Living in Peace on our Planet: Insight, Energy, Environment

  My Profile  Log In   Register Free Now   
Living in Peace on our Planet: Insight, Energy, Environment Planet Thoughts Advanced       Click to see one of our videos, chosen at random from the database, along with its PlanetThought
 Try a video
Home   About   Books&Media   Resources   Contact  
   News   Quote   Review   Story   Tip   All   Blogs   News   Quotes   Reviews   Stories   Tips
Get Email or Web Quotes
or use our RSS feeds:
New Feed:  Fossil Fuel
 Full  Blog  News
Read & Comment:
'Let's You And Him Fight...
Paul Krugman's Errors An...
Why Climate Change Is An...
22 Most Beautiful Houses...




Most recent comments:
From Farm To Fork
A Simple List: Things We...
Can the affluent rest at...

Actions:
Bookmark the site
Contribute $
Easy link from your site
Visit Second Life
Visit SU Blog
  Technorati


Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge




Blog item: From Grey To Green

Recommend this:  Hover here and click below to recommend this PlanetThought     Email a Friend     See Related

0 comments   Add a comment   Author: GuestWriter (Apr-20-2010)
Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Sustainable Living

Environmentally sound building practices allow nature to thrive while providing comfortable structures for living and workingBy Kathryn Brennar, of Friedland Realty

Building a green infrastructure is no longer a new idea.  Going "green" is actually becoming quite popular.  However, the ways that people go about doing it can be new and unique.  City developers are beginning to incorporate some creative strategies of their own.

Specifically, there has been a recent spike in the level of interest that communities have had in developing their parks and outdoor recreation areas, as well as housing and building complexes.  While incorporating and maintaining them has always been an important priority, especially within densely populated cities, the latest trends show that community developmental plans are now incorporating "green" design.   They are realizing that there is an opportunity to provide people with a necessary recreation area while creating a positive impact on the global environmental crisis.

Currently there are a number of projects taking place in major metropolitan areas in an effort to reverse the negative effects that humans have had on the environment. One project that is currently gaining publicity is the green rooftop. Green rooftops utilize commonly unused space atop buildings and convert them into green zones, where gardens or turf are planted. These roofs help reduce the heating and cooling costs it takes to power a building, and also create a habitat for birds and insects.  Additionally, green rooftops reduce the amount of contaminated runoff water that can collect in local sewer systems and waterways. Even major companies and organizations have taken notice and are beginning to implement similar environmental strategies. The  Ford motor company installed a 450,000 square foot green rooftop on their new Dearborn Truck Plant. Recently studies have been preformed comparing green rooftops to conventional asphalt or concrete roofs and results show that temperatures on the green rooftops can be as much as 32 degrees lower than conventional black roofs. This proves that green rooftops could help reduce the "urban heat island effect," which occurs when black top buildings absorb solar energy and radiate that energy in the form of heat.

Another sustainability initiative that is becoming increasingly popular in urban (as well as suburban) areas is the rain garden. Rain gardens are planted near areas of high storm water runoff. Instead of allowing the excess water to travel into the sewer, (which can cause backup and increased water contamination) water flows into strategically placed gardens, thereby reducing overflow problems. Currently in the District of Columbia, the department of Agriculture has been spearheading an initiative to increase the number of gardens that are sustained by the community, termed "people's gardens." Rain gardens are amongst the initiative along with community vegetable gardens where the produce is donated to local soup kitchens. They are also contemplating rooftop bee hives to aid in the pollination of the plants. In Portland, Oregon local policy makers are taking another approach and creating Green Streets. A number of city and suburban streets were identified as being excessively wide and creating too much run off water. In response to this problem, Portland officials created curbside gardens that allowed for the collection of street storm water. The gardens collect water at the surface and disperse it amongst the vegetation thus allowing for a gradual and natural water filtration process to occur.

While the public sector has started to take on green initiatives, private developers have also joined forces to implement change. Even though NYC is literally wall to wall with buildings, architects with a soft spot for the environment have been able to incorporate a green atmosphere in areas that many believe had no room left for design changes.  On the West Side of Manhattan a new park built on the old High Line stands 30 feet above street level.  Landscape architect firm, James Connor Field Operations, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, worked with designer, Piet Oudolf, to create this elevated oasis. The architects were able to integrate vegetation into the existing structures left from the railroad to create a beautiful natural setting for locals and visitors.

On the lower end of Manhattan stands another structure, The Visionaire, which focuses on bringing New York to the forefront of green initiative. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, it stands as the greenest residential skyscraper in the US. The architects incorporated a highly insulated wall system with insulated glazing and low energy reflective coatings. They also overcame the lack of horizontal space that New York buildings are allotted by successfully creating a number of terraces using green rooftop techniques. The building boasts a wastewater recycling system where all tainted water is cleaned within the building using a membrane filtration system and is then reused in the buildings toilets, green rooftops and cooling towers. Lastly, the building uses solar panels, a natural gas powered turbine and byproduct heat recycling amongst other energy efficient, low impact building and utility strategies.

Cities across the nation are developing creative and effective solutions to our global sustainability problem. By creating and implementing a green infrastructure and building practices, urban and suburban communities can contribute to the overall "greening" of the planet.

______________________________________________________

Kathryn Brennar is a communications coordinator for Friedland Realty, a commercial realty agency specializing in the lease and sale of Manhattan office space and Westchester office space.

Related PlanetThoughts.org reading:
  Planning A Green Remodel? 21 Green Experts Revea... (Dec-10-2014)
  New Yorkers Can Now Buy Renewable Energy Certifi... (Dec-5-2009)
  U.S. and China to Collaborate on Building Effici... (Jul-22-2009)
  Could LEED Be Losing the Lead in Energy Certific... (Mar-4-2009)
  Real Estate Investors Benefit from Green Buildin... (Jan-8-2009)
  A Short History Of Earthbag Building (Oct-30-2008)
  Xcel Makes CO2 Disclosure Agreement (Aug-28-2008)
  Honda Releases Fuel-Cell Car While Automakers Ta... (Jun-24-2008)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
  
^ top
Add a comment    
  Follow the comments made here? 
  (Please log in or register free to follow comments)

  
^ top 
About author/contributor GuestWriter

PlanetThoughts.org welcomes occasional articles and opinion pieces from writers who are not regular contributors. Their contributions will be listed under the "GuestWriter" name, and additional attribution will be shown in accordance with the agreement with the original writer and source of the PlanetThought.
Real Time Oil Price Watch: 

Visit Green Wave Email Marketing
Email Marketing for You and Your Planet


We won a Gotham Green Award for 2010, on Earth Day! Thank you Gotham Networking for this award.

See the attractive event brochure.


Recommended Sites

  Member of:
GOtham Green networking
Green Collar Economy
New York Academy of Sciences
Shades of Green Network

  PlanetThoughts
     Members/Affiliates *

Approaching the Limits
    to Growth
EcoEarth.Info
Environmental News Network
EESI.org
GreenBiz.com
GreenHomeBuilding.com
Heroin and Cornflakes
NewScientist
ScienceDaily


* Members of PlanetThoughts      
  communities on SU or MBL,      
  and blog article affiliates      

  Other Favorite Blogs
21st Century Citizen
Center for Bio. Diversity
Easy Ways to Go Green
EcoGeek
Good Bags
Opposing Views


Valid my RSS feeds


We Do Follow

ClickBlog.org



  Volunteer      Terms of Use      Privacy Policy  

Copyright © 2018 PlanetThoughts.org. All Rights Reserved.
Except for blog items by David Alexander: Some Rights Reserved.