Posts Tagged ‘Water’

San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint to Get a Shade Greener

Monday, August 2nd, 2010
San Francisco Mint

San Francisco Mint

For some builders and architects the challenge to even consider building Green from scratch remains daunting and monetarily off the radar but taking a structure like San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint built in the 19th century and transforming it into a 21st century Green mixed-use cultural center would be even more challenging. San Francisco new goal is to create the most sustainability innovative National Historic Landmark in the United States. Like they say is Swingers, “That is so money.”

Back in the day, the US Mint used to print the green stuff now it will encompass Green thinking.

Some of the ideas that the building will incorporate include:
Natural Daylight – The redesign will include an alteration to the ground floor, which will allow daylight to reach the ground floor.
Natural Ventilation – Currently sealed windows will be redesigned to create natural ventilation.
Water Use – A new canopy drainage system will allow rainwater to be harvested, treated and stored for uses throughout the building. The water, among other benefits, will be used to feed vegetation on the roof.

Now if we can do something about the Bank Of Italy building.

Photo by Mike Hofmann

Saving Paper Vs. Water – SWASH Ecoseat

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
SWASH Ecoseat

SWASH Ecoseat

Maybe because we just topped off a busy holiday weekend that we are feeling so chipper to post this piece about a toilet seat. Yes, it sounds a little far fetched to us as well. We can see that a low flow toilet (like the Simple Flush that this same company makes) would be seen as green. But a toilet seat?

It took us a while to have the SWASH Ecoseat installed, as it wasn’t as simple as we originally anticipated. However, one we got the thing on we found it to attractive with its modern design.
We can’t argue that the thing feels so sanitary and refreshing. Maybe the French do have something with their bidets.

Anyway, the fact that Americans use 34 million rolls of toilet paper each year to the detriment of the forest environment and this Swash reduces toilet paper consumption by 75 to 100% might give us a second thought about this eco-seat as eco. But what about the extra water usage? With water being a precious resource then this seat (or bidets) cause more water use, right? Water versus TP use?  The comparison might be a little silly. No doubt we feel pretty royal and sanitary on the throne but it might be a stretch to say that we are royally sustainable.

Laguna Honda Hospital Will Mark the First Green-Certified Hospital in California

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

laguna_honda_hospitalWith the downturn in overall new building, more sustainable efforts have seemingly fallen by the wayside. We’re glad to see that some projects have not totally disappeared. On June 26, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will cut the ribbon on San Francisco’s new Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, which will mark the first green-certified hospital in California.

Especially with energy still on everyone’s radar, the new technology in the hospital’s three new buildings will focus on energy and water savings. The buildings will use 30% less energy than statutory requirements, have Energy Star rated roofs which keep the buildings cooler on hot days and reduce energy use, and they have “closed-loop” air conditioning systems, meaning the system uses water for cooling is reused rather than wasted. Although do they really need AC in San Francisco?

Because this is a hospital, designers and builders people actually gave a nod to indoor air quality with use of low or zero VOC paints, wood, glues, and flooring materials in the new buildings. Reducing the highly toxic VOC’s, and other indoor air contaminants will only improve indoor health for Laguna Honda residents and staff.

With this green thinking, finally hospitals will start to realize that hospital recovery not only comes with injecting various medicines into patients but giving them a place that offers a healthier environment as well.

Image courtesy JKL

San Francisco Wants Everyone to Green Their Property

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

green ebergy sf green building sfWith many cities putting Green building on the back burner, while they try and help solve the distressed homeowner crises (equally important), San Francisco continues their progressive Green thinking. In a few years, when the distressed homeowners crisis hopefully wanes, people will start thinking about how important Green building looms in terms of not just energy and cost savings but the health of people who live their.

San Francisco recently developed an accessible financing program that allows residential and commercial property owners to finance sustainable building improvements. This effort coincides with efforts across California and the United States to establish similar financing programs.

Interested home and business owners to finance can utilize GreenFinanceSF privately owned energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.  The repayment obligation is attached to the property, rather than the individual, and is paid back through property taxes over the life of the financing.

All size residential and commercial buildings can use the program. Eligible projects include energy efficiency upgrades—such as adding insulation, replacing windows, and upgrading heating systems; and water efficiency upgrades—such as installing low flow toilets. Financing is also available for installation of renewable energy generation on buildings such as solar arrays – in conjunction with energy efficiency improvements.

Pretty simple, huh? We think so. It should be a win-win for everyone so we’re hoping that everyone will look long term (yes, we know that is hard for most Americans) and utilize this program.

(photo courtesy apartment therapy)

Live From the First Day of Outside Lands

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Before the onslaught of crowds hit Golden Gate Park for Pearljam tonight, I, along with other Green minions checked out the Ouside Lands Green scene just as West Indian Girl hit one of the numerous stages.

Don’t say that we didn’t warn you but those who are short on cash should consider the Global Inheritance sponsored recycle booth in the Eco Lands section. They offered a similar booth last year but not many people seemed aware of it. The deal here is that anyone who wants nifty Outside Lands shirt (for free) just needs to bring 75 empty cans or bottles to the booth. For 250 bottles you can snag a pair of Loomstate organic jeans and 150 gets a recycled record vinyl clock. Those not as inspired can get some Fuel TV sunscreen (and boy is sunscreen mandatory today) for just eight bottles. (more…)

Mt. Whitney Water and Pollution

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

It’s not that Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48, needs any more publicity. After all, about 30,000 hikers annually make the trek up to the thin air of 14, 496 feet. People who secure even a day use wilderness permit (not much fun making the ascent in one day) through the Mt. Whitney lottery system often feel better than if they had won a state run lottery where they actually win money.

On a recent (this past week) stroll up into the thin air of Mt. Whitney my hiking buddies and I discovered some things. While most hikers have courtesy and smarts to be as conscious as possible toward environmental stewardship it always happens where a few conventionally grown apples ruin it for everyone else. Case in point being at the last reliable water source (High Camp Tarn) before the final push up the 99 switchbacks to reach the summit what did we spy? A dazzling reflection of the various peaks? Yes. A plethora of discarded Mountain House packages resting on the floor of the tarn. You bet. Not only did these packages tarnish the beauty of the scenic watering hole but even forgetting esthetics, who wants to drink water from a polluted lake before a major climb? (more…)