Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Calls for Change

This installment is going to be a hodge-podge of green news goodies.

Architecture 2030
Thanks to Kai Huschke of Bioneers for notifying me about Architecture 2030, an exciting and ambitious campaign for architects and designers.

Commercial, industrial and residential buildings emit copious amounts of greenhouse gases, as you know. The goal of Architecture 2030 is for buildings to be carbon neutral by 2030 through a combination of energy efficiency, smart design and on-site renewable energy resources. Sound unrealistic? The folks behind it don’t think so. The challenge for builders is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 60% by 2010. This percentage is to increase by 10% every five years until 2030.

According to their site:
“We know these targets are readily achievable and that most buildings can be designed to use only a small amount of energy at little or no additional cost through proper siting, building form, glass properties and location, material selection and by incorporating natural heating, cooling, ventilation, and day-lighting strategies. The additional energy a building would then need to maintain comfort and operate equipment can be supplied by renewable sources such as solar (photovoltaics, hot water heating, etc.), wind, biomass and other viable carbon-free sources.”

The Canadian Home Builders Association has supported energy efficiency through the R2000 standard since the 1980s. Builders are starting to embrace the LEED standard, so it’s not as if this will be a huge shift for the building community. Some exciting buildings have been created that already realize the dream of this movement. Here are just a few examples…

The Rise of the Green Building

Building Green

Commercial High Performance Buildings

‘Greening’ a Profession

William McDonough & Partners

The Canada Green Building Council

The US Green Building Council

Don’t Mess with Texas!
Battery Breakthrough? Thanks Elizabeth McCallum for sending along this little tid bit on a technological breakthrough for the electric car brought to you by a Texan company called EEStor. They’ve come up with a new way to store electricity for the car that will decrease costs and increase power. The new technology will also affect laptop computers and utility-scale electricity storage.

George W Promises More Renewable, Won’t Commit to Cap & Trade
Last year he admitted his country’s oil addiction. This year he said the CC words. YES. On Tuesday night during his State of the Union speech, old W said the words ‘climate change’ in the context of ‘we better do something about it’. It’s about #$%&@#%* #$%@& time. He also promised more renewable energy investment.

However, he did not say anything about a mandatory cap and trade system, something that the captains of industry have urged him to address. Cap and trade is a market-driven solution for corporations to shift to more sustainable practices. Companies must meet an aggressive emissions cap and are given emission allowances. How they comply is up to them and may include purchasing allowances from companies that meet the cap. It is therefore in their best interest to emit below the cap to save and perhaps earn money.

To date Cap and Trade has been voluntary. Now chief executives of Alcoa Inc., BP America Inc., DuPont Co., Caterpillar Inc., General Electric Co., and Duke Energy Corp. want the US government to legislate mandatory compliance. CEOs Plead for Mandatory Emissions Caps

Other News
From reports on the demise of waterfowl to new reports on climate change, the papers were full of doom and gloom this week. For more…. New York Times.

In the News
Green Bloggers


Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

Alternative Energy Blog

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