Monday, March 15th, 2010
A new 42-floor London skyscraper will be the world’s first building to incorporate wind turbines in the design, an innovation developers say will generate 8 percent of the building’s electricity needs.
The Strata Tower, a 408-unit apartment building scheduled to open in July, will be topped with three 19-kilowatt turbines — each with five 29.5-foot blades designed to suck wind from various angles and accelerate it through tubes, generating as much as 50 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.
It will also generate about £16,000 to £17,000 annually through the nation’s new feed-in tariff, the developers say. (more…)
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
The British government will introduce legislation that would tie new, subsidized loans for energy efficiency to a house, rather than a current owner, a move that could make energy retrofits far more affordable for most homeowners.
Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said the new legislation would enable homeowners to take out long-term loans at lower interest rates and thus encourage homeowners to make energy-efficiency improvements that they might otherwise not have made had they planned to sell their houses in a few years.
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
This article has been updated.
In her forthcoming book, Prefabulous + Sustainable, author Sheri Koones sets out to show how beautiful and green a prefabricated home can be.
The book is divided into three categories –- “green, greener, greenest” –- and the homes featured vary in style, design, type of construction and size. Koones walks the reader through each of the homes, explaining the materials, strategies and systems used to create a sustainable living environment. CleanTechies had a few questions about the methodology and the pre-fab industry.
CleanTechies: Tell me how you chose the houses you profiled.
Koones: I was looking for houses that were as sustainable as possible, but also attractive, in various locations of the country using different methods of pre-fab construction, and in city, residential and suburban settings.
CleanTechies: How did you find them and ascertain which ones you wanted to look at? (more…)
Monday, February 8th, 2010
The LEED green building rating system has seen unimpeded growth to this point. Will the impact of this growth, and the response of the U.S. Green Building Council, help or hurt the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program?
There have been 44,671 LEED projects registered and 6,908 certifications awarded – commercial and residential – according to a November publication by the United States Green Building Council. Interestingly, there are 133,489 LEED Accredited Professionals. Simply calculated, there are approximately three LEED APs for each currently registered project.
Saturday, February 6th, 2010
Hallowell International in Bangor, Maine, is the manufacturer of the Acadia, a combined heating and cooling system that can be combined with solar or wind installations to take users off the grid. The system can be installed in new buildings or can be retrofitted when consumers are considering green upgrades.
CleanTechies has three questions for president and founder Duane Hallowell.
CleanTechies: Acadia uses something called “boosted compression” technology. Tell us about that.
Duane Hallowell: Since the 1950s, heat pumps, which operate by exchanging air for heating and cooling, have been the most popular and environmentally-friendly heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) application. However, because they absorb heat from the outside air, they are inefficient in cold-weather climates, requiring additional, costly heating elements in order to work correctly.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Without question, energy-efficient and sustainable homes are legitimately gaining popularity. A very high percentage of new homes built this year – I have seen estimates as high as 40 to 50 percent – will be “green.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, almost 17 percent of all single family homes built in the United States in 2008 qualified for the Energy Star label.
Unfortunately, green home demand still does not approach the demand for conventionally-built homes; and without proper education and marketing, sustainable design and building may not emerge from the housing recession as solidly as some would hope. There are many obstacles that stand in the way of total acceptance and an increased market share.
How “green” is “green?”
There are many local, regional, and national green-building certification programs – private sector and government initiated – that provide systematic approaches for mandating, quantifying and verifying sustainable building practices, but all of the programs are not created equally.
Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Many green industry professionals and career changers are interested in clean tech conferences and alternative energy events. You can find many upcoming green tech events and clean energy conferences in the United States and worldwide in the CleanTechies Events Calendar, but how do you make the most out of your attendance? No matter whether it’s an event on energy efficiency, solar energy, wind energy, green building or sustainable transportation, there are a few things common to each that will help YOU make your participation a success.
Just in time for your next clean tech event or alternative energy conference, here are our tips:
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
There are plenty of companies and individuals that are cashing in on the green building market proliferation, but how is a designer, contractor, or home buyer supposed to decipher the information and separate greenwashing from legitimacy? Unquestionably, there is no shortage of information on the subject – right or wrong. Unfortunately, there are very few adequate resources that have mainstream appeal and effectively represent the sustainability movement from the various perspectives of all of the individuals that need to be involved.
I came up with this long list of rhetorical questions. My intention is to illustrate the disconnect that seems to be prevalent among industry professionals, design clients, the media, and the general public regarding sustainable building.
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Matt Macko who helped develop the new LEED exam and is a principal at Environmental Building Strategies about his role in the creation of the new exam.
As part of his daily work, Mr. Macko consults with clients who are interested in obtaining LEED certification for their building or who desire to use green building techniques and/or build as sustainably as possible.
Mr. Macko was selected to help develop the new LEED exam for a number of reasons, including his desire to advance the industry and his work in helping his clients understand the most important concepts and options for their projects. His commitment to the industry is obvious; he is a LEED Accredited Professional, RESNET Energy Rater, Certified Energy Plans Examiner, Certified Green Building Professional, Certified Sustainable Building Advisor and Chair of the Bay Area LEED Users Group (BAyLUG).
Friday, December 4th, 2009
I recently attended the West Coast Green conference in San Francisco and came out enthused and confused.
I was enthused about the progress the green building industry is making. That over 14,000 people from all over the country came to learn about the new innovations in green building is huge for an industry, which in many ways, is in its infancy.
I listened to speakers from all sides of the business, real estate experts, government officials, green building consultants, and contractors to list only a few. They all provided interesting insights on where the industry was and should be going and a bit about it how it was going to get there.