Green Building News

Brad Pitt’s Foundation Plans a Project in Montana

Posted on July 15, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation will try to make a dent this year in a housing shortage at Fort Peck, a 2-million-acre Native American reservation in Montana where housing is in such short supply that some families sleep in shifts.

The actor's foundation, which got its start constructing 150 houses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina clobbered the city's Lower Ninth Ward, will start on 20 LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. -Platinum homes later this year. The foundation also helped fund projects in Newark and Kansas City.

More Information on the Passive House Conference in San Francisco

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Passive HouseA 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. Institute US has posted its list of programs for the 9th Annual North American Passive House Conference in San Francisco in September.

The conference, which runs from Sept. 10 through Sept. 14, opens with a keynote address by researcher and author William Rose on Sept. 12 before breaking into a number of separate discussions on narrowly focused topics.

Government Test House Hits Net-Zero Target

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Scott Gibson

An experimental house in Gaithersburg, Maryland, built by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) completed its first year of operation July 1 with a surplus of electricity. The house is equipped with a 10.2-kW 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. (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.) array.

According to the government agency, which completed the 2,700-square-foot house last year, the surplus amounted to 491 kWh of electricity, which a NIST news release said was enough to power an electric car for 1,440 miles.

Vermont Utility Seeks a New Solar Fee

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Scott Gibson

UPDATED July 11, 2014

An electric co-op in Vermont has joined the ranks of utilities around the country seeking regulatory approval to add fees for their customers who have rooftop 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. (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.) installations.

Washington Electric Co-op wants to make changes to its net-metering program that would include a grid service fee of 4.63 cents per kilowatt hour for new net-metered customers. The co-op which serves about 10,500 residential and business customers in a three-county region in north-central Vermont.

Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in Oregon

Posted on July 3, 2014 by Scott Gibson

A multifamily residential housing project in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, will become the country's largest 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. project should it win certification sometime next year. The 57-unit affordable housing project is being built by Walsh Construction Company.

A New Life For an Old Landfill

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Scott Gibson

For 23 years, the landfill in Scituate, Massachusetts, accepted municipal solid waste, construction debris, and residue from a nearby wastewater treatment plant. When the dump was finally capped in 2000, the city faced the same problem that a lot of communities do as they convert landfills into transfer stations: Just how could this piece of land be put to good use?

Government Orders More Efficient Furnace Fans

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Scott Gibson

New efficiency standards for fans installed on forced-air furnaces will reduce power consumption by as much as 46% and save U.S. consumers more than $9 billion on power bills through 2030, the Department of Energy says.

The department announced the new rules on June 25, saying they were part of the federal Climate Action Plan and were the latest of eight final and nine proposed standards issued since last year.

Canada’s Northernmost Passivhaus

Posted on June 27, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Work should be wrapped up this fall on a 1,895-square-foot home in Fort St. John, British Columbia, that is on track to become Canada's most northern certified 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. residence.

Fort St. John, a 16-hour, 760-mile drive northeast from Vancouver, British Columbia, was established as a trading post in the late 18th century, and it still sees plenty of people traveling through on the Alaska Highway. These days, Fort St. John calls itself "The Energetic City," reflecting the region's rich natural resources of oil, gas, and forestry.

New Ohio Law Stymies Wind Energy Projects

Posted on June 26, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Just a few weeks after rolling back renewable energy standards, Ohio lawmakers have approved a bill increasing required setbacks for wind turbines.

Solar Loans Are Getting Easier to Find

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Homeowners looking for a way to finance new rooftop solar systems now have more options than local banks and credit unions.

SunPower Corp., the country's second-largest maker of solar panels, said on June 16 it had worked out a $200 million loan agreement with Admirals Bank that would fund residential solar projects over the next two years, according to a report at MarketWatch.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content