Posts in Environmental News

How to Protect Construction Workers from Prolonged Sun Exposure

August 7th, 2018 Posted by Environment, Environmental News No Comment yet

The risks of prolonged sun exposure are higher for outdoor workers due to the nature of their jobs, so it’s essential to take some safety measures—especially during summer. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States, more than 40% of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry. How do we evaluate the risks of sunny weather to protect these workers?

The Heat Index

The heat index is a chart used to determine the risk of heat-related illness for outdoor workers. There are four risk levels, each one with recommended safety measures:

  • Less than 91°F: Low risk level; requires basic heat safety and planning.
  • 91°F to 103°F: Moderate risk level; requires the implementation of precautions.
  • 103°F to 115°F: High risk level; requires additional safety measures to protect workers.
  • Greater than 115°F: Very high to extreme risk level; requires strong protective measures.

Low Risk Level

Talk to workers about the importance of wearing sunscreen and drinking water. Encourage them to drink water over soda because drinks containing caffeine may lead to dehydration. Plan safety training to educate everyone on the risks of prolonged sun exposure.

Moderate Risk Level

Emphasize the importance of drinking water often. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests an average of 4 cups/hour. Make sure the workers are taking regular breaks in a cool or shaded area. Supervisors should monitor workers and watch for signs of heat-related illness.

High Risk Level

If possible, reschedule activities to a time when it’s not too hot outside. Alert workers of high risk conditions and enforce work/rest schedules. Use cooling equipment and techniques to help reduce the heat. Supervision is extremely important, so you need someone prepared to identify heat-related illness and implement preventive measures.

Very High to Extreme Risk Level

These weather conditions are very dangerous for your workers’ health. Reschedule non-essential tasks for days with a lower heat index. If possible, move essential activities to night shifts. Regular physiological monitoring is a must to ensure that everyone is healthy. Stop work if you can’t implement adequate safety measures.

At CREED LA, part of our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in Los Angeles supports projects that positively impact the community and considers local and environmental impacts. That’s why we support green building initiatives in Los Angeles and beyond. To find out more about how CREED LA is committed to a better LA, visit us online or call (877) 810-7473 today.

How to Design an Urban Park

July 28th, 2018 Posted by Environmental News, Green Construction No Comment yet

Parks bring people together, not only with each other, but also with nature. That’s why they’re an essential aspect of any successful city design. Cities are growing, and it’s becoming more and more important to ensure that citizens have access to natural, green spaces. Urban parks can provide exactly that!

So, how can cities create the best urban parks possible?

Design for People

At the end of the day, parks are for people, so design them with that in mind! Design a space that will complement people’s daily rhythms; make sure to consider seating, foot traffic, and bicycle routes. Parks should be beautiful too: trees, flowers, water features, and more can provide an idyllic getaway in the midst of busy city life.

Create a Place

Urban parks shouldn’t just be about design; they should be about creating a setting for people to enjoy, and a place that instills a sense of community. What will people do in the park? What kinds of activities can it support? What kinds of interactions will happen here? What are people looking for when they’re coming to the park? Who is coming to enjoy it? Make sure that your park includes elements of fun and functionality so it’s accessible to everyone.

Include Architecture

The ideal park seamlessly incorporates both architecture and natural elements into its design. People use parks as a place to escape for a while and have fun, so choose architectural features that can accommodate that. Picnic areas, shelters, gazebos, and seating can all help create a great space for people to hang out. Don’t forget basic needs such as bathrooms and garbage cans as well!

At Creed LA, our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in Los Angeles has a highly trained and professionalized workforce that support projects like urban parks that can benefit the community. It’s time to make cities more livable for their citizens! To learn more about our mission, contact us online or by calling 877-810-7473.

Why the Future Needs Green Buildings

July 21st, 2018 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

While we often look to vehicles as a benchmark for emissions, they are hardly the only culprit in pollution. The buildings that form our city skylines and house our workplaces consume 20-50% of physical resources and continue to produce emissions long after their construction. In response, the green building movement has developed in order to fight climate change, create more sustainable communities, and further drive economic growth by minimizing long-term environmental impact.

