Technologies to Combat Global Warming -- construction
Chicago's experience with a killer heat wave in 1995 and its actions to get ready for increases in heat and rainfall brought on by climate change are the subjects of these photographs from my book Earth Under Fire. Climate scientists and medical leaders warn that more and more urban areas will cook under much higher summer temperatures. Changes in rainfall and seasons already affect city health and livability. In response, many cities are taking action to both reduce their greenhouse emissions and to get ready for now-inevitable climate shifts. Chicago installed one of the first large public building green roofs to cool and insulate City Hall; a 20,000- square-foot garden which includes 100 types of native plants. The city has programs to encourage many more green roofs, plant trees, control rain deluges, and change the way buildings are constructed. This and other adaptations to a changing climate are the subject of a NY Times series. Examples of other technologies and community changes are illustrated here in Solutions.
In Louisiana, California and Oregon recently, I saw new neighborhoods being built of extra-efficient homes with solar panels, on demand water heaters, LED lighting, strong insulation, smart climate controls, batteries to store electricity for night use and plug-ins for electric vehicles. Said a realtor in Lancaster CA: "Even during our 107 degree heat wave the A/C cycles off."
Innovative buildings for education, business and apartments employ wind turbines, high efficiency glass, solar hot water systems, green living roofs, grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting and structural functions which allow natural cooling and warming. Please see 12 West and the Lillis Building sites for more information. Building codes are being changed nationwide to emphasize low-carbon technologies. Photos of many more low-energy choices available. Email or call us please.
Please see Climate News and Views.