International Green Construction Code launched

Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code(IGCC) was launched by the International Code Council. Of interest to Landscape Architects is Chapter 4 – Site development and land use which

provides requirements for the development and maintenance of building and building sites that encourage natural resource conservation and environmentally responsible land use and development.

This chapter addresses soils, land use and conservation, storm water, irrigation, graywater, vegetation, building site management, transport, bicycle & vehicle parking, hardscape, vegetative roofs, lighting. Version 1.0 was undertaken with American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES with the inclusion of ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an option for jurisdictional requirements. Version 1.0 of the code is open for public comment and then a Version 2.0 will be released in November 2010.

The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (greywater).

The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.

Read more and download the IGCC (pdf or word format) at the [SOURCE: ICC] via Dexigner

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University of Manitoba LA students win $25,000

A team from the Landscape Architecture program at University of Manitoba was one of the four teams awarded $25,000 from the $100,000 Go Green Challenge, a competition funded by the TD Friends of the Environment foundation (TDFEF), a national organization formed by TD Bank and Financial Group.

Aileen Zubriski and Kathryn Voroney, two masters students in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, made up the winning team for their proposal, prize with their project “Uncovering Water: Exposing the Storm Water System Through Sustainable Design.”. The proposal consisted of using bio-retention filters, green roofs and permeable paving to reduce the amount of runoff water that flows into the city’s sewer systems — stopping raw sewage from entering the Red River every time the system tops out and overflows, which happens an average of 18 times per summer.

[SOURCE: The Manitoban]

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Underpass Park unveiled

Before-after-Underpass-Park_West-screen-res

A derelict area beneath a series of overpasses in the West Don Lands is going to be transformed into the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first in Toronto.

Located within the West Don Lands – home to the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes’ Village – Underpass Park will cover a total of 1.05 hectares (2.5 acres) under and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses, between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue.

Designed by renowned landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg in association with The Planning Partnership, Underpass Park embodies design excellence and is the epitome of innovative urban park design.  The design creates a socially-engaging park for community members of all ages and abilities by incorporating public art, recreational space, playful climbing structures and play areas, flexible community space, community gardens, and public gathering places.

Before-after--Underpass-Park-Rendering-evening-screen-res

[IMAGE SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto]

UK Survey finds shortage of landscape architects

Green space skills: 2009 National employer survey findings, a survey commissioned by CABE and English Heritage, is the first to reveal the full extent of skills shortages in the green space sector in the UK. The report has found that 14.9% of national employers found landscape architects hard to recruit due to skills shortage. Landscape architects were also on top of the table as the hardest to recruit out of all the green space skills.

22% of  respondents from the Private sector stated that it was harder to find landscape architects whereas only 8.5 of respondents in the Public Sector  found it hard to find landscape architects due to a skills shortage.

Green space skills shows an urgent need to address the skills shortfall to tackle climate change. Planning, design and management are what are needed to help to adapt green spaces to a changing climate, and these were exactly the skills which employers felt their staff most lacked.

The report also identified several priorities to counter the shortage including:

– Develop and maintain a strong evidence base to make the case for investment in green space skills

– Improve the availability and quality of training, including continual professional development

– Increase awareness of the sector and the opportunities it offers, to encourage more people into the sector

Download the report at the [SOURCE:  CABE]

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Olympics reinvigorates Vancouver’s Granville Street

Granville Street, Vancouver 2010

Image by popejon2 via Flickr

During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver a newly updated Granville Street by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects has become a lively impromptu event space for buskers, street hockey, olympic pin sellers and more. The street has been closed to traffic for 30 years with only buses allowed back in the mid-1970’s. Retail groups have lobbied to have cars reintroduced to the space. However, the success of the space which is usually the domain of club-hopping group has caused planners and downtown businesses to rethink the future of the space post-Olympics.

Could this be the catalyst for a renaissance of pedestrian malls in cities?

Read more about Granville Street during the Olympics at the [SOURCE:Globe & Mail – Games reignite dream of a car-free Granville]

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