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

Wind Power Blowing Strong in All Four Corners of the World

Gone are the days when the thought of wind power in some far-off land was strictly a quaint endeavor. Tourists will always have their photo ops of rustic windmills on the farm in Holland or rural Kansas, for that matter.

Community-Scale Wind Project to Power More Than 1,000 Washington Homes

The owners of Swauk Creek Ranch, a privately owned 3,865-acre reserve in Kittitas County, Wa., have partnered with Seattle-based energy and facility services firm McKinstry to develop and construct five wind turbines that will generate electricity for consumption in Kittitas County.

Catalyst Breakthrough Could Kickstart Storage of Renewable Power

If wind- and solar-generated electricity are changing the way we look at our relationship to the grid, the transformation is only visible when the sources of that generation are in full force or, more specifically, when the gusts are strong and the sun is high.

DOE Announces Winners of Design Competition to Advance Energy-Efficient Lighting

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce energy waste in our nation’s buildings and help save Americans money by saving energy, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the fifth annual Next Generation Luminaires Design competition for indoor lighting at the LEDucation

World's Solar Photovoltaic Capacity Passes 100-Gigawatt Landmark

The world’s cumulative solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity capacity surpassed 100 gigawatts (GW) in 2012, achieving just more than 101 GW, according to market figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

Walmart Rolling Forward Increases in Energy Efficiency and Renewables Usage

Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke announced the company’s next step on the path to achieving its goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy. Unveiled at Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, the company committed to achieving the following by Dec. 31, 2020:

Windward Policy: The PTC

New Year’s Day brought wind-energy developers a belated holiday gift when Congress included in its fiscal-cliff budget deal a one-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) that helps wind farms operate profitably.