Green Building News

Contract Price for Solar Electricity Hits a Low

Posted on January 19, 2018 by Scott Gibson

The contract price for electricity from a new solar-electric facility in New Mexico is the lowest for distributed 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.) power in the U.S., the Rocky Mountain Institute said.

The 3-megawatt installation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is due to come online in March and will sell electricity to the Otero County Electric Cooperative under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The project is owned by SoCore Energy, a Chicago-based solar developer.

New York Mayor Challenges Oil Companies

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Scott Gibson

State and regional leaders trying to fill a leadership void in combating climate change now include New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who last week announced that the city would revamp city pension funds to eliminate holdings in fossil fuel companies and file a lawsuit against five big oil companies.

Tesla Begins Solar Roof Production

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Tesla has started manufacturing its long-awaited 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.) roofing tiles at a new factory in Buffalo, New York, and customers who plunked down $1,000 deposits last year could start to see their new roofs in the next few months, Reuters reported.

Electric Cars Had a Good Year

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Sales of electric cars were headed for a 30% increase in 2017, but the number of electric and plug-in hybrids sold last year is still a tiny slice of the market and, according to one marketing study, auto dealerships are giving potential customer an inconsistent and sometimes off-putting sales pitch.

Denver’s Green Roof Ordinance Kicks In

Posted on January 5, 2018 by Scott Gibson

A citizen-sponsored ordinance requiring rooftop vegetation on large, newly constructed buildings in Denver took effect with the start of the new year, but a city task force already is in the works and is likely to make some changes in the months ahead.

Canada Sees Rise in Passivhaus Multifamilies

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Scott Gibson

Reduced energy demands coupled with a national effort to reduce carbon emissions are making affordable housing projects built to the PassivhausA 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 more attractive in Canada.

Karen's Place, a 42-unit project in Ottawa, became the country's first Passivhaus apartment building when it was completed last year, according to an article posted by CBC News. A handful of additional projects are now in the planning stage.

North Carolina Reverses Building Code Changes

Posted on December 29, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Last June, the North Carolina agency responsible for making changes in state building codes voted in tougher energy efficiency standards for new residential construction. By December, on the urging of the North Carolina Homebuilders Association, the Building Code Council had reversed course, voting 15-1 to junk some of the changes because they would be too costly.

EPA Ordered to Speed Up New Lead Rule

Posted on December 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to speed up the development of new rules on lead found in paint and dust in light of an "obvious need" to protect the health of children.

Tax Overhaul Keeps Breaks for Wind and Solar

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The tax overhaul passed this week by Congress leaves tax breaks for solar and utility-scale wind projects in place, but does not restore tax credits for ground-source heat pumps and small wind turbines as those two "orphan technologies" had hoped.

Martin Holladay Named GBA Editor

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Martin Holladay, Green Building Advisor's senior editor and one of the website's original developers, is now its editor.

The announcement came from Rob Yagid, the editorial director at Fine Homebuilding magazine, who oversees the website for its Newtown, Conn., corporate parent, The Taunton Press.

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