Change in the air at HSPH

first_imgThis is one of a series of occasional stories on the measures that Schools at Harvard are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.While testing a new air-monitoring system in a laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Daniel O. Beaudoin intentionally spilled a small amount of acetone on the floor. The system detected the substance, increased airflow to the space, and cleared the air in just 36 minutes. The acetone melted the wax right off the floor tiles, a small price to pay for improved safety — and sustainability.In 2008, Harvard President Drew Faust announced the University’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent from 2006 levels by 2016 (including growth). To date, HSPH has cut its emissions by 19 percent, and the School’s investments in energy efficiency have resulted in savings of more than $1.3 million per year since 2006.Systems installed in laboratories have contributed significantly to the School’s energy savings. (Many are from Aircuity, a Newton, Mass., sustainable design company.) Labs require a constant supply of fresh air that must be cleaned, heated or cooled, and humidified. After this intensive process, none of the treated air can be recirculated.Each Aircuity system at HSPH reduces energy consumption by adjusting the number of air changes per hour in a lab based on actual conditions in the space.“The Aircuity system pulls columns of air from a lab through a vacuum pump to a centralized station with a series of sensors,” said Beaudoin, manager of operations, energy, and utilities at HSPH. “The sensors in the central station monitor temperature, humidity, small particulate matter, large particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and total volatile organic compounds. Based on real-time readings, the system will adjust the ventilation rates in the lab.”When no research is being conducted, it is unnecessary to run air changes at a high rate, so the system decreases airflow. Conversely, when sensors detect a chemical spill, the system ramps up to the maximum number of air changes per hour to flush out the space. With the exception of biosafety level 3 labs (where researchers deal with lethal bacteria and viruses), all labs in the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building have been outfitted with Aircuity systems over the past two years.Other HSPH buildings benefit as well.LED lighting and motion sensors installed throughout HSPH have also resulted in significant electricity savings. In the Kresge Building, high-efficiency LED lights replaced incandescent and fluorescent fixtures in all the offices renovated last summer. On the ninth floor of the building alone, the total number of watts expended per square foot was cut by more than 50 percent.A 43,000-square-foot former schoolhouse at 90 Smith St., renovated to house HSPH administrative offices, is 100 percent LED-lit. Completed in February, the building was designed in compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) commercial interior guidelines. HSPH also has worked with local utilities to maximize energy efficiency, and learned from the New Buildings Institute’s “core performance guide.” Based on energy modeling, an “advanced building” may perform as much as 45 percent better than code.Beaudoin and other operations personnel often collaborate with student and staff groups on campus. The Environmental Health and Sustainability Club at HSPH, started in 2007, has hosted park cleanups, designed water bottles for first-year students, and organized volunteer events with the Food Project, a Massachusetts urban farming program.“Right now we’re working to create a speaker series about the effect of climate change on health,” said HSPH doctoral student Peter James, one of the club’s founding members and its current president. “For example, changing temperature distributions may lead to increased infectious disease transmission. It’s an emerging area of research.”An HSPH sustainability group, eco-opportunity, holds monthly meetings to discuss sustainability initiatives.“It’s one of the premier models for Green Teams campuswide, as far as having representation from each department in the School and implementing things as a team,” said Longwood sustainability manager Claire Berezowitz, who heads eco-opportunity along with Tiffany Colt, assistant facilities manager at HSPH. “The composting program that started a couple years ago was largely the result of work done by eco-opportunity.”Sebastian’s Café, the HSPH cafeteria, has full composting and recycling and no longer sells bottled water. Led by general manager Laurie Torf, the café was the first Harvard food service facility to earn a Green Restaurant Certification from the Green Restaurant Association of America.This month, eco-opportunity is holding its third “Take the Stairs” competition to encourage walking instead of using the elevator. An online tracking system helps participants follow their progress. In the 2010 competition, students, faculty, and staff collectively climbed 44,396 flights of stairs.“We did Mount Kilimanjaro the first year and Mount McKinley last year,” said Berezowitz. “It’s really gotten the word out about eco-opportunity, and it’s something to engage everyone at the School in sustainability.”last_img read more

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Monitoring consumer review sites is key to managing financial institution’s reputation

first_imgIn the not so distant past, if you had a bad experience at the credit union, you might go home and tell your spouse or your neighbor. If you were really upset, perhaps you wrote a letter of complaint, but that might be the extent of it. Likewise, if you loved a certain business or product, you may have recommended it to your friends and family.We know, for fact, that personal recommendations influence buying decisions.But today, we live in a digital world, and these gripes or recommendations take place across the web, instantaneously. Online reviews are increasingly important, both to consumers and the businesses subject to their review. Monitoring review sites should be an integral part of your institution’s social media and reputation management strategy.Research is the first step toward a customer buying a product or service, and online reviews–from describing how a particular product stood the test of time or which restaurant has the best burgers in town–play a huge role in this process. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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This property market is tipped to take off

first_img9 Pryde St, Woodend in Ipswich is listed for $369,000.“The Ipswich area did deliver a slightly below average price growth relative to the Greater Brisbane and Australian benchmarks over the past five years,” Mr Peleg said.“This is likely a result of its geographic distance from central Brisbane and the coastline, where most of the housing demand is centred.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours ago“But that bodes well for those looking for affordability and the area has a house price-to-income ratio of 5.2 which is well below that of Brisbane and the rest of Australia. For investors the area has a high median rental return of 5.2 per cent for houses and 5.8 per cent for units.He said changes in the area will translate into a growth in median house prices in the medium to long term.While there had been a lot of housing built in the area in the past few years Mr Peleg said it had been quickly absorbed.“There are nice and very modern and comfortable, pleasant homes for a very decent price,’’ he said.“It is really hard to compete (with the Ipswich market).’’“It ticks all the boxes.’’Property analyst Michael Matusik’s latest Matusik Missive said Ipswich was going through a period of intense urbanisation.He said there were a number of things the property market in the region had going for it.“Most of Ipswich’s housing types are in the recovery phase of the property cycle. All should peak sometime over the next twelve to 18 months,’’ he said.He said sales volumes had more than doubled in the last five years and he tipped it to grow by another 20 per cent before the next peak.The Missive said at present both new and resale housing supply were struggling to keep up with sales. Ipswich’s property market is still affordable. This home at57 Fernvale Rd, Brassall is listed for $499,000. Picture: realestate.com.auTHE Ipswich property market is tipped to take off following the awarding of a massive defence contract to the region.The $5 billion contract for 211 hi-tech armoured vehicles announced earlier this year, is tipped to create defence jobs for the region for about 40 years.Analysis by RiskWise Property Research tipped that over the medium to long term the region would deliver strong returns.CEO, Doron Peleg, said other state government commitments to spending on infrastructure and roads in the area would also help create a construction boom.Mr Peleg said with a reasonably low median house price in the area of just $371,000 it was a more affordable option for many buyers, particularly when compared to Brisbane’s median house price of a much higher $530,000.last_img read more

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