LEED-certified green buildings are great for the environment, but as it turns out, they maybe not great for your cell signal.
At the University of Colorado, where the number of bars on your cell phone goes up and down as you walk across campus, things are particularly grim in the newly constructed LEED buildings.
For most CU students, spotty cell phone reception has become the norm on campus and has gotten worse with the construction of new environmentally friendly buildings. University officials say they’re hard at work on ways to improve cell phone service on campus.
A recent analysis of signal strength found that there are weak spots across campus, particularly in newly constructed buildings that meet LEED environmental standards, said Greg Stauffer, communications manager for CU’s Information Technology Services.
“The problems in LEED buildings had to do with improved insulation and UV filtering windows affecting signal strength,” Stauffer said. “It was an unexpected effect of the new construction, but we’re working on addressing the issue as quickly as possible.”
Zero-energy homes have been popping up in Boulder for years. Often they’re built by die-hard greenies or, more recently, those with large pocketbooks and an eco-conscience.
But now, Boulder’s getting it’s firs net-zero neighborhood, where all 12 houses will produce as much energy as they use.
From the Daily Camera:
Local developer Ron Monahan stood outside the first of 12 homes he and his business partner plan to build in a new north Boulder subdivision and talked about his vision: “We’re bringing this to the masses.”
“This” is a zero-energy home. It’s a house built with less lumber and more insulation; with recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets; with a geothermal system and a 10-kilowatt solar array. And it’s built in what will become the first zero-energy neighborhood in Boulder, and likely, one of the first in the country.
Monahan and co-developer Terry Britton worked with architect George Watt and Silver Lining builders to construct the model home for the planned SpringLeaf “eco-community,” which will sit across Broadway form Lucky’s Market. Read more
Recently, we posted on a Boulder ballot issue over a loan that would help make the Boulder County jail more energy efficient. That got us thinking about other jails.
Here are a few other interesting jail-related green items from around the country:
At the Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Washington, inmates of the minimum-security facility, raise bees, grow organic tomatoes and lettuce, compost 100 percent of food waste and even recycle shoe scraps that are made into playground turf. The program was facilitated by the Sustainable Prisons Project.
If it’s yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down, but not very often Read more