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Brad Pitt Meets Obama to Discuss New Orleans Green Building

Brad Pitt met with President Barack Obama yesterday to discuss green rebuilding efforts in New Orleans through his charity organization, Make it Right NOLA. After Hurricane Katrina, Pitt began by working with Global Green to sponsor an architecture competition aimed at generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, which inspired Pitt’s successful project, Make It Right.

Pitt met with Obama, as well as Democratic congressional leaders including Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

“I just want to say thank you to the Speaker for opening up her doors for us to come in and discuss the rebuilding effort, the current rebuilding effort going on in New Orleans and how we can expand this idea of affordability and sustainability, because we think we have a model that works,” Pitt said.

Want to help Pitt build sustainable homes in New Oleans? You can go to the Make it Right website and click on the plans for the latest house. There, you can donate anything in the house – everything from shower heads to solar panels.

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Japan’s Sanyo Solar Ark

Sanyo, one of Japan’s largest electronics companies, has come up with an innovative and beautiful architectural design that allows a large solar power facility to exist within Japan’s need for clean aesthetic. The Solar Ark, in Gifu, is over 1,000 feet wide and 120 feet tall. The Solar Ark’s outer surfaces are covered with more than 5,000 active solar panels which generate over 500,000 kilowatt-hours of green energy in ideal weather conditions.

The Solar Ark’s subtle design and unique features make it a truly stunning example of eco-architecture .The Solar Ark has a gentle curved design that turns up at both ends. A modified space frame and cantilever engineering make it lightweight yet exceptionally strong, so it is capable of withstanding typhoon winds and earthquakes.

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Mitchell Joachim of Terraform, on Sustainable Architecture

Mitchell Joachim of Terraform, a non-profit sustainable architectural design organization, on architecture, sustainability, treehouses, and how Terraform’s work encompasses all three of these topics.

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New WTC Freedom Tower Will Have World’s Largest Fuel Cell

The New York Power Authority and UTC Power are working together to make one of the largest fuel cell installations in the world. The Freedom Tower and three other towers under construction at the WTC site are getting 12 fuel cells that will increase energy efficiency for the buildings.

These fuel cells are apparently one of the cleanest, quietest and most energy efficient on-site power generating cells available, outputting double the power of the previous model.

Gov. David Paterson said. “The fuel cells and other measures will help make the new World Trade Center towers an exemplar of environmental sustainability and will signal to the world New York State’s commitment to greater energy security and reduced dependence on foreign oil. I can think of few sites in the country where the symbolism of this is more important.”

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White Roofs Have a Role in Reversing Climate Change?

Just painting roofs white in warmer climates could decrease air conditioning bills for those buildings by 20%. For the last few years, California law has required all new buildings to have white roofs.

Recent research suggest that if all the roofs in the world were white, enough sunlight would reflect back into the atmosphere to significantly reduce the effects of global warming. This new study says that if the 100 biggest cities painted all their roofs white, and switched their road materials to lighter colors, for example,concrete instead of asphalt, it would reflect enough light and heat back into the atmosphere to almost entirely offset the warming of the last thirty years.

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