Water efficiency is an important measure in green building everywhere, but in Australia — one of the driest countries in the world — water conservation is more widely practiced and water awareness is generally higher than it is in North America. In addition to pioneering water efficiency, Australians have discovered some problems due to the use of efficient, low-flow fixtures. One is the potential problem of "dry drains," however, a new invention called the Drainwave aims to solve the problem.
Several years ago, Adobe made business news by sharing how their green building initiatives saved the company big money. Its San Jose headquarters facility includes three office towers that have received three LEED Platinum certifications. Over time, the company has reduced indoor water use by 22%, landscape water use by 76%, electricity by 35%, and natural gas by 41%. Now Adobe generates on-site energy with 20 Windspire small wind turbines by Mariah Power.
We all know design will do a lot of the work in making a building green, but technology is important, too. Over the past year, we've seen some interesting innovation in a broad category of articles we call building-related green technology. Solar innovation is hot, and small wind — albeit heavily scrutinized — is doing some things also. So, check out this retrospective on green technology in the built environment (click the text links for more images and information).