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.

A lot has been written, and continues to be written, about states that are actively embracing renewable energy measures and the benefits being reaped from these measures.

On Feb. 7, The Solar Foundation released the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, an annual report on solar employment in the United States. Despite the energy source’s relatively small role on the national landscape, the solar workforce saw considerable, dramatic growth last year.

While wind and solar power have been leading the charge in renewable energy growth, other renewable industries have struggled to contribute on the same scale. Offshore wind, for example, has lagged far behind the success of its onshore cousin.

Powering entire countries (especially smaller ones) without fossil fuels is possible. In 2016, Costa Rica’s electrical grid mainly used renewable energy, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) stated in a Jan. 3 press release. The country went 271 days using only renewable-energy production.

More on Green Building

 
Green Bill of Health

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.


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Blown Away

We’ve heard the wind-integration success stories from Sweden and Denmark, but we haven’t heard as much about how wind is contributing right now to U.S. electricity supplies.


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Energy Storage: The Crusade Continues

Has Elon Musk discovered renewable energy’s Holy Grail? He’s already reinvented financial transactions for the Internet age with PayPal and made electric vehicles sexy with Tesla Motors.


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Energy Your Way

In the energy field, who we receive our power from and what we receive may soon be our choice. In fact, some customers are already in the driver’s seat through something called ­community choice aggregation (CCA).


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Take A Load Off

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.


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A Sunny Future: A New Approach to Solar

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.


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Web Exclusive
Conventional crystalline solar panels on a farm in Pottsgrove, Pa. Credit Tom Gibson.
Beyond Conventional Solar PV Panels

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.


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