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 March 2012, West Liberty, Ky., a community of 3,400 in Morgan County, was hit by an EF-3 tornado. The town suffered $50 million in damage, 400 homes were demolished, and seven people were killed.

Developing buildings that generate as much energy as they use during the course of a year has become an important goal for the most environmentally minded owners and architects over the past decade or so, and a growing number of projects are succeeding in meeting this ambitious target.

With only 265,000 customers, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) is among the nation’s smaller investor-owned utilities, though you’d never guess this from its influence as a renewable-energy innovator.

Wind farm on Columbia Hills, Windy Flats. Courtesy of Walter Sigmund on Wikimedia Commons

Results from a second quarter market report, released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on July 27, show a growing and evolving industry—from increased development to new projects and customers.

More on Green Building

 
Poll: 75 Percent of Americans Approve of Solar-Energy Development on Public Lands

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released new national polling data showing that 75 percent of those surveyed support the development of solar-energy plants on public lands not set aside for national parks or nature preserves. Gotham Research Group conducted the poll.


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Vermont's Sanders Introduces Major Solar-Energy Initiative

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vt., chairman of the Senate’s green jobs subcommittee, introduced legislation with nine cosponsors to encourage the installation of 10 million solar-power systems on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade.


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Proposed Grid to Make Offshore Wind Power More Reliable

The energy needs of the world could potentially be met by converting wind energy to electricity by means of wind turbines. While offshore wind power resources are abundant, wind turbines are currently unable to provide steady power due to natural fluctuations in wind direction and strength.


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Report: Solar Could Meet 10 Percent of U.S. Energy Needs

Environment America, a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization, released a report, “Building a Solar Future: Repowering America’s Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy,” which outlines the road to meet 10 percent of the United States’ energy needs by 2030.


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Online Tool Tracks Solar Installations

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched a Web site, “The Open PV Project,” that will serve as an online tool for the photovoltaic (PV) market.


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New Numbers Puff up Potential of Wind Power

Data released by the US Department of Energy (DOE) has left wind power advocates feeling billowy.


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Momentum for Efficiency Building

In February, the Obama administration announced a multiagency initiative to spur regional economic growth while making buildings more energy-efficient.


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