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California Nonresidential Building Owners Must Disclose Energy Usage - Energy Manager Today

California Nonresidential Building Owners Must Disclose Energy Usage - Energy Manager Today | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
On September 1, owners of non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet or greater will be required to disclose energy usage when they sell their properties.
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Integrating Building into the Smart Grid

Integrating Building into the Smart Grid | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
It will take time to get from point A, today’s grid and building technologies and power markets to point B, a Smart Grid with intelligent buildings and transactive markets, but it can be done.

Via Joan Tarruell, Stephane Bilodeau
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, June 2, 2013 6:13 PM

"A very important conference occurred in Portland, Oregon last week – the Gridwise Architecture Council hosted the first international Transactive Energy Conference.  The topic of transactive energy is so new that there’s no formal definition yet, but as the author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, here’s my suggestion.  Transactive energy is a software-defined, low-voltage distribution grid that enables market participation by distributed energy resources (DER) bidding generation of negawatts or kilowatts.  Transactive energy describes the convergence of technologies, policies, and financial drivers in an active prosumer market – where prosumers are buildings, EVs, microgrids, or other assets."

Duane Tilden's curator insight, June 8, 2013 6:30 PM

>Transactive energy will play a critical defining role in grid modernization and shaping the Smart Grid.  Buildings, as noted in last week’s article consume 40% of the nation’s energy.  And while building owners can justify purchase decisions on energy savings as well as sustainability values, there’s another crucial factor for building owners to invest in technologies that reduce energy use and deliver self-generation.  That reason is to address the increasing vulnerability of the electrical grid to momentary and sustained power outages to both natural and human causes.

 

Buildings and their occupants are impacted by grid-related power outages.  The negative impacts range from reduced work productivity and decreased occupant safety and health to reductions in lifestyle standards.  Just like real estate values are higher for green buildings with LEED recognition, in the future, buildings that are grid-hardened may command premium prices because they preserve delivery of services regardless of grid status.  It is a compelling new variable in value propositions for tenants and occupants.<

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How to Create Thermal Images for Millions of Homes

How to Create Thermal Images for Millions of Homes | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

One of the well-worn tools of home energy auditors is thermal imaging cameras that show where buildings are poorly insulated. But how do you bring these pictures to thousands or even millions of homes? Two Boston-area startups think they have the answer. 

Sagewell and Essses have effectively brought the idea of Google Street View, where a camera-equipped car drives through neighborhoods, to thermal imaging. Both companies have developed business models to provide consumers thermal images of their homes and to make money on referrals.

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Japan's Quiet Skyscraper-Demolition Technique Generates Energy

Japan's Quiet Skyscraper-Demolition Technique Generates Energy | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Taisei Corporation is using its Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep) to gradually lower the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, and bemused passersby have already witnessed the 140m-high (about 460 feet) tower quietly shrink to 110m (about 360 feet). It’s a far more elegant method when compared with the much-unchanged tack of getting something big and heavy and smashing it into a building, or the presumably fun but incredibly messy process of blowing it up. Buildings are of course dismantled using cranes already, but only from the exterior and for towers under 100m — and they’re far from green. Having investigated new methods since 2008, Taisei is suggesting that for buildings over 100m we need to adopt a new approach.

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Strong Partnerships for Multi-family Energy Efficiency

Strong Partnerships for Multi-family Energy Efficiency | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
The multi-family sector promises substantial potential energy savings that have not yet been adequately addressed due, in part, to a number of market barriers impeding progress.
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NYC's Historic Buildings Steal the Energy-Efficiency Spotlight

NYC's Historic Buildings Steal the Energy-Efficiency Spotlight | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

NYC's recently released energy efficiency ratings are full of surprises: 1930s landmarks such as the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings outperformed later mid-century structures, as well as contemporary LEED-rated designs.


"Older buildings tend to have higher Energy Star scores because they have thicker walls, fewer windows and less ventilation — superior 'thermal envelopes,' as a report [PDF] on the early results puts it. They are also less suited to energy-gobbling activities like computer data crunching, the downfall of some youthful but middling performers."

