Home energy management software

Energy Conservation at Home Needs Real Time Data

In the United States, sustainable progress most often takes the form of ways to engineer a more efficient version of the status quo. Products that allow for a reduction in net resource use while allowing customers to live the same way are seen as a win/win. To be fair, the small advances we can take through greener […]

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Cook Browning Szenasy Kampschroer Panel

Seeking Sustainability the Building Industry Targets Human Health

Even with the progress that both designers and governmental offices have made in bolstering the ecological stewardship of our new building stock, the average baseline of construction is still notably far from the realm of consistently viable options we have at our disposal, let alone the cutting edge. All too often, too many aspects of […]

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Mid Rise Hive Farm

Hive Farm Proposes Plug and Play Vertical Farming

While the interest in the prospects of Vertical Farming have picked up over the last few years with the topic finding its way into more articles and design competitions, we have yet to see a corresponding surge in prototypes going into construction. We have not suddenly come to an ulterior solution for how to supply […]

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Changing the Density Equation for Suburbs

Sidewalk PedestrianSince the beginning of America’s suburban experiment, it has only been recently that effort and interest has welled behind the ideas of walkability and alternatives to a car-centric life outside of cities. While movements like New Urbanism that promote re-investigating the suburban model have swelled with support over the past decade, these projects still represent a minority in development outside of urban centers. Even when aspects like tenets of New Urbanism are employed, the goal of increasing walkability in American suburbia faces an uphill battle until more substantial steps can be taken to alter the parameters for both construction and mobility. Re-orienting the suburbia we know for the pedestrian is inherently fighting against its own DNA. Continue reading

Is LEED v4 Better or just Newer?

USGBC version 4Although the latest incarnation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system has been around for almost a year, projects have still be able to enjoy the more familiar likeness of LEED 2009. However, the window of time for the grace period of the system transition continues to close with all new projects needing to apply for Version 4 after June 2015. As designers and engineers begin to focus more on the effects of the imminent change ahead, it begs the question as to whether or not the system is simply changing or actually improving. Continue reading

Study Points to Bright and Dark Spots in Corporate Sustainability

Our dedication to the corporate engine that runs our consumer culture makes corporate perspectives on sustainability unavoidably important. It is not uncommon in this country to have localities where the vast majority of residents are diligently proactive on sustainability efforts (say recycling for example) while the participation of businesses remains tepid. With the amount of man hours and resources that companies use in order to do business, they have to be part of any equation that leads to a better outcome.

McKinsey & Company recently released results to a new survey searching for the pulse of sustainability within the world of corporate executives in the global economy. While the tone of the release is cast in a positive light, the survey results point to both the good news and the bad news relating to progress for sustainability in the corporate environment. Continue reading

Transforming the D.C. Navy Yards with Transit Oriented Development

Existing Navy Yard BuildingAs one of the country’s oldest cities Washington has a lot to see and, as a result, a lot one can miss. Amidst the migrating swarms of people milling around for the 4th of July festivities, the nation’s capital recently provided me with some top quality dining, refreshing beverages, art museums, monuments and even some transit oriented development complete with dash of adaptive reuse. I was fortunate enough to walk around the evolving landscape of the D.C. Navy Yard. This post-industrial area continues to undergo a series of remarkable changes that have been in the works for over two decades and will hopefully make it a great example of maximizing transit-oriented sites for a new generation of walkable urban streetscapes. Continue reading

The Ground Up Sustainable City

Desert Dormitory FosterOf the many things that the Middle East has historically been known for, sustainability has not usually been at the top of the list. The clash of Western values with the harshness of the local climate can wedge sustainability between a lot of sand and a hard place. Though there is a broad critique of the unsustainable attributes of the region’s development path, for years there has still been the budding prospect of Masdar City in the heart of the United Arab Emirates. Despite years of slow progress and still having a healthy way to go, Masday City still has a wealth of potential to offer to the world of green urban planning, vying to be the planet’s most sustainable new city. Continue reading

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