Smart Surface Technologies Could Save DC $5 Billion

A recent study says that smart surface technologies could save Washington, D.C. $5 billion over 40 years. The report, Achieving Urban Resilience: Washington, D.C., authored by Capital E, documents and quantifies the large-scale environmental, health and economic benefits that smart surface technologies could provide. “How cities manage the sunlight and rain that falls on them has a huge impact on inhabitants’ health and quality of life,” the report begins. “But city leaders and planners generally do not manage or even…

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Urban Green Space Helps Fight Crime

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a green space! The new way to fight crime in cities may soon look like your neighborhood park. Recent research shows that the more urban green space in an area, the less crime. The city of Youngstown, Ohio did a study looking at three potential treatments for vacant lots: contracted (the city hired a contractor to mow the lots and erect fences), locally-driven (the city gave residents money to develop the lots as…

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2016 Green Schools Awards Winners Announced

The Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network (GSNN), announced the 2016 Best of Green Schools award recipients earlier this year. The awards recognize 11 individuals, institutions, projects and events representing the best environmental efforts in schools across the country and highlight the national leaders and innovators in school sustainability for the year. “This year’s honorees are making huge strides in their schools and communities,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for…

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Health and Well-Being Now Part of Real Estate Assessments

As interest in health and well-being in buildings grows, the industry has recognized the need for practical tools for systematic assessment, objective scoring and peer benchmarking of health and well-being. GRESB, the global standard for environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessment of real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets, today announced the launch of the GRESB Health and Well-being Module. The new module evaluates and benchmarks actions by property companies and funds to promote the health and well-being of employees and their strategy to…

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Tiny House Trends: Homelessness & Sustainability

Having been interested in tiny houses for a while now, I continue to be pleasantly surprised by new developments in the movement. One of the more recent developments in the many uses for tiny houses is making permanent housing the first, most crucial part of a comprehensive strategy to help counteract homelessness. Home ownership is a significant step forward for most members of the homeless community. It is perhaps the most important factor involved in restoring a sense of dignity…

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Rain tunnel technology provides drinking water from air

Rain Tunnel Technology Provides Drinking Water from Air

New technology from Bangalore promises clean drinking water by drawing moisture from the air. Rain Tunnel Technology, invented by Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar, Chief Scientific Officer at the De Scalene Research Organization, will soon be available for both commercial and household use. Getting water from the atmosphere is not new. It has been around for more than 500 years but has never been really successful. All the techniques used up until now were based on condensing the air to extract the…

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Healthy home

9 Keys to Building a Healthy Home

Using the right materials is one step in ensuring good indoor air quality and a healthy home. It also takes a range of building science-based strategies—from proper ventilation and moisture control to radon mitigation and conscientious construction practices–to make sure a home is healthy. Thanks to Brandon Weiss and Evolutionary Home Builders for sharing this list of strategies. 1. Conduct a third-party laboratory certified indoor air quality test. Testing for the indoor air quality by using a professional third-party lab will…

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Green Alternatives to Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation can help save up to 50% in energy costs, protect a building from moisture intrusion, and provide sound insulation. In addition, it provides two to three times more insulation that traditional fiberglass. However, according to Environmental Working Group, most common spray polyurethane foam insulation contains methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, a synthetic chemical linked to asthma, lung damage and even death. “Because of the chemical’s risks, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the maximum legal…

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Cali Bamboo Flooring

Flooring May Contain High Levels of Formaldehyde

In a story that gained national attention last week, it was revealed that certain low-cost Chinese-made laminate flooring products sold by Lumber Liquidators contain a high volume of formaldehyde. CBS’ 60 Minutes did an investigation and found that the product “may fail to meet health and safety standards, because it contains high levels of formaldehyde, a known cancer causing chemical.” The story goes on to say, “Lumber Liquidators insists its Chinese-made laminate flooring is safe, but it doesn’t appear that way…

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Cradle to Cradle Offers Material Health Certification

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute recently announced that they will begin offering standalone certifications for building materials based on its Material Health criteria. Material Health is only one of several categories tested during Cradle to Cradle certification, and it addresses the presence of known harmful chemicals in a material. It is the first time Cradle to Cradle has separated a category for certification. Established in 2006, the multi-attribute Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard has been recognized for its…

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low voc paint

Green Materials Report – Low VOC Paint

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Low VOC Paint…

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DenverUrbanism: An Online Publication for Denver’s City Life

Every city has publications that are all about that place. One of Denver’s online sites that helps the community members and visitors to the Mile High City be aware and take part in local activities, meetings and news is DenverUrbanism. “DenverUrbanism provides news, ideas, and commentary about urbanism in Denver and advocates a progressive pro-urban agenda for the Mile High City.” DenverUrbanism was launched in 2010 and is all about city life in Denver. It is a spin off from…

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CertainTeed air cleaning drywall

Green Materials Report – Air Cleaning Drywall

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Air Cleaning Drywall…

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All About Container Clinics

Shipping containers can offer a multitude of uses. One of these uses is a shipping container clinic – a type of architecture that makes use of the containers as medical clinics that can be set up and shipped off to remote regions of the world. Shipping containers are strong, durable, relatively low cost and widely available, making them ideal for such use. Shipping containers can offer a multitude of uses. One of these uses is a shipping container clinic –…

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