“I think a lot of cities like this because it’s a nice broad framework for sustainability,” said Diana McKeown, Metro director for CERTS. “For many cities, they have environmental commissions, and the GreenStep Cities program gives them ideas on what to work on.” The program, in its second year, gives cities guidelines for greening their infrastructure and work practices in order to save energy and resources.
Does it sound a little crazy? Maybe. But when it comes to U.S. cities that take sustainability seriously and are putting the infrastructure in place to make such a vision a reality, you really can’t beat Washington.
Welcome to the nation’s newest high-performance computing facility dedicated to studying the Earth and Sun. Located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Cheyenne, the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center officially opens its doors in October 2012.
Within its walls, many aspects of our planet’s workings can be captured in unprecedented detail. The results could help us protect our wired society from solar storms, reduce the toll from the next disastrous hurricane or tornado outbreak, chart the critical supplies of water and energy beneath our feet, and address many other concerns. Scientists from across the nation will use the NWSC—primarily via the Internet—to study weather, climate, oceanography, air pollution, space weather, computational science, energy production, carbon sequestration, and many other features of the Earth system.
Funded by the National Science Foundation with additional support from a broad public-private consortium, the NWSC has achieved LEED Gold status. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized rating system for green buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for evaluating environmentally sustainable construction. Learn more about the center’s energy efficiency here: http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/features/4490/efficient-design
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center is operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. NCAR is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
This is a Starbucks. It’s made of used shipping containers and is located in Tukwilla, Washington. Starbucks’ goal is to make every store in the U.S. LEED certified.
This small project came at a perfect time here at Starbucks as we challenge ourselves to deliver LEED-certified stores across the US. Pending LEED certification, this project is just one step toward our goal of universally building all new company-owned stores to be LEED-certified Starbucks Stores. I wanted it to be green, thought provoking and sustainable – the sort of project that stirs chatter. I think we got it.
Lovely followers, does anyone have data or a before/after study that shows greenroofs have actually lowered temps in a city?Msg me here.
Toronto becomes first city to mandate green roofs
Toronto is the first city in North America with a bylaw that requires roofs to be green. And we’re not talking about paint. A green roof, also known as a living roof, uses various hardy plants to create a barrier between the sun’s rays and the tiles or shingles of the roof. The plants love the sun, and the building (and its inhabitants) enjoy more comfortable indoor temperatures as a result.
Toronto’s new legislation will require all residential, commercial and institutional buildings over 2,000 square meters to have between 20 and 60 percent living roofs. Although it’s been in place since early 2010, the bylaw will apply to new industrial development as of April 30, 2012. While this is the first city-wide mandate involving green roofs, Toronto’s decision follow’s in the footsteps of other cities, like Chicago and New York.
Under the direction of Mayor Richard Daley the city of Chicago put a 38,800 square foot green roof on a 12 story skyscraper in 2000. Twelve years later, that building now saves $5000 annually on utility bills, and Chicago boasts 7 million square feet of green roof space. New York has followed suit, and since planting a green roof on the Con Edison Learning Centre in Queens, the buildings managers have seen a 34 percent reduction of heat loss in winter, and reduced summer heat gain by 84 percent.
But lower utility bills aren’t the only benefit of planting a living roof. In addition to cooling down the city, green roofs create cleaner air, cleaner water, and provide a peaceful oasis for people, birds and insects in an otherwise polluted, concrete and asphalt-covered environment.
“Most cities, looking at shrinking budgets, cannot afford to subsidize or knock down ailing malls, and healthy retailers that are expanding — like H&M and Nordstrom Rack — generally will not open at depressed locations. So, as though they were upholstering polyester chairs from the 1960s with Martha Stewart fabric, urban planners and community activists are trying to spruce up and rethink the uses of many of the artifacts.
Schools, medical clinics, call centers, government offices and even churches are now standard tenants in malls. By hanging a curtain to hide the food court, the Galleria in Cleveland, which opened in 1987 with about 70 retailers and restaurants, rents space for weddings and other events. Other malls have added aquariums, casinos and car showrooms.
Designers in Buffalo have proposed stripping down a mall to its foundation and reinventing it as housing, while an aspiring architect in Detroit has proposed turning a mall’s parking lot there into a community farm. Columbus, Ohio, arguing that it was too expensive to maintain an empty mall on prime real estate, dismantled its City Center mall and replaced it with a park.”
Green hospital replaces infamous Walter Reed. Architectural overview, here. Over the top, Michael Bay-esque, meta-corny video goodness, here. LEED Silver status buildings include rain gardens, cisterns, green roofs, probably robots.
Green Healthcare Facility Tour and Cocktail Reception
Fort Belvoir Army Medical Center June 13, 2011 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm Co-presented by HDR Architecture, Inc.
Joining the groundswell of green buildings crossing the globe, the U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Defense will soon open the premier military community hospital in the country – and the world’s first hospital that successfully marries the Military Health System’s Evidence-based Design (EBD) principles with LEED® requirements. Currently under construction, the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, south of Washington, D.C., a 1.27-million-square-foot facility, features an inpatient medical center including 120 beds, outpatient clinical space, cafeteria, pharmacy and a number of other services.
The tour will explore the energy saving systems such as heat recovery chillers, water conservation technologies such as the rainwater and condensation collection system, and Evidence-based Design features such as interior and exterior gardens integrated into the project, and the Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) analyses used as decision-making tool during the design process. The SROI analysis, which is an enhanced version of a life-cycle cost analysis that incorporates risk and provides triple bottom line results, revealed that the building will avoid 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year resulting from its energy and water efficient design. These results and more will be presented during the one-hour tour of the facility.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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