Archives for category: Architecture

green halo waste tracking system leed whitewave food brandsWhiteWave Foods is a leading consumer food and beverage company and their milk dairy facility in Dallas, Texas recently received green building certificates! WhiteWave Foods produces Silk®, Horizon®, International Delight® and Earthbound Farm® products. Their 325,000 square foot facility earned the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for New Construction.

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This facility includes both a dairy and no-dairy area, there is also a 5,000 hp ammonia refrigeration system, multiple raw milk receiving bays, soy extraction area, multiple batching, filler lines and finished product coolers. This state-of-the-art facility is the result of just 8 months of renovation at a former frozen yogurt plant.

The president of WhiteWave Foods explained that the company is committed to helping people eat better and that how they make their products is just as important as what they make.

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Vendingmarketwatch.com’s article on WhiteWave Food explained how the LEED credits were earned for this building:

“The LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Green attributes of the WhiteWave facility include:

·  Nearly 90 percent of all demolition and construction waste associated with the project was diverted from landfills.

·  Landscaping that requires no irrigation

·  Fixtures that use 30 percent less water

·  100 percent of wood-based building materials certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

·  Nearly half of all building materials manufactured within 500 miles of the site

·  Use of materials and design techniques that facilitate solar reflectivity, helping to address “heat island” challenges associated with Dallas’ urban development. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F warmer than its surroundings, increasing summertime peak energy demand, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and heat-related illness.”

Since this company’s products are so popular it’s good to know that WhiteWave Foods is committed to our health and how their products are made. This building also employed 300 individuals and LEED buildings are one incredible way to help the planet.

 

Source: http://www.hill-wilkinson.com/markets/food-beverage/white-wave-foods

and

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/news/11574721/whitewave-foods-opens-companys-first-certified-green-manufacturing-plant


Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Here it is, a list of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint according to National Geographic and the folks @GreenHaloUSA

carbon footprint erase pan green halo green environment

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

1. Make your home energy efficient.
Your home can be responsible for creating twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car. Since half of the energy used in your home helps to heat and cool it, making your home as energy efficient as possible will take big chunks out of your carbon footprint. Steps you can take include: Getting a home energy audit; installing energy efficient windows; insulating your attic and walls; installing a programmable thermostat; turning your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer.

2. Drive less.
Combine your trips in the car, so you don’t have to go out multiple times to the same location. When possible, use public transit, walk or bike to your destination.

3. Buy the highest gas mileage car for your needs.
Cars contribute 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; the better your gas mileage, the less gas you burn and the fewer emissions you create.

4. Buy energy efficient appliances.
When replacing appliances, buy Energy Star qualified appliances (these use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and can save you $80 or more per year).

5. Recycle.
Creating products from recycled materials uses up to 98 percent less energy than producing things from new materials.

6. Replace your light bulbs.
Switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you $30 over the life of the bulb, because these they use about 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.

7. Buy local food.
Each ingredient in a U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. If we all ate one meal per week of local, organic food, we’d save 1.1 million barrels of oil per week.

8. Eat less red meat.
Beef takes a lot of energy and resources to produce. Replace red meat with fish, chicken and eggs and cut your food carbon footprint by 29 percent. Go vegetarian to cut it by 50 percent.

9. Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F.

10. Buy carbon offsets for the rest and make yourself “carbon neutral.”

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( Source: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-footprint/trash-talk2.html )

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo

Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com

 Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

waste tracking wastetracking.com system apuan alps quarries mine marble carra

In Tuscany there is currently passionate dispute over land-use in the area that famously provided Michelangelo’s marble for David in a region known as the Apuan Alps. The 150 firms that run the quarries are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the Tuscan regional government’s decision or its “final approval to the plan” this week.

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The Apuan Alps quarries are from classical times and still have traces of the engineers that mined and the Roman artisans who sculpted. Unfortunately, these quarries left scars on the surrounding landscape and entire mountain peaks have been destroyed.

One of the quarry owners and operators was concerned that the Tuscan regional government’s plan is the first step towards closing these quarries. Shutting down the 48 will result in a direct loss of about 5,000 jobs. A spokeswoman for quarry employers said that about 150 employers have agreed to suspend all activity on Monday and Tuesday by barring workers from entering the quarries.