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A $370 Billion Idea for European Buildings

A $370 Billion Idea for European Buildings | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
According to a new study presented by the Renovate Europe Campaign, weatherizing European buildings in an important way could boost local GDP by up to 291 billion Euros ($370 billion) by 2017.

Furthermore, gross annual investments of €41 to €78 billion per year in the EU could bring ongoing annual returns of €104 to €175 billion.
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Algae Generates Building Energy From Wastewater - PSFK

Algae Generates Building Energy From Wastewater - PSFK | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Once the algae have matured, in a matter of days, it can be harvested and processed into biomass. The resulting biomass, with roughly the same energy potential as coal, can be used to power the building without the environmental side effects. As an added benefit, the system effectively acts as insulation for the building, again reducing its energy consumption.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

Sounds almost too good to be true, but will be great news if it works. The building still needs to be constructed. After this, we need a couple of years of experience to operate. Let's see in 2017 what happened.

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Use of LEED in Federal Buildings Doubles

The number of LEED-certified federal building projects is projected to more than double this year: 821 projects received certification in the first 8 months of 2012 alone, up from 544 projects total in 2011, as reported in the Federal Times...

 

"This increase in LEED certified federal buildings comes in the midst of a full-fledged attack against the use of LEED from the timber and chemical industries, who have been lobbying against the use of the LEED rating system in federal buildings (see this letter to GSA as an example)."

 

 


Via Duane Tilden
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First Phase of New Laboratory for Energy-Efficient Buildings Introduced

First Phase of New Laboratory for Energy-Efficient Buildings Introduced | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Today marks the opening of the first two testbeds of FLEXLAB, the Facility for Low Energy eXperiments in Buildings at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)...
Via Priya Nayak
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Energy Management System controls direct gas-fired heaters.,

Energy Management System controls direct gas-fired heaters., | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Energy Management System controls direct gas-fired heaters. - Cambridge Engineering, Inc.

 

"The Cambridge Wi-Fi Energy Management System saves energy and is an ideal temperature control system for warehouse energy retrofits and industrial LEED/green building projects. Intelligent night setback recovery, flexible 7-day programming, 365-day scheduling, summer ventilation mode and remote computer monitoring on a web-based EMS portal saves energy and operating costs."


Via Duane Tilden
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How a Small Net-Zero Energy Library Got the World’s Attention

How a Small Net-Zero Energy Library Got the World’s Attention | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

The Valatie Free Library is a small library with plans to make a big difference. The threshold for defining a “small library” in the United States, according to LJ’s Best Small Library in America Award, is a library serving fewer than 25,000 people. The Valatie Free Library serves just over 4300 people and currently does so in a 750 square foot library building. Now that’s small!


Via 361 Architecture + Design Collaborative, Jean-Yves Mesnil, Frédéric Liégeois
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Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment

Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.

The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.

Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.


For more on this innovative, environmental initiative that provides interactive visualizations of building-performance data to help understand the complexities and relationships among sustainability, health, and energy, read the complete article


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau
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Energy efficiency improvements can increase the value of your home by 38%, Government report claims

Energy efficiency improvements can increase the value of your home by 38%, Government report claims | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Insulating cavity walls, upgrading double glazing, and putting solar panels on the roof could increase the value of some properties by 14 per cent, while others could rise by as much as 38 per cent, it claims.

Via Richard W J Brown, Irene Immink
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Richard W J Brown's curator insight, June 18, 2013 4:26 AM

Improve the energy rating and improve the property value is the claim...oh and you also help to improve the planet in the process!

 

Lower energy bills and improved property values are the financial wins resulting from improving the energy rating in the home, so why is there such a small conversion rate from inquiry to completed project with the Green Deal?

 

Well the answer is probably that in actual fact the energy bill will not in the short-term reduce and also that as a result of the Green Deal loan being attached to the property's energy supply could also put off would-be purchasers and renters.

 

Looking at the improved house values another possible explanation also springs to mind - many of the higher rated A-B homes are new homes (build in the last ten years).  First of all new homes tend to carry something of a price premium in any event and secondly, there are some other factors that could contribute to a higher value; such as being covered by a warranty like the NHBC and from lower initial repair, improvement and maintenance requirements.  Older Victorian stock are the worst offenders and will also probably require a lot more in terms of improvement expense to put them right, leading to lower valuations for those that have not been improved in particular.

