Green Building

U.S. Utilities Advance Solar Projects
August 1, 2008 11:10 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Several major U.S. utility companies may accelerate plans to integrate solar power into their electricity mix following a fact-finding trip to Germany. Twenty-three electric utilities were represented on the trip to Germany, the world's leading producer and installer of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. All of them may now advance solar projects in the United States, a trip leader said, further expanding a growing solar market.

The Costs of Not Building Green
July 30, 2008 09:13 AM - , Low Impact Living

Despite the narrowing gap in cost between green building and traditional "to-code" building, most builders and home buyers still perceive the green option to be significantly more expensive. The reality is that due to increased builder education and an influx of affordable green building products, a building can be built green within the same budget as a non-green building. According to Clark Wilson, CEO of Austin based Green Builders, Inc., "It’s our job as builders to find those green products that don’t drive up the price of the home."

California First State to Adopt Green Building Code
July 21, 2008 10:15 AM - , Triple Pundit

The California Building Standards Commission announced on Friday the unanimous adoption of a statewide “green” building code, the first in the nation. The new standards will call for a 20% improvement in water use efficiency for both residential and commercial plumbing fixtures as well as target a 50% increase in conservation for water used in landscaping. The new code will also require all new construction to reduce energy consumption by 15%.

90% Of Israeli Homes Have Solar Water Heaters
July 7, 2008 09:53 AM - , MetaEfficient

I recently noted that Hawaii has enacted a law that requires all new homes to install solar water heaters. Eventually, Hawaii may have as many water heaters as Israel, where 90% of homes have solar water heaters installed. When viewed from above, the Jerusalem often glitters with the shine of the thousands of solar heaters that adorn rooftops.

Can Green Designs Solve A Housing Crisis?
July 7, 2008 09:08 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

The walls of Elmer Bear Eagle's house are covered in mold. The black intrusion began in the basement. It crept up the sides. Now it blocks sunlight through the windows. The problem is fairly common throughout the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. Overcrowded conditions-homes built for four people have held more than 20-contribute to high levels of indoor humidity, creating a mold haven.

Rebuilding Greensburg The Green Way
July 2, 2008 10:45 AM - National Public Radio

Greensburg, Kan. was flattened by a major tornado in 2007. The town decided to bring it back in a completely "green," sustainable way. Alex Cohen talks to Greensburg's former mayor, John Janssen, about the decision to rebuild that community using an environmentally friendly approach.

Green Cleaning Required in LEED for Existing Buildings
June 30, 2008 07:53 AM - , BuildingGreen

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) first released LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB) in November 2007. The reference guide for the system is due out in June 2008, and, as of July 1, all projects seeking certification must register under the new version.

Utility-Scale Solar Thermal Growing Fast
June 25, 2008 09:22 AM - , BuildingGreen

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants produce electricity at a utility scale by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight. New technology has made CSP the fastest growing utility-scale, renewable energy source in the U.S. after wind power, with utility companies such as California’s Pacific Gas and Electric and Arizona Public Service planning to add over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of new CSP over the next ten years.

U.N. calls on Asian nations to end deforestation
June 20, 2008 10:54 AM - Reuters

The United Nations has called on more Asian leaders to agree to a plan to end deforestation by 2020 to slow down the destruction of plants and animals, a top official said on Friday. About 80 percent of the world's known biodiversity could be found in forests, where about 1.6 billion people also depend for their survival, Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive director of U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), told a news conference in Manila.

CO2 and Other Greenhouse Gases
June 18, 2008 11:03 AM - , BuildingGreen

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important of many human-generated “greenhouse gases”—gases that are contributing to a gradual warming of the planet. These gases, many of which have always existed in the atmosphere, contribute to a balance of heat flows that has given us a relatively stable climate. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, however, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has grown from its historical average of 280 parts per million (ppm) to over 380 ppm and counting.

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