Green Building News

Lobbyists Battle Over Lucrative Water Pipe Contracts

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Replacing aging water lines will cost U.S. utilities $300 billion over the next decade, according to one industry report, and the prospect of big pay days ahead for pipe and hardware manufacturers has touched off a lobbying battle between the plastics and iron industries.

Denver Voters Approve Green Roof Initiative

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Neither the city's mayor nor the Chamber of Commerce liked the idea, but Denver voters on Tuesday approved a measure that will require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to include rooftop gardens in their plans.

The Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative, appearing on the ballot as Initiated Ordinance 300, passed by a narrow margin in early returns — a little more than 4,000 votes or 4 percentage points — but the gap appeared to be holding. Backers of the grassroots effort to get the measure before voters said it looked as though they would eke out a win.

Renewable Energy Squabble Goes to Court

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A disagreement over prospects for an electric grid powered completely by renewable energy has morphed into a high-stakes legal dispute pitting a Stanford University professor against his critics.

In Norway, Home Energy Labels Are Not a Lure for Buyers

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Getting fair credit for energy-saving and green features from lenders and real estate appraisers has long been a sore point for builders specializing in high-performance houses, and new research from Europe suggests a lack of enthusiasm in the marketplace isn't limited to the U.S.

Bigger Houses Mean Smaller Yards

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A combination of bigger houses and shrinking building lots means that today's single-family houses take up a greater percentage of their lots, leaving less room for the kids to play in their own backyards, but also reducing the amount of lawn maintenance homeowners need to perform.

Denver Will Vote on a Green Roof Initiative

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A proposal facing Denver voters next month would require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to cover part of the roof with vegetation or solar panels.

In September, environmental activists narrowly won the right to place the Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative before voters by collecting just 45 more petition signatures than they needed, The Denver Post reported.

Creating a New Tool for Builders

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Scott Gibson

By this time next year, if all goes well, builders will be able to tap into a unique source of online advice for designing exterior walls that deliver high energy efficiency with minimal risk.

Building Science Advisor, already in the works for a year and a half, is still at least six months away from completion. But when it’s up and running, the interactive website will blend real-world advice with computer simulations to help builders choose the least risky path to high-performance.

An Unlikely Bastion of Renewable Energy

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Texas is conservative oil and gas country, but that hasn't prevented city officials in Georgetown, Texas, including its "good little Republican" mayor, from moving the city-owned electric utility to an all renewable future.

Swiss Team Wins Solar Decathlon

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A team representing four Swiss schools emerged as the overall winner in this year's Solar Decathlon in Denver, Colorado, with an entry called "NeighborHub."

The biennial competition included a total of 11 student teams this year, two of them from Europe, that have been at work for nearly two years designing and building solar-powered demonstration homes. In addition to competing for the overall winner's title, teams also were judged in 10 separate areas, such as architecture, market potential, innovation, and engineering.

Judge Tosses Lumber Complaint

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A federal judge in Illinois has dismissed a case brought against a lumber retailer by customers who claimed that labels on dimensional lumber were misleading.

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