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.

Major oil company Shell is getting into the electric vehicle (EV) charging game.

A lot has been written in recent months about net-zero energy homes, especially in California, where legislation is beginning to mandate the practice.

More than thirty years after the infamous disaster, the Chernobyl exclusion zone might be transforming from an abandoned nuclear wasteland to a green energy hub.

December 4-6, Chicago played host to the North American Climate Summit in concert with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. There, city leaders signed the "Chicago Charter," an agreement that broadly echoes the Paris climate agreement in establishing carbon emissions reductions.

More on Green Building

 
The Bullitt Center’s 575 rooftop solar panels and solar canopies produce 230,000 kilowatt-hours per year.
Buildings as Power Plants

Today, some buildings can produce more energy than they use. Spurred by successful net-zero energy projects (also called zero-net), net-positive endeavors demonstrate the possibilities and potential in building design.


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Macy’s distribution facility in Minooka, Ill.
Wrapped Up: Hardt Electric

Thanks to increasing adoption of renewable energy, declining market costs of many renewable technologies, and the availability of financial incentives that help subsidize the cost of installation, the photovoltaic (PV) panel market has grown dramatically over the past several years.


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Taking Notes: Documenting Green Projects

Filling out paperwork and documenting your company’s work may be one of the more mundane project tasks, but when green building certification is involved, that documentation serves several important purposes.


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PNNL researcher Srinivas Katipamula examining a control box for a commercial building's heating and cooling system. Credit: Andrea Starr / PNNL
Fully Using Commercial Building Controls Cuts Energy Use 29 Percent

Expensive startup costs are often cited as a reason building owners and operators don’t install energy saving technology, like building controls and automation, although in general they eventually pay for themselves.


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You Can Grow Your Own Way

There are too many metaphors to choose from, so we will refrain, but the point is green building isn’t going away anytime soon. In all likelihood, we will simply refer to it as “building” in the future. That isn’t an uncontested idea.


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Bringing New Power: Utility-Scale Solar PV Systems


When it comes to generation and transmission system management, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays are often spoken of as a problem rather than as a solution. However, today’s sophisticated inverters and plant controls are helping to turn around this negative reputation.


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Report: Solar Power Hits Milestone of $1 Per Watt, Continued Upward Trend Forecast

The support for alternative energies, and solar power in particular, remains strong. Renewable power technologies continue to achieve new efficiencies and to become more feasible.


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