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NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an agency of the United States Government is responsible for the public space programs of the nation. It is a very well known agency with most stunning and innovative projects in their hands. To set as an outstanding example for other agencies, NASA guys planned to work on a project, which will be expected to shutters the ground by its high performance. This amazing green project is none other than NASA’s most sustainable base. In order to launch this energy efficient and environmentally friendly building, they decided to use their lunar base technology.

This new building is designed in such a way that it will gain the platinum rating under the LEED new construction standard for environmentally sustainable construction. This building is budding in Ames research center in Moffett Field, California. This new building of NASA is designed by McDonough with his partners and AECOM. This project will cost about 20.6 million and its construction will be completed by 2011.

Three key goals

The three key goals of this building are to achieve the zero net energy consumption, to use 90 percent less drinking water or the water which is potable, when comparing to the usage level in other equivalent size conventional buildings and finally to reduce the maintenance of the building.

Highlight of this building is the usage of natural ventilation complemented by the geothermal systems, increases the building sustainability. Nearly 72 geothermal wells with ground-source heat pumps will be installed to promote the objectives of sustainability of the new building. This building will also provide a parking and a landscaping with California-native plants. This advantageous project will include a very sophisticated system for solar water heating, fire detection and suppression, advanced lighting, security and communications operations.

These above mentioned systems will be deliberated in a way that they can act automatically according to the changes in sunlight, temperature and wind and use resources to maximize the performance of the building. Radiant cooling, intelligent buildings systems and on-site photovoltaic energy generation will also be incorporated in this project. A site storm water management is also going to be installed in this base building. Optimization of water comes from use of natural landscape; non-potable irrigation system and on-site water treatment by an Eco machine are other added features of this building.

The interior of the building includes large column-free spans, which helps the building to adopt itself to the changing needs of the programs and a structural exo-skeleton which renders the repairs easier even after the earthquakes. The real crown of this project will be the intelligent computer-controlled system. The computer in this sustainable building along with the internet connection can forecast the weather of the local area; along with integrated occupancy sensors adjust the heating and cooling system. These computers also control the windows in order to take advantage of passive cooling.

Base building includes few new facilities such as structural steel frame, 4645 square-foot open- collaborative workspace, a glass-walled atrium and so on. It is very clear that NASA has anchored its flag on the planet earth by contributing this base building in California. This sustainable base building will be an outstanding and competitive example for the present and future green buildings.


Nowadays, not only the factories, industries start their journey towards the green future but also many educational institutions like schools and colleges started to prepare their students towards the energy efficient green buildings, green economy and green jobs. By this the colleges can create good citizens for the future with the greater knowledge about the environmentally-friendly features. Some of the colleges started to offer green building courses for the students as a part of their contribution to the eco-friendliness. Here are three colleges that include various excellent the green practices:

College of the Atlantic

college-of-the-atlanticCollege of the Atlantic (COA) at Bar Harbor, Maine, USA was inaugurated on Oct 8, 2006 by the president David Hales had taken an oath to be a Carbon NetZero college by the end of 2007, to achieve that mission, the students, faculties and the staff worked together and carried out many researches and analyses to offset the green house gas emission. As on Dec 19, 2007, COA invested in a green house gas reduction project operated by The Climate Trust of Oregon to offset the 2,488 tons of carbon output over the past 15 months.

By obtaining the electricity through a low-impact hydroelectric generator in Maine, COA reduced its annual green house gas emission and this will be further reduced by 22 percent or about 450 tons by next year. Incandescent light bulbs have been replaced by compact fluorescent where possible. This college makes use of the natural light by installing light shelves, which bounces the light from the windows to ceiling to lights the interior of the rooms. Commuting methods such as carpooling and biking promotes the employees to work from the home.

COA uses only certified woods, not from the old-growth forest and no materials that emit gas-chemicals. COA uses a renewable wood pellet boiler to heat 20 percent of the college campus. It keeps the temperature as 65 during the day time and 50 at night time. Coolant from air-conditioning in library stacks and kitchen used to preheat the hot water. All toilets, urinals, faucets and shower heads use less than three gallons of water.

