Posts categorized "GREEN" Feed

Cloudburst boulevards, St. Kjeld-Copenhagen

2015_01_26_ScrnSht_ClimateChngCpnhgn2Climate Change: Huge Opportunity to Build Greener Cities

 “Copenhagen City Hall is about to embark on an ambitious plan to make the whole city climate-change-resilient. Though there will be individual variations, each neighborhood will feature cloudburst boulevards and beautified squares ready for water-basin duty. One Copenhagen suburb is already building its own climate quarter, and Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology, reports receiving climate-quarter inquiries from mayors around the world. Following a catastrophic cloudburst in 2011 that resulted in damage of about $1 billion, this windy port city had little choice but to find ways of protecting itself.”

2015_01_26_ScrnSht_ClimateChngCpnhgn2_StKjeldMapIn the St. Kjeld neighbourhood, “city planners looked at the option of adding ‘gray infrastructure’ technologies that, in this case, would have included essentially more and bigger sewers, or of designing “green,” nature-based structures that collect the water and lead it away.’”

Flemming Rafn Thomsen of Tredje Natur, the Danish architecture firm chosen for the project reports that they “looked at St. Kjeld and thought, ‘That’s a lot of asphalt with no function. We can use some of that space for water.’ ”

“The answer, Rafn Thomsen and the city decided, was to tear up the neighborhood’s squares and replace their asphalt covering with what’s essentially a hilly, grassy carpet interspersed with walking paths. Should a storm, flood or rising sea levels hit the Danish capital again, the bucolic miniparks will turn into water basins…”


“Surrounding streets will, for their part, be turned into “cloudburst boulevards.” Under ordinary circumstances, they’ll just be ordinary streets with raised sidewalks, but during floods and megastorms, they’ll become canals, channeling rainwater away from the squares to the harbor. Millions of gallons of water will be dispatched back to the harbor on such above-ground waterways, St. Kjeld becoming a temporary Venice.”

From Aljazeera America: 'Cloudburst boulevards' and innovative bowl-shaped parks are designed to protect the city from rising sea levels, January 26, 2015 5:00AM ET, by Elisabeth Braw @elisabethbraw

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ClassAct: Active School by actLAB NYC partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, Philippines

screen shot

In the Philippines, actLAB NYC on KICKSTARTER (see our side bar on this site) has partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, which was completely destroyed by back-to back catastrophes: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that was immediately followed by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on October 15, 2013 in the largely rural region of Visayasand. The area remains largely on it's own to struggle without funding.

This partnership project is an attempt to rebuild space for 150 students of  the 1,134 classrooms that were destroyed.

school after twin disasters

"The structures combine local craftsmanship with modern engineering for maximum resiliency. The goal is to empower locals to maintain and repair the structure with their inherent building knowhow + innovate cottage industries [thus revitalizing the local economic ecosystem] while promoting sustainability."


ClassAct design
flexible design/local materials/local construction methods

Want to help? Click HERE too and go to 'Donate' on the far right at the ClassAct Foundation.

" actLAB is a New York-based collaborative design group working at the intersection of architecture, education, illustration and social entrepreneurship. We design for the the social effect we aspire architecture to instigate, and draw from urban complexities and shifts that architecture must respond to. | actLAB is lead by Australian registered architect & Columbia University GSAPP alum + academic, Aya Maceda ( with collaborators, Buzz Wei (architect/ GSAPP alum: and Sandra Javera (architect/illustrator: | 195 Plymouth Street, Dumbo Brooklyn, NY 11201"

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World Environment Day turns 40.  Happy Birthday. 

Wed 40 YR LOGO





Pictu for WED 40thUsing the Piictu application, you can take environmentally themed photos and instantly post them to an interactive stream of other images taken by people around the world.  The app is available for iOS.(Download the app here.) If you are already on Piictu, follow WorldEnvironmentDay and join in the fun.

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do you know enough to plan for your library's future?


Heads up folks.  You may not have or want an Urban Greenhouse in your library but one day your neighbourhood could partner with a project in your community designed with the help of this Swedish company - Plantagon International.

