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.

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.

Conventional crystalline solar panels on a farm in Pottsgrove, Pa. Credit Tom Gibson.

Around the country, solar photovoltaic installations are sprouting on residences and commercial buildings. If Doug Neidich has his way, we’ll see many more of these, but of a different variety.

Imagine an energy source buried thousands of feet below us that can best be accessed by sending highly pressurized fluid to open fissures in underground rock.

More on Green Building

 
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The Empire State Building Renovation

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.

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Editors' Pick
Net-Zero: There's Nothing To It

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.

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Dam Nation

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.

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Bridging The Generation Gap

The term “Intermittency” is often used when utility-industry experts discuss the drawbacks of renewable-energy supplies.

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A To Zed: Net-Zero

Net-zero energy buildings produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year, and they have been a goal for progressive designers and engineers for the last decade or so.

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Merck's Footprint Goes Solar

Global pharmaceutical Merck is using the power of the sun, with some help from federal stimulus money, to raise the green level of its facilities; the most recent of which is at its Upper Gwynedd, Pa., complex.

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Industry Can Grow With Energy-Efficiency Boom

Here is some promising news for electrical contractors and the entire industry: a study by the Rexel Foundation found that American consumers are driving the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.

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