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.
Coal + Climate Change, ASLA's Green Roof, Sprawl Costs, Nanotechnology, Greener Homes + LEED Criticism (WIR)
- The highly respected Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, says, "The only fossil fuel that can fuel global warming is coal. If you stop coal, you stop global warming. End of story."
- The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reports on their green roof: it retained lots of water, reduced building energy costs, and lowered the outdoor air temperature.
- Green Technology Forum report finds that nanotechnology can make green buildings more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and in tune with their environment.
- Greener homes mean much more than planting lots of trees.
- Texas Traffic Institute study says traffic congestion is worse than last year and cost the nation over $78 billion, including the cost of lost time.
BONUS: A Wave of LEED Critical News
I watched this video of the Jellyfish House by architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott, and needless to say, I was kind of blown away. It’s quite compelling to watch, but at the same level, it’s complicated. I can’t say I understand everything that’s going on but I like it. Jellyfish are responsive to the environment around them, so like jellyfish, one concept with this house is that water is filtered and harvested through the actual structure of the home. The structure uses UV light filtration, which could come down in price in the future, and titanium dioxide, which is now used for self-cleaning glass in tall skyscrapers. This concept prototype for the future of sustainable living was designed (hypothetically) for Treasure Island, a decommissioned military base in San Francisco Bay with toxic top soil.
Unless you’re completely oblivious to what’s happening on Earth, you know there’s a world full of concerts going on. Live Earth. With some things, I like to exercise a modicum of skepticism to make sure I know my feelings on the issue. I was slow to come around to Live Earth. I mean, I love a good concert. I’ve seen DMB in concert multiple times. I respect many of these artists for their tireless contribution to musicality. But, I popped open the Live Earth Global Warming Handbook and here’s Tip #45: Take a Bath Together. How am I supposed to take this book seriously? What is this, some silly excuse to get it on? Well, I kept reading. Tip #45 talked about low-flow toilets and a future world with water shortages. Water heating can take up to 25% of a home’s energy use. I decided I should change my attitude and bought the book. To take the words of one of the greatest musicians (and I mean musicality when I say that), John Mayer:
To the journalists who will lay in wait for the perfectly maligned moment of hypocrisy, you will probably find one if that’s how you want to spend your time. Just use this as a measuring stick; give Live Earth’s initiative at least as much benefit of the doubt as you’ve given to the iPhone, or a new Radiohead album…Sure, if I wanted to be cynical, I could pose the question as to what happens if the biggest concert on Earth takes place only to hear the world respond with a resounding "that’s nice, but have you seen the cat that plays piano on YouTube?" But all I feel going into Saturday afternoon is hope. And lots of it.
Point well taken. I’m watching Live Earth highlights of what looks like Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Ludacris, Jack Johnson, and maybe the Pussycat Dolls? I’m also thinking this event should raise the world’s awareness of the low hanging environmental fruit. Plastic bags, CFLs, Junk Mail, etc. I’ve spent the last 2-3 hours reading through David de Rothschild’s Global Warming Handbook and there’s some good leads here. Here’s some content relevant to the scope of Jetson Green,
So I received from HarperCollins a copy of Ron Pernick + Clint Wilder’s latest book called The Clean Tech Revolution. I’m a big enthusiast of renewable technology because it has the potential to change the world of real estate and green living. Preliminarily, let me say that this book is an incredible read. Seriously. It’s smart and approachable. To get an idea of the breadth of the book, here are the chapter subjects: solar energy, wind power, biofuels and biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grid, mobile technologies, water filtration, creating your own Silicon Valley, and clean-tech marketing. And the book is geared towards individuals, investors, corporations, and governments alike.
The authors are Clean Edge guys and they know what they’re talking about. The research put into each topic is unbelievably thorough. The Clean Tech Revolution is not some chump book by someone that just recently jumped on the green bandwagon (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The authors talk about the tipping point of green brought about by six C’s–cost, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate. These six things have come together to make clean tech something of a revolution that will occur over the next 20, 30, 40 years plus. It’s pretty exciting. In each of the chapter categories mentioned above, the authors identify several companies to watch. For instance, the authors say we should keep an eye on the following companies in the ‘green building’ chapter: Aspen Aerogels, Clarum Homes, Cree, The Durst Organization, Interface Engineering, Ortech, PanaHome, Rinnai, Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores.
Update:: BusinessWeek published an extensive review over the weekend saying, in part: "But what sets Pernick and Wilder’s book apart is its focus on the business benefits of going green, from money saved by building eco-friendly corporate headquarters and lowering heating and cooling bills, to money earned by startups committed to creating clean technologies. Other books, magazines, and Web sites tend to include clean-tech and green business within a spectrum of other lifestyle, political, environmental, or design topics."
I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m really impressed with this book. Actually, I’ve got two people in mind that I want to pass a copy to, and they’re not getting mine.