10 Green Building Megatrends For 2017By Jerry Yudelson, Speaker, Author, Green Building Consultant

December 6, 2016

Here are the second five of the ten green building megatrends. Note that these are not necessarily in order of current or future importance! Part one was posted on November 29, 2016. The discussion is taken from my latest book, Reinventing Green Building (New Society Publishers, 2016). (more…)

Why Certification Systems Aren’t Working and What We Can Do About It.

The book Reinventing Green Building, by Jerry Yudelson, will be available about June 1st. It’s full of detailed statistical analysis of how green building in the US has hit the wall the past few years, commentary from two dozen industry leaders, and detailed recommendations on how to start growing the green building movement once again.

Buildings and their associated systems are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the world. The 2030 Challenge aims to produce zero net -energy from new North American construction by 2030 while achieving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from existing buildings. With less than 4% of commercial and residential structures in the U.S. and Canada certified by 2015, we seem destined to fall catastrophically short of this target. (more…)

Credit to: http://vincent.callebaut.org/

Coral Reef – Matrix for the Construction of 1000 Passive Houses in Haiti

Coral Reef – Matrix for the Construction of 1000 Passive Houses in Haiti

Called “The Pearl of West Indies”, Haiti was during a long time the most visited country of the Greater Antilles representing the occidental third of Hispaniola Island. Devastated in 2010 by an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the country has now to be rebuilt from new innovative architectural and town-planning concepts.

The Coral Reef project designed by Vincent Callebaut Architects plans a matrix to build a three dimensional and energy self-sufficient village from one and only standardised and prefabricated module in order to rehouse the refugees from such humanitarian catastrophes. This basic module is simply made of two passive houses (with metallic structure and tropical wood facades) interlocked in duplex around a transversal horizontal circulation linking every unit. (more…)

Harald Graven, Flickr Creative Commons

Credit to: Plant Green

By Colleen Vanderlinden

Every garden is amazing. From the smallest container to the most dramatic botanic garden (such as those listed below), gardens help us appreciate the natural beauty around us, amaze us with the diversity that exists in the plant world, and stand testament to the creativity of those whose art consists not of brushes and paints, but of flowers and plants.

Whether they stand as symbols of a leader’s greatness, as a wealthy man’s monument to his love of plants, or as a beautifully cataloged collection of a particular type of plant, the world would be a sad place without its botanic gardens. Here are five of the most dramatic, amazing gardens from around the world. (more…)

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Credit to: http://www.gardenofwales.org.uk/

The Garden is rapidly becoming an internationally recognised centre for plant sciences research and is helping to train the next generation of plant

An interactive green technology trail featuring a range of micro-scale renewable energy demonstrators – from a mini wind turbine to pedal powered machines – is to be created at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

The news was announced today by Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, during a visit to the Garden with Professor John Harries, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales.

It is seen as a significant boost to extend and develop the Garden’s educational work linked to biodiversity, energy and the environment. (more…)

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Bee numbers have been declining since the late 1960s, studies show

Credit to: BBC News

By Mark Kinver

Science and environment reporter, BBC News

Gardens are able to sustain a greater number of bumblebee nests than farmed land, a study involving genetic analysis and modeling has suggested.

DNA samples were taken from two species by UK researchers in order to build up a picture of nest density and how land use affects the creatures.

Previous studies have shown that bumblebee numbers are declining in western Europe, Asia and North America.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The team said that the importance of gardens tied in with the findings of earlier studies, which suggested the habitats provided a stronghold for the creatures “in an otherwise impoverished agricultural environment”.

They added: “Our data suggests that the positive influence of gardens on bumblebee populations can spill over at least 1km into surrounding farmland.”

Bee numbers have been declining since the late 1960s, studies show

Lead author Dave Goulson, head of the University of Stirling’s School of Biological and Environmental Science, explained the reason for the study: “If you are a conservation biologist, you want to know how many animals you have got left and whether they are increasing or decreasing.”

“Yet bumblebees are a bit odd because they are social insects, so you could go out into a meadow and count the number of bees you saw.

“But that would not really give you an idea on the population size because it could be that the bees you saw were worker bees, which where sterile, and would never have any offspring of their own.

“So what you need to do is to count nests, because within each nest is basically one single, female breeding bee – the queen. From a population biologist’s perspective, the population size is the number of nests.”

Professor Goulson explained that the nests were very hard to find: “You can walk through a meadow and not see any but you know they must be there.

“As a result, we have ended up with this rather elaborate way of counting the nest by catching the workers and DNA fingerprinting them, allowing you to work out which ones are sisters (all the workers from one nest are deemed sisters, as they are all offspring from the queen).

“Counting the sisterhoods gives you an idea of how many nests you have within the bee-flying range of where you are standing.”

Tongues and toes

The team gathered DNA information on two of the UK’s six most widespread species: the common carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) and the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius).

“Bumblebees and other bees are the main pollinators of lots of wild flowers and quite a lot of our crops”

Quote Professor Dave Goulson University of Stirling

“One of the things that distinguish bumblebees are the length of their tongues and this determines what plants and crops they visit,” Professor Goulson told BBC News.


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Green Winter Garden


The concept of a greenhouse is fairly simple. It allows in the radiant heat from the sun, but then traps most of it in the greenhouse so that the interior stays warmer, many times much warmer, than the outside air. However, for those who are looking to install a greenhouse or who are just beginning to work in one, there are many things to consider. The materials used and the way plants behave in the greenhouse are among those things that beginning gardeners will need to consider.


The main function of a greenhouse is to provide heat and serve as a place to raise plants in an environment where they often would not be able to survive. Often, this is the way flowers and vegetables are raised when they would normally be out of season. It is also a way to have plants for personal use and enjoyment.


In the past, there was only one way to build greenhouses and that involved using glass. While glass is still an option for greenhouse construction, it is often so prohibitively expensive to the casual gardener that other materials must be used. Polyethylene sheeting, fiberglass and other types of plastics are often common choices for greenhouses. Plastic sheeting is the cheapest, but is also the least durable of materials. (more…)

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