This lock out is being described as “anti-democratic and contemptuous of the rights of works” whereas the regional government is trying to be more responsible for their environmental impact and irreversible devastation.

 

(Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/30/tuscany-marble-quarries-shut-environment-dispute)

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
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L. Kevin and Donna Philippe-Johnson talk about their story here: http://earthstar.newlibertyvillage.com/thinkingsmall.htm

They downsized from an annual income of $42,000 to $6,500 by means of their voluntary creative simplicity.
Here’s an outline:
1. They were a middle class American couple who had an income of $42,000 a year in the 80’s but got sick of dealing with frequent layoffs and the instability of being unemployed and then employed off and on.
2. They decided to drastically cut expenses by moving to the country where they also met plenty of like-minded people.
3. Kevin and Donna decided to shake loose from the things holding them down and paid off all of their debt, cancelled credit cards, and followed an efficient financial plan to track every penny.
4. This led them to be able to save a little bit of money, so they decided that the next thing to do would be to change their eating habits to stay strong and healthy. They broke away from fast-food, pre-packed food and even prescription medicine to eating organic whole grains, fruits, vegetables and more.
5. They set up a special savings account for emergency first-aid treatment so that they could stop paying health insurance premiums.
6. Of course, the cell phone, cable television and internet bills were the next thing to go.
7. Eventually they began their “simple life” when they set up a dome tent to live in. They “happily lived in [their] tent that summer while clearing the land and constructing a rustic 10’ by 12’ room with a sleeping loft” on a pay-as-you-go plan.
8. The couple then build an underground cistern for collecting rainwater and finally, a 500 square foot cabin. Kevin took drafting, dish washing, courier, and other jobs to pay for the little cabin.
9. Kevin and Donna spent the next few years working towards their goals, building things, growing crops, spending quality time with one another and “replaced all of the costly false values that had occupied [their]time before”
10. In the end, the couple felt independent and truly self-reliant. Surprisingly enough, Kevin realized that the only thing he truly loved to do was to bake his own whole-grain sourdough bread to give away to his friends and family. He then came to the conclusion that he should stay at home and bake bread to sell to their neighbors. This provided for him and his wife. He also wrote this story to tell others that “little things” like baking bread for a neighborhood can be financially supportive and can make some people happier.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
 Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Part of the philosophy behind these awesome houses is to build high:

build high green halo waste tracking system

build high green halo waste tracking system multipule

 

For the method used in these eco-homes, visit:

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/33s38S/1F9KoPVyF:DZIoIbfd/home-and-gardening.info/2009/11/12/eco-homes-tree-house-that-are-capable-of-being-sustained-develops-with-its-dwellers/

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at 
http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Jeff Jungsten, President of Caletti Jungsten Construction, tells us how to choose a green contractor

By: Jenelle Feole, Green Halo Systems

(MILL VALLEY, CA) – Jeff JungstenJeff Jungsten shared decades of green building industry experience earlier this week from his office in Mill Valley, CA. An avid biker and green builder, it’s obvious that Jeff cares about nature and his clients. Jeff is a game changer, a perfectionist when it comes to building people’s homes and he is deeply in tune to our planet’s needs and sustainability. He was on the Technical Advisory Committee which met weekly for over a year to devise a new green building ordinance for Marin County so that green building could be more simple and accessible to everybody.

Jeff is a Build it Green Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) and he also holds the Green Home Retrofitting and Remodeling Advanced Certified Green Building Professional certification (GHRR Advanced CGBP) – it’s a rarity. In 1995 Jeff joined John Caletti’s general construction company and complemented the already high–end quality work with a bend towards sustainability. We discussed the bleeding-edge green building technologies that are developed on the West Coast and later used worldwide, what drives green building in other areas of the globe and much more:

1 What is the story behind Caletti Jungsten? Our story really was that, and has been, that we started as a small group doing really high definition work. Started in 1987 by John Caletti here in Marin, taking on some really nice general construction work. John and I met in the mid-90’s on a small project and then took on a really big project together, honed our skills together and figured out what we really wanted to do. We’ve taken that energy and expertise that we both carry and put it into really good people and culture, and we setup a good momentum for our community. So we are really into where we work, why we work, and who we work with.

