How To Transform Plastic “Waste” into a Bottle Brick

Read the full post at Shareable.

Bottle Bricks are a simple and accessible technology that can transform everyday plastic materials into a useful building material – plastic bottles stuffed full of trash until they are as compact as bricks. Bottle Bricks are known widely as “EcoBricks” or “EcoLadrillos” in Spanish and have also been called “Portable Landfill Devices.” Bottle Bricks have been used to build houses, school buildings, and other structures for well over a decade in Latin America and they are now increasingly being used around the world as a viable way to clean up the environment; prevent plastic pollution; and create a much needed building material.

Organic Landcare Solutions at Lewis & Clark College

Read the full post at EcoBiz.

Founded in 1974, Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit organization that certifies farmers as well as landscape professionals nationwide.  Oregon Tilth actively promotes a more sustainable approach to landscaping via the Organic Landcare program.  Through examinations and extensive training, landscapers can become accredited as an Oregon Tilth Organic Landcare professional.  Periodically, the Organic Landcare program offers Peer Learning Sessions to share knowledge and techniques among industry professionals.  On July 22nd, Oregon Tilth presented an organic land care peer learning session on the campus of Lewis and Clark College.  Suzie Spencer, arborist and ground steward for Lewis and Clark College, led a tour of the campus, highlighting unique landcare features along the way.

How today’s architects contribute to resilient cities

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In 1961, visionary urban theorist Jane Jacobs described the problem of architecture: “We expect too much of buildings and too little of ourselves.”

Today, many architects are rejecting architecture-as-spectacle and focusing on process rather than product. They recognize that more than just serving those who can afford their services, design can make communities more resilient.

Here are four ways architects are contributing to city resilience:

Minnesota rain gardens go big to fight pollution, reuse water

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

Many Minnesota cities use rain gardens and other “green infrastructure” now to keep stormwater from polluting nearby lakes and rivers. But they’re often small, neighborhood efforts. Inver Grove Heights, however, is putting that stormwater science to use on a massive scale at Argenta Hills, and it’s attracting national attention.

Webinar: Energy Models 101 for Building Owners, Managers & Tenants: Strategies for Using Iterative Energy Models to Drive Project Savings

Tue, Sep 8, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at

This webinar shares strategies and resources building owners, managers, and tenants can use to transform the energy model from a one-time report provided at the end of design to an iterative tool used throughout the design process to drive energy savings. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will highlight its Building Energy Modeling Guide for Building Owners, DOE will provide a brief primer on modeling, and BBC partner District of Columbia will share case studies demonstrating the value of getting to know your energy model.

New: Better Buildings Solution Center Features Hundreds of Partner Solutions

The Better Buildings Solution Center is designed to help your organization find a solution by topic, building type, solution type, building size, sector, technology, location, and more. Learn how a variety of organizations finance their building solutions, implement emerging technologies, build their team’s energy expertise, motivate staff, get buy-in from management, or establish community-wide initiatives. Explore the more than 200 solutions tested and proven by partners.

5 lessons the building industry can learn from a Fitbit

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Personal fitness tracking has taken hold of people in a big way. Wearable tracking devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone and FuelBand allow consumers to track their physical activity, heart rate, calories burned and more.

Demand for these devices has grown incredibly over the last few years, with one in 10 U.S. adults owning one. Fitbit has sold more than 20 million devices since 2007 and has just gone public.

This growing trend of gathering more data and performing more data analysis can be applied to buildings as well. Just as tracking your physical activity can improve your fitness, tracking a building’s energy use has the potential to reduce a building’s energy use.

Smart buildings minimize energy cost, support a robust electric grid and mitigate environmental impact. As the number of smart buildings grows and the technology matures, we can learn some lessons from wearable fitness trackers.