Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
I don’t think I have ever appreciated a hotel as much as I did during a trip to Houston for a cleantech tradeshow. The humidity was off the charts and it felt like I was slowly melting into the sidewalk going to and from the show each day. But the second I stepped into that hotel, everything was perfect.
The temperature was just right- not frigid, but certainly (more…)
Friday, September 21st, 2012
“Winter is coming.”
This is the common refrain in the popular book, Game of Thrones, in which kings vie to take over lands. As I thought about the green building policy mess of 2012, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Game of Thrones.
This was supposed to be the year of the USGBC’s (more…)
Friday, September 7th, 2012
Some of the fastest return on investment you can get is by retrofitting a leaky, energy wasting building with high R-value insulation and efficient appliances. Many estimates show that US buildings use close to 50% of the total annual energy in the country- so this seems like a natural place to start if we want to conserve. But what if you’re building a house from scratch? (more…)
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elements rather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American (more…)
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
According to a 2011 survey conducted by The Princeton Review, 65% of students surveyed said they “would value having more information about a college’s commitment to the environment”, and 24% said a college’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school. (more…)
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Ten years ago, a green home might have meant solar panels on the roof. Five years ago, those photovoltaic cells began sharing space with a green roof and a LEED certification.
That’s all still the case in mid-2012, but in a far more connected and tech-savvy environment. Contractors (more…)
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been talking about why energy efficiency matters- to Save the Internet!
Now… what can you do about becoming more energy efficient? In the next few weeks, Smartcool will be publishing a number of helpful handouts on energy efficiency measures for specific types of buildings. (more…)
Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a property assessment used to finance the upfront costs of energy efficiency upgrades. A local government provides funding, and the assessment is paid back as a line item on a property’s tax bill.
PACE became a controversial issue in 2010, when (more…)
Monday, July 16th, 2012
On June 26, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the BIA v. State of Washington case. The opinion can be downloaded here.
In its decision, the Ninth Circuit held that the Washington State energy efficient building code was not preempted by Federal law. This ruling was (more…)
Friday, July 13th, 2012
Every day, it seems that people are taking more and more steps to live greener, more sustainable lives. From better recycling programs to restrictions on water use, communities and individuals everywhere are taking a good, hard look at their actions and how they affect the world. It’s no wonder then that the green building and construction industry is booming, (more…)