Children are an “indicator species” of a healthy downtown

By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Jun 21, 2017Young families typically leave cities for the suburbs. Here’s how to keep them downtown. Urbanist Brent Toderian explains how Vancouver held onto its families. Elementary school and playground in downtown Vancouver. (Brent Toderian) In North America, we take it for granted: When couples have kids, they move out of the city to the suburbs. The trend has only …

Light Tubes, Prism Lighting, & Other Daylighting Solutions

April 28th, 2018 by James Ayre on Clean Technica  While LED lighting is arguably far “greener” than incandescent lighting is, both lighting modalities are easily trumped by daylighting solutions, where and when that is applicable. While daylighting solutions won’t replace dark-hour lighting needs, they can easily displace artificial lighting needs during transitional near-dawn and dusk periods of time — as well as improve …

US Cement Companies Still Lag Far Behind The Paris Climate Goal, Endangering Public Health & Safety

April 23rd, 2018 on Clean Technica by Nicolas Zart   Cement factories pollute in Long Beach, California, endangering children’s lives daily. A silent, under-reported, highly polluting industry is that of cement factories all over the world. Wherever they are, pollution spikes happen, belching out noxious particulates ill-affecting the health of those who live near their path. Cement Factories Pollute With Little Public …

Seattle mayor proposes congestion pricing to fight climate change, plus requiring EV charging in new construction, phasing fossils out of the city’s vehicle fleet, and fund conversion of 18,000 homes from oil heat to electric heat pumps

By Sarah Anne Lloyd on Curbed, Apr 4, 2018  Checubus/Shutterstock On Wednesday morning, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a slate of action items to help the city combat climate change. The boldest part of the plan? Durkan wants Seattle to become the first American city to toll city roadways. Among the other short- and long-term actions proposed by Durkan to meet the benchmarks laid out in …

V2X: New project trials EV to building energy storage

 Apr 03, 2018  Priyanka Shrestha on Energy Live News  Image: Shutterstock A new project is trialling the use of electric vehicle (EV) batteries as energy storage for office buildings. ENGIE, Hitachi Europe and Mitsubishi Motors linked the first “vehicle to everything” (V2X) charger to the French utility’s office building in the Dutch city of Zaandam. Hitachi’s V2X charger can not only recharge EVs but also discharge the energy …

Passive Solar Home Design Elements

Think of a building located in Northern Europe with large southern exposure windows and a lot of dark stone thermal mass that is exposed to the sunlight that comes through these windows even in the depths of winter — coupled with well insulated walls, airtightness, and thick night-curtains — as an example. In a tropical environment, conversely, the aim would …

World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper, Over 1000 ft, in Tokyo

March 15th, 2018 by The Beam, on Clean Technica  Sumitomo Forestry Co. recently released a plan to build the tallest wooden high-rise in the world. At a height of 350 meters and comprised of 90% wood, the building has been dubbed the W350. Image via Sumitomo Forestry Co. The architectural designs feature plentiful greenery and aim to create a sense of biodiversity in an …

St. Patrick’s Cathedral In New York City Goes Green With $35 Million Geothermal Installation

March 19th, 2018 by Steve Hanley on Clean Technica  St. Patrick’s Cathedral on New York’s Fifth Avenue is undergoing a $200 million renovation. Part of that upgrade is a new $35 million geothermal heating and cooling system that replaces the steam boiler and air conditioning system installed nearly 60 years ago. The new system is expected to reduce the cost of heating and cooling …

Positive unintended consequences of raising building standards

Building code changes can have unintended consequences by Lloyd Alter January 26, 2018 CC BY 2.0 Wikipedia/ California houses weren’t always energy efficient. A study in California shows that changing codes can change a lot more than just their energy consumption. Years ago when I worked in the development industry, I asked another developer what his secret was. He was convinced that …

Man downsizes from 250 to 54 sq. ft. ‘expandable’ mobile tiny home (Video)

Kimberley Mok kimberleymok January 29, 2018   Video screen capture Relaxshacks For most people, the idea of living in 250 square feet full-time will likely seem too cramped for comfort. Yet for Dallas, Texas-based Richard Ward of Terraform Tiny Homes, his 250-square-foot tiny home on wheels seemed like a “mansion” ever since he returned after a four-month-long road trip in a Honda Element …