As part of an initiative to
improve the built environment,
the city of Boise, ID, has cre-
ated a green building code
for commercial and residential
projects. While municipal properties will be required to use the
new standard, it will be voluntary for other developers.
The new code includes sections that focus on areas such as
site development and land use, water conservation, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.
Projects that meet the green code will receive expedited permit
processing and access to the city’s project management program.
Upon verification that the project is functioning as designed by a
neutral building commissioning agent, sites will also be awarded a
monument plaque designating the location as a “Green Pillar.”
USING GRAPE WASTE AS BIOFUEL
The grape waste created by the wine-making process could hold
renewable energy potential. A new study shows bioethanol can be
created by fermenting the skins, stalks and seeds left over from
the production process.
The research, published in Bioresource Technology, shows that
fermenting one ton of grape waste can produce up to 400 liters
of bioethanol when pretreated with acid and enzymes.
Noting that the wine industry produces around 13 million tons
of organic waste per year, most of which must be disposed at a
cost to the winery, the researchers expect that the new process
could help improve access to renewable fuels while cutting waste
INVESTS IN WIND
In an effort to reduce emissions
and cut costs, Washington, D.C.
has signed the largest wind
power deal ever entered into by
an American city – a 20-year
power purchase agreement
(PPA) projected to supply 35%
of the city’s electricity needs.
The new agreement will provide 125,000 MWh of renewable
energy per year and is expected to save taxpayers $45 million. Renewable power will be provided by three wind farms in
Pennsylvania with a total of 23 turbines creating enough energy
to power 12,000 D.C. homes every year.
FEDERAL GREEN CHALLENGE REDUCES WASTE
As part of its initiative to reduce waste and improve energy
use in federal agencies, the EPA has named Argonne National
Laboratory the winner of the Federal Green Challenge awards.
The program encourages agencies to cut waste, conserve
energy and resources, and reduce pollution and has saved taxpayers over $24 million in 2014 by diverting over 390,000 tons of
solid waste from landfills. Participating agencies selected two
target areas from waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water,
and transportation and committed to an improvement goal of at
least 5% in the target areas.
The Illinois laboratory utilized three separate strategies to
help improve efficiency, including increasing composting by
115%, switching to computers and other electronics with energy-efficient features, and using 91% fewer traditional vehicles by
replacing them with hybrid, biodiesel and electric models.
CREATING CONCRETE FROM SEWAGE SLUDGE
A new method to create concrete using the sludge that is
removed during sewage water treatment has been developed by
researchers. The study, performed by scientists at the Universiti
Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, demonstrates a process by which
wet sludge cake is dried, burnt, ground and sieved to create
domestic waste sludge powder (DWSP). The resulting powder can
be mixed with cement to create a range of concrete types, including
normal strength as well as higher strength grades.
published in the
of Science and
gests that DWSP
enhances the dura-
bility of normal con-
crete when used as
an additive during
the production pro-
cess. The new meth-
od can also increase
resistance to chloride permeability by up to 15%, reducing the
corrosive effects of salt.