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Brad Pitt's Foundation Embraces Green Building and Solar Energy
Brad Pitt's foundation on Saturday brought sustainability and green building to an area of Kansas City that struggles with high unemployment and crime rates.
Make It Right, Pitt's six-year-old green building organization, cut the ribbon on Bancroft School Apartments, a former school building that now contains 50 LEED Platinum certified rental units under a solar roof with 400 panels. The school, in the Manheim Park neighborhood, has previously been abandoned and boarded up for 13 years, according to Make It Right.
“As a fellow Missourian, it brings me great pride that Make It Right can be of service in my home state,” Pitt said. “This beautiful building will provide housing for many people in need. We also hope it serves as a catalyst for new life and new investment in the community of Manheim Park.”
A mix of private donations and tax credits funded the $14.3 million Bancroft School Apartment project. Make It Right worked with the Dalmark Group, NHS and Green Impact Zone to renovate the school, which was built more than 100 years ago.
The renovation included using 2,220 gallons paint without volatile organic compounds, donated by Benjamin Moore and 40,000 square feet of Cradle to Cradle certified hardwood flooring and carpet, provided by Shaw Floors. Cradle to Cradle certified products and designs use renewable energy, maintain and enhance water quality and honors social fairness and human dignity, according to architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart, who wrote the book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.
The units also feature energy-efficient windows and sensors from Leviton that the occupant manage energy consumption and costs.
“We have come so far from the days of creating the Green Impact Zone to working for more jobs, greater energy efficiency and a better quality of life for all who live and work here," U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) said. "The repurposed Bancroft School now opens as a shining example of our progress, improvement and success.”
Pitt founded Make It Right in 2007 to build green and affordable housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA. The group partnered with 21 architects and embraced LEED and Cradle to Cradle standards for each project. Pitt's organization has also provided solar installations at various sites in New Orleans and Newark, NJ.
Visit EcoWatch’s GREEN BUILDING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jennifer Molidor, PhD
Climate change, habitat loss and pollution are overwhelming our planet. Thankfully, these enormous threats are being met by a bold new wave of environmental activism.
Trump Makes Strange Claim About Water Efficient Toilets: 'People Are Flushing Toilets 10 Times, 15 Times'
President Donald Trump mocked water-efficiency standards in new constructions last week. Trump said, "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So, EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion." Trump asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a federal review of those standards since, he claimed with no evidence, that they are making bathrooms unusable and wasting water, as NBC News reported.
By Carey Gillam
Former Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will have to testify in person at a St. Louis-area trial set for January in litigation brought by a cancer-stricken woman who claims her disease was caused by exposure to the company's Roundup herbicide and that Monsanto covered up the risks instead of warning consumers.
A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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