Articles

Green Sports Alliance Summit Sponsors Green Apple Day of Service

Author: Caroline Kostak

The Green Sports Alliance Summit has come to town (http://summit.greensportsalliance.org/program/) and with it, brought new opportunities for a local school.  This year's summit is all about the Power of Partnerships, and that was evident at the Green Apple Day of Service that the Green Sports Alliance coordinated with Yes! Prep Northside campus.  The Green Sports Alliance partnered with Yes! Prep, Connor Sports, HOK, the USGBC, and the Center for Green Schools to build new raised planting beds, shelving for the gym closet, and an outdoor floor for the weight-lifting area.  More than 100 students and volunteers from businesses all over the country helped with these and other activities that will make the school a more sustainable place.  Excel Dryer sponsored the lunch from Gabby's BBQ, giving all of the out-of-town guests a true taste of Texas.  The day was hot but productive and fun!  We are honored to have been a part of this event!

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When Will Houston City Council Approve The New Bike Plan?

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Houston’s bike plan hasn’t been changed in over two decades. But during that time interest in cycling has increased dramatically. Now the city is looking at creating several hundred miles of new designated bikeways with the goal of helping riders feel more confident.

There have been months of public hearings on the plan. Before it goes to Council for a final vote, City Planning Director Patrick Walsh says they’re asking for an ordinance that gives it some teeth.

“Well I think what we’ve seen is, if there’s no expectation that the plan needs to be looked at for consideration of an update, that update doesn’t happen,” Walsh says.
Another challenge for planners is where to get money to do those projects, like building trails along utility easements. Walsh says it’ll cost about $5 million dollars a year over the next decade. And while some of those projects are funded they’re still seeking money for others.

“Maybe there are grants we could look at,” Walsh says. “But that’s going to be the next step and we’ve already begun those conversations.”

Walsh expects the bike plan will go before council for adoption in August or September.

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Recycling, glass, and Houston's future

Author: Bruce Race, for the Houston Chronicle

Two months after Houston renegotiated a deal that ended curbside glass recycling, 80 people met at the University of Houston to consider the future of recycling and other waste management issues. That future, they agreed, should look nothing like the current state of affairs here.

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Homebuilder earns national honors for thinking green with 26 LEED-certified homes in 2015

Author: Shelby Hodge

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), based in Washington D.C., has announced the 2015 LEED Homes Award winners and Houston'sFrankel Building Group garnered top honors as "Outstanding Single Family Builder." 

In the last year, Frankel completed 28 custom homes, each built to LEED for Homes standards. Twenty-six of those are either already LEED-certified or are on the path to certification.

In announcing the awards, USGBC noted, "At the forefront of sustainable residential building, Frankel Building Group continues to show its commitment through the design and construction of LEED-certified homes. Frankel Building Group puts an emphasis on homeowner education and continues to promote the LEED program in its market."

The Home Awards are given to recognize projects, architects, developers, and homebuilders "who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in the residential green building marketplace."

The firm is led by its chairman and founder Jim Frankel, a custom home builder in Houston for more than two decades. He is joined by his sons Kevin and Scott, who share the titles of co-president and principal.

In addition, Frankel was one of several firms doing business in the Houston area receiving USBGC LEED Homes Power Builder status. That designation recognizes "an elite group of developers and builders who have exhibited an outstanding commitment to LEED and the green building movement within the residential sector." Among Homes Power Builder companies doing business in Houston are the Houston-based Dinerstein Companies and AMLI Residential.

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View the USGBC announcement for the award.