LEED Platinum Sitka captures the Pacific Northwest spirit with a lush, fog-enabled courtyard

October 2, 2019 by  
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Local architectural practice Runberg Architecture Group has raised the bar for sustainable design in Seattle with the completion of Sitka, a LEED Platinum-certified multifamily development on target to achieve Seattle’s 2030 Challenge for Planning goals of reducing water and energy use. Built to use nearly a third less energy than the typical baseline design, the 384-unit development features numerous energy-saving systems — Sitka is the nation’s first multifamily project to use a Wastewater Heat Recovery system — as well as a stunning courtyard that mimics the Pacific Northwest landscape with a running stream, tree-covered hilltops and a lounge that resembles a treehouse. Located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Sitka is a seven-story building centered on an outdoor courtyard. Runberg Architecture Group drew inspiration from Northwest Modernism and the landscapes of the nearby San Juan Islands to create the project. A sloping green roof and rooftop community garden help capture stormwater runoff as well. The tree-filled courtyard also features a fog system and a treehouse, designed by Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio, that includes a working fireplace with views of the courtyard. Related: Energy-efficient house embraces panoramic views of Puget Sound “Our mission is to design places where people want to be,” said Brian Runberg of the project’s human-centered design. “When creating Sitka, we asked ourselves what was missing from most of South Lake Union — what would make people feel good about spending time here — and it was green space . We wanted to create an oasis for residents and neighbors in the midst of the hard cityscape.” To minimize energy usage, the architects strategically broke up the building mass to allow natural light and ventilation into the courtyard and interiors. The development also includes LED lighting, EnergyStar appliances, recycled and locally sourced materials, low-flow toilets and fixtures and a high-efficiency 14-foot-diameter fan in the fitness center, all of which contribute to the development’s energy goals. + Runberg Architecture Group Images by Christophe Servieres and Michael Walmsley via Runberg Architecture Group

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LEED Platinum Sitka captures the Pacific Northwest spirit with a lush, fog-enabled courtyard

2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reveals leading states in clean energy adoption

October 2, 2019 by  
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Just in time for the annual celebration of Energy Efficiency Day, the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. For this year’s report, the states leading on clean energy adoption are Massachusetts and California, while North Dakota and Wyoming still have more than a few strides to go before fully catching up. In step with Energy Efficiency Day’s message of “Save Money, Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier,” ACEEE’s goal is to share tips and tools that promote a clean energy future. No surprise then that ACEEE firmly advocates for effective energy usage to reduce consumer bills and limit pollution . The full report shows Maryland has improved immensely, more than any other state, since last year’s scorecard thanks to a focus on public transit, electric vehicles, utility efficiency programs and more. New York and New Jersey were also listed as “states to watch,” as they have made impressive goals for clean energy and reduced emissions. Related: Minnesota to implement low- and zero-emission clean vehicle standards Meanwhile, Kentucky dropped the furthest in rankings compared to last year, as state utilities have continued to have program funds cut. Ohio also dropped in ranking compared to its position last year, primarily due to a policy that promotes power plants and moves away from renewable energy goals. The Energy Efficiency Scorecard also found that states all over the map are creating policies for greener appliances, improved building energy codes, vehicle emissions standards and general energy reduction goals. ACEEE’s annual scorecard can be accessed here . The scorecard is a resource intended by ACEEE to assist in benchmarking an individual state’s energy policy and progress. On an as-needed basis, the scorecard can be akin to a road map for state-level policymakers to follow, if they choose, as they strive to improve and invest in clean energy goals and initiatives. Utilizing a 50-point scale across six policy categories, the ACEEE scorecard reveals where a particular state may benefit from energy efficiency improvements. The six criteria are appliance and equipment standards, buildings and their efficiency, combined heat and power, state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency, transportation policies and utilities and public benefit programs. ACEEE executive director Steve Nadel said, “If states embrace robust energy-saving measures nationwide, Americans can slash greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and deliver more than $700 billion in energy savings by 2050,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of ACEEE. “We commend the top states for their clean energy leadership and urge states that are lagging to implement the strategies laid out in this report, so they can deliver energy and cost savings for their residents.” + ACEEE Image via Jpitha

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2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reveals leading states in clean energy adoption

For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona

September 24, 2019 by  
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Since the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, there has been growing awareness for the importance of good air quality in American cities. Air quality plays a significant role with health and sustainable living. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recognizes this, which is why for the 2019 American Fitness Index rankings, the ACSM added air quality as an environmental indicator of a city’s health. According to its findings, these are the 10 cities in the U.S. with the worst air quality. The annual Fitness Index assesses 100 of the United States’ largest metropolitan areas. The cities are evaluated, then ranked from the highest score to the lowest score. The index is a helpful tool to compare the air quality of these 100 cities. It does so by considering the healthy behaviors of a city’s residents, the population of residents with chronic diseases as well as the community’s infrastructure. In turn, the rankings provide insight on air quality safety that can helpfully instruct a city’s policy makers, infrastructure management and governmental direction. Related: Almost all U.S. national parks have polluted air According to the 2019 Fitness Index, these are the 10 worst metropolitan areas with bad air quality, or air pollution . They each have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution: Long Beach, California Los Angeles, California Gilbert, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona Chandler, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Glendale, Arizona Riverside, California Bakersfield, California What determines air quality? Geography and weather are the natural agents influencing air quality. But man-made elements — including vehicular use plus industrial emissions — especially affect air quality. In fact, two of the most common pollutants are ozone and particles, like soot from wildfires. Exposure to pollutants and airborne toxins predisposes a given area or region’s population to ailments. These include cardiovascular harm (heart disease and stroke), shortness of breath, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, wheezing, coughing, susceptibility to infections, even allergies — all of which can be influenced and impacted by air pollution. Annual rankings indicate a consistent monitoring of air quality, which is a positive takeaway. This type of monitoring can inform agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ), so that key safeguards and their enforcement can be put in place. + American Fitness Index Image via Florian Lehmuth

