According to the World Health Organization, air pollution has increased by 8% in the past five years, with cities as the main culprit.
Over half of the global population live in cities, which means that billions of people around the world are now exposed to dangerous levels of air quality, according to data collected from over 3,000 cities by the World Health Organization (WHO). While cities across the globe are becoming increasingly polluted, WHO’s data indicates that those in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted. Pollution levels in cities in those areas are 5-10 times above recommended levels.
The 2,000-sq.-ft. custom home manages to pack dozens of energy-saving and durability features into a bright, open plan.
Located in Bend, Oregon, the Harkin Residence is a little unusual for a custom residence. First, it’s fairly modest in size, well under the typical scale of custom projects in the area. But it’s also special in its attention to durable materials.
For example, the home's exterior is stucco with integrated color, and its simple, shed-style roofs feature metal roofing. Other areas of siding include metal and concrete, and windows are aluminum clad. The patios are concrete, and wherever practical, floors are either concrete or tile, or both.
Innovations in technology reduce environmental impact and improve quality of life.
With overpopulation in major cities resulting in failing infrastructure and increasing damage to the environment, many organizations are looking for efficient and progressive solutions. One of these solutions are “smart” cities, which are designed to increase residents’ qualities of life and reduce their carbon footprint using intelligent technology.
Some industry stalwarts, like Exxon, are in outright denial. Others, like coal king Peabody Energy, can’t help but feel acute pain as their once-impenetrable fortresses crumble. Others, like Shell, are investing in the future.
Europe’s largest oil company, Shell, sees the writing on the wall. The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate has determined that it is not going to rely only on dirty fossil fuels for its livelihood. Rather, it’s going to catch a wave on the market tide and invest in the burgeoning clean energy revolution.
The decision was made shortly after London-based economists warned international oil companies that they must transform their business models and determine a way to mitigate the risk of ‘stranded assets’, or face a “short, brutal end within 10 years."
Individuals and organizations are joining together to advocate for keeping coal, oil, and gas in the ground, demanding that our global society break free from fossil fuels to mitigate the risks of climate change.
Climate activist Bill McKibben led the fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline and won. Now, he is building the Break Free movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground. His efforts are yielding meaningful results—from the United Kingdom to South Africa, Australia to Brazil, the movement is disrupting fossil fuel projects, encouraging mass divestment, and setting the stage for “the rapid, just transition from the fossil fuel economy of the past to the 100% renewable and clean energy future that climate justice demands.”
The concept of tying building codes with resilient building is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Today, a host of major building industry players attended a conference at the White House to talk about safe design and construction of homes, schools, and workplaces.
Building codes and standards were the star of the show.
“The impacts of climate change–including hotter temperatures, more extreme weather, sea level rise, and more severe drought–pose significant challenges for buildings and homes, many of which were not built to withstand the future impacts of climate change,” the White House said in its press release.
The first week of May focused on "Building Solutions for All Ages" and week two on "The Science Behind the Codes."
The week of May 16-22 looks at preparing for natural disasters with "Learn from the Past, Build for Tomorrow." Education is paramount in preparedness and it's important to have a plan in place for you, your family and your community. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes ("FLASH") weighs in on developing a family disaster plan, reviewing evacuation routes and where to go during a disaster.
The Solar and Smart Home technologies are quickly converging, opening up watershed growth opportunities for companies in these sectors.
The global solar industry, expected to reach $345 billion by 2020, and the global smart home market, expected to reach $59 billion by 2020, are two of the building industry’s hottest growth sectors.
One of the main drivers for this meteoric growth is the unprecedented transition from a high-consumption and low automation market to low-consumption & high automation market. This transition is fundamentally altering the performance of our built environment and the way that we interact with it.