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.

In February 2014, researchers at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report that outlines how rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays, combined with battery-based energy storage could lead electric-utility customers to opt out of the connected grid.

The community solar market barely existed just a few years ago, but now the concept that allows even renters to invest in their own photovoltaic (PV) panels is going gangbusters in a number of states.

Conventional crystalline solar panels on a farm in Pottsgrove, Pa. Credit Tom Gibson.

Around the country, solar photovoltaic installations are sprouting on residences and commercial buildings. If Doug Neidich has his way, we’ll see many more of these, but of a different variety.

Green building trends have affected nearly every sector of the construction and renovation market, and schools and universities are part of it.

More on Green Building

 
Hybrid Power

Conversations about renewable energy often come down to a comparison—solar versus wind, for example, or hydroelectric versus geothermal—as though one technology, alone, could provide the single answer to our need for safe, emissions-free electricity production.

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Going Back To School

A transformation is in the air as better built, greener schools become a focus of states and local communities.

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New York State Investing in Renewable Power

With all of the help and all of the hype they have enjoyed in the last few years, renewables are starting to get their proverbial legs underneath them. That is not to say they have progressed beyond the point where they could use some assistance from the public sector.

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Energy Storage Expands Worldwide

Those who follow the emergence of renewables know that one of the biggest drawbacks is intermittency. The wind and the sun are not necessarily most plentiful when electricity is in demand.

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Largest Fuel Cell Power Project in North America

Dominion, one of America’s largest energy companies, recently announced an expansion of its clean-energy portfolio by developing a major fuel cell power generating facility in Bridgeport, Conn. The new facility uses a reactive process that converts natural gas into electricity.

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Favorable Outlook

Energy management is emerging as a focal point in construction conversations. Electrical contractors (ECs) need to be aware of the latest trends and understand their role in promoting energy management. They also should know how to expand that role.


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Meet The Future

Many electrical contractors wonder if energy services will remain a viable market in 2013 and beyond. This concern is understandable, given the uncertainty in the domestic and global energy markets today.

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