 

That all said, the incentive is clear - increase the energy rating and increase the home value.  The only question then is whether of not to use the Green Deal to do it.  As a landlord, I understand that tenants will be focussed on the running costs of their property and so will be interested in it's energy rating.  But they will probably not be too excited once they realise that whilst their rental achieves say a C rating say that in fact they are still paying the same as with say a G rating due to a Green Deal loan being attached to it.

 

My conclusion therefore is to introduce energy saving measures (with roof and cavity wall insulation being the biggest and easiest wins) but to finance this in an alternative way to the Green Deal loan.  Cash, increase in the mortgage of another type of loan not attached to the energy bill would be my recommendation.  After all, it is clear to see that everyone is a winner when we reduce the energy consumption of our properties, especially mother Earth.

 

Green improvements = yes...Green Deal Loan = no from me therefore

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The “greenest” building in the world... for now.

The “greenest” building in the world... for now. | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Seattle’s Bullitt Center, opened on Earth Day, is being hailed the world’s “greenest” commercial building. Not only does it have a rooftop array of photovoltaic panels that will produce an estimated 230,000 kilowatt-hours per year and composting toilets, it also has strict energy-usage limits for its tenants - and no onsite parking.

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The next revolution in Net Zero buildings: Occupants

The next revolution in Net Zero buildings: Occupants | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Next-generation buildings will target occupants and the amount of energy consumed by plug-in devices, experts say.

Via Diedert Debusscher
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Diedert Debusscher's curator insight, March 15, 2013 11:27 AM

In a Net-Zero energy building, the remaining (low) energy consumption is dominated not by heating and colling, but plug loads. So occupant behavior change should be the next focus. Confirmed by this 100 engineers and architects from the design and build community.

Duane Tilden's curator insight, March 25, 2013 12:37 AM

Occupants in Net-Zero energy buildings are usually measured as a plug load.  Monitoring & limiting plug loads are methods of managing energy use in a building.

SAGE's curator insight, March 27, 2013 10:17 AM

We've made tremendous strides in conserving energy in buildings using new technologies like dynamic glass and advanced insulation materials. But there is still far to go. 

 

Greenbiz.com reports on panel of engineers, architects and other experts in Net Zero buildings who say the next front on energy efficiency will be changing the behavior of occupants. 

 

To these panelists, paying more attention to the occupant means paying attention to plug loads. That's the amount of energy consumed by devices plugged into electrical sockets.

 

"Occupant behavior change plus creative ideas equals Net Zero," says Humphrey of DPR Construction.

 

Read the story here: 

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Report: Efficiency is a More Important Economic Driver than Energy Supply

Report: Efficiency is a More Important Economic Driver than Energy Supply | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

The debate around energy in the U.S. is focused on building out more production to encourage greater economic growth. Efficiency, given a courteous nod, is often seen as something extra that we deploy on top of new production.

But a new report concludes just the opposite: our economy is more closely tied to efficiency improvements than actual production of energy.

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Utilities eye greater role in building codes

Utilities eye greater role in building codes | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

With several states adopting new energy codes at a time when cash-strapped building departments are already spread thin, there’s concern that lack of funding for training and enforcement could cause compliance to lag.

Meanwhile, many utilities are looking for new ways to spend ratepayer conservation dollars — and meet mandatory energy efficiency goals, which are increasing in some states just as the savings utilities can claim from lighting programs is shrinking.

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Get Big Savings in Energy Efficiency from Building Commissioning

Get Big Savings in Energy Efficiency from Building Commissioning | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “commissioning” associated with new buildings such as data centers. When the building is complete and all systems are up and running, the building gets commissioned and is ready for use. But one of the  courses in Schneider Electric’s free online education program Energy University makes it clear that’s only one instance.

