Berkshire Residence targets Passive House standards

August 6, 2020 by  
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Brooklyn-based design studio Of Possible recently completed the Berkshire Residence, a 3,600-square-foot contemporary home that the designers describe as a “marriage of spatial poetry and building science.” Built by Massachusetts company Kent Hicks Construction , the home blends traditional New England construction with sustainable and cutting-edge building science principles to ensure the home’s longevity and to meet Passive House Institute standards. Located in Sheffield, Massachusetts, the Berkshire Residence was commissioned by a client who wished to combine elements of his childhood home — a two-story colonial dwelling surrounded by an apple orchard, barn, horse corral and a variety of landscapes — with contemporary and sustainable design. As a result, the house not only takes cues from traditional New England construction with its gabled form and muted, natural palette, but it also follows a contemporary design aesthetic with its clean and minimalist form. Related: Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather “The result is a home where every window and door is a floor-to-ceiling picture frame of the spaces of memory throughout the property,” the architects explained. “The architectural finishes are a sober palette chosen to enhance the effect of these frames against the ever-changing seasonal New England landscape. Moving through the home over the course of the day, one is drawn from the inside spaces to the outside landscape. This is a home for creating new memories and honoring old ones.” Although the Berkshire Residence is not Passive House certified, the house follows Passive House Institute standards with its focus on energy efficiency and a small carbon footprint. Materials were also sourced regionally and selected for durability. Field stones and boulders, for instance, were salvaged onsite and from local construction sites to create landscape retaining walls. The airtight home and its energy-saving systems make Berkshire Residence net-zero-ready ; the homeowners can reach energy self-sufficiency with the addition of a small, ground-mounted solar array.  + Of Possible Photography by Justina via Of Possible

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Berkshire Residence targets Passive House standards

Global warming to cause more deaths than all infectious diseases

August 6, 2020 by  
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A new study published by  the National Bureau of Economic Research  shows that by the end of the century, the number of global warming -related deaths will rival that of deaths caused by all infectious diseases combined. The study estimates that high, uncontrolled greenhouse gas emission rates will increase global mortality rates to 73 deaths per 100,000 people. This number rivals that of deaths caused by all infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, yellow fever and dengue fever. Research focused on global death and temperature records. The data showed relationships between increased global heating and some deaths. For instance, the study found a surge in heart attacks during heat waves . The study also detailed direct causes of death, such as heatstroke related to global warming. Amir Jina, environmental economist at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, said, “A lot of older people die due to indirect heat affects. It’s eerily similar to Covid – vulnerable people are those who have pre-existing or underlying conditions. If you have a heart problem and are hammered for days by the heat, you are going to be pushed towards collapse.” The study also discusses how global warming-related health risks will most affect poor communities in hotter regions of the world. Countries in the tropics, such as Ghana, Bangladesh , Sudan and Pakistan, already face an additional 200 deaths per 100,000 people. In contrast, countries such as Canada and Norway experience lower death rates due to cooler temperatures. This means that the richer countries may experience less of global warming’s effects despite contributing the most to greenhouse gas emissions. Still, even for generally colder, richer nations, climate change’s effects are closer than they seem. In recent years, heat waves have hit parts of the U.S., Europe and Arctic. Estimates forecast that 2020 may be the hottest year in recorded world history, potentially causing more deaths than in previous years. + National Bureau of Economic Research Via The Guardian Image via Pixabay

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Global warming to cause more deaths than all infectious diseases

