USGBC’s response to the 4th USA Today article attacking Green Buildings.
NASA changing existing climate data points??? NASA’s Rubber Ruler.
Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket. More concern about our power grid.
Germany’s Wind Power Chaos should be a warning to the UK.
Cambridge scientist predicts that all of the Artic’s ice will be gone in 4 years!
Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year).
Can Thailand avoid becoming a modern-day Atlantis? Last year, Thailand suffered historic floods. Forcasts suggest parts of the capital could be under water by 2030. Is the country prepared?
Many nations depend on rivers that flow across borders, but none so much as Iraq, which gets its water from only two sources: the Tigris and the Euphrates. When Turkey filled another GAP reservoir in 1990, it shut down the Euphrates for a month, and the two nations nearly went to war. How Engineers can help prevent water wars.
Global Carbon Trading Takes a Big Step Forward. The effectiveness of market-driven programs depends largely on the actual price of carbon, which at present is very low, because of the fact that there is no uniform global carbon trading system, only a patchwork of individual countries.
Chemical Industry attacks LEED: BuildingGreen checks the facts.
The making of the Nicolai Shaft, part of Portland’s $1.4B sewer system.
What is Beetle Kill Pine? And how does it impact LEED?
The “Pain” of Sustainability An interesting perspective from Citizen Polity. How sustainable professionals have to deal with CSR, corporate profits, an (un)educated class of stakeholders and their expectations.
Nanoparticles seek and destroy groundwater toxins an innovative new groundwater clean-up technology using metal nanoparticles 500 to 5,000 times narrower than a human hair. via phys.org
The Myth of Sustainable Meat, Pastured cows and poultry generate more methane than confined, grain-fed livestock, and by their nature, small-scale farming practices can’t scale up to meet existing demand. Although these smaller systems appear to be environmentally sustainable, considerable evidence suggests otherwise. via nyt.com
houzz, very comprehensive and well done website for residential design
The making of the Nicolai Shaft, part of Portland’s $1.4B sewer system. via wired.com, h/t CSI NewsBrief
Finally! Understanding spider-web design could help build stronger buildings. via Google News, h/t CSI NewsBrief
What is Beetle Kill Pine? And how does it impact LEED? green-buildings.com
8 ways social media could help companies more sustainable. And how does it impact LEED? via AdAgeDigital, h/t SmartBrief on Sustainability
The “Pain” of Sustainability An interesting perspective from Citizen Polity. How sustainable professionals have to deal with CSR, corporate profits, an (un)educated class of stakeholders and their expectations.
A Fine for Not Using a Biofuel That Doesn’t Exist. When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law. But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist. Reporting from the NY Times.
Big Government claiming ownership of our rainwater! Interesting reporting from Natural News.
According to Reuters, China is planning to levy carbon tax by 2015. Beijing has pledged to reduce carbon intensity by 17 percent over 2011-2015, and big heavy industrial emitters will be compelled to cut CO2 produced per unit of output by more than 20 percent by the end of 2015.
Sustainability is Too Expensive – The costs of renewable energy and production processes and green building materials exceed their value to the environment. Pro or con? via Business Week
Is Google Really Abandoning Renewables? Not so, according to greentechmedia
IBM’s Top 5 Predictions for Smarter Buildings for 2012 – An interesting read with Smart Neighborhoods topping the list. eWeek
How Luxury is Struggling to Embrace Sustainability – via SmartBrief on Sustainability, an article from CSR Wire about the difficulties luxury brands have messaging their products to their customers while advocating socially and environmentally responsible practices.
Green Goods Grab Wal-Mart’s Attention – Companies looking to supply products to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will get “further ahead faster” if they come up with green ideas. Bloomberg
Avon Calls for a Green Makeover – While Avon claims customers still don’t care too much about how green their products are, it’s incumbent upon brands not just to go green, but to also create the demand for green products. onearth
Making Green Claims Without Greenwashing – As environmental awareness is increasing in Asia, so is the rise of “Greenwashing”. Four ways to avoid greenwashing that applies to anyone, anywhere. CSR ASIA
Is Advertising Destroying Earth? – So says the article. Advertising is to blame for the state of the planet, has tripled the level of our consumption, and is now a very devastating ecological force. the Ecologist.org, via SmartBrief on Sustainability
Green Building Megatrends for 2012 Dubbed “the godfather of green,” Jerry Yudelson discusses 10 trends bound for growth in the months ahead, as reported by BUILDER 2012.
Why Pepsi and Coca-Cola are Model Corporations. Yes, it does appear Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has found it’s niche in the sustainable arena. via Policymic.
