Archive for Ben Taylor

Middle East Cities Emerge as Global Leaders in Sustainability

masdar city abu dhabiWhile it’s the U.S. Green Building Council that sets the standard for LEED certification, two cities in the Middle East are quickly emerging as the world leaders in sustainable cities, or cities with a goal of net zero energy and waste. That means they produce as much energy, resources and waste as they consume.

Population and economic growth due to the Middle East’s oil reserves are the primary drivers in its aggressive push toward sustainability. With population expected to grow exponentially in the next 25 years, sustainable cities can offset the gradual depletion of the natural resources and with them, the region’s primary export and profit center. Here’s a look at innovative projects currently evolving in the region.

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Timber Industry Surges as Construction Bounces Back

Timber industry gets lift from rising constructionAccording to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the timber industry is experiencing a desperately-needed rebound. Eugene, Oregon seems to be undergoing the greatest renaissance, with mills once again hiring full-time employees. Increased hiring is indicative of growing local and national demand for wood products and resources, and should create a ripple effect for related industries.

Still undetermined is the trickle down to consumers from rising lumber costs. Random Lengths, an industry newsletter based in Eugene, notes that prices for framing lumber (measured in $/1,000 board feet) have doubled from four years ago, risen 46 percent over the past Read more

Blast Resistant Modules Help Energy Firms Keep Workers Safe and Projects on Track

Blast Resistant ModuleWidespread growth in the oil and gas industry, particularly in the shale regions of the U.S. and the oil sands in Western Canada, has placed increased emphasis on keeping workers safe and costs at a minimum. Blast resistant modules, also known as BRMs, can do both.

Safety First

BRMs are relocatable steel buildings designed to keep workers safe from a blast. Their ability to Read more

Enbridge Energy to Expand Pipeline Between North Dakota and Wisconsin

Enbridge to Expand Pipeline from North Dakota to Wisconsin In an attempt to further capitalize on North Dakota’s skyrocketing oil industry, Enbridge Energy recently notified its stockholders that it will move forward with its $2.5 billion plan to expand its pipeline from the northwestern part of the state to its terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields have experienced remarkable growth in just a few short years. Whereas the Bakken oil sands produced just 20,000 barrels of light crude per day five years ago, that number has already increased to 700,000 and could ultimately Read more