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Old August 24th, 2009, 01:36 AM   #61
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Mormon Conference Centre Salt Lake City

This large building's roof almost covering a full 10 acre city block was landscaped to resemble the mountain meadows of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains. The main auditorium seats 21,000.

Completed in 2000.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #62
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 06:45 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by japanese001 View Post
OMG hahaha
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #64
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Green roof takes root at Eglinton West
4 August 2009
The Toronto Star

In a fresh bid to green the Red Rocket, the TTC has carpeted the roof of its Eglinton West station with an 835-square-metre garden.

The new strip of green offers transit users and motorists a more pastoral view at the Eglinton end of the Allen Expressway.

But the mix of flowering, drought-resistant plants called sedums comes with some invisible benefits too, says Toronto Transit Commission chair Adam Giambrone.

The green roof, the first of many planned for the transit system, will reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality and extend the roof life of the station because the garden protects it from weathering.

Eglinton West was selected for the TTC's first green roof because the station's leaky old lid needed replacement.

A green roof at Victoria Park station, currently under renovation, will be about three times the size of this one. Besides green roofs, solar panels and cool roofs, which reflect the sun, are being considered for the Dufferin station renovation and five new car houses the TTC is planning for its Transit City streetcar lines, Giambrone said.

Green roofs cost more to install but can double the life expectancy of the roof to 40-50 years, according to Jonathan Wilder, the TTC's roofing consultant.

The Eglinton West project, which cost about $850,000, includes about 5,000 plant trays laid out in evenly spaced rows of rectangles, framed by gravel walkways. Installation took five days.

A conventional roof replacement would have cost about $500,000, according to transit officials.

Sedum is a good choice for rooftops because it requires so little water, about 2.5 centimetres a month, and no mowing, said Kees Govers. His company, LiveRoof, supplied the plants, which are grown in modular trays that fit together to create the roof's parterre design.

The plants lower the temperature by several degrees for about a metre above the growth, helping to reduce the urban heat island effect, a dome of hot air that builds up over cities.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #65
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Gardens in the sky combat climate change
9 September 2009
The Courier-Mail

COVERING walls and rooftops with plants, grasses, trees and vegetables could be one way for southeast Queensland to combat climate change and spiralling energy bills.

So says Geoff Wilson, the Brisbane-based founder of Green Roofs Australia who has been granted $100,000 from Brisbane City Council to organise a world congress for living roofs and walls to be held in the city in 2012.

Now Mr Wilson wants the city to follow in the footsteps of Toronto, which this year passed laws to force developers of all large buildings - both commercial and residential - to devote a minimum of 20 per cent of their roof space to greenery. Similar laws already apply in Tokyo.

``These roofs have huge community benefit,'' he said.

``They can help control storm water and if 8 per cent of all the roofs in Brisbane were green, then we could lower temperatures by two degrees.''

Green roofs can be split into two broad types, known as extensive and intensive.

Extensive roofs are covered in greenery and are not designed to be walked on. Intensive roofs are areas, such as the tops of office blocks, which resemble gardens in the sky.

Mr Wilson is co-ordinating a project to build a Green Infrastructure Educational Shed, with a demonstration green roof, on land in Carindale, scheduled for completion early next year. Four similar projects, also in southeast Queensland, are being discussed.

Brad Walker, of green roof and walls company Elmich, said there were now ways to retrofit traditional metal roofs with green roofs.

``With a green roof you get better insulation, reduce storm water run-off and create a habitat,'' he said. ``They also have a cooling effect on the spaces outside the building.''

Councillor Amanda Cooper said there were ``great benefits . . . but the building industry needs to be supportive''.

Take part in the latest environment debate on Graham Readfearn's green blog: couriermail.com.au/greenblog
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #66
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Green walls, with similar benefits to green roofs, take root in environmental building design
12 October 2009

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The next big thing in green building design might be to turn an existing idea on its side. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. recently installed a green wall the size of two tennis courts on one side of its headquarters.

Like green roofs -- their perpendicular counterparts -- green walls are covered in vegetation and provide the benefits of natural insulation and removal of air pollutants. PNC, which provides banking and wealth management services, estimates it will be 25 percent cooler behind the wall than the ambient summer temperatures.

Green walls also can be visually engaging.

