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Green Energy: Wind and Solar

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One of the leaders in the field of green energy and allegedly reduced carbon emissions has been Great Britain, which makes it all the more odd that just before the big confab kicks off, they’ve slashed all of their wind and solar subsidies to the bone, preferring to focus on converting old power plants to natural gas.

Just before Paris climate summit, Britain slashes wind, solar subsidies

Green Energy: Fracking

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Yet despite the federal EPA saying earlier this year that there was no evidence of fracking activities leading to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” several U.S. communities – even some states – continue to embrace half-truths and fear mongering over the endless economic and environmental benefits that fracking entails.

There’s More To The Story Of Ohio’s Economic Success

The Green System That Transformed the Construction Industry

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Governments and developers love issuing press releases announcing the opening of shiny new schools, rec centres and office buildings. Chances are good these days that building will be LEED silver, gold or even platinum.

The US Green Building Council created LEED in the 90s and it came to Canada in 2002. Its goals are simple: it wants to create resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy, cost-effective buildings.

LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and over time it become the most used green building rating system out there. According to Tanya Doran of the Green Building Council, Alberta Chapter, Canada has over 5,000 buildings that are registered for a LEED rating and 2,000 LEED certified buildings.

LEED was created with lofty goals and 28.8 million m2 of LEED projects have been built in Canada but what has it achieved?

Cam Munro is the Innovative Construction Manager at Clark Builders in Edmonton, Alberta. He can thank LEED for his title and right now 50 per cent of their 2014 projects at this large construction company are pursuing a LEED certification. We talked to Munro on the NAIT campus in Edmonton where they are building the new CAT Building, Clark’s 61st LEED project.

Clark took on its first LEED project in 2003. “It was a big learning curve,” says Munro who admits just surviving their first project was an accomplishment “And then within a year, right on the heels of that project, another one came, then another one and then another one.”

Studio4 is proud that the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has exclusive rights to use and distribute their LEED study materials throughout Canada.

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Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide and 101 Q&A Exam Prep updated to Second Edition

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Studio4 has released the updated LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide Second Edition and 101 Q&A Second Edition. Studio4’s LEED v4 Green Associate study materials are used by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), universities, corporations, study groups, and individuals throughout the U.S. and around the world.

While there are an abundance of third-party study resources available, the author’s 40 years’ experience in the design/development/construction industry, in addition to practicing sustainable design and construction since 1983, provides a unique perspective from having sat on both sides of the table.

Studio4 and the CaGBC worked together for several months to ensure the v4 study materials provided the information and guidance necessary to pass the LEED v4 Green Associate Exam. The only differences between the Studio4 and CaGBC study materials are corporate logos, disclaimers, and non-LEED specific information.

Note: The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) provides study resources to Canadians. The CaGBC has reviewed Studio4’s study materials and found them to be an excellent source of support for the LEED Green Associate exam, even helping CaGBC staff pass the exam. As a result, the CaGBC entered into an MOU with Studio4 in January 2011 that provides the Council with the exclusive opportunity to make these resources available across Canada through the CaGBC website and the CaGBC study courses.

Studio4’s LEED Green Associate study materials are located in the e-store or by clicking this link:

Current News & Events

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22 November, 2015

NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ | The Daily Caller

The EPA Fracking Miracle | The Wall Street Journal

Have Fossil Fuels Officially Lost to Renewables? | IFLSCIENCE

Extra Crispy? California Solar Farm Killed 3,500 Birds | Townhall

Ex-NASA Engineer to Plant One Billion Trees a Year Using Drones | GoodNewsNetwork

Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures | The Telegraph

Five Facts to Know about USGS’s New Seismicity Report | ENERGY IN DEPTH

The $3 Billion U.S. Pledge for the Green Climate Fund: Is It a lot? | BROOKINGS PlanetPolicy

Desalinization Debate Forces Environmentalists to Face Reality | BREITBART

California drought: Court rules tiered water rates violate state constitution | San Jose Mercury News

Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide and Green Associate Exam Prep: 101 Questions & Answers | Studio4 LLC e-store

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)

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)

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


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. 

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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.

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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.

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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)


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 →

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