Green buildings are designed, built, and operated in ways which reduce or eliminate environmental impact, including preserving natural resources and improving quality of life for those that live in and around them. Any building can be green, from skyscrapers to hospitals to single-family homes.

Green buildings typically adhere to the following criteria:

  • Efficient use of resources like water and energy, and use of renewable energy like solar power
  • Reducing waste and encouraging recycling, both in construction and maintenance
  • Use of ethically and locally-sourced, non-toxic, and sustainable materials, i.e. wood, cork, or bamboo
  • Consideration of quality of life for inhabitants and the surrounding area in design, construction, and operation
  • Consideration of environmental change in design, i.e. seasonal changes, local ecosystem

There are diverse economic, environmental, and social benefits to increasing the adoption of green building practices, both at the local and global level. These include the health of building occupants, the reduction of resource waste, and an estimated $1.2 billion in energy savings in the U.S. between 2015 and 2018.

However, the true value of green buildings is in their long-term contribution to the global environment and economy. While many natural resources will never truly “run out”, increasing scarcity will cause their extraction to become unaffordable. As climate change continues to advance, the consequences of climate change become increasingly severe, and nearly 70 percent of the global population will live in cities (where the majority of green building efforts are focused) by 2050. For people the world over to live healthy and fulfilling lives supported by stable and sustainable economies, the way we treat our environment has to change—and the large-scale adoption of green building practices can make a large contribution to this cause, particularly in slowing the effects of climate change on cities around the world.

At CREED LA, part of our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in Los Angeles supports projects that positively impact the community and considers local and environmental impacts. That’s why we support green building initiatives in Los Angeles and beyond. To find out more about how CREED LA is committed to a better LA, visit us online or call (877) 810-7473 today.

How to Power a City Sustainably

June 28th, 2018 Posted by Environment, Environmental News No Comment yet

It’s time for cities to take their climate roles seriously.

In fact, many cities around the world are implementing 100% renewable energy, and there’s no better time for the rest to get on board. More than 40 cities worldwide have taken up the challenge to get all of their energy from renewable, sustainable sources, and many more have committed to future plans.

Let’s take a look at some renewable energy technologies that are leading the way.

Solar Power

Sunlight touches every city, and that’s what makes it a formidable renewable energy option. There are so many ways to deploy solar technologies; it’s no longer only available for roofs. In fact, transparent solar panels can capture sunlight from windows as well, which can allow buildings to generate even more solar energy than before. Solar power is on the rise, and cities can begin by setting goals and leading by example to boost the solar market. Installing solar on public buildings is a good place to start!

Wind Power

Wind power is cost-effective; land-based wind power is one of the lowest-priced energy sources available. Clean, renewable, and domestic, wind is a ideal energy alternative for cities. Traditionally, cities collect wind energy from turbines, and many sites can coexist with farm or ranch land. More recently, scientists have optimized wind turbines for cities so that builders can incorporate them into buildings to help supply urban energy.

Hydropower

Hydropower is electricity that moving water generates. In fact, among the successfully sustainable cities, hydropower is the most common source of energy. Hydropower is consistent, reliable, cost-effective, and flexible. However, hydropower also comes with a set of environmental concerns; while it is preferable to fossil fuels, planning is essential to ensure that hydropower is truly sustainable.

The more each city does individually, the better the combined environmental result will be. Who’s ready to get started?

At CREED LA our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in Los Angeles has a highly trained and professionalized workforce that supports projects that have positive impacts for the community. Environmental sustainability is an essential part of that goal, and renewable energy is one of the best places to start. To learn more about our mission, contact us online or by calling 877-810-7473.

Air Quality Strategies to Improve City Carbon Emissions

June 14th, 2018 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

Air pollution is the worst environmental and health risk worldwide, and cities are the biggest polluters, contributing up to 70% of the world’s carbon emissions.

We’re choking out our planet and our people. Clearly, something needs to change.

