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

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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.

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.

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.

Bridging The Generation Gap

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

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.

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.