NZILA Conference registrations open

The 2008 NZILA SHIFT Conference will highlight and discuss these emerging modes of design practice in the context of the fluid and unpredictable nature of urban change.

A diverse range of speakers will consider legal and planning implications, contemporary design initiatives, changing technologies and the challenges of serving the needs and interests of society as a whole.

 3-5 April 2008 Auckland New Zealand

Register now at NZILA

Minnesota Eco Group proves not only new houses can be green

Wayzata Minnesota-based environmental organization Live Green, Live Smart announces The Sustainable House™ received Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council™ (USGBC), for the remodeling of a 1948 rambler, located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The award is the Council’s highest level certification for residential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED). This is the first remodeled home to be certified Platinum by the USGBC, the most widely recognized green building standard-setting organization in the country.

The original house and landscape underwent major alterations focused on energy efficiency, water conservation, habitat protection, resource efficiency and healthy occupancy.

Eco-Pioneering Minnesota Group Earns First USGBC Platinum for Green Remodeled Home – businessnewswire.com

City bursting at the seams?

Ottawa Developers scorn city claims about residential land supply, while some suggest it’s time to tighten Greenbelt

Developers are calling on the city to expand Ottawa’s urban boundary, vehemently disagreeing with “preliminary” estimates that the city has more than 20 years worth of vacant residential land for future development.

“Who knows whether the city will bring in additional lands,” said John Herbert of the local homebuilders association. “What they are doing now is artificially driving up the price of land, through the roof.”

But calls to expand the urban boundary may have to wait until the spring for an answer, when the city will release a white paper with survey results on residents’ opinions about developing the city’s Greenbelt.

read more at Ottawa Business Journal

ADB to help China fight desert drift

China is getting outside help for a project to stop the alarming spread of deserts in its western interior that causes siltation of the Yellow River, the Asian Development Bank said Saturday.

Manila-based ADB said it will help Beijing design a project to restore the severely degraded drylands of Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, as well as Xinjiang autonomous region, which together cover 40 percent of the country.

“Land degradation is a critical environmental problem in all three project jurisdictions,” an area that once hosted the ancient Silk Road trading route between Asia and Europe, a bank statement said.

AFP: ADB to help China fight desert drift.

I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

Yale-Abu Dhabi Research Team Finds Evidence of Ancient Subtropical Environment in the Arid Emirate

New Haven, Conn.— Six to eight million years ago, the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate was a lush landscape teeming with subtropical wildlife, according to Andrew Hill, the Clayton Stephenson Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology at Yale.

Before a meeting on January 8 in Abu Dhabi organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority on Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the Emirates Natural History Group, Hill described the joint ADACH-Yale project leading to the startling discovery that the arid desert of the Emirate’s Western Region was once the river-fed habitat of crocodiles, hippos, turtles and elephants.

Yale-Abu Dhabi Research Team Finds Evidence of Ancient Subtropical Environment in the Arid Emirate pressmediawire.com

Cape Wind project gets a lift from environmental impact report | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal

The wind farm proposed by Cape Wind Associates LLC for Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts would have mostly “negligible” or “minor” adverse impacts on the environment, recreation, tourism and property values, according to a major report released yesterday by the federal agency in charge of the project’s permitting process.

The Minerals Management Service, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, released its findings yesterday in a 718-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement that was two years in the making

Cape Wind project gets a lift from environmental impact report | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal.

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