Articles With "pollution" Tag

Agro-Housing Becoming an Option for China

Agrohousing

In China, there’s a massive exodus from the rural to urban areas, but it’s controlled because the country doesn’t have enough housing for everyone that wants to live in a city.  At the same time, urbanization accentuates the air and soil pollution problems.  So, Knafo Klimor Architects proposed an agro-housing project that blends agriculture and high-rise housing in one structure.  This agro-housing project brings the food-supply directly to the building, and to the extent that residents can realize the benefits of urban farming, there is a decreased reliance on transportation for agricultural products (shopping and delivery to stores).  Plus, with the building’s integrated water capture systems, the project has the potential to reduce water consumption and runoff.  Residents could make money off the crops, too. 

This agro-housing project is going to be built in Wuhan, China.  As you can see from the renderings, the building has quite the elaborate labyrinth to control water, air, and heat.  Structurally, it will be made with SIPs and a majority of the materials will come from steel, aluminum, and terracotta — all materials that can be recycled at the end of the building’s life.  Via Dwell

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Austin to Require Zero Energy Homes by 2015

Austin

The City of Austin, after a year of serious research by the Zero Energy Capable Homes Task Force,  announced a huge initiative towards requiring all new single-family homes to be zero-energy capably by 2015.  Here’s how it works.  Today, the city adopted the first in a series of code amendments and a  road map of code amendments that will be implemented through 2015.  Due to this first series of changes, roughly 6500 new homes built in Austin will be about 20% more efficient.  Through 2015, as the code changes ratchet up the efficiency baseline, homes will end up using about 65% less energy than those built today.  Then, owners will have the option of adding solar or some other clean tech to get the home to zero energy status. 

Speaking of the Zero Energy Homes Initiative, Mayor Will Wynn said, "We’re taking action today that will lower the cost of utility bills, make housing more affordable, help improve air quality and take critical steps in the fight against global warming."  He continued, "The savings here are staggering – over the next ten years these policies will save homeowners almost $125 million on utility bills and have the same greenhouse gas reduction effect as taking almost 200,000 cars off the road."  It should be said, however, that home prices will increase slightly due to the initiative, but all those green Dell employees should be able to handle it, right?!  Speak with your wallet. 

Good Links:
++Zero Energy Home Initiative Approved [Austin Biz Journal]
++Mayor Winn Announces Action on Zero Energy Homes [ACC]

Fight Global Warming Now by Bill McKibben, Book Give Away

Fightglobalwarmingnow I just received an excellent book by the noteworthy, bestselling author Bill McKibben called Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community.  And as I’ve done in the past, I’m giving a copy away.*  McKibben is the author of several books and with Fight Global Warming Now, he draws on his experience with Step It Up 2007 to explain what it takes to launch online grassroots campaigns, generate persuasive political pressure, and plan high-profile events that will draw media attention.  The book is a blueprint of sorts for the movement to battle climate change.  To give you an idea, one of the goals of the movement is an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.  Feel free to visit Bill McKibben‘s website or Step It Up 2007 to learn more about it and Step It Up 2, which is planned for November 3, 2007.

*After 48 hours, I’m going to pick a number out of a cap and give this book away to the comment number corresponding to the number I pick.  Since you leave your email when you comment, I’ll email you for your address and shipping’s on me to anywhere in the U.S.  Not sure what to say in the comments?  Tell me where you’re commenting from: "SLC, Utah here!"

PBS e² Series Returns with Pitt, Morgan Freeman

e2 design

"How did progress take priority over human mankind? …"  I’m the proud owner of season one of e² design, a six-part series that aired on PBS last fall.  I can’t wait for the next season and it’s coming soon.  Go check out www.e2-series.com.  Brad Pitt’s back with “e² design."  This grouping of shows will feature Thom Mayne, architect of the San Francisco Federal Building; Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; and Adriaan Geuze, lead architect of the Borneo Sporenburg development in Amsterdam.  PBS also brought on rookie, Morgan Freemen, for “e² energy."  This segment will feature Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank; Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute; and Dr. José Goldemberg, Brazil’s former secretary for the environment.  This is excellent video content.  Incredible content.  Unbeatable content. 

Green Labeling, Sourcing Wind Energy, Sustainable Development + Landscape Design Rating System (WIR)

Week in Review
  • Most Americans and Canadians say "green" labeling just a marketing tactic.
  • Harnessing the Wind to Fuel India’s Growth – as nations examine their carbon output, wind turbines provide one alternative to coal.
  • Will sustainable development "shake up" architecture?
  • Clean energy can’t meet growing demand, which is outstripping supply, pushing up prices, and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates. 
  • Green Building Moves Outdoors – the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the development of a new rating system for landscape design. 

[Video] The Green Building Revolution

It’s Friday, why not watch a little video?  High quality video content like this is hard to find online, so I thought I would share it.  A lot of people think green building is about saving energy.  It is.  But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Buildings. Use. Water. Materials. Land. Space. Air. And. Money.  Click on over to KQED for some background information on the above video. 

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