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Built Environment | Shared Resources. Amazon, data center turn hot idea into cool technology. New California Laws are a Needed Paradigm Shift for Energy Efficiency. Why real estate needs Tesla-style buildings, used 'Uber-style' While the financial industry is still reeling from recent stock market gyrations, it is tempting to forget about long-term issues, such as extreme weather events, the rising sea levels and demographic change.

Why real estate needs Tesla-style buildings, used 'Uber-style'

It’s short-termism versus long-term thinking in its purest form. Universities See Existing Buildings in New Light for Energy Efficiency Savings. High performance real estate is more common and its value is finally understood, but many people still believe that all of these efficient green buildings are new, shiny developments.

Universities See Existing Buildings in New Light for Energy Efficiency Savings

Yes – it’s typical to apply the latest sustainability strategies and technologies to new construction, but it’s just as typical to retrofit and renovate existing buildings with new sustainable and efficient features and technologies. We mentioned in an earlier blog post that nearly three million more people will be enrolled in American colleges and universities in 2022 than were enrolled in 2011 – a 14% increase – and there’s a parallel spike in the need for space to host the influx.

But universities are often cash-strapped, and with land use restrictions to boot, building new sustainable buildings is rarely an option. How can an aging building be transformed into an energy efficient, purposeful building without the hefty investment involved in new construction? Housing Innovation Awards. Seattle Is Not Being Changed by Amazon but by Financial Institutions. Amazon's new headquarters in downtown Seattle.

Seattle Is Not Being Changed by Amazon but by Financial Institutions

Charles Mudede Much of the blame—maybe too much—on the rising costs of living in Seattle has been placed on Amazon and tech workers. And the EV revolution will be led by ... Volvo? Aircraft may be lessening their carbon footprint, but what about airports? Today’s passenger aircraft are becoming ever more efficient, driven by regulations like the EU’s emissions trading scheme and airlines looking to squeeze profit out of every drop of fuel saved.

Aircraft may be lessening their carbon footprint, but what about airports?

Yet on the ground, airports operate in a different class. New findings from a European Union-funded research project show that commercial airports use as much energy as a small city, and up to one-fifth of that may be wasted. Aircraft operating within the EU, along with energy and industrial sectors, fall under the Emissions Trading System that aims to cut emissions. Are India’s clean energy investments slowing the march of coal? Chinese investment in the Indian renewable energy sector has skyrocketed recently, and construction equipment manufacturer Sany Group is the latest to join the push.

Are India’s clean energy investments slowing the march of coal?

The company announced last week that it will direct $3 billion toward the development of at least two gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in India, largely in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. That’s a lot of cash and a lot of capacity, and announcements like these check a solid handful of other sustainable development boxes: expansion of renewables, money flowing between developing countries, private sector partnerships — chalk it up to a win for the climate. Right? Stories of clean energy investment tend to be good news for environmentalists, but in this case, there’s the danger of missing the forest for the banyan trees. The key here is understanding the difference between climate action and pure economic development motives. Peduto, other leaders join in Resilience Pledge bringing $5 million in suppor... PITTSBURGH, PA –Mayor William Peduto is committing at least 10% of the city’s operating and capital budget spending to flood control, street and facility improvements, and other projects that will improve the City’s resilience against challenges it will face in future years.

Peduto, other leaders join in Resilience Pledge bringing $5 million in suppor...

Signing the pledge will secure $5 million in technical and financial resources for Pittsburgh over the next five years from The Rockefeller Foundation/100 Resilient Cities, which held a resilience summit with Mayor Peduto and other leaders from around the world this week. The funding will be in addition to the funding Rockefeller has already committed to Pittsburgh as one of the 67 cities chosen so far for membership in the the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. Pittsburgh earned membership the Resilient Cities Network in December 2014. The Planned Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Power Plant Is a Really Big Deal. Just outside the Welsh city of Swansea, the U.K. is planning one of the most innovative power plants ever constructed.

