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According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.
The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.
Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.
Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau, Hans De Keulenaer
As concerns mount over the accessibility and quality of meals in cities, urban agriculture is becoming a practical solution to give communities more choice—all while helping address greenhouse gas emissions from centralized agriculture.
Via Lauren Moss, Digital Sustainability
A new breed of high-rise architecture is in the process of being born, thanks to the collaborative efforts of modern design pioneers. Envisioned as the best sustainable option for meeting world housing demands and decreasing global carbon emissions, wooden mega-structures are now one step closer to becoming a reality.
“Big Wood,” a conceptual project to the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition, builds on the premise that wood, when harvested responsibly, is one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthy communities. Aspiring to become one of the greenest skyscrapers in the world, Big Wood challenges the way we build our cities and promotes timber as a reliable platform to support tomorrow’s office and residential towers...
Via Lauren Moss
New research shows that many businesses around the world won’t start planning until 2018. Is this too late?
Via Lauren Moss, Susan Davis Cushing
(Reuters) - From giant whirlpools to currents 1,000 km wide, scientists said on Monday they have uncovered how vast amounts of carbon are locked away in the depths of the Southern Ocean, boosting researchers ability to detect the impact of climate change.
Oceans curb the pace of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. The Southern Ocean is the largest of these ocean carbon sinks, soaking up about 40 percent of mankind's CO2 absorbed by the seas.
But until now, researchers were unsure what mechanisms were involved because of the remoteness and sheer size of the Southern Ocean.
"By identifying the mechanisms responsible for taking carbon out of the surface layer in the ocean, we're in a much better situation to talk about how climate change might impact that process," said oceanographer Richard Matear, one of the authors of the Southern Ocean study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The team of British and Australian scientists found that currents that take carbon from the surface to the depths occur at specific locations, not uniformly across the ocean as previously thought.
They found that a combination of winds, currents and whirlpools create conditions for carbon to be drawn down into the deep ocean to be locked away for decades to centuries. Some of the plunging currents were up to 1,000 km (600 miles) wide.
In other areas, currents return carbon to the atmosphere as part of a natural cycle.