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Sunday , 26 March 2017

Category Archives: Green Living

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

With climate-change denying president, business must fight for sustainability

Among the many causes for concern that Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States has raised, one of the most serious is how a Trump presidency will affect global efforts to deal with climate change. He doesn’t believe in it, calling it a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese to gain an economic advantage over the US. Further evidence of his thinking on the subject can be seen in the man he appointed to head the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Trump’s pick is a well-known climate change denier, and Trump has already hinted that massive de-regulation is coming. As for the Paris climate agreement, which ... Read More »

Santa Monica first city in the world to mandate net zero energy housing

The California city of Santa Monica has become the first city in the world to require all new single-family homes to be built for net zero energy (NZE) by the year 2020.  Multi-family buildings will have to use 10 per cent less energy than the existing building code allows, while all new commercial buildings must be NZE by 2030. The state’s public utilities commission has adopted a long-term plan to make all California buildings NZE and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. NZE means that a building generates as much power as it uses. In Canada, the federal government intends to introduce changes to the national building code with the ... Read More »

Elon Musk presents Solar Roof as a thing of beauty, but is it practical?

The world’s favourite entrepreneur, Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, creator of the Tesla Powerwall, and dreamer of big Mars exploration dreams, has turned his imagination to the humble solar panel. Being Musk, a charismatic, show-biz kind of man, he chose to unveil his version of the energy-generating roof tiles on the Hollywood set of Desperate Housewives. The tiles, everyone agrees, are beautiful. Aesthetics are important to Musk, and in this latest venture he has created four distinctive tile types, all made of glass—red Tuscan, Slate, textured glass, and smooth glass. As Musk put it at the presentation, they are so beautiful that one could imagine calling the neighbours ... Read More »

Green roofs may not be possible, but churches have a role to play in sustainable building movement

Toronto did it first in North America, but Germany has been doing it since the 1970s: mandating green roofs on industrial and residential buildings. Last week, San Francisco joined the club, becoming the first US city to require green roofs on certain types of buildings. The San Francisco law will require between 15 and 30 per cent of roof area in most new construction to incorporate solar capacity, green roofs, or a mix of both. The most commonly listed benefits of a green roof are its ability to reduce stormwater runoff, improved air quality, and reduction of the heat island effect in cities. A green roof can also save the ... Read More »

Competition winners show urban wood as alternative architecture for city densification

Rapidly increasing urban populations together with urban planning policies of densification are putting great pressures on the world’s cities’ abilities to provide affordable living space for their citizens. From Finland to Hong Kong to Germany to New York City, city planners struggle to meet the ever-increasing demand for urban housing as available land becomes more and more scarce. But are they missing one obvious solution, one that is not quite under their noses but rather above their heads? A Finnish company, Metsä Wood, thinks so. Think roofs, the company says. The roofs of today are the plots of tomorrow. The potential for building on existing buildings’ rooftops, using wood, is ... Read More »

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