Water, chemicals and energy were cheap when Alabama Power Company constructed its Powell Avenue steam plant more than 60 years ago. So, the capture of hot condensate left over from the steam generated by the coal-fire plant and return of it to the boiler for re-use likely wasn’t a consideration at the drawing table.

Read more at the UAB Reporter

Call it an industrial evolution. Birmingham, once smothered in smoke and soot, could soon be covered in green—and reign as the nation's number-one city in park land per capita.

It's a big shift for the old steel town. If all plans take root, Red Mountain Park will reclaim four miles of ridgetop mining lands and become one of America's largest urban parks. To the east, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, one of the country's biggest urban nature reserves, will add up to 700 acres. The Railroad Reservation Park will revive abandoned blocks downtown. And 65 miles of greenways, built along cleaned-up creeks and railway beds, will stretch from Bessemer to Trussville, connecting parks in between.

Learn more at: http://redmountainpark.org/

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) employees who utilize CommuteSmart helped make UAB number one in reducing vehicle miles out of 530 companies participating in Jefferson County and Shelby County.

Roadmap_sCommuteSmart offerings include ride matching, carpool, walking, biking, teleworking and vanpool services. UAB has partnered with this program since 2007.

Read more at the UAB News.

In his new book, Lost Antarctica, polar biologist Jim McClintock, Ph.D., offers plenty of reasons to be concerned about the fate of the frozen continent: a few trillion, at least.

That’s the approximate number of sea butterflies currently floating in the chilly waters of the Southern Ocean. The tiny, shelled creatures serve as the base for an intricate food chain that extends upward to the mighty blue whale. Hundreds of species depend on the sea butterfly, but it is under assault on a massive scale. Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, transferred to the polar oceans by complex climate effects and simple chemistry, are making the sea butterfly’s home waters more acidic.

Read more at the UAB Magazine.

A new project at UAB is sending researchers through the roof. In a pioneering test of a hot “green” technology, UAB’s facilities management department has installed 15 miniature gardens and other experimental coverings (including river rock and marble chips) atop the Chemistry Building.

Read more at UAB Magazine.

“I never felt I had time,” says Valerie Gordon, head of cataloging, staff development and marketing at Lister Hill Library. “I always had young kids, but now they’re teenagers and I have a little more time — and a nice place to learn how to do it.”The place is here on campus at 850 8th Court South where 65 plots — all about 100 square feet — are tended daily by faculty, staff and students. Tomatoes, okra, squash, peppers and lettuce are just a few of the crops either burgeoning, well on their way to bearing fruit or, yes, struggling.

Read more at the UAB Reporter.

You may not notice upon first glance, but there are familiar pieces of the now-demolished Hill University Center dotted all around campus. Sustainability efforts in the construction of a new student center led to finding new use for many items that were once located both inside and outside the HUC.

Read more at UAB Students.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has come up with a novel way to save the university tens of thousands of dollars and millions of gallons of water. The Facilities Division created a network of tanks and piping that captures and uses ground water and condensate from cooling systems.

Read more at UAB News.

CommuteSmartCar288x192CommuteSmart worked with UAB to develop a tailored commute program that benefits the university and its employees. Monthly vanpool costs are approximately $120 per person; the option saves wear and tear on personal cars, reduces air pollution and saves members money on parking. UAB also provides incentives for those who sign up to participate in the program: reserved parking spaces for three or more riders, a passes to drive to work separately once per month and split costs for parking. 

Other incentives from CommuteSmart include a cash award of up to $120 for the carpool and gift cards each quarter. Participants also are guaranteed a ride home in case of an emergency. All UAB employees have to do is form a three-person carpool, ride together three days a week and log their clean commutes at www.commutesmart.org to get started.