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

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.

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.

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.

Editors' Pick
Green Light, Control and Action

Lighting and control technology advances and creative daylighting implementation 
are propelling green lighting practices. ECs are being called on to employ their technical and creative skills 
to install and program new products and technologies.

Bringing Efficiency Home

We have seen it before in the movies—machines so smart they start to talk to each other and think for themselves, to the point where they even turn against 
the humans who 
created them.

Commercial Buildings Rebuild Green

Energy-efficiency-based renovations are surging ahead of new construction lately as legislation and the sheer cost of energy encourage building owners to find ways to slash power consumption.

An Authority Figure

When you think about it, today’s electrical contractor (EC) is an energy-efficiency adviser. It may be a matter of reinvention, but it’s a logical destination.