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Green & LEED

Got 20 Minutes? Check Out The Motor City
Green & LEED

 

Features

Got 20 Minutes? Check Out The Motor City

Eight years ago, EPA selected Detroit as the site for its Brownfields Conference and the question might have been, why? The city of 677,000 was in a state of decay that it left very little for attendees to do in the evening other than perhaps plot strategies on how to arrest decay and revitalize a once-proud metropolitan stronghold. In 2008, that was the lull before the smart-growth storm that has… Read more
Life of a Consultant — Crisis du Jour Management
Green & LEED

Life of a Consultant — Crisis du Jour Management

As a consultant that has been in the environmental business for over 20 years and is looking forward to retirement soon, you would expect that I would not be surprised anymore. You would be very wrong. In this business surprises are not only a given, they are the standard fare that is served up to us, sometimes on a daily basis. Which is why I refer to my job sometimes… Read more
From A Bad Mall to Having It All
Green & LEED

From A Bad Mall to Having It All

The stakeholders behind CityCentre in Houston, Texas carried a vision that’s often spouted by successful mixed-use stakeholders: That is, understand the relevance not to be in the commodity business, where all project stakeholders must do is compete on price. Achieving success is far more complex and elusive than that. How about creating a place where people want to be-all executed within a finely-tuned vision. That’s what is emblematic of Houston’s… Read more
Renewable Energy Trifecta: the Tale of Two Cities and a Utility
Green & LEED

Renewable Energy Trifecta: the Tale of Two Cities and a Utility

The Desert Star Solar Plant, located on the city of Phoenix SR-85 Landfill in Arizona, is demonstrative of the multifaceted benefit potential derived from utilizing solar development as a viable land reuse alternative. The 10 megawatt power plant, located on 118 acres of land within the landfill, is the result of a growing trend of public-private partnerships aimed at promoting renewable energy development.… Read more
Combining Community Resiliency and Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Green & LEED

 

Columns

Combining Community Resiliency and Energy Efficiency Retrofits

At a time when many in the mid-Atlantic region are focused on recovery after Hurricane Sandy, there is an opportunity to think strategically about how to rebuild. Not every retrofit project can incorporate a full complement of green building strategies; however, every retrofit should benefit by an assessment of the opportunities to optimize resource efficiency and resiliency. The Sustainability and Efficiency Task Force Recommendations of the U.S. Department of Homeland… Read more
Life After the Calif. Solar Initiative
Green & LEED

Life After the Calif. Solar Initiative

Can the solar industry survive without incentives is a question we get regularly. The answer is yes. Government continually subsidizes new industries to get them on their feet if they will benefit society. The solar industry is forever indebted to those governments that have subsidized us. Incentives are supposed to help us get set up and find innovative business solutions to make solar more innovative. Innovation like solar leasing has… Read more
Green Roof Design - Front-End Loading for Success
Green & LEED

 

Departments

Green Roof Design - Front-End Loading for Success

Not all green roofs are created equally. Designing a green roof for maximum storm water absorption may be quite different than one where daily use as garden space by tenants is the primary goal. It's not only about the design but about the professionals hired to execute the plan. But first, deciding how your green roof will be used and what you want to accomplish is imperative. This task should… Read more
Reading, ‘riting and… remediation?
Green & LEED

 

Features

Reading, ‘riting and… remediation?

So far, the moniker for one of their newest schools has proven to be a very inconvenient truth for Los Angeles school officials. The Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences, an environmentally themed elementary school that opened Sept. 13 in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, was named by a school committee to honor environmental activists Rachel Carson and Al Gore. But the fact that the school campus is a… Read more
Pittsburgh’s Allegheny River Towns look to Green Jobs for Economic Revival
Green & LEED

 

Departments

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny River Towns look to Green Jobs for Economic Revival

© Hannaford / flickr.com Older industrial cities face a common plight—a surplus of vacant and under-utilized former industrial land, combined with poor economic conditions and an unfavorable lending environment, leading toward “redevelopment stagnation.” Some have postulated that matching up green jobs with brownfield sites in these older communities is the way to get redevelopment moving again, while also contributing to urban sustainability goals, a classic win-win-win for jobs, community development,… Read more
Searching for the Perfect Fit
Green & LEED

