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Green Spotlight on Green Insurance

Cornerstone speaks with Steve Bushnell Q:  Is Fireman’s Fund the sole provider of insurance coverages for green properties?  What designates a “green” building for insurance purposes? A:  Fireman’s Fund is the first and only insurance company to offer a set of coverages specifically designed for green buildings, and we are unaware of any other companies even […]

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About GBA’s Network Groups

The Green Building Alliance (GBA) was one of the country’s first regionally-based organizations formed to advance green building practices.  As GBA, which was founded in 1993, nears the end of its tenth year as a fully staffed and funded organization, its significant influence is evidenced through 80+ local green building projects in the Western Pennsylvania […]

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Green Spotlight on Green Mortgage-Backed Securities

Cornerstone speaks with Scott Muldavin  Q:  For those unfamiliar with the term, please generally explain the concept of mortgage-backed securities. A:  These securities are backed by cash flows from pools of commercial or residential mortgages.  Sponsors of mortgaged-backed securities, typically investment banks, package up the cash flows and create “traunches” of securities (AAA, AA, A, BBB, […]

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Green Spotlight on Historic Buildings

Cornerstone speaks with Ralph DiNola Q:  Since many people equate green building principles solely with new construction, please explain how they can be applied to the preservation of historic structures. A:  Historic buildings actually address the three main aspects that sustainability seeks to enhance: environment, economy and social equity.  As existing buildings, historic structures possess a […]

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Green Spotlight on Green Meetings

Cornerstone speaks with Amy Spatrisano, CMP In what ways can meetings and conferences be harmful to the environment? Both can have a tremendous impact on the environment.  For instance, during a typical five-day conference, 2,500 attendees will use 62,500 plates; 87,500 napkins; 75,000 cups/glasses; and 90,000 cans/bottles.  Every aspect of a meeting affects the environment, from […]

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Green Spotlight on Environmental Health Risks

Cornerstone speaks to Devra Davis, PhD, MHP; Marcia Barr, BSCE; and Karen Singleton, M.D. According to the National Cancer Institute, at least two-thirds of all cancer cases are linked to environmental causes.  Please explain what these are. A broad definition of “environment” includes not just the biological and physical components that we focus on in our […]

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Green Vision Lecture Series: Beyond Sustainable

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) defines green design as practices that “significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of buildings on the environment and occupants.”  Introductions to these issues frequently refer to the impending environmental disasters that will occur if we continue with current, traditional practices.  Such discussions frame the purpose of green building […]

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Ecology and Economics of Redevelopment: Tax Increment Financing

By Robert J. Silber Over the last several years, Allegheny County has used TIFs (tax increment financing) to subsidize the development of large retail centers in ecologically sensitive areas. To understand how we got to the point where Allegheny County is using millions of tax dollars to subsidize the creation of big-box store developments in […]

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Green Spotlight on Sustainability Indicators

Cornerstone speaks with Court Gould Q:  What new tool has been developed to measure sustainability in the Pittsburgh area? A:  Sustainable Pittsburgh (SP) recently completed the first on-line Sustainability Indicators report for our region.  The Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Indicators Report was created through a public process to develop long-term goals and corresponding indicators of success.  It provides feedback […]

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Growing Greener and Key ’93

By Andrew McElwaine Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker’s proposed 2002-03 budget would make major changes to the state’s fundamental environmental laws and programs.  In particular, it would cut nearly in half the award-winning Growing Greener program and the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund.   In February, the Governor announced he was indefinitely deferring $50 million of […]

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