The PNC wall features more than 15,000 ferns, sedums, brass buttons and other plants that create a swirling pattern of varying hues of green above the company's logo. They are divided among hundreds of 2-by-2-foot aluminum panels that were anchored onto the building's frame after part of the granite facade was removed.

"We think it's the right thing to do for our community, for our customers and our shareholders," said Gary Saulson, head of corporate real estate for PNC. "We wanted to add greenery to an area that didn't have any. ... We really view the green wall as public art."

Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a Toronto industry association, said interest in green walls is growing, though the group does not keep statistics. He estimates green roof installations have increased at about 30 percent a year over five years.

Green Living Technologies LLC, of Rochester, N.Y., designed the wall at PNC. Chief Executive George Irwin said the company also has installed walls in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

PNC bills its green wall as the largest in North America. The wall covers nearly 2,400 square feet. PNC officials declined to give a precise estimate of its cost. Irwin said that on average green walls cost about $100 to $125 a square foot.

The structure at PNC requires only 15 minutes a week of watering during peak growing season -- less in winter -- provided through the building's plumbing system. PNC has a contract with the installer to prune the plants and replace dead ones if necessary.

Joanne Westphal, a landscape architecture professor at Michigan State University and part of the school's Green Roof Research Program, said the biggest benefit to green walls is their ability to help cool buildings through shading. They also help capture rainwater and release it more slowly into the atmosphere and stormwater systems.

Green Living says also that each of the roughly 600 panels at the PNC headquarters can offset the carbon output of one person a day.

Green Living got into the market several years ago after trying to devise a solution for a customer who wanted a green roof on a steeply pitched building. The walls can also be installed inside buildings.

Irwin said green walls aren't exactly a new idea: The Romans planted grape vines along building walls, resulting, he said, in faster growing and sweeter grapes for wine. The structures are also prevalent in Europe, where modern-day green roofs first took off.

Near ground level of the building where PNC's wall is located, at 1 PNC Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh, a small panel holds some of the plants and a plaque tells passers-by about the wall.

"I think they want to believe it's real," PNC's Saulson said, "and it is."
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #67
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You don't see a lot of green roofs in Hong Kong
Water treatment plant

Most 'green' roofs are fake cuz the climate isn't good enough
Proud to be a Hong Kong Canadian
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:46 PM   #68
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Start Small and Think Long-Term: Saving Energy
22 November 2009
The New York Times

NEW YORKERS get to feel smug about a lot of things. We have great food, arts and culture, the Yankees. We can also feel good about our relatively low use of energy, thanks to public transportation and our small living spaces. But sometimes -- sometimes -- we fail to notice where there's room for improvement.

Thirty-nine percent of New York City's greenhouse gases come from residential buildings. And there are New Yorkers who have looked hard at their homes, in buildings of all ages and sizes, and found ways to make them more energy efficient. Others are watching their operating costs rise (along with global temperatures), and want to know what to do about it.

''With new developments, it's easy,'' says Marc Zuluaga, a senior engineer at Steven Winter Associates, a consulting firm that works on energy issues. ''But in almost any building, there are low-hanging opportunities.''

Every building is different, and predicting the return on an investment in efficiency can be tricky. Older buildings are not necessarily bigger energy hogs than their newer neighbors, and some buildings that went up in the last 10 years should be ashamed. But the size and age of a structure can tell an expert where to start looking for savings.

''You have to start with conservation,'' Mr. Zuluaga said. ''Once you squeeze every last ounce of efficiency out of a building -- until you can't make it more efficient without knocking it down and building a new one -- then it makes sense to add solar.''

To find out where energy savings might be found in your building, an energy audit is in order. These are available from private consultants or utility companies like Con Edison.

A good place to begin is to make sure that all systems are working as efficiently as they can.

''If you have the right thermostat in place but the temperature sensor is in the wrong place, that can have a huge impact on energy performance,'' said Jeffrey Perlman, the president of Bright Power, an energy consulting group. ''But it doesn't cost a lot to fix.''

From there, you can get more ambitious: you can try to balance the temperature.

''Generally, buildings are heated to the tenant who's complaining the most because they're cold,'' Mr. Perlman said. ''To be more energy-efficient, you want the whole building to get to be roughly the same temperature at roughly the same time. A well-balanced system can work wonders. And it can save money as well.''

