Big green ideas for the workplace

Last summer I had a vision of life in a world post-climate change catastrophe. It was around midday on July 20. I was sitting on the 5th floor of an office building in London when the sky suddenly and dramatically turned black, as though night had descended.

And then the heavens opened, dumping two month’s rain in just a few hours, leading to the worst flooding in years.

Whether last summer’s floods had anything to do with global warming is far from certain, but as the torrents rained down on that day last July, what did we all do? We went back to our desks and carried on working. The lights were already on, the air conditioning was on, and after a few moments’ distraction, we simply ignored it.

While at home we may compost, recycle and insulate our roofs; at work it’s just not our responsibility.

Or is it? If you are an eco-warrior at heart and really want to make a difference, then in many ways the workplace is actually your best chance. Rather than turning off a few lights in your house, at work you can turn off thousands.

Read more @ Big green ideas for the workplace by Adharanand Finn - guardian.co.uk.

Green Buildings Don’t Have to Be New

JUST about every month, a glitzy tower rises somewhere in the country, boasting the latest in “green” design and technology. To many people, that is an encouraging trend, especially when considering that commercial buildings account for more than 60 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption, according to government estimates, and generate 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet these buildings represent a small fraction of the nation’s estimated 4.5 million commercial properties, many of which were erected decades ago before sustainable, or green, designs became de rigueur. This vast stock of older buildings presents a much bigger opportunity to cut down on energy consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to the warming of the planet.

Read more @ Green Buildings Don’t Have to Be New – By Amy Cortese – New York Times .

Anti Smog Architecture: A Catalyst for Cleaner Air in Paris

Architect Vincent Callebaut’s latest project balances public galleries, meeting rooms and gathering spaces over canals and abandoned railroad tracks in the 19th Parisian district. The prototype uses green technologies and techniques but is more than just an example of sustainable design. Callebaut’s ‘Anti Smog: An Innovation Centre in Sustainable Development’ is a catalyst for cleaner air.

Read more @ Inhabitat » Anti Smog Architecture: A Catalyst for Cleaner Air in Paris by Ali Kriscenski

Not everything wild gets on well in cities

Environmental activists, scientists and green organizations, first and foremost the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), have over the past few years been making an effort to protect the remaining natural assets in urban areas. Apparently there is no clear worldview about the characteristics of urban nature, its importance and the means of preserving it.

Now the Deshe (Open Landscape) Institute, which operates as part of the SPNI, has published a paper, “Urban Ecology,” on the subject by Inbal Brikner Brown from the Institute of Desert Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It deals with, among other things, what is worthwhile and possible to preserve on the basis of existing scientific knowledge.

Read more @ Not everything wild gets on well in cities – Haaretz – Israel News.

Sheffield Parkway bridge design winner

Danish architect Tim Norlund has beaten over 100 entries to gain first prize in the Sheffield Parkway footbridge competition.

Norlund joined forces with Ramboll Whitby Bird after his design was short-listed to the second stage in the competition. They will work together with the client team at Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, to take the scheme forward.

Read more @ Builder & Engineer – Sheffield Parkway bridge design winner.

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