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UPS Headquarters Gains LEED Gold Certification

Nelson: I’m sure there is some clever comment to be made about
“Brown going Green” here.

Despite UPS headquarters being 20 years old, the company just announced that it has become the first in the package delivery and logistics industry to gain LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. UPS submitted the building for review in May 2011 (shortly after the appointment of Chief Sustainability Officer Scott Wicker) and says it’s the first of many to be assessed for certification.

“Our plan is to assess all new facilities and some existing facilities to see if they qualify for LEED,” Wicker said in a press release.

So how, as a 20-year-old building, was it actually accomplished?

It turns out that one of the requirements for LEED certification is that the building stands on a sustainable site. We were surprised to learn that only six of UPS’s 35 acres are actually developed. The remainder is Piedmont Forest, an untouched wildlife preserve. An arborist was used during construction and the company planted more than 900 trees after when the site was finished in the 1990s.

The nearby forest and concrete roof both have a positive impact on the efficiency of the building by reducing the heat from the rays of the hot Georgia sun that hits the interior. Solar shading and thermal insulation glazes were also used to reduce the incoming rays.

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UK Green Jobs While US Flags

Nelson: So why the disparity? Can you spot the difference?  Read on and tell me what you think the cause is.

Britain’s coalition government has put shrinking the deficit atop its list of priorities, and even supporters or Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity agenda have acknowledged it has yielded painfully slow growth. But on renewables? The U.K. says the private sector is powering ahead there.

The government said companies announced investments totaling £2.5 billion ($3.9 billion) in clean energy projects from April 1 through Nov. 16, 2011. The Department of Energy & Climate Change said these investments, sprinkled throughout the country [PDF], had the potential to create some 12,000 jobs and “revealed more evidence of the economic benefits of renewable energy.” The government also said the investments would help it stay on track in reaching its European Union commitment of producing 15 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020.

UK renewables

image via Wikimedia Commons

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US Treasury Puts Some “Green” Towards LEED Certification

Nelson: Yeah, I just couldn’t resist the “green” analogy.  Sorry. 

 

The U.S. Treasury Building dates back to the 19th century and is located right next door to the White House — not exactly what you think of when you think of the latest in green building. But the times they are a changin’, as per the Obama administration’s focus on greening government operations, and the U.S. Treasury Building has now taken LEED Gold in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance category, making it the oldest building in the world to achieve this distinction, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Element Las Vegas certified for eco-friendliness

Nelson: See, its stuff like this that makes me dubious about some applications of LEED. YOU ARE BUILDING STUFF IN A DESERT WITH LIMITED RESOURCES!

Developer Jeff LaPour achieved his "green building" mission when his Element Las Vegas hotel was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in December.

It’s the sixth Element hotel by Westin to achieve LEED certification. In 2008, parent company Starwood Hotels and Resorts mandated that all Element hotels pursue LEED certification.

The 123-room Element Las Vegas, near Town Center Drive and the Las Vegas Beltway in the Summerlin community, was built with ecofriendly materials such as recycled carpet and low-emission paints that improve indoor air quality.

Oversized windows and open space allow for more natural lighting, supplemented by fluorescent bulbs that use 75 percent less electricity than conventional bulbs.

Guest rooms are equipped with EnergyStar appliances, water-saving bathroom fixtures and recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass. Shower dispensers for shampoo and conditioner eliminate the need for wasteful minibottles. Even the ubiquitous plastic "Do Not Disturb" sign has been replaced with a magnet.

The Ultimate in Green Graffiti

Nelson:  Not my usual take on what is green and what is not, but I have to admit it’s a clever idea.

Stories from Space, Moss Graffiti, moss, garden moss, gardening, green design, sustainable design, green graffiti, eco-design, vertical garden, outdoors, plants, botanical

We lurve green graffiti, so when we spotted this DIY moss graffiti recipe over on Green Prophet we just had to share it with you. Stories from Space is experimenting with the perfect formula that allows you to green your walls with moss and choose the shape in which it finally matures. All you need to get started is a can of beer, a tiny bit of sugar, …
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