Electrical Contractor Magazine

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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More on Green Building

 
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The new Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro, Calif. Credit: Chad Ziemendorf
Zero Net Energy Center Joint Training Facility Opens in Northern California

You can’t create something out of nothing, but the Northern California Chapter, NECA and IBEW Local 595 were determined to zero-out their energy bill for their new training facility.

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Boston's Largest Rooftop Solar Development

Broadway Electrical Co. Inc. recently completed the engineering, procurement and construction of the largest rooftop solar array in Boston. The project is located in the Boston/Dedham Commerce Park. Broadway Electrical will also provide the operations and maintenance for the installation.


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Tidal Power Makes Waves In Scotland

Within the larger movement 
of green power, the fledgling tidal-energy industry has yet to make its proverbial big splash. With one project across the pond, all of that may soon change.


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New Battery Could Aid Solar And Wind-Power Transmission

Despite the growing popularity of solar and wind power, the two renewable technologies still suffer from one glaring weakness: both generate power at nature’s mercy.


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Shining The Light On Super Solar Efficiency

Perhaps nothing showcases technology’s ability to innovate and change lives better than the science behind 
renewable power. Solar power’s high cost is well-established, but scientists at CalTech are developing cells with such hyper–
efficiency they could potentially eclipse the question of price.


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Grid Can Be More Reliable With More Renewables

If the United States stops burning coal, shuts down one-quarter of existing nuclear reactors and trims its use of natural gas by 2050, the resulting increased reliance on wind, solar and other renewables will not result in a less reliable electricity grid.


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Hybrid System Marries Solar With Natural Gas

While natural gas is emerging as the fuel of choice in the United States, that is not necessarily at the expense of renewable power. In fact, there is even room for the two to work together.


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