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

Healthy Energy

According to the joint commission, a healthcare accreditation organization in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., healthcare facilities are highly dependent on reliable sources of electrical power and need to both assess the risks of power failures and make plans to deal with such emergencies.

San Jose Building Produces Zero Emissions

According to Sustainable Facility, Integrated Design Associates' (IDeAs) Z2 Building in San Jose, California, is the first commercial office building in the United States to achieve maximum energy efficiency and reach a net-zero energy/net-zero carbon emissions goal, using state-of-the-art solutions

Trade Group Sows the Seeds for Green Building

Every young tree needs a stake before it can stand upright under its own weight. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently announced two new initiatives to help the budding green building movement put down its own set of roots.

Berkeley's Got a Plan

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, an approved proposal by Berkeley’s City Council could pave the way for thousands of city residents to convert to solar power without property owners having to front the costs. On Nov.

Damming the Red Sea Could Generate Gigawatts

Through hydroelectric power, a dam on the Red Sea could solve the growing energy demands of millions of people in the Middle East and alleviate some of the region’s tensions pertaining to oil supplies.

Wave Energy Comes Ashore

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has awarded the first commercial wave energy project license. Finavera Renewables Inc., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based developer announced the milestone in December 2007.

Idaho Announces Its First Geothermal Plant

Debunking the notion that all renewable power rides in on the wind or the rays of the sun, a developer in Idaho is pioneering a revolutionary, clean technology in the state’s first geothermal power plant.