Green Building News

Suburban Sprawl Costs a Bundle

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Suburban sprawl means less farmland and reduced agricultural productivity, dirtier air and water, and more traffic congestion, a new study says, and it all adds up to increased costs of about $1 trillion a year in the U.S.

The study by The New Climate Economy is an attempt to quantify the economic costs of sprawl ("dispersed, automobile-oriented, urban-fringe development") while pointing out the benefits of compact, mixed-use building ("smart growth").

Leased Solar Panels May Complicate Home Sales

Posted on March 27, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Leased photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems that come with long-term contracts are proving to be a problem for some homeowners when they try to sell their homes, in some cases killing deals when potential buyers get cold feet, a report in the Los Angeles Times says.

Although the article didn't quantify the problem, it suggested the number of problem real estate transactions is growing as the number of leased PV installations increases.

Monitoring Air Quality at Home

Posted on March 26, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Consumers soon will have a variety of choices of relatively inexpensive, WiFi enabled devices for monitoring indoor air quality.

Solar Prices Drop in 2014

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Last year was a good one for the photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) industry and it customers. Prices continued to fall, and the amount of installed capacity was up.

According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of a residential PV system dropped to an average of $3.48 per installed watt, a drop of 9 percent from the previous year's average of $3.83.

Chinese Drywall Maker to Cough Up Tardy Payments

Posted on March 24, 2015 by Scott Gibson

There's a light at the end of the tunnel for at least a few of the thousands of families whose homes were made unhealthy or uninhabitable by defective Chinese drywall and who so far haven't been able to collect court-ordered restitution.

Maine Slashes Its Efficiency Program

Posted on March 23, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Utility regulators in Maine have voted to trim funding for a statewide program that pays for energy efficiency improvements in homes and businesses, from the $60 million state lawmakers said they were expecting to $22 million.

Elevator Shaft Vents Blamed for Big Energy Losses

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A typical apartment building in New York City loses thousands of dollars worth of energy every year from leaky elevator shafts that vent warm air at the top of the building and draw in cold air at the bottom, according to a new report from the city's U.S. Green Building Council chapter.

When LEED Platinum Isn’t Enough

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Scott Gibson

With a couple of successful LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. projects behind it, the Minneapolis affordable housing developer Aeon began looking for a more aggressive sustainable building program — one that would pay much bigger energy dividends for its tenants over time. For all of its advantages, LEED just wasn't enough.

‘Canada’s Greenest Home’ Posts Energy Data

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Students at the Endeavour Centre in Ontario, Canada, helped build a net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. spec house a few years ago and called it "Canada's Greenest Home" when they were finished. There is, of course, no way to prove that, but they can prove just how energy-efficient the building is.

The school tracked energy consumption at the 2,300-square-foot two-story house between October 2013 and September 2014, logging the amount of power used every month against the amount produced by the home's 5 kW photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. system.

Green Buildings Get a Loan Break

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Fannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for multifamily projects in the country, says that it has started giving loan discounts on properties with a green-building certification.

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