Tag Archives: green building

WBCSD’s Urban Infrastructure Initiative: Strategic Collaboration Between Cities and Business


New models developed to help urban planners engage business on sustainability.

Addressing the complex problems of the 21st century requires a new solutions toolbox. Innovation will be absolutely essential and business will lead the way – not just in technology, but also in building new models of collaboration that harness leadership and collective problem-solving to drive effective action.

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A City Within a Forest: The Evolution of Green Building

Vertical-Forest-by-Stefano-Boeri-Architetti06Visually stunning and environmentally progressive condo buildings and office towers are appearing in Europe and Asia in recent years, including the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Hearst Tower in New York, and Urban Cactus in Rotterdam. Corporations and condo developers take note … whoever construct the first of this type of building in Canada can really make a statement. I talk to Andrew McAllan of Oxford Properties to see when that might happen.

The next generation of consumers increasingly demand sustainable practices. Combining environmental initiatives with stunning design, builders worldwide are thinking outside the box. In Milan, the Bosco Verticale is a vertical forest, housing 400 residential units and 900 trees of three to six meters tall. Architect Stefano Boeri anticipates a 5% increase to construction costs for the additional structure required to support the plants.

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Adaptation and Resiliency In the Face of Climate Change at VERGE

Amy_Seidman_Noble_ProfitWhen looking at the landscape of climate change in the literal sense, we are faced with the advent of severe weather cycles, destructive storms like Hurricane Sandy and rising sea levels threatening to consume vast areas. City and state planners have their work cut out and are using technology to discover future crisis scenarios and their solutions.

At VERGE in San Francisco, techniques using digital mapping were shown by the City of Vancouver as an effective means to identify where to address climate change. They were able to use technology to map heat problem spots (heat exhaustion or heat stroke is a rising cause of death in urban areas). By being able to “see” scenarios, the City of Vancouver was able to strategically plant thousands of trees to offset temperature rise and curb overheating.

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The Complex Issue of Green Building Certifications: Is LEED No Longer Relevant?

Green BuildingCertification schemes have grown in popularity as businesses race to build a profile as good corporate citizens. But, as recent developments in the construction industry suggest, this approach to corporate social responsibility may be more complicated, more costly and less effective than it needs to be.

Growing doubts have surfaced about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, hitherto the gold standard of sustainable building for everything from warehouses and factories to office buildings and apartments. So successful has LEED certification been that it is has become the backbone for most municipal building standards across the country.

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