Berea College

berea_kyBerea College at Berea, Kentucky, amazingly locates an Ecovillage that occupying a 5 acre eco-friendly community. The complex includes 50 apartments, a state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory, a common house and a Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) demonstration house. The Ecological machine, wetlands, permaculture food forest and individual gardens are the other community features. This energy efficient Ecovillage reduces the energy usage by 75 percent, water usage by 75 percent.

Ecovillage recycle and reuse 50 percent of the sewage and waste water. Skillfully, Ecological machines are used to convert the sewage water to swimmable quality water. This village also incorporates passive solar heating, photovoltaic panels andwind-powered. The roof top captures the rain water used for the landscape irrigation and for the production of fruits and vegetables. Berea college maintains it own farm to provide the organic produce, beef and pork.

Evergreen State College

evergreenGreen roof of the new building is a greatest highlight of Evergreen State College at Olympia, Washington. This building is being evaluated for the LEED-Gold rating under the USGBC. This tremendous green roof builds 24,000 square-feet on 13 separate green roof areas. This green roof is a live visual representation to develop the sustainability. Roughly, $18 is incorporated for a square-foot with polyisocyanurate insulation with an R-value of 21, bitumen roof system which incorporates recycled materials and stainless steel flashings.

Green Roof uses Garland’s filterdrain 110 as the drainage layer. It is a very high density polyethylene filter fabric fused to a geotextile filter fabric. A drip irrigation system will be used only during the severe drought periods. Important advantage of this green roof is it reduces the size of the storm water preservation ponds. The green roof collects, filters the rain water incident on it and allow it to flow into a 20,000 gallons reservoir tank, which is designed in such a way to release water back to the environment. The students of this college use benches and patio  areas, arranged around these green roofs as an interaction place with their staff members.

austinhomeMany multi-story buildings and also many skyscrapers landed their foot as green buildings in this world. This is because they wanted to contribute themselves to the list of energy efficient buildings that reduces the carbon emission and saves the energy to greater level. Not only the multi-story buildings but also few homes started to twinkle as green houses now. Jointly all these efforts directs us towards a pleasant eco-friendly atmosphere. The first green house was probably built in Roman times to cultivate to cultivate exotic fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, new Austin home affix itself in the catalog of green houses.

Austin home, a good looking home covers an area of about 3,266 square-feet. This home earned the top ratings from three widely reputed green building programs in Austin, LEED – Platinum, NAHB Model Green Building Gold and Austin Energy Green Building 5-star. Additionally this house also earned the Energy Star Qualification. The builder of this energy efficient home is Durrette Interests, Austin Architects: Barley & Pfeiffer Architects, Austin.

Austin home includes various techniques such as advanced framing technique, energy efficient windows, low-VOC interior finishes, a tank less hot water heater, dual-flush toilets, a very compact fluorescent light fixtures and so on. Austin homes uses 3-KW solar photovoltaic array on its southeast roofline, which conserves 25 percent of energy. A light-colored galvalume prosnap 100 recycled-metal roof contains a self-venting radiant barrier system, which consists of the venting path between the underside of the roof and the roof decking, to maintain attic temperature low. This also acts as a big umbrella for the house.

The Austin home also contains a very unique and special attic, sealed with the ventilated roof, which allows very little amount of the heat incident on the roof to penetrate into the house. Spray-foam attic insulation is used, which is used to reduce the humidity of the home during the summer, keeps the home warmer in winter and also decreases the accumulation of dust. Windows and overhangs are designed and sized in such a way to provide summer shading yet allowing abundant daylight and natural winter heating from the sun. Unconventional-looking cloth canopies hanging on the aluminum framing helps to shade the windows at certain of the day. 

First-floor screened porch on the prevailing-breeze side of the house and a stair tower on the opposite side maximizes the potential of the home to responds to the solar and to other climatic considerations. Unbelievably, this porch is very cool even without any air conditioners. The passive thermal siphoning facilitates the natural cooling and ventilation. A Carport – an open-sided shelter for vehicles, performs double-duty as a covered play area that makes the prevailing breezes to keep it cool and comfortable, even in the times of summer. The breezes vent out of the 5-foot-alley between the house and detached garage.