I've only imagined a company that had a prospectus like this one - take a look at a future oriented business model. (click to enlarge)


 Plantagon took the initiative to develop the new offer Urban Agriculture within SymbioCity, and the offer is delivered in cooperation with Plantagon's partners SWECO, SAAB, Combitech and Tekniska Verken.   SymbioCity is a network of Swedish companies and organisations, within sustainable urban development, founded by the Swedish Government and Swedish Industry.

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good design is named, flavour of the decade - LEED

Who would do good, sensible design if it weren't named other than a rose? 

I would, I do, but I gather the rest of the world needs a catchy handle. 



As a person who did her design education in the 70's I find this 'already-done-and-got-the-high-heels-like'.   Perhaps some building owners and trustees still haven't heard of any of this so here goes.


International Interest Grows in Green-Building Certification-By,Kate Galbraith. New York Times. Published: March 7, 2012

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we just flip a switch. how does the rest of the world read at night?

"Solar Lantern Project" aims to provide rechargeable solar lanterns to rural Indian areas where electricity is still not available - Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Terrin lead

"TERI (Energy and Resources Institute) campaign uses solar lanterns that have CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) as well as LEDs (light emitting diodes) for dual purposes.  Each solar lantern in its useful life of 10 years replaces the use of about 500-600 litres of kerosene, thereby mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2.  Rural entrepreneurs are trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution centre where lanterns are rented. This creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneur. hostels for tribal children, funded by the government's universal education programmes, are equipped with solar lanterns to help children study at night."


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Need to replace your Library roof? Planted roofs revisited

Need a new roof?  Renovating your existing roof? 


BBG still from vid VisCentRoof The beautiful and leading edge Brooklyn Botanic Garden is showcasing their new 10,000 square foot roof garden with its installation of 40,000 plants on the roof of BBG’s new Visitor Center.


Here's their vid, showing construction sequence 

 The living roof will change throughout the seasons, its grasses, bulbs, and perennial wildflowers attracting local pollinators and visitors alike.

 Brooklyn ot gard art at gardenWhile you're at it why not look around the  BBG site?  It will warm you up and remind you that Spring will come.

Japanese Gate at BBG

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show the world what your environment means to you




Check out this link to theUnited Nations Environment Programme logoUnited Nations Environment Programme UNEP environment for development.


They have teamed up with musicians and artists, treehugger and piictu. Here is a link to the page where you can sign up with  piictu on your iPhone or iTouch  to submit photos of the environment around you.


Add your 'insights', good or bad to the photo record.  Show others around the world what your environment means to you.  Piictu

Green economy UNDon't limit your photos to ones of the outside. The interior environment in your library is as important as the one outside your walls.

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New Enery Efficient Building Code - Best in N.A.

December 2, 2011
New Energy Efficient Building Code in Ontario—Best in North America!


This news just in from the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance:

CEEA has been an active participant on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's, Building Code Energy Advisory Council, whose mandate is to provide strategic advice to the Minister on energy conservation issues related to the Building Code and the Building Code Act, 1992. As a member of the council, we are very pleased with the introduction of the new energy efficiency requirements. Effective January 1, 2012, all new homes will have to achieve an EnerGuide 80 rating! These enhancements put Ontario at the very top of the list in North America, and will serve as a model for the rest of Canada.

Click here for a brief .pdf overview of the new Code.

Thank you: to Building Green, a Sustainabilty Group on Linkedin

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Prefab Straw Bale Building

U of Nottingham straw bale buidingUniversity of Nottingham has built   prefabricated straw bale building.

There are many ways to get the best building that meets your needs.  Don't limit your ideas at any tme during your design process.

See this little vid about the idea behind it and the way it is built in this film commissioned by Make and The University of Nottingham. from

Prefab straw bldg Nott U_gatwawalls.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smart

 Here is the text from the Make website:

Construction was completed in May 2011 on a new building for the University of Nottingham which brings together the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary and Medical Sciences.

The project is the first stage of a 20-year visionary masterplan which aims to expand the Sutton Bonington Campus and enhance its reputation as a leading destination for the study of plant and animal sciences.The landmark building, with a value of £5.2 million, was designed to accommodate a wide range of different functions – offices, laboratories, seminar and computer rooms – while comfortably providing for many different users, including researchers, students, teachers and administration staff.

