Meter, Meter on the Wall: Giving & Taking from a Smarter Grid
December 7, 2007 09:25 AM - , Triple Pundit
Use of, and plans to use, electricity net metering are spreading around the country driven by a pressing need to modernize and upgrade the nation’s electricity grid in the face of forecast increases in demand and an equally urgent drive to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, net metering is a key element of efforts to build a Smart Electrical Grid, which in and of itself may be one of the largest generators of power and cost savings, as well as catalysts for increasing use of renewable energy sources.
More than 35 states currently offer net metering programs. In addition to enabling electricity suppliers to better manage and increase the efficiency of power generation and distribution, net metering is considered to be among the best ways of providing incentives for consumers to invest in renewable energy generation.
Inaction on greener buildings puzzle experts
December 7, 2007 07:09 AM - Reuters
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Building greener homes and office towers and installing energy-efficient lighting could slash planet-warming carbon emissions, U.N. and industry officials said at climate talks in Bali on Friday.
They said the technology already existed to dramatically cut electricity use for very little cost, and yet it was puzzling that governments, industries and home-owners weren't cashing in on the energy-saving ideas.
"About 40 percent of all energy is consumed in buildings and in construction. This is the incredible fact most people don't realize," said Kaarin Taipale, of the U.N.'s Marrakesh Task Force on Sustainable Buildings and Construction.
LEED Delivers on Predicted Energy Savings
December 6, 2007 10:13 AM - Nadav Malin, BuildingGreen
LEED Delivers on Predicted Energy Savings With its dominant position defining green building in the North American market, the LEED Rating System is a popular target for critics with a wide range of axes to grind, some justified, others less so. One of the more valid concerns is that LEED’s promises of energy savings (and therefore carbon reductions) are just that—promises. With the exception of LEED for Existing Buildings, which looks at actual operations, LEED’s various rating systems assign energy points to buildings based on predictions made during design. How well those predictions hold up in reality has, until now, been subject to conjecture.
Scottish government to review Trump plans
December 4, 2007 03:13 PM - Andrew Hough, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The Scottish government said on Tuesday it would review controversial plans by U.S. tycoon Donald Trump to build a $2 billion golfing development in Scotland after they were rejected by the local council.
It said it was intervening because the project, to build two championship golf courses, around 1,000 homes, a luxury hotel and 36 villas on a pristine stretch of northeast Scotland's coast, was too "important" to be dealt with by the council.
Let There be Light - for the Next 35 Years: the Green Gift That Keeps on Giving
December 4, 2007 01:18 PM -
SAN FRANCISCO - Imagine receiving a gift this year that you'll still be using in 2042. Not only that, it also puts greenbacks in your pocket while helping the planet go green.
It's called the "Pharox" lightbulb and it gives consumers another way to reduce their carbon footprint via this new LED lighting technology.
Greenest Condo in the U.S. Opens in Portland
December 3, 2007 11:57 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
PORTLAND - Residents began this week moving into The Casey condominiums, on track to be the first multifamily residential building in the United States to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of green building.
The Casey is a 16-story building with 61 luxury homes in the heart of Portland's Pearl District, steps from art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. The building incorporates a comprehensive array of sustainable features including solar panels, a green roof and the extensive use of recycled-content and sustainable materials such as wool carpets and FSC-certified wood flooring. It also has a host of energy efficiency features including sophisticated waste heat recovery ventilators in each unit that help the building achieve a 52 percent energy savings over code.
The Six Sins Of Greenwashing - Misleading Claims Found In Many Products
December 3, 2007 11:33 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Buyers beware - that so-called “Green” product is likely stretching the eco-truth according to the Six Sins of Greenwashing, a study released today by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing.
The Six Sins of Greenwashing found that of 1,018 common consumer products ranging from toothpaste to caulking to shampoo to printers, randomly surveyed for the study, 99% were guilty of “greenwashing.”
Chicagoâ€™s Alleys Turning Green
December 3, 2007 09:09 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
A new initiative will help make Chicago’s 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) of alleyways more sustainable. The miniature streets behind homes and buildings, used mainly for garbage collection and parking access, keep main roads cleaner and less congested but are prone to flooding. The city’s innovative Green Alley Program promotes improved construction techniques and materials that can improve drainage, reduce runoff, and relieve strain on the city’s aging sewer system.
Consumer spending flags, construction plummets
November 30, 2007 02:22 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer spending inched up by an unexpectedly small 0.2 percent last month and construction spending tumbled, according to reports on Friday that heightened concerns on the health of the economy.
Thermal Mass: What It Is and When It Improves Comfort
November 28, 2007 09:13 AM - , BuildingGreen
Heavy or massive objects like masonry, earth, and water can hold a lot of heat. Because of this capacity to act as a heat source (warming their surroundings) or a heat sink (drawing heat from and cooling their surroundings), materials with thermal mass affect comfort both indoors and out. (Oceans and lakes, for example, moderate air temperature changes because their thermal mass acts as a buffer.)
Buildings in climates with large diurnal (day-night) temperature swings, like the high-elevation Southwest, offer a classic example of the time-lag effect of thermal mass. Adobe and other types of masonry walls absorb intense daytime heat, keeping temperatures comfortable inside. During the cold night, the walls pour out their accumulated heat, keeping the inside warm. By morning the walls, if they are designed correctly, can again absorb the daytime heat.