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Waste Accident Calls Into Question Nuclear Storage Protocols

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 24, 2016 8:06:43 AM

This is not the first time unexplained, dangerous accidents have challenged U.S. government nuclear storage protocol and viability.

Back in 2014, for example, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, "radioactive materials leaked from a damaged storage drum. Analysis of several accidents, by DOE, have shown lack of a "safety culture" at the facility," according to Wikipedia (photo shown).

According to the LA Times, in this latest incident, which happened in February of this year, the experts still have not determined whty the waste became unstable.

"A 55-gallon drum of nuclear waste buried 2150 ft. below the earth essentially "erupted," into a foaming mass, sending plutonium-laced airborne particles up a ventilation shaft and poisoning 21 workers.

The accident contaminated the nation's only dump for nuclear weapons waste — previously a focus of pride for the Energy Department — and gave the nation's elite ranks of nuclear chemists a mystery they still cannot unravel.Six months after the accident, the exact chemical reaction that caused the drum to burst is still not understood. Indeed, the Energy Department has been unable to precisely identify the chemical composition of the waste in the drum, a serious error in a handling process that requires careful documentation and approval of every substance packaged for a nuclear dump." (full article).

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Infographic: How Electric Vehicles are the Future of Transportation

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 12, 2016 9:20:26 AM

The auto industry continues to invest heavily in green technologies to meet pollution standards.

An infographic supplied by autoloansolutions.com shows us how EVs are the future of transportation.

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U.S. Demand for Insulation Expected to Grow by 4 Percent by 2020

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The Freedonia Group, an industry research firm, asserts that:

Global demand for insulation is expected to rise 3.7 percent per year to 26.0 billion square meters of R-1 value in 2020.  Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of insulation demand gains, with rising building construction activity and industrial output driving growth.  For example, over half of new global demand generated between 2015 and 2020 will occur in the Asia/Pacific region.  China, India, and Indonesia are among that region's developing countries expected to post solid growth in insulation demand.  In high-income countries, a combination of recovery in construction activity and efforts to make existing buildings more energy efficient will boost insulation demand.  These and other trends are presented in World Insulation, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

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2015 Climate Data Show Frenzied Extremes

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 4, 2016 1:42:16 PM

Across the board, from local weather patterns to global heating, the Earth is showing us her displeasure with business-as-usual.

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SXSW Eco Announces 2016 Place by Design Finalists

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 1, 2016 10:25:55 AM

Finals will showcase 36 extraordinary designs at SXSW Eco that rethink public space’s potential.

The designs range from a maternity ward meant to lower Uganda’s infant mortality rate to an initiative to compost the deceased and they demonstrate that place-based design has far-reaching influence, and that all types of places, from the lowly median to the standard storefront, to the towering, abandoned steel plant, can be repurposed to be inspirational and of community value.

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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 11, 2016 2:47:38 PM

Record heat and ‘Arctic Amplification’ is causing sea ice in the Arctic to melt at alarming rates.

Scientists have known for years that melting ice in the Artic is causing sea levels to rise.  What they recently discovered, however, is that a phenomenon called ‘Artic Amplification’—the exacerbation of melting ice caused by rising temperatures—has created large areas of dark, open water that quickly absorb warmth from the sun, causing the ice to melt even faster (in contrast, white frozen ice reflects sunlight back into space.) 

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Millennials Rising: Transit-Oriented Development

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 6, 2016 3:08:24 PM

The next generation of homebuyers will insist on cleaner, quieter modes of travel.

MILLENNIALS ARE A huge part of the rental market and are becoming a major part of the buying market. In fact, the largest percentage (32 percent) of all homebuyers are millennials, according to a 2015 report by the National Association of Realtors.

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Energy Tips

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 28, 2016 9:18:17 PM

There are plenty of ways to reduce energy use and, consequently, save money.

These simple steps from NV Energy don't cost a thing, but can potentially save you 10 to 25% on your monthly energy bill.

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Utilities Can Supercharge the EV Market

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 22, 2016 7:42:12 AM

The Natural Resources Defense Council calls on utilities to deploy more charging stations and raise awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles.

According to the NRDC, America's utilities are uniquely positioned to help the EV market with more charging stations, increasing awareness of the benefits of EVs, and providing incentives to charge cars at times that benefit the the grid.

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Unraveling Scalia: Anti-Mercury Pollution Law Will Likely Go Into Affect Now That the Most Vocal Anti-Regulatory Justice is Gone

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 15, 2016 12:21:42 PM

Important public health safeguards are finally going into effect, now that the Supreme Court has lost its most bombastic corporate defender.

Mercury pollution is a subject that affects us directly here in the State of Maine. The level of mercury found in our seafood--a key part of our small economy, keeps increasing. Most of it comes from coal-fired power plants far to the west of our state,Here's what the Maine DEP says about mercury pollution:

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An Intelligent, Net Zero Tiny Home

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 15, 2016 11:36:05 AM

Green Builder Media recently announced a partnership with specialty modular builder Shelter Dynamics to bring a prototype tiny home called the Arc House to several upcoming building industry shows.

Green Builder Media will partner with specialty modular builder Shelter Dynamics to bring a prototype tiny home called the Arc House to PCBC (June at the Moscone Center in San Fran), Solar Power International (September at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Vegas), and Greenbuild (October at the Los Angeles Convention Center in LA), with the goal of exposing conference attendees to the uniquely designed, hand-crafted structure that is simultaneously net zero, resource efficient, resilient, intelligent, and elegant.  

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Cooperation is Necessary to Hasten Adoption of Electric Vehicles

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 8, 2016 2:04:33 PM

Here’s how states, utilities and the auto industry can accelerate electric vehicle adoption.

By The Sierra Club, Acadia Center and Conservation Law Foundation

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Painting, Sculpting and Green Certification

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 31, 2016 12:43:52 PM

In thinking about how to replace the jury-rigged LEED system with new approaches that would have broader appeal, Jerry Yudelson looks for analogies far afield, including in the world of fine art.

Reprinted from Reinventing Green Building:

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