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.

This past April, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk grabbed headlines with the introduction of two battery-based energy-storage products from the new Tesla Energy subsidiary he claims will “fundamentally change how the world uses energy.” Perhaps even more important to Musk’s ambitious goal is the anticipat

Aspiration sets the level of sustainability in a building project. Green construction often focuses on reducing environmental harm through energy efficiency, water conservation, better air quality and alternative power. Regenerative design aims even higher.

In his 2011 State of the Union message, President Barack Obama set a goal to have 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by the end of 2015. That isn’t likely to happen.

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.

More on Green Building

Editors' Pick
Gearing Up: Electric Vehicles

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama said, “With more research and incentives, we could become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

Energy App-grades

Electrical contractors pursuing alternative-energy and efficiency-upgrade projects may have better business-development luck these days than some of their new-construction-focused colleagues. U.S.

Renewable Generation Continues to Grow

As we enter the final month of the presidential election campaign, the political rhetoric remains heated. Among the many issues to be debated, renewable energies and the federal policies that support them will no doubt feature prominently.

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.