Collaborating for a Carbon Neutral Built Environment

January 13, 2022 by  
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Date/Time: January 13, 2022 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Reducing emissions across all sectors is critical if we are to combat climate change. With the passage of the infrastructure bill and the urgent need to improve and expand our cities, it’s critical that we build in a way that is both resilient and sustainable.  Join us to learn about opportunities across the construction value chain to achieve carbon neutrality for the future built environment. The cement and concrete industry recently charted a path to carbon neutrality and there will be a focus on how others within the value chain can collaborate to help reach this goal.  Among the topics: What sustainable and resilient infrastructure looks like in the future. Collaboration opportunities to bring down emissions in the built environment. The PCA Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality and how a key sector of our economy can dramatically reduce emissions.  Near-term actions to reduce cement and concrete industry emissions. Speakers: Rick Bohan, Vice President, Sustainability at Portland Cement Association Gina Lotito, Corporate Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Strategy at GCC Nick Popoff, Vice President of Product Performance and Development at Votorantim Cimentos/St Marys Cement If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.

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Collaborating for a Carbon Neutral Built Environment

Solar parks could help bees make a comeback

December 14, 2021 by  
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Recent research done by Lancaster University has found that solar parks could provide vital habitats for wildlife. Specifically, the researchers say that wildflowers grown beside solar panels could provide the perfect habitat for bumblebees . The study, which will be presented on Monday at a conference held by Ecology Across Borders, shows that if the parks are managed well, they could be vital in helping the ecosystem flourish. Some critiques argue that solar parks are ugly and cover land that could be used more productively. However, the study shows that solar panels not only help generate green energy but also contribute to nature.  Related: The best plants for pollinators The study’s authors say that if solar park owners are encouraged to make the parks habitable for wildlife , they could be valuable to the ecosystem. Additionally, managing parks to attract bumblebees could increase bee numbers outside the park’s borders. Researchers say that the bees could benefit farmers up to 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) away from the parks. Bumblebees are vital in farms since they carry out the primary role of cross-pollinating plants . Without bees and other pollinators, farms could suffer. As The Guardian reports, “One simulation run by the study group found four times as many bees in a solar park managed as a wildflower meadow than in one based on turf grass.” Hollie Blaydes, a researcher at Lancaster University, said, “Our research suggests that the management of vegetation within the solar parks is really important. Solar parks managed as a meadow act as bumblebee habitat that is rich in flowering plants. Management to create floral-rich bumblebee habitat could be one of the simplest ways to support bumblebees on solar parks.” Blaydes adds that since parks occupy large tracts of land, they present the perfect characteristics for bumblebee habitats. “The characteristics of many solar parks mean they could be ideal places to create this bumblebee habitat. Solar parks can occupy large areas of land, and while some of this is taken up by solar panels and other infrastructure , this typically only disturbs 5% of the ground,” said Blaydes. If people embrace these findings, solar parks could also benefit the U.S. as it expands solar development. The U.S. has maintained an average of 21.8% per year growth in solar investment since 2016. Most of the country’s solar plants are in agricultural -rich states such as Texas, where cross-pollination is especially important. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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Solar parks could help bees make a comeback

