Posts Tagged ‘green building’
When you first think of “eco-friendly building,” you think of recycled / recyclable building materials: recycled plastic pallets; recycled stageboard; recycled skate ramp materials etc. etc. etc. — everything you’d want to build a sustainable city infrastructure with, right?
But, beyond the eco-friendly building methodologies and sustainable design blueprints are the companies who pay to use these “Green buildings.”
Most likely, these eco-friendly buildings turn into offices; housing computers; thus, foreshadowing the rise of a future tech junk problem.
Tech junk. Where does it go? How much energy does it waste? How much energy could we save if we all shut down our computers rather than conveniently choosing, “sleep mode”?
According to iamgreen, today 1-billion computers are active. The accumulative energy wasted by these computers, which on average are left on between 9:00am – 5pm is equivalent to the amount of power it takes to light the entire New York Yankee stadium for every home game from today to the 2596-2597 season.
But, don’t get too excited. There’s more info below!
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Green Marketing Should Focus on The People
The latest report from ecoAmerica is titled “up start with people.” The report states that the environmental community has not been successful at wining the hearts and minds because they have focused mostly on government regulation and intervention. The non-profit sees more success being had by those in the movement who are focused on social solutions that are built around people.
Originally posted on Green Economy Post
Crowdfunded windmill will generate energy for members’ own use
We’ve seen numerous creative approaches to supplying sustainable energy for home users, but recently one caught our eye that seemed a little different. Targeting consumers unwilling or unable to outfit their own homes with wind or solar energy collectors, Dutch Windcentrale offers a chance to own a portion of a local windmill and enjoy a proportionate amount of the green energy it produces.
A brainchild of the Dutch Energy Cooperative with support from the Doen Foundation, Windcentrale gives Dutch households a way to secure their own energy supply for years to come. Toward that end, it has divided up a single windmill’s output into units with an expected wind output of 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) each per year. Interested parties can purchase one or more of those units so as to supply their own household consumption, which averages about 3500 kWh. Power is delivered through the local utility, and during wind-free days it’s supplemented with the utility’s own, traditional supply. When members move, meanwhile, they can simply take their shares with them.
Originally posted on Springwise
5 Green Products Designed for Greener Highways
Sustainable technology development is the need of the hour. With fast depleting natural resources, threat to survival has become evident. The scientists and designers are on a constant look out for designs that solve survival needs of tomorrow. It is true that highways, with its ever growing vehicular traffic, has to be blamed for creating environmental pollution. But many modern industrial designers vouch to transform this traffic lifeline into green power generation hub for future. Highways extended on vast stretch of land, have potential for developing many sustainable means of generating power. Electric cars, e turbine, solar and wind energy lighting and solar powered air purifiers are few of the futuristic designs to curb the pollution levels and build self- reliant system through highways.
Originally posted on Ecofriend
Vertical Farms For London Are Lovely Green Eye Candy
Vertical farms may be pie in the sky, but they are a lot of fun for architects with time on their hands. AWR recently organized a competition to design a vertical farm with a residential use called LOFT 2011.
I am particularly fond of the Second Honorable Mention, the Breathing Vertical Farm. There isn’t a lot of growing area, but it would make a beautiful place to live.
Originally posted on Treehugger
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Deforestation is climbing at an alarming rate.
Here’s a reminder: By the year 2030, only 10 per cent of what the Amazon Rain Forest is today will remain in tact.
Shocked? Yet, within this frightening forecast shines glimmers of hope. The “Green Movement” stands tall with forward-thinking tradesmen, architects, engineers, politicians and new green entrepreneurs, all playing a vital role in the green movement; trailblazing a healthier and sustainable lifestyle for a dying “blue society,” so to speak.
The once kooky green building ideology now has a mass production business model.
The growing popularity and production of recycled plastic lumber has already and will continue to play an important role in the future of sustainable building.
Recycled plastic lumber is equivalent to; or, better than real lumber; serving planet earth with many environmental benefits:
Made From 100% Recycled Plastic and 100% Recyclable: With the world losing 7.3 million hectares of forest per year; adopting recycled plastic lumber instantly reduces the amount waste exhausted in any given construction site. Made from 100% industrial plastic waste and 100% recyclable, all breaks or mis-cuts can be recycled and used again; lasting a lifetime.
