LEED: Changing the built world for the better


The sustainable (green) building movement is a major trend in design and construction of commercial and public buildings. The United States Green Building Council has coordinated the establishment and evolution of a national consensus effort to provide the industry with the tools necessary to design, build and operate buildings that deliver high performance inside and outside the building footprint.

They have developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard, which is a rating system based on optimum site selection and sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere optimization, materials and resources (renewable and recyclable base), and indoor environmental quality. The LEED process is a systematic approach where building design and construction needs to meet various requirements in the five segments to reach a certain rating level, and LEED certification is voluntary. Whether it be a school, library, government building or your office, you probably have been in a LEED building.

All people in the building industry are looking for ways to adapt to this changing environment in the private and public sectors. We know that buildings consume annually more than 30 percent of the nation’s total energy, and more than 60 percent of the electricity. Research has demonstrated that green design measures in new buildings reduce operating costs, enhance building marketability, increase worker productivity and reduce potential liability resulting from indoor air quality problems.

(READ FULL STORY)

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Growing the Future of Bamboo Products


Bamboo has nothing but a positive reputation when it comes to the environment. It grows quickly, it doesn’t need pesticides or much water, it pulls carbon dioxide out of the air, and it can be used in a nearly unimaginable range of products. With its well deserved, eco-friendly reputation, companies have been quick to integrate bamboo into product lines and new bamboo-based businesses continue to pop up.

There are now bamboo shirts, skirts, socks, underwear, furniture, floors, paper, plates, sheets, towels, plates, bowls, spoons, kitchen utensils, keyboards, cleaning wipes…practically enough items to outfit an entire house made with bamboo everything.

But with great demand comes the need for great supply. As more and more companies look to source products using bamboo, unsustainable harvesting methods may end up killing a resource that has so much potential.

One downside of bamboo’s popularity is that it’s at risk from over harvesting: The United Nations warns that about half of the 1,200 varieties of bamboo in the world are extinct or in danger of being eradicated.

Enter BooShoot Gardens, a plant tissue culture laboratory out of Mount Vernon, Wash., that is growing large amounts of specific types of bamboo to replenish and increase the world’s bamboo supply and meet the demand from companies like Method and Totally Bamboo.

Founded in 1998 by Jackie Heinricher, BooShoot produced 2,000 bamboo plants in 2004, the first year it released plants. This year it plans to produce more than 2 million, and has the capacity to produce 12 million.

The company sells its bamboo through wholesale growers and retailers in more than 20 states and Canada. It’s been selling bamboo to a biofuel company in the southeast U.S., projects in South Africa and throughout Southeast Asia.

What’s Driving the Bamboo Market

Bamboo has such a green reputation because it grows fast (earning it the moniker of a “rapidly renewable” resource as opposed to a plain old “renewable” resource, a title given to everything from trees to corn to chicken feathers), doesn’t require pesticides, uses little water, and pulls carbon dioxide out of the air faster and better than other plants.

Bamboo plants sequester four times as much carbon dioxide as hardwood trees (taking in 62 tons of CO2 per 2.4 acres versus 16 tons per 2.4 acres of trees) and puts out 35 percent more oxygen.

While bamboo has been recognized for quite a while as a green material, its use has shot up in the last few years along with many other green materials. Bamboo goods are proliferating at major mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, and being used in clothing both from eco-centric companies and more mainstream ones like JCPenney and Banana Republic.

The bamboo goods industry is expected to be worth $25 billion around 2012, Heinricher said, and some companies that make or are looking into making bamboo goods are encountering a supply bottleneck.

While this demand is boosting BooShoot’s business, it’s having a handful of negative effects on the global bamboo supply. As demand has increased and supply tightened, the final products have been affected. Bamboo flooring, for example, is generally much thinner these days than years ago, Heinricher said.

And then there’s the rate of harvesting: Bamboo can be harvested every 5-10 years, much faster than trees used for other forest-based products. But harvesting is starting to outpace bamboo growth and its ability to recover. Cutting down too much bamboo in one area can damage an even-wider stretch of the plant.

