Green Building News

Recycling a McMansion Into Two Smaller Houses

Recycling An Australian McMansion

Posted on February 16, 2009 by Martin Holladay

The Plan: Tear Down a McMansion And Use the Materials to Build Two Small Homes

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — A team of Australian architects and artists has announced a plan to carefully dismantle an existing McMansion and use the salvaged materials to build two small energy-efficient houses on the same site. Team members are now seeking a homeowner willing to donate a McMansion to help the twin causes of environmentalism and performance art.

ICC-700 Standard Energy Benchmarks

ANSI Approves NAHB’s Green Building Standard

Posted on February 13, 2009 by Martin Holladay

New Standard Competes With NAHB Guidelines and LEED for Homes

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) have successfully shepherded a residential green building standard through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval process. Known as the National Green Building Standard, or ICC-700, the document establishes, for the first time, a national definition for green residential building.

Katie Couric stumbles

Don’t Know Much About Weatherization

Posted on February 13, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Playing “Gotcha” With Obama, Katie Couric Stumbles

WASHINGTON, DC — CBS anchorperson Katie Couric scored a journalistic coup on February 3 when she landed an interview with President Obama. Unfortunately, Couric displayed her ignorance with a question about weatherization investments — thereby reminding energy activists of the need to better explain to U.S. taxpayers that energy-saving retrofit work saves more than it costs.

Near-Zero-Energy Home Designs For Florida

Small Florida Homes With Solar Features

Posted on February 12, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Solar Hot Water and PV Make Them Near-Zero-Energy

CAPE CORAL, FL — Greencastle, a green builder in Cape Coral, Florida, is aiming at the small-home market with three new designs for near-zero-energy homes. Called the MicroModern, the MicroFlorida, and the MicroTuscany, each of the three models measures under 1,600 square feet. According to Greencastle president Shawn Harvey, the homes are “not too big, not too small, but just right.”

Whole-house electricity monitors help save energy

Checking Your Electricity Use on Google

Posted on February 11, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Whole-House Electricity Monitors Go Online

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — In a few months, Google plans to launch a new service, Google PowerMeter, to provide homeowners with access to a Web-based display of electricity use at their home in real time. To use the new service, homes will need to be equipped with “smart” utility meters or with commercially available whole-house electricity monitors (see

South Carolina's First Net-Zero-Energy Home

Developer Announces Plan For South Carolina’s First Near-Zero-Energy Home

Posted on February 10, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Home Will Include Large Rooftop PV Array

AIKEN, SC — Ron Monahan, a developer from Boulder, Colorado, has announced plans to begin construction this year on a home he calls “the first zero-energy home in South Carolina.” The home will be one of 75 Energy Star homes planned for Phase One of The Ridge at Chukker Creek, a green residential development near Aiken, South Carolina.

Gainesville Utility Offers PV Feed-In Tariff

Florida Utility Offers Generous PV Feed-In Tariff

Posted on February 6, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Owners of PV systems will be paid 32¢ per kWh

GAINESVILLE, FL — A Florida electric utility, Gainesville Regional Utilities, will soon offer a generous 32¢ per kWh feed-in tariff to owners of photovoltaic arrays. That makes Gainesville Regional Utilities the second utility in the U.S. (after Green Mountain Power in Vermont) to offer a photovoltaic feed-in tariff.

President Obama Orders DOE to Raise Appliance Efficiency Standards

President Obama Orders Energy Department to Raise Appliance Efficiency Standards

Posted on February 5, 2009 by Martin Holladay

A Strong Response to DOE’s Do-Nothing Legacy

WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama has ordered the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enact higher efficiency standards for a list of appliances no later than August 2009. According to the Associated Press (AP), the list includes residential dishwashers, lamps, ranges and ovens, microwave ovens, commercial air-conditioning equipment, commercial boilers, and beverage vending machines.

Energy code becomes a little more stringent

Energy Code Gets Slightly More Stringent

Posted on February 4, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Proposed Code Changes Were Weakened After NAHB Lobbying

FAIRFAX, VA — Because of changes to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) approved at last September’s ICC hearings in Minneapolis, houses built to the prescriptive requirements of the 2009 IECC will use 12.2% less energy on average than houses built to the 2006 IECC. The energy savings percentage was included in a recent report by a Fairfax, Virginia consulting firm, ICF International.

Steinway factory installs solar air conditioning system

Piano Factory Installs Solar Air Conditioning System

Posted on February 3, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Solar Thermal Collectors Will Cool Steinway Factory

QUEENS, NY — The Steinway & Sons piano factory in Queens will soon be cooled by an 80-ton absorption chiller connected to a rooftop solar thermal array. According to Steinway, the installation is the world’s largest solar cooling system.

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