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15 November, 2014

Canada Green Building Council » Store | CaGBC LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide and LEED v4 Green Associate Exam Prep: 101 Questions & Answers now available

The Essential LEED Green Associate Cheat Sheet | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED v4 Rating System Guidance Selection | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

How to be a Power Saver | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Why Do We Care if Your Home is Green | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Homeowner Views on Energy Codes | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED addenda update: July 2014 | The July 1st quarterly addenda to the LEED rating systems and reference guides are now available. This release includes addenda for both LEED v4 and LEED 2009. (USGBC)

LEED v4 Launched on Monday June 30, 2014 | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED v4 Exam Candidate Handbooks | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED v4 Reference Guides | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

U.S. LEED v4 BD+C Introductory and Overview Sections | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) free web version

The fourth in a series of Studio4 Green Lifestyles Collection booklets. A Homeowners Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your Home

OFF TOPIC

The 9 Oddest Job Interview Questions Asked at Tech Companies in 2011 - Tough thought provoking questions from Google and Microsoft. Mashable Business

Current News & Events Archives: follow me »

 



Top Scientists Slam and Ridicule UN IPCC Climate Report

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Numerous other prominent scientists — even many who have worked with the IPCC and accept some of its global-warming theories — have been equally critical. Meteorology Professor Richard Lindzen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who served as a lead author with the third IPCC report, for example, told  Climate Depot that he thought the UN body had “truly sunk to a level of hilarious incoherence” with its latest assessment. “They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase,” added Dr. Lindzen, who has published hundreds of scientific papers.

“Finally, in attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about,” the scientist and professor concluded. “It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.”

Finally, scientists all over the world are now openly saying that this IPCC report should be the last — even some who support its theories and calls for a global carbon regime. Professor Myles Allen with Oxford University’s Climate Research Network, who has worked extensively with the IPCC but has blasted many of the anti-carbon schemes pursued by governments as a waste of time and money, said the AR5 ought to be the final UN IPCC report. “Its cumbersome production process misrepresents how science works,” he was quoted as saying. “The idea of producing a document of near-biblical infallibility is a misrepresentation of how science works, and we need to look very carefully about what the IPCC does in the future.”

At this point, the number of independent experts calling for an end to the largely discredited UN panel and its reports is growing fast. Some prominent voices in the climate discussion have even been calling for the “climate scamsters” to be prosecuted and jailed as a way to deter future scientific fraud. Much of the establishment media continues to parrot UN climate scaremongering, but it appears increasingly likely that, unlike the growing polar bear population, the IPCC is standing on thin ice. 

For the rest of the story, follow this link: http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/16643-top-scientists-slam-and-ridicule-un-ipcc-climate-report




DOE Study: Fracking Chemicals Didn’t Taint Water

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A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.

After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said.

Although the results are preliminary — the study is still ongoing — they are the first independent look at whether the potentially toxic chemicals pose a threat to people during normal drilling operations. But DOE researchers view the study as just one part of ongoing efforts to examine the impacts of a recent boom in oil and gas exploration, not a final answer about the risks.

Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface at the gas well bore but weren’t detected in a monitoring zone at a depth of 5,000 feet. The researchers also tracked the maximum extent of the man-made fractures, and all were at least 6,000 feet below the surface.

That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from surface drinking water supplies, which are usually at depths of less than 500 feet.

“This is good news,” said Duke University scientist Rob Jackson, who was not involved with the study. He called it a “useful and important approach” to monitoring fracking, but he cautioned that the single study doesn’t prove that fracking can’t pollute, since geology and industry practices vary widely in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

For the rest of the story, follow this link: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-study-finds-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread




Why is Sand Disappearing?

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To those of us who visit beaches only in summer, they seem as permanent a part of our natural heritage as the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes. But shore dwellers know differently. Beaches are the most transitory of landscapes, and sand beaches the most vulnerable of all. During big storms, especially in winter, they can simply vanish, only to magically reappear in time for the summer season.

It could once be said that “a beach is a place where sand stops to rest for a moment before resuming its journey to somewhere else,” as the naturalist D. W. Bennett wrote in the book “Living With the New Jersey Shore.” Sand moved along the shore and from beach to sea bottom and back again, forming shorelines and barrier islands that until recently were able to repair themselves on a regular basis, producing the illusion of permanence.

Today, however, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. Many low-lying barrier islands are already submerged.

