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Tuesday , 13 October 2015

Category Archives: Green Living

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Environment-friendly stories, latest technologies, news, tips and how tos.

Solar windows will make every building a power generator

Every day, sunlight falls on billions of square feet of windows on buildings all around the world, and every day, people behind those windows pull blinds and curtains and shades to keep the light and heat out. But all that solar energy, wasted for the most part, could be used to make electricity. All it would take would be converting those windows into solar panels, with photovoltaic cells. With every window creating electricity, there would be less need for rooftop solar panels, and buildings could move closer to becoming carbon neutral. It’s an idea that has been circulating for a number of years now, but two drawbacks have stood in ... Read More »

Solar-powered luxury in The Maldives

Hedonism and environmental sensitivity are concepts, or lifestyles, that appear rather antagonistic. International tourism, one of the most common expressions of the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, has a particularly poor record for environmental care. So it is encouraging to see a luxury resort with an environmental conscience, as it were, a Club Med resort, no less, win an international award for design. That resort is the Finolhu Villas, located on a paradise-like atoll in The Maldives. The architect is Japanese-born American Yuji Yamazaki. The award it won is an International Hotel and Property Award, sponsored by the London design firm Design et al. What makes the resort environmentally interesting, or ... Read More »

Canadian will take green building message to Singapore, Paris

The Canadian who became head of the World Green Building Council on June 1, 2015 will make her first major international appearance in her new role as one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming International Green Building Conference in Singapore. Terri Wills, whose experience includes work with the Ontario Government, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in London, England, says her goal is to increase WGBC’s influence around the world. That is in effect WGBC’s mission: to strengthen green building councils in the more than one hundred countries where they now operate. The purpose of the councils is to promote sustainable building practices and ... Read More »

In search of affordable net zero energy housing

The idea of the net zero energy building is beautifully simple: the building creates as much energy as it uses, thus reducing its carbon footprint and saving the occupants money on energy bills. Everybody wins. There’s no question that the concept works; plenty of prototypes and one-off examples have been built, even in cold climates. The biggest problem is cost. Using current construction methods and technologies, the additional cost to build net zero in Canada is about $90–$120,000 per home, a hefty premium that few homebuyers would be willing to pay. Even with energy savings of 50 to 80 per cent, the cost is prohibitive. To help get over this marketing ... Read More »

Cutting emissions takes innovation, like solar-panel highway barriers?

A certain real estate mogul with weird hair who is currently sort of running to be president of the United States for the Republican party says that climate change is a “hoax” concocted by the Chinese to put American manufacturers out of business. So that’s settled, then. But saner thinkers recognize that we need to act quickly to at least slow the pace of global warming. Scientists warned last week at a UN climate conference in Paris that carbon emissions must be reduced to zero by the end of this century to prevent catastrophic warming. To that end, US president Barack Obama presented a new clean energy plan to his ... Read More »

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