge profile and branding. The lines of the building design define a sharp balance between reliability and dynamic expressiveness in dialogue with the local plan. The building is shaped like two blocks with the end walls pointing towards the canal, joined together by facades that are withdrawn from the end walls. The facades are shaped like double curved glass that wave like a piece of textile.

While most clients only deal with the bank through the interwebs, the bank decided that the image and physical presence of the new headquarters was of great importance – based partially on ‘a strong conviction that architecture and design affect each staff member’s performance and awareness of the company’. The interior is therefore open and transparent, emphasizing a sense of community. The plan centers around a large atrium space – with a large spiraling staircase corkscrewing up  the height of the building.

::Thanks to Lise for contacting AMNP about this project::

.:all images + info courtesy of 3XN->

World’s Largest Commercial Solar Power Tower Goes Online

from Green Options by Sean Sullivan

Now we’re cooking.

Operation of a new Spanish solar thermal plant just kicked into high gear, taking the title as the world’s largest commercial tower-type collector.

Read more of this story »

Going Green Fail

from FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments by pizzaburger

Zaha Hadid’s Genesy floorlamp takes inspiration from the trees

from DVICE by AdamFrucci

This is the Genesy Floorlamp, designed for Artemide by legendary designer Zaha Hadid. It’s huge and awesome and you can’t afford it.

Apparently, it was inspired by trees and their roots and canopies. I can sort of see that, but to be fair, there’s no touch dimmers on trees. Nor are there two types of lightbulbs. But hey, it’s close enough.

Via DesignBoom

Preservationists, developer square off over Century Plaza Hotel – Los Angeles Times

from “embodied energy” – Google NewsPreservationists, developer square off over Century Plaza Hotel
Los Angeles Times, CA – Ken Hively


Moe maintains that the building contains a great deal of “embodied energy,” the energy required to manufacture the materials, transport them to the site and assemble them into a building. He has recently been speaking to groups nationwide about this 

Norway May Ban Gas Cars After 2015

from Green Options by Nick Chambers

Norwegian Finance Minister, Kristin Halvorsen, and her Socialist Left Party have put forth a plan that would disallow the sale of new cars that run solely on gasoline after 2015.

Under the plan new cars such as hybrids, that run partially on gas, would still be allowed to be sold in the country, but any cars that only use gas as their power source would be illegal. Cars already on the road would be unaffected.

Read more of this story »

FBI Adds Environmental Terrorist to Most Wanted List

from Green Options by Kay Sexton

In a double first for the FBI, a domestic terrorist has been included on the international most-wanted list, and he’s an environmental activist too.

The man in question is Daniel Andreas San Diego who’s 31 years old and describes himself as an animal rights extremist. The crime that got him onto the list is the planting of nail bombs in San Francisco in 2003. It’s alleged that San Diego was involved in the campaign that targeted researchers involved in animal testing.

San Diego also has links to SHACStop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, and in January, in the UK, lengthy prison sentences were given to seven members of the organisation after an investigation over several years by Kent police.

Read more of this story »

SolveClimate: California Puts Fuel on World’s First Low-Carbon Diet

from Green Options by SolveClimate

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Thursday, April 23, at SolveClimate.

California regulators tonight approved the world’s first low-carbon fuel standard, a bold set of performance-based fuel rules that are being closely watched in more than a dozen other states and countries, as well as in Washington.

Many of the program’s details are still in flux, to be worked out by the Air Resources Board before the standard takes effect in 2012.

The goal was clear, though: achieve a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020. Fully implemented, California’s LCFS is expected to cut those emissions by 15 million metric tons a year.

“The big picture is we want to incentivize the use of electricity for vehicles. … We want to incentivize innovation,” said Air Resources Board member Daniel Sperling.

Read more of this story »

Hancock Tower Auctioned Off for Half-Price

from CTBUH Global News

April 20, BostonSince it was planted in the landfill of Boston’s Back Bay district in the 1970s, I.M. Pei and Henry N. Cobb’s John Hancock Tower (1976) has been an emblem of spectacular but problematic commercial architecture. Excavation for the tower cracked the masonry of H.H. Richardson’s neighbouring Trinity Church, faulty curtain walls rained glass onto surrounding streets, and the building swayed excessively. In 2009, it’s a ready symbol of today’s vertiginous commercial real estate market…more

iCrete Mixes Stronger Concrete With Less Cement

from CTBUH Global News

April 21, CaliforniaiCrete, based in Beverly Hills, California, has developed a proprietary algorithm for designing concrete mixes that it says can reduce portland cement content by 10%–40% without compromising strength. Cement production is energy-intensive; in a concrete mix with 12% cement, the cement is responsible for 92% of the embodied energy of the mix. In addition, extra cement usually increases early strength gain but can compromise long-term durability and cause other problems…more

KLAUS: On Starchitecture

from AMNP

Our ninja KLAUS, from the GSD, has hit us up with the latest from his site KLAUS: Cartooning the GSD and Other Issues – taking Koolhaas to task on the concept of the ’starchitect’, in hilarious fashion.

They’re like New Yorker cartoons, but for architects – and without having to deal with the pretentious-ass New Yorker. Plus, you’ve got to love KLAUS’ old-school French/Belgian comic style – reminds me of comics I read when I was a kid.

Renovate, Don’t Demolish – The Post-Standard – Syracuse.com

from “embodied energy” – Google News


The Post-Standard – Syracuse.com

Renovate, Don’t Demolish
The Post-Standard – Syracuse.com, NY
Each of the structures on the Near Westside, no matter how neglected, represents
embodied energy. Most were constructed of excellent materials (such as old-growth wood), and the craftsmanship in the intricately detailed woodwork, fireplaces and