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.

In 1985, Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder Amory Lovins coined the term “negawatt” to describe the value of electricity not used, either through improved energy efficiency or reduced consumption. At the time, he was considered a bit of a fringe thinker.

Despite a seeming current lack of interest in renewables and other green initiatives at the federal level, more companies, mayors, and states are picking up the slack and moving forward aggressively with such initiatives.

Released September 28, the 11th annual American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) State Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides information on how states rank in terms of their energy efficiency efforts, including those that are the most improved.

Already a leader among states in the adoption of green power policies, the Golden State has set its site on a new, more ambitious set of standards.

More on Green Building

Forecast Is Clear for Solar With One-Year Extension of Federal Grants

For solar industry advocates, a ray of light emerged recently from the new Congress. As reported in the January 2011 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, Congress passed and President Obama signed tax legislation that included a one-year extension of federal grants for renewable energies in December.

First U.S. Commercial Tidal Power Plant Proposed for New York City's East River

New York-based Verdant Power has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that would allow the company to install up to 30 new tidal power turbines in the East Channel of the East River in New York City.

San Francisco Planning for Total Green Energy by 2020

By 2020, the city and county of San Francisco is planning to be 100 percent powered by green energy. Talk about a highly ambitious energy plan.

States Lead the Charge on the Clean-Energy Front

In the aftermath of the November 2010 elections, few are expecting the same level of support and generosity for renewable power that was the hallmark of the first two years of the Obama administration.

Editors' Pick
A Rising Star

The nation’s nearly 130 million homes generate more than 20 percent of our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. Combine that with roughly 75 billion square feet of commercial, industrial and institutional space, and the carbon footprint grows exponentially.

SEIA: National Solar Jobs Census Shows Strong Solar Employment, Is Expected to Grow

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) highlighted the strength of the U.S. solar job market in the face of high nationwide unemployment. The announcement was made at Solar Power International 2010, North America’s largest business-to-business solar conference and exhibition.

DOE Invests in Smart Grid Projects

The Obama Administration has made investment in new energy technologies—renewable and otherwise—the cornerstone of its strategy for reviving the national economy. Smart grid investment is a major component of that investment.