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.

Once upon a time, many solar-enthusiast homeowners saw their rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels as investments in a greener future, not as contributors to their own household budgets.

Separated from the U.S. mainland’s electric supply by an ocean, Hawaii is working toward a goal mandated by Hawaii’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires 40 percent of the state’s electricity to be derived from clean-energy sources by 2030.


Talk to folks in the electric vehicle (EV) industry about commercial charging opportunities, and there is a very good chance you’ll hear that old which-came-first/chicken-or-egg metaphor applied to the market’s potential.

Electric vehicles (EVs) appear to be in a boom cycle in 2014. Year-to-date figures at the end of June were up 33 percent compared to 2013’s numbers, and May, June and July all posted sales in record or near-record territory, according to the EV-tracking website InsideEVs.com.

More on Green Building

 
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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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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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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