Congress Acts to Safegaurd the Use of Fly Ash in Construction, giving power to the states, via BNi Building News
BIM: Pipe Dream or Promised Land? HousingZone’s contributing editor and Lean expert Scott Sedam goes back to his home-building roots to help pinpoint BIM’s potential as a powerful enabler for Lean Building and the relentless removal of waste from product and process
via environmentalLEADER, Kohl’s Wins First LEED Volume Gold, Plans 500 Certified Stores – by 2015
The Next Wave, the newest pools are awash in bacteria-eating microbes, not chlorine – CustomHomeOnline
What is ASHRAE: How Does it Work with LEED? – green-buildings.com
LEED Nap Rooms Credit: The Key to Employee Productivity? – green-buildings.com
7 Steps to Sustainable Innovation – GreenBiz.com
Where are the Green Jobs? Right here! Sustainable Jobs Grow Despite Recession – green-buildings.com
U.S. researchers say their simulation of an earthquake on a bridge using full-size vehicles could produce important data to be used for new design standards – UPI.com
Change or become irrelevant – The remodeling industry today is far different than just a few years ago – HousingZone.com
From UPI.com, Study: Disasters overwhelm building codes – U.S. building codes meant to deal with disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes but not both at once underestimate risks of multiple hazards
Wondering about the hot paint colors for next year? Wonder no more: The 2012 paint palette will draw heavily upon the natural colors in the American landscape, 6 paint color trends for 2012 – HousingZone.com
Creating a safe, livable environment to foster aging in place without screaming “this was made for old people” – Professional Remodeler
via MailOnline.com, simply awesome: Phase one of world’s first commercial spaceport is now 90% completed – in time for first flights in 2013
residential architect | interiors provides a glimpse into Color Forecasts for 2012
An interesting read of Chriss W. Street’s review of Peter Navarro and Greg Autry’s publication “Death By China”; a muckraker’s call to confront the dangers of America’s dance with the Chinese Dragon in the 21st Century. Political and economical concerns, and a whole lot of disturbing environmental and health concerns.
Hope Yen, Associated Press (AP), releases an article based on the latest 2010 census that indicates rural America is dissapearing and more metro areas are booming into sprawling megalopolises.
EnviroPolitics Blog show us what a difference a state makes, when NJ bans fracking. NY un-bans it. PA skips a frack tax
the San Franscisco Examiner gives compelling reasons for support of fracking. Have to note also that during Lisa Jackson’s (head of the EPA) testimony on Hydraulic Fracturing before congress this year, she stated “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” And we’ve performing hydraulic fracturing in this country how long? Since 1948!
greenroads: Greenroads Rating System
Smart article from Smashing Magazine: “The Medium Is The Message“, as a phrase, sums up a much deeper communication theory, which is that the medium through which we choose to communicate holds as much, if not more, value than the message itself.
Jonathan Sweet, HousingZone Editor in Chief, presents 5 plans to save the housing market
via CSI NewsBrief and Reuters, U.S. infrastructure will drop to 16th in the world
Mary Beth Nevulis, HousingZone Contributing Editor, reports Foreclosures don’t significantly reduce housing consumption
Proudly, the HARVARDgazette reports on a Green Building Milestone – Harvard celebrates completeion of their 50th LEED certified project
From HousingZone.com, EPA reconsiders stormwater discharge caps
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is crafting a database that would catalog stalled development projects around the country, eyeing as an audience lenders and potential investors who might be on the hunt for deals.
Business Insurance reports Green building design teams face increased exposures , a very serious concern of many sustainable professionals today.
residential architect | business update previews these Urban Interventionists (pages 36 – 39) with a very nice example for professionals and families who are considering relocating into urban redevelopment projects.
THE AUSTRALIAN tells us why Electric cars may not be so green after all
BNI Building News posts details of the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act recently introduced to protect the use of Fly Ash.
Surprisingly, the NYT reports the Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises.
Finally!!! Vindication for all my 1950s scifi flics. via Weazle Zippers and guardian.co.uk, NASA Scientist Report: Rising Greenhouse Emmissions May Provoke A Pre-Emptive Alien Attack.
Nice followup analysis from LEEDuser as the $100M Lawsuit Against LEED is Dismissed by Federal Judge.
Via The Wall Street Journal, the housing industry gave mixed reviews to the Obama administration’s proposal to sell tens of thousands of foreclosed properties owned by government-backed entities and then convert them to rentals.
