Green roof for green buildings

Imagine picking blueberries on your roof, collecting rain and runoff water from your property and using it to flush toilets, heating and cooling your building using heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and having an electricity bill less than a quarter of the amount you usually pay. These are all features of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building.

The proposed new Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake will be the first LEED building in Greater Sudbury and one of only five LEED buildings in the world to have a platinum certification, the highest rating attainable. The recently announced $4.5 million donation by Vale Inco will help to make this dream a reality.

Read more @ The Sudbury Star – Ontario, CA.

Rapid Central Station’s green roof will be replaced – mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS — It hasn’t taken long for some of the much-touted environmentally friendly features of Rapid Central Station to lose their green.

Rapid officials Wednesday approved spending $220,000 to replace the station’s green roof and $160,000 to replace the fiberoptic lighting that gives the Teflon canopy over its bus terminal a distinctive nighttime glow.

Officials say the green roof covered with sedum — a live Alpine plant that absorbs water — simply hasn’t thrived since it was installed in 2004.

Officials say they have worked with local horticulturists for the past three years and have determined the synthetic material for the plants isn’t deep enough. They also said the fiber optic lighting over the LEED-certified bus terminal costs far more than expected.

Rapid Central Station’s green roof will be replaced – mlive.com.

Greener buildings – Thailand

Concern over global warming has inspired many housing developers to use energy-saving as a selling point for new projects. Among 13 developers who received the 2007 energy-conserving housing awards from Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is three-year-old Fine Home Housing Development Co Ltd, which adapts local knowledge to the design of its energy-saving homes.

The energy-saving concept starts with the location. Most projects are located near gardens or canals, says Fine Home managing director Sukit Triwanapong.

Bangkok Post : Business news.

EcoDensity debate elevates planning to top-level issue

You don’t care where your kids, and their kids, are going to live and you don’t care about the future of the planet.

Do you really want to tell the rest of the world that this mindset pretty much sums up the collective attitude of Vancouverites?

It looks like a few of your neighbours would like to broadcast just such a message as the debate over EcoDensity reaches a crescendo next week.

No other North American city has been able to focus public attention on a simple high ideal that speaks so clearly to the global challenge we all face, and easily translates into real action in our neighbourhoods to ward off these forces that threaten our quality of life.

We should be celebrating, with a global fanfare, that one of our politicians has done just that.

EcoDensity debate elevates planning to top-level issue – Vancouver Sun.

China: Going Green, Going It Alone

Clean-tech investors, like those that swarmed the U.N. headquarters last week, have been drooling over investment prospects in suddenly-green China. Maybe it’s time to curb the enthusiasm.

“China expects local capital to fund 90 percent of the infrastructure and other investment needed to meet its goal to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” a top Chinese environmental official told Reuters at a climate-change shindig in Monaco (following Bali and Honolulu, yet another hardship destination for climate negotiators.)

China recently passed a renewable-energy law similar to the European Union’s that mandates a big increase in the use of clean energy like wind- and solar power over the next decade. And in China, a big percentage increase means a big increase: To make wind power 10% of the installed electricity capacity — an amount that the wind industry says is realistic – China needs to install 120 gigawatts of wind turbines. Perspective check: That’s more wind power than currently installed worldwide, or two entire Spains, or roughly 120 mid-sized nuclear plants.

Environmental Capital – WSJ.com : China: Going Green, Going It Alone.

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