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For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona

This new community in Tampa is set to be the worlds healthiest neighborhood

June 28, 2019 by  
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A Tampa neighborhood design just became the first in the world to earn a WELL Design & Operations designation from the Delos International WELL Building Institute, a global community standard for wellness. You may have heard of the Delos company from advocates such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Clinton, or you may have heard about it for creating the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a global movement designed to transform communities and buildings in ways that promote health and wellness. The IWBI WELL Community Standard studies how well a community’s public spaces positively impact individuals in their general well-being, sustainability and health. Under those standards, the WELL Design & Operations (“D&O”) certification recognizes implemented design and policy strategies aimed to improve the lives of local residents through the concepts of: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Sound, Mind, Temperature, Materials and Community. Related: LEED Gold eco hotel in the Wine Country was built using reclaimed wood The only neighborhood design to earn a D&O title so far? Water Street Tampa , an aptly-named $3 billion, 53-acre waterfront community project being brought to life entirely with wellness in mind by Strategic Property Partners, Elkus Manfredi Architects and designer Reed Hilderbrand. The vision, which will create 13 acres of parks and public spaces and one million square feet of new retail, cultural, educational and entertainment spaces, is being built from the ground up to promote healthy living. Some of the ways Water Street will achieve these wellness standards is by building sidewalks with a width of 14 to 45 feet (exceeding the city of Tampa’s requirements), creating outdoor community activity programs such as yoga, offering free filtered water bottle filling stations, reducing light pollution through required light dimming times in designated public spaces, offering recycling in every building and implementing tree canopies and light-colored pavement to reduce urban heat. Additionally, Water Street will also have free public WIFI, app-based parking, a community wellness center, consistent farmers markets and a public kitchen with regularly scheduled chef-led classes in healthy cooking techniques. “Phase One” of the project is scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2021 and will include over one million square feet of new office space, 300,000 square feet of new retail space (including a grocery store and a gym) and 1,300 new residential units that promise to provide a variety of price points and styles. + International WELL Building Institute Images via WELL

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This new community in Tampa is set to be the worlds healthiest neighborhood

5 Dog-Friendly Fitness Ideas: Get Moving Outside With Your Dog

May 6, 2019 by  
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There are many science-backed health benefits of dog ownership. They … The post 5 Dog-Friendly Fitness Ideas: Get Moving Outside With Your Dog appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Plogging: Fitness Meets Environmentalism in This Hot Trend

May 28, 2018 by  
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In an effort to eliminate litter from public spaces and … The post Plogging: Fitness Meets Environmentalism in This Hot Trend appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Plogging: Fitness Meets Environmentalism in This Hot Trend

Will wearable technology destroy advances in recycling?

April 19, 2017 by  
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Sponsored: From Fitness trackers to smart socks, these innovations bring lots of promise — but also environmental challenges.

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Will wearable technology destroy advances in recycling?

L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

June 3, 2016 by  
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When most of us hear the name L’Oréal, we think of makeup and hair products, not tech innovation. That may soon be changing . Many don’t realize it, but the cosmetics giant has been pouring its efforts in recent years into celebrating and supporting women in science and running its very own technology incubator. Now, those efforts seem to be coming to fruition as the company unveils its first wearable device , a skin patch designed to help prevent cancer. Named ” My UV Patch ,” the device is a wearable skin patch just a few centimeters in size and half the thickness of a human hair. The sticky, transparent film is meant to be worn for several days, absorbing sunlight whenever the wearer goes outside. The adhesive is loaded with light-sensitive dyes that change color when exposed to UV light, so it allows the wearer to see if they’re being exposed to too many damaging UV rays over time. Related: L’Oreal to begin 3D-printing human skin The color changes can be hard to decode, which is why the patch also comes with an Android or iOS app , which uses a mobile device’s camera to scan the patch, compare it to the user’s baseline skin tone, and then tracks how much sun the users have been exposed to over time. Since the patch is looking at long-term exposure to the sun, it isn’t intended to serve as a warning when the time comes to reapply sunscreen . The patch will be completely free and is set to launch in 16 different countries worldwide sometime this summer. Via IFLScience Photos via L’Oreal and Shutterstock   Save

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L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

INTERVIEW: 5+Design’s Michael Ellis Discusses How Architecture Can Fight Obesity

October 2, 2015 by  
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Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America, and countries around the world are quickly following suit. One thing most health and nutrition experts can agree on is that there’s no one solution for rapidly growing obesity rates—it’s a problem that must be tackled simultaneously on multiple fronts. While some fight to eliminate sugary drinks , increase fruit and vegetable intake , or reduce portion sizes , Hollywood-based 5+Design is working to combat obesity with its approach to architecture and landscape design. Inhabitat recently sat down with 5+Design’s Michael Ellis to learn more about anti-obesity architecture, and how the built environment can get people to adopt healthy habits without having to think about it. Keep reading for what he had to say. Read the rest of INTERVIEW: 5+Design’s Michael Ellis Discusses How Architecture Can Fight Obesity

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3 Ways The Apple Watch Can Help You Lead A Healthier Life

September 18, 2015 by  
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Is it time to move? If you’re not sure, taking a look at your watch should give you the answer. Apple’s wearable technology innovation, The Apple Watch, is for obvious reasons making quite a name for itself as competition in the fitness-tracking…

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3 Ways The Apple Watch Can Help You Lead A Healthier Life

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