A case for reconstructing the world of sustainable building standards

March 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Certifications must go beyond incremental improvements meant to minimize climate change. Instead, architects and engineers should aspire to create blueprints that are socially, economically and environmentally “regenerative.”

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A case for reconstructing the world of sustainable building standards

Light-filled Compass House prioritizes low maintenance and energy savings

March 23, 2017 by  
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Toronto-based superkül architects designed a vacation home for a family of six transitioning back to Canada after living abroad. Set on the grassy plains of Mulmur, Ontario, the 4,300-square-foot dwelling is a striking all-white building that prioritizes low maintenance, natural light, and energy savings. The energy-efficient home was built in two phases, the first of which was certified LEED Gold . Created as a spacious weekend home, the Compass House comprises two volumes arranged in an L-shaped plan with multiple bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room at the heart. The dwelling was constructed with locally sourced fieldstone and other low-maintenance materials such as the white cement-board siding, aluminum windows, and steel roof. In contrast to the hardy, weatherproof exterior, the interior emanates warmth with white oak and knotty white cedar floors and walls. Related: Superkül Designs Canada’s First Active House Skylights and large windows fill the home with natural light and ventilation. The ample glazing also frames views of the varied landscape, from the forests to the west to the 100 acres of fields in the north and east. An outdoor courtyard extends the indoor spaces out. “Through its siting, tectonics and materiality, it balances intimacy and expansiveness, light and dark, land and sky — orienting and heightening one’s experience of the surrounding environment,” wrote the architects. Use of geothermal -powered heating and cooling, natural daylighting, passive ventilation, and high insulation values help keep energy demands low despite the building’s large size. Construction waste was also kept to a minimum. + Superkül Images by Ben Rahn / A-Frame Studio

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Light-filled Compass House prioritizes low maintenance and energy savings

Madison, Wisconsin commits to 100% renewable energy

March 23, 2017 by  
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Madison just became the first city in Wisconsin and the largest city in the Midwest to commit to 100 percent clean energy in just the latest example of how President Donald Trump can’t stop the renewables revolution. The state capital and college town is the 25th US city to commit to the transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy following Tuesday’s city council vote. The vote allocated $250,000 to develop a plan by January 18, 2018 for city operations to achieve goals of 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, including electricity, heating and transportation. “Madison’s historic commitment to 100 percent clean energy shows that we are determined to lead the way in moving beyond fossil fuels that threaten our health and environment,” Madison Common Council Alder Zach Wood said in a statement. “The benefits of a transition to 100 percent clean energy are many. These goals will drive a clean energy economy that creates local jobs, provides affordable and sustainable electricity, and results in cleaner air and water. I am proud to be a part of this council that has made the historic commitment that will lead our community to a more sustainable future.” Related: San Diego to become largest U.S. city to run on 100% renewable energy Abita Springs, Louisiana also voted on Tuesday to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The Sierra Club said that Madison and Abita Springs both committing to 100 percent clean energy demonstrates that there is bipartisan support across the country for a renewable energy future because liberal Madison voted for Hillary Clinton while conservative voters in Abita Springs went for Donald Trump. “Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy is a practical decision we’re making for our environment, our economy, and for what our constituents want in Abita Springs,” Greg Lemons, mayor of Abita Springs, said in a statement. “Politics has nothing to do with it for me. Clean energy just makes good economic sense. By establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal, we have an opportunity to use solar power that we can control in our community, for our community. Clean energy is a way that we can save money for Abita Springs both today and in the future.” Other American cities that have made the 100 percent renewable energy pledge include Burlington, Vermont; Aspen, Colorado; the California cities of San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose; Rochester, Minnesota; St. Petersburg, Florida; Grand Rapids, Michigan; East Hampton, New York; Greensburg, Kansas; and Georgetown, Texas. Via Sierra Club Image 1 , 2 via Good Free Photos

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Madison, Wisconsin commits to 100% renewable energy

100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship

March 6, 2017 by  
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In week four of 10-part series, a Chinese campus goes for LEED gold; insurers account for climate change.

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100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship

Episode 63: Banks remove blinders to climate risks; Beyond LEED with USGBC CEO

February 10, 2017 by  
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On this week: Holmes Hummel on taking the energy revolution to the utilities of the heartland. Can the conservative case for climate action thwart the Trumpocalpse?

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Episode 63: Banks remove blinders to climate risks; Beyond LEED with USGBC CEO

Scot Horst: Why the future of green building is data-driven

October 18, 2016 by  
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The USGBC has at least nine green building rating systems. The CEO of the new arc platform explains what you need to know.

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Scot Horst: Why the future of green building is data-driven

BREEAM, a respected green building certification, migrates to U.S.

August 8, 2016 by  
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Why a leading LEED consulting firm is talking up the BREEAM — Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology— methodology.

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BREEAM, a respected green building certification, migrates to U.S.

Six ways businesses view climate change

August 8, 2016 by  
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Stemming climate change cannot be accomplished without the involvement of the private sector. How do most businesses think about this task? Here are six prevalent mindsets.

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Six ways businesses view climate change

Sir Ben Ainslie eyes America’s Cup win

May 4, 2016 by  
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The most decorated sailor in Olympic history is steering toward a sustainability victory for his team and his sport.

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Sir Ben Ainslie eyes America’s Cup win

Interface steps up carpet recycling

February 1, 2016 by  
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The manufacturer wants a larger supply of reclaimed materials for its special tile backings.

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Interface steps up carpet recycling

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