Environment

Concrete, Part 3

Concrete has become something of a scapegoat for carbon emissions in building, but it’s amazingly difficult to pin down how bad it is, as a material, compared with other options. The problem, simply, is that it is difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons of efficiency and carbon use across different structural systems. Let’s start with weight. …

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Concrete, Part 2

The first article I read in the Guardian’s Concrete Week series was last Monday’s piece “Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth.” It’s an odd piece in terms of its organization, jumping around a bit. Eventually I realized that the problem I was having is that the article is discussing several quite different topics, linked …

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Green Roofs

We’ll see how this goes in the city council. A lot of NYC buildings are too small to have much available roof area for green roofs: once you subtract a stair (and sometimes elevator) bulkhead, rooftop mechanical, and a cross-roof path for the fire department, there’s not much room left on a townhouse or tenement …

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The Message Only Becomes More Important Over Time

I feel like I read an article on this topic every month or so, but the repetition is okay. The greenest building is the one that already exists and is reused. Or, as Mark Alan Hewitt puts it in Common Edge: Why Reusing Buildings Should Be the Next Big Thing. Existing buildings vastly outnumber new ones, …

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