The push to greener housing – Canada

“Once people become more aware of green issues, they recognize the advantages,” he says. “If a house, because it is well-insulated and has an efficient heating system, costs $300 less a month to maintain than a similar neighbouring house, that house is worth more.”

An Eco Home survey conducted by Royal LePage Real Estate suggests Canadians are looking for greener homes and are ready to put their real estate dollars on the line for these purchases. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the 1,266 people surveyed said they would look for an environmentally improved property when buying their next home, and 63 per cent said they would pay more for an eco-friendly home.

Source: globeandmail.com: The push to greener housing.

Can eco-density be beautiful? – Crosscut Seattle

Can eco-density be beautiful? By Adele Weder

Vancouver, B.C. wrestles with how to make new buildings and greater density produce better, less uniform architecture. It turns out nobody has a very clear image of what that would look like.

…..Nobody has a clue what an eco-dense city will actually look like — or even what we want it to look like. New York? Shanghai? Disneyland?

At this and other eco-density public hearings, presenter and star eco-densifier Peter Busby has brandished a freshly produced, beautiful little booklet entitled mdash; what else? mdash; “Busby on Eco-Density,” as he offered an impassioned manifesto. The booklet contains clear and attractive illustrations of what Vancouver might “look like” under varying degrees of eco-density mdash; but in the abstract.

Source: Crosscut Seattle – Can eco-density be beautiful?.

Editors Note: The article is well written and well worth the read

UIC release Sustainable Urbanism Guide

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s City Design Center has produced a 96-page electronic publication illustrating ideas for green development in Garfield Park as a case study for use by Chicago neighborhoods and individuals.

“Green Schemes: Sustainable Urbanism for Garfield Park” presents 80 concepts such as filtration gardens, narrowed roadways, and an elevated bikeway adjacent to the Green Line tracks. Graduate students and faculty in urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture conceived the schemes in five studios taught at UIC’s City Design Center.

Their designs for urban agriculture, public ways, building technology, manufacturing, transportation and other planning elements address four scales of development: building, street, neighborhood, and the two-square-mile community.

“Green Schemes” shows that planners, architects and landscape architects can make green design feasible by collaborating, said Susanne Schnell, research assistant professor in the City Design Center.

Twenty concepts from “Green Schemes” will be on view through April 20 in “Green Architecture,” an exhibition at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Ind., said Dan Wheeler, associate professor of architecture and a member of the steering committee.

Source: UIC News Release.

How Sustainable is your office printer?

As landscape architects and design professionals we try our hardest to be green in our designs with water sensitive design, plants from the local ecology and materials from close to the project. And we also try to bring that green environment to our offices and work places with recycling bins, energy efficient lighting and providing bike racks for staff. But we often forget about the things that we have over the years become more and more reliant on – our computers and printers.

Over the last few years we have swapped our energy sucking CRT monitors for LCD panels and changed to digital format of pdf and dwf. However we always use the printers day in and day out and now Xerox has created the Sustainability Calculator to help us truly find out how green our office is by calculating all our office printers – Energy, Greenhouse Gas and Solid Waste use.

Xerox have also provided a few tips on how your office could be greener.

Source: Xerox North America

 

WORLD WATER DAY – 22 MARCH 2008

Saturday 22 March 2008, World Water Day and an opportunity to reflect on water as our main resource for life. It not only a source of energy for drinking but this year it is also become a focus as the worlds source of Sanitation.

Many countries and people around the world fall victim to disease and illnesses due to the unavailability of water to cleanse themselves. 2008 is the International Year of Sanitation and the UN and many other organisations have focused their efforts on get water not only for drinking but for cleansing around the world.

Although you may feel powerless in your own country to help the billions around the world who need clean water, you too can help in your own country by having shorter showers, watering the garden less, planting water tolerant plants, installing a water efficient toilet and/or a water recycling system in your home. You can also help by donating to those organisations who are helping communities build facilities to provide water and also educate millions on the use water efficiently for drinking and washing.

More about activities on Water Day

More about World Water Resources (source UN Waterday)

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