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The largest drinking water purification plant in Europe to feature GE’s ZeeWeed 500 advanced water treatment technology is under construction in Ravenna, Italy. Located on the east coast of Italy, close to the Adriatic Sea and part of the Mediterranean Sea, this popular tourist destination needed a way to ensure increased water supply, as a result of repeated water shortages, and high-quality drinking water for residents and visitors.
Although all of this may seem obvious, it ought to be noted that the insulation capacity of trees is everything but trivial. Some studies demonstrate that having trees around the home in urban settings can reduce energy consumption significantly. In the winter, heating needs can be decreased by 15% while in the summer the cost of air conditioning can be reduced by as much as 50%! Not only do these savings potentially represent an inviting amount of money at the end of the year, they also indicate that the overall carbon footprint of any house with trees around it can be significantly smaller than its treeless and plantless equivalent.
The US National Association of State Fire Marshals has suggested that a number of today’s green developments discourage pedestrian traffic and favour large walkways which make it harder for fire-fighters to obtain access to building interiors and that the use of some lightweight materials can pose a bigger fire risk to those tackling the fire as well as the public and surrounding buildings.
It may be old, dirty and coal powered now, but it was once a vision of a brighter future, was a giant stimulus project and helped win WWII.
Author name: Alex Wilson Blog Category: Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights Roxul ComfortBoard IS has some important environmental and performance advantages over XPS and polyisocyanurate insulation ComfortBoard IS, Roxul's exterior insulation board, is being distributed nationwide in the U.S. at thickensses up to 3". Photo Credit: Roxul Readers of this Energy Solutions blog may be aware that I’ve been critical of some of our foam-plastic insulation materials. I’ve come down hardest on extruded polystyrene (XPS), which is made both with a blowing agent that contributes significantly to global warming and with a brominated flame retardant, HBCD, that’s slated for international phaseout as a persistent organic pollutant. So I’m always keeping an eye out for alternatives. I’ve written here about two of those alternatives that I’ve used in our own home: a cellular glass material called Foamglas with high compressive strength that works very well below-grade; and Thermacork , an all-natural rigid insulation material made from expanded cork. I like both of those materials a lot, but they have two big problems: high cost and limited availability. They just won’t be able to enter the mainstream home building industry—not yet, anyway—since they cost more than twice as much as XPS and polyisocyanurate and are hard to get hold of. read more
Author name: Paula Melton Blog Category: BuildingGreen's Top Stories Poison pill pushed by illegal lobbyists, or exciting, bipartisan energy bill that could change everything? It could be up to you. We’ve been keeping an eye on the sweeping Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (PDF), introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–Ohio). The common-sense bill, likely to come to the Senate floor any day now, enjoys broad support across the political spectrum. It would boost the national model energy code for both homes and commercial buildings, support commercial retrofits with financing help, and develop training programs for green building jobs. read more
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia is the 10th largest user of technology worldwide, and the problem created by e-waste is mounting. In Australia, electronic waste, or e-waste, is growing at three times the rate of general waste. The cumulative volume of televisions and computers reaching the end of their useful life is expected to reach 181,000 tonnes, or 44 million units by 2027, and presently only about 10-12% of all end-of-life electronic equipment is recycled, with much of the balance going to landfills.
Nightwood is a Brooklyn based furniture, textiles and interiors outfit that was founded in 2011 by Ry Scruggs and Nadia Yaron. All of their furniture and textiles are hand crafted one-of-a-kind works of functional art. Inspired by "old things, primitive practices, creative reuse and natural materials", they incorporate both salvaged and scrap wood into their wood furniture, and they use organic, sustainable fabrics, as well as woven scraps, in their textile-based products. More
Author name: Nadav Malin Blog Category: GreenSpec Insights Op-Ed After years of living with a nice-looking but rather uncomfortable daybed in our living room, my family and I went shopping for a new sofa. We explored a range of styles and configurations, trying to find something that looked good, would be cozy, durable, and fit in our rather small space. Oh, and we also wanted to avoid bringing toxic and ineffective flame retardant chemicals into our home. read more
Author name: Brent Ehrlich Blog Category: BuildingGreen's Top Stories Turning waste into a unique architectural product, Coldspring and Jason F. McLennan have teamed up on a new dimensional stone product. As the founder and CEO of the International Living Future Institute and its influential Living Building Challenge, Declare product database, and Living Future unConference, Jason F. McLennan has been busy setting a high bar for “green.” Now the former BNIM architect has crossed over into product design, as he is set to announce tomorrow the launch of a unique line of sustainable dimension stone products called Earth Measure , in a collaboration with Coldspring, one of the nation’s largest natural stone providers. In a world in which green products are defined by recycled content and low VOCs , natural stone has arguably gotten short shrift, as we noted recently in Environmental Building News, in Stone, The Original Green Building Material . Stone is simply cut from the earth and processed., It emits no VOCs or hazardous airborne pollutants, it is water-resistant, will outlive most buildings, and can be reused after the structure is no longer usable. How can you build on that pedigree? How about turning the relatively small amount of quarry waste produced by stone manufacturers into a valuable product? While working with Coldspring as a consultant, McLennan recognized that the offcuts from stone processing still had value beyond landscaping and aggregate, and with Cold Spring’s corporate goal of creating zero waste from processing, a partnership was born. read more