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

 
Web Exclusive
Harnessing Everyday Motion to Power Mobile Devices and More

Rather than plugging it into the wall, imagine charging a cell phone or other portable device by simply rubbing it with the palm of your hand. The user actually creates the electricity and becomes a discrete, reliable and the ultimate distributed source of power generation.

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Water Isn't Everywhere Anymore

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.

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Web Exclusive
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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