Last year, Mr. Perlman worked with Carl Wallman, who owns a 19-unit rental building on East 70th Street in Manhattan.

''For years,'' Mr. Wallman said, ''it really got me to see windows open in the building and the heat blasting away. Surely, I'm interested in the savings, but really having the building run more energy efficiently was important.''

Mr. Perlman's team made some small fixes, like adjusting the controls on the boiler and installing a new thermostat for the ground floor, which had its own heating system and was always cold.

In the 2007-8 heating season, the building used 11 percent less energy than it had the previous year, before the changes. Mr. Wallman spent almost $19,000 on energy bills for all of 2007; if the tweaks had been in place then, he would have saved about $2,000.

''These are small buildings,'' Mr. Wallman said, ''so the savings are not going to be in the tens of thousands.''

But, he pointed out, New York is home to thousands of small buildings. ''These little buildings are going to make a big difference.''

Mr. Perlman charged about $1,500 for the initial energy audit, $1,200 for boiler upgrades and $500 annually for continuing monitoring and maintenance. And with savings of just over $2,000 a year, the project should pay for itself in less than two years.

An enormous amount of energy is spent heating buildings, and an enormous amount is wasted when someone throws open a window to cool off a boiling apartment.

Another way to bring building temperatures under control is to regulate the heat in individual rooms. A gadget called a thermostatic radiator valve attaches to some steam and hot-water radiators and automatically senses the temperature of the room. If it gets too toasty, the valve clamps down.

These valves were installed in a 102-unit co-op building on Fourth Street in the East Village about 10 years ago with the help of Henry Gifford, an energy consultant in New York City. The co-op's yearly consumption of oil has decreased by 15 percent.

''I don't think it was so much an energy conservation thing at that time,'' said Tom Ostrowski, the president of the co-op board. ''It wasn't quite in vogue at that point. But it was just a more efficient way to do it.''

In the years since, however, Mr. Ostrowski's co-op has looked into a solar hot water system and batted around the idea of replacing all the windows and insulating the building. All of these options were deemed too expensive.

So, for now, the co-op is replacing windows with more efficient models one by one, and it has a plan in place to install motion-sensing lights in interior stairwells and trash rooms. But at the moment, No. 1 on the agenda is to finish repair work on the building facade.

''If I was an individual homeowner, I could say, 'I don't care if I make my money back on solar panels,' '' Mr. Ostrowski said. ''But I can't. I can't say, 'Hey, one hundred other people! Follow my dream!' ''

Other buildings have had more success getting larger projects under way.

The Winston Churchill, a large postwar co-op at 2500 Johnson Avenue in Riverdale in the Bronx, is making 12 upgrades, including adjustments to the air-conditioning system, ventilation improvements and new lighting.

To cover the cost, the building secured a $1.695 million loan, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority brought down the interest rate from 6.5 percent to zero percent with a payment of $336,122 to the lender. This program, the Multifamily Performance Program, is not currently accepting new applications while it re-examines the criterion used to evaluate projects. The authority says it will resume the program but does not have a target date.

''We had been working under the assumption that the energy savings would be such that the loan could be paid back by those savings,'' said Steven M. Hochberg, the board president. ''It looks like that is, in fact, going to be the case.''

So far, the building has completed 5 of the 12 planned upgrades. It has, for example, switched to natural gas from No. 6 oil, an extraordinarily dirty fuel. ''It's like the garbage of oil,'' said Mark Singh, the building superintendent at the Winston Churchill.

The co-op has also installed a new mechanism for making hot water, separating that system from the one that generates energy to heat the air.

''Mark would have to run his large boilers all summer long to make hot water for the building,'' said Michael Scorrano, the managing director of the En-Power Group, which is overseeing the project for the co-op. ''It's just way oversized for what you need.''

These new systems were installed this summer, so the building has yet to go through a full heating season. But Mr. Scorrano estimates that in the summer the building will experience a 50 percent reduction in fuel use, which had cost about $700,000 per year. In the winter, he expects that reduction will be closer to 15 percent. The cost of the new hot water system for the 333-unit building was $300,000.

''You read a lot of articles on saving the environment,'' Mr. Hochberg said. ''But most people are only going to save the environment if they can save some money in the process. And it seems to have come together.''

