Archive for the ‘green building’ Category
As green building techniques and philosophies become more widespread, it only serves to show in stark relief the fact that there is a lot of retrofitting that needs doing. Here’s a report from CBS about exactly that — and the fact that CBS is covering this story indicates just how big the story, and the issue, really is.
The green building movement can point to some incredible successes over the past two decades: Cities are now dotted with skyscrapers and apartment buildings that argue for the value in building green. Structures have been erected that have been certified for using net zero energy, waste and water.
But despite pockets of significant progress, millions of homes and buildings continue to squander energy as homeowners decline to make improvements that could save both natural resources and money.
“We’ve come a long way,” said green building advocate Jason F. McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “And we have a long way yet to go.”
Jerry Yudelson came out with his Top Ten Green Building MegaTrends for 2013 right on time:
Green building will continue its rapid expansion globally in 2013 in spite of ongoing economic difficulties. More people are building green each year, and there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this MegaTrend or its constituent elements. However, the continuing slowdown in commercial real estate and the lower level of government project development will continue to put a crimp in new green building projects. In putting together my Top Ten trends for 2013, I’m taking advantage of conversations I’ve had with green building industry leaders in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia during the past year.
Read the Top Ten, which includes the prediction that the North American green building market is going to rebound this year and that, even better, the focus of the industry will continue to shift from new stock to “greening existing buildings”: Green building watch | Sustainable Industries.
This is unnerving information:
Newer homes are remarkably energy tight thanks to superior insulating materials that are in wide circulation today. The energy savings can be substantial – homeowners can use up to 60% less energy in the most efficient green homes. Now, a study published by a team of researchers in Building Research & Information makes it clear that the very materials that provide us with such energy efficiency are pumped full of harmful flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals, HBCD hexabromocyclododecane and TCPP 1-chloro-2-propyl phosphate, are related to banned and phased-out substances like DDT, pentaBDE, and Tris. They are environmentally persistent, bioaccumulative, and are being manufactured at a frenetic pace without thought to how they might impact our environment and ultimately, our health.
In 2005 there were more green residential projects than commercial, said Harvey Bernstein, vice president, industry insights and alliances, McGraw Hill Construction (MHC) during MHC’s Annual Outlook Executive Conference held last week in Washington, D.C. While the scales have tipped and commercial green building now dominates a larger slice of the green pie, Bernstein nevertheless said regardless of the market, green is here to stay.
If you don’t believe him look at the numbers: Over half of all building construction is green; and in the commercial market, by 2016, $240 billion dollars will be devoted to green projects….
“There is a real opportunity in the retrofit market to move toward high-performance buildings,” said Bernstein.
According to a new study, beauty and sustainable building make for the most potent combination of high performance. Researchers at the Pattern Mapping Institute had a hunch that buildings which were considered aesthetically superior also had a better range of environmental attributes. So through a study of correlated AIA Cote award winning and LEED Platinum projects, they found that integrated designs that aligned beauty and function had four times the impact of those with just LEED Platinum certification. Move along, now, to find out more on what their white paper said.
Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource that has certified more than 12,000 homes, announced its annual prediction of 10 green building trends to watch in 2012.
The trends, which range from a boom in certified multi-family construction to the advent of consumer friendly home energy technology, were identified by Earth Advantage Institute based on discussions with a broad range of audiences over the latter part of 2011. These sectors included policymakers, builders, developers, architects, real estate brokers, appraisers, lenders, and homeowners.
“While the economy has not been kind to most new home builders, we have seen a surging interest in home energy management and energy improvement among homeowners,” said Sean Penrith, executive director, Earth Advantage Institute. “Those builders and remodelers who have adopted a transparent green message have been quite successful.” Read the rest of this entry »
Companies will be able to benchmark their sustainability data against information from thousands of other firms, using a database just launched by the Global Reporting Initiative.
GRI said the Sustainability Disclosure Database includes data on the sustainability and environmental, social and governance ESG transparency of over three thousand companies. This information was previously hard to find, but GRI said the new database will make the data easily accessible for companies and investors alike.
Any organization can upload a sustainability report and profile information to the database, which will help them engage with stakeholders and get feedback, GRI said. A global team of 22 GRI “data partners” will also collect information from companies in their regions, to populate the database.
10,000 + green homes is nothing to sneeze at–especially when those homes are certified LEED, the internationally-recognized standard in green building. As of April 5th, the U.S. Green Building Council announced [PDF] that it had reached this landmark, signifying “the continued transformation of the home building industry[.]”
Since its launch in 2008 to the time when this story was written [by Susan DeFreitas], a total of 10,161 homes have achieved LEED certification, and over 38,000 additional units are currently lined up to do the same.
The 10,000th home to earn LEED certification was the Tacoma Housing Authority’s 91-unit development known as Salishan 7 in Washington. This is the first federally-funded HOPE VI Redevelopment project to achieve LEED Platinum; it was built within an affordable budget and designed to be at least 30% more energy efficient than the average home.
In Hong Kong, because of the space, apartments are small and expensive. Gary Chang, an architect, decided to design a 344 sq. ft. apartment to be able to change into 24 different designs, all by just sliding panels and walls. He calls this the “Domestic Transformer.”
Open Source Ecology is developing and testing the Global Village Construction Set, a set of tools to build replicable, open source, modern, off-grid resilient communities. By weaving open source permacultural and technological cycles together, we intend to provide basic human needs while being good stewards of the land, using resources sustainably, and pursuing right livelihood.
With the gift of openly shared information, we can produce industrial products locally using open source design and digital fabrication. This frees us from the need to participate in the wasteful resource flows of the larger economy by letting us produce our own materials and components for the technologies we use. We see small, independent, land-based economies as means to transform societies, address pressing world issues, and evolve to freedom.