Green Building News

Arizona Energy Program Threatened

Posted on November 10, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Arizona would abandon an energy efficiency program designed to reduce the consumption of electricity and natural gas under a proposal given to utility regulators.

According to a report posted at AZ Central, the website for The Arizona Republic, the staff of the Arizona Corporation Commission has submitted the recommendation to the panel of five elected commissioners.

Solar Electricity Growing More Competitive

Posted on November 7, 2014 by Scott Gibson

If the current federal tax credit for solar equipment remains intact, electricity generated by 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.) panels will cost no more than electricity provided by local utilities in 47 U.S. states by 2016, according to a report from Deutsche Bank.

Even if the tax credit drops from its current level of 30 percent to 10 percent at the end of 2016, the cost of solar electricity would reach this milestone (called "grid parity") in 36 states, bank analyst Vishal Shah wrote in the October 26 report.

Connecticut to Get Its First Utility-Scale Wind Project

Posted on November 6, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Connecticut could have its first utility-scale wind project by the middle of next year after the state Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of a citizens' group to end a four-year regulatory and legal battle.

The court's decision in mid-September lowered one of the last barriers preventing BNE Energy Inc. from developing two sites in the northwest part of the state. BNE plans to install a total of six 1.6-megawatt turbines, three at each of two sites in the town of Colebrook.

Passivhaus Open House Tours

Posted on November 5, 2014 by Scott Gibson

If you're interested in seeing what a house built to the 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. standard looks like, your opportunity is coming right up. November 7-9 marks the annual International Passivhaus Days in which hundreds of houses in many countries will be open for tour.

There are a couple of ways of searching for nearby Passivhaus homes that are part of the tour. One of them is by visiting the Passivhaus Database maintained by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany.

BuildingGreen Names Top Products

Posted on November 4, 2014 by Scott Gibson

BuildingGreen has announced its annual Top-10 Products list for 2015.

The awards recognize products that BuildingGreen, the publisher of Environmental Building News, says are "fundamental transformations to 'business as usual' in the design and construction industry."

Veterans Will Get Training as Solar Installers

Posted on November 3, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Beginning this fall, some veterans who are leaving active military duty will be able to get training at one or more military bases to become solar installers, the White House said.

The effort is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Instruction Training Network, which hopes to train 50,000 installers of 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.) systems by 2020.

Wisconsin Health Board Says Turbines Pose a Threat

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Scott Gibson

Utility-scale wind turbines have been blamed for a variety of health problems by people living nearby, but what's become known as "wind turbine syndrome" is not recognized as a medical condition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.

A Fight Ahead For Solar Equipment Tax Credits

Posted on October 30, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is promising to fight for the continuation of a 30 percent federal income tax credit (ITC) for solar equipment beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of 2016.

Speaking to the opening session of the Solar Power International trade show in Las Vegas on October 20, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said the SEIA would lead the "Extend the ITC" campaign to keep the tax credit at its current level.

Big Companies Offer Employees a Solar Bargain

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Scott Gibson

More than 100,000 employees of several large corporations will get the chance to buy or lease 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.) systems for their homes at discount prices, thanks to a group-buying plan hatched by the World Wildlife Fund.

Federal Agencies Can Pick the Green Rating System They Like

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Scott Gibson

The U.S. Department of Energy won't be directing federal agencies to use any particular green-building rating system when they design new buildings and plan major renovations. But whatever system they choose will have to meet certain criteria.

Rather than choose the U.S. Green Building Council's 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. system or the competing Green Globes program — both of which have been found to be acceptable by the General Services Administration (GSA) — the rule leaves the choice to agency planners.

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