WFCR focus on biomass features Dave Damery

As featured on WFCR: AMHERST, MA (wfcr) - Who isn't in search of clean, cheap energy? Policy makers, residents and investors around the region are, and they are taking a close look at biomass energy, that is, burning low-grade wood or other plant materials for high-tech electricity generation. There are three large-scale biomass plants proposed for western Massachusetts, in Springfield, Greenfield, and Russell. Together they could provide electricity for as many as 135,000 homes, help the state meet goals for renewable energy, and create jobs. But they could also change the character of the region's woodlands, send numerous trucks through residential neighborhoods and emit toxins into the air. And there is little consensus on just how "renewable" the resource is. These are some of the questions about biomass we'll explore in this half hour of Focus Western New England. Follow this link to listen to the entire recording. ...
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We have a new name! – Building and Construction Technology

At the tail end of this past Spring, the Faculty Senate and other administrative bodies approved a revised undergraduate curriculum for the Department of Natural Resources Conservation that included a name change for Building Materials and Wood Technology (BMATWT).  We are now: Building and Construction Technology We believe that this name change more closely represents the breadth of our instruction spanning: design, engineering, materials, construction management, economics, information technology, building science, energy conservation and efficiency, and green building that make up our curriculum.  The new name should raise the level of awareness of our program both on-campus and off for prospective students, employers, and others. We are beginning to transition to the new name with new signage, website labeling, stationery etc.  This will be a long process. Final changes to course numbering and the degree title on students' transcripts will not be in place until Fall 2010. Current BMATWT students, who graduate after Fall 2010, will have the option to have their degree title...
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UMass Conference Proceedings on Prefabricated Architecture Available

The proceedings for the 2008 Wood Structures Symposium and Northeast ACSA Conference "Without a Hitch: New Directions in Prefabricated Architecture" are available on the web. You can access and download individual papers on the UMass ScholarWorks site: Scholarworks - 2008 Wood Structures Symposium Or, if you would like to download or print the entire book, you may do so through the Lulu publishing website: Lulu - Without a Hitch Procedings...
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Paul Fisette named to National Academies Panel on U.S. Capitol Complex

The National Academies has invited Paul Fisette, Professor and Department Head of Natural Resources Conservation to serve on an expert panel to explore the scientific and technical issues related to implementing energy and sustainability initiatives throughout the U.S. Capitol Complex. The U.S. Capitol Complex comprises 25 major buildings on Capitol Hill, including the Capitol building, the House and Senate office buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Gardens, and various support facilities. Since 2004, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has been undertaking the development of a new Capitol Complex Master Plan. The review will include an in-depth critique and evaluation of a draft Sustainability Framework Plan and the identification of energy efficiency and sustainability opportunities in two new projects to be accomplished in the near future: a whole building renewal of the Cannon House Office Building and a new parking garage for the Senate. The AOC is seeking to learn more about state-of-the-art...
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