The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND, is coming under fire for not putting a greater emphasis on affordable housing.
Critics say LEED-ND, in its current draft, discourages participating developers from alloting dollars into expensive energy-efficient affordable housing if their payback is, at most, four points out of a possible 106. They worry the point system, and any resulting developer disincentives, will get ingrained in municipal law books if local governments continue to adopt LEED standards at unprecedented rates — all at a time, they add, when the growing gap between wages and mortgages is creating an affordable housing crisis regionally and nationally.
In a recent study by Cambridge, Mass.-based New Ecology Inc., the cost of building green affordable housing held a nearly 3 percent premium, ranging up to 9 percent on some projects.
read more @ the SOURCE: Mlive.com – Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing.
Ed: Although an interesting article however the article doesn’t mention the savings that low-income families will gain with lower energy bills.
More education of the public in relation to LEED is needed (eg initial construction cost vs long-term running costs and reduced environmental costs). Urban Planning also becomes more important including density of housing.
The UAE may soon be the world’s premiere home for theme parks as an increasing number of entertainment giants such as Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment are teaming up with local developers to build mega resorts in the country. However, as billions of dollars are being poured into these projects, some experts are raising concerns about whether these parks will be as successful as hoped.
SOURCE: AMEinfor.com – UAE prepares for theme park boom - UAE Focus.
IT HAS been a frustrating time for many businesses in India’s IT hub of Bangalore. Endless traffic jams, sporadic power, a chaotic airport and many politicians who just couldn’t give a damn.
For four years, Karnataka state, home to India’s “silicon valley”, was ruled by a chaotic coalition with a regional party. Janata Dal (S)’s support base was among farmers, and politicians were criticised for ignoring Bangalore’s IT “elites”.
The result: more decrepit public transport, four-hour commutes, packed roads and blackouts that have taken some gleam off this city as it faces increasing competition for foreign investment from rival cities such as Shanghai and Manila.
Read more @ the SOURCE – Scotsman.com News – India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – .
The days of spending six digits to remodel that kitchen are over.
Landscape architects are seeing a change in the way people are using their hard-earned money: In the coming decade, they’ll spend their cash (and their time) on the outdoor “great room.”
Erase the image of a simple patio with a few potted plants scattered around. Today, outdoor living is less about communing with nature and more about cooking, entertaining and relaxing outside with family and friends.
Read more @ the SOURCE: The Rocky Mountain News – Outdoor living areas all the rage : Home & Garden :
The team behind an environmentally sensitive parking lot at Gulley Park hopes it example for developers and builders, encouraging them to use stormwater management practices that protect water quality rather than harm it.
The city of Fayetteville partnered with the Uni- will be an versity of Arkansas Department of Landscape Architecture and the Arkansas Forestry Commission to build the 30-space parking lot with four bioswales located on the south and southwest sides of the lot and the center island.
Bioswales are designed to treat runoff water, trapping pollutants and silt, before the water flows into the watershed.
Read more @ the SOURCE: NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas’ News.