From the Baltimore Sun: Maryland adopts International Green Construction Code
Professional Builder presents 5 creative concepts in urban townhouse living , cutting edge plans from the House Review’s design team.
U.S. House Committee votes to cut off funding for EPA Lead Rule.
A British expedition finds more than a dozen underwater volcanoes, some of which are two miles high, near Antarctica.
Bloomberg is reporting that builders are now pushing “green” homes to stand out in the forecloure-filled U.S. market.
BigGovernment has an interesting article on Why Crony Capitalists Need Spokesmen , T. Boone Pickens and his new national windmill mandate that is picking up strong support in Congress.
From the NYT comes (disturbing) news that possible employers may look at everything you’ve said or done online in the past seven years
CSI News Brief/The Miami Herald: Is LEED Leading the Way?
HousingZone.com: NAHB sues EPA over Chesapeake clean-up plan
LEEDuser: Updated LEED Credential Maintenance Program webcast and pdf slideshow download.
Mashable: 3D Projection Mapping: 10 Jaw-Dropping Examples (Videos) Generating extra buzz around marketing campaigns worldwide is 3D projection mapping, a relatively new technology that animates stationary objects with 3D video. With added sound effects and music, the result is a remarkable and immersive experience.
siliconrepublic: SmartBuilder1 – first system of its kind for construction market – manage projects from your smartphone
environmental LEADER: USGBC Launches LEED Volume Operations & Maintenance Program
Green Building Law Update: IGCC Series: Diverting Construction Waste While Cutting Costs
ENR.com: A Cautionary Digital Tale of Virtual Design and Construction Insurance settlement related to a building information model shows that BIM without communication can be costly
guardian.co.uk: Artificial meat could slice emissions, say scientists
ra | modular building: Two Firms Design/Build First Shipping Container House in Mojave Desert
Professional Remodeler: Tankless water heaters getting more efficient
EnvironmentalLEADER: DOE Building Guides ‘Can Halve Energy Costs’
The New York Times: World Bank to Help Cities Control Climate Change
eWeek.com: AutoCAD 2012: 26th Time’s the Charm
The Living Principles: The social role of the Designer
Professional Builder: Scott Sedam’s new rules of purchasing Builders who purchase labor and material on bid price alone are guaranteed only that they will never operate by lowest total cost.
cadalyst: Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss Despite what your management team may have heard, implementing BIM isn’t cheap or easy — so set them straight as soon as possible.
SmartMoney.com: Housing tax credit cost more than it benefited — for homeowners How the $8,000 Tax Credit Cost Home Buyers $15,000.
Professional Builder: NAHB lead paint lawsuit against EPA moves forward NAHB and three other trade associations — the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association; the Window and Door Manufacturers Association; and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association — have filed suit against the EPA over the agency’s removal of the opt-out provision from the LRRP rules.
CustomHomeOnline: 2011 Custom Home Design Awards
GreenerBuildings: Turner Construction Wins Big with Green Building
Wallpaper*: W* assemble India’s leading architects
residential architect / business: sole practitioner
Seacoastonline: “ThermaPaver” Converts Concrete Slabs into Energy Producers
Chillin’ Time #1: 12 Places to go if the World Goes to Hell
ConstructionWeekOnline: Building’s total Life Cycle Cost becomes a focus
residential architect / green building: Counting Down to Energy Star 3.0
residential architect / green building: IBACOS-Led Lab Home Tests Approaches for Market-Rate Net-Zero Production Housing
HousingZone.com: Lead Paint Violation Could Cost Remodeler $150,000 in Fines
Building My Life Green: Cincinnati Zoo Solar Array Cincinnati’s Zoo, the “greenest” zoo in the nation, recently completed installation of the largest publicly accessible solar array in the nation.
