COMPANIES COMMIT TO 100%
While using 100% renewable power may
seem like a distant goal, the RE100 program provides guidance and resources
that can help organizations make it a
reality. The program encourages organizations to make a public commitment to
using 100% renewable-generated electricity by a specified date.
RE100 offers tips for making the business case for improvements, offers assistance to help overcome potential issues,
and provides templates for creating
effective reporting and audit strategies.
Companies from any industry can participate and the program already includes
pledges from sectors such as IT, retail,
and foodservice. Learn more at www.
STRATEGIES TO CUT TRAFFIC-
RELATED AIR POLLUTION IN
The EPA has
released a guide
that can help FMs
air pollution from
has been linked
to a variety of short- and long-term health
problems. Even though transportation
emissions have dropped in recent years,
the EPA points to the fact that many
schools are located in areas near roads or
bus barns where emissions can be higher.
The Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Air Pollution at Schools guide recommends that FMs take steps such as
upgrading filtration systems in classrooms,
relocating air intakes away from potential
sources of pollution, installing vegetative
barriers and encouraging active transportation such as walking and biking to
school as a few strategies that could help.
Learn more by visiting the EPA’s website:
FASTER WAYS TO EXTRACT
A new biorefinery process developed by
NREL scientists is significantly more effective at producing ethanol from algae than
The process, dubbed Combined Algal
Processing (CAP), is detailed in a new
paper published in Algal Research.
Building on an existing study that found
WOOD ELEMENTS BENEFIT HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS
an algae strain called Scenedesmus has a
strong biomass yield, researchers subjected
this variety to CAP and used all cellular
components rather than just
the lipids. Simplifying the
conversion process produced
a total fuel yield estimated at
126 gallons gasoline equiva-
lents (GGE) per ton, which is
88% of the theoretical maxi-
mum yield and 32% more
than lipids alone.
These results indicate that
the CAP process can reduce
the cost of algal biofuel
production by nearly $10
GGE, taking the modeled
cost down to $9.91 GGE. While this is not
low enough to compete with petroleum
yet, this approach can be combined with
reduced costs for biomass production to
provide a path forward to achieve that
target. The cost of algal biofuel production
remains a major challenge that the DOE is
working to overcome.
The health benefits of nature views and
natural elements are well known, but a
new report shows that those benefits
could extend inside healthcare facilities as well. Drawing from the plethora
of research showing that natural views
offer health benefits, the authors of Wood
as a Restorative Material in Healthcare
Environments have identified other studies
showing that interior wood elements provoke similar responses.
The report contends that because responses to wood elements mirror reactions to
natural elements, using wood materials in healthcare facilities could improve patient
recovery times, reduce pain perception, improve disposition and lower the stress levels of
patients, guests and staff.
TORNADO RESILIENCE ADDED TO INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
To protect high-occupancy facilities from tornado damage,
the 2018 International Building Code will include new storm
shelter requirements for regions especially vulnerable to
tornadoes. Facilities are required to offer storm shelters
that can protect as many occupants as the building holds
from wind speeds of 250 miles per hour – the highest ranking on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
The storm protection requirements apply to new and existing school buildings as well
as other facilities where people assemble such as community centers or theaters. The
code covers properties located in tornado-prone zones from northern Texas to central
Minnesota and from western Pennsylvania to western Oklahoma.