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Greenbuild 2014: Reinvigorating A Zeal for Sustainability

Posted by Adam Jonash, Guest Blogger

Nov 12, 2014 12:15:52 PM

The city of New Orleans proved to be a perfect venue for this year’s annual Greenbuild Conference.

Once crippled by storm surges from Hurricane Katrina, the city has come back with a vengeance, rejuvenated by a focus on durability and sustainability. Subsequent restorations and rebuilds have included techniques such as building raised structures on stilts, strategic parklands and integrated wetlands to manage stormwater.

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A Journey Towards Meaning

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 9, 2014 12:22:25 PM

January 2015 will mark the tenth anniversary of Green Builder® Media. So much has changed over the past decade. The green building market, and Green Builder Media along with it, has evolved from niche and fringe to mainstream and intelligent. As individuals, corporations, and governments around the world have awakened to our pressing environmental realities, sustainability has become recognized as the most cost-efficient, durable, and efficient building strategy.

Since Green Builder Media’s inception, we have aspired not just to report the news about green building; we’ve broken ground and made headlines with our thought-provoking editorial, advanced VISION House demonstration projects, involvement in the code and regulatory arena, and advocacy efforts. We’ve joined forces with building professionals, sustainability experts, manufacturers, and organizations throughout the industry, and, together, we’ve helped shape the national conversation about sustainable living.

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Sustainable City Startups

Posted by Wyatt C. King

Mar 22, 2014 12:08:11 PM

Among the most intriguing and extravagant approaches to emerge in recent years to address the challenge of urban sustainability has been so-called “smart-from-the-start” eco-cities, medium-sized cities built from the ground up to incorporate the latest and greatest thinking in sustainable technology and design. These built-from-scratch settlements have started to sprout in several countries – so far, there are projects in various stages of completion in South Korea, Abu Dhabi, Portugal, Kenya, and across China—and they are being touted by developers as showcases for the most advanced ideas in resource-efficient living. They are financed largely by governments and deep-pocketed information technology companies that see a huge business opportunity in urban systems—as the global imperative for sustainable living becomes ever-more evident and pressing.

Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi, embodies many of the aspirations of this new urban genre. By combining ancient design features, such as narrow, shaded streets angled to channel desert winds—with modern technology—including solar power, electric cars, and waste-to-energy systems—lead architect Norman Foster initially claimed that the city would be both carbon-neutral and zero-waste. Nearly seven years on, financial reality has set in; ambitions have been scaled back, and the completion date postponed. But the project is still moving forward. Looking ahead, planners intend for Masdar to serve as a test bed for home-grown innovations developed in an on-site research institute they hope will rival MIT.

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Finding the Trailhead into Green Building Codes Work

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Mar 20, 2014 2:44:00 PM

For nearly two decades, Co-founder and Executive Director David Eisenberg of The Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT) “has lead the effort to create a sustainable context for building codes.” DCAT “works to enhance the health of the planet and our communities by promoting a shift to sustainable construction and development through leadership, strategic relationships and education.”

Eisenberg has built in steel, rammed earth and straw, among other alternative building materials, and is a big proponent of strawbale construction. But what he has focused on the most is getting building codes to include alternative materials.

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No Apparent Change

Posted by Ron Jones

Mar 13, 2014 1:38:16 PM

Nobody loves acronyms more than the military and intelligence agencies, so “NAC”, the popular abbreviation for “No Apparent Change”, is commonly used in updated reports to indicate that whatever is currently being observed or monitored has not changed much from previous versions, a convenient way to save time and space.

In this case, I am reporting that NAC applies to the newly updated official policy of the National Association of Home Builders on green building and sustainability. Allow me to explain…

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