For some people, however, making their homes as green as can be is a goal in itself.

Stephen Vernon is the president of a 112-unit co-op in Inwood called Nagle Apartments that has tried hard to become more environmentally responsible. The residents of the three-building complex started simply about five years ago by upgrading the lighting with motion sensors and more efficient bulbs. Then they moved on to larger projects.

''Our goal,'' Mr. Vernon said, ''was to do green projects that made fiscal sense.''

Almost all of the windows were replaced and new radiator valves were installed, at a cost of about $860,000. To cover the costs of these and other upgrades, the building took out a two-part loan and the development authority brought down the interest, leaving the residents with an average rate of 4.31 percent.

Through a combination of selling apartments that the co-op owned, interest on investments (it owns some Treasury bonds), and energy savings, the improvements were made without an assessment or maintenance increase.

These days, the building's boiler spends a great deal of time resting comfortably on the lowest setting, and gas consumption has decreased by around 40 percent.

Now, the building is looking into putting in a green roof -- layers of plantings and soil.

Green roofs keep the top of a building cool and provide a layer of insulation. They also retain rainwater, which can help keep the city's sewer system from being overwhelmed in a heavy rain. But some consultants say that you'll get more bang for your buck keeping the roof cool with white or silver paint and that a building will be better insulated with traditional materials like fiberglass. Green roofs are, however, much nicer to look at -- and hang out on -- than the alternative.

Another initiative that the co-op is undertaking is environmentally friendly renovations. As rental apartments become vacant, the co-op makes them over for sale. It uses recycled materials where possible, installs energy-efficient appliances and decorates with low- or nontoxic paints and finishes. One of these apartments, a 900-square-foot two-bedroom, is on the market for $359,000.

The sales agent, Matthew Bizzarro of Stein-Perry Real Estate, who also lives in the building, says that he has priced it a bit higher than comparable apartments in the area. Traffic has been good, he says, and has included people who say the green factor appealed to them.

Some energy consultants are skeptical of renovations that focus on using recycled materials rather than the best materials for long-term energy savings.

''It's always good to use paints that are low in volatile organic compounds,'' Mr. Zuluaga of Steven Winter Associates said. ''Where I do sort of take issue with those types of projects is when the focus is on recycling rather than using materials to make a better building.''

At this point, it's hard to say whether people will pay a premium for a home that's been retrofitted to be green.

''I think over time there will be a modest premium associated with this because of the lower operating costs,'' said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal group Miller Samuel. ''But right now the reason it's hard to discern whether there's a premium is because it's usually one component of an extensive renovation.''

Lisa Detwiler, a broker at the Corcoran Group, has a listing for a property that matches that description: a town house in Brooklyn Heights. The owner, Doug Mcdonald, gutted it and then put it back together with energy-efficiency in mind.

The house is on the market for $5.95 million, a lot of money for a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. But Mr. Mcdonald says that he is confident his home will command a premium, in part because he has been able to charge $4,000 a month for its two-bedroom garden apartment, more than comparable places in the neighborhood.

He said he got that price because tenants liked the idea of living in a place that is well insulated and low in volatile organic compounds, chemicals commonly found in paints and finishes.

Throughout the brownstone, the lights, windows and electrical system are all designed to conserve as much energy as possible. The materials used in construction were recycled wherever possible, and the roof is painted white to keep it cool.

The house is also wired for solar power, but Mr. Mcdonald said that while he expected the price of solar panels to come down soon, the economics did not yet make sense to him. And before you worry about making your own energy, he added, you have to be sure you're wasting as little as possible.

Two of the biggest energy savers in the town house involve temperature. Each floor of the five-story house has its own heating and cooling system, so only the areas that need adjustment get a blast of warm or cold.

The insulation is also an energy-saver. Mr. Mcdonald used a spray-on foam called Icynene and a fluffy blue material made from recycled denim called Bonded Logic, and says he usually heats just the bottom floor and lets the warm air rise.

The electric bill for four stories of the five-story brownstone averages $183 per month -- the rental unit is metered separately. And the gas bill, which includes heat and hot water, averages out to $83 per month.

