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NSYCC Summer Crew Update – Week 4

Fin and Laura at NSCCThis week we worked on all the nitty gritty parts of the website. We finished updating the service database, so all of the contact information is current. We also finished reformatting all of the old case studies to the new format for project profiles. Some profiles are missing certain pieces of information, so we will publish them online as soon as we speak with the project managers to get said information.

We would like to add new categories to the product and service database: green cleaning products and green cleaning services. We have been researching many green cleaning products and services and what sort of standards they should have to meet to be featured on the Atlantic Green Building website. Some criteria we are looking at is where the product is manufactured, the biodegradability of the product, whether or not it contains phosphates and the recycled content of the packaging. Being locally manufactured reduces the carbon emissions it would take to ship the cleaning products here. They should be biodegradable, meaning the products decompose easily through natural processes, with the help of air, sun, water and microorganisms, into more environment compatible components. When cleaning products containing phosphates go down the drain and eventually end up in a body of water, they affect aquatic ecosystems. Eutrophication occurs, which is when the addition of phosphates to an aquatic environment provides nutrients to algae and phytoplankton that allows their population to boom. They deplete the oxygen in the water and oxygen-dependent aquatic life dies as a result, this disrupts the aquatic ecosystem by decreasing biodiversity and providing niches for new invasive species.

We also took a visit to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market to take some photos and video pans of the green features. Before we went, we made a list of everything we wanted to take a picture of to be sure we would have enough photographs. We plan to overlay the pictures with audio of us, recorded in the office to get a clean sound. The market has many impressive green features including solar evacuated tube collectors, wind turbines, a green roof, a biowall, geothermal wells, etc. A non-visible green feature of the building is how the material was chosen. One third of all building materials were locally sourced while another third contained recycled content. Materials from the original building were reused as well. Concrete was crushed and used as filling and the steel and roof deck from the original building were reused. A lot of the wood used was salvaged from the trees destroyed by Hurricane Juan. There is an elevator to the green roof, accessible to the general public. The market is located at Pier 20, overlooking Halifax Harbour, so there was quite a nice view from the green roof!

Laura & Fin