“If more than 30 percent (of an acre) is taken at any one time, it begins to affect the viability of the root system and begins to compromise bamboo’s ability to replenish itself,” Heinricher said.

If an area of bamboo is damaged to the point that it needs to be replanted starting from seeds (or even if farmers want to start new bamboo groves from seeds), they are limited in how many seeds they can get their hands on since it can take 60-100 years for the plants to flower.

What BooShoot Gardens is doing is cutting out that long flowering period by cloning plants – not genetically modifying them – and multiplying them, letting farmers plant them like any other crop.

(Read full article)

(Excerpt of article by Jonathan Bardelline of GreenBiz. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Mounting environmental concerns have initiated international efforts to search for and create sustainable methods in our society. It is clear that bamboo can be that renewable resource to be used in the next era of architecture and product development. Much like all natural resources bamboo must be protected and preserved as it is the most plausible solution to replace diminishing supplies of timber. Lamboo is working closely with both private and government agencies internationally to ensure that bamboo resources are managed properly so that this remarkable resource will be there for the future.

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our
website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Congressman gets a close look at ‘green’ entrepreneurs


Posted: 04/06/2012 6:30 AM

Congressman Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, toured the Sustainable Business Center, in Galesburg Illinois, Thursday and voiced his support for the concept of “green companies” operated by entrepreneurs.

“Green to me is red, white and blue,” the congressman said. “It is not a Republican or a Democrat issue, it’s an American issue.”

While not an official celebration of the anniversary, the SBC is just more than a year old. Schilling not only was impressed by the facility and the entrepreneurs whose companies are beginning to fill it, he had kind words for the Galesburg area and its workforce.

“With all the hardships that happened here in Galesburg over a period of years, Galesburg has prepared to bounce back quite readily,” he said.

Lamboo founder and CEO Luke Schuette added. “We’re going to be doubling our capacity here”

The founder of the Springfield-based company specializing in the manufacture of engineered bamboo for structural, architectural and industrial applications said four more people will be hired here for distribution and fabrication work. Schuette said Lamboo also is launching its bamboo Surface™ table tops and countertops in conjunction with Redbud Ridge Custom Shop in Bartonville.

“Redbud is going to be hiring two people,” he said.

In addition, Schuette said bamboo has been added as a certified product to the International Building Code, something the company has been working on since 2007 and seen as a key to further expansion. He said Lamboo is completing distributorship agreements in Australia, Switzerland and Germany, as well continuing development of the Lamboo series of Fender guitars. Other expansions into Vietnam and possibly Panama in the future to acquire bamboo are part of the growing company’s many projects.

“Galesburg is a very important piece of the puzzle,” Schuette said.

(Excerpt of article by John Pulliam of House of Register-Mail. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO INC.)

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our
website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

 

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

International Interest Grows in Green-Building Certification


AUSTIN, TEXAS — Last month, the new U.S. Embassy compound in Madagascar, which includes high-efficiency windows and low-flow toilets, received certification as a green building. Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, also earned a green stamp of approval recently, as did the Seoul Finance Center in South Korea.
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As companies and governments look to burnish their environmental credentials around the world, many are devoting extra time and money to certifying their buildings as green. The buildings in Madagascar, Taipei and Seoul are among those that have turned to a U.S.-based process called LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which offers third-party verification. Other green-building standards, like the British-based BREEAM and DGNB in Germany, are also spreading outside their home countries.
Green-building certification is “becoming accepted as a badge of genuine quality,” said Raphael Sperry, a senior consultant with Simon & Associates Green Building Consultants in San Francisco, who is LEED-accredited in his profession. International tenants in particular, he noted, may seek out buildings with recognized green stamps, which should mean low bills for energy and water and a pleasant working environment.
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Scot Horst, the senior vice president for LEED at the U.S. Green Building Council, the Washington-based group that administers the certification program, cited a “dramatic uptick” in international interest.
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      Read entire article

