Green Buildings Are the Future

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The building sector is the biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. Energy used in U.S. buildings produces about 43 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. However, buildings certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) have less impact on the environment, according to theGreen Building Impact Report 2008. The report assessed non-residential construction because it accounts for 40 percent of the environmental burden from the buildings sector.

LEED certified buildings have less impact on the land and water, and use 25 percent less energy. They save the equivalent amount of GHG emissions from entering the environment as 400 million vehicle miles traveled. They also use seven percent less water. The equivalent of 2008 water savings could fill enough 32 ounce bottled to encircle the globe 300 times.

The Architecture 2030 Challenge

The Architecture 2030 Challenge calls for a 50 percent reduction in the energy use and GHG emissions of all new buildings and major renovations by 2010. The Challenge also calls for an increasing reduction of both energy use and GHG emissions in increments every five years so all new buildings will be carbon neutral by 2030.

The Challenge also calls for new buildings to be designed so that they cut fossil fuel energy usage in half, and renovate existing buildings to cut their fossil fuel energy usage in half.

The following organizations have adopted the Challenge: the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Green Building Council, National Association of Counties, California Public Utilities and Energy Commissions, and individual cities, counties and states.

Will the recession affect the green building sector?

The green building sector has grown considerably in the 21st century. Despite the current economic recession, the construction and certification of green buildings will continue to increase, according to a recent report, How Green a Recession? – Sustainability Prospects in the US Real Estate Industry.

The report, commissioned by RREEF, a member of the Deutsche Bank Group, stated that the green building market will continue to accelerate, which will increase the “green share” of the building sector, and then will speed markets “to the tipping point where green buildings become the standard for quality real estate product.”

There is a potential for tremendous growth in the green building sector, according to the report, for four reasons:

  1. The low market penetration rate.
  2. The number of firms and professionals involved in understanding green building techniques and certification systems.
  3. The amount of projects completed that are awaiting certification.
  4. There is a strong demand for green buildings from consumers, government policies, and investors.

The report cited four ways that the Obama administration can influence green building market:

  1. Through a cap-and-trade or carbon tax program.
  2. Raising the energy-efficiency standards for federal buildings. The federal government is the largest property owner and tenant in the U.S.
  3. The “green collar” jobs initiative.
  4. Instituting national energy efficiency standards for all building.
  5. Providing subsidies to local governments to encourage energy efficiency.

Act local! If you are a U.S. citizen, send a letter to your state governor by signing the petition in support of sustainable public housing.

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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ethella (mythical katamari cousin)

ethella (mythical katamari cousin)
All items are handmade, without a pattern! Amazing!

Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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NYPD – Eco Friendly

NYPD – Eco Friendly

At least they’re thinking of the environment while giving parking tickets…

Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Margaret Garrington Gallery

Strong and Lightweight

Margaret Garrington Gallery

ABOUT MARGARET
Something took over my creative life called the LOOZA Bottle Project. Painting and drawing is a solo activity and a satisfying way for me, a visual artist, to work. I didn’t ask the universe to bring a collaborative art installation piece to me. It started quite innocently with my sincere admiration of a utilitarian glass form: a LOOZA fruit juice bottle. First, the lovely empty bottles refused to go to the recycling bin. Then, accumulating on my counter, the gang of clear vessels started dictating they be filled with other things I had trouble throwing away. Now other, equally obsessed creatives, are filling LOOZA bottles with their trash turned magically into art medium. The goal? 300 forms filled with color, line, value, pattern, message. Those crazy creatives won’t stop and now the LOOZA Bottle Project has over 330 trash filled bottles, each unique! Thank you to all the LOOZAborators!

Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Flickr Photos from ADS

Originally uploaded by A Distinctive Style

You can read the entire story about Beads for Life in this issue of A Distinctive Style Magazine. Don’t forget to order a some handmade beaded jewelry for all your friends and family!

Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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