Tonight, I had the great opportunity to talk with Ed Begley Jr. at the unveiling of the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck in Dallas, Texas. Ed is a really nice guy, and he’s smart, too. He knows his stuff. He was showcasing the Phoenix SUT, which is a five-passenger, all-electric, freeway-speed sport utility truck. I test drove it and had a good time. I see the future with this thing. I really do. Actually, I punched it coming off the line, and it had some get up and go.
- Green is Right for Utah’s Future, Sustainable Building Proponents Say – Peter McMahon joined Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Rep. Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon on the panel. Their topic was ‘Build Green. Can you Afford Not To?’ “Not many people in certain parts of the U.S. get it yet,” McMahon said. “I think we’re going to see a really huge shift in the next five years. It’s happening in a lot of countries.”
- EPA Awards Energy Star Awards to 53 Buildings in Midwest – Last year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Energy Star status to 53 office buildings, schools, hospitals, public buildings and college dormitories in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. "These buildings are among the nation’s top energy savers, they use about one-third less energy than average buildings which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money."
- Green Building Materials Gain Ground in a Soft Housing Market – Environmentally friendly options like upgraded insulation and more efficient air conditioners and furnaces are doing well in an otherwise soft housing market.
I’ve been writing an article a week for Green Options and wanted to pass on the links to some of my articles. I think the toilets article is the most light-hearted…go give them a look if you’re interested in the content.
- Flush It All Away – the Green Way [02/22/2007]
- USGBC’s New D.C. Headquarters Go Platinum [02/16/2007]
- Collective Power Program + Solar Power to Mountain View [02/09/2007]
- Technology Adoption Goal: Zero Energy Homes [02/01/2007]
- Education is Fastest Growing Green Building Sector [01/28/2007]
- Top 20 Financially Smart Green Building Strategies [01/26/2007]
Sometimes, I’m amazed at what technology can do. Recently, I read an article about Michael Klug + Michele Grieshaber’s 1926 bungalow in Austin’s historic Hyde Park, which was renovated in accordance with the Austin Green Building Program. The original home was about 1,500 sf, but after renovations and adding some space, the 2,300 sf home uses half the energy of the original. The house is part of an 8-show feature on This Old House, and you’ll be impressed to find a time-lapse video of the renovation project. The DMN article suggests that the eco-friendly additions to the renovation added a price premium of about 10%, but let’s not forget that this home is outfitted with some pretty good stuff, including photovoltaics.
Here are some of the green features: rainwater reclamation for irrigation and landscaping; spray-foam insulation for added energy efficiency; recycled glass tile and countertops by IceStone; formaldehyde-free wood composites; milled wood from deconstruction used throughout the home in various places; James Hardie fiber cement siding, which can be a good substitute for wood siding; low-flow bathroom plumbing and high-efficiency kitchen appliances; a heat-reflecting standing-seam metal roof; and an array of photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof. Below, you’ll see pictures of the water reclamation tank and the cabinets that were made with Lyptus, a eucalyptus hybrid plant that grows fast. DMN Article + Pictures.
I just thought I would blog about this real quick because it caught my attention in the latest edition of BusinessWeek. There was a full page ad saying, "Imagine that. You can do well in the world without hurting it." Pictured in the ad is a pretty neat looking building (above), which is interactive at www.utc.com/curious. Go give it a look…United Technologies’ (NYSE: UTX) green building page has information on electrochromic glazing, 100% recycled structural steel, vertical axis wind power turbines, photovoltaic solar power arrays, zero VOC paints, green roofs with an integrated reclamation systems, conserving energy, fuel cell power plants, and combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems. Maybe someone should actually build the structure that’s in this rendering.
In 2009, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. Over 26% of the population (roughly 340 million people) lack access to clean drinking water and over 40% of Chinese cities lack sewage treatment facilities. But the country is trying to innovate solutions for the future. Recently, USA Today had an interesting article called "China Envisions Environmentally Friendly ‘Eco-City.’" According to the article, state-run developers are building an eco-city in Dongtan, which is 3/4 the size of Manhattan. Dongtan is located on Chongming Island about an hour from Shanghai. The $1.3 billion project may be a model for eco-cities all over the world.
The eco-city will be carbon neutral with the main grid of the city designed for walking and cycling, not for cars. The city will be powered by solar and wind power, biofuels, and recycled organic material. There will be green roofs for energy efficiency and insulation benefits and rainwater capture to maintain the landscaping. All vehicles will operate on clean fuels and about a fourth of the city will be open green space. Without all the gas and diesel vehicles clogging the streets, residents should be able to open up a window and enjoy the air. About 20% of the city is held out for affordable housing, but some of the farmers still say it’s out of their price range. See also SIIC.