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Move over acid rain and exotic species, there's another threat to the environment, namely our buildings. In fact, 50 percent of energy use is architecturally related, says a recent article from Solar Today. Green building design strategies can help reverse that trend and lower your power bills, so check out the statewide Green Building Tour sponsored by the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association in cooperation with Million Solar Roofs Communities in Durham, Chapel Hill, Boone and Asheville. Learn how to build responsibly with tours of solar-oriented neighborhoods and get inspired about photovoltaic power generation, solar water heating and "green" and recycled materials. Saturday, Oct. 4, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 832-7601, www.ncsustainableenergy.org for details. $10.

Also: Intro to Green Building presentation to introduce the public to sustainable building design, construction, materials and contractors. Friday, Oct. 3, 7-9 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham. Register with the Durham County Cooperative Extension Service, 560-0525. Free.

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