High energy efficient air conditioning is used to stay cool and comfortable. Austin home is sited in the neighborhoods of the USGBC standards. This house is at a walk able distance from the work, workshop and shops. Merely for its location, Austin house earned 10 LEED points.

1007energystar21Drastically, many buildings with the great alertness of sustainability, energy efficiency and green building necesscity and also with a consciousness to minimize the global warming started to recognize themselves with a great list of eco-friendly features. In such a manner, PepsiCo’s Chicago downtown corporate plaza also implemented various energy efficient initiatives and upgrades for the conservation energy to a maximum extent. As a result of those implementations, it earned an Energy Star certification – a national mark of excellence in energy performance. Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer’s products and projects, created by United States Environmental Protection Agency.

PepsiCo’s Chicago Plaza was built in the year 2002. This 17-story sparkling plaza already earned a LEED certification for Existing Building Silver Certification from USGBC. This company was also awarded with the 2009 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award by the U.S. EPA. PepsiCo Chicago Plaza had taken various of steps to minimize their energy consumption. This plaza successfully achieved its goals with the help of its employee “Green Team.”  

Especially, all conference rooms and the offices of this plaza are installed with motion sensors, which automatically turn the lights off when there are no foot prints or when they are not occupied. Old components of the HVAC systems are replaced with the energy efficient equipments. The roof top of the sustainability center is installed with solar and wind power generating equipments. These save the electrical energy to a greater extent. Also, the Green Team keeps its employees to be aware of the daily energy usage through the employee-nominated floor leaders.

Contests are being conducted for every month between all the floors of the plaza regarding the waste reduction and finally the names of the winners and losers are announced internally. A very beneficial recycling program was also started that aims to recycle all the recyclable glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, batteries, printer/fax cartridges, light bulbs and so on taken from the refuse bins of the plaza.  This effort lands in recycling and reusing Chicago Plaza’s 70 percent solid waste instead of being dispatched into the municipal landfills.

Even all the janitorial products are also replaced with the alternate products, which meets the USGBC’s sustainable green building products and materials standard. This plaza satisfies all the categories of the energy efficiency such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resource and indoor environmental quality.

American Institute of Architect (AIA) – a professional organization for architects in United States unveiled a list of Top 10 environmental friendly green projects for 2009. After analyzing various energy efficient features of the numerous buildings, AIA generated this top 10 list for green buildings. Those remarkable green buildings are listed below:

Charles Hostler Student Center

charlesCharles Hostler student Center located on the campus of the American University of Beirut is a startling example for how a perfect campus should be. This building covers an area of about 204,000 square feet. Here the project is organized as a cluster of interior and exterior spaces rather than a single building. This allows the building forms themselves to redistribute the air, activity and shade. The east-west orientation of the building forms helps to provide shade to the exterior courtyards, which reduces the amount of the southern exposure. That orientation also directs the nighttime breezes and the daytime sea breezes for cooling the outdoor spaces.

The rooftop of this study center includes a green space, which allows a very pleasurable physical and visual integration to the upper campus. This green rooftop reduces the amount of exposures to the sun. Shading and ventilation process increases the amount of usable program areas of outdoor spaces.


chartwell_schoolAn outstanding and stunning Chartwell school campus occupies an area of about 21,200 square-feet. Excellent daylight inside is provided by the tall and north-facing glass windows and clerestories. This helps in achieving the net-zero electrical goal of that school. Sloping shed roofs helps in good photovoltaic orientation of the building. Radiant heat plays a very beneficial role in providing a quite and pleasant environment to the students of the school and also reduces the size of the mechanical equipments and mechanical rooms. Framing the structure at the two feet on the centre reduces the amount of materials used on the project and thus saves the overall construction cost.