2 What does it take to be a green contractor? It takes a lot of energy, focus, drive, and understanding that there is a better way to do what we do. It takes a proactive approach, knowledge and energy around why you’re doing certain things.

3 How should one go about choosing a green builder? The best way to choose a green builder is to talk to as many people as you can who have investigated green building. There are township blogs, there are other groups like the Marin builders association. Most municipalities have a builders group of some sort. The people that are doing these things are known by great non-profits like build It Green or the USGBC. [Laughs] Google is a great way to find green builders in your area. They might be listed on the Build It Green or USGBC website of certified professionals. It’s usually just word of mouth but one of the things that we try to do is to get ourselves listed on as many boards as possible to just get the word out.

4 So people will research, or they will find out about you from word of mouth, and am I understanding you correctly that the credentials are really important? Would you say that being a GCBP is a must? It’s a must. The people that take the time to learn and study and take the energy to get themselves certified are the people that are at least trying to understand and stay current of sustainability. And, I would say that if you hire a company that has zero credentials as either a business or individuals and expect them to know more than the people who are studying it, it would be an odd choice. If you are going to hire a company that claims to be a green builder, they will have had to have had projects in that realm that are either published or known or researchable that you can look at and say: were they successful in what they sought out to do? Was is certifiable at a certain level with a certain group? What type of work have they done and where? Who have they worked with?

5 I see, so if they are not certified, one should look at work examples, but sometimes work examples are not impressive enough so take just the work examples with a grain of salt? It depends: one of our intentions was to set a relatively rigorous standard in Marin for a green building ordinance so that people would have to build better than a C- building as a norm. So even if you weren’t certified, you would have to build in a certain way that achieved a certain level of efficiency. The people who can achieve those levels of efficiency in every single building that they build and can prove it, that’s the type of thing to do your research for. To say: “What type of buildings have you built, and how have you proven them to meet the goals that you set up early on in the project?” Everybody can buy low VOC paint, find or buy recycled or reclaimed materials, and claim that they are green builders. But the people that know how to combine them in multiple ways for low cost, and who are out teaching other people or who are being involved in your community, are the people that are usually taking the biggest stride.

In 2010, the Marin Builder’s Association gave me the Leadership and Sustainability Award for being a pioneer in the community which was really cool. Similarly, a LEED Certified home, can’t be built without LEED a Certified team member, so there are certain projects which you cannot do without being certified.

6 Are you certified for LEED? I am not personally…for me I am kind of outside of that loop, and up higher in the policy programming, and the ordinance portion. The people that are actually manufacturing the product that we build are LEED Certified, Project Managers would be LEED Certified.

7 So it’s possible for people to build a LEED property through your company? Yes, absolutely. We did a LEED Gold residence here in Marin two years ago…it was in Camp Woodlands.

8 When it comes to green building, do you think that there’s an area that people are too focused on and they miss considering something else that is important? Most people say: “I want my home to be more energy efficient”. And I think that the indoor air quality part is the part that they might be missing the most. Probably the most toxic place to be is in a new home. It’s like a new car. You can have a really efficient home, seal it up really tight, and then it just develops a really bad problem where you don’t cycle the air enough. So I think that probably the one thing that people miss the most is how to make it healthy.

9 Is it more expensive to build green?

It can be upfront. It can cost more if you’re not going to be in your home for a long time. Low VOC paints and finishes and those things aren’t more expensive, but the other products, like a radiant heating system are more expensive than a forced air system. However a radiant heating system is more far more efficient and way healthier than blowing a bunch of air and dust around the house. So there’s where you have to start making your choices about what type of healthy environment and efficiency you want. Our goal is to get as many people doing these things as possible which makes them more cost effective for a normal consumer.

10 How do you calculate the payback period for green building? The client will inherently have to make choices about upfront costs vs. lifecycle and costs. Part of what any good general contractor will do is help guide a client through those value oriented decisions. Some things just don’t make sense for some clients, and it’s responsible to say: “it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on this, it will never pay off for you”. If a certain budgetary condition is installed in the relationship and things can’t be achieved, then our job is to maximize their budget in as many value-oriented places as possible. And we do that, so we have a deep preconstruction activity upfront before the job that integrates as many sustainable features as possible, using the budget as widely as possible. And not only do we do that, but we have consultants that we bring in that work with the clients directly and work with us directly…these people are experts in facilitating the conversation before it even makes it to us, so these people are incredibly valuable.

