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

Eighty Percent of Americans Embrace Solar Power

Eight out of 10 Americans believe homebuilders should offer solar power as an option for all new home construction, according to a recent Roper survey commissioned by Sharp Electronics Corp.

Guiding Principles of Sustainable Design

The term “guiding principle” has entered the contracting lexicon. Though vague, it means a benchmark for proper business practice. The term has established roots in environmental design.

Sunny...With a Chance of Power

It was bright and sunny in the Los Angeles area, the kind of summer day the Chamber of Commerce likes to trumpet. Convertible tops were down on the freeways, tourists behind sunglasses were taking in the sights and residents accustomed to the warm, balmy weather were attired in cotton comfort.

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.

Going Solar Makes 'Cents' for Commercial Projects

Oak Tree Village, San Jose, Calif., is Akeena Solar’s latest commercial solar electric project with JSM Enterprises, a development company.

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.

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.