Cities around the world are turning to greener initiatives and air quality strategies in order to improve carbon emissions. It’s not too late to get on board!

Transportation Initiatives

Vehicle emissions are one of the main contributors to city air pollution, so transportation is one of the most important areas cities should examine.

  • Vehicle bans in city centers can help reduce vehicle usage and the resulting emissions that contribute to pollution.
  • Promoting walking and cycling over driving is a great way to reduce vehicle traffic. Safety is one of the main concerns regarding road-sharing, so it’s important for cities to invest in bike and pedestrian infrastructure to keep people safe.
  • Investing in public transport such as accessible bus routes can reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. Car-sharing is another initiative worth exploring.
  • Switching from gas and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles is a step in the right direction towards reducing overall emissions.

Many cities around the world are already tackling air pollution using these strategies in order to reach their emissions goals for the future.

Urban Greening

Plants are excellent air purifiers because they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Urban greening initiatives such as green walls, green roofs, urban forests and parks, and more can help filter pollutants out of the air and reduce urban heat island effects. Urban greening is not only great for cities’ environments, but also for people’s health and wellbeing.

Urban Planning

In order to successfully implement carbon emission and air quality reduction strategies, cities must employ urban planners. Many of the issues cities face today have to do with rapid expansion and urban sprawl due to exploding populations. Planning for urban density can actually reduce per capita emissions by reducing the need for vehicles and long commutes. The sooner cities consult urban planners, the sooner they can improve their carbon emissions!

At CREED LA, our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in Los Angeles has a highly trained and professionalized workforce that supports projects that have positive impacts for the community. Drop us a line online or by calling (877) 810-7473.

How Cities Around the World are Planning for Climate Change

June 7th, 2018 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

A growing majority of the global population lives in urban areas, many of them coastal cities that are vulnerable to severe flooding and tropical storms. Leaders and citizens in these urban areas recognize the importance of continued protection of cities from man-made climate change. Here are a few ways that cities around the world are working to manage and mitigate climate change.

Changing Transportation

Transportation is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases around the world, so larger cities are incentivizing more energy-efficient forms of travel such as bicycling and public transit. Cities like London and Paris have instituted low-emission zones and are working toward phasing out non-electric vehicles, and many European cities have plans for electric transit systems by 2020.

Energy-Efficient Buildings

Infrastructure is one of the biggest areas of influence that city leaders have. Smart heating and cooling systems, solar energy, and energy-efficient building practices and materials are all becoming increasingly common as cities aim to achieve emissions targets and Paris Agreement goals, most notably the 1.5°C Global Warming Target.

Green Spaces

From public parks to rooftop gardens, adding and expanding green spaces within cities not only cleans the air and helps to absorb greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduces the urban heat island effect. For example, the city of Vancouver recently mandated that all residents should live within a five minute walking distance away from a public park, and Singapore has reserved 250 acres for a future urban garden and encouraged the creation of high-rise terraces and gardens.

Managing and Reducing Waste

By now most people are familiar with the large islands of plastic refuse that have accumulated in the world’s oceans, a striking example of the ways in which human activity is causing a lasting impact on our environment. Cities all over the world, from New Delhi to Hamburg, have begun phasing out or outright banning single-use plastics like bags, straws, and bottles. 

While many cities are starting small when adapting to climate change, the growing push for fighting climate change at the local level in urban centers all over the world has created a trend that many hope will have a bottom-up effect on policy at the federal level. At CREED LA, part of our mission is to ensure that the construction industry in LA supports projects that have positive impacts for the community and are sensitive to local and environmental impacts. To find out more about how CREED LA is committed to a better LA, visit us online or call (877) 810-7473 today.

vertical forests

An Oasis of Green

December 19th, 2017 Posted by Environmental News, Green Construction No Comment yet

Architects and urban planners are coming up with creative ways to preserve green spaces in the world’s cities.

Approximately half of the world’s population of 7.6 billion people lives in cities, a staggering sum indeed!

Given the many benefits green spaces provide – such as filtering pollutants and providing some much welcomed aesthetic beauty – architects and urban planners are devising creative ways to help keep these oases of green present in our ever-growing cities.

