Green Building News

Native Structures

A LEED Acceleration in Rhode Island

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A Providence-based builder begins construction of the first new home in the city aiming for LEED for Homes Platinum certification. Meanwhile, hundreds of Rhode Island building professionals apply to take USGBC’s new LEED AP test

Recent developments in the Ocean State suggest that green construction there has the wind at its back.


Building a NZEH With a Utility’s Help

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A married couple in Wisconsin becomes the first to participate in a sustainable-homebuilding initiative sponsored by regional utility WPPI Energy

Tom and Verona Chambers bought an acre of land on west-central Wisconsin’s Black River. It is, by any standard, a scenic spot, and the house they built on the property has big north-facing windows that offer a spectacular view of the Northwoods.


Mayor Offers a Home to “Team Boston” House

Posted on April 29, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

It’s a big deal – a prestige gig – to have your proposal for a solar energy home included among the 19 others chosen to compete in the Department of Energy’s biennial Solar Decathlon

Minto ecoHome

Canada Keeps Rolling Out Green Demo Homes

Posted on April 29, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A national program launched three years ago invites homebuilders and developers to show off their greenest designs

In May 2006, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation – the country’s national housing agency – announced an initiative designed to generate interest in eco-friendly housing among builders, developers, and the public.


Getting Right to the Point in a “Getting to Zero” Report

Posted on April 28, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

Massachusetts builders and remodelers talk strategy for meeting a proposed net-zero home construction goal – and for striving toward net-zero in existing homes

Last week we mentioned the challenges facing a “stretch” energy code amendment proposed by the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards. The BBRS sought comments on the proposal until Tuesday, and will vote on it in the coming weeks.

Thermal Image

The European Parliament’s Zero-Energy Ambitions

Posted on April 28, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

The European Parliament votes to impose a zero-energy standard on new buildings beginning in 2019

As they do in the U.S., residential and commercial buildings account for an estimated 40% of energy use in Europe. Legislative initiatives to reduce or eliminate net energy consumption by buildings, however, are progressing a bit more aggressively on the other side of the Atlantic.


Giving Architects Free Rein to Go Green

Posted on April 27, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A newspaper asks four architectural firms to design the green homes of their dreams

A special report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal describes what happens when you challenge architects to stretch their green imaginations as they develop designs for energy-efficient homes.

Four firms were asked to come up with plans that incorporated both what is technologically possible and what likely will be technologically possible “in the next few decades,” the Journal said.

Plan It Green

When Video Gaming Goes Green

Posted on April 23, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A video game released this week allows players to redevelop a community to green perfection – without pulling permits

One of the newest titles in the realm of resource management video games is “Plan It Green,” in which, as mayor of the formerly fair city of Greenville, your mandate is to rescue your little burg from the grip of deterioration and pollution.

Or as your speechwriter might phrase it, put the green back in Greenville.

e2 Tool

Firm Offers Free Access to Energy Estimating Tool

Posted on April 23, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

Prompted by the 2030 Challenge, architecture firm Perkins + Will launches a beta version of a tool it developed to help building designers set targets for energy reduction in new projects and retrofits

By some estimates, 73% of the energy produced by coal-fired power plants is used to operate buildings.


Popular Mechanics Lists “Future-Proof” Jobs – Many of Them Green

Posted on April 23, 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A decage ago, "Top 10 Jobs" lists didn’t typically highlight green and alternative-energy professions. But they do now.

Many specialty publications – and the business sections of most daily newspapers – create “hot jobs” lists every year or so as a way to put the broader employment market into perspective and, while they’re at it, maybe even dispense useful advice.

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