11 The architecture firm plays a big role in this too, so where does the construction company come into play and how do you add value? Some architecture firms are getting it and they are understanding that sustainability is not an overlay, it’s a design principle. We come in hopefully as early as possible and I think any general contractor that studies this deeply wants to incorporate these systems at the earliest stages of design. Even as early as the sighting of the building to help integrate these systems into the plan if possible. That’s what the good architects are doing, they are bringing in people like us…

12 So a lot of the awesome homes on your website, you’re working with architects in the early stages of development? Absolutely. Way upfront. As early as the design phase.

13 How do you collaborate with architects and the client? Once we get through the design phase, we define everybody’s role and once the project is running, everybody plays a role in that. We all just collaborate as deeply as possible, as openly as possible, with as much humility as possible. We have a project right now where we are working incredibly closely with the architect, the client, the designer, and the engineers. It’s one of the most amazing homes that we’ve ever seen and it’s really all about being as collaborative and open as possible. Everything’s open for discussion. In the sustainability world, it’s kind of mandatory. There used to be a very closed loop between 2 parties and then a 3rd party would come in- the builder, and it would be a sort of odd scenario. Our goal is to just open up that whole relationship and be as collaborative and proactive as possible with everybody and have everyone do the same. If we’re talking about money, we have to talk about money openly. If we are talking about schedules, we have to talk about schedules openly. If we are talking about systems, we have to talk about systems openly. So that’s what happening in our world, a deeper level of relationship, more client–centric and certainly more proactive for time and money.

14 What inspires you? Everything!!!! Everything! I think if I really break it down into the smallest common denominator, it’s creating beautifully healthy homes for families, structures that- people get to grow up in, get married in, and have kids in. When somebody trusts us to build their home, that’s what we focus on. You know, perfect is close enough for us. We don’t want to just take the lowest common denominator and do that, it’s easy. What inspires us is to learn our craft a little bit deeper than most and then provide that value to people and see it happen. We just love the idea of building an inspired home with more energy and care. I honestly feel that it’s noticeable…and if we do our jobs right, and we care enough, then it’s obviated.

15 I looked at your Green Halo Systems account, I see that you’ve diverted over 255 tons from the landfill, which is a carbon footprint equivalent of 26,000 gallons of gasoline. What types of insights come to your mind when you see these statistics and numbers? One of the things about Green Halo that I really enjoy is that it’s similar to this program called “Cool the Earth”, which we work with here locally. It’s a great grass roots program that’s spreading nationally. Their idea is to train kids to focus on things that they can change…show them that when they turn the lights off and then they see the energy bill at the end of the month, then they will start to see that the small things they do actually have a result. And that’s what I like about Green Halo is that we have the ability to account for the material, see the results of what we are doing, and then change our behavior and modify how we work to then enhance that savings even higher. When I saw what we have diverted since using Green Halo, I turned it into a personal conversation about how: in my smart car, that’s 3,750 fill ups or the equivalent of about a million miles driven. I’ve taken an entire life time of driving off of the planet’s carbon footprint just in this short amount of time that we’ve been using Green Halo! And if we can measure it, we can change it, and that’s what Green Halo allows us to do. They’ve done a really good job making it useful, efficient, scalable, and the best tool for the job. Individual companies like myself can use it, municipalities can use it to collect information from people like me and then they put their stats out as a county. So we use the system as much as possible, and we review it monthly, and everybody always enjoys seeing what’s happened to the material or how much we are diverting or how we can do it differently.

 

Check out http://www.calettijungsten.com/

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
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recycler_finderLandfill waste can be reduced from 40% to 30% by the year 2020 if people bought and sold reusable materials or salvage materials. RecyclerFinder.com makes it quick and easy to find recyclers near you for salvage materials and over 10 more categories of materials!

The cost savings of buying second doors, hardware for your home, tiles, cabinets and more is amazing. People who are into DIY or artists should also checkout a salvage yard sometime. Beyond the finds that you can give a new home, RecyclerFinder.com is also a great way to turn scrap into cash!

