Masdar City: A Test Case for Sustainable Urban Living

Sweltering in the hot desert sun, Masdar City sits under a global microscope at the nexus of rising clean technology and the development of sustainable urban life in the glaring light of climate change. Conceived on a zero-moisture stretch of barren desert sand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the zero-carbon, zero-waste settlement of Masdar City has diligently sustained itself through every struggle and step of progress. Masdar City: A Living, Striving Test Case for Earth’s Future As the warming effects of…

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arc Online Platform Will Drive Green Building Performance

A new online platform, arc, announced at this year’s Greenbuild conference, will allow buildings to measure their energy performance against several green building rating systems, benchmark energy use against similar buildings, and make improvements. LEED-certified buildings can use arc to improve and benchmark against other certified buildings around them. Buildings that have not certified yet will be able to use arc to make incremental sustainability improvements and eventually achieve LEED certification. “The LEED rating system revolutionized the design, construction and…

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Canada Tops Out World’s Tallest Wood-Frame Building

Celebrating the tallest wood-frame building of its kind anywhere in the world, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr recently attended the “topping out” ceremony of the Brock Commons Residence. The new University of British Columbia student housing tower rises 18 stories to reach a stunning 178.8 feet (53 meters) tall. Under construction at the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus, the CA$51.5 million mass timber structure is a hybrid system comprised of cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glulam…

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Solar Decathlon 2017 Coming To Denver

The US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2017 student design competition, which challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive, will be held in Denver, Colorado in October 2017. Fourteen collegiate teams from around the world will be competing. “The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges and inspires students to become our next green energy industry leaders,” said Under Secretary of Energy for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr. “The students in the…

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Stylish Sustainability: Trondheim’s New Student Village

Meaning more than just focusing on the environment, sustainability also means creating a sense of place and belonging. Interpreting this philosophy brilliantly, MDH Arkitekter has nearly completed Moholt 50|50, an award-winning university student village in Trondheim, Norway. Envisioned as a community-focused commercial district featuring distinctive Scandinavian aesthetics, MDH Arkitekter’s minimalist approach and stylish use of natural materials is simply stunning. Trondheim’s Moholt 50|50 A miniature city in itself, the Moholt student village accommodates about 2200 students of the Norwegian University…

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Meet The Men Who Put Solar Shingles On The Roof

Originally published on CleanTechnica Solar shingles are now gaining increasing traction in the renewable energy landscape. They are architecturally distinctive, more so than traditional rooftop photovoltaic panels. Solar shingles provide an integrated building product providing both roofing security and solar electricity in one package. As PV Magazine’s Charles W. Thurston has stated, “The nascent field of U.S. solar shingle manufacturers is beginning to expand from its small base in building-integrated PV (BIPV), leveraging their systemic reductions in installation costs, their improved…

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Celebrate World Green Building Week 2016

World Green Building Week is the annual opportunity for Green Building Councils, their members, and leaders from around the world to showcase to everyone how their actions and leadership are helping to deliver green buildings in their own countries, and to celebrate the positive outcomes they lead to. This year’s event will be held the week of September 26-October 2, 2016. The theme for the week is “Change Your Perspective,” an evolution of Better Build Green, which was introduced at COP21 in…

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Brush & Wattle — The ABCs of Green Building Materials

The age-old construction techniques employed in traditional brush and wattle structures are time-tested and worthy of great respect. “Touching the Earth lightly,” these techniques are both low-impact on the natural environment and highly sustainable, employing the most natural and abundant of green building materials. Brush, referring to tree branches, twigs, leaves, and bark, has been used extensively throughout history and throughout the world by indigenous people to construct living quarters and animal shelters. Perhaps the most familiar brush structures in…

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Meet Einstein, a New IoT Solution for Smart Commercial Buildings

Artificial intelligence company Verdigris has just announced the debut of “Einstein,” a next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) smart energy management solution. This latest IoT energy management platform from Verdigris is designed to be “the easiest most-scalable connected sensor for complex enterprise facilities.” Using innovative smart sensor and metering technology, Einstein’s continuous stream of energy data is driving smarter, more responsive commercial building operations. Einstein Automates Energy Efficiency Verdigris CEO Mark Chung states, “Einstein makes it unbelievably easy to know what’s…

