Archives for posts with tag: Development

Google has just unveiled a new online tool called Global Forest Watch that allows organizations and everyday people to monitor deforestation around the world. More than 40 organizations are collaborating on the site, which tracks the gain and loss of tree cover around the world using a combination of satellite data, crowdsourcing, and open data to show the state of the world’s forests in near real-time.

The site is designed to be easy to use and understand, showing separate maps of forest loss and gain over the present and past fourteen years, as well as maps of global tree cover, protected regions and conservation efforts, and more. Visitors to the site can view a map of the world for an idea of the big picture, or zoom in to see what’s happening in their own backyards.

There’s more the the site than simply giving visitors the ability to sit back and watch the world’s forests change, however. Global Forest Watch also wants to empower individuals, governments, companies, and NGOs to monitor logging operations. Corporations can use the tool to ensure their supply chain is sustainable, governments can identify illegal clearing operations, and residents in affected areas can report violators in their communities.

Check out this video on Monitoring Forests in Near Real Time:

Find out what is happening in forests right now at Global Forest Watch

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We all want to prevent waste – in our daily lives and on more substantial levels. Diverting waste, being environmentally friendly, and being efficient with time, money, and resources: these are important goals. And that’s what green construction is all about.

Green construction includes diverting waste at construction sites as well as over the life time of a building. Green companies don’t just think about the immediate impact today, they also consider what impact is made tomorrow. There are many factors such as waste prevention, government mandates, cost effectiveness, materials used, constructing methods, environmental threats and more that form the Green Building sector.

Many architects and builders are interested in sustainability and “going green.” It’s rare to find an architect who specializes in green building and also has the necessary background and experience that goes along with the title of being eco-friendly.

Green Halo - Green Planet Architects Website that Connects Green Building Professionals

With the launch of Green Planet Architects those in the sustainability and development sector can connect with one another through the first international network of sustainable architects. The site prides itself in empowering those who prefer to go the eco-minded route, while also making this planet a greener place for all of us to enjoy!

Don’t forget to visit our website to see how you can recycle today’s resources for tomorrow’s generations!
Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Dallas is one of the first major cities in the nation to pass comprehensive green building standards for both new residential and commercial construction. All projects must meet the Dallas Green Construction Code’s minimum requirements or be certifiable under the LEED, Green Built Texas, or other green building standards.

Green Halo - Dallas Among First U.S. Cities to Mandate Green Building Standards

All new building projects in Dallas are expected to reduce water usage by 20 percent. LEED certified projects may achieve one point under the Water Use Reduction Credit or use 20 percent less water than the minimum stated in the Plumbing Code. In its enactment of the International Green Construction Code, the city of Dallas has deleted Chapter 6, which relates to energy conservation, and chose to keep the existing energy code requirements instead. Among other deleted segments of the code are those relating to alterations of existing buildings. A third party may review the city’s green building program.

Dallas has received praise for its recent implementation of green building standards but has caused a public debate with its treatment of LEED certifiable projects, which, according to some, violates the terms of usage of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) rating system.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Washington DC has a new LEED adaptive reuse project to be proud of, and it comes in the form of the residential remodel of the former EPA headquarters designed by Wiencek + Associates. Located in D.C’s Southwest waterfront community, the former EPA headquarters was revitalized and remodeled into the new Sky House development by The JBG Companies and Urban Atlantic. The Sky House will provide 530 new residential units – 106 of which will be affordable housing!

The Sky House towers usher in a future of adaptive reuse for the Southwest side of Washington D.C. These towers will be the tallest in the area, and boast rooftop pools with some of the nicest views of the city’s monuments. The retrofit includes removing the existing concrete skin to install beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows for studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. Wiencek + Associates is in charge of the exterior, while RD Jones & Associates is responsible for the interiors.

The buildings flank the Waterfront Metro station, and besides being close to public transit, are designed to be LEED certified. Mayor Vincent Gray hailed this project as “a significant step in the evolution of the Southwest Waterfront, helping to define the area as a premier urban location to live and enjoy the benefits of waterfront amenities, Metro accessibility and a thriving, culturally rich local community”.

Before and after pictures here:

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A research team from Virginia Tech led by Y.H. Percival Zhang just developed a battery that runs on natural sugar that could replace conventional batteries within three years.

Most gadgets today run on lithium-ion batteries, which are costly. Lithium is a limited resource with the majority of the world’s supply found in Bolivia, China, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. Sugars, on the other hand, are abundant in supply and safe to use. The battery technology could serve as the next generation of green power sources.

The sugar battery is cheap, refillable, and biodegradable, and it could be used to power cell phones, tablets, video games and other electronic Green Halo sugar powered batterygadgets in the future. “Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature,” Zhang said. “So it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.”

Researchers have used sugar to power batteries before, but they were not able to store that much energy. Zhang claims his prototype has an energy density of a higher order of magnitude than others, which allows it to run longer before needing to be refueled.

The impact of disposable batteries on the environment has been well documented – billions are thrown away in the US alone every year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), improperly disposed batteries pose a risk to both human health and the environment, but Zhang says his sugar replacement could stop hundreds of thousands of tons of batteries from ending up in landfills.

The sugar battery combines fuel – in this case maltodextrin, a polysaccharide made from partial hydrolysis of starch – with air to generate electricity, and water is its main byproduct. “We are releasing all electron charges stored in the sugar solution slowly step-by-step by using an enzyme cascade,” Zhang said.

However unlike traditional batteries, the fuel sugar solution is neither explosive nor flammable and it has a higher energy storage density. The enzymes and fuels used to build the device are also biodegradable, and it can also be refilled, much like a printer cartridge.

Even though the sugar battery stores a high amount of energy for its mass, the maximum amount of power it can put out is still lower than that of lithium-ions, thus limiting its potential applications to portable devices (you couldn’t use a sugar battery to run vehicles, for instance).

The team says that the sugar fuel cell could be ready to integrate into our electronics in three years and will eventually be at least one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

Green Halo Virgina Tech Sugar Battery

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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