This Issue

LEED impact

Campus Crusaders

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24602" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Student participation in LEED Lab has far-reaching impacts—from the classroom to the community to the consciousness of tomorrow’s green industry leaders. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Sustainability at institutions of higher learning is increasingly evident around the globe, and USGBC’s LEED Lab has played a significant role in that achievement. The interactive, multidisciplinary immersion course is designed to transform the academic environment to prepare students for 21st-century careers in sustainability. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24611" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]UC Merced has set a goal to attain LEED certification for all of its buildings.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] Sustainability at institutions of higher learning is increasingly evident around the globe, and USGBC’s LEED Lab has played a significant role in that achievement. The interactive, multidisciplinary immersion course is designed to transform the academic environment to prepare students for 21st-century careers in sustainability. In the course, students learn the principles of LEED and receive actual project experience by assessing the performance of existing facilities on their campus, facilitating the complete LEED Operations and Maintenance (O+M) process with the goal of achieving certification. LEED O+M ensures that the building...

Read More

Collaborative Thinking

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24641" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Alexandra Pecci [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Lendlease strives to bring innovative ideas to life. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] When it comes to recycling, wallboard isn’t easy stuff to handle. It’s incredibly sensitive, losing its recyclability when it breaks into crumbs or powder, or even when it’s mixed with other waste. As a result, it often falls by the wayside in recycling efforts. But Geoffrey Brock, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, ND, sustainability director at the global construction and property firm Lendlease, was eager to change that. After all, he points out, wallboard makes up 20 percent of construction waste, and can actually make up the majority of waste for interior projects. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24643" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Lendlease created an innovation program in 2016 to gather ideas from all facets of the company. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] “We’re talking the magnitude of hundreds of tons of waste,” he says. “It means something more than just recycling at the office.” Despite the imperative, the desire, and the important idea, he had trouble getting a wallboard recycling initiative off the ground. “I was not very successful because I was...

Read More

Efficient Data

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="21415" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24664" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Lorne Bell [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Data centers power our digital lives, using immense amounts of energy to connect people and information around the world. Now, LEED is helping the world’s top data companies find new paths to energy efficiency. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] If you’ve ever left a running laptop on a surface for too long, you know the kind of heat that it can generate. Now imagine that amount of heat magnified by ceiling-high server towers that fill buildings the size of football fields. Data centers are designed to run 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Powering and cooling these information hubs requires massive amounts of energy—consider that one data center can use as much energy as a small town. Cumulatively, data centers across the U.S. used 70 billion kWh of electricity in 2014, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Data Center Energy Usage Report. That’s about 2 percent of the nation’s electricity, the same amount used by some 6.4 million U.S. homes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24666" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]DPR’s Prineville, Oregon, data center for Facebook is one of the most energy efficient...

Read More

On the Home Front

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24161" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Alexandra Pecci [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] USGBC’s Green Home Guide website offers homeowners sound advice for better living. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] After installing high-efficiency appliances and lighting during renovations of her Eichler home, Elizabeth Milne, a lawyer from Palo Alto, California, was shocked to see her electricity bill actually go up. The culprit? A newly installed instant hot water heater on the sink that immediately provided boiling water—but that also relied on an always-running heating coil that kept the water at a high temperature 24 hours a day. “I just unplugged it and my utility bill went down,” she says. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24165" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Private Allentown residence pool garden. William Dohe, AIA, LEED AP, Project Architect. Photo: Alyssha Eve Csuk[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25" padding_top="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] Like many, Milne is on a journey to green her home. In addition to installing better appliances, she also repainted the walls with low-VOC paint and replaced the kitchen backsplash with tiles made from recycled glass. But she wants to do more—on a reasonable budget—and has questions about things like graywater reuse, the most environmentally friendly furniture, the...

Read More

Growing Detroit

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24195" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Motor City is poised to become the epicenter of urban agriculture. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] It’s no secret Detroit has suffered. The postindustrial city’s economic and demographic downturn has left it in a compromised state for decades. But in a two-square-block area of its North End, change is afoot. In 2011, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, purchased a defunct apartment complex at auction. And ever since, MUFI president and co-founder, Tyson Gersh, has been building something altogether new—the nation’s first urban “agrihood.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24200" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]7432 Brush Street is a distressed property in Detroit that was purchased by MUFI in October 2011. It was built in 1915 and used continuously until circa 2009. The goal is to restore the structure to a community resource center that will help foster sustainability and urban renewal.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] There are about 200 agrihood models currently operating in rural and suburban areas around the country, but this is the first infill-style model. “To take it a degree further,” says Gersh,...