Roofs green up: Downtown’s overhead gardens treat the eye and the Earth: Louisvillians are proud of their urban parks system — the grand views of the Olmsted parks and the sculpted surfaces of Waterfront Park among them. On a much smaller scale, urban gardens have started springing up among the high-rises and cast-iron facades of downtown. But you’ll never see these gardens while you’re walking down the street — they’re growing on rooftops. From courier-journal.com, follow me »
Green goals beyond reach for most federal buildings: Agencies face many mandates to become more environmentally friendly: Reduce gasoline consumption in cars and trucks, lower water use and greenhouse gas emissions, and adopt more renewable energy sources, among others. But the mandate that agencies struggle with most is one to convert their existing buildings to meet green standards. From FederalTimes.com, follow me »
The Coming Housing Calamity: The great senior sell-off, rising household sizes, dropping homeownership, tighter lending standards, and other reasons why the next decade will be a disaster for home builders. The building industry is in deep depression, with housing starts at their lowest levels since data have been kept during the past half-century. Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest builders, reported losses of more than a billion dollars for 2010. From New Urban Network, follow me »
Remodel or Rebuild?: Deciding which to pursue means looking inward and asking what both the house and the client want. From ra residential architect / remodeling, follow me »
Mixed Use Projects go for LEED Gold Standards in D.C.:Two mixed-use projects for the West End neighborhood of Washington, D.C., are aiming for LEED-Gold standards. The designs for a new library and new firehouse push the envelope for a neighborhood mostly filled with old rowhouses and institutional structures. The firehouse will be topped with a squash club and will feature affordable multi-unit housing, while the library will boast high-end residential units. For more on this story, via CSI NewsBrief, including renderings and overall development plans, follow me »
Moisture control techniques for wood-framed homes: Moisture can be the nemesis of today’s more tightly-built wood-framed homes. Creating a tight building envelope is only one part of the equation in creating a high-performing, energy-efficient house — if it’s not coupled with strategies for letting accumulated moisture out of wall cavities, it can be a recipe for disaster. The NAHB Research Center offers proven tips and advice for avoiding moisture-related issues in new home. From professional Builder, follow me »
The Coming Housing Calamity:The great senior sell-off, rising household sizes, dropping homeownership, tighter lending standards, and other reasons why the next decade will be a disaster for homebuilders. The building industry is in deep depression, with housing starts at their lowest levels since data have been kept during the past half-century. Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest builders, reported losses of more than a billion dollars for 2010. From New Urban Network follow me »
Building Better with BIM: Last year, when Professional Builder published their first “BIM for Builders” report (Professional Builder, March 2010, page 30), most small- and mid-sized builders were only dipping their toes into the technology of 3D parametric modeling, also known as building information modeling (BIM). Since then, the continued difficult economic environment has brought more converts to BIM technology as builders look for ways to maximize efficiencies and profit. To read more about the article on builders embracing BIM, follow me »
LEED AP: Should You Opt In, and What to Do Once You Have: As the open window begins to close (starting in August, 2011) for LEED APs credentialed prior to June, 2009, LEEDuser is hosting a new members only webcast with Mara Baum (HOK) describing the available options plus a detailed analysis of the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP), offering many ideas on achieving free or low cost credit hours. follow me »
Remodel or Rebuild?: Deciding which to pursue means looking inward and asking what both the house and the client want. From ra, residential architect / remodeling, follow me »
Insurance Breakthrough for Integrated Project Delivery: Integrated project delivery, or IPD, is an innovative legal framework for design and construction in which the owner, the architect, and the builder sign a single contract and share risk and reward, among other features (see “Integrated Project Delivery: A Platform for Efficient Construction”, EBN Nov. 2008). A roadblock to wider adoption of IPD has been the lack of insurance coverage that protects the parties against risk, but one project appears to have solved that problem. From BuildingGreen. follow me »
US greenhouse gases drop to 15-year low: According to the Financial Times (FT), good news, bad news. follow me »
Energy Tax Incentives: The Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP), sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field, is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended several times. Congress passed, and the President signed, the tax legislation described below in mid-December. To find out more about the changes, see individual pages in the left sidebar. TIAP has also compiled a fact sheet with information about the relevant energy efficiency tax incentives for 2010 and 2011. follow me »
LEED for Homes: More than 10,000 multi- and single-family homes have been certified under LEED for Homes since the program’s launch in 2008, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced. As of 05 April, 10,161 homes were certified and approximately 38,000 more in the process. follow me »
Debut of the First Practical ‘Artificial Leaf': Science Daily reports that scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy — development of the first practical artificial leaf, one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries with the goal to make each home its own power station. follow me »
Pharos: via the LEEDuser newsletter, a dynamic new tool to help commercial buyers evaluate product content, certifications and other relevant data about building materials is now available through BuildingGreen. follow me »
