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.

In March 2012, West Liberty, Ky., a community of 3,400 in Morgan County, was hit by an EF-3 tornado. The town suffered $50 million in damage, 400 homes were demolished, and seven people were killed.

Developing buildings that generate as much energy as they use during the course of a year has become an important goal for the most environmentally minded owners and architects over the past decade or so, and a growing number of projects are succeeding in meeting this ambitious target.

With only 265,000 customers, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) is among the nation’s smaller investor-owned utilities, though you’d never guess this from its influence as a renewable-energy innovator.

Wind farm on Columbia Hills, Windy Flats. Courtesy of Walter Sigmund on Wikimedia Commons

Results from a second quarter market report, released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on July 27, show a growing and evolving industry—from increased development to new projects and customers.

More on Green Building

 
The First Solar-Powered Flight Around the World

Bertrand Piccard landed in Abu Dhabi on July 25th at 8:05 p.m. EDT (Easter Daylight Savings Time) after completing a two-day solo flight in the airplane, Solar Impulse 2 (SI2), an aircraft powered 100 percent by solar power.


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An Extra Boost: Corporations Invigorate Renewable-Energy Markets

Renewable energy’s increasing importance to the U.S. power generation portfolio is upending many aspects of an electrical system that has remained essentially unchanged for more than a century.


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IBEW/NECA Retrofit in Los Angeles Raises the Bar for Building Energy Efficiency

No profession is impacted more by the changes taking place in the energy sector than electrical contractors and electrical workers.


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Something Old, Something New

Route 66, has connected Santa Monica, Calif. and Chicago, Ill., since 1926 and, for a long time, was a major pathway for those travelling across the United States. With the creation of the interstate highway system, the road's popularity plummeted, and today, it is largely used as a scenic route.


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Standardizing Energy-Efficiency Projects Helps to Ensure Cost Effectiveness

According to Matt Golden, a senior energy finance consultant with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in discussing the challenges associated with energy efficiency projects in a May 4 article on the Utility Dive website, noted, "These projects are very complicated and are unique by nature.


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Renewables Hit a High Mark in Germany

Renewables are always setting some kind of record in their never-ending quest for market parity. Recently, in Germany renewables broke new ground by producing nearly 100 percent of the country’s electricity, if only for a short time.


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Solar and Storage Still Have a Ways to Go

Offering an antidote to the variable nature of wind and solar, storage has emerged as an essential ingredient to the success of renewable power.


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