Guest Blogs

Cold and Old Standards — And Opportunities for Greater Building Efficiency

Posted on August 27, 2015 by Ruth Greenspan and Tripp Shealy

Last Monday, scientists in the journal Nature Climate Change answered a nagging concern of practically everyone we know: why are offices and buildings so ridiculously over-air conditioned? The article reports the design of office buildings incorporates a decades-old formula, a significant part of which is based on the metabolic rates of the average man.

Net-Zero Cities Aren’t Possible, You Say?

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Jonathan Rowe

From an environmental perspective, cities are already responsible for the majority of the planet’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To meaningfully battle climate change and stay within our carbon budget, getting things right at the urban scale is critical.

Sustainability, Scandinavian Style

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Paul Eldrenkamp

This past October I was in Sweden and Denmark with four colleagues from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEANorth East Sustainable Energy Association. A regional membership organization promoting sustainable energy solutions. NESEA is committed to advancing three core elements: sustainable solutions, proven results and cutting-edge development in the field. States included in this region stretch from Maine to Maryland. www.nesea.org). We were on a study tour of sustainable design and green building practices in Scandinavia, a trip inspired by a similar tour we did of Upper Austria and Saxony four years ago. My traveling companions were architects Chris Benedict and Tom Hartman, engineer Andy Shapiro, and energy analyst and graduate student Heather Nolen.

Meeting the Airtightness Challenge

Posted on August 20, 2015 by Mike Steffen

This is Part 5 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.

Drawing Lessons from Ancient Roots

Posted on August 18, 2015 by Sam Hagerman

From the beginning of time, the most common building materials have been the most common materials in the immediate environment. This of course means that early buildings were built of dirt, a material that is plentiful, cheap, and malleable.

Many of the oldest buildings in the world are made of rammed earth (compacted dirt). And this type of building continues to be a common and viable construction methodology in many places of the world.

Wind and Solar Are On a Short Leash

Posted on August 13, 2015 by Rob Sargent

A finance package extending tax credits for wind power to the end of next year, recently approved by a key U.S. Senate panel, has been hailed as progress for clean energy, and it is. But here at Environment America, we're containing our enthusiasm.

Shared Renewables for All

Posted on August 11, 2015 by Samantha Wilt

The good news about 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.) power in New York State — a 300% rise in installed PV over the last three years, 2014 job growth of 40%, lower energy costs, cleaner air and a more stable climate for everyone — well, that good news just got even better.

New Energy Code Helps Inform Home Buyers

Posted on August 10, 2015 by Kim Tanner

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.) evolves to meet current energy efficiency needs. Over the years, new requirements have been added to the IECC to make it stricter and increase overall energy efficiency of buildings.

Some states are resistant to these changes, and some choose not to adopt an IECC at all. In fact, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, ten either haven’t adopted an IECC or are operating under a code older than the 2006 IECC, according to the Online Code Environment and Advocacy Network.

California’s Real Water Crisis

Posted on August 6, 2015 by Glen MacDonald

The current drought afflicting California is indeed historic, but not because of the low precipitation totals. In fact, in terms of overall precipitation and spring snowpack, the past three years are not record-breakers, according to weather data for the past century.

The President’s New Solar Initiative for All

Posted on August 4, 2015 by Philip Henderson

America has been in a solar energy boom. 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 have increased over 400 percent since 2010. As installations have grown, the cost of PV equipment has dropped dramatically, further fueling adoption and growth in rooftop solar, commercial projects, and even utility projects. This solar energy boom reduces the need for electricity from dirty power plants, reduces utility bills, and creates thousands of jobs.

Register for a free account and join the conversation


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

Syndicate content