New building tools detect various shades of green

PHOTO: Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune
December 27, 2010

Is a green building in the middle of nowhere still considered green?

That's exactly what businesses, sustainability experts, and planners are studying. The growing green buildings movement is taking a new direction with the development of computer models that go beyond measuring a building’s carbon footprint and attempt to quantify the amount of energy people consume to reach that building.

Experts say the ability to quantify the energy spent getting to and from a building could force businesses to reconsider what it means to be green because transportation emissions account for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the newly quantifiable data could spur development in urban areas served by public transportation over so-called greenfields.

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Comments on: "New building tools detect various shades of green"

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Blind Leading the Blind

Knock! Knock! Hello, is there any grey tissue up there? Don't you all (EPA, Businesses, Sustainability Experts, Planners) get it yet? The whole system needs to be redesigned from the ground up. Every aspect of infrastructure, materials, land management, building techniques, etc. should not be relegated to urban areas because of an issue of Fuel.... By doing that you are only building upon all of the mistakes, and ancient technologies of the past. Sure you can build a building that uses less energy.... but that is the equivalent of putting a human band-aid on a Blue Whale. The only way to make a real difference that will be felt, is by pulling away from everything that is dysfunctional. For instance there is a major global project that I am aware of that outlines over 150 new technologies, that offer real solutions, to all aspects of society. It was given the nomenclature Net-Zero Squared, because there is No Energy In and No Waste Out, Yes, no sewers or septic systems, no grid power, not even manufacturing waste. The developments are about to break ground which include Housing, Industry, Commercial/Retail, Cultural/Education etc....etc....etc...but in all aspects of design they have addressed and created an environmentally inert society. That is the definition of GREEN.