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.

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).

In February 2014, researchers at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report that outlines how rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays, combined with battery-based energy storage could lead electric-utility customers to opt out of the connected grid.

The community solar market barely existed just a few years ago, but now the concept that allows even renters to invest in their own photovoltaic (PV) panels is going gangbusters in a number of states.

More on Green Building

 
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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Army Charging up on Renewables

Major shifts in human behavior often require kickstarting by big players. When it comes to energy usage, the U.S. Army is well-positioned to create momentum.

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The Downside of Green Building

Every silver cloud has a black lining, to twist an old cliche. In this case, the silver cloud is the burgeoning industry of green building, one of the stalwarts of the larger green power movement.

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Building Energy Retrofits Are a Vast Untapped Resource of Efficiency

Within the larger effort to transform the way the nation receives and uses its power, efficiency holds first-tier status, right next to solar, wind and electric cars. The importance of building energy use within the realm of efficiency also is well-established.

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