Green Building News

Solar Tax Credit, Passivhaus Conference, Vinyl Flooring, Office Ventilation

Posted on November 27, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Solar installer says that the federal tax credit is not needed

Sunnova CEO John Berger says that the solar industry no longer needs the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit in order to grow. Sunnova, a company that arranges and finances residential 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. system installation, is a Houston-based company with 300 employees.

Big Demand for Micro-Apartments in New York City

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Apartments as small as 260 square feet might seem like a joke to some prospective renters, but in New York City, 60,000 people submitted applications for 14 affordable studios in Carmel Place, New York City's first "micro-unit" apartment building.

The New York Times reports that Carmel Place will open in February with 55 studio apartments ranging in size from 260 to 360 square feet.

Life in a Passivhaus School

Posted on November 20, 2015 by Scott Gibson

The 100 Maine students enrolled at the Friends School of Portland are still taking it all in, but so far seem to be enjoying life in their new 15,000-square-foot home, one of a very few 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. school buildings in the country and a far cry from the leased cinderblock space they left behind.

BuildingGreen Names Top 10 Products

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Two kinds of office chairs, a clothes dryer, bicycle storage equipment, and high-performance panelized homes all found a place on BuildingGreen's Top Ten product list for 2016.

The publisher of Environmental Building News and GreenSpec annually recognizes products that it believes "transform the design and construction industry" by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy and water. This is the 14th year that BuildingGreen has made the awards.

Here's this year's list:

Solar Roads, Pot Growing, Wind Turbines, and Net Metering

Posted on November 18, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Dutch solar bike path hits 1-year mark

An experimental solar bike path outside the city of Amsterdam has ended its first year of operation by producing as much electricity as planners had estimated as a best case scenario, raising hopes that similar roadway projects could one day be an important source of electricity.

Rooftop Solar Makes Houses Worth More

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory two years ago found that homebuyers would pay $15,000 more for a house if it came with an average-sized 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. (PV) array. A new study comparing sales of homes with and without PV in six states has come up with essentially the same result.

Maine Smart Meter Case Is Back in Court

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A Maine group protesting the deployment of some 600,000 smart meters took its case back to the state supreme court, arguing the Public Utilities Commission erred when it found the wireless devices were not a threat to public health.

Report Warns That Climate Change Efforts Are Too Slow

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Renewable energy will pass coal as the largest source of electricity by the early 2030s and reach a 25% share in the U.S. by 2040, but the shift is not coming quickly enough for a permanent reversal of rising carbon emissions, a new report from the International Energy Agency says.

Where LEDs Make a Really Big Impact

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Scott Gibson

When you pay 65 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity, something as simple as swapping an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb for an LEDLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. lamp can add up to big savings. Year-rounders on two Maine islands are finding out just how much.

Stuffy Offices Lower Cognitive Function

Posted on November 9, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Breathing in the stale air found in conventional office buildings makes it harder to think, a new report suggests.

Researchers conducting a double-blind study found that stuffy office air reduced the cognitive function of 24 professional workers by half, Ars Technica said. The study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

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