Aesthetically Pleasing and Heat Resistant: Equally pleasant to the human eye and just as sensual as real wood, recycled plastic lumber is heat-resistant; preventing dry wood and unattractive shrinkage. Its strong planks serve a cool surface allowing you to freely roam your deck on any given hot day. Your soles of your feet and exposed skin are safe when you lay there and soak in the warm sun.
Versatile: Infestation, warp, and splinter free recycled plastic lumber has proven to be applicable in many different building projects. Hailed in the green building community as the essential alternative to wood; its versatile properties can be used to build exterior moldings, window frames, door frames, decking to fences, vertical gardens and more.
Health Risk Free: Away and beyond the hazardous lather real wood needs to fight off insects and weather, recycled plastic lumber is chemical free: no additives or preservatives. It serves high performance without being high maintenance.
Summary: With the climbing rates of deforestation and illegal loggers continuing to pillage planet earth, recycled plastic lumber attempts to even the score.
Recycled plastic lumber is..
- Made From 100% Recycled Plastic and Recyclable
- Aesthetically Pleasing and Heat Resistant
- Versatile and equivalent if not better than real lumber
- Promotes a healthy and green environment
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Making Green Homes Affordable
When it comes to construction projects, “green” often translates to “more expensive.” As a result, many working families, seniors and people with disabilities don’t have a chance to enjoy the multiple benefits of eco-friendly living: lower utility costs, healthier living spaces and the feeling that you’re doing the right thing for the planet.
That bothered Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing and thriving communities.
Originally posted by Sophia Bennet
Self-Watering Plant Containers for Your Garden
That’s where self-watering container gardens come in: You place your plants in an insert, place the insert in a reservoir of water, and let the plant soak up water as required.
Self-watering gardens are a cinch to DIY with almost any kind of container, from an empty soda bottle to an 18-gallon storage bin, but there are plenty of pre-made versions, too.
These nine options — from the basic insert to the DIY IKEA to the chic, cubist alternative — will help that basil, marigold, tomato plant and more flourish, despite your watering flaws.
Originally Posted on Treehugger
World Changing: Top Sustainability Trends of the Next Decade
World Changing created a list of the top sustainability trends they see occurring over the next decade:
Bike usage will continue to rise across cities worldwide: “Copenhagen residents use bikes for 37 percent of all their transit. But bikes in Europe represent more than utility; riding a bicycle with the Velib’s bikeshare program in Paris now easily competes (42 million registered users) with taking a spring walk along the Seine. Bike-sharing abounds in dozens of European cities as well as in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago, Chile. Look for North American burgs to continue their proliferation of bicycles-as-transit use and bike lane expansion (NYC bicycle use is up 61% in two years).”
Copenhagen UNFCCC meeting will eventually result in a set of targets for cutting GHG emissions: “The UN COP15 Copenhagen conference resulted in no binding treaty status among any of the attending 128 nations that attended for them to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s late fall gathering in Mexico City is likely to set national binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions.
Originally posted by The Dirt
TAU’s Eco-Architecture Could Produce “Grow Your Own” Homes
A bus stop that grows its own foliage as shade? A children’s playground, made entirely from trees? A shelter made from living tree roots that could provide natural protection against earthquakes in California?
“Eco-architecture” may sound like a Buck Rogers vision of an ecologically-sustainable future, but that future is now thanks to the guidance of Tel Aviv University Professors Yoav Waisel and Amram Eshel. The concept of shaping living trees into useful objects known as tree shaping, arborsculpture, living art or pooktre isn’t new. But scientists are now ready to use this concept as the foundation of a new company that will roll out these structures worldwide.
Originally posted by Aftau
Infographic: Map of Pollution Levels in China’s Major River Basins
The seven major river basins, as a whole, have had steady improvements in water quality over the past decade.
The water quality of the Pearl River and the Yangtze River are the best among the seven major river basins. There have been few changes to the Hai River over the last decade, while there was a big increase in water classified as drinkable (Grades I-III) in the Yellow River. The Huai River has had a relatively stable improvement, but the Songhua River has experienced slow improvement from 2004 to 2007 (perhaps due to two catastrophic pollution accidents that occurred there in 2005 and 2006).
Originally posted by Circle of Blue
On average, every new construction project produces 3.9 pounds of waste per square foot of building area. With mainstream media focusing on lowering CO2 levels for the passed 5 years, it’s easy to get caught up in the mass media hype; forgetting about the other alternative ways to reach a healthly environment; such as, alternative construction-waste management solutions.
