Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 27th, 2007 by Patrice Frey

 

Like a Virgin: -- National Review. This past February, Richard Branson announced the “Virgin Earth Challenge,” a $25 million prize for the development of “a commercially viable design which results in the removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases so as to contribute materially to the stability of Earth’s climate.” His aim was to unleash the creative energies of innovators and inventors around the globe with the promise of a substantial economic reward. If federal policymakers are serious about encouraging climate-related technological innovation, they would match or replicate Branson’s efforts. 

Pay-As-You-Go Solar – ENN. You want solar but can't afford it? Purchase the power, not the panels. That's what the solar energy company Sun Run Generation is doing. The company announced a partnership with REC Solar,a company providing residential and commercial solar electric systems, to offer homeowners in California a discounted way to buy solar power. Homeowners have the option of purchasing solar energy the same way businesses have for years, by purchasing power instead of panels. 
US Businesses Conflicted About Adopting Climate Change Practices – ENN. While U.S. businesses are concerned about compliance costs related to climate change legislation, those same companies still believe that the federal government should be doing more to combat global warming, according to a new survey. 

Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners – ENN. Washington - Could the floral scent of your air freshener contain toxic chemicals known to cause birth defects? NRDC recently tested 14 different air fresheners and found that 12 contained chemicals called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. Even air fresheners marketed as "all-natural" or "unscented" contained the hazardous chemicals.

New Analysis Shows Energy Bills Would Let Global Warming Emissions Rise for Decades – Environmental Defense. New analysis shows that energy legislation passed by the House and Senate would let greenhouse emissions continue to increase for the next three decades, even if the best fuel-saving and renewable energy provisions in both bills were combined in conference committee.

Lead, Follow, or Move Aside – NYT. Tom Friedman – it’s good to not have to pay for your columns again (NYT ditches “Times Select.”) Leadership is about “follow me” not “after you.” Getting our national climate regulations in order is necessary, but it will not be sufficient to move China [to do the same.]. We have to show them what Wal-Mart is showing its competitors — that green is not just right for the world, it is better, more profitable, more healthy, more innovative, more efficient, more successful. If Wal-Mart can lead, and California can lead, why can’t America?

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: September 26th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

The Lafitte public housing development, New OrleansThe Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) announced this week that it would repair and reopen 18 buildings (representing 94 housing units) in the Lafitte public housing development, and would also open additional apartments in two other housing developments. This means that at least a portion of the Lafitte housing development which has been sealed since Katrina will be open for occupancy.

During discussions with HUD and HANO about the fate of these buildings, we had argued for the re-use of a substantial number of them as part of an overall redevelopment plan—but were told that this was not economically feasible. These are solidly-built brick structures from the early 1940’s with decorative ironwork on the porches, wooden sash windows, and red tile roofs. Lafitte is one of four housing developments HANO plans to completely demolish. At least for now, in a city with a chronic shortage of affordable and low-income housing, we will have a bit more.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Boston's 19th-Century Jail Reopens as Hotel

Posted on: September 26th, 2007 by Preservation magazine

 

Liberty Hotel, BostonAfter housing inmates since the 19th century, Boston's former Charles Street Jail now hosts hotel guests.

Completed in 1851, the Boston Granite Style building had been empty since 1990.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 26th, 2007 by Patrice Frey

 

Rising Seas Likely to Flood U.S. History -- AP.  Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in
Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting.

Reporting from the UN: Schwarzenegger Steps Up, Moves Beyond Kyoto Washington Note. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed to the UN general assembly session demonstrates that, while the federal government is not fully engaged in climate change policy, a number of states are.

Finding the Limits of LEED – Chronicle of Higher Education. Posting looks at the limits of LEED, especially in giving credit to existing buildings.

Carbon windfall to go to clean energy: - Reuters. The European Commission wants to back alternative energy like wind and solar with the money it raises from sales of carbon emissions permits, which could reach billions of euros, a senior EC official said on Wednesday.

World Energy Revolution Needed For Climate, Says Condoleezza Rice -- Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday the world needs a revolution on energy that transcends oil, gas and coal to prevent problems from climate change.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Disney Museum Takes Shape in San Francisco's Presidio

Posted on: September 25th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

1897 Presidio barracks (Page & Turnbull)Disney in the Presidio?

That's right. This month, workers are busy converting three historic buildings in San Francisco's Presidio, a National Park, for the future Walt Disney Family Museum.

"People are very surprised," says Carolyn Kiernat, principal at Page & Turnbull, the San Francisco firm overseeing the project. "Their first question tends to be 'Why in the Presidio?'"

Two years ago, Walt Disney's daughter, Diane Miller, and her husband, Ron, asked Jay Turnbull to design a museum near their home in Northern California about her father's life and work.

The family found the site ideal, Kiernat says. "Walt Disney was a huge fan of the military and Gen. Pershing [who commanded the Presidio] in particular." In addition, she says, the museum building "recalls the Main Street USA in Disney World." ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.