bicycle

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Moving Beyond the Autobahn

With the recent opening of a ‘bike highway,’ Germany takes the lead in Europe to increase the number of bicycle commuters

Posted on Mar 21 2016 by Christian Schwägerl

Last November, politicians, environmentalists, and bicycling enthusiasts gathered in Mülheim in Germany’s Ruhr Valley — one of Europe’s major industrial centers — to open the first 11 kilometers (7 miles) of a planned 100-kilometer bicycle highway that will run from Hamm to Duisburg.


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Image Credits:

  1. Valdosta-Lowndes MPO / CC / Flickr

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BuildingGreen Names Top 10 Products

This year's list includes a variety of products that save energy or water and do less environmental damage than conventional products

Posted on Nov 19 2015 by Scott Gibson

Two kinds of office chairs, a clothes dryer, bicycle storage equipment, and high-performance panelized homes all found a place on BuildingGreen's Top Ten product list for 2016.

The publisher of Environmental Building News and GreenSpec annually recognizes products that it believes "transform the design and construction industry" by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy and water. This is the 14th year that BuildingGreen has made the awards.

Here's this year's list:


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: BuildingGreen

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Keeping Green on the Right Track

‘Project information creep’ can waylay a designer’s original vision

Posted on Oct 28 2013 by Vera Novak

Green building programs have a tendency to focus on the means rather than the end, to the point of not even identifying a comprehensive end goal. Two examples illustrate my point.

The first example is a bit like the game of “gossip” or “telephone” that we used to play around the campfire. You know, one person whispers something into the ear of the next person, who whispers what they thought they heard to the next person, until it has gone around the circle. Invariably, the final wording is absurdly different from the original.


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Image Credits:

  1. Rosalind Creasy
  2. bikekitchen.org

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What I’m Hoping for in the New Year

Among my wishes: a carbon tax, increased awareness of resilience, and more of us leaving the car at home

Posted on Jan 3 2013 by Alex Wilson

With snow gently falling as the holiday season winds down, I find myself reflecting on the New Year and what we might hope for. World peace of course, and solving the poverty conundrum would be great.

But what about energy and the environment? Here are some thoughts:


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Getting Around Without Fossil Fuels

While challenging, it is possible to meet our transportation needs while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels

Posted on May 17 2012 by Alex Wilson

Last week I laid out some arguments on why we should wean ourselves from fossil fuels, and offered some suggestions of how we could go about doing that in our homes — by superinsulating, switching to oil- and gas-free heating, and converting to renewable electricity. Those steps certainly aren’t easy or inexpensive, but there’s a pretty clear path for doing so.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Resilient Communities

The path to resilience is far easier with cohesive communities that plan wisely

Posted on Feb 9 2012 by Alex Wilson

In this ninth installment of my ten-part series on resilient design, I'm focusing beyond individual buildings to the community scale. Following a natural disaster or other problem that results in widespread power outages or interruptions in vehicle access or fuel supplies, people need to work together. We saw that throughout Vermont with tropical storm Irene last year, when some communities were cut off for a week or more.


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Image Credits:

  1. Dan Burden
  2. Alex Wilson

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Back from Sabbatical

A 2,000-mile bike trip through the Southwest kindles a focus on ‘resilient design’

Posted on Dec 7 2011 by Alex Wilson

Back in March I reported that I would be taking leave from this blog as I embarked on an eight-month sabbatical. With support from the Hanley Award I received last year, I was able to take an unpaid leave from BuildingGreen for some rejuvenation, reflection, research, and writing.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Houses Versus Cars

When trimming your energy budget, don’t forget transportation

Posted on Nov 27 2009 by Martin Holladay

You’re striving to minimize your carbon footprintAmount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person, community, industry, or other entity contributes to the atmosphere through energy use, transportation, and other means. , and your house is energy efficient. Through diligent conservation efforts, you’ve greatly reduced the amount of natural gas and electricity required to run your home.

Bravo! But how does your residential energy budget compare to your transportation energy budget? You may be happy to brag about your low utility bills — but if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a little ashamed of your gasoline budget.


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Image Credits:

  1. Tom Burke

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Where You Build May Matter More Than What You Build

The transportation-energy intensity—how much energy is used by people who commute to a building—can often be more energy than the building uses itself

Posted on Sep 2 2009 by Alex Wilson

One of the things I like most about my seven-mile bicycle commute into work is the chance it affords me to just think about stuff in an unfocused way. When I drive to work (more often than I’d like) I usually have the radio on, letting the “Morning Edition” reporters direct my thoughts.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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