A new green M&S store, meeting the eco-Gaddafi and a discussion on the US sustainable building standard LEED. All the eco-news that matters

Marks & Spencer goes green

A flag ship low-energy M&S store will be designed by award-winning practise van Heyningen & Haward. The store, which will be on the site of the former Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth, will be the practises first entirely new-build retail scheme. Source: Building Design story 1

RIBA warns Lib Dems to back up eco plans

RIBA has challenged the Lib Dem costing of sustainable housing. The party has suggested retrofitting of properties to reach level six of the code for Sustainable Homes would cost £5,000 to £10,000. RIBA president Sunand Prasad said it would actually cost three times the amount; £15,000 to £30,000. Source: Building Design story 2

Meet Eco-Gaddafi

Saif ak-Islam Gaddafi, Colonel Gaddafi’s son, is spearheading an ambitious eco-tourism venture on the Mediterranean coast of Libya. He says, “Climate change is a global problem but the global solution starts with local solutions.” The development will be subtly hidden, not shoved up against the coast line; there are also plans to use chunks of land to make bio-fuels. Source: RIBA Journal feature

Giant battery for renewables

Eon UK is developing a giant battery, the size of four articulated lorries, to store electricity generated by large scale renewable projects. Currently, power generated by installations such as wind farms is not used efficiently because it is impossible to predict when the wind will blow or sun shine. The ability to store energy and use it as and when required is a major step forward for renewable technologies.Source Building Services Journal story

Institute launched to develop zero carbon technology

A new £1 billion technology institute to develop low and zero carbon energy has been announced by the government. The government has announced that Loughborough University is to be the home of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). It will develop ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions, deliver more efficient energy and guarantee energy security for the UK. Source EMC website

Bidding to become a zero hero

Lend Leases global head of sustainability, Maria Atkinson, has told the Sydney Morning Herald about her plans to slash the company’s environmental impact. She said, “The challenge for anyone in a role such as mine is to try and initiate change and deal with cultural change.” “When you tell people the have to stop having tuna and cheese sandwiches or driving to work on a Friday, it’s natural that they will resist.” Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Pricing Carbon won’t lead to carbon zero

Analysts have warned that carbon pricing will not lead to the global energy system becoming carbon neutral by 2050; what is required to ensure climate change will not bear catastrophic results. Environment lobby group E3G said strict technical standards and investment incentives were necessary to achieve the transition. Source: Planet Ark price

Four meetings a year to tackle climate change says Al Gore

Al Gore has told a UN meeting that world leaders need to meet four times a year until a plan is drawn up to reduce emissions blamed for global warming. He added that talks need to take place regarding a follow up pact to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Source: Planet Ark Gore

Environmental Jargon Buster

The US meetings this week regarding climate change involve a host of jargon, a mixture of diplomatese, pundit-speak and techno-talk. Lingo such as framework, cap and trade and major economies, and their environmental implications, has finally been defined. Source: Planet Ark jargon

LEED; the green standard?

A range of debates about the world’s biggest green-building brand name – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – hit headlines last week. Critics condemned the standard, claiming the 25% to 30% target in energy reduction pales compared with the 50% target adopted by the dozens of firms that have signed on to the Architecture 2030 initiative. Source: Fast Company

The new LEED-ND, or neighbourhood development, now takes into account positioning of a building, making further developments towards sustainable property. Source: New Urban News

Location has also been advised to be taken into account in LEED ratings, due to the increasing amounts of buildings which are built in car-dependent strip malls or on urban fringes. This ‘green sprawl’ is missing the opportunity to build in a sustainable manner. Source: Smart Growth

Nuclear power key to low-carbon energy policy

Nuclear power remains key in future low-carbon energy systems, according to the European Commission. European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik said it was important to ensure that nuclear power is economically competitive and as neutral as possible in environmental terms. Source: AFP

Hydrogen from water electrolysis, without electrolyte [video]

A blogger believes to have discovered a way to separate hydrogen from water, which does not require an electrolyte. The system, patented to Stanley Meyer, is based on the generation of electrical square impulses at a given frequency. Source: Cars and Trees blog