Among the most common techniques is simply to earmark a small parcel of land, amounting to an acre or so, and planting trees, shrubs, and perennials. Adding some benches and a walkway allows people to find a comfortable respite from the concrete jungle they’re located in.

More ambitiously, vertical forests are beginning to take root (ha!) in various cities. Designed in the same manner as vertical farms, but predominantly residential in nature, the presence of a living facade means that the exterior of the building continually evolves, changes colors, and offers local residents a uniquely changing view.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) proudly supports environmentally-responsible construction projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA at (877) 810-7473.

Photo: https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/portfolios/vertical-forest/

american steel vs imported steel

Steel is Steel, Right?

December 12th, 2017 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

There are many differences between American-made steel and imported steel.

As with many things we tend to generalize, the answer is a resounding “no!”

Steel, arguably the most important building material of the modern era, has been the subject of a dispute between the overall quality of American-made steel compared to imported steel (most of which comes from China).

Although industry experts say strides have been taken in recent years by the Chinese government to regulate quality, material factors such as poor inclusion control and heat treatment are among the biggest issues the construction industry has faced. The use of inferior material on many projects nationwide has far-reaching consequences (safety) that transcends economics.

Many factors define differences between the two. Among the most blatant is the amount of pollutants many Chinese steel production facilities emit into the atmosphere relative to their American counterparts. Environmental legislation exists for a reason, and U.S. steel manufacturers do their part for our planet and our nation.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) proudly supports environmentally-responsible construction projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA at (877) 810-7473.

Bioclimatic architecture

What Is Bioclimatic Architecture

November 3rd, 2017 Posted by Environmental News, Green Construction No Comment yet

A “Cool” Solution to a “Heated” Issue. Bioclimatic architecture could enable buildings to eschew air conditioning systems, saving energy and preventing heat gain into the environment

An ubiquitous sight on the rooftops of almost any modern structure are large central air conditioning units. Seen as a necessity for human comfort in any industrialized nation – or one runs the risk of being considered uncivilized! –  these systems draw tremendous amounts of energy to run them. Additionally, they input tremendous amounts of thermal energy back into the atmosphere; this can contribute to the urban heat island effect.

However, a solution exists… And it involves removing the air conditioner entirely!

The concept is called bioclimatic architecture and it has been devised by architect Charles Gallavardin, director of T3 Architecture Asia. The premise relies on smart building placement, such as not having any windows face east or west, along with taking advantage of local topography & vegetation. If necessary, ceiling fans can be utilized to promote airflow. When implemented effectively, bioclimatic buildings can keep interior spaces almost 10°F cooler than the outside!

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) proudly supports environmentally-responsible construction projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA at (877) 810-7473.

Picture from: http://blacklemag.com/design/the-advantages-of-bioclimatic-architecture/

Looming Battle to Keep Florida from Becoming Atlantis

The Looming Battle to Keep Florida from Becoming Atlantis

October 13th, 2017 Posted by Environmental News No Comment yet

Florida will likely need to undertake massive engineering projects to protect itself from rising seas, and the resultant flooding, in the future.

When Hurricane Irma wove its path of destruction through the Caribbean enroute to Florida, dialogue arose again about the vulnerability of the Sunshine State to the effects of rising seas. Thankfully, Irma spared Florida a potentially crippling direct hit, but with property values between Palm Beach and Miami estimated at a trillion dollars, it’s clear that many, from developers to government organizations, will undertake the seemingly insurmountable engineering task of separating land from sea.

The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council received a grant from the EPA to evaluate rising sea levels from an urban planning standpoint. Approximately 97% of Palm Beach County’s developed land is within 1,000 feet of the ocean, situated just 0 to 10 ft. above sea level. South Florida’s tides can add 5 ft. to normal sea levels. Therefore, if seas rise 5 ft., such flooding would become commonplace.

Indeed, a battle is looming.  

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) proudly supports environmentally-responsible construction projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA at (877) 810-7473.

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