Green Building


A blooming industry, green building is rising with greater public demand, legislative focus, and code and standard mandates. With programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) becoming more popular, contractors are finding new building processes and technologies to be more efficient and environmentally minded. The below articles dive into alternative energies, energy efficiency, the smart grid, and more and include editorial from our annual special issue on the subject.

Once upon a time, many solar-enthusiast homeowners saw their rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels as investments in a greener future, not as contributors to their own household budgets.

Separated from the U.S. mainland’s electric supply by an ocean, Hawaii is working toward a goal mandated by Hawaii’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires 40 percent of the state’s electricity to be derived from clean-energy sources by 2030.

Talk to folks in the electric vehicle (EV) industry about commercial charging opportunities, and there is a very good chance you’ll hear that old which-came-first/chicken-or-egg metaphor applied to the market’s potential.

You could call it utility-scale renewables 3.0. 
The previous two phases focused on getting large solar arrays and wind farms up and running (1.0) and then boosting their output (2.0). Today, developers are looking beyond just adding more rows of panels or bigger turbines to their plans.

More on Green Building

Web Exclusive
Harnessing Everyday Motion to Power Mobile Devices and More

Rather than plugging it into the wall, imagine charging a cell phone or other portable device by simply rubbing it with the palm of your hand. The user actually creates the electricity and becomes a discrete, reliable and the ultimate distributed source of power generation.

Water Isn't Everywhere Anymore

It’s a complicated time to be an electricity-generating company in the United States. Volatility in the natural gas market is forcing utility planners to rethink fueling options, and new emissions regulations are adding even more questions to their long-term forecasts.

Web Exclusive
The Empire State Building Renovation

New York’s Empire State Building (ESB), one of the world’s most iconic buildings, now attracts the attention of even more tourists with the light-emitting diode (LED) upgrade of its tower lights.

Editors' Pick
Net-Zero: There's Nothing To It

Improving the efficiency of our nation’s buildings certainly isn’t a new goal. The energy crisis of the 1970s spurred a wave of energy-reducing innovations, including the first generation of building-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce electricity on-site. Since then, the U.S.

Dam Nation

The most important renewable-energy source in the United States is most frequently overlooked. Wind and solar energy may capture more headlines (and congressional attention), but hydropower has held the title as the most productive—and, arguably, least expensive—renewable option for decades.

Bridging The Generation Gap

The term “Intermittency” is often used when utility-industry experts discuss the drawbacks of renewable-energy supplies.

A To Zed: Net-Zero

Net-zero energy buildings produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year, and they have been a goal for progressive designers and engineers for the last decade or so.