Gish apartment

gish7Gish apartment is a 35-unit transit-oriented family apartment in downtown San Jose, California. This ground breaking apartment covers an area of about 75,200 square-feet. This is the first US housing apartment to receive the LEED for homes and LEED for new construction Gold certification. By choosing a site adjacent to light rail and reserving 35 percent of units for tenants with developmental disabilities, the owner earned a major parking reduction from the city. As a result, the project has a high housing density of 81 units per acre. Other energy efficient features of this apartment includes the reuse of urban brownfield site, a roof-top photovoltaic array, high performance insulation in 2×6 exterior walls, double-glazed windows, and high-efficiency heating and hot water system

Great River Energy Headquarters

greatriver_mnGreat River Energy (GRE) is Minnesota’s second largest electric wholesale supplier, generating and transmitting the electricity to 28 distribution cooperatives serving more than 620,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. The headquarters of the GRE covers 166,000 square-feet area. It is a four-story building with concrete frames and architectural glass curtain walls. GRE wished to design its headquarters as a model of electric efficient building, which could be adopted by the electric co-op members across the state. The major goal of these members was to reduce the demand for large and coal fired generating plants. They also wanted to meet the new demands with the wind power or with other renewable resources.

This building achieved most of the features of a green building by providing abundant day light, view to the exterior, exceptional indoor air quality and a quality work environment within a reasonable budget.

Jewish Reconstructionist congregation

jewEye-catching Jewish Reconstructionist congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Illinois covers 31,600 square feet. This new synagogue for Jewish Reconstructionist congregation building earned the LEED Platinum certification. Perimeter space of this building has 9.5 ft ceilings. This enhances the day lighting and natural ventilation. The synagogue is a wooden box clad with reclaimed cypress, with spectrally selective, low emissive glazing. The reclaimed cypress is also used in the indoor of the worship spaces. At the perimeter sites of the building Gabion walls filled with waste masonry are used. Most of the floors are made up of polished concrete. Thus there is no necessity for the floor covering. Paints and finishes with low level of volatile organic compounds are used throughout the building.

Portola Valley Town Center

portola-01Portola valley town center was constructed at Portola valley in California by demolishing three town structures – a library, a community hall and a town hall. The materials of the old town center were reused as beams, paneling, countertops and structural fills. The new building is 20 percent smaller than the old. The salvaged wood is used for the exterior siding and louvers and the local eucalyptus is used for the wood flooring. The concrete mixture is 70 percent slag. Because of such energy efficient measures, the carbon emission is reduced by 32 percent.

Energy efficiency is achieved greatly by proper building orientation, day lighting, natural ventilation, sunshades and thermal mass. Small and efficient air conditioning units pre-cool make-up air and eliminating the need of full air conditioning. This building includes a photovoltaic system with 76KW, which supplies 40 percent electricity to the building. The non renewable energy cost is reduced by 51 percent and the carbon consumption is reduced by 76.2 tons per year. Strikingly, an abandoned culvert will become a cistern for storing 40,000 gallons of rain water.

Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center

shangrila1Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center in the heart of Orange, Texas is a project which involves in the restoration of the land, which had been closed to the public for 50 years. This building finished one edge of its complex with the cues taken from the brick, glass and steel from the green houses built in the early 1920s. The nature discovery lab and pavilion, outdoor classrooms, bird blind and boat house are designed to float above the land on helical pier foundations and for very minimal impact. Photovoltaic panels are used for the power generation for these structures. Proudly this green building earned the LEED platinum certification.

Synergy at Dockside Green

Synergy_BridgeDockside green covers wide area of about 1.3 million ft2 in the heart of Victoria, BC. This resourceful building includes many environmental friendly features like rolling canopies that are used to control glare and solar radiations. Occupants have a control over their spaces with the help of dashboards, which also controls the canopies as well as heating and ventilation. There are also green roofs which includes planting spaces for vegetables and a green way to support the social equity and local food production. These green roofs and spaces help in minimizing the heat island effect. It also takes away the great burden of the city storm water system by allowing the storm water to leak into it.

Meanwhile all the waters landed by the rain gets collected and reused for the purpose of irrigation, toilet flushing and for the greenway treatments. A wood-fire combined heat and power plant will produce the heat and hot water to the entire usage. This greatly combined along with the hydropower-based electricity, will reduce the carbon emission to a greater extent. Highly renewable resources such as bamboos and cork were used as the interior finishes and the materials with the low level volatile organic compounds were also used in the construction.

