The weak US building market coupled with rising demand for LEED-certified professionals has spawned a social enterprise called BOULD which partners with Habitat for Humanity and similar companies to build affordable eco-sustainable housing. Scarce availability for projects to train on means architects, designers, and contractors can’t get the experience required for certification.

According to a study published recently by the National Trust for Historic Buildings, retrofitting existing buildings is a winning proposition.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Cascadia Green Building Council CEO Jason McLennan says that tearing down old buildings isn't necessarily the most sustainable option.

A new video about Progetto Manifattura provides a brief audio-visual introduction to the green innovation factory: economic motives, architectural plans, and energy strategy.

See video

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:209:]]Green Drinks Rovereto to Progetto Manifattura on April 16 at 6 p.m. Join us to meet people interested in greening the economy.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:214:]]The Hub Rovereto will present a workshop on ecodesign Thursday 12 April 6-8 pm. The event - organized with the support of Progetto Manifattura - is being produced in collaboration with The Hub Madrid and The Hub Siracusa. The event will be broadcast in Web streaming in the Madrid and Syracuse locations.

For more information contact: nicola.cerantola@ecologing.es or visit: www.ecologing.es.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:206:]]Bio Soil Expert, the company born from Premio D2T startup funding form Trentino Sviluppo, wins the “best Italian startup prize” in the agro-food section of AGRIstart Up, a competition promoted by Agriventure. Bio Soil Expert stood out over the 20 finalists and 100 projects that entered. The 30,000 Euro prize was presented by Intesa Sanpaolo general director Marco Morelli. Also present at the ceremony Mario Catania, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forests.

It was a great satisfaction for the three young entrepreneurs who started the company, which has developed a system for using plants and microorganisms to clean up contaminated soil, handle hydro-geological instability, and safeguard streams in agricultural areas. It’s a success that Bio Soil Expert will seek to capitalize on as it continues the process of incubation in Progetto Manifattura’s Green House.

Three more companies joined Progetto Manifattura this March. Biosoil Expert, NeveXN e a Q-field are now open for business in the Green House incubation space. The new companies have the characteristics of business that can find a niche in the ecosustainable economy, with local impact and potential for international appeal.

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Biosoil Expert, by Andrea Zerminiani, Paolo Campostrini and Alberto Ferrarese, intends to provide solutions that alleviate hydrogeological instability and soil pollution using biotechnologies applied to specific plants.

NeveXN, by Francesco Besana, Anna Vanzo and Fabiano Maturi, develops pumps for making snow at temperatures over 0°C, as well as desalination of water, cooling and refrigeration. The team plans to employ energy from biomass and thermal solar sources.

Q-Field, by Marco Malossini e Vincenzo Cribari, offers landscape architectural solutions using systems based on renewable energy sources.

Casual conversation and a free drink to hear about the experiences of innovative companies doing great work on sustainability. It's a great way to get to know the people in the field. Green Drinks Rovereto will be held for the first time on March 12 at 6 p.m. at Progetto Manifattura.

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The meeting will get started with a brief presentation by Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil the winner of the first "FARE GREEN" award in 2010.

To find out more visit www.progettomanifattura.it/greendrinks.

The next dates are:

  • 16 April – Francesco Zago, Direttore Cartiera Villa Lagarina – P-one
  • 14 May – Stefano Wegher, CEO, Rotaliana
  • 11 June – Lino Matteo Tosoni, Product Line Director, Far Systems, Gruppo Tosoni
  • 9 July – Marco Merler CEO, Dolomiti Energia

Green Drinks is a worldwide organization that brings together people interested in environmental and ecosustainable ideas to share their experience and enthusiasm. Per information see www.greendrinks.org

On Feb. 23 the Association of Trentino Architects held at Progetto Manifattura to discuss the concept of urban renewal. Headlining the event was the renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who presented the preliminary project for the new light manufacturing area that uses wood for the structure as well as other locally sorced materials. Rovereto Mayor Andrea Miorandi discussed his views on this and similar projects that will modernize significant parts of the city over the next several years. He expressed appreciation for the new Leno waterfront which will establish a new relationship between the city and its rivers.

The video (in Italian, except for Kuma who speak in English) provides an overview of the evening’s theme and the technologies that will make the new infrastructures eco-sustainable.

In February a new company called R? joined Progetto Manifattura. The founder is Rocio Del Pilar Benavides B.

R? is takes discarded objects – come bikes, furniture, lamps, and other stuff  – and turns them into designer objects, integrating a variety of used and new materials.

Proof-of-concept is in the table designed for a coffee break area in Progetto Manifattura.

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