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How Europeans Build Greener Homes with Offsite Construction and Manufacturing

By Gerry McCaughey, CEO of Infineco LLC*

As Americans debate whether prefab is a greener way to build, those active in the discussion should not be surprised when their dialogue receives puzzled looks from their European counterparts.

In Europe, this very question was asked and answered nearly two decades ago. The resounding findings were that prefabrication creates higher-quality structures that reduce both the embodied energy content and the amount of carbon produced annually during the operation of traditional onsite-built homes. The reduction in carbon emissions can be as much as 40 to 60 percent.

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Recap: 10th Annual Greenbuild in Toronto

Greenbuild Conference & Expo

Greenbuild 2011 marked the first international Greenbuild Conference and Expo, driving the importance of a global solution to sustainability.  It was also, quietly, the 10th annual Greenbuild, where was that celebration?  While the mood was upbeat, we were also alongside over 23,000 leaders of the green building industry, or as Thomas Freidman put it in his opening plenary (31:00 in), the dumb ones who keep on fighting for a green revolution!

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Get the Complete Picture at Greenbuild

InterfaceFLOR’s new introduction, Raw is composed of 100% recycled yarn. It contains 40% less embodied energy and requires 85% less water to produce than carpet made with only 11% recycled fiber.

By Peter Greene, Vice President of Marketing, InterfaceFLOR*

As we head into Greenbuild this week, looking forward to learning about the industry’s latest “green” products is at the top of everyone’s minds. But how do you sort through all the “green” claims that have proliferated?  How do design professionals (and savvy consumers) know if there are hidden tradeoffs or if their decisions actually lead to a more sustainable world?

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Home Lighting: Keep An Eye on LEDs

I’m going to be honest, I hate my CFLs.  After blowing all sorts of cash on these things, I’ve yet to find one that performs the way I’d like it to.  Plus, since lighting accounts for some 11% of residential energy use on average, it’s an area that deserves attention.  In doing so, I’ve been playing with various options and think LEDs may just be the ticket.

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Clean Energy, One Kilowatt at a Time

Centerbrook Architects offices from across the Mill Pond, photo by Derek Hayn

By Chad Floyd*

I would like to be able to state that I became an architect to save the planet from wasteful, polluting buildings – the built world accounts for some 40 percent of the greenhouse gases we produce – but the truth is my fondest desire was to become a thespian.  As the theater is an iffy business and my best stage feature, a lively head of hair, was rapidly waning, I turned to a more sensible alternative: architecture school.

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Racing Against Time: A Bright Future

Solar-panels-wood-house

This article is a contribution to Honda’s “Racing Against Time” thought leadership series.*

Recently, I was approached by Honda to tackle the topic of “peak oil” in relation to the normal conversation on Jetson Green.  This site is devoted to green building innovation, and you may be thinking the subject of peak oil — specifically, the idea that oil is a finite resource — is a little tangential.

But it’s not.  In fact, oil is used to make all sorts of products and to power residential and commercial buildings.  Honda’s invitation has given me an opportunity to brainstorm on the subject and, after some contemplation, I believe there are six ways the building, design, and construction industry can eliminate the use of oil entirely.

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