Author Archives: cariorsi

Want to be a LEED AP or GA. . . yes there is an app for that!

Do you want to become a LEED GA (Green Associate) or LEED AP (Accredited Professional) but just don’t know if you have the time?  Well no more excuses, you can study on the go with flashcards, a study guide and even study sessions right on your phone.  Isn’t technology great?

Here are just a few options to explore:

www.greenedu.com/leed-mobile-apps

http://www.housingzone.com/appcenter/leed-app-%E2%80%93-ga

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leed-study-guide/id405852353

If you are interested in studying for the LEED GA test, please let one of your SDC representatives know and we can help you get started.

Does anyone pay attention to signs we design?

Does anyone even enforce the signs we spend time and thought putting on a plan and making sure get installed correctly?  I’m specifically talking about “Idling Limit” signs we have incorporated into many of our recent Massachusetts designs.  We have been including signs in the drop off lanes at schools, both in the bus drop offs and the parent drop offs.  The sign states that there is an idling limit, references a fine and the MA general law.

I’ve often wondered if people really respect the signs or if parents and buses still sit in front of the school idling and waiting for their student or students to come out of the school, say good bye to their friends and then make their way into the vehicle.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this article, “RI Bus Co. Busted for Excessive Idling” and see that idling laws have been enforced.

For more information on MA and RI idling laws check out the links below:

Massachusetts Laws                             Rhode Island Laws

Green and Economically Successful! -Rumford Center Project – East Providence, RI

The Providence Business News just reported that this project was given the 2012 Project of the Year Award by Northeastern Economic Developers Association.  Check out the full story here:  http://www.pbn.com/Rumford-Center-named-project-of-the-year,70445 This proves that a project can be both green and economically successful!  Fortunately, Pare Corporation had the opportunity to provide the site engineering for the Rumford Center project.

The original concept of this project as outlined by the development team, a partnership between Peregrine Group and Kirkbrae Properties, was sustainable.  Although, the project did not receive any sort of recognition on a rating system the development and design team were invested in doing the right thing for the environment.  Since the property had been the site for the Rumford Chemical Works it was previously developed and had nine buildings with a majority of the site being pavement.  Some of the more sustainable site features for this re-development are listed below:

  • Re-development Component: The project used existing land and buildings that had been previously disturbed
  • Remediation Activities:  Both buildings and site went through remediation to bring the complex up to current environmental standards
  • Reduction in Impervious Area:  The complex was primarily paved.  With the redevelopment impervious areas were planned and defined and are now outlined with pedestrian areas, landscaping and grasses.  This will reduce runoff and reduce the heat island effect.
  • Treatment of Runoff Water Quality:  As part of the proposed drainage design, deep sump catchbasins and a structural water quality treatment unit were installed rather than relying on the existing underground system.

Before Construction Photos

After Construction Photos compliments of Peregrine Group

USBGC Boston Chapter Webinar Summary

Last Thursday I attended the USBGC Boston Chapter sponsored webinar from its educational webinar series.  This specific webinar was on Urban Heat Island Effect and allowed for LEED AP’s to earn some credentialing maintenance credits.  Most of the content was reviewing general concepts revolving around the heat island effect but I’ve summarized a few interesting points and website links below:

  •  Benefits of Reducing Heat Island Effect:  reduce air conditioning use, reduce the rate that smog forms, increase human health, increase life costs of material
  • Material Albedo Defined:  If a material is reporting a 0.5 albedo than it translates to roughly 50% of the material reflecting
  • Ways to Reduce the Heat Island Effect:
    • Non Roof Areas:  Create shade over impervious areas (landscaping or roofs), Reduce impervious area, use ‘cool’ pavement or other materials with higher reflective.  The webinar stated that cool pavement typically resulted in a 30 degree temperature difference than use of typical black asphalt
    • Roof Areas:  Create cool roofs with either vegetation or material type

Interesting Website References:   http://www.greenroofs.org/ ; http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/Green_Alley_Handbook_2010.pdf ;  http://www.asla.org/greenroof/

The next webinar is on October 17, 2012 at 5PM and features the topic, ‘Water Efficiency and Innovation’.  For more details, or to register, go to http://usgbcma.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=221 .

While on my way to the webinar I noticed this electrical vehicle charging station in a lot in Boston!

 

Upcoming Green Events

Pare employees will be in attendance . . . will you?