To maximise the use of the space, the efficiency of the floorplate reaches an impressive 80 per cent. Consciously contextual, the design was influenced by the campus's agricultural heritage and strong sustainability policy. Taking inspiration from the rhythm of the line of trees adjacent to the site, the facade is innovatively formed from prefabricated modular straw bale panels, locally produced using straw sourced from the University's own farmland.Each 14m long panel consists of a cross-laminated timber frame filled with compressed straw and finished externally with render to provide a breathable coating that prevents decay and protects the straw from the external environment. These panels were prefabricated in an off-site 'flying factory' using local labour and delivered ready to be put in place.

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Dynamic glass technology - SageGlass electronically tintable glass.

Builiding a new library or addition? 

 This dynamic glass (as in not passive energy technology) tints automatically or on demand to control sunlight, without shades or blinds. SageGlass® - SAGE

It takes less electricity to operate 2,000 square feet of SageGlass than it does to power a single 60-watt light bulb.  I think, if you have the will and the resources, this option is well worth a good hard look. 

SageGlass’ electrochromic coating consists of five layers of ceramic material. Applying a low voltage of electricity darkens the coating as lithium ions and electrons transfer from one electrochromic layer to another electrochromic layer.  How it Works - Technology - SAGE

Reversing the voltage polarity causes the ions and electrons to return to their original layer, causing the glass to return to its clear state

This solid-state reaction is controlled through a very low voltage power supply (less than 5V DC). A darkened state enables SageGlass to absorb and radiate away the sun’s unwanted heat and glare. A clear state allows you to maximize daylight and solar energy.

SAGE Electrochromics that can be switched from clear to tinted with the click of a button. The glass can also be programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions.  

Zoning is also an option, meaning that panes that are hit by direct sunlight can tint, while ones receiving indirect sunlight can stay clear. (ref: 4 High-Tech Projects Making Cities More Energy Efficient )

West holiwood library_sageglass

Here is an photo from the SAGEGLASS BLOG: Architecture Review: West Hollywood Library among top works - Uncategorized - Sustainability - Glass in Architecture - Daylighting benefits - Brilliant Views - SAGE



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new meaning to 'blue sky' ideas

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 2

Planning a new library?  Let your imagination soar.  Take inspiration from this adventurous and delightful design: the Morris Arboretum Tree Adventure. Morris Arboretum / ArchDaily

"Suspended 50 feet above the forest floor, this network of walkways (450-feet in length) provides a bird’s eye view of the forest, complete with a giant Bird’s Nest, Squirrel Scramble rope, and many vista platforms."

What a dream, to read in a tree house.  Even better, to have a whole library up there in the leaves and sky.  This brilliant little project is, unfortunately not a library...BUT designs like this one can inspire us all to new heights for our library design.

Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibit Out on a Limb, designed by , was the 2010 AIA Philadelphia Design Excellence Gold Medal Winner, 2010 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Award, 2010 “Best of Philly” Award, and the 2010 American Association of Museums Excellence in Exhibition Design Award.  

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 3

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 1


If you don't envision your perfect solution for your library's design challenges, you will not get a library that meets your community's needs.

When the serious design phase begins with your architect, you will make compromises. 

Your imagined ideas will come up against hard reality.


Let your imagination soar;  take it and your common sense with you throughout the design process and beyond. Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 4



credits:Architects: Metcalfe Architecture & Design
Location: , ,
Consultant: Forever Young Treehouse, Inc
Structural Engineers: CVM Engineering
Construction Managers: CVM Construction
Civil Engineers: Hunt Engineering Company
Lighting Designers: Grenald Waldron Associates
Exhibit Designers: Sparks Exhibits and Environments
Photographs: Paul Warchol

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'Greening' your library - start simply

Energy conservation in our libraries can be as simple as installing a timer equipped thermostat on your heating/air conditioning unit.

This article Timer on your Thermostat from warns us about the difficulty programming and using some programmable thermostats.

  Thermostat But Librarians are more than up to the challenge!  It's worth it in savings to your operating budgets.

source:Treeehugger main

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