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.

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.

It’s no secret that the global economy, available energy supply and the balance-sheet status of the worldwide electrical supply-chain industry are never going to return to the levels they reached at the end of the 20th century. There is no optimistic rebound coming.


Electric vehicles (EVs) appear to be in a boom cycle in 2014. Year-to-date figures at the end of June were up 33 percent compared to 2013’s numbers, and May, June and July all posted sales in record or near-record territory, according to the EV-tracking website InsideEVs.com.

The modern movement toward more sustainable-energy practices has touched almost every aspect of our daily lives. From renewable power to electric vehicles (EVs), few of these changes have gone unnoticed, and the trend affects almost everyone in one way or another.


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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