These three timber buildings could represent the future of green architecture

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Timber buildings are popping up around the world. Are they the solution to construction’s carbon problem? Construction materials alone, including carbon and steel, contribute 11% of global carbon emissions (by comparison, air travel contributes about 2.5%). That’s why architects and development companies around the world are opting for a novel but not-so-new solution: wood. A study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, found that with proper forest management, a global boom in wood buildings could sequester up to 700 million tons of carbon a year (wood naturally stores carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere). The idea is catching on: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has proposed a 12-acre timber neighborhood in Toronto, while in February, France mandated that all public buildings after 2022 be constructed of at least 50% wood or other organic materials. The University of Arkansas completed the largest timber building in the U.S. last fall, a 202,000-square-foot dormitory. Architects (and governments) are embracing the material and finding innovative ways to use it. Read Full Story

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Wood buildings should be a requirement of any climate change policy

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A new meta-study offers the strongest evidence yet that timber buildings can drastically reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry. It’s not as visibly bad as the belching smokestacks of the coal industry or the gas-chugging backups on suburban highways, but the building industry is a major contributor to climate change. From their materials to their construction to their energy needs over time, buildings generate nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions . Of that, around a quarter is embodied carbon, or the sum of emissions that resulted in the production, transportation, and use of building materials. What a building is made of can have a huge climate impact. Read Full Story

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Two of architecture’s biggest names just pulled out of an ambitious climate pledge

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The high-profile exit of Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects from the pledge, called Architects Declare, exposes deep rifts in an industry that’s grappling with how to control its carbon footprint. In as many days, two of the world’s most well-known architecture firms have shocked the field and removed their names from a pledge aiming to reduce architecture’s contribution to climate change and biodiversity loss. First Foster + Partners and then a day later Zaha Hadid Architects withdrew from Architects Declare , a pledge launched by architects in the U.K. in 2019 that commits to reducing the architecture and construction industry’s nearly 40% contribution to global carbon emissions. Read Full Story

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Microsoft and Skanska are using this free tool to dramatically cut their carbon

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Developed in-house at Skanska, the tool can be used to calculate the embodied carbon of key materials that account for upward of 70% of a building’s global carbon emissions. The environmental impact of buildings is huge . Buildings and the production of the materials that are used to construct them account for 11% of global carbon emissions . These emissions, known as embodied carbon, are in every steel beam, concrete foundation, and two-by-four used in construction, and they’ve taken their environmental toll long before anyone sets foot inside the completed structure. Embodied carbon represents the biggest contribution to a building’s carbon footprint over its life span and the next big environmental challenge for the building industry . Read Full Story

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The case for cookie-cutter buildings

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A new system helps architects design buildings with factory-produced parts—making them cheaper and more environmentally sustainable. The way buildings get built is wreaking havoc on the climate. Building materials and construction account for 11% of global carbon dioxide emissions , and that doesn’t include the amount of energy they use once they’re built and occupied. Read Full Story

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Mass timber is the future of architecture. But can it survive a world on fire?

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With global temperatures on the rise and wildfires regularly breaking out in places such as California and Australia, the increasingly popular construction material may seem like a risky way to build for an uncertain future. Sustainable, renewable, and versatile: It’s hard to find a better building material than wood. It’s often the builder’s go-to, whether for a single-family home in the suburbs or a low-rise apartment complex in the city. Read Full Story

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This redesign of the Brooklyn Bridge involves a Guatemalan forest

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Replacing the bridge’s wooden walkway with sustainable tropical wood shows, in the words of the architect, that “the city takes responsibility for the global nature of its networks.” On a walk to work across the Brooklyn Bridge more than a decade ago, designer Scott Francisco started thinking about the wood under his feet—and recognized that it had come from a rainforest. “I knew it was tropical hardwood,” he says. “So it immediately raised these questions about sustainability in the city and what our impacts are. I thought, what if this could be flipped around, and rather than being about consumption and negative impact at a distance, that it could be turned into something that had a positive impact.” Read Full Story

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Best ERP Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Historically, ERP (enterprise resource planning) software was used by large corporations and multinational organizations for managing their entire operation from a single platform. But now these solutions are more accessible than ever before. In addition to enterprises, lots of SMBs have started to leverage these tools over the past several years. ERP software essentially combines all of your business tools into a centralized console. It encompasses components like accounting, HR, CRM, supply chain management, and more. By consolidating your business tools into a single ERP solution, it’s much easier to manage. Plus, ERP software gives you tons of extra value from a big-picture point of view, that you normally wouldn’t see from standalone software. So which ERP software is the best? Find out below. The Top 5 Options For …

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How to build a zero-carbon skyscraper

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Wooden skyscrapers help sequester a lot of carbon, but they run into problems when they get too tall. This concept design minimizes the footprint but still gets to 105 stories. A typical skyscraper has a massive carbon footprint, both embedded in the production of materials such as concrete and steel and from the energy used to keep it running. But if this new, conceptual 105-story skyscraper is built, it could operate with essentially no carbon footprint at all. Read Full Story

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