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 …

Rich Americans Emit up to 15 Times As Much Carbon As Their Poorer Neighbors

A new study confirms the obvious: big houses have bigger footprints. But wait, there’s more. By Lloyd Alter, Treehugger, July 21, 2020 The conclusion of a new study – The carbon footprint of household energy use in the United States – that everyone is focusing on would seem obvious: “Wealthier Americans have per capita footprints ∼25% higher than those of lower-income residents, primarily …

Regulatory Solutions for Building Decarbonization: Tools for Commissions and Other Government Agencies

Regulatory Solutions for Building Decarbonization: Tools for Commissions and Other Government Agencies + NEAT Tool in LA at the bottom 2020  |  By  Sherri Billimoria and Mike Henchen DOWNLOAD To meet the imperative of curbing climate change and restoring clean and healthy air to our communities, it is critical that policymakers act to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building sector. …

Freedom from coal: Coal was the fuel for more than half of US electricity as recently as 2003, but was down to less than 25 percent last year and is some of most expensive to operate now

Excerpt from Inside Climate News We don’t need coal and it’s cheaper to get rid of it. Coal was the fuel for more than half of the country’s electricity as recently as 2003, but was down to less than 25 percent last year. And coal’s decline is accelerating, with many coal-fired power plants sitting idle during the coronavirus crisis because those plants are …

Nearly twice as many properties may be susceptible to flood damage than previously thought

Percentage of properties at risk of flooding during a major storm New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America By Christopher Flavelle, Denise Lu, Veronica Penney, Nadja Popovich and John Schwartz in NYTimes, June 29, 2020 Nearly twice as many properties may be susceptible to flood damage than previously thought, according to a new effort to map the danger. Across much of the United States, the …

Customers with rooftop solar lower the system peak demand, thus reducing the need for costly generation and transmission capacity: Rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in Michigan study. Incentives for daytime use (time of renewables or real-time TOU) are needed

Articles by Will Driscoll in PV Magazine https://pv-magazine-usa.com/author/william-l-driscoll/ Rooftop solar is worth 24¢/kWh in the Michigan territory served by Consumers Energy, well above the 14¢ to 17¢/kWh that the utility’s net metering customers currently receive for the electricity they send to the grid. The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Director of Rate Design Kevin Lucas presented that finding in testimony in a Consumers …

Massachusetts may become just the third state, after California and New York, to begin planning for a managed decline of its conventional natural gas industry and gas in new buildings

According to the petition, the DPU should examine the investment needed to ensure a safe and reliable gas system over the next 30 years, while gas demand declines. The AG’s Office also urges the DPU to examine whether there are other cost-effective alternatives to traditional gas infrastructure investment that may be better aligned with the state’s climate goals. The AG’s …

Parking Requirements Gave Me a Haircut: Neighborhood-friendly developments are often made infeasible due to overly high parking requirements + Parking Reform After Coronavirus

MARCH 23, 2020 BY TONY JORDAN Parking Reform After Coronavirus Obviously, in the middle of this crisis, with lockdowns in place and ICU beds filling up, parking policy (like most things) isn’t important. We have much bigger fish to fry: maintaining a functioning health care system and supporting millions of people thrown off the payrolls are at the top of the list. …

In 30 years from now, on the current path, almost half a million existing homes will be on land that floods at least once a year

Rising seas threaten an American institution: The 30-year mortgage The New York Times | Christopher Flavelle Up and down the coastline, rising seas and climate change are transforming a fixture of American homeownership that dates back generations: the classic 30-year mortgage. Home buyers are increasingly using mortgages that make it easier for them to stop making their monthly payments and …

Buildings account for nearly 80% of GHG emissions in some cities. Clean energy policies foster growth in local jobs.

St. Louis last week became the first Midwest city to pass a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) to advance the city’s goal of eliminating community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The BEPS plan is applicable to buildings that are 50,000 square feet or larger and were already required to report their energy and water use under current city law. Under BEPS, those …