Posts Tagged ‘India’


The stone industry adopts a new sustainability standard.


In 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, Bill Browning, an environmental designer and founder of Terrapin Bright Green, cites “material connection with nature” as a significant principle. In other words, materials from nature, with minimal processing, can be used to construct the built environment—reflecting the local geology and connecting people to a place and natural setting. More than any other material, stone fulfills this “pattern”—often seamlessly settling a built landscape into the larger natural context. Yet in some cases, heavy stone can travel thousands of miles between harvest and use—offering absolutely no connection to the local natural landscape and creating a substantial environmental footprint.

Stone holds great potential to be a highly sustainable construction material for use in paving, stairs, and walls. It can be extremely durable, with relatively low embodied energy (energy used to produce a material), and nontoxic. However, a study from the University of Tennessee estimates that more than half of all dimension stone—defined as any stone that has been cut or shaped for use in construction—is imported, primarily from China, India, and Brazil, owing to far lower labor costs and fewer worker safety regulations, which combine for a lower product cost. Some of this stone might have been harvested in the United States, sent overseas for processing, then returned as “imported stone.” Minimal records of stone harvest, sales, and processing make it challenging to track stone’s path to market. Additionally, environmental impacts from waste and water use in stone quarrying and manufacture are not insignificant. Fortunately, a new standard from the Natural Stone Council (NSC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) offers criteria for reducing the environmental impacts of stone harvest and processing and requires a chain of custody for stone so consumers can know for sure the path their “local” stone has traveled.

The stone quarrying process is often lumped together with metal mining’s heavy blasting and toxic runoff, but Kathy Spanier, the marketing director at Coldspring in Minnesota and a participant in the development of the new stone standard, emphasizes (more…)

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The Ecologies of Resource Management: Water as a Development Tool in Rural India


Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture
636 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20001


Alpa Nawre, ASLA, assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida and the founder of Alpa Nawre Design, in conversation with Bradford McKee, Editor, Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Professor Nawre’s design and research have focused on the crucial role that water landscapes play in the cultural life of Indian society. Just as water sustains communities, its scarcity can severely distress them, particularly their most vulnerable members. In this talk, Nawre will discuss the ways in which water and resource management, viewed from a landscape perspective, can feed into development efforts and become a more potent agent of social change.

$15 General Admission

Free for students with valid student ID for 2016–2017 or 2017–2018.

Doors open at 6:30. Light refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required: bit.ly/LAMLectureSeries2

1.0 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW)

For more information, go to https://www.asla.org/events.

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Image courtesy of LAF.

The Landscape Architecture Foundation has announced its first group of Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership recipients, whose research projects all involve the civic design and public policy implications of landscape architecture.

The four practicing landscape architects and academics announced in March will receive $25,000 to research their proposals for one year, with three months of that year dedicated to intensive full-time study. When the fellowships conclude (more…)

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