Green Buildings: 300 Lafayette Street

CF Lafeyette Rendering SidewalkOur culture’s current efforts in sustainability can usually be divided into one of two groups. The first group is trying to add efficiency and/or decrease the negative impact of the way that we do things now. Given its inherent benefit of requiring minimal change to the way people are already operating, this method is unsurprisingly popular. Examples include hybrid cars, LED light bulbs or printer paper with recycled content. These products help mitigate the negative repercussions of our current lifestyle.

The second group is changing a paradigm, archetype or cultural norm in order to operate in a more sustainable way—challenging the baseline redefining the standard rather than tweaking an existing solution. Examples of this direction would be more in the vein of transit-oriented-development, designing spaces around more natural light or entirely paperless offices. One could argue that the first train of thought is looking for a better answer, where the second one is challenging the underlying question. Do we need to universally rely on automobiles? Do we need so much artificial illumination? Do we need to print things? Continue reading

Buckeyes Banning LEED

Ohio LEED Ban USGBCThe Ohio State Senate has been prompting media chatter by its support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, which would ban the use of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED v4 building rating system on state funded projects. Continue reading

The UAE’s Hybrid Solar Plant: Shams 1

Tracking CSP Solar Troughs UAEAs the portion of our power that comes from renewable energy continues to grow, these technologies will need to continue to evolve in order to mitigate some of their inherent infrastructural challenges–namely intermittency. Despite the fact that solar power has progressed leaps and bounds since its inception in terms of efficiency, it shouldn’t be mistaken for a mature technology on par with things like the internal combustion engine. Solar still has plenty of room to grow and continue to make its inclusion into the grid more attractive to utilities and easier to integrate. Continue reading

How Can We Make Sustainability Matter to Youth?

Children Walking Green WoodsThis was the question posed to a panel at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2014. Comprised of educators, scholars and students, the group floated ideas for how sustainability cannot only gain exposure to students in their educational career, but ingrain its importance at an earlier age to make subsequent generations better equipped to deal with the environmental and societal challenges we face. Continue reading

economic political social sustainable

Circling Sustainability

This forum continues to vet the definition of sustainability and how it differs from public perception inside and outside of the United States. For most of us, I would argue that our understanding of its underlying concept and its resulting associations is a stark divergence from its true meaning. This discrepancy is at least partly to blame for our lethargic rate of progress on environmental issues. At least part of the blame rests on the fact that we live in a age where circulating information is incredibly easy, even the wrong information. Continue reading

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