This Issue

LEED impact

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...

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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,...

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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...

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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: ©...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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All the Difference

[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="23491" 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] Lava Mae addresses a chronic challenge facing homeless populations. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] With its mission to “take radical hospitality to the street,” Lava Mae gives people experiencing homelessness access to shower facilities—by making them mobile. Founded in San Francisco in 2014, Lava Mae converts retired city buses into hygiene facilities to deliver showers and “rekindle dignity.” “Homelessness is something that had been on my radar for a while,” says Doniece Sandoval, Lava Mae’s founder and chief executive officer. “It’s an incredibly visible issue in this city.” Sandoval describes her own neighborhood’s gentrification, recalling elderly neighbors who ended up first living in their cars after being evicted, then on the streets—“gentlemen in their 80s, so unprepared for that kind of life. No one is prepared for [that].” She watched as they suffered their circumstances, and she tried, impossibly, to explain their situation to her then-five-year-old daughter. That marked the start of what would become her true life’s work. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23493" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Doniece Sandoval, Lava Mae’s founder and chief executive officer, with regional director Paul Asplund. Photo: Emily Hagopian[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center"...

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Site Specific Solar

[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="23509" 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] Diverse organizations come together to make Yellowstone the nation’s greenest park. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Something savvy is happening on the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park—something solar savvy. The coming together of Toyota, Indy Power Systems, Sharp USA, SolarWorld, Patriot Solar, the National Park Service, and Yellowstone Park Foundation has resulted in a first-of-its-kind energy system that repurposes used hybrid car battery packs to store solar power. The stand-alone microgrid provides reliable, sustainable, zero-emission power to the park’s ranger station and education center. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23524" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Yellowstone’s Strategic Plan for Sustainability sets forth goals for operational and infrastructure improvements that reduce impacts on the environment while enhancing visitor experiences and employee living and working conditions.[/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]Toyota, a U.S. Green Building Council Platinum level member, was a driving force for the project. The company has enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with the National Park Service and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. For many years, Toyota has supplied hybrid vehicles to support park operations, and has shared green building expertise and...

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Sustainable Equality

[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="23529" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra Deluca [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Green For All gives disenfranchised communities a voice in sustainability. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, a truly green economy should be all encompassing, and one Oakland, California, organization has committed to this goal by working at the delta of communities, pollution, and sustainability. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23540" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Vien Truong leads Green For All, a national initiative to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.[/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]“Our mission is to create an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty,” says Vien Truong, director of the nongovernmental organization Green For All. “We work on solutions at the federal, state, and local levels. A lot of work that we do is not only on policy but it’s also on politics and really engaging people.” “We want to make sure that we’re doing it in ways that are really inclusive of people who are at the bottom tiers and really making sure they’re engaged in the change of the community. By...

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