Author Archives: Dawn Killough

Celebrate Earth Day By Planting a Tree

Lands’ End and Joe Lamp’l, the host of PBS’s Growing a Greener World and the expert behind @JoeGardener, invite everyone to celebrate Earth Day this year by planting a tree.  The #PlantATreeLE campaign is a tree planting initiative that will involve Lands’ End employees and a social movement instructing and encouraging consumers to plant trees across…

Canada To Reduce HFC Emissions By 85% By 2036

HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) emissions contribute to climate change, and Canada and many other nations are taking a stand to reduce their emissions by 85% in the next 20 years. HFCs are commonly found in refrigerators, air conditioners, foam products, and other items world-wide. Current global HFC emissions are the equivalent of approximately 1 billion tons of carbon…

Artificial Turf Is The New Green Landscaping

Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a…

Brownfield Development Web Site Links Project Team Members

Brownfield developments, sites or buildings that have environmental contamination, are not usually the most desirable projects. However, a web site called Brownfield Listings is giving these projects a new lease on life. A small town in Missouri wanted to convert an abandoned school into a community center and emergency shelter. It put out three requests…

Pig Manure Bioadhesive Produces Alternative To Asphalt Paving

A newly discovered pig manure bioadhesive has been developed by civil engineer Ellie Fini and a team at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Turns out the oils in swine manure are similar to petroleum, but are too low-grade for gasoline and perfect for asphalt. First, just to be clear, the asphalt created with this…

NEXT Solar Window Coating Generates Free Electricity From Sunlight

NEXT Energy Technologies has developed a scalable solar window coating that allows commercial glass products to produce clean energy from the sun. The product pays for itself in a year and provides clean energy for up to 30 years. “It is certainly not an overstatement to describe this technology as a game-changer with far-reaching implications…

Top 10 Green Projects 2016

AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its list of the top 10 green projects for 2016. Biosciences Research Building, Galway Ireland The design of the BRB embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation as…

Masdar City Sets The Bar For Sustainable Urban Development

Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi, has set its sights on being the most sustainable city on the planet, and it is well on the way to meeting that goal. Development started in 2008 and is expected to continue for at least the next five years, with 40,000 people expected to live within its boundaries, and…

Hobbit House Micro-Community Growing In Washington

Inspired by the earth-sheltered tiny homes, often called Hobbit Houses, created by Simon Dale and others, designer, dressmaker and tiny house expert Kristie Wolfe is building a micro-community of three houses in Chelan, Washington. The first Hobbit Home is complete, and Wolfe hopes to have the other two done by the middle of 2016. Wolfe’s…

Chicago Tiny House Design Competition Winners

Winner of the tiny house competition

The winners of the Chicago AIA’s tiny house design competition were announced recently. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit. The winning entry, “A House for Living In,” is composed of 11 336-square-foot units and one interior community space gathered around…

Reversible Concrete Allows for Easy Removal

Yes, you read the title correctly – reversible concrete! It seems like an oxymoron – concrete is known for its stability and strength, and its permanence. Well, not anymore! Last October at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT and Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich showed off a process that might finally one-up…

Study Shows LEED-ND Fails To Provide Affordable Housing

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) by Nicola Szibbo, PhD, a planner with the City and County of Honolulu, found that only 40 percent of LEED-ND certified projects included affordable housing. With very little incentive in the credit structure, many developers choose not to include affordable housing, and there…

Designed For The Future: Media TIC – Barcelona, Spain

GBE will be featuring three posts highlighting projects from the recently published book Designed For The Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World. The book asks the question: “What gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?” Featuring responses by 80 innovators spanning architecture, urban planning, landscaping, journalism, and also environmental leaders, the resulting…

‘Steelhenge’ Takes Shipping Containers To Another Level

Steelhenge, made of shipping containers

Swiss architecture firm Bureau A recreated the iconic Stonehenge with shipping containers for the first edition of the biennale for independent art spaces in Geneva, BIG. Using 50 containers, the firm was commissioned to create an open air venue that would function as a space for attendees to congregate. “We like to work with references, displacement…

Greenest Cities in the US in 2015

  WalletHub analysts recently released their list of the greenest cities in the US, based on their study of 100 cities across the nation. Cities were measured on thirteen key metrics across four dimensions: 1) Environmental Quality, 2) “Greenness” of Transportation, 3) “Greenness” of Energy Sources and 4) Green Lifestyle & Local Policies. Here are the…

Demand For Green Building Doubles Every Three Years

Demand for green building doubles every three years

According to a recent report, soon to be released by Dodge Data & Analytics, green building continues to double every three years, with strongest acceleration in emerging economies, and clients and tenants worldwide are increasingly demanding sustainability – for both energy efficiency and occupant benefit. Preliminary results from the World Green Building Trends 2016 report, with…

First Passive House School In Maine Is Also Net Zero Energy

The Friends School of Portland in Maine is the first Passive House school building in the state, and only the third in the country.  The neighboring OceanView Retirement Community is donating solar panels for the school to use, making the facility net zero energy (NZE). “One of our core values is stewardship and we certainly…

Team Orange County Focuses On SoCal Issues In Solar Decathlon 2015

Team Orange County's entry into Solar Decathlon 2015

Team Orange County’s entry into this year’s Solar Decathlon addresses some of the issues found in the Southern California home market, including the use of solar energy and landscaping without water. Casa del Sol, as their entry is called, is inspired by the resilient and diurnal characteristics of the California poppy.  It is designed with…