See pictures of baby Komodo dragons being born at Bronx Zoo

December 14, 2021 by  
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A pair of Komodo dragons at the Bronx Zoo welcomed adorably scaly babies last month. This is a first in the zoo’s 122-year history and a boon to the dwindling population of the world’s largest  lizard . The dragons bred in March, the female laid her eggs in April, and 212 days later, the hatchlings emerged. “The first dragon pipped its egg by using a special  egg  tooth on the tip of its snout,” Don Boyer, curator of herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, described in his  blog . “The dragon did not emerge right away – at times just an eye was visible through the slit openings in the egg. Sometimes the head (above), neck, and front limbs emerged only to retreat into the egg. Within 20 hours, the neonate dragon fully emerged.” Related: Designing sustainable habitats at the San Diego Zoo In the wild, hatchlings would quickly take to the  trees , staying arboreal for their first few years to avoid predators, including cannibalistic larger dragons. In the Bronx Zoo, staff transferred hatchlings to moist paper towels. There they stayed until their umbilical cords, which had been connected to yolk sacs, detached. Now they’re in a larger space with branches and bark slabs. “This is an important achievement for zoo staff and a significant milestone for the Bronx Zoo,” said Boyer in a statement. “Komodo dragons are one of the planet’s most fascinating species and these hatchlings represent a hopeful future for the species. They will be wonderful ambassadors for their wild counterparts as they help us raise awareness about  conservation  needs.”  Expert estimates range from 1,400 to 2,500 dragons left in the wild. The species, which can grow up to 10 feet long, is only native to Komodo and a few neighboring islands in  Indonesia . Last year, the IUCN Red List reclassified Komodo dragons from vulnerable to endangered. Loss of habitat and rising seas threaten their island home. Related: Locals protest tourism development in Komodo dragon sanctuary But it’s been a good year for captive Komodo dragon breeding. The  San Antonio  Zoo welcomed 10 baby dragons in October, born to a dragon named Kristika and her long-distance love Boga of the  Houston  Zoo. Captive dragons are matched through the Species Survival Program, a database that determines strong genetic matches. The Surabaya Zoo in Surabaya, Indonesia, has been especially successful in captive breeding. As of early November this year, the  zoo  had built up a population of 108 adult dragons, 35 youth, and 40 eggs in the incubator. The zoo staff hopes to return some captive-bred dragons to the wild. Via WCS , KSAT , Jakarta Post Images via Julie Larsen Maher © Bronx Zoo/WCS

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See pictures of baby Komodo dragons being born at Bronx Zoo

Park and Polk is a mixed-use building shaped like an H

November 8, 2021 by  
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San Diego , California is the site of a new mixed-use building, located between the Hillcrest and University Heights parts of town at a site that sat barren and empty for ten years. Developed by Jonathan Segal Architect, the building is known as Park and Polk. Park and Polk features 43 residential rental units, seven office studios, ground-floor retail spaces and four low-income units. In contrast to most buildings that offer low-income housing , there was no government support during the build. Instead, Jonathan Segal, being both the architect and developer of the project, absorbed all the costs upfront.  Related: Designing sustainable habitats at the San Diego Zoo The space is a hub of varied activities and the infrastructure supports them all. Public spaces encourage mingling between office, retail and apartment residents. The rooftop features a large common area to prepare and BBQ food while taking in expansive views of the surrounding city. Huge concrete planters house native grasses and large olive trees that filter rainwater.  The overall shape of the building makes an “H” shape, a choice that allows natural light to fill each of the spaces inside. The copious windows also pairs indoor life with exterior views. Passive design elements provide natural ventilation, but the primary energy needs are fully offset by a solar panel system on the rooftop. Individual units also offer outdoor space with decks that allow for views while maintaining privacy. On the ground floor along Park Boulevard, trees line the street where the transition to the glazed commercial area, offering protected seating.  “The western elevation has thin delicate fins that provide lighting and heat control ,” stated in a press release from Jonathan Segal. “When traveling up and down Park Boulevard, the articulating façade is rhythmically changing. Light romantically defines different shadows as the sun passes and the form, which can appear as a solid mass, breaks apart into the individual linear elements. The fins, modeled off of vintage car grilles, were delicately cast in place and taper from only three inches at the face to six inches where they bite into the slab cantilevering off of the building.” + Jonathan Segal Architect Photography by Matthew Segal and Jeff Durkin

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Park and Polk is a mixed-use building shaped like an H

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Buses Today & Tomorrow

October 7, 2021 by  
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Date/Time: November 2, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Strategies for addressing air quality and climate change challenges  need to be more nuanced than making all vehicles electric. This is particularly true for commercial vehicles such as buses, which have different power needs and workloads than passenger cars. Learn about tangible actions cities and companies can take today to address these challenges, — like fuel switching, which provides immediate benefits without requiring infrastructure changes or increasing the demand on the electrical grid.  The webcast will also cover potential opportunities for dramatic improvements in the longer term as government spending improves the affordability of fuel cell, battery and hybrid vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them. Specifically, you’ll learn: How companies and municipalities can reduce their transportation-related carbon footprint now Why transit is well-suited for greenhouse gas emissions reductions How infrastructure spending may help accelerate the adoption of new transportation technologies Moderator: Jim Giles, Carbon Analyst, GreenBiz Group Speakers: Eli Lipmen, Director, Development and Programming, MOVE LA If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast.

