Green Building News

A New Timber Tower Opens in Minneapolis

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A seven-story office building constructed largely of heavy timber components has opened in Minneapolis. It’s the first major timber building in the U.S. in more than a century, according to the architect who designed it, and currently the largest in North American.

Millennial Renters Will Pay for Smart-Home Tech

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Millennials are more willing than baby boomers to pay higher rents for housing equipped with automated and remote-control devices, a recent study says.

According to a survey of 1,000 multifamily renters in the U.S. by Wakefield Research and Schlage, 86% of millennials said they'd pay higher rents for features like keyless entry doors, while only 65% of baby boomers agreed, Construction Dive reported.

Details on Tesla’s Solar Shingles Are Slow to Emerge

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Scott Gibson

It’s been about a month since Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk first announced the development of a solar roof tile unlike anything currently on the market, but it’s still anyone’s guess as to when they will actually be available, exactly how much they will cost, and how much electricity they will be able to produce.

World’s Tallest Modular Tower Opens

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Scott Gibson

The tallest modular building in the world, a 32-story residential tower, has opened its doors in New York City.

There are 363 apartments at 461 Dean, part of a 22-acre development called Pacific Park Brooklyn that ultimately will include 6 million square feet of residential space and 6,430 units of housing. It was constructed at the intersection of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn next to one of the city’s major transportation hubs.

Solar Ownership Is Gaining Ground

Posted on November 24, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Direct ownership of residential 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 in the U.S. is poised to overtake third-party ownership in 2017 for the first time since 2011, a report from GTM Research says.

A New App Creates 3-D Scans

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A spatial sensing device mounted on an iPad, coupled with new software, lets a user produce 3-D scans of a house interior quickly and accurately.

There’s No Relief in Sight for Beleaguered Connecticut Homeowners

Posted on November 17, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Connecticut authorities continue to gather information about failing concrete foundations in hundreds and possibly thousands of homes in the eastern part of the state, but there is no financial relief in sight now for homeowners whose houses are essentially worthless.

Florida Voters Reject Solar Amendment

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Even a $26 million cash infusion from electric utilities and lobbyists wasn't enough to persuade Florida voters to pass a proposed constitutional amendment on residential solar installations last week.

The proposed amendment needed 60% of the vote to win approval, but on election day only about half the voters were in favor, The Miami Herald reported.

The Pretty Good House, Volume 2

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A Maine-based structural engineer has produced an updated handbook about “The Pretty Good House,” a middle-ground approach to building that falls somewhere between basic code compliance and pricey 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. or 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. performance.

Helen Watts turned out the first volume of the Graphic Handbook of the Pretty Good House in 2013. ( bloggers Chris Briley and Phil Kaplan discussed Watts's 2013 book in a podcast called An Update on the Pretty Good House — Part 1.)

Smart Thermostats Are Getting Cheaper

Posted on November 8, 2016 by Scott Gibson

The cost of connecting your house to a WiFi-enabled thermostat is coming down.

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