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In Building Green with Steel, Churches

15 Tips for a More Energy Efficient Church

Simple Ways to Cut Energy Expenses at Your Worship Facility An energy efficient church stretches funds. Lower utility bills mean more money in the budget for doing what really matters: helping others. There are several ways for worship facilities to reduce energy waste. Some of these ideas cost very little. Other cost-saving techniques require an initial investment— but reap great money-saving rewards. Start small. Add more expensive energy-saving methods as time— and the church budget— permit. Begin with an energy… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 7

Beating City Summer Heat with Reflective Surfaces Our last blog stressed the importance of greenspaces in mitigating urban heat island (UHI) impacts. Another strategy for diminishing the sweltering heat of UHIs involves lighter, more reflective surfaces on buildings, pavements, and roadways. Starting at the Top with Roofing Choices Roofs account for 20% to 25% of the land cover in cities. The simplest way to cool down hot roofs is to choose light-colored roofing materials. Light colors reflect radiated heat; dark… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 6

Beating Summer Heat with Greenspaces in the Cities In previous blogs we covered some of the many problems an urban heat island (UHI) inflicts on city-dwelling people, our planet, and our pocketbooks. Now let’s look at the ways we can mitigate the effects of UHIs on our cities. We Must Combat Urban Heat Islands Matters NOW Today 80% of all Americans live in cities. Millions more commute to cities daily for employment. UHIs affect the comfort, health, and finances of… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 5

The Financial Ramifications of Blistering Summer Heat in the Cities An urban heat island (UHI) impacts people, the planet— and pocketbooks. The financial consequences of UHIs affect governments, insurance companies, and individuals. Financial Fallout of Urban Heat Islands Putting an exact price tag on the cost of urban heat islands is impossible. However, it is obvious the costs to our health, our environment, and our financial resources are far too great. The economic costs of the urban heat island are… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 4

The Environmental Problems Caused by Scorching Summers in the City In addition to the health problems caused by an urban heat island (UHI), there are also serious environmental consequences. Urban heat islands create far-reaching environmental complications that affect not only the city itself, but also surrounding weather patterns, air quality, water quality, ecosystems, and even seasons. Environmental Impacts of Urban Heat Islands An urban heat island significantly affects the environment around it: Urban building alters the landscape, displacing natural vegetation… Read More

In Building Green with Steel, Health and Steel Buildings

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 3

The Health Problems Caused by Sizzling Summer Heat in the Cities The urban heat island (UHI) phenomena causes scorching temperatures every summer in many major U.S. cities. This sweltering summer heat makes cities uncomfortable, energy draining, unhealthy— and deadly. Health Consequences of Urban Heat Islands Summer heat is absorbed and magnified by the city infrastructure. Relentless temperatures promote asthma attacks, respiratory problems, heart attacks, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke in overheated city dwellers. The heat also kills. Consider… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 2

What Causes City Temperatures to Soar in Summer? In part 1 of this series, we covered the basic definition of an urban heat island (UHI). We also revealed twenty U.S. cities which have been 22°F to 28°F warmer than nearby rural areas. But why are summers in the city so much hotter than surrounding rural locations? The Main Causes of Urban Heat Island DENSITY: Cities are crowded with buildings, streets, highways, and people. Over 255 million Americans now live in… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Urban Heat Island Effects in the U.S. – Part 1

Why Summer in the City Is Becoming Unbearable In 1966, the band Lovin’ Spoonful complained about the urban heat island phenomena in their blockbuster hit “Summer in the City.” Today, summer in an urban heat island is even worse. In the years since “Summer in the City” rose to the top of the charts, Los Angeles, California’s’ average summer temperature has risen about 5°F (-15°C). Louisville, Kentucky’s average summer temperatures rose approximately 8.4°F (-13.1°C) during the same time period. Urban… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Recycling Construction and Demolition Debris- Part 3

The Benefits of Recycling and Reusing C&D Waste Researching construction and demolition debris makes me think of the animated movie “WALL·E.” In the movie, the world was overrun with garbage. The people abandoned the Earth in luxury spaceships, leaving automated robots to clean up the planet. Seven hundred years later, only the little robot WALL·E remained functioning, diligently crushing trash into cubic foot squares stacked as high as skyscrapers. Every movie has a hero. The intrepid little rusty robot is… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Recycling Construction and Demolition Debris- Part 2

Out of the Rubble: Coping with Disaster Debris As we said in Part 1 of this series, construction and demolition debris includes waste generated by natural disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and fires create massive amounts of rubble. Devastated cities and towns, already overcome by the human crisis, face the insurmountable task of clean up in the aftermath of destruction. How Much Construction and Demolition Debris is Generated in Disasters? Every natural catastrophe produces its own signature of construction and… Read More

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