Tackling the Energy Monster – landscape architects in the news

Other companies are trying to save on gas by buying hybrids. Rana Creek Habitat Restoration, a Carmel Valley, Calif., landscape-architecture and ecological-design firm with 32 employees, traded in four of its 10-auto fleet for various hybrids. They altogether cost about $130,000, but each uses only about $25 a week in fuel, compared with $100 for the traditional autos — an annual savings of about $3,900 per hybrid.

SOURCE: Read more @ the Wall Street Journal – Tackling the Energy Monster

Going Green From The Ground Up – Texas Contractor

The green build wave is rising, and right now general contractors have the opportunity to ride its crest. It is fast becoming expected that professionals in the building trades are ready, willing and able to work green — and that means understanding the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Contractor’s LEEDing Role

In the chain of events that leads up to LEED certification, general contractors have a special “watchdog” role. It is the general contractor’s responsibility to keep accurate records on all materials used that are required to meet LEED standards. Consequently, it is imperative that not only the general contractor but also sub-contractors understand LEED certification, its requirements and its growing importance in winning bids.

Once the SSI guidelines are published in spring 2009, general contractors, landscape architects, developers, builders, and maintenance crews who are prepared to take advantage of them stand to see interest in obtaining their services rising.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Texas Contractor – Going Green From The Ground Up – 6/16/2008  Author of the SOURCE article is   Jo Ann Jarreau call  (713) 682–5299 

Ecotowns: for and against – Times Online

The Times has published an insightful article about the ‘eco-towns’ proposed by the UK Government

Ten new clean, green ‘eco-towns’ will be built by 2020. And pigs might fly, say critics. They argue that the government is bulldozing through a programme that will create the slum estates of the future

This is how it will be. Across the fair face of Albion, to the ringing of bells and the soft murmur of doves, appears a leafy flush of eco-towns. They are sun-dappled utopias, urban dreamworlds in which no human need is unfulfilled. Wildlife romps through bird-loud glades. People work at home or in business parks to which they can stroll or cycle. Public transport is swift, efficient and free, so cars are not needed. Community sports hubs, leisure and cultural facilities are so abundant that nobody wants to leave the town anyway. Children walk safely to schools in which the most popular subject is environmentalism. There are superstores for convenience, and farmers’ markets for friends of the planet. Allotments, too, for those who want to grow their own. Energy is renewable, insulation total and the carbon footprint zero.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Ecotowns: for and against – .

New green materials testing lab for Dubai – Xpress

Dubai Municipality has established a new laboratory for testing green materials. The new initiative will be used for assessing the characteristics of these materials as per the international approved standard specifications, said Eng. Hawa Abdullah Bastaki, Director of Dubai Central Laboratory Department.

She said the initiative is also in line with the Dubai Government’s directives on facing the current environmental challenges aimed at transforming Dubai to a hygienic and sustainable city adhering to all environment friendly standards, which will make it capable of providing safe and secure life for its citizens.

Read more at the SOURCE: Xpress: News – New green materials testing lab for Dubai.

Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities

A new report from the Centre for Cities and Washington’s Brookings Institution has found that the USA has a lot to learn from Britain’s urban renaissance. But while British politicians and officials have always been keen to go on the hunt for policy ideas from the States, US politicians don’t always follow suit. US mayors – and the next US administration – should look more closely at British policy ideas, to help American cities compete in the future.

Smarter, Stronger Cities points to the following examples of UK innovations which could be exported Stateside:

Read more @ the SOURCE: Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities.

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