Green Building News

Robotics Comes to Homebuilding

Posted on April 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Fast, precise and uncomplaining, industrial robots revolutionized the automotive industry with production lines that rarely needed a break and mechanical employees who never filed an insurance claim. Now, a group of Baltimore-based entrepreneurs is betting the same approach can work wonders for the U.S. housing market.

Tesla Reported Closer to Solar Panel Launch

Posted on April 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Tesla will be rolling not one but two new varieties of 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.) panels sometime this year, according to a number of published reports. Details remain skimpy.

Google Expands Solar Project Nationwide

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two years after launching Project Sunroof, Google says its expanded database now covers every state in the country with information on the solar power potential of 60 million buildings.

Congress Weighs Changes to Rules on PACE Loans

Posted on April 11, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Congress will consider new legislation that tightens disclosure requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans used by a growing number of homeowners to make energy-related improvements to their properties.

PACE loans, often used for upgrades such as solar panels, can be structured so they are repaid through property tax bills. When the property changes hands, the loan obligation goes with it.

Timber High Rise in New York Is Canceled

Posted on April 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The developer of a 10-story mass timber tower in New York City has abandoned the project, citing a lukewarm response from lenders and a weaker real estate market.

According to an article posted at The Real Deal, a real estate magazine, the tower in the city's Chelsea district would have been the tallest wood condominium tower in the city. It also would have been and one of the tallest timber buildings in the U.S.

New York Builder Wins RESNET Prize

Posted on April 5, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A house built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard in upstate New York has been recognized in this year's Cross Border Challenge for having the lowest HERSIndex or scoring system for energy efficiency established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) that compares a given home to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Reference Home based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. A home matching the reference home has a HERS Index of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is. A typical existing home has a HERS Index of 130; a net zero energy home has a HERS Index of 0. Older versions of the HERS index were based on a scale that was largely just the opposite in structure--a HERS rating of 100 represented a net zero energy home, while the reference home had a score of 80. There are issues that complicate converting old to new or new to old scores, but the basic formula is: New HERS index = (100 - Old HERS score) * 5. Index score among U.S. custom built homes.

Energy and Building Programs Brace for Trump Budget

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A long list of federal programs that promote advanced building techniques, renewable energy, and energy efficiency would see less money under President Trump's budget proposal, but important details on how the budget would affect a number of popular projects are still unknown.

Fine Homebuilding Will Award Scholarships

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Fine Homebuilding magazine and a national alliance of students, teachers, and industry representatives are teaming up to offer five scholarships of $5,000 each for those interested in construction-related fields of study.

The scholarships are part of the magazine's #KeepCraftAlive program, an effort to preserve essential construction trades and close a skills gap that is threatening the industry.

A Neighborhood Microgrid Takes Shape in Brooklyn

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A network of small 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.) arrays linked together in a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood will soon allow homeowners and small businesses to buy and sell energy from each other directly, and potentially provide energy to connected members should the grid fail in a catastrophic storm.

Prefab Passive House Partnership Hits a Milestone

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Scott Gibson

It took four carpenters and six crane days to assemble Elizabeth Scott's new house in Altamont, New York, and when they were finished the partnership of Ecocor and architect Richard Pedranti had reached an important goal for their new line of "Solsken" Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. prefabs.

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