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Maurice Brett

United States

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Member since June 20, 2013


  • Could You Run Your City on Oats?

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    The campuses of many state universities--with their miles of research laboratories and sports facilities to power, and tens of thousands of students to house--can sometimes resemble a small city. They can require as much energy to run as a small city, as well. Over the past decade, colleges and universities across the country have become concerned about their environmental footprint, and today they are leading the way in developing innovative approaches to rethinking energy infrastructure. Kent State University is installing nearly 45,000 square feet of solar panels on its athletic complex, while Princeton's power plant can now switch to run on biodiesel.

    In many cases, students have been the ones instigating these campus changes, pushing their administrators to make commitments to reduce fossil fuel emissions or to set a goal of becoming carbon neutral. For their part, schools are interested in finding energy savings and reaching greater efficiency. As climate change continues to alter energy needs and alternative fuel sources become more widely-accepted, towns and institutions may find themselves drawing lessons from the way college campuses are meeting their energy goals.

    The University of Iowa's Biomass Fuel Project

    One afternoon about 10 years ago, the Quaker Oats processing facility in Cedar Rapids contacted administrators at the University of Iowa. The oatmeal, granola, and cereal manufacturer generates thousands of tons of oat hulls each year, and it wanted to know...

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released its most comprehensive review to date on how the built environment – the way we build our cities and towns – directly affects our environment and public health. The report was announced by EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe during a national Twitter Town Hall meeting in Washington, DC with Maurice Jones, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing, and Development (HUD), and John Porcari, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    The publication, Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality, provides evidence that certain kinds of land use and transportation strategies – where and how we build our communities -- can reduce the environmental and human health impacts of development.

    “Although findings might differ on the magnitude of the effects of different practices, the evidence is overwhelming that some types of development yield better environmental results than others,” the report asserts.

    “This report will be useful for communities across the country looking to make smart development decisions,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Whether it’s housing, transportation, or environmental issues, this report can help communities protect public health and the environment by avoiding harmful development strategies.”

    The publication is important and timely because...

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design