Green Building News

Construction Jobs Continue to Go Unfilled

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Thousands of well-paying construction jobs remain unfilled even as many high school students continue to be shepherded into four-year university programs that take longer than expected to complete and leave them deep in debt, a new report finds.

A Banned Threat to the Ozone Reappears

Posted on May 21, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Scientists have discovered that an industrial chemical once widely used as a blowing agent in foam insulation may be back in secret production, years after it was phased out as part of the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

Energy Demand Falls in New England Forecast

Posted on May 16, 2018 by Scott Gibson

A combination of energy-efficiency measures and behind-the-meter solar will reduce both overall demand for grid electricity and peak demand over the next decade, a new report from the region's grid manager says.

A New Guide for Net Zero Builders

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Scott Gibson

California's steady move toward 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. construction has prompted the publication of a new guide for architects called the Zero Net Energy Primer.

Written by Ann V. Edminster, an architect (and a member of the advisory team), the ZNE Primer was published by the American Institute of Architects, California Council and financed by Pacific Gas & Electric. It comes against a backdrop of increasingly stringent requirements in Title 24, the state's efficiency code for buildings.

Competitors Ready New Generation Cellulose

Posted on May 10, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Two companies developing an improved type of cellulose insulationThermal insulation made from recycled newspaper or other wastepaper; often treated with borates for fire and insect protection. hope to get their products into the hands of installers later this year, but the race to the marketplace has been complicated by an ongoing legal dispute involving allegations that important trade secrets may have been misappropriated.

California Poised to Require Solar Panels

Posted on May 8, 2018 by Scott Gibson

The California Energy Commission is expected to approve the new rule when it votes this week, making California the first state in the country to require that new houses come with 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. panels.

"California is about to take a quantum leap in energy standards," Bob Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association, told The Mercury-News. "No other state in the nation mandates solar, and we are about to take that leap."

Chinese Firm to Launch Glass Solar Roofing Tiles

Posted on May 3, 2018 by Scott Gibson

A Chinese firm has developed a glass-topped solar roofing tile that should go on sale later this year, a potential challenger for Tesla's Solar Roof in the upscale solar market.

Hanergy, which is based in Beijing, announced last month it would introduce a new generation of its HanTiles in the U.S. The tiles, which combine thin-film photovoltaics with high-transmittance glass, can replace conventional roofing.

Report Cites Carbon Impact of Biomass Plants

Posted on April 30, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Burning wood and wood waste to generate electricity will result in net carbon emissions over the next several decades even under the best-case scenarios promoted by the industry, according to a recently released report.

Writing in Environmental Research Letters, author Mary S. Booth disputes assertions that burning biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. is carbon-neutral, challenging renewable energy investments in the U.S., Europe, and Asia where imported wood pellets are burned as a replacement for coal.

Bill Would Roll Back New Solar Tariffs

Posted on April 26, 2018 by Scott Gibson

A proposed federal law, HR 5571, would reverse the 30% tariff on imported solar panels ordered by President Donald Trump in January. The bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 19 by Representative Jacky Rosen, a Democrat from Nevada, and four co-sponsors.

New Idaho Law Discourages Energy Code Updates

Posted on April 25, 2018 by Scott Gibson

What happens when a community decides that the statewide building code doesn't go far enough and adopts a newer version of a model code with tougher rules on energy conservation?

In Idaho, one of those communities was Boise, the state capital and Idaho's largest city.

A new Idaho law will prohibit towns and cities from preempting the state's energy code with more stringent requirements in the future.

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