My New Pet Project--Web 2.0 For Green Building

I love social media.  I update my Facebook status regularly (Shari is working on a blog post) and I tweet often (I'm @sharishapiro for anyone who wants to read my tweets). 

But recently I have noticed the use of Web 2.0 for effective policy making tools.  For example, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Google is using its Google Earth tool in conjunction with information from the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups to map where renewable energy projects should be sited to avoid environmental externalities, like invading endangered species habitats.   Everyone I know uses the DSIRE database for energy efficiency and renewable energy resources.  The Department of Energy has a number of interactive tools on energy efficiency and energy codes.  The NRDC recently created a neat tool which uses 3-D modelling to reenvision dead spaces as vibrant, multi-use places. 

We need a great set of Web 2.0 enabled tools to bring together the activities which are happening in the green building space, and to promote collaboration among the the great green practitioners nation and even worldwide.  My vision is to establish a web portal with green building regulations, green building case studies, best practices, wikis, and many other features.  I have a new mission, to create this policy resources powered by Web 2.0 and bring together the many people doing great work in this area. 

Thoughtful Response to Senate Stimulus Post

Yesterday, I posted a piece on the Senate stimulus package, arguing that it failed to provide the green basis for a thriving future economy. 

James Bedell, one of my Twitter buddies (he is @jamesbedell, and you should be following him if you are a tweeter) wrote this thoughtful response on Konstructr. 

How much is enough?

by jamesbedell on February 9, 2009

First of all let me say if you’re on twitter and not following @sharishapiro you’re missing out on some of the best info and opinion on green building to be found. Her recent blog post Proposing a Band Aid, Where a Transplant is Required  is a thought-provoking piece about the short comings of the forth coming stimulus package the president is helping to push through congress. To quote:

The problem with the stimulus package and the proposed amendments is not the amount of the allocations, or even the worthiness of some of the programs, like higher education and healthcare. Rather, it is the fundamental perspective on the American economy that it represents. 

I just wonder if we in the green building community have lost our sense of scope when it comes to change and nature of government in the US. While I share a desire to see the future of energy use and building in the US forever altered and I believe we need the federal government’s help in getting there, I can’t help but wonder if our disappointment is misplaced. Didn’t we used to think that the government’s role was in passing legislation, not funding every green project we ever imagined?

The fact is if the economy hadn’t slid into this horrendous tail spin we would never see a spending/stimulus bill this massive coming from Washington, and in truth it wouldn’t have been warranted. Perhaps we should take the president at his word. That the primary purpose of this bill is to get people to work, to stimulate demand in the economy and break the downward trend. Not fulfill the agenda of the liberal left in one massive bill passed within 3 weeks of taking office.

Read the rest of James' post on Konstructr

Green Building Law Blog's Best of Green 2008

Green Building Law Blog is going on vacation. During that vacation, I intend to finish a chapter on Green Building Law for a forthcoming book on the subject, finish a resource guide for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, research including carbon offsets and recs in banking documentation, and drink some eggnog.  

So, while I am away, here is some wonderful reading to fill your off hours.  Without more fanfare,  Green Building Law Blog's Best of Green 2008

The Best of The Best

Has to be my green building law blogger buddies Chris Cheatham of Green Building Law Update and Steve DelPercio of Green Real Estate Law Journal and greenbuildingsnyc.  If you read our three sites, you will have a deep understanding of green building law issues. Besides, they're great people who love to share ideas.  I couldn't ask for better "competitors."

Best "Mainstream" Green Sites only do they publish me often, they are always on top of green building news.  Plus, Leslie Guevarra, my editor there, is a skilled wordsmith and veteran newswoman. 

Treeehugger--They get kudos for scouring the green world and pulling out the most interesting, cutting edge green ideas.  They are always promoting good, smaller sites with great ideas and giving them "page one" exposure.

NRDC Switchboard--Blog of the hitters from the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Depending on the day, any one of their mega-credentialed staff has something interesting and well-thought out to say, from carbon to polar bears to reimagining malls.

Earth2Tech--Never fails to have the latest in green tech, finance and regulatory issues.  Well written, precise and easy to read.  

Best Topical Green Sites

Green Finance--Has to be Scott Anderson at the Green Skeptic

Green Building/Energy Efficiency--Green Decoder has excellent energy efficiency tips and great pictures of his efficiency projects.

LEED--Real Life LEED has great posts about the LEED system (even though the author has failed to include me in posts about green building law--see, this list is unbiased!)

Green incentives--DSIRE website has a database which includes almost all the publicly available incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency

Green Regulations--I like this list by the AIA of green building regulations.

Green Life--Recycle Your Day--This is a fun site plus excellent green giveaways.  I will win one in 2009!

Green Baby!--As many of my loyal readers know, I had a baby, Sylvie Abigail, in April. My mom gave me the book Raising Baby Green, and I have been an avid follow of Dr. Greene's eponymous blog since.

Beyond Categorization--Blogs worth reading that don't fit into the above categories, but deserve credit!

The Oil Drum--Musings on renewable energy and the state of oil

Construction Law Musings--Chris Hill covers construction law, social media, and occasionally, me, at his excellent site.  

 Green Building Theology--Sara Sweeney, architect and green theologian, has this new blog with thought provoking posts on the intersection between green building and faith.

Green Modern Kits--Green pre-fab house kits! Great voice, great designs, and a nice page of efficiency tips.

Green Building Law Twitter Buddies--Twitter is an amazing place to have a conversation with these thought leaders

@scottdodd--New media guru at the NRDC

@researching--Judith Meskill's twitter handle. She brought you the likes of Babycenter and Weblogs, now has a new environmental site in beta supereco

@sallan_found--Nancy Anderson of the Sallan Foundation, the feed and site has great info on greener cities

@greenofficepro--Green leasing expert

@theoildrum--Twitter feed for The Oil Drum

@AltEnergyNews--Just as it says, alternative energy news

@gman68--Philly green builder

@sarasweeney--Sara Sweeney's green building architecture and theology feed

@greenmodernkits--Green Modern Kits feed.

@chrischeatham; @stephendp--Chris Chetham and  Stephen DelPercio's green building law feeds

 @lamamanaturale--Feed for Recycle Your Day

@elaineishere--Green building specialist in California

@constructionlaw--Chris Hill's feeed

@wind4me--Tweets on wind energy and wind stocks

@brian_phelps--Architect and urban designer.  Always forwards interesting articles.

 @vikdug--Construction industry professional and social media zealot

Don't like my list? Did I miss someone?  Leave a comment or tweet me--I am @sharishapiro!