How to Build Affordable Social Housing to Passive House Standard

By Lloyd Alter, Treehugger, January 11, 2021 Designing to the Passive House standard of energy efficiency and airtightness is hard. Designing social housing on a tight budget to the Passive House standard is incredibly hard. That’s why the work of Emma Cubitt and Invizij Architects is so interesting and important. We previously reported on how a run-down rooming house found redemption as Passive House …

No more gas: Requiring new residential and commercial building construction to utilize all-electric power, starting with projects that file permits in 2021 and 60% of current development pipeline

San Francisco’s gas ban on new buildings could prompt statewide action Utility Dive | Kristin Musulin Nov-Dec 2020 San Francisco recently became the latest, and perhaps the largest, U.S. city to ban natural gas in new buildings. The city’s Board of Supervisors passed legislation requiring new residential and commercial building construction to utilize all-electric power, starting with projects that file …

Human-Made Stuff Outweighs Earth’s Biomass for First Time, Study Finds

 Olivia Rosane Dec. 10, 2020, SCIENCE The construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg, Grünheide, Germany on Nov. 28, 2020. Patrick Pleul / picture alliance via Getty Images Human made stuff now outweighs life on Earth. That’s the finding of a new study published in Nature Wednesday that sought to bring home the full weight of what human activity has done …

San Francisco Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to ban gas in new buildings

San Francisco has already banned natural gas for any new city-owned building. Berkeley banned gas in new buildings last year. Natural gas accounts for roughly 40% of San Francisco’s overall emissions of greenhouse gases and 80% of building emissions. Requiring cleaner, all-electric buildings in new construction will increase building safety, reduce emissions citywide, and improve indoor air quality, Mandelman said. …

Building a carfree neighborhood in an auto-centric area

Culdesac Tempe is a 17-acre lot just across the Salt River from Phoenix. Currently a mess of dust and heavy equipment, the site will eventually feature 761 apartments, 16,000 square feet of retail, 1,000 residents — and exactly zero places for them to park. The people who live there will be contractually forbidden to park a car on site or …

Siting report finds Maryland can meet state solar goals with available brownfields and roof space

By Kelsey Misbrener | October 20, 2020 The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) released a new report: “Optimal Solar Siting for Maryland: A Pilot for Baltimore County and City.” Using geospatial analysis, the report identifies optimal solar sites and answers the key question: Are enough optimal sites available to meet Maryland’s renewable energy goals for solar energy? The analysis results showed Baltimore County …

Fossil Gas Has No Future in Low-Carbon Buildings

Over 20 California cities took steps to phase out fossil fuels in buildings, along with Brookline, Massachusetts. Cities in a handful of other states may follow suit next year. America has done this before: in forty years, coal went from the majority heating fuel in American homes to nearly gone in 1980. But this time, we have only thirty years, if that. January …

Breaking with the Defunct Idea of Development: Re-embedding the economy in people and the biosphere,

By Daniel McCurdy, Alliance for Global Justice. October 3, 2020 | CREATE! A longer version of this article was included in the book “The Revolution Won’t Be Stopped: Nicaragua Advances Despite US Unconventional Warfare” published by the AfGJ. Go to p. 123. One of the particularities of tourism in Nicaragua is its democratization. Since the Sandinista government won elections in 2006 and came to power …

Leveraging the Health Care Benefits of Energy-Efficient Housing

https://info.ornl.gov/sites/publications/Files/Pub124723.pdf The healthcare industry has the potential to be a strong ally in the effort to reduce the energy burdens of low-income households. Problems associated with high energy burdens often include adverse health effects. Insufficient heating and cooling systems and leaky homes can cause hypothermia and heat stress. Improper air filtration, cracked heat exchangers, and poor ventilation can exacerbate asthma …

Why Every City Feels the Same Now: Glass-and-steel monoliths replaced local architecture. It’s not too late to go back.

Vernacular architecture reflects who the built environment is by and for. Construction accounts for 39 percent of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions, so the built environment stands right at the center of this challenge. If there is to be a habitable future, it will need to be vernacular: reengaging with people where they actually live rather than fixated on monumental follies. It’s attractive, and …