Maps chart noise in urban areas – BBC NEWS – UK

Residents in 23 towns and cities in England are to be given the chance to monitor noise levels in their area using interactive maps.

A Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website shows the level of environmental noise from road and rail networks in the areas.

Users can search by postcode to monitor noise levels. The 23 areas include London, Manchester and Sheffield.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS – UK – Maps chart noise in urban areas.

Meeting the demand for sustainable materials – icWales

The soaring number of eco-communities and eco-homes have resulted in a growing demand for sustainable materials.

One company that has benefited enormously from the boom is T Mawr, a traditional and ecological building company based in Brecon, which began growing rapidly in 2005 and has doubled in size every year since. Its workforce of four in 2000 has increased to 22 this year.

After concerns about the amount of sand extracted and dredged in the UK – 70 million tonnes and 12 million tonnes a year respectively – it pioneered the development of glaster and limecrete, natural alternatives to plaster and concrete, made from glass and lime respectively.

In November, the company launched Welsh sheep’s wool as a means of insulation and now sells 10 million tons of it every month.

Read more @ the SOURCE: icWales Meeting the demand for sustainable materials– Author Steffan Rhys

Up on the roof garden – Telegraph.co.uk

Only a few years ago, anyone who suggested growing plants on a roof might have been dismissed as a complete crank. Not any more.

Sedum on roof
The Botanical Roof Garden, Augustenborg, Sweden

Green roofs have started to appear on new buildings up and down the country with remarkable speed. Most feature a thin layer of the amazingly resilient hardy succulent plant, the sedum. Several different kinds are used, with leaves in a variety of different colours: yellow, green, red and bronze.

Grass and turf roofs are still not that common in this country. It’s a different story in Scandinavia, which has a long tradition of using turf, not least because it makes perfect practical sense: the layer of soil and grass insulates against cold winter weather, and protects the roof from wind damage.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Telegraph.co.uk Up on the roof garden – .

Embedded.com – Freescale unveils $61,000 Green Technology Design Challenge

Freescale Semiconductor has set June 6th as the deadline for entries to its European design challenge, which this year is targeted at projects that encourage innovation in environmental design and offers incentives to encourage designers to “go green.”

Five finalists will receive $1,000 each. The first place winner of the European and all regional Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) design challenges will receive $10,000, second place receives $5,000 and third place receives $2,000.

SOURCE: Embedded.com – Freescale unveils $61,000 Green.

The hills of the future – BBC News

Major construction projects produce hundreds of tons of rubble and spoil, but is there an environmentally-friendly alternative to landfill? Four hills which have sprung up on the outskirts of London provide the answer.

For years large quantities of it ended up simply being dumped in landfill sites.

But now, in a more environmentally-conscious age, imaginative solutions are being provided and one of the most innovative has taken shape beside the A40, the main road leading from London out towards Oxford and Birmingham.

Eight years ago Ealing Council wanted to redevelop a 45 acre (18.5 hectare) area of derelict parkland in Northolt, which had become an eyesore.

They recruited a firm of consultants, led by landscape architect Peter Fink, who came up with a solution which included the creation of four man-made hills on the south side of the carriageway. It would become part of a park called Northala Fields.

Source: BBC NEWS – UK – Magazine – The hills of the future – Chris Summers .

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