Searching for the Perfect Fit

Over the past several years renewable energy has become one of the fastest growing segments throughout the United States. Unprecedented attention has shifted to renewable energy options, such as wind, solar, bio-fuels, biomass and geothermal due to the federal government’s investment in creating more jobs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This federal initiative has not only increased green job opportunities, but also is reportedly having an… Read more
With Wind Power,They’ve Mastered the Ropes
Green & LEED

With Wind Power,They’ve Mastered the Ropes

Eric Stanfield (pictured left) and Chris Bley, co-owners of Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Rope Partner, don't have time to rock climb much these days because they're now using their climbing skills to clean, repair and maintain wind turbines at wind farming facilities. Chris Bley and an associate had one of those “ah ha” moments back in 2000 when they parlayed their passion for their hobby, rock climbing, into a lucrative career:… Read more
With Job Opportunities Lean, Consider One That’s Green
Green & LEED

With Job Opportunities Lean, Consider One That’s Green

Green Career Glossary Green technology job: Ones that support the creation and development of technological solutions that mitigate and manage climate change. The green technology jobs represent a focus on the industry. Examples: Green building design, open space management, transit and transit oriented development, energy generation (wind, solar, hydro/marine, fuel cells) and advancements in water and water treatment. Green collar job: Defined as “manual labor jobs within new clean-technology industries.”… Read more
The Greening of the City That Works
Green & LEED

 

Features

The Greening of the City That Works

This summer the city of Chicago will open the Midwest Center for Green Technology in an industrial area three miles west of downtown. It will house Spire Solar Chicago, a manufacturer of solar energy equipment employing 100 people, along with Greencorps Chicago, the city’s own community greening and job skills program. The building will be a model of environmental design—with solar panels, a rooftop garden and a storm water retention… Read more
Brownfields to Green Buildings: Maximizing Sustainability
Green & LEED

Brownfields to Green Buildings: Maximizing Sustainability

An important strength of brownfield redevelopment has always been its contribution to sustainability—reusing contaminated land makes great sense as an alternative to sprawl. As concerns about global warming fuel interest in everything that saves energy and reduces carbon footprint, the brownfield market has a unique opportunity to expand by maximizing the many ties between brownfields, green buildings and sustainability. In 1998, the EPA issued a report entitled “Characteristics of Sustainable… Read more
Chicago Helps Green Development
Green & LEED

Chicago Helps Green Development

Sustainability and green design are key to the redevelopment of brownfields within the City of Chicago. It is not enough to redevelop properties using standard architectural design and construction practices which do nothing to provide healthier environments, reduce operating costs, or conserve energy and resources. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has energized greener and more sustainable building and development practices through a unique combination of mayoral commitments, policy development and… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Golden State for Brownfields
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Golden State for Brownfields

With his larger-than-life persona, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes no small plans, especially when it comes to the environment. And brownfield redevelopment has been on the “Governator’s” agenda since he was first elected to lead California in 2003. In 2004, Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that lessened restrictions on brownfield redevelopment and reduced developers’ liability, and in 2006 he approved legislation to limit liability risks when cleanup costs end… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Bette Midler: Divine Green Spaces in Manhattan
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Bette Midler: Divine Green Spaces in Manhattan

Bette Midler’s bold, brassy style has made her a force of nature in the entertainment world. What many of the actress/singer’s fans may not know, however, is that the Divine Miss M has also become a force of nature in helping to redevelop New York City’s most environmentally unfriendly public parks. “We know that dirty, trash-filled, unsafe parks make people feel bad not just about the parks themselves, but about… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Dave Bing:   Getting the Ball Rolling on Detroit’s Riverfront
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Dave Bing: Getting the Ball Rolling on Detroit’s Riverfront

Dave Bing may have divested himself from Detroit’s Watermark condo project when he threw his hat into the city’s mayoral ring this fall, but he’s made his mark in brownfield circles nonetheless. The former Detroit Pistons basketball player helped jumpstart major riverfront development on a former cement plant site when he announced plans for his high-end condominium project in 2006. “...We [Detroit] happen to be [a city] that has an… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Jerome Bettis: Working Overtime in Detroit
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Jerome Bettis: Working Overtime in Detroit

One brownfield redevelopment project in Detroit just wasn’t enough for former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis. The Detroit native has signed on for two major redevelopment efforts on the city’s riverfront, where several former industrial sites are undergoing a massive cleanup and renovation (see related story pg. 16). In 2004, two years before Bettis helped the Steelers defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Kerry Washington: Reclaiming the South Bronx
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Kerry Washington: Reclaiming the South Bronx

