Healthy Buildings

Attended an interesting lecture today about HEALTHY buildings. Been to lots of talks about green buildings, energy saving etc. etc. but this was about buildings in which occupants thrive. As with schools there was a lot about better performance with natural lighting, clean HVAC and no toxic materials. Combine this with grand (or fun) staircases and the elevators hidden out of site (the opposite prevails generally) and one starts to have a healthy building.

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Eco-City Alexandria: Energy$aver Blog

Be sure to check out Eco-City Alexandria’s Energy$aver Blog. The blog promotes energy awareness to the City of Alexandria. Don’t miss the post on Dominion Virginia Power’s electric vehicle charging station pilot program.

Click here to learn more!

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Green Business workshop

New post under Green Business Initiative Tab

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ACPS Gets Another Award

THIRTEEN SCHOOLS RECEIVE ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION
Thirteen Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) buildings have earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of their ranking in the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR certification awards were presented to the Alexandria City School Board by Energy Education, Inc.’s Regional Vice President Blaine Duggan during the Oct. 6 School Board meeting. Read more at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/news2012/nr2011101002.php .

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Another award for Alexandria

City of Alexandria Receives Highest Certification for Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Government Challenge

October 6, 2011

News Highlights:

· The City was certified at the platinum level, the highest level for local governments

· The Go Green Government Challenge encourages local governments to reduce energy usage and promote environmental sustainability.

For More Information:

· City of Alexandria Office of Environmental Quality

· Go Green Virginia

On Tuesday, October 4, the City of Alexandria was recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable community. The Go Green Government Challenge, a VML initiative, encourages local governments to reduce energy usage and promote environmental sustainability.

VML’s platinum level certification, which is the highest level for local governments, awarded the City of Alexandria more than 185 out of 200 possible points. This is the fourth year in a row that the VML recognized the City as part of the Go Green Government Challenge Program. The City was given maximum points for the adoption of the Energy and Climate Action Plan, development of a virtual Green Building Resource Center, and extensive public outreach and workshops that teach residents how to conserve energy, use renewable energy and incorporate green building techniques.

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The EPC for 2011 – 2012

As the EPC moves into the Fall of 2011, the Commission is working on a work plan for the next twelve months.

The thrust of the effort will be directed at what we call the 97%. The City’s inventory of CO2 showed that 3% of GHG comes from City Government and so the other 97% comes from the rest of the city. Buildings and traffic are the main contributors. Much of the traffic is beyond the City’s control but buildings, existing and new are approachable. Not that the City can use economic levers. Virginia is a Dillon’s Rule State – most power (97%?) remains in Richmond. So it has to be persuasion.

But only 10% of the US population can be considered alarmed by the the thought of climate change. 10%, of course, don’t believe in it at all so that leaves the 80% in between who are aware but have a wide range of concern, and desire for action, to do something about.

There is a growing body of evidence that says that whereas a hunter gatherer might be concerned about the chance of a lion attack while picking berries, the average human is just not wired up to worry about the potential risks of fire bearing in mind that it is still 40 years away from being invented. So it is with climate change.

Therefore, softly softly catchee monkee. We will be working on the Green Business initiative to show the benefits of saving energy. We shall be promoting, and getting City Council to verily flaunt, the eco-City logo (see top of blog) to make citizens aware of the concept and even be proud to live in Ec-City Alexandria.

We will be working on a project to produce a new grove of carbon chomping trees.

Meanwhile we will be ‘discretely’ (me? discrete?) checking on ongoing City operations the check that they keep within the mantra of the Environmental Action Plan.

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Why bother?

Looking back, I have spent 36 years of my life trying to improve the lot of my neighbours. Housing, clean air, clean water, the countryside, birds and flowers, the sea. All have come into my ambit of concern, but now I find that I live in a country where national politicians seriously wish to curtail the work of the national regulator. Aided by nine unelected citizens who opened the flood gates to campaign finance from industry, the way is open for polluters to run riot with the nation’s health and safety – all in the name of profit.

Profit is good; profit pays taxes that in turn aid the less fortunate and provide necessary services. But profit must come with social conscience. The signs are out there. To hell with social conscience. More profit, more personal wealth for those few at the top – and to hell with tomorrow.

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