The course, “Commissioning for Energy Efficiency,” explains that in addition to new construction commissioning, the process can also be used periodically, such as after a renovation or retrofit, to ensure a building is operating as intended. Some companies use a process called “continuous commissioning” to ensure optimal energy use, comfort levels and to resolve operating problems. In short, you can conduct the building commissioning process anytime

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Back to the future: lifting a page from ancient architects' playbook

Back to the future: lifting a page from ancient architects' playbook | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Some would have us believe that construction regulations are new. Have you ever heard of the Code of Hammurabi? It’s the very first code of laws known in history, dating back to 1750 BC. And guess what? Building codes were already included! 6 out of 282 laws regulated construction safety, including penalties for builders of non-compliant homes.
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

The architectural solutions for cooling homes have been around for a while.

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Energy management: From audit to implementation – FM Magazine

Energy management: From audit to implementation – FM Magazine | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Through reducing its energy consumption HEI Hotels & Resorts is saving an estimated US$5 million annually. Vice president of facilities and Total Facilities 2012 speaker, BOB HOLESKO shares how his team accomplished this feat and how it is further enhancing installed programs.

Looking back at where HEI Hotels & Resorts’ (HEI) energy conservation program began, compared to what it has become, I realise that I became part of the ‘perfect storm’ for hotel energy conservation. ‘Perfect storm’ is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances come together, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude. HEI’s rare combination of events included:
Hans De Keulenaer's insight:

For hotels, energy management makes so much sense. I can imagine very quick learning cycles when doing the second or third audit.

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6 Energy-Saving Portable Electric Space Heaters : TreeHugger

6 Energy-Saving Portable Electric Space Heaters : TreeHugger | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Some of us may have romantic visions of giant crackling fires beneath ornate mantels to warm our homes once the chilly days have settled in for their stay. But alas, given the inefficient heating of open fires and the general lack of Citizen Kane-ish fireplaces these days, some of us may find ourselves huddling around a space heater instead.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It used to be that electric space heaters were, aside from being hideous to look at, an expensive way to heat since electricity is one of the costliest ways to warm up the house. But new models incorporate features that make them much more energy-efficient (like thermostats and timers, for starters). And for people who choose to heat only one room, or supplement in an area if the whole house is being kept cooler, space heaters can have a great impact on energy usage.
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Self-Calibrating Sensors for Building Energy Efficiency

Self-Calibrating Sensors for Building Energy Efficiency | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
In fact, most building system sensors can be expected to go out of calibration often enough to need replacement every few years, according to John Pitcher, a building controls expert and founder of Scientific Conservation, the building energy efficiency startup now called SCIenergy.

Earlier this year, Pitcher became CEO of Weber Sensors, a main-line German industrial sensor company, with the goal of bringing a new line of self-calibrating sensors to market to help solve this problem. Weber has filed patents on technology to recalibrate so-called calimetric flow and temperature sensors, and is working on patents for humidity sensors as well, he told me in an interview last month.
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Geothermal Energy Advocates Hope Systems Get a Second Look

Geothermal Energy Advocates Hope Systems Get a Second Look | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Digging geothermal wells can be expensive and difficult, and the systems have been slow to catch on in New York City, but the benefits may eventually outweigh the costs.

 

"Advocates for geothermal energy say that the path of destruction cut by Hurricane Sandy, which unearthed fuel tanks, ravaged cooling towers and battered air-conditioners, has already persuaded some building owners to switch to geothermal systems that use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings. "

 

"Installing a geothermal system can significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint, and over the last decade, the number of geothermal heat pump systems in the city has grown steadily. More geothermal systems are installed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania than anywhere else in the United States. "


Via Duane Tilden
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Energy Use a ‘Major Factor’ in Investment Decisions for 63% of Building Sector

Energy Use a ‘Major Factor’ in Investment Decisions for 63% of Building Sector | Sustainable Energy | Scoop.it
Energy usage plays an important role in most building-sector companies’ investment decisions, and is a major factor for 63 percent of survey respondents, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report.

Energy efficiency and energy savings: a view from the building sector, also found the majority of companies are replacing inefficient lighting (57 percent), HVAC systems (50 percent) and building insulation (50 percent) with more energy-efficient products. Four in 10 are taking this a step further and rethinking their buildings’ design to maximize natural light.


Via Diedert Debusscher
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