For the rest of the story, follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/opinion/why-sand-is-disappearing.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1




LEED v4 is Now Official

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It was out with the old and in with the new on Monday June 30, 2014. Out: LEED 2009; In: LEED v4. LEED v4 was three years in the making, so it seems as if it has been around for a very long time. Especially given the fact v4 went through an unprecedented six public comment reviews.

The first order of business is, well, business. Available today in the e-store are updated Green Associate exam study materials: the Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide First Edition and the Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate 101 Questions and 101 Answers First Edition.

Now back to LEED v4. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) promotes LEED v4 as being about transparency. While that is an accurate assessment, v4 sheds a lot of its previous baggage and is much more streamlined and leaner. Gone are the endless credits with their companion sub-credits.

LEED v4 has eight (8) credit categories:

Location and Transportation (LT)

Sustainable Sites (SS)

Water Efficiency (WE)

Energy and Atmosphere (EA)

Materials and Resources (MR)

Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)

Innovation (IN)

Regional Priority (RP)

There is also another credit category, although LEED v4 doesn’t recognize it as a credit category:

Integrative Process (IP)

Those familiar with LEED 2009 will recognize a few differences:

The Innovation (IN) credit was Innovation in Design (ID); the Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) credit was Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ); and the Location and Transportation (LT) credit category is a new addition.

In their continuing efforts to align LEED rating systems, v4 draws upon LEED BD+C: ND and LEED BD+C: Homes by adding the Location and Transportation (LT) credit category. In essence, what this means is v4 has transferred sections of the Sustainable Sites (SS) credit category. The new Location and Transportation (LT) credit category addresses the location of the site, while the new Sustainable Sites (SS) credit category addresses the construction activities on the site. Most of LEED v4’s credit categories eliminates sub-credits and relocates everything previously addressed by these sub-credits into a single credit. This is much easier to follow as it is more logical to understand.

LEED 2009 included three (3) rating systems:

New Construction and Major Renovations (NC)

Core and Shell (CS)

Schools

LEED v4 includes eight (8) BD+C rating systems:

LEED BD+C: New Construction

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell

LEED BD+C: Schools

LEED BD+C: Retail

LEED BD+C: Healthcare

LEED BD+C: Data Centers

LEED BD+C: Hospitality

LEED BD+C: Warehouses and Distribution Centers

Ten (10) if you include:

LEED BD+C: Homes

LEED BD+C: Multifamily Midrise

In summary, there’s a lot of LEED 2009 that crossed over to LEED v4, but there has also been significant changes to most every credit category.

Not to forget an important option now available for purchasing any of the LEED Reference Guides, there is now available a web version that currently sells as a $99/annual subscription fee. The web version is pretty nice (if you are comfortable maneuvering via computer vs the hardbound or pdf versions). Time will tell if the web version will be updated in real time.

These are just a few broad comparisons between LEED 2009 and LEED v4.




The Cloud Changes Everything

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The concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1960′s, though it wasn’t widely known among consumers until much later. Amazon launched their Amazon Web Service (AWS) in 2006 that offered cloud computing to customers. Microsoft has been working with cloud technology for years as well. Today, Google, Apple, and countless other companies are providing some type of cloud experience, such as computation, storage and services, usually as a metered service. The Cloud has changed the way we conduct business, as well as our lifestyles. Often seamlessly, without us even knowing.

It is ground breaking, the extent that “green cloud technology” is changing our way of collecting data and addressing environmental sustainability. Monitoring soil moisture so farmers know when to irrigate, reducing water consumption by as much as 50%. Monitoring air quality that will alert people with asthma where higher levels of contamination are located. If you are not familiar with this fascinating technology, GreenBiz sponsored this video at a State of Green Business Forum. The presenter is Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist for Microsoft, who is responsible for defining and implementing the global strategy for the company’s environmental efforts.