The Terry Thomas

Weber_Thompson_HQThe Terry Thomas, a gorgeous green building in Seattle, WA cover 37,000 ft2 office space in four floors. The highlight of this building is its less dependency on the energy. A holistic design concept was tailored with specific sites to provide day light, ventilation and reinforced community connection to the tenants of the building. This indirectly resulted in increase in the productivity potential. By this process, they also created an experimental and educational tool for promoting sustainable design.

World Headquarters for the International Fund for animal Welfare

10187_2_Animal3The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is located in Cape Cod in yarmouthport, Massachusetts. This new headquarters received the LEED Gold certification. This project aims to create a restored meadow and to re-establish a natural habitat with native vegetation. IFAW also incorporated low-tech, low-cost and sustainable features such as orientation, natural day lighting, ventilation and very efficient mechanical system. This green house also incorporates a plan that reduces the square footage by 50 percent per person during the elaboration of the workspace and increasing the employees.

Rating the buildings according to the green building features leads to the increase in the awareness about the energy efficient green buildings in the world as well as it gains reputation to the buildings.

Skyscrapers are the buildings built with a super tall height. These skyscrapers are standing proudly with multi-storey. There is no official definition to describe the height of the skyscrapers. The concept of the skyscrapers evolved only in the 19th century. These skyscrapers grabbed the attention of the peoples all over the world. Many architects turned their attention towards these skyscrapers. As a result of this, many skyscrapers starts residing in the world. Most of the skyscrapers are also playing the role of green and eco-friendly buildings. A symposium about the gorgeous skyscrapers called Mixed Green was also held in 2006. Let us go through few of the top most skyscrapers in the world.

Burj Dubai

burjdubaiBurj Dubai, a popping skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is the present tallest man-made building, which is under construction. The construction of this building began on 21st September 2004 and the construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2009. The height of the building is 818m, which is equal to 2,684 ft. The total budget of the Burj Dubai is about US $4.1 billion. This tower is composed of three elements arranged around a central core and it contains 26 terraces.

As the tower is residing in a flat desert base, setbacks occur at each element in an upward spiraling pattern to decrease the cross section of the tower as it reaches towards the sky.This dazzling building contains totally 162 floors. Notably the exterior cladding of this massive tower is of reflective glazing. The cladding is designed in such a manner that it can withstand even Dubai’s extreme summer temperatures. The 56 elevators with double-deck elevators will be installed. The speed of the elevators would be 700m/min. 

Taipei 101

taipei101Taipei 101 is stunning skyscraper located in Xinyi district, Taipei, Taiwan. This skyscraper received the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2004. This building contains 101 buildings above the ground and 5 floors as underground floors. It is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. This skyscraper is flexible against the strong winds. Its flexibility prevents the structural damages of that building. Its resistive capacity gives the occupants a comfortable environment to work and protection to the glass and to the curtain walls. The transparent and non-reflective curtain walls are made up of double glazed blue-green (solar control) glass, which offers required heat and UV protection, and it is sustainable to impacts of 7 metric tons.

The few highlights of this building are its expansive area of energy efficient double glazing and column-free corner views. The elevator in this building runs with the speed of 1010m per minute sweeps the peoples from 5th to 89th floor within 37 seconds. The indoor observatory provides a very pleasing environment, large glass windows with UV protection, recorded voice tours in eight languages and informative display and special exhibits. This roof of this stunning skyscraper is powered by the solar, makes it to take part as one of the green buildings.

Shanghai World Financial center

ShanghaiShanghai World Financial center in Pudong, china stands with a height of 492m and it contains 101 floors. This financial center occupies a ground area of about 377,300 square-meters. This energy saving building includes 30 elevators and 33 escalators. The circular aperture in the top reduces the stress of the wind pressure. This center encloses energy efficient LED displays on the external walls of the building. Water recycling tanks are used to recycle the waters used all over the building. This building provides more space for the bicycle parking to encourage the peoples to reduce driving the vehicles, emitting more carbon. UV resistant windows are used to save energy. It was awarded with the LEED gold pre-certification by the USGBC.

