Green Building News

Los Angeles Lightens Streets in Bid to Stay Cool

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Scott Gibson

In an experimental program launched earlier this year, the City of Los Angeles has been applying a reflective coating to some of its streets in an attempt to lower asphalt temperatures and keep the city cooler.

City street crews first applied a product called CoolSeal in May, and were to duplicate the experiment in other parts of the city later in the summer. Officials hope that the coating will help offset higher average temperatures caused by climate change and the heat-island effect.

Dutch Utility Reinvents Its Mission

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Scott Gibson

After concluding that selling electricity as a commodity is no guarantee of business success, a Dutch utility has developed a variety of services to attract new customers and guarantee its survival in an era increasingly dependent on renewable energy.

What began as a bungled attempt to introduce energy monitors to a few Dutch households has since blossomed into a suite of new programs: charging electric vehicles, repairing solar panels, and tapping into energy stored on the home batteries of its solar customers. Along the way, Eneco has turned its energy monitor into a big success story.

Eclipse Will Provide Training for Grid Operators

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Monday's solar eclipse will be a field day for the country's astronomy buffs as the moon completely blocks the sun in a swath stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. For utility grid operators, the event will be much more than a good show — it will be a chance to see how well they're prepared for power fluctuations in a solar energy future.

The eclipse starts just after 9:00 a.m. in Oregon, according to a NASA website devoted to the event, with the sun completely obscured during a roughly 2-minute window beginning at about 10:20 a.m.

A New Online HVAC Calculator Is Available

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A software company specializing in products for builders has released an online program that performs three important calculations used in the design of HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. systems: Manual J, Manual D, and Manual S calculations.

Hearings Open on Solar Panel Trade Case

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The U.S. International Trade Commission opened hearings in Washington on Tuesday that could result in higher prices for imported solar technology and, according to a solar trade association, cost 88,000 Americans their jobs.

Ontario Plans Building Code Revisions

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Revisions planned for the Ontario Building Code will increase energy efficiency in new homes, close existing efficiency loopholes for high-rise buildings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hack Turns Amazon Echo Into a Wiretap

Posted on August 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A British security researcher has demonstrated how the Amazon Echo, a wi-fi connected smart speaker, can be turned into a surveillance tool without the owner's knowledge.

Making Buildings With Plywood Frames

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Students and faculty at Clemson University's School of Architecture are developing a framing technique that will allow buildings to be assembled rapidly from pre-cut plywood components with a minimum of tooling and using mostly unskilled labor.

Florida City Will Require Solar Panels

Posted on July 31, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Beginning in mid-September, South Miami, Florida, becomes the first city in the state and the first outside California to require solar panels in new residential construction.

Developers Replace Golf Courses with Hiking Trails

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The days of golf-course communities may be numbered, with developers finding home buyers are more interested in hiking trails and shared gardens than they are in living right next door to a golf course.

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