Taking green cloud technology a step further, the link below describes work IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft are doing that will bring to us Green Cloud Cities.  Continue Reading →




The Smarter City

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 ”Organizations today are embracing a more sustainable approach to business – one that takes into account the environmental and societal impact of their activities. By factoring this accountability into their strategy, they implement new ways to source, manufacture, and distribute goods in a more sustainable manner, often while simultaneously lowering costs. And, based on more transparent and proactive engagement with employees, consumers and the communities where they operate, organzations are becoming better equipped to create products and services for a smarter planet.” Corporate Social Responsibility – IBM

One of the recent articles linked in the Current News & Events section, IBM’s Top 5 Predictions for Smarter Buildings for 2012, only touches the surface of IBM’s commitment to the role technology can contribute to helping develop smart buildings and communities. To see just how committed they are, IBM has provided this fascinating video presentation, The Smarter City, explaining how we can build a smarter planet – city by city – today. Topics range from Transportation/Traffic, Airports/Rail, Public Safety, Healthcare, Education, Energy and Utilities, Economic Development, to Social Services. Included is a short documentary and a HELP (?) section that explains how to navigate through the video.   Continue Reading →




The Smarter Building

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One of the problems we encounter today when defining sustainability initiatives is that most everything associated with the environment, from energy efficiency to social responsibility, is in a fundamental state of flux –­­ constantly changing, ever evolving. While expanding our knowledge and, consequently, our concerns associated with environmental stewardship, we witness organizations and corporations vying for a sense of place arrive by the busloads, and they also leave by the busloads. The boundaries and parameters become blurred, often with conflicting messaging. With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as well as other organizations, promoting smart growth and social responsibility, a heightened awareness will be focused toward building technology and automation. As we assimilate the data and establish our goals, this emerging technology will become a more relevant and active participant in the way we will provide sustainable buildings that integrate into sustainable communities.

However, in order to provide truly sustainable buildings, we should ask the question: is being green enough? Is a green building the same as a sustainable building? Although the terms are generally accepted as being interchangeable, one could legitimately argue they are not the same. On one side, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“Green, or sustainable, building is the practice of creating and using healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition.”

On the other side, consider the fact that we’ve been successfully creating green buildings for some time now and though we’ve made great strides, for a multitude of reasons, we’ve also fallen short of our expectations. To meet the above stated goals, as sustainable professionals we need to embrace a well-coordinated and expanded process. The state of the art of buildings is that they aren’t just green, but “smart” ­­ structures that go beyond simple resource efficiency and indoor air quality, built with the latest technology for building controls and automation.

Enter smart buildings.          Continue Reading →




What is Smart Growth?

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Smart buildings. Smart cities. Smart growth. What’s the meaning of all this “smart” talk? In the most basic sense, all three are associated with sustainability and social responsibility, with smart buildings and smart cities individually and collectively supporting smart growth.

So what is smart growth, and why is it important? With respect to sustainability and social responsibility, smart growth is of critical importance. In 2010, 82 percent of Americans lived in urban communities (towns and cities) and by 2050 it will be 90 percent. For the first time in history, more than half of the people on Earth live in cities, and urban populations are projected to double by mid-century. Towns and cities are responsible for approximately 65 percent of all energy used, 60 percent of all water consumed and 70 percent of all greenhouse gases produced worldwide. As compared to less densely populated rural areas, urban communities offer increased potential for resolution of environmental and social problems, generate jobs and income, relieve pressure on natural habitats and areas of biodiversity, and with proper governance they can deliver education, health care and other services more efficiently. In essence, smart growth is about urbanization.

Enter smart growth.

The challenges presented by sustainable urban development are immense. Smart growth, an urban planning and transportation theory, values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health. Utilizing growth management tools to encourage sustainable communities, combat sprawl, and strengthen urban centers through existing infrastructure, smart growth is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and many other environmental organizations, such as Smart Growth America. USGBC promotes smart growth through their LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System and the EPA’s support is focused around their EPA Smart Growth Program.

The EPA has compiled a set of best-practice examples of adopted codes and guidelines from around the U.S. that support smart growth, grouped into six categories:  Continue Reading →




Are CFL lamps ready for prime time?

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As we get closer to banning the use of incandescent lighting and mandating alternatives, such as CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamp), more data is being made available that should be cause for untethered public debate — in consideration that some of the information we are currently reviewing could be credible. Most everyone, whether or not they really understand why, agree we need to remain diligent in finding reasonable ways to curb our energy consumption and reduce emissions. We get that. However, we also get the fact that government intrusion and manipulation generally makes a travesty of otherwise promising green energy technology, such as wind turbines and electric vehicles. As sustainable professionals we do understand and are confident we’ll get there — with technology that considers human health as well as the environment. It may be that CFLs are ready for prime time… maybe not.

Via examiner.com Many consumers in the dark about dangers of CFL bulbs  Continue Reading →




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