International Commerce Center

internationalccInternational Commerce Center will be the tallest building in the Hong Kong. This building earned the platinum rating under the Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Methods (HK-BEAM). The height of the building is 483m and the total number of floors present in the building is 118. At this commercial center, Credit Suisse will become the first office world wide to introduce the “thin client” computer terminals for its employees replacing the individual Personal computers. This elimination of PCs led to the cost and energy savings, resulting 20 percent power consumption.

Petronas twin towers

petronasPetronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were the world tallest building from 1998 to 2004. As the bedrock was in a great depth, this twin towers were built on the world’s deepest foundation. Petronas tower 1 and Petronas tower 2 are collectively known as Petronas twin tower. Each of the two towers holds 88 floors and the façade includes steel and glass. The underscore of this building is the skybridge between the floors of 41 and 42, which is the second world largest skybridge. The skybridge would be very useful during the time of emergency. All the lifts in this building are double-decker lifts.

earthNowadays many nations in the world turned their attention towards the concept of green buildings, energy efficiency, sustainable and renewable resources. Many corporate organizations, government buildings and even the educational institutions started to take many steps to make the earth a greener place. On 29th July, 2009 – Among 20 finalists Corvallis high school in Corvallis, Oregon has earned the name “America’s most eco-friendly school” in the walmart’s “Earth Day Every Day School Challenge” after a very sticky competition.

Corvallis was one of the 20 finalist schools, nominated for the title of America’s most eco-friendly school. These 2o finalist schools were selected by three independent judges. They analyzed totally 439 qualified essays, which describes the efforts taken by the schools to make the earth greener by supporting the energy efficiency to select those 20 finalists. Then the entire 20 finalist submitted a short video, to present their environmental activities that they described in their essays. All those essays and the video presentations were posted at the website namely from June 9th to June 19th.

Americans were requested to pool their votes for the school that they believed should be awarded the title as well as the $20,000 grand cash prize. Tremendously, during those ten days of voting period, more than 22,000 votes were cast. Five schools who occupied the first five places by the vote ratings are Corvallis high school (Corvallis, Oregon), East Burke high school (Connelly springs, N.C.), Maple Avenue elementary school (Claremont, N.H.), Beverly Elementary school (Beverly Hills, Mich.) and Old trail school (Bath, Ohio).

CorvalisHighSchoolIn those five schools, Corvallis high school who had received the large number of votes was awarded the great title of America’s most eco friendly school with the cash prize. The officials of the Corvallis high school said that their school consumes 30 percent less energy when comparing to the other schools built in Oregon code. And they said that they are going to install the solar panel on the roof of the buildings. Officials hope that this installation will definitely reduce the consumption further.

Recycling is essay accessible throughout the school and it is managed by the leadership class. Additionally, a group of students are working to pair recycle bins with garbage cans in the Corvallis downtown area. The school is certified with the LEED silver rating.

This year, a group of students traveled to the national power shift environmental conference in Washington D.C. Students are also working with the Oregon state university to organize various environmental camps to create the knowledge about the green buildings. This school also offers environmentally focused classes, which includes Economics of Conscious Consumption, AP Biology with a bio-diesel capstone project, Political Actions Workshop and AP Environmental Science.

The green club of the schools organizes a campaign to create awareness about the effects of enormous amount of carbon emission and to encourage the students to use carbon-neutral transportation by offering incentives to bike or walk to school. These are the few reasons for what this school was chosen for this grand title and for the grand prize of $20,000. This cash amount was provided by Walmart for the future environmental efforts of the school. A teacher who entered into the challenge on behalf of the Corvallis high school said that the award of $20,000 is a huge affirmation to the students, staffs and to the Corvallis community.

Walmart also recognized all other finalist schools by awarding a cash prize of $500 for each school. This can be used to buy the items that will helps to enhance the environmental friendly and energy efficient activities.

Green Roof for healthy cities with the greatest mission of creating awareness about the economic, social and environmental benefits of the green roofs and green walls running successfully without looking for the profit. To emphasis the necessity of the green buildings constructed with help of renewable resources like glass and to increase the quality of the green buildings and the green building professionals, Green roofs for Healthy cities has created a new green building accreditation process.

