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on 22-Apr-10 00:41.
The dearth of good, cheap, undeveloped sites in suburban markets, the escalating number of vacant greyfield properties, and the expansion of mass transit systems into suburban areas are all factoring into a changed American suburban market.
The recession has brought the 50-year expansion of suburban development patterns to a halt. It also is accelerating the trend to retrofit, reinhabit, and "regreen" the rising numbers of dead malls, dying office parks, and other declining suburban properties. While no one likes to see businesses fail, redevelopment of these sites to respond to new suburban demographics, rising transportation costs, and infrastructure investments provides the opportunity to transform the most automobiledependent landscapes into more sustainable, more urban places. The big development project for the next 50 years likely will be retrofitting suburbia.
Some of the changes will be incremental-a change of use here, a new street or building there, much as one sees in the "incremental urbanism" that characterizes the perception of how the world's great cities evolved over time. However, American suburban development patterns are so highly specialized for single uses that their layouts are resistant to incremental adaptation. Consequently, the most effective redevelopments will be those that retrofit the streets, blocks, and lots to provide a compact, connected, walkable mix of uses and housing types. Unfortunately, projects at this scale often evoke criticism as "instant cities" or "faux urbanism." The challenge for all involved is to provide settings and buildings that transcend their "instant" status and inspire their communities.
on 22-Apr-10 00:38.
America is the largest consumer of energy in the world. The majority of this energy is derived from dirty, polluting sources such as coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Our consumption of these fuels exacerbates global warming, keeps us dependent upon oil and other fossil fuels, and undermines our economy.
40 percent of America's energy-ten percent of all the energy used in the world-goes towards powering our buildings. Much of this energy is simply wasted through poor insulation, leaky windows, inefficient lighting, heating or cooling systems, and poor construction techniques.
If we stay on our current unsustainable path, the energy we use in buildings will:
Grow by 6.61 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) between 2010 and 2030-a 16 percent increase, or as much energy as is used to power 86 million homes for 2 years;
Account for 43 percent of total U.S. energy consumption by 2030, making us even more dependent on imported and polluting fossil fuels; and
Have increased emissions of carbon dioxide by 323.95 million metric tons, roughly equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 80 coal-fired power plants.
For us to make meaningful progress in reducing our energy consumption and our nation's global warming emissions, we must use far less energy in our buildings.
on 22-Apr-10 00:37.
Philadelphia, PA - A comprehensive plan to make our nation's buildings more efficient could save enough energy by 2030 to power all of the nation's cars, homes and businesses for a year and a half, while saving Americans more than $500 billion, according to a new report by PennEnvironment. These findings offer a preview of what Pennsylvania could achieve by adopting green building policies, such as the statewide green building code proposed by Governor Rendell in February, and the many policies being pushed by state and local officials who joined PennEnvironment in releasing the report.
"Green buildings are a triple win for Pennsylvania, saving us money on energy bills, cutting global warming pollution, and helping to secure our energy future," said Nathan Willcox, Energy & Clean Air Advocate for PennEnvironment. "We have the technologies to realize these benefits, and now we need the policies to put these solutions to work."
Nearly half of America's energy-and 10 percent of the energy used in the world-goes towards powering our buildings, and much of that energy is wasted. And buildings account for 40 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to global warming. But PennEnvironment's new report, Building a Better Future: Moving Toward Zero Pollution With Highly Efficient Homes and Businesses, found that by renovating old buildings, and ensuring new buildings use 50 percent less energy within ten years and are "zero energy" by 2030, we can cut U.S. global warming emissions at least 34 percent by 2050. The report also outlines policy steps that local, state and federal officials can take to promote green buildings and make these benefits a reality.
on 22-Apr-10 00:36.
June 24, 2009, San Diego, CA - Real estate development and construction is grinding to a halt. A growing number of companies are shifting their building facilities and portfolio focus to sustainable retrofits as the most viable cost saving and revenue enhancing option. To indentify tactical ways to capitalize on this evolving market, industry executives must implement a new real estate strategy surrounding sustainability that clarifies how to assess and value the residential and commercial buildings sectors.
The Sustainable Buildings Series: Retrofits, hosted by the Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI), scheduled for October 20-22, 2009 in San Francisco will provide a blueprint for navigating this sector and implementing sustainable building retrofits strategies.
Program topics include: Retro Commissioning; Financing & Investment in Sustainable Retrofits; LEED Certification Update; Lowering Energy Costs; Marketing Sustainable Buildings; Green Insurance, Lending and Leasing; Redevelopment & Urban Planning.
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