''Waste reduction should be part of the purpose of good design,'' Mr. Mcdonald said. ''It's like in golf: you don't want to waste any energy at all. It's a long sport, and anything you waste ends up coming back and working against you.''

Because You Can't Knit the Building a Sweater

Making an old building more efficient can be a daunting prospect. Here are a few tips:

One place to find energy savings is to avoid venting out more air than necessary -- the boiler will just have to work extra hard to replace the temperate air. A leaky elevator shaft, for example, can act as a chimney, sucking warm air up and out of the building. And in many postwar buildings, ventilation and exhaust fans suck more air out of the building than necessary.

An important part of long-term conservation is using equipment properly. The Thomas Shortman Training Fund, the arm of a building workers' union that provides classes to its members, offers a 40-hour class for superintendents on energy-efficient building management (www.1000supers.com).

Simple, inexpensive adjustments to consider:

Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.

Motion-sensor light switches and efficient bulbs.

Thermostatic radiator valves, which keep rooms from overheating by regulating the heat coming out of radiators.

White or silver paint for the roof to keep it cool.

Insulation on exposed pipes.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #69
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Hi guys! I absolutely recommend the green roof portal http://www.greenroofs.gr Pls also visit the corresponding fb page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-...e/137225421299
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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #70
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It is now possible to download the Parrahub model in sketchup 3d for a closer inspection of the concept with its community garden on the roof and the 24 inter suburb mini subways at the base of the 15,000 space carpark.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #71
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New building to get Juneau's first green roof
2 August 2010

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A transportation center under construction in downtown Juneau is getting a first for the city: a green, living roof.

Green roofs contain plants as part of the structure.

Landscape architect Christopher Mertl said the idea is to make something attractive and environmentally sensitive.

Trays of sedums and native Alaska sea thrift cover about 1,000 square feet of the roof.

Mertl said the plants could survive heavy rains, droughts and heat conditions without caretaking. He says the plants would be relatively independent and save in maintenance costs.

Juneau project manager Skye Stekoll said the city fully supports the idea of a green roof.

"We pick and choose what elements go into a project, and we figured this will be something that everyone around here will appreciate," he said.

Mertl said he wanted the plants to include artistic and cultural value. So he designed each side of the roof after Tlingit patterns found in basketry that would tell stories appropriate to their setting. The square trays were ideal for forming such patterns.

The side with red and yellow sedums represents water and tides, a nod to the Gastineau Channel shoreline.

The other side with red sedums and sea thrift stands for "shaman" or "chief," an idea that came from beliefs that the area was a boundary marker to Indian tribes, Mertl said.

The roof is not accessible to the general public, so it must be viewed from above. It can be seen from a four-level parking garage and an adjacent park project.

The greenery acts as insulation, which can save on heating and cooling costs, Mertl said.

The transit center under construction beneath the roof will house a waiting area for the bus line and a police substation and break room for bus drivers.


Information from: Juneau Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com
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Old September 18th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #72
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Central Walk, Shenzhen - Green Roof

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Old October 15th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #73
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Knoxville gets new transit center
16 August 2010

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new transit center officially opens Monday in Knoxville after two years of construction.

The 108,000 square-foot station is at the edge of downtown at 301 Church Avenue by the intersection with Hall of Fame Drive.

It has a bus platform that spans James White Parkway, along with a geothermal heating and cooling system, a green roof, a solar array and a bus tracking system for passengers.

The center is operated by Knoxville Area Transit, which runs the city's bus and trolley system.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #74
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Mayoral candidates speak out on green issues
16 October 2010
The Toronto Star

The issues that have made the headlines relating to the upcoming municipal election in Toronto are without a doubt very important. While they are all worthy of our attention and debate, it seems to me that we are ignoring one very important factor: the investment that our current mayor and his team made in our city over the past seven years.

Whether we like it or not, the truth is that we elected a "green" mayor in David Miller and we gave him a mandate to move the City of Toronto in the direction of a more environmentally responsible model. The results included a new green roof bylaw, a beefed up tree planting and maintenance budget and a growing number of community gardens and allotment gardens among other things of a green nature.