The goal behind this process is to emerge many green roof professionals with high quality and to construct lots and lots of sustainable buildings. Thus this accreditation process includes Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation program, which in turns consists of several courses and training in different cities across the United States. After completion of these courses, the professionals must pass an exam for receiving the GRP accreditation.

The spark for this cheering program rose in the first conference of the Green Roofs for Healthy cities, held at Chicago in 2003. After that a team with dedicated members was organized. This team mainly focused on creating the accreditation program. As a part of the accreditation program, the team defined the objectives of the accreditation program, created the occupational standards and developed the Green Roof Professional exam.

Courses offered

Currently GRP accreditation process offers some courses which include Design 101 Introduction Course, Design and Installation 201, Waterproofing and Drainage 301, Plants and Growing Media 401, and a green walls 101 course.

Objectives of Accreditation:

Accreditation helps the professionals to differentiate themselves in the market. It brings a high-level of professionalism and thus increasing the customer confidence in the green roof technology. Accreditation helps the industries from the inevitable failures that results because of the inappropriate design, installation and maintenance practices.

GRP accreditation verifies whether an individual has attended the level of interdisciplinary knowledge of best practices associated with the successful design, installation and maintenance of green roof systems. In July 2009, after the successful completion of their courses, the very first group of 127 professionals proudly received their GRP accreditation.

Meg Needle

megAmong this first group of 127 individuals, Meg Needle, an associate from Lord, Aeck & Sargent earned the designation as an accredited Green Roof Professional from the Green Roof for Healthy cities (GRHC) on 23rd July 2009. Needle is a LEED accredited professional and also a member of the American Institute of Architects, who has successfully completed a GRP multi-disciplinary exam surrounding five areas of concentration including pre-design, design, contract management, quality assurance and support and maintenance.

Meg Needle is an Atlanta-based architect and she has worked on numerous green roof projects. Among those projects green roof system at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage center, the southface Eco office, the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination center and the tree house at Camp Twin Lakes carries significant importance. At present she is working with a green roof project, Georgia Gwinette college study center.

Awareness about the energy efficiency, eco-friendly environment, green buildings and renewable resources are widely spreading in US. Many corporate companies, educational institutions, municipalities, government agencies are making themselves to make use of renewable resources. Some of the ways to contribute to the environment are generating the power on our own efforts, buying power from the nearby energy producers and buying offset credits to counterbalance the amount of conventional energy used by an organization. US Environmental protection Agency publishes a quarterly list of top 25 American users of green power. Top 10 green energy users of that list are listed below.


intelIntel occupies the first and foremost place in that list. Intel uses 1,301 million green KWh, which is 46% of the total energy consumed. Proudly Intel consumes most of the country’s renewable resources. They are telling that the reason for their abundant consumption is not only to stay ahead always but also to encourage the producers for sustainable energy. This indirectly reduces the cost of the renewable resources. The computer chipmakers make use of the eco-sound electricity, which allows the greener energy to enter into the grid, even though the Intel cannot isolate it for use directly. Will Swope, the vice president of Intel corporation said that even during the economic crisis, the companies using the renewable resources have done better comparing to others who don’t..


pepsicoPepsiCo placed itself in the second place. PepsiCo is a multi-industry company, which is totally different from the pepsi bottling group. It consumes 1,145 million green KWh, 100 percent of the total power used. In 2007, PepsiCo familiarity echoed tremendously when its headquarters went green with its power buys. PepsiCo drinks $39 billion through the products from Aquafina to Quaker oats. It turned the sustainable resource brokers to buy more offset credits.

Kohl’s Department stores

KohlsKohl’s Department stores maintained third place, intakes 601 million green KWh, which is 50 percent of the total power consumed. Kohl department is already a biggest solar host in US. To make the corporate rooftops to absorb the sunrays, this company made partnered ship with Sun-Edison, Which owns and maintains the solar panels and also sells the electricity to the kohl’s department stores. Their largest setup is the roof of the distribution center in San Bernardino, California, where 6,208 panels can crank out a full megawatt of power.


dellDell, a multinational technology corporation, which manufactures personal computers and other computer related products grabbed fourth place in that list. Dell made use of 554 million green KWh, 15 percent of total power used. Dell headquarters bought massive energy credits, increased energy efficiency and minimized the carbon emission. Thus, by August 2008, Dell headquarters was declared as “carbon neutral”. Dell reported $3 million and to compensate the overseas operations, it buys more US offset credits than what it actually needs.

