Marked improvement in US energy efficiency

Energy use in US

The US is consuming energy considerably more efficiently and with lower emissions than just five years ago thanks to a slew of modern technologies that are changing decades-old patterns, according to a major new report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the Business Council on Sustainable Energy. Energy Star-certified commercial building floor space has increased by 139% from 2008 to 2012, and the stringency of building air conditioning efficiency standards has increased by up to 34% since 2005. Overall, energy intensity for US commercial buildings has now dropped by more than 40% since 1980. More →

We shape the World’s cities, then they shape us

ChonggingThe story of the world’s cities is often told not in words but in numbers. This is especially the case with the megacities – those with a  population in excess of 10 million – which obtain enough critical mass not only to produce eye boggling statistics but also to distort the fabric of whole regions and change the way people live and behave. This is true for the established megacities of London, New York and Tokyo as well as the emerging global metropolises in Sao Paolo, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Cairo and Istanbul.

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Lights off as France announces new energy saving law

SwitchThe French Environment Ministry has announced that a new law will come into effect in July that requires non-residential buildings  to turn off interior and window display lights each night. Under the new legislation lights in shop windows will need to be turned off at 1am and lights in office and other commercial buildings switched off an hour after the last employee leaves.  The new law is planned to save around 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year as well as enough energy to power 750,000 French households. The ministry believes the law will change attitudes and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution and energy use.

New York state of mind to increase building energy efficiency by 20percent

Build NY

In one of the most ambitious green initiatives in the United States, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years. He also announced Build Smart NY, a plan to  strategically implement the Executive Order by accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements, including new lighting fixtures and controls, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and automated energy management systems. More →

Better Buildings challenge for sustainable innovation

BPP

A competition to find green solutions that help to improve the performance of commercial buildings has been launched by the Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC) and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) – a collaboration of leading London commercial property owners and investors. Because energy efficiency improvement works have focused primarily on mechanical and electrical control upgrades and plant replacement, the competition focuses on innovations which could help improve the environmental performance of the building envelope. More →

Guide argues positive green message for sustainable gains

sustainia-world

Fear, despair and resignation do not motivate people to change their practices; they should instead be inspired by the positive messages of sustainable living. In Guide to Sustainia international sustainability initiative Sustainia argues innovation has made such impressive leaps over the last decade it’s now possible to break with the perception of a sustainable society as one of limitations. With cities and developers already assembling the nuts, bolts and designs of a more sustainable future, the guide presents a compilation of real initiatives and technologies from around the world, in a blueprint for a sustainable future. More →

Global 100 green companies announced during Davos

Global 100The top-ranked company in the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable corporations is Umicore, a Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company. The rest of the top five announced recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, were Natura Cosmeticos, Statoil, Neste Oil and Novo Nordisk. Hailed recently as the world’s most credible corporate sustainability ranking, the Global 100 is compiled by Toronto-based media and investment research company Corporate Knights, and consists of the 100 top-performing stocks worldwide on a range of sector-specific ‘sustainability’ metrics.

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Sodexo Workplace Trends report covers familiar ground

sodexo workplace trends editThe latest annual Workplace Trends Report from workplace services provider Sodexo claims to reveal the crucial role the built environment has in organisational performance. The report emphasises the growing strategic role of facilities management and the importance of sustainability as an element of corporate culture as well as a trend toward designing offices to attract and retain top talent by emphasising productivity and quality of life. The report also identifies the importance of social media in attracting prospective employees instead of traditional e-mail campaigns and other media.

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Economic boost for UK builders with Green Deal launch

energy efficiency
The Green Deal launches today to help improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s built environment by enabling householders and businesses to secure the up-front capital to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. Refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into good green assets has recently been identified as one of the best bets for the property sector in the year ahead and today UK-Green Building Council’s Paul King said the launch of the energy efficiency scheme could help create jobs and stimulate economic activity.

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Deadline to nominate Northern Ireland building design prowess

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Today (25 January) is the deadline to nominate Northern Ireland’s most remarkable developments in land, property and construction. The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Northern Ireland Awards will present accolades for Community Benefit, Building Conservation, Regeneration, and Design and Innovation at an awards ceremony in Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast on 10 May. The scheme is open to anyone working within the property profession, and will celebrate the talents of surveyors, developers, engineers, planners, architects and others.

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Global Gen Y survey highlights national differences

Gen Y NotNever has a generation of humans been so much talked about as Generation Y. As this millennial army marches into the world’s workplaces and takes the reins of power (or at least control) for the first time, there has been a lot of agonising about how to manage a whole generation of people who are the first to have been nurtured in a digital world. Now a new report from Deloitte into the attitudes of millennials from around the world has confirmed that this is a complex generation of individuals with many universal ideals but with regional characteristics too.  More →

Green retro fitting a ‘best bet’ for 2013

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Refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into good green assets has been identified as one of the best bets for the property sector in the year ahead, according to new research from the Urban Land Institute and PwC. The survey of industry leaders across Europe found the move to ‘reactivate assets’ – refurbish good properties with green credentials – is taking hold. Sustainable properties are increasingly commanding higher rents and values, as governments move to force companies to increase building’s energy efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint.

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