I solicited the top four candidates for mayor and received three responses. Rob Ford did not reply. Here is a summary of the results:

Tree Planting

All of the oxygen that we breathe is produced by the green living world (trees being primary) and urban trees are known to reduce crime, calm traffic, encourage pedestrian traffic, and more (www.lhhl.illinois.edu/crime.htm). Currently the city budgets for the planting of 109,000 trees per year. At this rate the slow decline of the tree canopy will reverse in two years. If planting continues to occur at this rate, Toronto will double its tree canopy by 2050. What is your position on urban tree planting over the next four years?

George Smitherman: "I will continue the recent efforts to restore and expand Toronto's tree canopy. I will also enhance efforts to work with community and neighbourhood groups to plant trees on private and public lands."

Joe Pantalone: "As the city's first tree advocate, I've overseen the rapid growth in our urban forest - 10 years ago we were planting only 9,500 trees a year. I plan not only to continue that growth in our rate of planting, but to see that it branches out, so to speak, and to begin planting 1,000 fruit trees each year in addition to our normal planting.

Rocco Rossi: "I support the city's current position on tree planting. It's an effective strategy to which we're committed. I love the idea that residents can actually order a tree to plant on the city-owned street allowance in front of their property. I think there are ways the city could be more informative about our tree-planting program, so Torontonians and city hall can come together in thinking green."

Green Roof bylaw

The current green roof bylaw sates that at least 60 per cent of a new roof space must be constructed to green roof standards. The intent is to cool the city, increase oxygen and decrease air borne pollutants. What is your position on the Toronto green roof bylaw?

Smitherman: "I support the bylaw. It is well intentioned but should be improved by allowing solar installations to achieve the objectives of the bylaw."

Pantalone: " I championed this new bylaw for just these reasons. . . . I think that it is only the beginning. What we call rooftop today could be living space or farmland tomorrow. I look forward to helping this idea blossom."

Rossi: "Our current green roof policy has actually won an award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for its sustainable community development. I wholeheartedly support its continuation. It represents the kind of ideas-based policy and progressive projects this city needs more of."

Parks and Green Space

Currently 11 per cent of Toronto is dedicated public green space. This includes about 1,200 parks and over 400 kilometres of biking/hiking trails. Some 44 per cent of public green space in Toronto is tree covered. What is your position on the growth of Toronto's green space and as a budget issue where do you stand?

Smitherman: "A renaissance and revitalization of our parks by creating signature parks (and cleaner beaches) that the whole city can feel pride in. I support expanded community involvement in our parks, creative funding models such as park improvement areas and park conservancies. I support making Rouge Park a national park."

Pantalone: "It is not just about protecting but increasing and enhancing. It is essential that we accelerate the creation of new parkland along the waterfront. I spearheaded the city's successes with the CNE grounds and I will work with the province toward similar success with Ontario Place. We must capture the value of new development and invest it into the creation and rejuvenation of green spaces. We must make sure that our green spaces are cared for even better and make sure that parks staff work in partnership with the local community."

Rossi: "Toronto's green spaces, from parks in the downtown to the natural beauty of ravines in the boroughs, all deserve protection. I believe in smart, respectful development which doesn't compromise the assets of a neighbourhood, and green spaces are assets we cannot lose. Any major new development projects should address the need to expand our green space. Making this city more attractive to residents and to business is key to the future of Toronto. Progressive cities are green cities. We need to encourage the private sector to be partners in advancing new green initiatives for Toronto. I have also committed myself to advocating for the Rouge Valley to become a national park. It's one of our most beautiful natural resources, and should be treated with due respect."

Community and Allotment Gardens

There has been substantial growth in interest in community and allotment gardens. This is an indication that the city can move in the direction of "feeding itself" to a much greater degree than ever before. What is your position on allotment and community gardens in Toronto?

Smitherman: "I will increase land for community gardens, markets and urban farming by 50 per cent and make sure that more city properties are used for growing and selling food. I would expand mid- and micro-scale composting projects to schools and apartment buildings to turn organic waste into healthy compost, to help local food production and reduce disposal costs. I strongly support community gardens. I will support Toronto's vibrant, expanding network of people dedicated to improving access to healthy local food. Local farms and community gardens help celebrate Toronto's cultural diversity and promote a sense of community. The local food movement will thrive if I become Toronto's mayor."

Pantlone: "I have pledged to double the amount of community and allotment gardens in our city to pursue many of our goals: decrease our environmental footprint, increase access to healthy food and help to build strong communities, beautifying our neighbourhoods, generating economic activity and offering our youth something truly productive to do."