1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands

August 6, 2020 by  
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More than 1 million minks have been killed on farms in Spain and the Netherlands due to an outbreak of coronavirus among the furry animals. According to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, there has been coronavirus outbreaks on 26 and counting Dutch mink farms. The novel coronavirus has been detected in a number of animals including dogs, cats and tigers, although none of these animals has been proven to infect humans. However, scientists are now investigating the outbreak of a coronavirus among minks on farms in Spain and the Netherlands to determine whether these animals may have infected some humans. The outbreak of mink infections in Spain and the Netherlands is believed to have started from a human, although officials are not certain. It is believed that the virus spread from workers to the minks. Related: Animal rights groups work to “Open Cages” of animals on fur farms An outbreak was discovered at one mink farm near La Puebla de Valverde in Spain in May. Seven of the 14 employees tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the closure of the farm . Two other employees tested positive after the farm had been shut down. Due to the widespread infections in mink farms, over 1.1 million minks have been killed for the fear that they may spread coronavirus to humans. Because the virus strain affecting these animals is similar to the one affecting humans, there is a possibility of the minks spreading the virus to humans, according to Wim van der Poel, a veterinarian and professor at Wageningen University & Research. The World Health Organization has noted that the spread of the coronavirus on mink farms could have transmitted both from humans to the animals and from animals to humans. However, the organization says that such an occurrence is limited. “This gives us some clues about which animals may be susceptible to infection, and this will help us as we learn more about the potential animal reservoir of (the virus),” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO. Via Chicago Tribune Image via Derek Naulls

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1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands

Berkeley YMCA – PG&E Teen Center wins AIA Award for Energy and Sustainability

October 5, 2012 by  
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The building, originally built in 1964, was a former PG&E payment center, and in an effort to enrich the community PG&E donated the building to the YMCA. The renovation was conceived as a project for local teens who struggle with illiteracy and lack mentorship. Noll & Tam were brought on to help plan the adaptive-reuse and to accommodate the YMCA’s visions of education, advocacy, and community sustainability. The design team dynamically preserved the concrete colonnaded southern facade with a twist of an additional third story. The move was a respectful nod to the past and a glance into the future. The sustainable features of this LEED Platinum design are grand to say the least. The building uses 40% less energy, 41% less water, had 75% less construction waste, offsets 10% total building energy through solar power, and costs 35% less than a building built to 2005 Title 24 standards. The building was designed to provide maximum access to natural daylight and views for over 75% of all occupants. The comfort in this building is extraordinary because of the design team’s attention to this detail. The Pankow Construction team also installed a hydronic heating system in the floor slab on the first and third floors to offset heating costs. The San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic, John King , has called the renovation “the most dynamic new building in Berkeley.” Noll & Tam’s efforts were also identified by King as “a case study in how buildings can be reused in ways that not only draw on the past but also signal the future.” The creative and positive energies that continue to surround the project even after completion are wonderful examples of what collaborations for sustainability can bring. Thus, the Teen Center was awarded the 2012 Energy + Sustainability Citation by the AIA San Francisco . + Noll & Tam photos via Noll & Tam

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Berkeley YMCA – PG&E Teen Center wins AIA Award for Energy and Sustainability

Green Festival Chicago: Lennox Yearwood Interviews Bianca Alexander of Conscious Living TV

May 15, 2011 by  
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Renowned Green Activist and Hip Hop Caucus Founder Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. speaks with award winning journalist and local green celebrity Bianca Alexander in this exclusive interview at Green Festival in Chicago.

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Green Festival Chicago: Lennox Yearwood Interviews Bianca Alexander of Conscious Living TV

Green Festival SF: Kevin Danaher Interviews Amy Goodman

April 11, 2011 by  
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Kevin Danaher speaks with Amy Goodman in this exclusive TreeHugger interview at Green Festival in San Francisco. Amy Goodman is an award winning investigative journalist and syndicated columnist, author and the host of Democracy Now! airing on more than 800 public television/radio ..

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Green Festival SF: Kevin Danaher Interviews Amy Goodman

Mother Earth To Be Given Rights Equal to Humans In New Bolivian Law

April 11, 2011 by  
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Pachamama, the goddess revered by indigenous Andean people as ‘Mother World’. Image: Wikipedia .

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Mother Earth To Be Given Rights Equal to Humans In New Bolivian Law

Award Winning Pyua Freeride Ski Jacket Is Recycled and Recyclable

February 9, 2010 by  
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Photos: Pyua Pyua is a German outdoor clothing company, who were Finalists in the ISPO Brandnew Awards in 2009.

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Award Winning Pyua Freeride Ski Jacket Is Recycled and Recyclable

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