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

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).

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.

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.


The surface of the earth receives a tremendous amount of energy from the sun. It is estimated that the amount of solar energy that strikes the earth's surface daily is greater than the amount of energy used worldwide in 25 years.

Taking the LEED

We have a couple of items for April. One is an information update from a previous column. Another concerns new sustainable building requirements, which is very topical. It is a bit of a head's up on how these requirements may have hidden costs you might miss in a bid.

Solar Photovoltaics... Now, Here

A group of students at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore were assigned to estimate the investment needed for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to supply 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2100.

Alternative Power Source Found Blowing in the Wind

Due in great part to its low cost and high availability, wind energy has emerged as the fastest-growing energy source during the last decade, with global sales of wind turbines expected to reach more than $10 billion by 2008.