- Big Steps in Building: Change our building code from relative to absolute (TreeHugger.com)
- A values debate: green vs. historic (The Baltimore Sun)
- Scientists Say Global Warming To Hit Africa Hardest (Environmental News Network)
- Conservationists: Australia Kyoto Failure $3.8 Billion Dollar Mistake (Environmental News Network)
There is great enthusiasm (understandably) among environmentalists about green buildings innovations, such as new materials that contain low embodied energy, highly efficient HVAC systems, and thermally resistant windows. And since about 40% of carbon emissions in the United States are attributed to buildings, there is good reason to construct more environmentally friendly buildings.
But I often find the exuberance about green building a bit troubling. In my view, we find ourselves facing significant environmental challenges largely because of our culture of disposability – whether it's plastic water bottles we toss in landfills, or buildings we mow down after 20 years when they’ve served their "useful life." Thermally resistant windows and green roofs won't fix the problem.
That's why I think this is such an exciting time for the field of historic preservation. As the antithesis of disposability, preservation encompasses two things that are essential to any sustainable society: valuing what we have and planning for the future. Preservationists inherently place value on what has been handed down to us from the past, and plan so that these resources can be enjoyed now and protected for future generations. That's the very definition of sustainability.
I've settled with the name "Beyond Green Building" because I hope this blog will help advance the discussion beyond our fixation with green building, to a conversation about what really makes for a sustainable society.
- Former Secretary of State George Schultz on How to Gain a Climate Consensus (Washington Post)
- New Data: Growth In Carbon Emissions Slowing (Environmental News Network)
- Group Launches Free, Searchable Database for Energy Information (Environmental Protection)
- GR Scientist launches first major study of green roof benefits (Environmental News Bits)
- Benefits of Green Roofs are Hard to Measure (Chi-Town Daily News)
- Leave Only Footprints: Measuring and Managing Corporate Carbon Emissions -- Article addresses the difficulty of accurately measuring carbon footprint (Social Funds)
Welcome to my first “Morning Roundup." Today's stories are below. I’m also including some good finds from last week, since news was a bit slow over the Labor Day weekend.
- Rich Countries Deadlocked Over 2020 Climate Goal (Environmental News Network)
- Building of Future was built 500 years ago...
http://www.guardian.co.uk (The Guardian)
- Architectural Sustainability (BldgBlog)
- The Confounding Complexities of Green Buildings (CNN Money)
- Energy efficiency seen easy way to aid climate: UN (Environmental News Network)
- Critics: WalMart Not All that Green (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
- New York Homeowners Could Be Funded for Building Green (Environment News Service)
- NOAA: Greenhouse Gases Likely Cause of Near-record U.S. Warmth Last Year (Environmental Protection)
- And some good news... Carbon From Cars Drop (Environmental News Network)
In the next few days, the National Trust will launch a featured section on its web site for the Sustainability Initiative. This Initiative was created in 2006 in recognition of the strong relationship between historic preservation and sustainable development. Sustainable development, commonly understood as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,”* is now widely acknowledged to include three elements, including environmental, economic and social sustainability. Preservation promotes all three goals.
... Read More →