Archive for December, 2010

$4.5B For US Gov To Cut Energy Bill

The Obama administration issued an executive order for the $4.5 billion stimulus to be spent by next September to pay for environmentally friendly, high performance green buildings and renovation projects within the U.S. government.

The federal government is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., the renovations are an attempt to trim the $25 billion annual power and fuel costs. The target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2020.

More than 60% of energy use is for transportation. Jet fuel being the largest consumer. The Department of Defense will be changing to greener fuels and take measures to reduce oil dependence. $300 million will also be used to buy more alternative fuel vehicles.

Congress has been setting goals to cut costs and reduce foreign oil dependence since the 1970’s energy crisis. Energy per square foot has been reduced nearly 30% since 1985 for the 500,000 buildings the government leases or owns.

The General Services Administration is responsible for thousands of federally owned facilities at 60 different agencies. The recovery act directs the GSA to invest:

  • $4.5 billion to convert federal buildings to high-performance green
  • $750 million to renovate and construct federal buildings and courthouses.
  • $300 million to renovate and construct land ports of entry.


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Green Roof Conference

About 1,000 delegates from around the world have been attending the green roof conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. From November 30 to December 3, at the 8th annual CitiesAlive green roof and green wall technology conference at Vancouver Convention Center. Jointly organized by Science World and B.C. Institute of Technology.

One of the reasons Vancouver was selected for the conference location is they are seen as the world leader in green roofs. The convention center has the largest green roof in Canada at 2.5 hectare. (25,000 sq m). Green roofs have long been used to cut energy costs, they are also a way to recycle rain water and decrease the burden of city sewage systems, and reduce the heat island effect by reducing the temperature of the roof and the surrounding area.

The three day conference has included workshops, seminars, trade shows and tour of Vancouver’s green roofs. Keynote speakers include David Tilley green roof researchers from University of Maryland and Paul Kephard, a green roof designer who founded the consulting company Rena Creek. Also in attendance is building designers, urban planners, landscape architects and environmentalists all to share information on green technology.

“We will explore the limits of integrated thinking with a focus on moving the industry to a new level of understanding of the many roles we can play to reduce green house gas emissions and adapt our cities to the negative impacts of climate change,” say conference organizers, Jeffrey Bruce and Steven Peck, of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.