Rossi: "I regard projects like community gardens highly - they build consciousness of sustainable living and build the ties of civic association which make Toronto so great. I understand that currently allotment gardens are funded by the Parks and Recreation department, but are seldom talked about or publicized. I would like to see that change. I would like to showcase these projects - things like the University of Toronto's Sky Garden - and let other Torontonians know what's possible. While the city is dealing with its tight fiscal situation, I think there is great opportunity for garden initiatives to partner with private sector to acquire additional assistance."

As a lifelong gardener with environmental concerns, I find it interesting that none of the three respondents object to the idea of a greener Toronto either from a philosophical point of view or a monetary one. While Smitherman and Pantalone provide specific and measurable responses to my questions, Rossi was less specific, other than to generally agree with current policy.

My final thought on the matter is to suggest that we all take a few moments to pause before we vote. And think about the kind of city that we want to have a generation or two from now. Garbage strikes and councillors expense accounts notwithstanding, Pantalone said it best, "If you want examples of cities that have cut budgets and taxes effectively over the years you need only look as far as Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit."

What the candidates for mayor think is not relevant: it is what you think.

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author and broadcaster. You can sign up for his free monthly newsletter at www.markcullen.com, and watch him on CTV Canada AM every Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. You can reach Mark through the "contact" button on his website. Mark's latest book, The Canadian Garden Primer, is available at Home Hardware and all major bookstores.

George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi, Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone debate the issues last week at the St. Lawrence Centre. With the exception of Ford, the leading candidates spoke to Mark Cullen about green issues.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #75
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The "Mormon Conference Center Salt Lake City" is a great building, monumental, the interior, exterior, really incredible!
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #76
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I never really been much of a fan of green roofs visually...
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Old October 21st, 2010, 07:48 AM   #77
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CITGO Chesapeake Terminal Installs Region's First Green Roof
Roof will Eliminate Almost 60,000 Gallons of Runoff, Continue Efforts to Improve Local Ecosystem
19 October 2010

HOUSTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The CITGO Chesapeake Terminal has installed a 3,000-square-foot Green Roof system which is designed to reduce storm water runoff and help improve the local environment. The innovative, environmentally-friendly system integrates living plants into the building structure and will eliminate almost 60,000 gallons of storm water runoff into the nearby Elizabeth River. This is the latest addition to the facility, which has become a leader in environmental protection and stewardship and mentoring in the Chesapeake community.

"CITGO Petroleum Corporation is committed to environmental stewardship across our company and we also support green programs at the locally owned CITGO facilities," said CITGO Vice President for Supply and Marketing Gustavo Velasquez. "The CITGO Chesapeake Terminal is leading the industry to introduce innovative environmentally-friendly practices. The Green Roof system, which has been installed on the facility's operations office, is the latest in a long line of projects that have made a significant impact on improving the local environment and ecosystem. Our company is proud to act as innovators in local communities across the country to improve the lives of the individuals and families we serve."

The Green Roof, developed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified team at Simon Roofing Product, has been designed to meet the unique needs of the CITGO facility and to ensure maximum positive impact on the local ecosystem. It incorporates the Sedum plant which stores high amounts of water and requires no maintenance throughout the life of the roof. The Green Roof is expected to last at least 20 years, a significant increase over the lifespan of traditional roofing systems.

The introduction of the Green Roof is part of the ongoing commitment of the CITGO Chesapeake Terminal to improve the local environment and rebuild the ecosystem. Working closely with the Elizabeth River Project, a local cooperative of industries, government and community, the terminal has already achieved the highest level of recognition for their environmental stewardship and mentoring efforts and won numerous awards and recognitions for their programs. Since 1996, the terminal has expanded and preserved natural wetlands, native plants and animals, upgraded facilities to drastically reduce air and water contamination and is a mentor with local schools and businesses, encouraging them to protect the environment.

"CITGO has become one of the strongest supporters of the Elizabeth River Project, going above and beyond what is required to make a remarkable improvement on the local environment and natural habitats," said Pam Boatwright, Elizabeth River Project's River Star Program Manager. "In addition to making improvements to its facilities and practices, the CITGO team is a leader in mentoring with other local businesses and school children. This dedication will ensure our community will be stronger and healthier for years to come."

