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Green building professionals from across the nation will converge at Fort Mason Center on October 2nd during the West Coast Green Conference to brainstorm design strategies and practical ideas for the continued evolution of Fort Mason Center as a leading environmentally sustainable destination. As part of a planned rehabilitation of Pier 2, Fort Mason Center plans to adopt LEED Silver standards and install a large-scale solar array, which will provide for 80% of energy consumption. The Slam will provide a medium for development of a solar conversion plan by the leading solar engineers in the Bay Area.

This ‘meeting of the minds’ is an opportunity for Fort Mason Center to benefit from the design leaders assembled at West Coast Green and to harvest the intellectual capital of its visionary participants. The Slam is set to involve West Coast Green participants and advisors, including Eric Corey Freed, Gil Friend, David Johnston, Sim Van der Ryn, Bill Reed, The education director from PG&E, and several team members at Sherwood Design Engineers.

The collaboration with West Coast Green will strengthen Fort Mason Center’s role as a model of sustainability and help to generate additional synergy with other partners including Long Now Foundation, the National Park Service, San Francisco Conservation Corps, Zip Car, Eat Well, LMS Architects, and Presidio School of Management.

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Chartwell continues to be a leading example of quality green building.

Here’s the write up from AIA, as well as the complete list of all Top Ten Green Projects 2009.

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We’re very pleased to announce that Sherwood Design Engineers is bringing sustainable engineering to Boston. We are expanding our East Coast presence with the opening of our newest office in Cambridge, just two blocks from Harvard Square.

To celebrate our new office, we invite you to join us at our 2nd annual Greenbuild Afterparty in conjunction with Building Green, Harley Ellis Devereaux, and others.

The gathering will be Tuesday evening, the night of Member Day and the night before the conference officially starts. It will start at 8pm, to allow folks to attend other events first and/or to get into town.

The venue is the Artists for Humanity Epicenter building, a LEED Platinum space that houses the AFH program for teen arts education. The space is a great party space, near the convention center and the subway.

So join us at our Greenbuild afterparty:

Tuesday November 18th. 8:00 – 11:00 pm
Artist for Humanity’s Epicenter Building
100 West Second St. Boston, MA 02127

Please also come visit us at our booth at the Greenbuild Conference – #2439 – learn about our latest projects and tell us about yours. Our booth will open November 18th at 5:30 and close November 20th at 6pm.

And stop by our new Cambridge office:

Sherwood Design Engineers, Cambridge
1280 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
main [617] 354.9800

For more information visit us online:
www.sherwoodengineers.com

Sherwood Design Engineers – Now in Boston and Ready for Your Business!

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  • Amtrak is getting record ridership as fuel costs on planes and for cars continue to rise, but it will be hard to keep up with increased demand since the infrastructure to build new cars isn’t able to ramp up quickly since its been deteriorating.
  • LEED homes are now the latest trend and bragging right from the rich and famous out in California. But their green homes probably aren’t as small as most peoples.
  • Cheap air lines have lead to dramatically increased air travel within Europe, mostly to coastal towns with a resort industry springing up near the airports. But this is causing global warming issues that will take a long time to undo.
  • Families are actually using the Xebra electric car for neighborhood errands, spending $10/month to charge the car. But it will be hard to avoid attracting notice in one of them.
  • Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, sees himself as an environmentalist. If he can only get the other environmentalists to see his side.
  • Obama supports ethanol as a way to help national security by decreasing revenues to oil rich but hostile nations.
  • EPA may reduce the required ethanol yields to ease corn and other crop prices, as a significant amount of farm land has been harmed, destroying this years crops, along the Mississippi.
  • The state of Florida is going to buy US Sugar, with the intention of using their land to help restore the Everglades, creating the largest ecological restoration project in the country.
  • A never ending stream of plastic trash is inundating areas like northern Alaska or some islands in Hawaii. And cleanup isn’t going to solve the problems – the only way to fix the situation is to stop allowing trash into the oceans in the first place.
  • Another power strip has been developed that hooks up to your computer monitor via USB so that you can manage the power controls of each of your outlets on the strip. See how much power you’re saving as well.
  • The New York Times writes an overview of the science behind stream restoration and what has and hasn’t worked.
  • More coverage of the downswing of suburbia as a 1-hr commute each way and the cost of heating a large home start to add up.
  • The Supreme Court ruled to cut punitive damages against Exxon for the Valdez oil spill to $500 million from $5 billion, since the compensatory damages totaled ~$500 million and punitive damages are generally on the same order.
  • Zipcar has a promotion in Chicago called Low Car Diet where if you agree to forgo using a car for one month this summer, they will give you a free 1-yr membership, a transit pass and driving credit. Maybe this plan will spread to other cities?
  • California plans to ramp up programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of reaching 1990 levels in 12 years. Stipulations include utilities required to generate 1/3 of electricity from renewable resources and building high speed rail lines.
  • Hawaii has passed a law requiring all new homes to have solar water heaters, with a few exceptions based on site feasibility.
  • New York City passed a law that goes into effect on January 1st, 2009 to provide a property tax credit of up to $100,000 for homeowners who install green roofs on at least 50% of their available rooftop.
  • The Bureau of Land Management has put a freeze on building new solar energy plants on their land, which is some of the most suitable land for such projects with huge tracts of land in the desert in the southwest.
  • Bird, a mini-chain of boutiques in Brooklyn, is in the process of building a new shop. The owner has been documenting the process, which this week includes the breakdown on demolition quantities as they try for LEED certification.
  • Home Depot will start recycling CFL light bulbs at all stores. Its been in place at their Canadian stores since November of last year.

A photo of the sorted demolition piles at Bird.