Your nose knows: Does your workplace pass the sniff test?: Well, I have to admit my ignorance when it shines as bright as this. I had no idea there are offices that implement fragrance-free policies. Groups like the Canadian Lung Associationhave long argued that workplaces should adopt policies to keep staff and guests from dousing themselves in scents before heading to the office. This is done as a courtesy to colleagues who are sensitive to such chemicals or who may simply not be as enthralled with the scent of the month, even if it bears the name of a hot celebrity or the hippest fashion label. A short and interesting read from David Suziki. follow me »
Wallpaper*: One of my favorite sites to visit when in need of a break, Wallpaper* has published today it’s Architecture News: Letter from the U.S.. A slide show (67 photos) of awesomely stunning American architecture. follow me »
Energy 101: Solar PV: Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines. This (well done) 2 minute video shows how a PV panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses. (h/t Trev) follow me »
OpenStudio Visualizes Energy Use in Buidlings : Friends of SketchUp should like this. OpenStudio leverages Google Sketch-up to create 3-D building geometry. Together, residential and commercial buildings account for a staggering 40 percent of energy use in the United States. However, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is developing a suite of tools to tame this energy beast — and it is free to anyone who wants to use it. Designers used the program to create energy models for NREL’s Research Support Facility. NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. Take note at the bottom of the article is a link to the 20 videos. follow me »
LEEDuser: USGBC’s New LEED Interpretations Similar to Old Precedent-Setting CIRs – Since the launch of 2009, LEED project teams with a unique situation or a question not answered by existing LEED resources have had access to CIR. Those CIRs have been limited: they aren’t public, so other projects can’t learn from them, and they can’t even be referenced as a precedent on another project by the same team. USGBC has heard complaints about this, but it has been in a difficult situation. With the growth of LEED and its splitting off of GBCI as the LEED certification body, USGBC needed to ensure that only CIRs truly deserving of influencing the LEED standards would do so. Since conceiving of the LEED Interpretations process in 2010, it has been working hard to make it a reality. Visit LEEDuser for Tristan Roberts’ full analysis. follow me »
Archello: Startup date July, 2010 and currently in Beta, an interesting website I happened upon and plan on following. Archello allows people and companies to share their experience in the built environment. Everyone can tell their story. People and companies can connect with each other, to projects, products or materials. By making connections the users of Archello expand their network and present themselves to the building industry. Connections are made and the story becomes animated through The Connection Badge linking the Archello pillars together. It is a free and open platform where you have your say. follow me »
USGBC: LEED 2009 Sample Forms now available. USGBC has just added LEED 2009 to the available sample credit forms. follow me »
Green Building Law: Shari Shapiro of Green Building Law poses and interesting question: But is There Fire: If LEED is a fraud, why aren’t developers suing? follow me »
Real Life LEED: For those who haven’t heard the news yet, Joel McKellar, of Real Life LEED, has accepted a position as a High Performance Building Specialist in the Green Building Services unit at Harvard University. Before moving to Cambridge, MA, Joel was a researcher at LS3P ASSOCIATES LTD. located in Charleston, SC. Joel provides practicing professionals an insightful, researched perpsective to help clarify USGBC policies, credits and other topics concerning LEED. Studio4 LLC wishes Joel success working with this great institution. follow me »
LEEDuser: New Plaintiffs Join Amended Lawsuit. Instead of seeking to establish a broad class-action lawsuit representing building owners, taxpayers, and professionals harmed by LEED, the amended lawsuit focuses on the latter. It claims that Gifford and other professionals are, in the words of the complaint, “losing customers because USGBC’s false advertisements mislead the consumer into believing that obtaining LEED certification incorporates construction techniques that achieve energy-efficiency.” The suit seeks an injunction and damages against USGBC. follow me »
Wallpaper*: As a new show of Ben Johnson’s work opens at London’s Alan Crista Gallery, the artist Ben Johnson takes us on a tour of his Hammersmith studio, where he creates his daunting, half-real and half-imagined interiors and cityscapes. follow me »
Google News: from the Studio4 What Could Possibly Go Wrong department – Global warming litigation? follow me »
Residential Architect: AIA announces 2011 Institute Award Winners. Twenty-seven projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects to receive 2011 Institute Honor Awards, the highest honor the organization bestows to recognize excellence in architecture, interior architecture, and urban design. follow me »
Not Evil Just Wrong: As the Sundance Film Festival closes, its founder, Robert Redford, is accused of hypocrisy for opposing an eco-village near his property whilst quietly selling $2 million lots in the Sundance Preserve for luxury vacation homes. follow me »
Professional Builder: Show Village 2011. Coastal living comes to IBS with three breakthrough demonstration houses. The three homes are high-performance structures designed and built to achieve certification through national and regional green home rating programs. follow me »
Residential Architect: University Launches Architectural Conservation Degree. To help meet growing interest in and demand for sustainable building restoration, reuse, and retrofit, Carleton University in Ottawa has created a new degree program in its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Bachelor of Engineering in Architectural Conservation and Sustainability. follow me »
CNET: from CNET’s Green Tech department – Machines eyeball trash for single-stream recycling. follow me »