Earthworks has just published an article on Zambian pilot sustainable housing projects that Gauge provided sustainability technical guidance and evaluation support. The pilot housing aims to identify appropriate construction methodologies and designs that can be used as models for large-scale affordable housing projects in Zambia. Projects were undertaken by Lafarge, People’s Housing Process, ILO and UNEP and were constructed on a range of sites throughout Zambia. Gauge provided technical input which aimed to ensure that housing maximized local content, were affordable, could be easily maintained and were highly energy and water efficient. Gauge also used the Sustainable Building Assessment Tool (SBAT) as a standardized assessment methodology to evaluate pilots and provide detailed technical recommendations for improvements. The article can be downloaded here: Zambia_LR (1)
A new course by Gauge provides knowledge and tools which can be used to monitor and evaluate water use in buildings. It includes a simple water use monitoring and evaluation tool in Excel which can be populated with information from water utility bills or from water meter readings to understand water use patterns within a building over a year as well as water use in relation to historic records and targets.
The tool and methodology provided by the course is a very effective way of tracking water use in buildings and supports effective monitoring and evaluation process which can be used to reduce water use in buildings in an effective way. The course is not highly technical and is suitable for anyone wishing to track water use and reduce its use in buildings.
A new online course on water use modeling has been developed by Gauge to respond to increasing pressure to understand and reduce water use in buildings. It includes a simple water modeling tool in Excel, the Water Use Modeling (WUM), which can be populated with information from an existing building or a proposed building design to produce reports of predicted water use in relation to targets. The tool is a very effective way of understanding water use in buildings and developing strategies to reduce this through practical measures. The course is not highly technical and is suitable for anyone wishing to understand water uses in buildings and how this can be reduced.
How efficient are water systems and equipment in your building at reducing water consumption demands on municipal water supplies?
A new online course by Gauge enables participants to answer this question and provides understanding and methodologies which can be used to assess water systems and equipment in buildings in relation to water efficiency.
The course consists of short presentations which introduce water systems in buildings and provides guidance on undertaking water assessments. It includes a copy of Water Assessment in Building (WAB) tool and manual. The WAB tool supports a structured approach to assessments and provides useful reports which can be used to identify areas of strength and weakness. It also enables water systems in buildings to be rated in a quantified and rigorous way. Achieving a highly-rated WAB performance can be used to demonstrate a commitment to water sustainability performance.
The course and accompanying material are easy to understand and are suitable for both a technical and non-technical audience. The course is of particular interest to people wishing to understand how high-performance sustainable water systems in buildings can be developed.
The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool Residential 1.04 Manual and Tool are now available. The SBAT supports an integrated and responsive approach to achieving high sustainability performance in buildings. The tool is based on a holistic approach to addressing sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental criteria. It is easy and cost effective to use and is particularly relevant to developing country contexts. Samples of the manual and certificate are available here, and full versions are available here.
Increasing incomes and urban growth is resulting in increased consumption of sugars, refined fats, oils, and meats. If this trend continues 80% of the increases in global agriculture greenhouse gas emissions will come from food production and land clearing. These diets also increase Type II diabetes and heart disease.
Alternative diets which reduce emissions and have health benefits can be determined by carrying out life cycle environmental impact assessments (LCAs) and projecting impacts, such as carbon emissions and land use. The full study can be accessed here.
New research by MIT uses sensors and radio signals to measure gait velocity and stride length of individuals. This provides valuable health indicators for older adults and can be used for health emergencies. However, it can also include interaction capabilities that could encourage walking, supporting improved health. Paper can be accessed here