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  • Radiohead and their Carbon Neutral World Tour have pushed for venues to go green, including the Daydream festival in Barcelona that features an extensive recycling program and reusable cups.
  • LA Department of Public Works dropped 400,000 black plastic balls into one of their reservoirs, creating a UV reflecting cover for the reservoir. DPW hopes that this will prevent a reaction between bromide and choloride from taking place, thereby preventing the carcinogen bromate from forming.
  • Seven things you thought you could recycle, but can’t. I guess I’d better stop putting my recycling in the bin in plastic bags. (via Archinect)
  • A new washing mashine technology may be available by next year that uses 2% of the water and energy of conventional washing machines. The lack of water also reduces the need for a dryer.
  • Governors Island in NYC started their free bike share program, which will take place every Friday until October 4th. They will also be available on the weekends for a fee.
  • Trees actually modify their temperature so that no matter what the climate, their leaves are usually at an average temperature of 70o F when they are performing photosynthesis.
  • New York City gets its first LEED certified school with the expansion of Poly Prep in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
  • The US accounts for half of the golf courses in the world, which take up an area the size of Delaware. With water crises arising, golf courses will need to go green, using more drought resistant seeds and recycled water.
  • American car makers are not keeping up with demand for more fuel efficient cars in the US, despite the fact that they make fuel efficient cars for distribution in Europe that aren’t available here.
  • County buildings in the heart of coal country may switch to natural gas heating systems, since the system would save the county a significant amount of money.
  • Modern turboprop airplanes are much more fuel efficient than traditional jets, leading more major airlines to use them, especially for short hop and smaller market flights.
  • As more people turn to public transportation with rising gas costs, there is a chance to rethink the nation’s transportation system.
  • Hypermilers are drivers who try to squeeze out every last drop of gas from their car by modifying their driving techniques to improve efficiency.
  • ASCE’s annual report card on infrastructure shows that number of unsafe dams has increased 33% over the last decade.

Photo of plastic balls being dumped into Ivanhoe Reservoir by Ifran Kahn of the LA Times

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  • LA looks into recycling treated wastewater for use as drinking water, via an aquifer, like Orange County just started doing.
  • USGBC rolls out their new LEED 2009 rating system for public comment on Monday.
  • PlaNYC 2030 may involve legislation to require large commercial buildings to provide secure bike parking on or near the premises.
  • A DOE study thinks its possible to increase wind generated electricity from 1% of total energy production to 20% by 2020.
  • Talk of the Nation covers the Great Lakes, and the protection efforts going into preserving 1/5th of the world’s surface fresh water.
  • The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is installing a stop gap measure to deal with combined sewer overflow to the East River by installing a balloon in the sewer pipe to hold sewage during an intense rain event to prevent it from flowing into the East River and the New York Harbor.
  • The Bust administration has listed polar bears as threatened species, due to decline in Arctic sea ice from global warming. It will be very interesting to see what law suits pop up because of this. The World Wildlife Foundation could be suing coal plants for causing global warming.
  • Going green is the next big thing for restaurants, as the Green Restaurant Association drums up a lot of participants.
  • Spain is building two 50 MW solar thermal power plants. Solar power makes a lot of sense for Spain where most of the power demand is proportional to air conditioning needs, so the sunnier it gets, the more power is generated.
  • Some facts about European sprawl show that sprawl isn’t necessarily an unavoidable byproduct of affluence, so there is hope for American cities as well.
  • Rising gas prices are leading to significant increases in public transportation ridership in the US, particularly in the west and south.

A photo of a crowded NYC subway train from Saw Lady’s Blog

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This week we welcome…..APRIL!

Which of course means Earth Day, and over the years has grown into something more like an entire Earth Month. So even though I’m snowed in trying to come home from an amazing week at the Aspen Environment Forum, I’m looking forward to bright sunny days and a whole host of Green Events.

We start with a class on Organic Architecture taught by Eric Corey-Freed at Berkeley Extension. Wednesday evenings until May.

And then, like every First Wednesday, it’s time for San Francisco Green Drinks at Varnish.

Think Outside the Debris Box
Thursday, April 3. 5:30 – 7:00pm
Bay Area LEED Users Group (BayLUG) shows us how to Optimize Jobsite Waste Diversion and get extra LEED points.

“GREEN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS – THE FUTURE IS NOW”
Thursday, April 3rd. 4 – 6pm
Sustainable Novato assembles top green building experts from industry and government discussing latest trends, technologies and opportunities in commercial-sector green building.

Book Signing: “The Bridge at the End of the World”
Thursday
, April 3rd. 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Commonwealth ClubAuthor James Gustave Speth, Co-Founder of the NRDC reads from his new book, “The Bridge at the End of the World.” Speth believes that environmentalists like himself are simply unable and ill-equipped to keep up with the current degradation of our planet, and argues that our obsession with consumption and GDP growth has created unprecedented risks not only to our environment but also our quality of life and world security.

Emerging Green Builders HAPPY HOUR!
Thursday, April 3rd. 6:00pm Dada SF Studio, 86 2nd Street, San Francisco
EGB will be hosting a networking session in which we can learn more about each other. This is designed as a place to support one another, and share inspiration in our dedication to working towards a greener built environment.

Also, the program for the 2008 Natural Talent Design Competition will be announced!

Soap Box Lecture: From Stonehenge to Shadow Puppets to Electric Works
Saturday, April 5. 10:00pm. Bernal Bubbles
Lecture by Richard Lang, a visual artist, writer and principal of Electric Works, a fine art printmaking studio and gallery in San Francisco.

Heads Up Next Week:

The Green California Summit
April 7th – 9th. Sacramento.
Over 250 exhibits, including a model green building and a green auto mall, and dozens of classes and seminars on a range of essential subjects.

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