Green Building News

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.

A Move Toward More Helpful Appraisals

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Developers of the Home Energy Rating System and the Appraisal Institute are teaming up to give home buyers a better understanding of how much it will cost to live in the houses they're interested in buying.

Sungevity Finds a New Buyer

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Sungevity, a California-based solar company, has laid off more employees and filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors, a report in The Mercury News said.

Once listed fifth in market share by GTM Research, the company has laid off some 410 employees since the start of the year. It filed for Chapter 11 protection on March 13, and arranged for the sale of its remaining assets to an investment group.

Wind Overtakes Hydro as Top Renewable in U.S.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Last year was a big one for wind power in the U.S. For the first time, the total installed capacity of the country's wind farms exceeded that of hydroelectric projects to reach a total of 82,183 megawatts — enough to run some 24 million American homes.

The website Proud Green Building reported the wind industry installed 6,478 megawatts in the fourth quarter of the year alone, according to a market report from the American Wind Energy Association.

Connecticut Lawmakers Consider Aid for Homeowners With Failing Foundations

Posted on March 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Connecticut state lawmakers are considering several ways of helping homeowners whose homes are threatened by failing concrete foundations.

BuildingEnergy Opens in Boston on March 7

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's BuildingEnergy Boston program gets underway on Tuesday, March 7, with a variety of pre-conference workshops before the conference and trade show formally open the following day.

NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch from Maine to Maryland. www.nesea.org bills the conference and trade show, which take place at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, as the leading event for the region's sustainable building professionals. The conference is expected to draw more than 2,500 people over its three-day run.

Biofuel Helps Heat a Maine College

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Bates College was among the U.S. colleges and universities signing a pledge 10 years ago to become carbon neutral by 2020, in part by switching from fossil fuels to biomassOrganic waste that can be converted to usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity, or crops grown specifically for that purpose. to heat the 1 million square feet of space on its Lewiston, Maine, campus. Then something better came along — a Canadian biofuel made from waste wood that's both cheaper and environmentally cleaner than the natural gas it had been burning, and without many of the logistical headaches that went with biomass.

New Cellulose Manufacturer Set for a 2018 Launch

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Builders in the Northeast who have missed the friendly voice of Bill Hulstrunk and cellulose from National Fiber, the Massachusetts-based firm he worked for, can look forward to the launch of a new company and a fresh source of cellulose by next year.

Hulstrunk, the technical director at the now-shuttered National Fiber plant in Belchertown, Massachusetts, has joined a new company called UltraCell, which is building a pilot plant in Buffalo, New York, and hopes to open a larger plant and begin selling the insulation in 2018.

Bradford White Buys GeoSpring Rights and Equipment

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Bradford White will pick up where GE Appliances left off as it buys the production equipment GE used to make the GeoSpring heat-pump water heaterAn appliance that uses an air-source heat pump to heat domestic hot water. Most heat-pump water heaters include an insulated tank equipped with an electric resistance element to provide backup heat whenever hot water demand exceeds the capacity of the heat pump. Since heat-pump water heaters extract heat from the air, they lower the temperature and humidity of the room in which they are installed. and moves it to its own facilities in Michigan.

Citing low sales, GE Appliances stopped general production of the GeoSpring last month. The company has been selling the water heaters to Bradford White, which rebadged them as AeroTherm water heaters. The deal allows Bradford White to continue making and selling the appliances without interruption.

Terms were not announced.

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