The Planned Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Power Plant Is a Really Big Deal

It’s not the plant’s size that is striking, though it could ultimately provide power to 155,000 homes for 120 years. It’s the source of its power that breaks ground: tides channeled into an artificially constructed lagoon. Granted full planning permission this June, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world’s first ever plant to generate electricity using this method. ‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-driven Approaches to Cities. 09.30.15 | By 100RC Facebook Twitter NEW YORK (September 30) – Rebuild by Design, the international design competition tasked with developing innovative plans to protect New York from another Superstorm Sandy, will now join 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), an organization pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, to help export the cutting edge program to cities in the 100RC network around the globe.

‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-driven Approaches to Cities

Urban policy: could the federal government finally ‘get’ cities? The appointment of a federal minister for cities and the built environment is a signal moment in urban policy in Australia.

Urban policy: could the federal government finally ‘get’ cities?

It is a much-needed portfolio for an overwhelmingly urban nation but will need new policy capacity if the government’s urban goals are to be realised. Australian cities are among the fastest-growing in the developed world. They face problems of poor housing affordability, growing inequality, inadequate and inefficient infrastructure, unsustainable environmental demand and uneven employment distribution and productivity.

Long neglected federally, urban affairs is the gaping void in 21st-century public policy. Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions. This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo shows construction of the Carlsbad, Calif., desalination plant between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean.

Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions

Climate change and drought have stretched water supplies from coast to coast. The vast majority of 50 state water officials surveyed by the federal government expect shortages to affect them over the next 10 years. Volkswagen's appalling clean diesel scandal, explained. It sounds like the sinister plot of some straight-to-DVD movie.

Since 2009, Volkswagen had been installing elaborate software in 482,000 "clean diesel" vehicles sold in the US, so that the cars' pollution controls only worked when being tested for emissions. The rest of the time, the vehicles could freely spew hazardous, smog-forming compounds. Suffice to say, regulators were livid once they caught on. Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Volkswagen had very flagrantly violated the Clean Air Act. Skip the Car Charger: Roads With a Jolt of Electricity Are Coming to the U.K. Sure, ditching a gas guzzler in favor of an ultra-low-emission, electricity-powered vehicle is better for the environment.

But what happens if you’re on a road trip, your electric car’s battery runs out of juice, and—horror—there’s no outlet around to plug in for a recharge? Eliminating the possibility of that nightmare scenario is at the heart of an effort announced late last week by government officials across the pond. Highways England, the agency responsible for operating and maintaining major roads, said it plans to conduct an 18-month trial of highways that will wirelessly charge vehicles as they travel along them. It Takes a Shipping Container to Feed a Campus. Students advocating for local, sustainably grown food to be served on campus may soon have a surprising new tool to leverage—one more commonly found at industrial sites than on verdant farms.

That is, they will if a pilot project at the State University of New York at Stony Brook to grow hydroponic lettuce in a upcycled shipping container proves successful. The “Leafy Green Machine,” as the farm is called, was installed on the campus in late August. Now that students are back for the fall session at the school, located about an hour east of New York City, they’re getting the farm up and running. King County becomes largest government in U.S. to use new energy-tracking system used by Microsoft. Story Executive Dow Constantine announced a two-year pilot project that will make King County the largest government in the United States to use a new energy tracking system that Microsoft uses to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. The energy tracking software will be installed at five King County buildings and will provide maintenance staff with real-time analytics that help them operate the facilities more efficiency, identify HVAC problems faster, and better prioritize maintenance work.

Employees can spend less time identifying the cause of a heating or air-conditioning problem and more time fixing it. “My commitment to creating the best-run government in the United States includes taking advantage of emerging technology that makes our operations more efficient,” said Executive Constantine. “This innovative partnership will reduce our energy consumption, our electricity bills, and our carbon emissions, all at no cost to local taxpayers.”

King County's renewable energy goals. Chelan & Okanogan Complex Fires Fly Through 8-20-2015 @ 3:30AM. Google's making it easy for you to get solar panels onto your roof. Adding solar panels to your roof can be frustrating, since it's often difficult to know if your home receives enough light to justify the investment. Vertical #farming coming soon to an #urban area near you with the promise #organic produce using 95% less water. This facility will grow 22 crops per year with the help of LED lighting and a controlled environment. As documentaries like Food Inc. have conveyed, large-scale agricultural farming is not a sustainable method of producing food for the world’s growing population. Here's how new buildings can actually help salmon. June 25, 2015. The Key to Saving Billions of Gallons of Water is Sitting in Your Shower.

