Green Building News

Minnesota Students Win ‘Race to Zero’ Title

Posted on June 1, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A team of students from the University of Minnesota came up with the winning entry in this year's Race to Zero competition with a 2,544-square-foot two-story house designed to be affordable as well as energy-efficient.

Lawmaker Seeks to Extend the Investment Tax Credit

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would extend a key federal tax credit for solar and wind energy systems until 2021, five years later than its scheduled expiration for residential systems.

UtilityDive reports that Representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat, called the investment tax credits (ITC) essential to the growth of the U.S. solar market.

You May Like These Plastic Water Bottles

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A Costa Rican businessman has developed a type of plastic water bottle that can be turned into a roofing tile when its empty instead of pitched in the trash or sent to a recycling center.

Donald Thomson worked for years to develop the idea after watching children squash plastic water bottles during a beach cleanup, an article in PlasticsNews said.

Developing Ratings For Window Shades

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Scott Gibson

When you buy a new window for your house, an attached label from the National FenestrationTechnically, any transparent or translucent material plus any sash, frame, mullion, or divider attached to it, including windows, skylights, glass doors, and curtain walls. Rating Council tells you how much solar gain the window lets in, and how efficiently the window insulates against heat and cold. Similarly, Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. labels on appliances estimate how much money you'll spend each year to operate them so you can compare one appliance to another.

Vermont Legislators OK a Big Push for Renewables

Posted on May 22, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Lawmakers in Vermont are backing legislation that would require more than half of all utility sales to come from renewable sources by 2017.

The Senate approved a bill that requires utilities to provide renewable electricity to customers and to come up with programs to help customers reduce their use of fossil fuels, The Burlington Free Press reported.

‘Always On’ Electronics and Appliances Waste Billions

Posted on May 21, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Electronic devices that use electricity even when they appear to be turned off, and a new generation of appliances with digital components and internet connectivity, together waste a total of $19 billion a year in electricity, according to a new report.

New York Cohousing Community Nears Completion

Posted on May 20, 2015 by Scott Gibson

The third of three cohousingDevelopment pattern in which multiple (typically 8 to 30) privately owned houses or housing units are clustered together with some commonly owned spaces, such as a common workshop, greenhouse, etc. Automobiles are typically kept to the perimeter of the community, creating a protected area within where children can play. Usually, residents are closely involved in all aspects of the development, from site selection to financing and design. neighborhoods on a 175-acre tract of land in Ithaca, N.Y., is nearing completion, and every one of its 40 apartments, duplexes, and single-family houses was sold before construction began.

The new neighborhood is called TREE, for Third Residential EcoVillage Experience. It will include seven houses certified by the 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 U.S. (PHIUS), perhaps the largest cluster of PHIUS-certified single-family homes in the country. The balance of 33 apartments and houses are built to nearly the same standards.

A Small California Utility Restructures Rates

Posted on May 19, 2015 by Scott Gibson

Residential customers of the city-owned electric utility in Redding, California, will see their monthly access fees rise from $13 to $42 under a plan designed to pay the utility's fixed costs in an era of increased solar and wind renewable generation.

Energy charges would fall from 15 cents to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Canadian High School is Called ‘Greenest on Earth’

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Scott Gibson

A high school in Pickering, Ontario, has been singled out by the Global Coalition for Green Schools as the 2015 Greenest School on Earth.

The Coalition is an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, which made the announcement last month. Dunbarton High School has some 400 students in grades 9 through 12. Pickering is on the shores of Lake Ontario about 20 miles northeast of Toronto.

In Maine, A Battle Royal Over Energy Policy

Posted on May 14, 2015 by Scott Gibson

In what's shaping up to be one more clash over state energy policy, Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed the elimination of both net meteringArrangement through which a homeowner who produces electricity using photovoltaics or wind power can sell excess electricity back to the utility company, running the electric meter backwards. and Maine's renewable portfolio standard. Both policies are regarded as essential by renewable energy advocates but too expensive by the executive branch.

Legislators already are doing battle with the Republican governor over how to fix a typo in a 2013 law that now threatens to gut the Efficiency Maine program. The new proposals, yet to be scheduled for a public hearing, will add fuel to the fire.

Register for a free account and join the conversation

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

Syndicate content