Electrical Contractor Magazine

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electrical Contractor Magazine

More on Green Building

 
Giving Efficiency Its Due

Energy efficiency is often the ugly stepsister in alternative-energy conversations because quantifying its potential effect is difficult; how do we determine the real value of all those avoided kilowatt-hours?

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Gauging Expectations

In this column, I analyze the energy opportunities identified in previous articles from a technical, cost and payback standpoint. The goal is to develop a set of feasible energy-saving initiatives that the customer may want to undertake.

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Progress for PVs
by Staff |

After much technical discussion in Code-Making Panel 4 and an appeal to the NFPA Standards Council, the requirements for a new product involving photovoltaic (PV) installations was inserted into 690.11 in the 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC).

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CALCTP Arms Contractors in Fight for Efficiency, Goes National

Competitive environments breed innovation and evolution, and California, with the most stringent energy-efficiency goals of all the United States, establishes many trends.

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GSA Offers 30 Federal Buildings for Deep Energy Retrofits
by Staff |

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced 30 of its federal buildings, totaling nearly 17 million square feet, are participating in a challenge to achieve deep energy savings.

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Energy Department Report Details Major Potential to Increase Clean, Reliable Hydroelectric Power
by Staff |

The Department of Energy (DOE) released a renewable-energy resource assessment detailing the potential to develop electric power generation at existing U.S. dams that aren’t currently equipped to produce power.

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Americans Increasingly Turn to Renewables for Power Needs

Despite the rhetoric, popular sentiment and public policies favoring green power, it may be surprising to realize that alternative-energy industries are still the underdog in the transformation of how we generate and consume power.

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