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Waterless Toilets, Flood-Resistant Homes and 8 More Sustainable Innovations in Buildings and Cities
Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the world’s available energy, so it's no wonder they are a big focus of the Sustainia100, the newly released list of the 100 most sustainable projects and businesses in the world.
In the U.S. alone, scaling energy efficiency retrofits for buildings constitute a $279 billion investment opportunity, while the energy savings over the span of a decade could amount to more than $1 trillion. Clearly, Scandinavian think tank Sustainia and its committee of advisors needed to prioritize sustainable solutions at buildings all over the planet, along with innovative programs in cities to complement the more efficient structures they house.
Within the entire Sustainia100, there are 12 technologies that represent a wide array of smart technologies that increase the efficiency of buildings in terms of heating, cooling, lighting and water usage. Here are the 20 solutions and businesses that constitute the Buildings and Cities categories:
- EcoNation: Mirror-enhanced skylight with no upfront costs
- Advantix Systems: Salt water air conditioners save energy in humid climates
- Haileybury Youth Trust: Alternative soil blocks for affordable construction
- View: Dynamic windows dim glass and save energy
- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Daylight and natural ventilation in high-rise construction
- Snøhetta, Skanska, ZERO, Sapa, Hydro, Asplan Viak, and Entra Eiendom: Refurbishing to create energy-positive buildings
- Xella Baustoffe: Insulating building blocks from recyclable materials
- Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais and Partners in Health: Solar hospital safeguarding against power outage
- Practical Action: Flood-resistant housing in areas impacted by climate change
- Skanska and MetLife Stadium Co.
- Wecyclers: Providing incentives for recycling in low-income communities
- City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment: Mobilizing behavior change for a zero-waste city
- Philips: Energy savings finance the switch to LED lighting in Washington D.C.
- Göteborg Energi, Lidköping Biogas, and Municipality of Lidköping: City drives innovation for liquefied biogas
- x-runner Venture: Waterless toilets for slums
- Biomatrix Water Solutions: Floating ecosystems for river restoration and water quality
- Power Plus Communications and partners: Communication platform for integrating renewable energy
- Smart Parking and Westminster City Council: Citywide parking sensors for lowering congestion
- National Asphalt Pavement Association: Porous asphalt for stormwater management
- City of Melbourne: Public-private partnership for citywide retrofitting
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By Ajit Niranjan
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