This is not to say that everyone who builds a new office or new home plays a “dirty role” in deforestation, or our drinking water crisis, or our “dangerously high CO2 levels.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are trendsetting companies, cultural influencers, and individuals out there who have discovered innovative ways to help both the environment while reducing living expenses.
1. Minimise Your Materials. Go Standard Size: Make sure your architect and construction manager commit to your Green building agenda from day one. Let them know exactly which materials you want to minimise and discuss how both parties can prevent wasteful building habits. In other words, you don’t want to build a mansion when all you need is the average-sized Canadian home of 1,800 square feet.
A good idea is to suggest dimensional planning and design rooms based on 4-foot multiples that conform to standard-sized wallboard and plywood sheets. You also want to recycle demolition materials so you can use to build a base for your driveway or sidewalk.
2. Use Recycled Materials to Build Your Home: It takes 400-board-feet of lumber to build a three-bedroom home of 1,500 square feet. A great way to save trees is to simply implement recycled building materials to maximize your Green agenda. So when pieces around your home eventually fall a part or break, you’ll be able to recycle them. Baleboard, Polyboard and Eco-friendly lumber are excellent examples of Green building materials that do an equal–if not better–job than regular wood/lumber.
3. Water Conservation: The drinking water crisis is a story many people simply ignore, and water conservation is bigger of a deal than “high CO2” levels.
Preserve water by installing 3-G or more water pressure limiting devices. I’m sure you’ve heard of 9-year old Mason Perez, who saved his community thousands of gallons of water and money through his science project by simply reducing water pressure. If a nine-year-old can do it, so you.
4. Passive Solar design: Build high windows and invest time and research on passive solar design. Passive solar design helps your home customize to your local climate and naturally heats your home in the winter and cools it during the summer. You’ll also want to position your home where it maximizes natural breezes, shading, and you can even build skylights on your roof to help you reduce heating and air conditioning bills.
5. Safe Floors: Try to limit the amount of stairs in your home. Many houses build stairs for aesthetics alone. By eliminating unnecessary stairs, you’ll invest in safe floors where you can minimise the amount of materials you use. Also, it helps you plan for your future; making it easier for you to get from point A to point B in your home as you age.
It’s a fact. Construction waste makes up for approximately 40 percent of our landfill. Luckily enough building environmentally conscious abodes isn’t as inconvenient as it was a few decades ago.
With basic online research you and your architect can find Green companies that provide eco-friendly building materials/services. Ultimately, you’ll improve your overall energy efficiency, save a ton of money, and a lot trees.
- -Minimize materials Go Standard or lower than standard size.
- -Use Recycled Materials to Build Your Home
- -Conserve Water
- -Passive Solar design
- -Safe Floors
Uninhabited Island Bought on Craigslist to Become a Haven for Artists
One of the greatest places to be inspired for art is smack in the middle of nature, with no other evidence of human habitation. Rob Gorski found a listing for the 91-acre island on Craigslist last year and bought the untamed island (not something you get to do every day!).
Originally posted on Treehugger
Self-Sufficient Underwater Sky Scraper Havests Renewable Energy
With rising sea levels due to changes in climate threatening the coastal cities worldwide, the need for floating or underwater cities and architectures has been felt more than ever before. Conceived by Malaysian designer Sarly Adre Bin Sarkum, the “Water-Scraper” is a self-sufficient underwater architecture that employs a variety of sustainable technologies to produce renewable energy and grow its own food.
Originally posted on Design Buzz
Energy Generating Portable Green Classrooms
A California-based company, Green Apple Classrooms, has come up with an innovative model of classrooms which are energy neutral and portable. These classrooms are able to generate electricity for themselves and hence are self sufficient. In fact, on an average, the classroom will be able to produce more electricity than required for self consumption. The classrooms are relocatable hence the same classroom can be used for various purposes at different points of time. This will also bring down infrastructure related costs of school.
Originally posted on Eco Friend
UN Is Aiding a Corporate Takeover of Drinking Water
Early last month, pharmaceutical titan Merck became the latest multinational to pledge allegiance to the CEO Water Mandate, the United Nations’ public-private initiative “designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices.”
But there’s darker data beneath that sunny marketing: The CEO Water Mandate has been heavily hammered by the Sierra Club, the Polaris Institute and more for exerting undemocratic corporate control over water resources under the banner of the United Nations.
