New affordable housing in Silicon Valley boasts net-zero emissions

March 16, 2020 by  
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In one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets, a new multifamily community has sprung up to provide 66 affordable rental apartments in Silicon Valley. Named Edwina Benner Plaza after the first female mayor of California, the affordable housing project designed by Caifornia-based architecture firm David Baker Architects also boasts net-zero emissions for operations thanks to the use of all-renewable community utilities and rooftop solar panels. Located in the city of Sunnyvale next to Highway 237, Edwina Benner Plaza occupies an underutilized site where a single-story commercial building once stood. The 110,612-square-foot affordable housing project was strategically oriented and arranged to shield the residential areas and common spaces away from traffic noise and pollution. The massing strategy also helps to encourage an active and healthy community life by placing the shared areas — such as activity rooms, laundry, service programs and an after-school center — around a central outdoor play space.  Related: The Union Flats is a LEED Platinum-certified housing community To further promote an environment for healthy living, Edwina Benner Plaza offers diverse supportive services such as an after-school program, adult education and mediation support. The 66 affordable rental units, which comprise one-, two- and three-bedroom units, are made available to families earning up to 60% of the area median income as well as to individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Onsite case management reserves 13 apartment units for formerly homeless individuals and 10 units for those at risk of homelessness. Solar panels cover the building’s roof and power the common loads of the residents. Each residential wing is also served by a custom, high-efficiency central heat pump. “An all-electric building, Edwina Benner Plaza is among the first affordable housing projects in the nation to have zero operating emissions,” the architects added. The project has earned a Platinum certification under the GreenPoint rating system. + David Baker Architects Photography by Bruce Damonte via David Baker Architects

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New affordable housing in Silicon Valley boasts net-zero emissions

Who’s the biggest force in corporate patents for climate-related innovations?

January 30, 2020 by  
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Hint: It’s probably not a Silicon Valley startup.

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Who’s the biggest force in corporate patents for climate-related innovations?

Who’s the biggest force in corporate patents for climate-related innovations?

January 30, 2020 by  
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Hint: It’s probably not a Silicon Valley startup.

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Who’s the biggest force in corporate patents for climate-related innovations?

Raining fire: It’s time for a tech reckoning

January 16, 2020 by  
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There remains such a disconnect between what the world needs and what Silicon Valley is producing.

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Raining fire: It’s time for a tech reckoning

Don’t ban new technologies — experiment with them carefully

September 3, 2019 by  
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Silicon Valley’s many disruptive effects on society and business are no reason to ban some of its more promising products, such as shared city scooters.

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Don’t ban new technologies — experiment with them carefully

Questlove and Live Nation are bringing an Impossible plant-based Cheesesteak to a venue near you

March 22, 2019 by  
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Questlove is teaming up with Live Nation to create a plant-based version of the classic Philly cheesesteak. The Questlove Cheesesteak is made from Impossible 2.0 Meat — which was made famous in the Impossible Burger — and will be featured in 40 venues across the country. Live Nation plans to introduce the Questlove Cheesesteak sometime this summer. Once the plant-based cheesesteak hits the entertainment company’s venues, it will be one of the only places in North America where people can get a taste of the innovative sandwich. The only other company offering the product is Citizens Bank Park, located in Philadelphia. Related: Scientists believe lab-grown meat may be more harmful to the environment than farms The partnership with the Grammy-winning artist illustrates Live Nation’s commitment to providing eco-friendly alternatives to customers in their stores. It also shows how Live Nation is willing to lead the restaurant industry in using sustainable ingredients. After all, the Questlove Cheesesteak is not the only environmentally conscious food on the company’s menu. Last year, Live Nation was the first service to offer the Impossible Burger, which was available at 35 of their venues in the United States. Live Nation has also started several programs to lower emissions. This includes a composting initiative and a promise to remove plastic straws from its establishments. The company has also endorsed a program called Sustainability Rocks, which cuts down on waste in music venues and amphitheaters. Questlove, meanwhile, fell in love with the Impossible Burger back in 2015 and has been looking to support Impossible Foods’ mission of sustainability ever since. For the past two years, the musician has invested heavily into the company, which is based out of Silicon Valley, and was awarded a menu item in honor of his stage name. The Questlove Cheesesteak will make its debut on March 28 at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The plant-based sandwich will be available at all of the Phillies’ home games and will eventually make its way to Live Nation venues across the United States. Via Live Nation Image via Live Nation

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Questlove and Live Nation are bringing an Impossible plant-based Cheesesteak to a venue near you

Honda is looking for your energy or mobility startup

January 29, 2019 by  
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The Japanese automaker has a quiet Silicon Valley group that works with startups across transportation, mobility and energy.

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Honda is looking for your energy or mobility startup

The good news about climate change?

January 29, 2019 by  
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As lists such as CDP’s A List hail business leadership, other reports emerge that businesses are betting on products that will lead in climate crisis.

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The good news about climate change?

Shareholders ask retailers to report on plastic bags

January 29, 2019 by  
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Retailers that aren’t disclosing their plans to reduce or eliminate plastic bag use may be in store for shareholder activism.

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Shareholders ask retailers to report on plastic bags

Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

September 19, 2018 by  
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Facebook recently unveiled a peek inside MPK 21, its newest campus building designed by Frank Gehry and built in less than 18 months. Created as an extension to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, this striking addition blurs the distinction between the indoors and outdoors with its massive walls of glass, sheltered courtyard and expansive 3.6-acre rooftop garden — named The Town Square — planted with 40-foot-tall redwood trees. In addition to its abundance of plant life, the building is also designed to meet green standards and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Located on a formerly unoccupied industrial site, MPK 21 connects to MPK 20 — another Facebook building also designed by Frank Gehry that opened in 2015 — via an amphitheater -style courtyard called The Bowl. The building houses offices with open workspaces, designed to promote collaboration between teams, as well as quiet areas for focused work. Employees traverse the length of the building with a single walkway, which also connects to five dining areas and a 2,000-person event and meeting space with state-of-the-art A/V technology. Artists from Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program were commissioned to create 15 art installations for MPK 21. “The building was designed to promote teamwork and allow our people to do their best work,” said John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of Global Facilities and Real Estate, in a press release. “MPK 21 is designed to reduce impact on the environment and enhance employee well-being. The building encourages active engagement inside and outside of the building with pedestrian walkways, access to various outdoor areas, visible stairways and flexible work stations. The physical infrastructure is designed to reduce water, energy  and waste as well.” Related: Facebook signs Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus The LEED Platinum -targeted building is powered by 1.4 MW of photovoltaic solar roof tiles, which can generate nearly 2 million kWH of electricity a year. Approximately 17 million gallons of water will be saved annually thanks to a reclaimed water system, while the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours is minimized with an abundance of bird-friendly glazing. Facebook also enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 energy option to further reduce its carbon footprint. + Frank Gehry Via Dezeen Images via Facebook

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Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

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