The building serves as an educational model for sustainable building, as it is expected to become the first Alameda County building to receive the coveted LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. From top to bottom, the designers featured green elements including a vegetated green roof, integrated roof-top photo-voltaic panels, rain gardens, natural ventilation, extensive north-facing glazing for art and activity rooms, and south-facing building recesses and projections providing shade. To reach the LEED Platinum recognition, product selection was crucial, and choosing Crossville’s tiles for interior and exterior applications provided not only the aesthetic features but also the sustainable requirements in product manufacturing to support LEED.
Meeting in Maseru, Lesotho, the 33rd SADC Energy Ministers meeting said the development of a renewable energy strategy will, among other things, ensure that the Southern African Development Community is able to effectively manage and exploit the natural resources that are in abundance in the region.
The word adobe comes from the Arabic word al-tob, which means “the brick” and from Coptic tube, which also means “brick”. A brick is precisely what adobe is, a sun-dried brick of clay-soil and sand, with fiber added in some instances as well. These fibers, which add tensile strength, are usually straw, hair, or even horse manure. Yes, I said horse manure! Building with adobe is one of the oldest building techniques in the world, and some of the world’s oldest standing buildings were constructed with adobe.
The US National Association of State Fire Marshals has suggested that a number of today’s green developments discourage pedestrian traffic and favour large walkways which make it harder for fire-fighters to obtain access to building interiors and that the use of some lightweight materials can pose a bigger fire risk to those tackling the fire as well as the public and surrounding buildings.
Steel is used more now, not only for building commercial and industrial proper ties, but also for homes. Statistics have shown that 50,000 steel framed houses were built in 1997 and an impressing number of 500,000 steel framed houses were constructed in the last 10 years.
In late 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced increases in the minimum efficiency standards of residential furnaces and air conditioners. In the 30 northern states, the minimum efficiency rating of new furnaces was to be raised to 90 percent from its current level of 80 percent, starting May 31st, 2013. In the 20 southern states, the minimum efficiency of air conditioners is set to be raised from 13 SEER to 14 SEER starting January 1st, 2015 (SEER is the estimated BTU’s of cooling provided by each watt-hour of electricity, so a 14 SEER unit will use about 7 percent less energy than a 13 SEER system). These changes were expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 113 to 143 million tons, and to reduce residential energy consumption by one-fifth.
Future market growth for green buildings and the commensurate use of green materials will be driven by a combination of policies and regulations that prioritize energy efficiency and green design, the expansion of voluntary certification programs for green buildings, cost reductions for green materials, consumer demand, and growing evidence that green buildings confer quantifiable market advantages.
It is enjoyable hearing from someone who understands both sides of he building trade. Wade Myer writes that he is a recovering contractor who has turned to writing as it is much easier on his back. He adds that he has always been drawn to the written word where he can frame sentences rather than walls. Here he provides a quick and common sense perspective concerning the landscaping side of the green building challenge.
We are always interested in providing our readers with information concerning sustainable, renewable energy alternatives. This guest post about tidal stream energy comes from Liz Tyler.
I wrote a post for CleanTechnica on December 6, 2011 about something I’d never before heard about, integral fast reactors — you guessed right, nuclear reactors. Titled, “Our Nuclear Trash Heap Needs IFRs,” I wrote about a 2008 book by environmentalist, Tom Blees, “Prescription for the Planet.”
Known for their excellent water retention, green roofs also improve conservation and biodiversity, provide wildlife habitats, improve the thermal insulation of buildings, reduce airborne particulate and lessen the urban heat island effect.
The College’s goal of the 2 1/2 acre downtown location was to revitalize the existing campus with multifaceted LEED-certified buildings with sustainability focused education for both high school and adult learners. The first phase of development was to implement a two-story Adult Learning Center (15,000 S.F.) that offer a full array in-person adult basic education non-credit classes. It also provides regional support services for the College’s online students, such as testing, academic advising and tutoring services. The site improvements included learning gardens; shaded outdoor lounge area; pervious paved pathways; monuments/wayfinding; covered parking; student drop-off; and ornamental steel perimeter fencing and gates.
We only have a limited amount of space on Earth, and much of it is taken up by oceans or ice fields, is too far away from population centers to be useful, or is polluted. It makes sense to reclaim polluted lands whenever possible. The process is quite simple: improve land that has been disturbed by destructive activities until it is in a state to be used for the designated activity, or even until it is equally capable as it started before the destructive activity damaged it.
Every man needs his cave, or should I say that every woman needs a place for her man to go? Either way you want to put it; this is a space that benefits everyone involved. So why not turn it into a fun project? Green was once the way of the future; no longer, it…
UltraTouch Denim Insulation offers ultimate thermal performance and creates a 30 to 50 percent increase in a room’s acoustical performance. The insulation does not contain formaldehyde or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It is easy to use: a portion of the batts in each package contain perforations similar to paper towels that allow consumers to tear the insulation with their hands to get the size they need.
There are tons of ways buildings are going green these days and there are new methods being seen every day. The best part about this is that not only are they great for the environment, but they’re sustainable and they’re just as good as traditional methods.
Also, the use of natural paints such as plant oils, mineral and extracts are highly recommended. If you choose other ordinary types of paints, you should always be keen on the VOC concentration level. Try as much as you can to select the zero-VOC paint or the low-VOC concentration option.
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.