With high-profile roles in movies like “Ray,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “The Last King of Scotland,” actress Kerry Washington has come a long way from her Bronx roots. But the New York native is determined to help turn the blighted properties of her hometown borough into open green spaces and vibrant economic developments. “I grew up in central East Bronx, so I kind of understood environmental injustice from a… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Mayor Richard Daley: Going Green in Chicago
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Mayor Richard Daley: Going Green in Chicago

Chicago enjoys a national reputation as a city in the forefront of the “green” movement, thanks in large part to the environmental sensitivities of its legendary mayor, Richard M. Daley. In fact, Daley was one of the early major political players in the brownfield arena, starting with the Chicago Brownfields Initiative that he launched in 1993 after telling a congressional subcommittee that the city needed to recycle its abandoned properties… Read more
Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Sen. Hillary Clinton: Revitalizing Long Island
Green & LEED

Celebrities who Champion Brownfield Projects - Sen. Hillary Clinton: Revitalizing Long Island

Senator Clinton is on the left, Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman is in the middle, and Bishop Lionel Harvey is on the right. As a longtime champion of brownfield redevelopment, Sen. Hillary Clinton, (D-N.Y.), will soon see her hard work come to fruition in the Long Island community of New Cassel in North Hempstead. By the end of 2008, three buildings that combine housing and retail were scheduled to open on… Read more
Green Remediation Technology on the Rise
Green & LEED

Green Remediation Technology on the Rise

There is a new awareness in the selection of remediation technologies at brownfield sites which considers the impact of remediation on the environment. This approach, which considers sustainability issues, has been dubbed "green remediation" and seems to be growing throughout the brownfield industry. Green remediation considers whether the process of getting to the end point overshadows the end result and takes a more holistic assessment of the way in which… Read more
Green, Brown and Historic
Green & LEED

Green, Brown and Historic

The January 2008 issue of Preservation Magazine, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was dedicated to green issues. Historic preservation, the magazine noted, has been fundamentally a sustainable concept from the very start, but green building technology now leads it in new directions. As brownfield sites become more common for development and essential for smart growth, the presence of historic buildings becomes a critical issue for some projects.… Read more
Greening Brownfields for Ecological Enhancement
Green & LEED

Greening Brownfields for Ecological Enhancement

The connection between brownfields and sustainability is particularly strong for properties with the potential for conversion into ecologically valuable lands. This opportunity is best for properties with low redevelopment potential, low market demand and a high cost for resolving environmental issues. (See “Rural Surplus Properties,” BNSD, Feb. 2008) Ecological restoration of brownfields can recapture value through sale, charitable contribution, tax reduction from original use, or green carbon credits. Ecological restoration… Read more
Greening Brownfields: A Rooftop Perspective
Green & LEED

Greening Brownfields: A Rooftop Perspective

Concerns over climate change and water quality are affecting how municipalities, developers and brownfield professionals approach redevelopment projects. As LEED green building and stormwater management requirements are increasingly mandated by municipalities, some see the process becoming more involved. However, meeting green building requirements, stimulating corporate interest and managing stormwater runoff on site doesn’t have to be extraordinarily troublesome or expensive. Many large cities throughout North America are making a strong… Read more
Nested Sustainability Efforts: From Green Buildings to a Sustainable State
Green & LEED

Nested Sustainability Efforts: From Green Buildings to a Sustainable State

Sustainability can be likened to the term “Rashomon effect,” from the 1950 Japanese film of the same name, which suggests that the truth of a situation can be difficult to ascertain because of conflicting stories from different witnesses or participants. Despite these challenges though, many involved in the pursuit of a united sustainable state see a future with possibilities and work diligently to join the complicated puzzle pieces to reach… Read more
Overcoming Market Barriers to Green Development Practices
Green & LEED

Overcoming Market Barriers to Green Development Practices

Looking back over the past 15 years, one of the keys to success of brownfields cleanup and reuse efforts nationwide has been the use of collaborative models for policy development and implementation. Brownfields advocates brought together expertise from a wide range of disciplines to work together to develop comprehensive solutions to issues such as liability, voluntary cleanup programs, financing structures, and investment in disadvantaged communities. The cumulative effect of these… Read more

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