Originally posted on Alternet
Michigan Woman Faces 93 Days In Jail For Planting A Garden
Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan — a mother of 6, law-abiding citizen, and gardener — is facing 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor.
Her crime? Planting a vegetable garden in the front yard.
Bass says that she planted the garden after her front yard was torn up for some sewer repairs.
Originally posted on Treehugger
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This is for you. The busy eco-body who just doesn’t have enough time to keep up with Renew Resources’ daily Twitter feed. So to save you the hassle of sifting through all of our glorious Eco-friendly tweets, we have narrowed and highlighted this week’s best “Sustainable Building” posts. They’re current, relevant and definitely worth knowing about! Here we go in no particular order!
Introducing the Beton Hala Waterfront proposal by Egyptian architects Andreas Eckmann and Stefanie Hesse of Architecktur studios. Here we have an eco-friendly structure that goes beyond most of our eco-friendly building tweets we’ve made thus far. What’s so special about it? Underneath the asphalt lies Piezoelectric Sensors which are placed underneath the 350 meter long pathway expected to produce 420 KW of electricity per day. Specifically, when a 125 lbs individual walks up and down the roadway for a few seconds, it’ll produce 0.1 W of electricity. Amazing, huh?
Groundbreaking Recyclable Basketball Stadium by Architizer
Designed by Sinclair Knight Merz, Wilkinson Eyre and KSS London unveil a Recyclable Basketball stadium for the 2012 Olympic Games. How is a 1,000 steel tonne structure “Green?” Good question. It’s a recyclable basketball stadium, meaning that the country can reuse its temporary structure for other events. Nonetheless, London avoids using over the top wasteful materials for the Olympics and shows to put forth more effort in recyclable standing structures which a step closer to an eco-friendly direction.
Yiftach Ben Meir Sea02′s Computer System For Sustainable Design
Architect Yiftach Ben Meir invents Sea02, a computer system dedicated to propose energy alternatives for sustainable design. Here we have a quick example of how Sea02 helped produce an eco-friendly structure using for a green building project in Tel Aviv. Ultimately, the plan is to utilize the sun, wind, and land energy sources optimizing solar, wind and land energy for green living.
And there you have it, Renew Resources‘ top three sustainable building tweets of the week. All three tweets help us forget about the clusters of crises we experience today and also reminds us that the human species always finds a way to reach over the clouds of calamity and father rainbows of solutions that save the day. Until next post—stay green.
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Interesting fact: If you recycle 1 ton of plastic, you save the equivalent energy consumed by 2 people in one year.
Today, it’s ‘Green’ to say that plastic lumber is an eco-friendly carpenter’s dream come true; however, many beginners, hobbyists, and DIY’ers out there looking to incorporate ‘Green building’ best practices tend to limit themselves; being oblivious to the many options recycled plastic lumber can offer.
So if you are looking to introduce more ‘Green building’ methods into your building regimen, save trees and free yourself from high-maintenance hardwood — look no further!
Renew Resources has compiled a quick top 3 list of things you can build using recycled plastic lumber.
Plastic Wood Roofing Shingles
Want to help prevent plastic from overloading your land-fill? Or how about save a ton of lovely animal kingdom creatures from plastic waste strangulation? Or even better, want to prevent plastic waste chemicals from leaking into your soil and water? Yes? Yes? And yes?
Well, the beauty of plastic lumber shingles is that it helps the environment and does a better job than your average shingle. How?
Plastic lumber doesn’t heat up under the sun, so your utility bill will definitely be lower. Its shock absorption also prevents house hold damage from thunderous hail storms, and is very easy to install saving you a lot of time.
Be the one to build an eco-friendly bench for your family this summer. Plastic lumber maintains the desirable natural wood aesthetic and ensures a 50 year life span. You’ll never have to worry about splinters, warps or even the hassles of painting or varnishing–ever!
Decks made out of plastic lumber help fight off Mother Nature’s natural enemies (animals, rot, weather, insects etc.). It’s stain resistant, available in almost any color code, water proof and extremely low-maintenance.
It takes 10 years for regular plastic bag to decompose in a landfill and 1000 years for harder plastics to biodegrade. Replacing real lumber with plastic lumber just makes sense—you recycle, reduce, and reuse. Elementary my dear reader, elementary!