Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech

February 10, 2020 by  
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After a visit to the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Diana Blank was inspired to fund a similar project in Georgia. Taking action, she founded the Kendeda Fund and funded it with $30 million to donate toward the cause. Georgia Tech is the recipient of Blank’s vision with a project by Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership that resulted in a Living Building . The net-positive Kendeda Building opened for classes in January 2020 and provides a place for learning and a template for innovative, sustainable design. The construction and design were influenced by the Living Building Challenge, “a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal for the built environment.” Receiving this certification means meeting a host of requirements on everything from material selection to accessibility, and the Kendeda building checks all of the boxes. Related: Net-zero Del Mar Civic Center celebrates community and the great outdoors One example is The Red List, which is a compilation of chemicals common in mainstream construction. In order to avoid these chemicals, every building material was scrutinized to ensure it didn’t contain Red List items. John DuConge, the senior project manager, admitted, “Getting through the Red List compliance, that was truly a challenge, and that probably took a lot more time than anyone expected. But we’ve moved the needle in the market, I think, and that’s one of the things that will make it easier for the next Living Building Challenge project.” This added effort creates an atmosphere without off-gassing or other toxins, resulting in clean indoor air for the hundreds of students and staff using the building daily. Every system in the building stands as an example of the focus on function, internal health, aesthetic beauty and energy savings. This is quickly apparent in the fact that the project is net-positive for energy and water, meaning that it gives back more than it takes. The Kendeda Building incorporated the use of solar panels as a basic step in providing energy to the 47,000-square-foot building. They do the job, plus some, with extra energy to return to the grid. Additionally, these solar panels function as water collection devices. The primary heating and cooling systems then push that water through the floors to maintain a comfortable surface temperature. For additional temperature control, 62 ceiling fans throughout the building help balance the humid Georgia environment. Now complete, the structure consists of two 64-person classrooms , four class labs, a conference room, makerspace, auditorium, rooftop apiary and pollinator garden, an office space for co-located programs and a coffee cart. The Kendeda Building will be audited for certification for the first Living Building Challenge facility of its size and function in the Southeast, following one complete year of functional occupancy. + Georgia Tech Photography by Johnathan Hillyer, Justin Chan Photography, Miller Hull Partnership and Vertical River via Georgia Tech

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Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech

Climate crisis drives bumblebees closer to extinction

February 10, 2020 by  
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The climate crisis, rampant misuse of pesticides , lack of plant diversity, habitat loss, parasites and pathogens have collectively created the perfect storm for a decline in the bumblebee populations in both Europe and North America, according to the research team of Peter Soroye, Tim Newbold and Jeremy Kerr, who have recently published their findings in Science . The research shows that “Within just one human generation, the odds for bumblebee survival have dropped by an average of more than 30%.” The imminent mass extinction of bumblebees could mean a dreary future devoid of wild plants and many farmed crops, given that bumblebees are among the most crucial pollinators out there. Global warming has led to both temperature extremes and unpredictable precipitation. The combination of these atmospheric conditions has exacerbated local bumblebee extinction rates by reducing colonization, shrinking site occupancy and diminishing a habitat’s fertility to support the bumblebee population. Bumblebees tend to overheat, which is why they prefer more temperature regions. Related: Native bees are going extinct without much buzz But weather isn’t the only culprit. The dynamic use of land has contributed to habitat loss, and pesticide use has likewise resulted in a significant decline in these pollinators. Bumblebees are larger and fuzzier than honeybees. While they are not honey producers, they are still key pollinators. Many important fruits, nuts, vegetables and staple crops rely on bumblebees thriving. “When they land on flowers, they physically shake these flowers and shake the pollen off,” explained Peter Soroye, the study’s lead author. “A lot of crops like squash, berries, tomatoes need bumblebees to pollinate them, and honeybees or other pollinators just can’t do that.” In Europe, bumblebee populations decreased by an average of 17% between 1975 and 2000. For North American bumblebees, numbers plummeted by about 46% over the same period. These numbers indicate that the loss of bumblebees could adversely affect food diversity in the future.  “If things continue along the path without any change, then we can really quickly start to see a lot of these species being lost forever,” Soroye said. To mitigate against extinction, he recommended, “If you have a garden , fill it full of native plants that the bees can go visit.” + Science Via National Geographic and Reuters Image via Valerian Guillot

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Climate crisis drives bumblebees closer to extinction

Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge

October 10, 2019 by  
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The U.S. recycling industry continues to grow according to the … The post Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge

Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results

October 10, 2019 by  
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Many people don’t realize that washing our cars in the … The post Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results

The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

August 29, 2019 by  
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The organization’s founder and director, Panama Bartholomy, chats about the magnitude of the challenge and what it means for companies.

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The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge

June 27, 2019 by  
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Wildfire season is arriving earlier every year. Are you prepared … The post Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge

Earth911 Quiz #63: Recycling How-to Challenge!

June 13, 2019 by  
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Do you know the steps for recycling these common household … The post Earth911 Quiz #63: Recycling How-to Challenge! appeared first on Earth911.com.

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The Branches of Climate Nonfiction

June 13, 2019 by  
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Climate change is a hyperobject, that is, something so “massively … The post The Branches of Climate Nonfiction appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Take These 8 Creative Ways to Repurpose Tires out for a Spin

June 13, 2019 by  
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Every tire on every car, truck, bus — and even … The post Take These 8 Creative Ways to Repurpose Tires out for a Spin appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Take These 8 Creative Ways to Repurpose Tires out for a Spin

Earth911 Quiz #47: Battery Recycling Challenge

January 31, 2019 by  
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Americans buy about 3 billion batteries each year, half of … The post Earth911 Quiz #47: Battery Recycling Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #47: Battery Recycling Challenge

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