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.

Already a leader in clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction, California has set some ambitious goals for the future. One state utility thinks those goals are attainable and offers a plan for success.

The number of cities committing to using clean energy sources has more than doubled since President Trump was elected in November and decided to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, according to The Huffington Post.

Solar power figures heavily in the state of Hawaii's quest to have 100 percent renewable generation by the year 2045. In October, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) approved two new programs, which will encourage more customers to go solar.

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.

More on Green Building

 
It's Electric!

Major carmakers worldwide are developing electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) to compete with traditional -gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.


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ESCOs and the EC

An energy service company (ESCO) is a business that develops, installs and arranges financing for projects that are designed to improve the energy efficiency and maintenance costs for a facility over a seven- to 20-year period.


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Boosting Data Center Efficiency

It is estimated that the nation’s servers and data centers consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, which was 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.


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Direct to Connect

Buildings that can make their own energy have long been a goal for environmentally motivated architects and engineers, but the means for doing so have mostly been limited to bulky solar panels and wind turbines high enough to raise the ire of almost any community’s zoning board.


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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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