Guest Post: Green Roofs Boost Efficiency of Buildings and Photovoltaic Panels

Planting a green garden on the roof of a building can help increase its energy performance; the vegetation infrastructure of soil, insulating and waterproof material and the vegetation itself, form an effective insulation layer on the roof of the building. Considering that the roof constitutes the primary source of energy waste in a building it is evident that planting a garden on the roof will effectively reduce unwanted energy gains from radiation in summer and reduce internal heat losses in winter – see green buildings: Rational solutions.

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Harvest Power Mobile App Upgraded for the Growing Season

Harvest Power, focused on maximizing the value of organic materials, has upgraded its Harvest Landscape Calculator, a mobile app for gardeners and landscapers. The free app, now available on Android devices in addition to iPhones and iPads, features an enhanced user interface that makes it even easier to determine how much soil, mulch or stone is needed for any gardening project.

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Beyond St. Patrick: A History of Green in Global Culture

This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, which means people observing the occasion are starting to see green. But the popular color (which comes second only to blue when people are picking favorites) has signified a lot more than Irish pride throughout history. With the green day almost upon us — and to celebrate the launch of our newSpectrum color search tool — we take a look at some of the other things that irresistible blend of blue and yellow has represented throughout time and across the globe.

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Guest Post: 2012 Cost Savings in Energy Efficient Lighting

While environmentally friendly business practices are often viewed as an added cost, energy efficient lighting is one area where cost savings and environmental benefits go hand in hand. Take for instance a recent retrofit completed on a tennis court just outside of Chicago; this custom – engineered retrofit has a payback period of just two years.

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Plant a Green Roof: Feed 70 Chickens and Lower Your Bills

If you live in a large metro like we do, odds are you see mostly bleak-hued buildings. Lots and lots of buildings. One thing we don’t see enough of? Greenery. Of any sort, really. (Unless you count the dog park, or rather, the patch of brown grass down the street.) We’re so nature-deprived we’d welcome the sight of some weeds. Lucky for us though, we recently came across the perfect solution for our green-deficient misery: green roofs. Plant them on…

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Guest Post: Alternative Heating Systems Should Be Given a Chance!

To elaborate, biomass is the energy that comes mainly from living things like trees and plants. These store energy from the sun that can be further transformed into heating energy. A biomass system produces significantly less carbon dioxide than some fuels and costs less. Studies have shown the possibility to reduce the costs dedicated to this issue with up to 50 percent. Who would refuse to pay less and contribute to the protection of the environment?

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New Urbanism: America’s 10 Most Walkable Cities

Rather than drive, think about walking more. A number of advocate groups celebrate a newfound urbanism developing throughout popular US cities. The following cities usher in a new-defined sense of urban living, enticing inhabitants to walk about more often.

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The Building’s Green; What About the Equipment That Built It?

The building has been planned carefully as an eco-friendly model. Careful attention to detail in selecting building materials was paramount. The heating and air conditioning was not only environmentally sound but the ventilation system had been thoroughly tested on a scale model for maximum design efficiency. Selection of the location was precise for orientation, natural landscaping, and minimal impact. There are good reasons for such meticulous detail. Numerous studies show that across the lifetime of the building, when considering tenancy,…

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Carbon Footprint Measurements: Understanding the Basics

Carbon emissions are directly correlated with energy and other business inputs. Conducting a comprehensive business carbon footprint can help you identify bottom-line savings in the form of operational, process, and technological inefficiencies. It can also draw the attention of investors, the press, and others, helping you to improve the overall profile of your organization in the public eye. Finally, as climate change concerns continue to grow, knowing your carbon footprint gives you a competitive advantage as more and more companies are being asked to provide this information to potential business partners, investors, and customers.

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Green Buildings: Rational Solutions

To combat this environmental challenge, we need a holistic, integrated approach towards reducing the energy consumption in buildings yet maintaining a high standard of building services, internal comfort and quality of living. An integrated approach requires that every stage from conceptualization and design to construction and end building usage is ‘tuned’ towards reducing net energy needs.

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Scientists Turn Toxic By-Product into Biofuel Booster

Scientists studying an enzyme that naturally produces alkanes — long carbon-chain molecules that could be a direct replacement for the hydrocarbons in gasoline — have figured out why the natural reaction typically stops after three to five cycles. Armed with that knowledge, they’ve devised a strategy to keep the reaction going. The biochemical details — worked out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of February 4, 2013 — renew interest in using the enzyme in bacteria, algae, or plants to produce biofuels that need no further processing.

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Guest Post: Tips for Finding a Cheaper & Greener Energy Supplier in the NSW Area

But keeping in mind the things that are important to you like greener, cleaner energy can help to keep you focused and on task when it comes to choosing an energy provider. The assumption with going green when it comes to energy and electricity is that it is going to cost an arm and a leg. And it is true that green energy oftentimes costs more. That is because the production of cleaner energy is usually more involved, at least initially. But improvements and rapid developments in green technologies mean costs of green energy are coming down, and because governments recognize the importance of supporting and encouraging steps that individuals take towards a sustainable future, it is possible to get green energy subsidized in many countries.

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Guest Post: Construction Waste Recycling – Give Your Business a “Green” Leg Up

Did you know that an average of 8,000 lbs. of waste go into landfills during the construction of a 2,000 square foot home? That’s four tons of waste! Construction waste recycling isn’t exactly glamorous, and you won’t hear about it on popular home shows, but it’s a real way you can minimize your footprint and potentially give your business a leg up. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering ways to build greener.

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Guest Post: Misconceptions About Building Green

But the operational and maintenance cost of a green-built home are significantly less. Heating and cooling accounts for about 45 percent of a homeowner’s annual energy consumption. Homes designed with passive solar and high efficiency windows require less energy to heat and cool; less workload on units also results in lower repair cost and a more years of service. The additional upfront cost of green construction is typically recouped within the first five years of ownership through lower maintenance and energy cost.

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