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Monthly Archives: February 2012

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), owner of the Living Building Challenge, is going where no certification program has gone before with a new Net Zero Energy Building Certification program. Jason McLennan, chief executive officer of ILFI, sees this program as a response to environmental constraints that a growing human population is facing on an already stressed planet. More…

From the desk of Neil Young

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I saved a copy of this National Trust report in our library under “Reports Existing and Historic.” It delves into the LCA of renovating existing buildings vs. building new. Here are the cliff notes…

The study finds that it takes 10 to 80 years for a new building that is 30 percent more efficient than an average-performing existing building to overcome, through efficient operations, the negative climate change impacts related to the construction process.

This validates what is intuitive about older buildings compared to more recent construction…

“…data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) demonstrates that commercial buildings constructed before 1920 use less energy, per square foot, than buildings from any other decade of construction…The comparative advantage of some older buildings may in fact be explained by the original building design, form, massing, and materials, as well as the window-to-wall ratio, limited installed equipment, or occupant density.”

From the desk of Jenn Rezeli

This documentary follows a group of scientists who voluntarily maroon themselves offshore of the Antarctic continent to study the effects of climate change on the winter season there. The movie doesn’t get into any of the science behind climate change, but instead takes a look at the real world implications and the effects on wildlife in the Southernmost continent. More…

From the desk of Neil Young