Green Building News

Fire Knocks Out Tower at Concentrated Solar Plant

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A fire last week damaged one of three towers at the huge Ivanpah solar thermal facility in the Mohave desert, but the real threat to the facility's long-term relevance appears to be economics.

The incident left metal pipes in steam-generating equipment near the top of the 459-foot tower scorched and melted, according to a report at Wired. The fire is one more PR headache for the world's largest solar facility.

New York City Will Require More Efficient Buildings

Posted on May 17, 2016 by Scott Gibson

New York City has embarked on an ambitious program to lower the amount of energy consumed by city-owned buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050.

Florida Development Will be Solar-Powered

Posted on May 13, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Work is underway on Babcock Ranch, a new Florida community that will eventually include 19,500 single-family and multifamily homes on nearly 18,000 acres. The developers tout the project as the world's "first solar-powered town," calling it the "most sustainable" community in the U.S.

Building a House of Hemp

Posted on May 4, 2016 by Scott Gibson

An upstate New York resident named Jim Savage has launched a web-based campaign to raise $60,000 and build a demonstration house with walls of hemp, lime, and water, advancing what Savage calls “the next step in green building.”

In a Kickstarter campaign that so far has attracted more than 90 donors, Savage lays out the case for choosing hemp over more conventional building materials, a technique he says has been used successfully in Europe for 25 years.

Texas Team Wins Net Zero Competition

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A group of architecture students from Prairie View A&M University has won top honors in this year's Department of Energy Race to Zero student competition with an affordable home designed for a Houston, Texas, neighborhood.

TimberSIL May Live to See Another Day

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Scott Gibson

The long, tortured history of TimberSIL treated lumber may get even longer.

A New York investment firm specializing in buying the assets of distressed companies has taken over rights to TimberSIL and hopes to resume manufacturing the lumber as early as this year, according to a principal in the firm. The development was first reported by Environmental Building News.

Foamglas Exits U.S. Residential Market

Posted on April 26, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Pittsburgh Corning has pulled the plug on Foamglas sales in the North American residential market as it concentrates on developing business elsewhere.

Foamglas, a cellular glass material developed by Pittsburgh Corning in the 1930s, has a lower environmental impact than rigid foam insulation, making it an appealing alternative. Made entirely of glass, the material didn't need dangerous fire retardants, can be manufactured without the blowing agents that cause global warming and ozone depletion, and had a number of attractive performance characteristics.

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