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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Buses Today & Tomorrow

Congress needs to accelerate water reuse and recycling

September 30, 2021 by  
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The Infrastructure and Jobs Act is a good start but more federal infrastructure is needed to adequately address climate change

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Congress needs to accelerate water reuse and recycling

Solutions Showcase: Find the Right Offset for Your Business

August 9, 2021 by  
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Offset providers walk you through their catalogues of high-quality credits, ranging from nature-based solutions to permanent carbon removal. Speakers: Jackson Hammond | Manager, Carbon Policy & Scientific Communications | Indigo Julian Ekelhof | Senior Director, Climate Solutions | FORLIANCE GmbH Nav Kaur Kilroy | Business Development Manager | South Pole Thuy Phung | Manager, Climate & Infrastructure | BSR Zack Parisa | Co-founder | NCX, Angelyca This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s VERGE Net Zero, July 27-28, 2021. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/verge-net-zero/online/2021

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Solutions Showcase: Find the Right Offset for Your Business

Native Net Zero: Integrating Emissions Goals into Products

August 9, 2021 by  
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Companies explain how they have integrated emissions reductions strategies into products and business models. Speakers: Heather Clancy | Vice President and Editorial Director | GreenBiz Group Sandra Noonan | Chief Sustainability Officer | Just Salad Stacy Kauk | Director, Sustainability Fund | Shopify Taylor Francis | Co-founder | Watershed This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s VERGE Net Zero, July 27-28, 2021. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/verge-net-zero/online/2021

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Native Net Zero: Integrating Emissions Goals into Products

Ask an Expert: Companies and Cities Partner to Hit Net Zero

August 9, 2021 by  
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Quiz sustainability leaders on how your company can collaborate with cities to reduce emissions and draw down carbon in urban environments. Speakers: Debbie Raphael | Director | San Francisco Department of the Environment Lacey Reddix | Infrastructure Analyst | GreenBiz Group Ryan Mooney-Bullock | Executive Director | Green Umbrella This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s VERGE Net Zero, July 27-28, 2021. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/verge-net-zero/online/2021

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Ask an Expert: Companies and Cities Partner to Hit Net Zero

Upper Los Angeles River Plan wins award for inclusive, sustainable design

August 4, 2021 by  
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The influential Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan (ULART) has earned the prestigious global 2021 AZ Award from Azure Magazine for its plan to “recalibrate natural urban waterways by deploying nature-based solutions to create new community space and help rectify decades of neglect.” In an international competition commissioned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), the ULART plan by Studio-MLA stood out for its comprehensive vision for 300-plus project site opportunities for the Upper Los Angeles River and its tributaries, taking the win in the Urban Design Visions category of the competition. The competition received over 1,200 project entries from 57 countries in the 10 designated categories. Related: Jiangyin urban development by BAU honors humans, history and the planet The design addresses the needs of underprivileged populations up and down the L.A. waterways and aims to reverse trends of paving natural spaces, instead planning for green beltways. “This integrated response to climate change via new green infrastructure , as well as the social infrastructure for renewed equity in cities, is urgently needed,” said AZ Award juror Marc Ryan of Toronto-based design firm Public Work. The ULART Plan is led by Los Angeles Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, Sarah Rascon of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority on behalf of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and Mía Lehrer from landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA. This combination of interests and skills culminated into a plan that supports local communities and the environment. “It was a privilege to lead this effort that begins to address environmental justice issues in communities that have historically suffered from underinvestment. The plan identifies over 300 opportunity sites for open-space amenities accessible to over 625,000 residents who live within a half mile of the river tributaries,” said Councilmember Rodriguez, the ULART Chair.  Rascon, environmental equity officer for MRCA, said the team relied on input from a variety of local representatives of municipalities, community leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and elected officials from throughout the Upper Los Angeles River watershed area. Delegates represented six cities throughout Los Angeles County, as well as dozens of Los Angeles city neighborhoods in the Upper Los Angeles River watershed . In addition to the contributions for human recreation, the plan works in conjunction with natural systems to address the historic droughts in the area. It includes the potential capture of 8,695 acre-feet of stormwater per year. Jan Dyer, principal and director of the Infrastructure Division at Studio-MLA said, “The ULART plan also provides over 1,000 miles of shaded green streets and trails, while preserving and enhancing over 6,000 acres of urban wildlife ecology.” + Studio-MLA Images by Studio-MLA and MRCA via v2com

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Upper Los Angeles River Plan wins award for inclusive, sustainable design

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