Sunday, April 09, 2006

Preserving our Water Resources

Many growing communities are experiencing water shortages, stormwater discharge problems and domestic wastewater treatment issues. Sustainable green planning approach can solve these issues when you evaluate the water issues in a comprehensive manner. Water supply, stormwater management and wastewater treatment all are interrelated issues and are part of sustainable green planning.

Midwest USA is now starting to study this problem under USEPA guidelines for Capacity Management Operation & maintenance program(CMOM). This is a good start and we hope that it expands and becomes part of comprehensive sustainable green planning in future. Smart communties can adopt this approach and help them deal with all development issues.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Using Deconstruction for Recycling homes

Deconstruction not demolition makes more sense if want to reduce the waste going to landfills. I attended a presentation given by a young professional from Seattle area where he started a recycling and deconstruction company and created more than 30 new jobs. Basically they take apart buildings in small sections and recover building materials for recycling. Many items are sold to local people to upgrade their homes and avoid sending tons of material to land fills.
So many trees are saved if the timber is recycled and many metals and plastics are recovered. What may surprise many people is that thousands of homes
are vacant in cities like Buffalo and Rochester new York and public funds are used to demolish them. Under green design principles the communities will first look for opportunities to recycle materials and require contractors to practice deconstruction strategies and only discard the waste materials.
The government agencies must require building assessments to see if material can be recycled and support a new industry of recovered housing materials.