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 modern movement toward more sustainable-energy practices has touched almost every aspect of our daily lives. From renewable power to electric vehicles (EVs), few of these changes have gone unnoticed, and the trend affects almost everyone in one way or another.


Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels might not yet be a standard home appliance, but they could be on their way if current growth rates keep up. Even after several record years, installation figures continue to climb.

The Haworth Showroom at the Parkview Green in Beijing is the first project to certify under LEED v4

LEED v4, the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, reflects an ultimate goal by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): make a LEED-certified building forever green. A theme of “trust but verify” emerges as you look at the changes in LEED v4.

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

More on Green Building

 
Distributed Generation and Solar Energy

Distributed generation allows for the use of small-scale power generation technologies located nearby the load being served. It can be applied in many different forms. There are various methods by which customers can generate their own electricity, with or without the backup grid.

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Producing Green Power

An important consideration for any “green” building is its electric power supply. Commercial buildings currently consume more than one-third of the total electric energy produced in the United States. The U.S.

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By the Light of the Sun

After four hurricanes passed through Florida in 2004, leaving a tangle of downed power lines and outages, the most reliable power source proved to be solar.

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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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