Read More

Investing in the Green Economy

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24233" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Calvin Hennick [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Responding to the risks posed by climate change is no longer reserved for socially responsible companies. There is now a clear priority for all businesses that want a prosperous future. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] A car in the 1970s traveled, on average, fewer than 15 miles on a gallon of gasoline. Today, that number is pushing 35. Around a decade ago, solar power was still largely seen as a niche energy source, reserved for organizations that were either exceptionally enthusiastic about sustainability or the recipients of large subsidies. Today, utilities are leading investment in solar with a doubling of U.S. large-scale solar projects to about nine gigawatts in 2016, while suburbanites are topping their roofs with solar panels, slashing their energy bills and even sometimes selling some back to the grid. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24235" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]A solar panel is produced at SolarWorld, America’s largest manufacturer of solar panels.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] What changed? The marketplace. Over time, gasoline became more expensive, and the cost of solar panels came down quite a bit. In...

Read More

Learning by Design

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="18094" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23847" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Green design features add a layer of learning to three acclaimed cultural institutions. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Boston Children’s Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Barnes Foundation are seemingly disparate projects. A closer look reveals their common thread: Sustainability is the tie. Enhanced visitor experience is the cloth from which all three were cut. Layered together, they begin to form the fabric of future museum design. Boston Children’s Museum Originally located in Jamaica Plain, Boston Children’s Museum moved to its current location in 1979. A recent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified expansion by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) member Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) has breathed new life into the dated building, offering diverse educational experiences for a new generation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23849" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Boston Children’s Museum harvests stormwater from both the green roof and main roof for building services such as irrigation and dual flush toilets. This helps to reduce water runoff into Fort Point Channel by 88 percent and potable water demand and use by 77 percent. Photo: ©...

Read More

Bio Building

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23879" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Biologist and author Janine Benyus shares sustainable, nature-inspired solutions to some of the challenges facing today’s green building professionals. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Were it not for biologist Janine Benyus’s keen interest in nature’s systems, the term “biomimicry” may not have been coined. Defined as “an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies,” biomimicry can be applied to any number of situations in the fields of science, architecture, and engineering. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23880" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Janine Benyus, biologist, author, and founder of consulting firm, Biomimicry 3.8.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]A natural history writer, Benyus has published multiple books about the ways in which plants and animals adapt to their habitats. These “ecosystem-first” field guides are intended to help people find nature-inspired solutions to challenges facing the green building industry and beyond. “That adaptation to place always has to do with these amazing technologies,” explains Benyus, citing examples that include UV-resistant animals living in high altitudes and thriving with thin air; and those living at the bottom...

Read More

Smart Park

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23896" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] How parking garages are becoming the newest city parks. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Boston has almost 7.5 million square feet of designated, off-street parking space. Wide swaths of concrete, asphalt, and steel, often spattered with oil from vehicles and salt from roadways. The parking facilities in this East Coast city—and across the country—have long been an egregious land-hog. But that is changing. Parksmart, formerly Green Garage Certification, is a relatively new addition to the suite of sustainability rating systems administered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and was developed with the support of the International Parking Institute. Parking facilities are rated on the basis of sustainable practices in management, programming, and technological design. As a result, parking structures now have an opportunity to show communities how they can be more environmentally friendly, by finding innovative ways to reduce energy consumption, maximize performance, and minimize waste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23902" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Post Office Square is mitigating 100 percent of its electricity footprint with renewable energy under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement, partnering with MIT and Boston Medical Center, to purchase all...

Read More

Sustainable Lessons

[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23828" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23827" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Jeff Harder [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The public schools of Lake Mills are becoming high-performance centers of learning. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] About 35 miles east of Wisconsin’s state capital is Lake Mills—quintessential suburbia with a gazebo-adorned town center, a weekly farmer’s market, and the rural neighborliness of Anytown, USA. But until recently, its Eisenhower-era Prospect Elementary School was an eye-sore in the community: a rambling collection of brick buildings with boarded-up windows, lights casting a headache-inducing yellow, buckets to capture rain pouring through a leaky roof, and mildew growing in storage rooms. “Every classroom I walked into smelled damp and stale,” says Theresa Lehman, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) AP, a LEED Fellow, LEED faculty member, and director of sustainable services for Wisconsin’s Miron Construction—the firm responsible for building a new school for the community. Bad air quality and poor ventilation led to increases in allergies and absences among students and staff, and lack of daylight and poor acoustics made it a difficult place to teach and learn. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23831" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Theresa Lehman, LEED AP, LEED Fellow, LEED faculty member,...

Read More