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

Space: The Final Frontier

The commercial construction market, in general, remains anemic, with one exception: data centers. Not only are we all buying more data-transmitting smart-phones, tablets, web-connected televisions—and, yes, even PCs—we also are moving data from our own hard drives to remote “cloud” servers.

First in Line

Analysis from Verdantix, an independent analyst focused on energy, environment and sustainability issues for business, shows that the market for carbon and energy management software in the United States will grow to $558 million by 2014.

Define the Energy Project

Beginning with the set of feasible energy project opportunities that you identified in Step No. 4, Step No. 5 further analyzes them as a group to develop a comprehensive energy program.

Cashing in on Real Money

You’ve heard the claims: This product will save electrical energy! If you install this system, you’ll be the greenest person on the block and will never have to pay another electric bill!

Editors' Pick
Current Events: Smart Power Storage

Thus far, the structure and integrity of the grid have limited the deployment and effectiveness of intermittent alternative energies, such as solar photovoltaics (PV). The sun may not always shine enough to meet demand.

Editors' Pick
Taking a Load Off

After engineer David Kaneda’s firm moved into its own self-designed zero-energy building, an analysis of the zero-energy claim revealed that their photocopiers, printers, clock radios and coffee pots were threatening efforts to make the building self-sustaining.

Harnessing Potential: Renewable Growth

For years, the United States has been looking for ways to end its addiction to fossil fuels and create a greener, cleaner and safer environment.