This free book from the Environmental Law Institute describes and categorizes three different types of policy strategies for encouraging green building in U.S. cities and counties.
Three reports created by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders seek to better explain alternative mechanisms that governments can use to finance and manage infrastructure, and offer examples of how these alternatives have been applied successfully by state and local governments.
Eight states have passed legislation meant to make it easier for homeowners to put electricity-generating solar or wind installations on their property. They've found that homeowners who run into opposition from local agencies or associations often just drop the project - and states committed to cutting their emissions don't want to see that happen.
As part of a suite of bills passed in honor of Earth Day, the Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, approved one that would require all new buildings to comply with EPA standards for energy efficiency.
The Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods: Strategic Local Climate Solutions, a web-based resource, provides strategies, tips, and tools that counties can use to take immediate action on climate change through: green building, green neighborhoods, and sustainable infrastructure. The Playbook is designed both for communities that are considering making the first steps toward these, as well as for those who want to take existing efforts to a new level.
At the Northwest Solar Expo, held last week in Portland (Ore.), the city's Bureau of Development Services announced a new permitting process for solar installations, which greatly simplifies what had been a fairly onerous process. The expo also saw much training in the booming field of solar installation.
Despite the building boom in the United Arab Emirates, cement companies there are facing lean times and closing their factories, leaving builders to source their projects on the black market. While the price of cement has been capped, the price of inputs - notably natural gas - have not. The higher prices of imported or black market concrete force building costs ever-higher.
A report back from the recent Green Intelligent Buildings Conference, which explored the potential links between green building and intelligent building. As states like California and Massachusetts look to encourage low to zero energy use in new buildings, intelligent building technology can help make that goal a reality.
Energy-efficient houses are the law in Freiburg, Germany; new regulations may require that new houses waste no more than 40kWh/m2 per year. Residents cycle and recycle, and the designs of two eco-developments - Vauban and Rieselfeld - are meant to make personal automobiles unnecessary. Solar panels on roofs bring in income for residents - it's all part of a green ethic built on decades of political will and citizen involvement.
"Green" construction could cut North America's climate-warming emissions faster and more cheaply than any other measure, environmental experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States reported on Thursday. North American buildings account for about 35% of the continent's total carbon dioxide emissions.