Whole Foods Market

whole-foodWhole Foods Market in Austin, a retail food grocer utilizes 527 million green KWh, which is 100 percent of the power used totally and positioned in the fifth place of that list. From December 2005, this Whole foods market has entirely compensate power consumption in all its stores all around the country. At that time, they were the biggest sustainable energy purchaser in North America.

Pepsi Bottling Group

Pepsi RussiaPepsi Bottling Group, largest bottlers located itself at the sixth place in the list and exercised 470 million green KWh, 100 percent of the total power used. This group sells more than 1.7 billion cases of drinks for a year and offsets all the power through credits.


Johnson & Johnson

johnJohnson & Johnson, a global American parametrical and consumer packed product manufacturers earned seventh place and used 435 million green KWh, 38 percent of the total power consumed. It started energy conservation program in 1990. It produces power from landfill gas and solar panels, purchases both wind and hydro power directly and purchases offset credits for bio mass and wind power.

U.S. Air force

usairforceU.S. Air force earned eighth place in the list and it consumes 426 million green KWh, which is 5 percent of the power consumed. The air force’s program includes the concept of renewable resources stated with Edward Air Force Base in California 10 years ago. Wind turbines at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming can cover a rang of about 3.3 megawatts of power and at Nellis Air force Base solar panels produce 30 million KWh per year, which the air force asserts is the largest solar energy installation in the western hemisphere.

Cisco systems

ciscoCisco systems locate itself in 9th place, which uses 401 million green KWh, 46 percent of the total energy used. Half of the operations of the Cisco are carried out with the help of the renewable energy. As a result of this, Cisco reduces the carbon emission equal to that of more than 31 million gallons of burned gasoline. This is just equal to the removal of   3, 35,000 car trips between New York and Los Angeles.

City of Houston

cityCity of Houston occupied tenth place in the list and intakes 350 million green KWh, which is 27 percent of the total power consumed. Now the city is running with 27 percent fixed-rate wind power. Although that is less than the one third of its total demand, Houston’s sizable purchase makes it the largest city or state buyers nationwide.

Green Buildings Open House is the largest event dedicated to sustainable energy in the northeastern USA. It is organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). Green Building Open House is annually held on the first Saturday of October.

The Primary goal of this event is to showcase energy efficiency and renewable energy features in buildings within NESEA’s 10-state territory. This event will connect consumers with the industrial professional, who will be educating about the various green building products and services available to retrofit current buildings and construct new buildings that features energy efficiency and on-site power generation.

This event is organized by NESEA in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour, which allows the public to learn how to incorporate the energy efficient and sustainable elements in the buildings and help them to reduce cost incurred by the heating systems. This event exemplifies that life style, comfort, and attractive architecture are not sacrificed by utilizing energy efficient features.

The Green Buildings Open House is inviting public to visit sustainable, energy efficient homes and other advanced buildings throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New England. Last year, thousands of people visited more than 600 sustainable buildings which include homes, schools, churches, public buildings and other nature centre from Pennsylvania to Maine to learn how to reduce carbon footprints and to use sustainable materials to save energy and money.

Once again the NESEA is inviting new site to join the extensive list of green buildings of those welcoming the public on October 3 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. David Barclay, Executive Director of NESEA said “We are thrilled about the number of host sites returning to participate in the Green Buildings Open House tour, a sure sign that they enjoyed being part of the tour last year and educating the public about their sustainable buildings. I would like to extend an invitation for new hosts who share pride in owning a sustainable and energy-efficient building to join the tour and help the public learn how they, too, can reduce energy consumption”.

To qualify as host site it can have the features like use of photovoltaic panels, geothermal heat pump, and wind turbines for energy production. Building should use energy efficient glass products, appliances, passive solar heating or solar hot water collection and storage. Building constructed with green material and recycled glass; wood materials are also qualified to participate.

To register your site for Green Buildings Open House, please visit the NESEA website at Registration ends on September 1, 2009.

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