Climate Change - Why the Big Fuss? After the Senate shot down this a bill that would limit the EPA's ability to combat climate change, there has been


Climate Change - Why the Big Fuss?

After the Senate shot down this a bill that would limit the EPA's ability to combat climate change, there has been much coverage by the media on whether or not climate change is a viable concern. Because the issue is partly scientific and mostly political there are staunch opposers and supporters that climate change is a reality and must be dealt with. The scientific evidence that global temperatures are rising and that man is responsible has been widely accepted since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report back in 2007( Source ).

The most vocal arguments are about equity: the rich world caused the problem so why should the poor world pay to put it right? Can the rich world do enough through its own actions and through its financial and technological support for the poor to persuade the poor to join in a global agreement?The threat to health is especially evident in poorest countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty and lack of resources, infrastructure, and often governance, greatly increase their vulnerability to the effects of climate change.

If we take climate change seriously, and we should, it will require major changes to the way we live, reducing the gap between carbon rich and carbon poor within and between countries.

...but first we need to admit that it exists


The Essential Principles of Climate Science

1. The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earths climate system.
2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.
3. Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.
4. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and man-made processes.
5. Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling.
6. Human activities are impacting the climate system.
7. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.


Spotlight LEED project of the Week

HGTV Green Home Earns LEED Platinum

This year’s HGTV Green Home is in the popular Stapleton infill development of Denver, Colorado. The New Urbanist community features nothing but Energy Star homes that are about 30% more energy efficient than standard homes and 20% more water efficient than typical Denver households. But the HGTV Green Home 2011 steps things up a notch with a LEED Platinum certified project — it’s one of about 40 in the state.

HGTV Green Home was built with advanced framing techniques such as removing headers in non-load-bearing walls, framing the exterior with 24″ on center (using 2x6s), using a three-stud corner, and installing engineered products in the floor and roof assemblies.

The insulation is a recycled-content blown-cellulose, and the envelope is covered with DuPont Stucco Wrap.

The exterior features a blend of green materials — locally-sourced brick veneers, thin stone veneers, and 50% recycled-content fiber-cement siding. The windows are Andersen 100 Series with E4 glass and Fibrex reclaimed-wood fiber frames, while the outdoor deckscape is made with Trex Transcend.

The 2,400 square-foot single-family home received a HERS Rating of 38, making it about 62% more efficient than a standard new home built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. It’s powered by a 5 kW solar photovoltaic system that’s supposed to generate up to 75% of the home’s energy.

To save water, some of the landscape is replaced with synthetic grass that’s permeable, 100% recyclable, and made with a kid- and pet-friendly “all-natural” composite. The rest of the landscape has a drip-irrigation system for drought-tolerant plants and shrubs.

Other green elements include Sherwin Williams Harmony no-VOC paints, Shaw Epic 100% recycled wood-fiber floors, interior doors made with beetle-kill wood, and an iPad-controlled Control4 system for monitoring and controlling lights, security, and other elements of the HGTV Green Home.

This home was designed by Michael Woodley, AIA, Woodley Architectural Group, Inc., and built by Infinity Home Collection

HGTV Green Home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and several other utilitarian spaces (i.e., a niche, “do” room, and loft). The home has a value of something near $700,000, furnishings included, and will be given away with an extra $100,000 and a 2011 GMC Terrain. The giveaway starts April 14, 2011 at 9 am EST.


Green in the News

EcoKiosk is a Solar-Powered Storefront for Street Vendors - Bizarreka‘s Ecokiosk is a concept for a cost-effective and eco-friendly storefront for street vendors. Solar panels on the roof of the simple structure power the vendor’s operations on the inside without having to tap into outside energy sources. The project was designed in direct response to the current economic and climate change issues that the world on

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Team Uses Appalachian Mountain History to Model Home - In honor of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011—which challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive—we are profiling each of the 20 teams participating in the on

Senate Rejects Bills to Limit E.P.A.’s Emissions Programs - The Senate on Wednesday rejected efforts to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s program to regulate greenhouse gases, defeating four bills that would have limited the agency’s attempts to address global on

G.E. Plans to Build Largest Solar Panel Plant in U.S. - SAN FRANCISCO — In a move that could shake up the American solar industry, General Electric plans to announce on Thursday that it will build the nation’s largest photovoltaic panel factory, with the goal of becoming a major player in the on




Local Law 84

All buildings in New York City over 50,000 square feet are required to submit an annual energy benchmark. We're here to help make it as easy as possible for you to meet this requirement, while putting a valuable financial evaluation tool in your hands.

Building owners and operators are growing more concerned with the upcoming deadline to have their properties properly benchmarked. Professionals in the industry are reporting a sharp increase in the RFQ's for building benchmarking. What surprises most industry professionals is how easily and quickly these buildings can be benchmarked - assuming of course you hire the correct professionals.

Benchmarking is easy-to-do, inexpensive, and accessible. In addition to supporting the requirement, we can provide intuitive monthly reports on your energy usage and spotlight opportunities for energy savings. The first benchmark report is due to the city on May 1, 2011 (grace period instituted, please see below), but there are benefits to starting as soon as possible so that you can take control of your energy usage sooner.

The grace period for penalties only applies for May 1 to August 1, 2011 while owners get used to the new requirements; (however, the city doesn't expect extensions in future years). Russell Unger, Executive Director of the Urban Green Council, sees the extension as a smart move. While some owners have already been benchmarking, for the vast majority, especially residential coops, this is totally new. Given that 16,000 buildings are impacted by the law, and the fact that the final rules were only issued last month, an grace period for the fines will make the transition to the reporting less painful.

Own buildings in New York City? Let us help you comply with NYC's new mandatory benchmarking requirement (Local Law 84).

Click here to find out more information about benchmarking and complying with the LAW!


The LEED'r is a green newsletter owned by The Cotocon Group that is written and published by Daryl Dworkin. The Leed'r is a weekly publication which reports on a wide range of environmental interests. In future newsletters, we will continue to provide compelling information, relevant news, interviews with industry professionals, and a whole lot of other interesting material. Please enjoy and feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or ideas that you may have regarding green building or any environmental issues at:

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