Daily digest: LEED for COVID-19 safety, New York wants to regulate power plant Bitcoin mining, and more

Play It Again

Daily digest: LEED for COVID-19 safety, New York wants to regulate power plant Bitcoin mining, and more

Improved air circulation and a Serpentine controversy are in the news today (Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)

Happy Wednesday … you’re halfway there. Here’s the news you need to know at this mid-week point:

The Verified Healthy Buildings certification is a new standard for disease hygiene

Global Building safety certification company UL has released its own Verified Healthy Buildings certification, which they claim can be a metric of building health moving forward. By measuring HVAC efficiency, air exchanges, filter fits, and more, UL claims its certification can improve hygiene and target areas ripe for improvement.

H/t to Fast Company

The United Kingdom wants to cut art and design education funding by 50 percent

The United Kingdom is asking artists and creatives to retool and join the tech industry… and cutting its educational funding to match. Under planned budget cuts (today is the last day for consultation), the U.K. would cut its funding for art, design, archeology, dance, performance arts, and music in higher education in half. If passed by the Office for Students, further cuts could come down the line in later years.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

Internet backlash after the sustainable Serpentine pavilion begins laying down concrete

The 2020 Serpentine Pavilion is finally being installed in London after last year’s COVID-caused cancellation, but critics are complaining after 3,354 cubic feet of concrete were reportedly poured for the installation’s foundation. The pavilion, designed by the Johannesburg-based Counterspace, had been touted as the “greenest to date.” Architects, however, are pointing out that the embodied carbon in the concrete outweighs any other considerations. The Serpentine Gallery has responded by claiming a concrete foundation is necessary to stabilize such a highly trafficked installation.

H/t to the Architects’ Journal

A historic Oregon church is handed over to the Nez Perce Tribe

The 111-year-old Wallowa Methodist Church in Wallowa, Oregon, is now the property of the Nez Perce Tribe. The Methodist Church officially handed over the deed to the building in a ceremony on April 29, acknowledging that this was returning a small part of the land that the Nez Perce had been pushed out of. The church itself, suffering from declining attendance for decades, had closed on June 30 of last year.

H/t to the Wallowa County Chieftain

Lawmakers in New York want to crack down on power plants mining for cryptocurrency

After it came to light that the Greenidge power plant in Dresden, New York, was trying to ramp up its direct Bitcoin mining operation, lawmakers in Upstate New York are pushing back. Thanks to its lower temperatures and cheaper electricity, Upstate New York had already been attracting miners (performing the calculations required to mine for cryptocurrencies requires electricity and heats up components). Now State Senator Kevin Parker has introduced Bill 6486, which, if passed, would instate a three-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining. All of this, Parker pointed out, is in service of hitting New York’s ambitious climate goals, something that cryptocurrency mining is very much out of sync with.

H/t to Earther

A Brooklyn building is drawing stares for the giant piano on its facade

The newest rental building Bushwick, Brooklyn, is turning heads thanks to a five-story piano running up its facade. The 60-key installation was first made public at the end of April after a rendering from INEX Design led to groans from online commenters, but architect Yochi Nussenzweig seems pretty happy with his creation in a recent interview with Curbed.

H/t to Curbed