People who recycle in the U.S. and Canada will get money back for unwanted items and materials by simply finding facilities and making a few calls to find out how much they would be able to pay you that day!

The next time you need to recycle or dispose of cardboard, bottles, cans, plastics, metal, e-waste, construction and demolition debris, concrete, wood, hazardous waste, paint and more visit RecyclerFinder.com!

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

If you’re ever been on a living roof, chances are that you haven’t forgotten the feeling. Clean air, nice humidity and coolness not to mention the beauty of being surrounded by plants instead of standing on hot black tar or shingles. The benefits of living roofs are illustrated in this example. Living roofs or green roofs

  • Provide storm water management that retains 65-100% of rainwater
  • Improve air quality by absorbing pollutants
  • Reduce the urban heat island effects by cooling roofs
  • Add an aesthetic quality and increase the quality of life for people who live and work around them
  • They reduce energy costs by keeping the heat down during hot climates
  • They increase the life of roof membranes since many UV rays are blocked and in freezing temperatures the longevity of the roof is also increased since they are less exposed
  • They increase the green space in urban environments which is increasingly important during this time of concern about the urban heat island effect

LEED is one of the most common ways for people to keep track of how efficient their buildings are in terms of energy, water and carbon. Additionally Green Halo Systems is used to track waste, salvaging and recycling for construction projects and for properties. Green Halo Systems can keep track of LEED points and additional benefits of using this free software is that people who want to know the inner workings of their home to make it more green will benefit from an array of features by using Green Halo Systems.

Bousselot-green-roof green roof halo waste tracking system green wall tracking system awesome ecofriendly building green wall tracking system green-roof

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

Green building is expected to grow 10% in upcoming years and many in the industry consider sustainable building to be the “right way to build” now a days. At a time when people are still building, consuming, and spending the majority of their time indoors it is critical that we build more sustainable buildings. Calrecycle.ca.gov explains that green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as “protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment”. If you’ve ever been in a green building before, high achieving green buildings are stunning. The air quality inside certainly feels better than most buildings, the overall impact to the environment is also great because of the landscaping that is chosen and you would notice different materials that are likely made from recycling.

This article is preparation for a very special “How to Choose a Green Contractor” interview/article that is coming soon. What’s important to know ahead of time, is what a green building looks like because it is a fairly new idea. Some of the benefits are lower operating costs over the life of the building, improved productivity, reduced environmental impact, and increase in health and in comfort.

Some green buildings look like the modern marvels they are but they can also be designed to be more lavish like other fabulous homes of the past. Now, let’s look at some inspiring homes, and please read next week for the special piece that’s coming up!

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Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa

 

After writing about the EPA’s new proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030, and China’s battle against smog, we want to present a new “Smog-Sucking Electrostatic Vacuum Cleaner” idea that cleanses polluted air:

Copper coils buried in the ground create a positively charged electrostatic field. All particles of ten nanometres or more — including smog — become positively charged, and thus attracted to the grounded earth, where they are collected. “It’s a loop of fresh air,”

The method of ionizing smog particles came from Delft University of Technology researcher Bob Ursem who noticed that tiny particles of organic debris would move from the Atlantic Ocean onto the beach. The particles would fly over the dunes, towards the bushes and then over the bushes. Ursem explained that the particles had a negative charge because of friction and they floated above the negatively charged bushes, “…indicating that the electrical force is greater than the gravity force”. Ursem began studying the negatively charged particles by replicating this phenomenon in his lab and he eventually was able to reverse the charge on the particles using an electrostatic field. Under lab conditions, Ursem created an “ionic wind” as the force of positively charged particles attached themselves to the ground. This sweeping discovery is fascinating also because of Roosegaarde’s awesome plans and creativity. Roosegaarde is trying to build such devices to place on the sides of buildings in Beijing to reduce smog in the city. The latest project specs indicate that the pockets of cleansed air will be in parks so that people can enjoy a 30,000 meters cubed area of fresh air. Another testament to Roosegaarde’s creativity is that he would like the particles in smog that get collected by the air-purifying devices to be turned into “diamond” rings representing the smog that is collected in this process.

Roosegaarde’s smog air bubble airea

 

(Source: http://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/the-smog-project/stories/#794 and http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/04/start/beijings-cloud-server)

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
Follow Green Halo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/greenhalousa