Cool Roofs Mitigate Urban Heat Islands and Climate Change

photo of city roofs: Cool Roofs Mitigate Urban Heat Islands and Climate Change

Cool roofs—both white and green— can counteract the urban heat island effect.

 

Cool Roofs Mitigate Urban Heat Islands and Climate Change

Both urban expansion and climate change are expected to raise the temperature of cities and the built environment.

A new report, Urban adaptation can roll back warming of emerging megapolitan regions, published in Proceedings of the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that cool roofs and green roofs can counteract both processes. The report was authored by Matei Georgescu of Arizona State University and Philip E. Morefield, Britta G. Bierwagen, and Christopher P. Weaver of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

A Simpler Approach to Better Buildings

house framing image; http://sourceable.net/simpler-approach-better-buildings/

Is there a simpler way to a high-performance building?

 

A Simpler Approach to Better Buildings

Building rating systems such as Green Star, LEED, and Passive House are here to stay, but many builders and home owners have grown frustrated at their cost and complexity.

 Would it be possible to improve the performance, quality, and sustainability of more homes with a simpler, more streamlined, and cheaper building standard?

As Allison Bailes, accredited energy consultant and writer, asked in his blog, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could list just a handful of measures that a home builder has to achieve to build a Pretty Good House?”

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

 

Pavement or Parks?

parklet image; Pavement or Parks?

Cities such as Vancouver, B.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco, now allow conversion of parking spaces to parklets.

Pavement or Parks?

In some overpaved cities, people are turning parking spaces and underused streets into useful places for people such as parklets, plazas, and bicycle parking.

Getting official approval to do so, however, has often been a slog through the bureaucratic mud. Interested groups or individuals might have to navigate the byzantine processes in departments of planning, transportation, public works, and so on.

To help expedite the creation of more people-friendly places, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s People St program has streamlined the process by assembling a “kit of parts” for pre-approved projects. The People St program requires a community partner to spearhead each project in order to identify needed projects, build community support, raise funds, install the infrastructure, and maintain the project. Community partners may include non-profits, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Community Benefit Districts (CBDs), or other organizations that will oversee the management, maintenance, and operation of each project.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Greener Concrete Through Low-Tech and Hi-Tech Methods

photo of bio-crete wall; Greener Concrete Through Low-Tech and Hi-Tech Methods - See more at: http://sourceable.net/greener-concrete-low-tech-hi-tech-methods/#sthash.k4CoidJw.dpuf

Concrete can be made with plant fibers such as hemp in place of aggregates.

 

Greener Concrete Through Low-Tech and Hi-Tech Methods

Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials worldwide. It’s essential for countless infrastructure projects, from buildings to bridges to streets.

Its manufacture is also a huge source of CO2 emissions — about 5 per cent of the total emissions worldwide — and requires large-scale mining operations to obtain the raw materials. Typically, concrete is made of Portland cement, water, and aggregates. Changes to the common mixture offer the potential to reduce the amount of cement and aggregate needed, and to offset the production of CO2.

Bio-crete and hempcrete

Bio-crete and hempcrete are both similar to traditional concrete, but replace the aggregates with plant fibre such as hemp fibre or rice husks, and use lime in place of Portland cement. The resulting material lacks concrete’s compressive strength and so requires structural framing.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Evolving Green Building Standards Improve Performance

Evolving Green Building Standards Improve Performance

LEED, Green Globes, Green Star are evolving with each update.

Evolving Green Building Standards Improve Performance

Green Star, LEED, and Passive House U.S. standards are undergoing – or have recently undergone – substantial revisions and are racking up more evidence of their efficacy.

The Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool draft credits, for example, were recently released by the Green Building Council of Australia for industry and public comment. According to GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew, the draft credits are a major milestone in the evolution of the Green Star program.

A major goal for this revision, Madew explained, was to “reduce the cost of compliance and certification and encourage innovation and world leadership in the delivery of buildings that are more sustainable and better for people too.”

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Green Globes Now Handed Out for Sustainable Interiors

sustainable interiors; http://sourceable.net/green-globes-now-handed-sustainable-interiors/

Green Globes now offers a rating tool for sustainable interiors.

Green Globes now Handed Out for Sustainable Interiors

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) has unveiled an addition to the Green Globes rating system called Green Globes for Sustainable Interiors.

The rating tool is designed for non-residential buildings and aims to give both building owners and individual tenants the flexibility to choose design improvements for their space only, without needing to address an entire building.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

photo of floating apartment complex; Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

Dutch architect Koen Olthuis’ floating apartment complex.

Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

Climate change and urbanization are challenging cities in much of the world to find room for responsible housing for residents.

Rising sea levels repeatedly flood rapidly-growing slum areas, but residents have few options for homes further from coastlines. Floating cities, Dutch architect Koen Olthuis said in his recent TED Talk, could help cities and residents adapt to climate change and urbanization while they alleviate a host of urban ills.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

ADU photo: Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

Granny flats, or accessory dwelling units, offer an affordable option in expensive cities like Vancouver, B.C.

Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

With high home prices and increasing urbanization, Australian cities are now accepting a dwelling type that could provide affordable housing in established neighbourhoods in dense cities.

Granny flats, also known as laneway homes or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), are finding increased acceptance from governments in many competitive real estate markets. As home prices rise in cities such as Melbourne, granny flats can provide an affordable, adaptable alternative.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

container home photo; Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

Shipping containers can be used a number of times before they’re “retired” from carrying cargo, after which they can be made available for a variety of creative and utilitarian uses, such as housing.

Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

Though usually cheap to buy used, they’re strong, durable, and adaptable. People modify them for all types of housing, from basic to high end.

Inspired by a friend in San Francisco who moved frequently due to her rent rising, Salt Lake City real estate broker Jeff White spent two years working in his driveway on a prototype home that could help low-income people like his friend Sarah. He then moved on to building this more refined version, called the Sarah House, on a vacant city lot.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

house photo; Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

Wikihouses could provide affordable, sustainable housing to people in cities around the world.

Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

 http://sourceable.net/wikihouse-for-everyone/

“Wikihouse is one answer to a very big question,” said Alastair Parvin during his 2013 TED Talk.

The question was centred around how best to house the world’s growing and urbanising population.

According to Parvin, one of the founders of the Wikihouse project, the world’s fastest growing cities are not skyscraper cities, they’re self-built cities such as Rio’s favelas.

The Wikihouse project is an open source, collaborative venture that aims to help people to build their own homes. Making use of open source software and designs, Wikihouses are designed to be built by people anywhere who don’t possess high-level building skills.

See more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture