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Articles on Buildings

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seeing nothing but blue skies ahead when it comes to his policies on climate change. But will the newly re-elected Liberal government follow through? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s federal election made big strides for climate and the environment

While the outcome of the 2021 federal election offered little in the way of change, it may have left Canada better positioned to make progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Mark Poindexter puts a tarp on the damaged roof of his home in Gulf Breeze, Louisiana, on Aug. 29, 2020, in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods – whatever your local risk, here’s how to be more weather-ready

Federal weather scientists are pushing to make the US more ‘weather-ready,’ which could mean prepping for fires, flooding or storms depending on where you live. The common factor: thinking ahead.
Schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania have already found Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in their water systems. Andrew Whelton/Purdue University

Dangerous bacteria is showing up in school water systems, reminding all buildings closed for COVID-19 to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.
Sberbank Technopark in Russia by Zaha Hadid Architects. Zaha Hadid Architects

Algorithms are designing better buildings

Algorithms can now work out the best ways to lay out rooms, construct buildings and even change them over time to meet user needs.
Artist rendition of the National Western Center, a net-zero campus under construction in Denver to house multiple activities. City and County of Denver | Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center

Buildings consume lots of energy – here’s how to design whole communities that give back as much as they take

Net zero energy buildings produce at least as much energy as they use. Designing whole net zero campuses and communities takes the energy and climate benefits to a higher level.
A sand mine in Nepal. Growing urbanization and its need for concrete is fuelling a global sand crisis. (Michael Hoffmann)

Roving bandits and looted coastlines: How the global appetite for sand is fuelling a crisis

As sand markets boom, entrepreneurs, organized crime and others are cashing in — leaving widespread environmental damage in their wake.
Discolored water can be caused by heavy metals, such as iron or copper. Iron can also act as a nutrient for organisms to grow in the pipes. Kyungyeon Ra/Purdue University

The coronavirus pandemic might make buildings sick, too

Office buildings have been left mostly empty for weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving standing water in pipes where harmful organisms can grow. What happens when those buildings reopen?
Sunlight, ventilation and relative humidity all affect the microbiome of indoor spaces. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Buildings have their own microbiomes – we’re striving to make them healthy places

We spend 90% of our lives indoors, and every building has its own indoor microbiome. Can we learn to manage them in ways that support helpful microbes and suppress harmful ones?

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