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Get Ready for Sustainability Now 2009

Sustainability now logo FINAL

This is a quick public service announcement from Phil Clark, a journalist at UBM Built Environment in the UK.  He blogs at Zerochampion and previously wrote a guest article on this site.  

Want to hear from experts and professionals on their experiences of sustainable design and construction?  All from the comfort of your home or office?  Well a new virtual event I’m running next week, called Sustainability Now, may well be up your street.  It’s free to attend and offers a flexible way for finding green content, from reports, articles, and data to video and audio shows.  You can also connect directly with your peers in green architecture, engineering, and building at a lounge area, which offers instant messenger communication for users.

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How to Cut Energy Use by 60% by 2050

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At the beginning of the year, when we wrote that energy efficiency would come into greater focus, we didn't know the World Business Council for Sustainable Development ("WBCSD") was going to say "energy efficiency is fast becoming one of the defining issues of our time."  But this is the message in a new report published by the WBCSD.  They invested four years and $15 million in what's being called the most rigorous study on energy efficiency in buildings ever conducted.  According to the report, energy use in buildings can be cut by 60% by 2050, but action is necessary soon.  Let's take a closer look …

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Happy Earth Day 2009!

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Pretty much every website, organization, and movement has something to say today, and a lot of it is worth listening to.  We’re not going to get caught up in the hype cycle, but we also recognize that experimental Earth Day efforts could lead to greater commitment 365 days of the year.  We like the USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge, because it gets you thinking big outside of this isolated day.  If you're still looking for some time to kill this Earth Day, here are a few links that we noticed …

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The USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge

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Everyone has something to say on Earth Day, and that’s not all that bad.  We’re going to keep the noise to a minimum, but here’s the thing:  A good Earth Day experiment just might lead to greater commitment, so why not give this one day a shot?  The USGBC sent out an email with an Earth Day challenge that may pay dividends long after this day is over …

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2009 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects!

Jewish-Reconstructionist-Congregation

It's that time of year again — the AIA Committee on the Environment ("COTE") just published its annual list of Top Ten Green Projects.  There's some definite superstars in the group, and we've mentioned a few of them already, including the Chartwell School and Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation.  Perkins+Will has two projects in the group, but this just confirms what we already know: the firm is a leader in sustainable design.  Below, we've included direct links to AIA case studies for each project, as well as a link to the lead architect. 

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New Financial Study: Living Buildings Are Cost Effective

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Today the Cascadia Green Building Council published their findings of a financial study of Living Buildings.  The study — officially named The Living Building Financial Study: The Effects of Climate, Building Type and Incentives on Creating the Buildings of Tomorrow — is extensive and we're still going through all the details.  But there's one major takeaway that I noticed: investing in Living Buildings is the financially smart thing to do, especially for institutions, corporations, and homeowners looking to hold on to their real property assets for more than a few years.  The study was put together by Cascadia, SERA Architects, Skanska USA Building, Gerding Edlen Development, Interface Engineers, and the New Buildings Institute (referred to below as "contributors").  Let's look a little deeper. 

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