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Articles by Kif Scheuer

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  • Codes are springing up in cities big and small

    Just in the last month I've noticed signs of a major shift in green building practices around the country.

    Green building codes and ordinances are springing up all over the place. We may be seeing the beginning of one of the best environmental stories of 2007.

  • Hockey stick study bolstered

    Nice story over at about a new study by David C. Lund, Jean Lynch-Stieglitz, and William B. Curry in Nature that undercuts the "where's the little ice age?" argument against Mann's Hockey Stick graph:

  • The bill could affect most large construction in the city starting in 2012

    In a preliminary vote, the D.C. city council unanimously decided to phase in green building standards that would apply to private as well as public development in the district.

    The district is poised to become the first major city in the country to require that private developers build environmentally friendly projects that incorporate energy-saving measures.

    By 2012, most large construction in the city -- commercial and city-funded residential -- would have to meet the standards, if the D.C. council gives final approval to a new bill next month.

    Under the bill, within two years, all new district-owned projects, including schools, would have to meet the green standards, and in 2009, any building receiving more than 20 percent public financing would have to do the same. By 2012, every new commercial building over 50,000 square feet -- about the size of a medium-size retail store -- would have to meet the guidelines. The rules would also apply to affordable housing.

  • It’s an important addition to the REC debate

    Building Green, publisher of Environmental Buildings News and GreenSpec, just released their top 10 green building products for 2006, and Community Energy's Renewable Energy Credits made the list. Although not directly related to the "kerfuffle" about the Whole Foods/Renewable Choice Card, this is important to the REC debate for a couple of reasons.

    1. EBN is one of the most respected sources of information on green building, and they feel RECs are worthwhile. To me this is a huge vote of confidence in RECs as part of overall environmental sustainability efforts.
    2. RECs are not strictly a building product, but a service choice, yet purchasing RECs can make a huge dent in a building's lifecycle impact. Typically, RECs receive relatively little attention, because they are not as sexy as other options such as solar panels or salvaged-timber bathroom partitions. Adding RECs to a list of important green products broadens people's perspectives on what green building can be. For example, this highlights that you don't have to build a new building or undergo a major renovation to green your buildings, but you can start right away with RECs.