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.

Hospitals are complicated environments for green-design practitioners. Their scale, the critical nature of their mission and their often-stretched budgets can make sustainability—however it’s defined—a tough sell, without clear evidence of a quick return on investment.

We’ve heard the wind-integration success stories from Sweden and Denmark, but we haven’t heard as much about how wind is contributing right now to U.S. electricity supplies.

Has Elon Musk discovered renewable energy’s Holy Grail? He’s already reinvented financial transactions for the Internet age with PayPal and made electric vehicles sexy with Tesla Motors.

In the energy field, who we receive our power from and what we receive may soon be our choice. In fact, some customers are already in the driver’s seat through something called ­community choice aggregation (CCA).

More on Green Building

Design and Specify the Project

Once the owner has secured funding for an energy services project, the next step is installation design.

Nimble Navigation

According to the Energy Star program, lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average U.S. home’s electricity use and close to 35 percent of the total commercial building electricity use.

Southern California Utility Goes Green to the Extreme

The headquarters for Burbank (Calif.) Water and Power (BWP) has slowly transformed into a green campus. The effort involved repurposing some of the utility’s decaying old facilities, which, in some cases, were more than 100 years old.

Solar Incentives Heat Up in New York State

Despite the growing popularity of solar power, the one thing that still casts a long shadow over the technology, and keeps everyone from installing a new photovoltaic (PV) system on their rooftop, is the high upfront cost. Recognizing this barrier, incentives are the norm.

Transparent Cells Offer a Range of Possibilities for Solar Power

Research into photovoltaic (PV) technology, like all renewables, is always striving for greater efficiencies and lower production costs. That quest often creates seemingly unimaginable possibilities. For example, consider solar glass with a view.

Energy Modeling Teams Up With Lighting

Lighting continues to be a huge chunk of a building’s annual energy costs—between 20 and 40 percent. While the need for light will never go away, analyzing its costs through energy modeling can help secure the installation of more efficient technologies.

Lighting Design 101: Light and Color

Lighting choices can affect how we perceive spaces, even the colors of objects and surfaces.