Where Are the Highly-Impacted Communities in Washington? Tuhoe and NZ's first 'living building' Do You Live in a Resilient City? The home that pays its own utility bill (and then some) Imagine opening your monthly utility statement to find a check instead of a bill. Seattle 2030 District Releases New Strategic Plan.

High Performance Building Districts At our Summer Reception, the Seattle 2030 District unveiled a new Strategic Plan to make substantial progress toward achieving our ambitious energy efficiency, water and commuting goals for existing and new buildings. Climate Preparedness Report. 2015 ENERGY STAR Top Certifiers. Vulcan Real Estate Makes News by Going Salmon Safe. Tuesday, 07 July, 2015 13:31Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July, 2015 13:32Written by Stewardship Partners On June 8th, 2015, Vulcan Inc. announced its Commitment to Action with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for urban watershed protection and restoration through sustainable development practices that align with Salmon-Safe environmental certification.

The public announcement occurred in early June at the CGI America 2015 conference in Denver, Colo., which brings together various leaders from across industries for a think-tank style multi-day engagement focused on developing solutions for economic growth. Enduring Summer’s Deep Freeze. The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle. Going Green and Conserving Cash. Obama's $4bn Clean-Energy Initiative: A Big Number Hiding a Bigger Idea. Zero Counties in the U.S. Have Enough Housing for Families in Extreme Poverty. 2030 Districts: Communities Collaborating to Reach Inspirational Goals with Measured Performance. EIA finds wind energy will have largest role in cost-effectively meeting Clean Power Plan. New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens. Implementing Stormwater and Erosion Control Best Management Practices - Forester Network.

Wind turbines kill fewer birds than do cats, cell towers. A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable. At Their Annual Gathering in Seattle, Urban Planners Confronted a Growing Housing Affordability Crisis. Portland Now Generates Electricity From Turbines Installed In City Water Pipes. Changing the Conversation About the Growth of Pacific Northwest Cities. Solar Streets: New Roadways May Ditch Asphalt for Energy-Generating Sunshine ... Energy Storage Paves Way for Electricity Independence. Battery Hackers Are Building the Future in the Garage. Solar Streets: New Roadways May Ditch Asphalt for Energy-Generating Sunshine ... Your shower is wasting huge amounts of energy and water. Here’s what you can do about it.

10 cities aiming for 100 percent clean energy. Northwest Energy Efficiency Council. This Company Will Pay You to Use Less Electricity. The WELL Building Standard: Buildings bonding us to nature. Tesla Is Devising a Way to Let You Power Your Entire Home. 5 Ideas That Could Have Prevented Flooding in New York. What You Can Learn from Seattle's Approach to Building Resiliency. These Floating Sea Trees Could Bring Wildlife Back to Big Cities. Six Myths About Electricity in the U.S. South Debunked. Power Lines » Power from the Sun and Support for Affordable Housing. V-Spring™ Telescoping Light Pole. Matched 'hybrid' Systems May Hold Key to Wider Use of Renewable Energy. High-Tech Mirror Beams Heat Away From Buildings Into Space. Hospitality Industry Finds Room for Sustainable Growth. Top 30 Cities for Green Building Adoption, Commercial Office Market.

LEDs to Get Bigger Share of Market Even as Revenue Drops, Navigant Says. Cost of Energy Efficiency Is under Half the Cost of Building Coal Power Plants. First 17 Multifamily Buildings Attain Energy Star. Announcing the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Report: Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions. Case Study: FedEx World Tech Center. How Los Angeles plans to survive the Big One. Method’s New Factory to Host World’s Largest Rooftop Farm.

Rockefeller Foundation Announces the Next 35 Cities to Join Its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. "60 Minutes" investigates risky infrastructure - Videos. California Readies for Cap-and-Trade Next Steps. St. Louis Businesses Use Biodiversity to Improve Their Footprint. Richard Conlin Blog. Richard Conlin Blog.