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

Offshore Wind Power Project Clears Environmental Hurdle in Massachusetts

The embattled Cape Wind project got a boost this spring from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Oregon Expands Tax Credits for Renewable Power

Earlier this summer, as its session drew to a close, the Oregon State Legislature passed a bevy of bills to boost the state’s renewable energy market. Two days before the end of session, the legislature passed HB 3201, which expanded Oregon’s existing Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC).

Growing Green by Giant Leaps

In an attempt to make amends with the environment, the US government may be attempting too much of a leap.

Solar Power Surge

A limited supply of silicon used to make solar panels and a deluge of homeowners rushing to install solar power before state rebates are reduced have made it difficult for installation companies to meet demand.

California to Track Renewable Energy Production

The California Energy Commission has launched the world’s largest renewable energy registry and tracking system called the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS).

Renewable Energy Whisked Away to Malaysian Resort Island

Distributed Energy Systems Corporation announced the shipment of two 100-kW wind power systems for installation this summer on the Malaysian resort island of Pulau Perhentian.

Staring Directly into the Sun - Solar Collection Made More Efficient

A mirror alignment measurement device, invented by Rich Diver, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories, may soon make one of the most popular solar collector systems—parabolic troughs— more affordable and energy efficient.