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Links for March 31st through April 6th

by Mel Starrs on April 7, 2009

in News

These are my links for March 31st through April 6th:

  • Sustainable Design: What Do Europeans Know That We Don’t Know (But Should)?- 3/1/2009 – Building Design & Construction – "The respective roles of regulation and market forces are quite different in Europe from what we expect in the U.S. and Canada. That's one of the fundamental current differences that are likely to converge over the next five years, as the U.S. and Canada face up to the carbon reduction challenge. Generally speaking, in Europe, and especially in the U.K., people expect their governments to regulate, so government incentives for energy-efficient buildings are less prevalent there than they are in the U.S., or even in Canada."
  • Top 10 Myths about Sustainability: Scientific American – Fantastic (long) article:
    Myth 1: Nobody knows what sustainability really means.
    Myth 2: Sustainability is all about the environment.
    Myth 3: “Sustainable” is a synonym for “green.”
    Myth 4: It’s all about recycling.
    Myth 5: Sustainability is too expensive.
    Myth 6: Sustainability means lowering our standard of living.
    Myth 7: Consumer choices and grassroots activism, not government intervention, offer the fastest, most efficient routes to sustainability.
    Myth 8: New technology is always the answer.
    Myth 9: Sustainability is ultimately a population problem.
    Myth 10: Once you understand the concept, living sustainably is a breeze to figure out.
  • Visualising sustainability « Computing for Sustainability – An incredible resource – 158 different visualisations of definitions of sustainability. I can't remember who send me this – thanks whoever it was.
  • ArchNewsNow – WORDS THAT BUILD: Re-invent Green Communication – Great article from a great series. Can easily substitute BREEAM for LEED and it will read the same: "Your goal is to filter the enormous written text of LEED and deliver the gist of relevant LEED issues into commonplace and yet engaging English. This isn’t as quixotic as it might initially sound. The advantage of LEED language over odious “GREENSPEAK’ or “ECOMARKETBABBLE” is that it traffics in concrete specifics within building systems. The downside of LEED language is that it borders on “official” bureaucrat-ese,” the palaver of numbed technocrats."
  • House 2.0: Why sash windows work – "in a critical passage in Part F, the ventilation regulations, there is a reference that says that, when replacing windows, rapid ventilation should not be made worse. Up until now, no one has challenged the assumption that this simply means that the openings should be of similar size. But it transpires that a single opening casement is far less effective at rapid ventilation than a combination of top and bottom openings."
  • Sustainability in practice: Carbon profiling | Design details | Architects Journal – "Sturgis carries out carbon profiling using a bespoke software program that measures the embodied carbon of a building over its lifetime to ascertain its whole-life carbon footprint. Part L requires a calculation of operational energy-use, the Building Emission Rate (BER), which is calculated in kgCO2/m2/year. Carbon profiling uses these same units to measure Embodied Carbon Efficiency (ECE), including allowances for the demolition and transport associated with the building. The total annual carbon cost of a building is the sum of the BER (operational energy) and the ECE (embodied energy).
    Each component of a building is analysed. For example, an aluminium panel and glass cladding system can be compared with a concrete panel and glass cladding system. The concrete system uses about 20 per cent less carbon to construct than the aluminium and will last approximately two to three times longer. Therefore, the ‘carbon cost’ over time is significantly less for concrete than for aluminium."
  • Should aesthetics be part of BREEAM? | Zerochampion – Guest post from Benjamin Kinch: "no matter how energy and water efficient a building may be, it becomes a waste of resources, a potential detriment to the community and environmentally damaging if no one wants to occupy it."
  • Hallmarks of a sustainable city | Publications | CABE – "Hallmarks of a sustainable city sets out the practical and policy responses to climate change that CABE believes are needed to ensure our towns and cities are geniunely sustainable places."