September 19th:  LEED 251: LEED and the Urban Heat Island Effect, In Person Webinar, Boston, MA:

September 20th:  USGBC MA End of Summer Social, Boston, MA:

October 4th:  Massachusetts Green Career Conference, Marlborough, MA

  • This conference offers networking with municipalities, university and companies that promote green careers
  • Education, training and green resources will be available
  • Speakers include:  CEO of Mass Clean Energy Center (Mass CEC), Commissioner of Conservation and Recreation and Commissioner of Mass Dept. of Agricultural Resources.
  • Check it out and register:  www.MassGreenCareers.com

Should the London Olympics get a Green Medal for New Infrastructure?

Sure everyone is excited about the Olympics but have you been wondering who is thinking about the sustainability of the infrastructure that’s required to build the venues and transportation for the Olympics?  Turns out, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been for the last 6 years.  In 1996, following the two previous pillars, sport and culture, the environment became the third pillar of Olympism.  The magazine, “Green Source” published an article, Going for Green in their May/June 2012 issue reviewing green features and ranking the Olympics over the past 6 years.   The following are some of the highlights from the article:

  • Sydney received the bronze.  Features included use of recycled materials, rainwater re-use, using existing infrastructure for some of the events rather than building new facilities, the Olympic Village although abandoned for a while is now being used as a residential neighborhood.
  • Beijing took silver with cutting edge technology in green design.  The Athlete’s village was LEED Gold Certified under Neighborhood Development, the water cube used solar energy for heating the pools and is currently being used as a water park
  • London is striving for the gold with their planned designs and monitoring methods, but only time will tell.  Currently in the works are plans to quickly transition the facilities into usable spaces for the community so there will not be wasted infrastructure that will be sitting vacant for the following years.

While you are watching the Olympics this summer don’t forget to think about all the travel, energy and materials it took to put the event into place.  Keep your eye out for green features designed into the venues while you are watching the athletes compete!

Green Site Features under Construction at Plymouth North High School

Pare was the site engineer for the New Plymouth North High School project.  As part of the proposed improvements the following was designed; new vehicular and pedestrian access, associated parking, synthetic turf athletic fields and utilities.  Tom Perry took a couple of construction photos while out on site.  The construction photos show a bioretention area being installed where flush granite curb allows for roadway runoff to enter the bioretention area.   The other photo shows some permeable pavers for select parking areas and overflow parking.

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The project is attempting LEED Gold and has other green site features including an underground rainwater re-use tank to be reused for toilet flushing, pervious concrete in the area surrounding the concession stand, bicycle lanes from the school to each of the public streets, and underground infiltration along with the bioretention areas to increase recharge on site.

Partnership in Sustainability Conference

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On April 20th and 21st  Scott Lindgren and I attended the Partnership in Sustainability Conference at the UMass Boston Campus Center.  The 2nd annual communities conference was held on Friday and Saturday was a day devoted to campuses.  Even though the conference extended into the weekend there were almost 500 participants.  There were 9 states, 94 communities and 45 campuses and schools represented.  Each day offered the conference participants 16 different sessions throughout the day to attend.  One of the sessions on Saturday featured Scott Lindgren and I along with Jenny Isler, the Sustainability Coordinator at Clark University as speakers.  The ‘take home’ we were trying to portray during our portion of the session entitled “How do Design Professionals help with Campus Sustainability”, was that although there are many different measures and metrics to judge your campus sustainability, one might not be the perfect fit.  We tried to highlight the importance of campuses taking ownership and determine what was important to their campus.  We discussed using some of these measurement criteria’s as a starting point and to pick and choose from them to create their own guidebook to sustainability on their campus.

It was interesting to hear what communities and campuses across Massachusetts are doing to make a positive change.  To name a few:

PARE’s very own Ken DeCosta takes the podium at the RIGBC 2012 Annual Meeting

PARE employees supported Ken DeCosta, Senior Vice President of Pare and the RI Green Building Council’s Chairman of the Board at the 2012 Annual Meeting.  The meeting was held on March 21st at the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) in East Greenwich.  Along with an update on the year’s activities and future direction of RIGBC in 2013, the meeting featured John Kelly as the keynote speaker.  Mr. Kelly discussed the Meeting Street LEED Certified building and the I-195 Redevelopment District and some of the ideas surrounding it.  Members were able to comment and ask questions and give their input on the redevelopment district.  Networking and tours of the NEIT facility followed the keynote speaker.

Check out this Providence Business News article about the keynote speaker:  http://www.pbn.com/I-195-commission-focuses-on-details,66265

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