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.

The house of tomorrow is now 90 percent here, according to Michael Koenig.

Followers of the renewable-energy market pay close attention to the sector’s three leading market research firms: Navigant Research, GTM Research and IHS.

Rather than plugging it into the wall, imagine charging a cell phone or other portable device by simply rubbing it with the palm of your hand. The user actually creates the electricity and becomes a discrete, reliable and the ultimate distributed source of power generation.

It’s a complicated time to be an electricity-generating company in the United States. Volatility in the natural gas market is forcing utility planners to rethink fueling options, and new emissions regulations are adding even more questions to their long-term forecasts.

More on Green Building

 
Making New Waves

A 500-kilowatt solar power system supplements 15 percent peak power to water treatment operations in northern New Jersey. A 250 kW fuel cell helps manage electricity demand and address ongoing air-quality concerns at a Southern California water reclamation plant.

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Here Comes the Sun

Solar-power cells, also known as photovoltaics (PV), are semiconductors that convert sunlight directly to direct current (DC) electric power. “The sun’s light dislodges free electrons in each cell on the solar panel and collects them on conductors to create a volt.

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The Energy Effect

I once read that Thomas Edison tried to sell houses made from preformed concrete panels without success.

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In the Spotlight

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program, lighting consumes 25 to 40 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings and is a primary source of waste heat.

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Photovoltaic Finish

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) recognizes the contribution that photovoltaics (PV) make to the sustainability and efficiency of a building project through its Green Building Rating System for New Construction & Major Renovations (LEED-NC Version 2.1).

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PV and Energy Codes

Energy codes establish the minimum requirements for the performance of new buildings. States have typically adopted either the ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as their energy code for commercial buildings.

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Wind Works - -But Not in Florida

Coal is too dirty. Uranium is too dangerous. Gas is too expensive. Oil is too political. Solar is too sporadic. Hydro-dams upset the fish habitat.

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