The introduction of the Green Roof system at the CITGO Chesapeake Terminal is in alignment with the principles endorsed by the CITGO shareholder, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. They follow companywide efforts to improve the environment, which include a multi-million dollar investment to introduce Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel facilities at each of the three CITGO refineries by the end of 2010; an effort which will reduce airborne sulfur emissions by 98 percent.

For more information on the Elizabeth River Project and the extensive efforts of the CITGO Chesapeake Terminal, visit http://www.elizabethriver.org/. For more information on the impact of CITGO in the Chesapeake area and beyond, visit www.CITGO.com/Virginia.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

For more information visit www.citgo.com

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Old November 16th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #78
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Hong Kong's first green jail sparks controversy
14 November 2010

Hong Kong's first environmentally-friendly prison has stirred up a debate in one of the world's most densely populated cities where many live in dingy and overcrowded high-rise flats.

Billed as the jail of the future, the sprawling 1.5 billion Hong Kong dollar (200 million US) facility was built based on a sustainable concept that promotes open space with green and energy-efficient features.

Authorities said the Lo Wu prison, the newest of the city's 16 prisons, which opened in August, aims to provide more humane living conditions for some 1,400 female inmates as the city moves to ease prison overcrowding.

The prison boasts advanced features such as a "green" roof to lower temperature, rooftop solar panels, a natural lighting system, high-headroom spaces and large dormitory blocks to enhance natural ventilation.

The Lo Wu facility took three years to build and sits on a huge plot of land of about 53,000 square metres (around 570,000 square feet) in the city's outlying New Territories bordering China.

But it has raised eyebrows after winning a green building award last week, with critics saying the government is not doing enough to promote similar healthy living for many of the city's seven million people.

The English-language South China Morning Post ran an editorial with a headline "Green prison shows up failings in our priorities," while readers wrote in to express their anger over the new jail.

"It illustrates perfectly an admirable trait of the Hong Kong public and the criminal justice system in which the primary hope is that criminals are rehabilitated during their time in jail so that they can contribute constructively to society upon their release," the Post said.

"It is, however, ironic that our convicted criminals have been able to benefit from focused and enlightened environmental planning, while law-abiding citizens so often find their living and working spaces compromised by a whole host of factors," the Post said.

Post reader Jefference Tay expressed similar concerns in a letter to the editor: "It just doesn't make sense to me. I have been to several public housing estates in Hong Kong which have long, dark and airless corridors. Most of the units are extremely small.

"It is sad that the government has no long-term urban planning strategy," Tay wrote.

The glitzy financial hub is one of the world's most affluent cities but many families must still squeeze multiple generations into tiny flats, thanks to rocketing prices and a shortage of residential property.

Costly housing also gave rise to the phenomenon of "cage homes" -- where thousands among the city's poorest cramp into old tenement flats and rent a metal cage barely big enough for a mattress.

A growing income gap has seen the number of people living in poverty rise 8.6 percent in recent years, from 1.16 million in 2005 to 1.26 million in mid-2010, according to Oxfam Hong Kong, a group that campaigns against poverty.

But Hong Kong's Architectural Services Department -- the new jail's designer -- defended the green project, saying it was built in line with government policy to "take the lead and set good examples" in promoting green buildings.

"A facility carefully designed and integrated with such environmentally friendly features provides a humane environment for inmates, and would surely facilitate the effective operation of the staff," information officer Kaman Chong told AFP in an email.

"The overall cost for green features in the Lo Wu Correctional Institute project is less than one percent of the overall project cost, and it is within the reasonable range compared with other recent government projects," she said.

A spokeswoman from the Correctional Services Department, which runs the prison, declined comment on the criticism but said the department would strive to make more prisons environmental-friendly "as far as possible" in future.

Rights groups hailed the move to ease congestion in prisons, although they distanced themselves from commenting on the high-tech green features.

"We welcome the government's move to improve the living conditions of inmates -- it is the government's responsibility to do that," Keith Wong, campaign manager for Amnesty International Hong Kong, told AFP.

"The government should provide housing to those who can't afford to rent a place to live, but we can't mix up the two issues because it is a basic human right to ensure prisoners live in a proper place," said the activist.
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