 (Excerpt taken from The New York Times Green Column Author Kate Galbraith  March 2012)
Reports are published everyday that reinforce the importance of sustainable development and how critical of an era we live in today. In order to build a better future there must be better practices put in to place that will benefit society while limiting environmental impact. Lamboo technologies is answering this call with engineered laminated bamboo materials, a product that is rapidly renewable and incredibly strong and durable. Lamboo strives to be a leading innovator in sustainable products with certifications like LEED credits to meet future design needs.
For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our

website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

 

Greening of Building Sector on Track to Deliver Trillions in Savings by 2030


Architecture 2030, a building sector research and advocacy group, issued a report last week asserting that the greening of the U.S. building sector is on track to deliver far more energy savings than government officials predicted only a handful of years ago, with important implications for the country’s energy and climate picture.

 The report looked at data released without fanfare almost a year ago by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the analysis arm of the Department of Energy, which publishes projections for U.S. energy supply and demand each spring. Architecture 2030 compared EIA’s 2005 and 2011 projections and found something that surprised them. The EIA had quietly, but dramatically, lowered long-term projections for energy use and carbon emissions from America’s homes, office buildings and other commercial properties.

Energy consumption from buildings will increase by 14 percent from 2005 to 2030, the EIA said, down from the 44 percent spike it predicted seven years ago. Architecture 2030 says it amounts to eliminating the electricity output from 490 500-megawatt coal-fired plants over the same 25-year period.

The new projections mean Americans will save an additional $3.7 trillion on energy bills through 2030.

Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings are slated to increase by less than 5 percent, compared to an estimated 53 percent rise in 2005, the data also revealed. Currently, buildings account for 40 percent of both U.S. electricity consumption and heat-trapping gas emissions.

Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, which advocates for a carbon- neutral building sector, said his group’s analysis of the data is the first to publicize the green building movement’s contributions to national energy use so far and into the future. “This is a huge national snapshot of where we’ve been and where we’re heading,” he told InsideClimate News.

Mazria says the main driver of the new projections is the hike in building energy standards. “It’s policies, it’s building codes, it’s better building design and more efficient technologies. We’re building to a better standard,” he said. The group wants the report to provide policymakers and builders a reason to continue on this path.

But EIA says there is more to it than that. Agency analysts told InsideClimate News that Architecture 2030’s report downplays factors that have nothing to do with making buildings greener like the huge slowdown in construction from the recession that means fewer buildings have been, and will get, built.

For the most part, though, EIA officials agree with the bottom line of Mazria’s report that green improvements are saving energy. “Over the years, our projections for buildings’ energy consumption have decreased, and a lot of that is due to increases in efficiency,” Erin Boedecker, the lead building analyst at EIA, said.

The Rise of the Green Building

Since 2005, the federal government and most states have adopted various building codes and efficiency tax incentives that have helped spur a green-building boom.
Most notably, a mandate under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act requires all federal buildings to reduce energy use by 30 percent in 2015 compared to 2003 levels. In 2010, California passed the nation’s first mandatory statewide green building code, which took effect last year. Meanwhile, more than half of all states have adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, a standard created by the International Code Council, a U.S.-based nonprofit, which requires buildings to meet efficiency standards for heating units and air conditioners, water heaters and lighting.

Laitner of ACEEE cited figures from a 2009 publication by economists Robert Ayer and Benjamin Warr, which found that nearly 90 percent of the energy Americans consume is wasted due to inefficiencies. A standard 100-watt light bulb, for instance, might only convert eight percent of the electricity it uses to create light, while the rest is used to give off unnecessary heat, he said.

Many of the country’s leaders are operating under the false assumption that we must boost energy supplies to grow the economy, Laitner said, and fail to consider how using less energy would have a similar result. Energy efficiency “is an invisible resource. It doesn’t come to mind when we think about what we have to do to power our economy,” he said.

Pyke of the U.S. Green Building Council agreed. “Changes to the built environment can and must bring down overall energy demand in the U.S.,” he said.

(Excerpt of article from InsideClimateNews.org)