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Bricks – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

In terms of sustainability and green building materials, brick is probably king. The process of making fired clay bricks has been around for over 5,000 years and just keeps getting greener. Today’s brick kilns use about 70 percent less energy to fire bricks than just 50 years ago. Brick is a term usually referring to red-colored, fired clay units composed of sand, lime, and soil containing clay or shale. Firing bricks in a kiln renders them one of the strongest…

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Cheap Off-Grid Cabin Built For Under $300

Alyssa Craft and Jesse Stafford completed a cheap off-grid cabin-add-on to the trailer they are living in while setting up their homestead in the Western US. The cabin was built to allow them to heat the air around the trailer and prevent the plumbing, and themselves, from freezing during the snowy winter months. The majority of the building materials for the cabin are reclaimed from a demolition project and found by scouring the internet, thus the low cost. Alyssa and…

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Urban SkyFarm Soaring With Sustainability

Revisiting an oldy-but-goody originally published on InspiredEconomist.com Inspired by the ecological system of giant trees, the Urban Skyfarm is a prototype vertical urban farm project. Designed to support local food production and distribution, it also improves environmental quality through water and air filtration and renewable energy production. Urban Skyfarm Places First in Concept Category First Place Winner in the 2013 Green Dot Awards Concept category, The Urban Skyfarm is a vertical farm design proposal for a site located in downtown…

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SolarWindow Window Coating – Versatile Solar Power Generation

SolarWindow™ window coating generates electricity from light, both from the sun, and artificial light, as well. It is extremely versatile, able to be printed onto glass, plastic, or even paper, making it easy to install this wonder material in many places. This coating sets itself apart from others we have featured, as it can be applied on a wider range of surfaces, and the power production can actually be tuned to the specific needs of the building. John A. Conklin,…

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Bamboo – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Bamboo is a truly remarkable green building material. It’s twice as strong as concrete and slightly stronger than steel. It’s also a renewable resource that needs little energy to grow, prevents soil erosion, provides biomass, offers wildlife refuge, and produces a healthy food supply for both wildlife and humans. Offering significant remediation from the effects of climate change, bamboo produces more oxygen than other plants, and captures higher amounts of CO2. The first harvest can be taken in three to…

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Visit A Small Writer’s Shed & Haven In London

A visit to Surman Weston reveals a delightful small writer’s shed situated in the heart of London. Surman Weston has indicated their firm was “…commissioned by an author and illustrator to design & build a ‘writer’s shed’ in the borough of Hackney. Capitalizing on their multi-disciplinary backgrounds the firm acted as designers, project managers, and lead contractors.” Simply take a step inside to get the feel of this tiny space. The result inspires one to hide inside, lock the door, and…

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An Eco-Lodge “Touching the Earth Lightly”

Originally published on EdenKeeper.org Constructed with an eagle’s loft in mind, a newly renovated eco-lodge in South Africa offers a bird’s-eye view from a well-feathered nest. Overlooking lush vistas of Kruger National Park wildlife refuge, the view is so vast you might easily be inspired to sing a hymn in praise of Creation. Singita Lebombo Eco-Lodge lets you sleep in an “eagle’s nest.” Credit: Singita.com Singita Lebombo Eco-Lodge Resort Singita Lebombo Eco-Lodge Resort resides within 33,000 acres of private game…

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Aluminum – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Used in a wide variety of ways in the building construction market, aluminum is a very versatile green building material, especially when it’s recycled. Everything from huge external building structures to delicate window blinds can be manufactured from this lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant metal. Doors, windows, and awnings are popular products made from this material, as well as parking canopies, warehouses, and other commercial outbuildings. Solar panels typically rely on low-weight aluminum framing components in solar installations on residential and commercial…

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The ABCs of Green Building Materials – Adobe (New Series!)

Green building materials are as diverse as Earth itself. Some of the most sustainable materials on the planet are modern inventions, and some are as old as the hills, like adobe. Familiarizing yourself with the best green building materials will help ensure your environmentally friendly projects enjoy sustainable success. Over the next several weeks, watch for new posts in GBE’s new series, “The ABCs of Green Building Materials.” If you have a project in mind highlighting any great green building…

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