High-income countries are leading the transition to a new energy architecture but still have work to do on environmental sustainability, according to the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2013, released today by the World Economic...
Duane Tilden's insight:
- "Norway, Sweden and France top the ranking; OPEC countries and the USA languish outside the top 50"
-"The report, produced in collaboration with Accenture, adds that many developing countries still struggle to supply citizens with basic energy needs, with 12% of countries analysed providing electricity to less than 50% of their total population. The report also considers how issues around fossil-fuel subsidy, water use for energy production and effective management of resource wealth need addressing globally."
San Francisco is greening its real estate records. Ecologically-sustainable building...
Green Labels being recorded by the Assessor’s office are U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Build It Green’s Green Point Rated, Home Energy Rating System II (HERS II), Home Energy Score (US Dept of Energy) and Energystar.
“We are making San Francisco history by including Green Labels in our official property records,” said Ting.
Engineers and building owners often focus on payback periods and return on investment as economic decision-making thresholds for energy efficiency investments.
Back in the day, HVAC systems were designed to be stout, longevity was the main focus, and concepts such as operating costs and efficiencies were virtually non-existent. The driving force was purely “How much will it cost and will it last?” Interest rates and return on investments were left to the bankers and stockbrokers.
"A more sophisticated approach is present worth analysis, which establishes a present time value of all future cash flow by discounting the costs. A typical time frame used for this procedure is 20 years. ..."
"Data considered as input includes the future costs of energy, future maintenance costs, replacement costs, life of the product, and future interest rates. There are some pitfalls: prediction of future energy cost is a guessing game, just like predicting stock prices. Two factors, weather and people, are not 100% predictable. Planned maintenance cost can be somewhat consistent, but one catastrophic failure will ruin the budget. In the end, the analysis produces a lifecycle value in today’s dollars. This is then compared to similar investment analyses to select the most reasonable investment. The process can be intense and the projected outcome is always subject to scrutiny."
...the UniSource Energy corporate headquarters building in downtown Tucson, Arizona, had finally received LEED Gold status, more than nine months after initial occupancy.
"The LEED certification effort showed me once again how easy it is to achieve a Gold certification on a conventional building budget."
"...the LEED goals did require the project to achieve a projected 24% lower energy use than the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard, reduce water use 30% from code levels, install a 100-kW solar thermal system for water heating, and a 150,000-gallon rainwater collection cistern for site irrigation...."
MBCI Eco-ficient� Roofing Panels: Can one roofing panel do it all? These can do it all. These metal roofing panels have high R-values, and qualify as continuous insulation where required by the IECC. They are designed to mitigate thermal drift and their R-values are billed as consistent for 20 years. Green roofers can look forward to working with these roofing panels.
The potential contribution from solar shading has been underestimated, despite the widely recognised fact that avoiding overheating reduces cooling demand. Undoubtedly, much of the work starts at design stage. BUILD UP has a wealth of resources on this subject.
In the wake of a 2007 movie on visionary architect Michael Reynolds, the cheap, deep-green Earthship building model is increasingly a thing in Canada.
" It is the brainchild of architect Michael Reynolds, who characterizes it as a “radically sustainable” method of home building. The Earthship method incorporates about 45 percent recycled materials, and relies largely on the sun for heat."
"Over the last few months, our Energy Innovation Series has featured companies and organizations that are working on various energy generation, management and efficiency issues. But there are other innovations that extend far beyond what most of us conceptualize as energy."
"The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is the largest community college system in the country, serving more than 250,000 students on more than 10 sites around the region. ..."
"This isn't a simple renovation," said architect and e7 director Michael Rendler. "It's a re-imagining of how these campuses function and how their pieces interact. ... Being able to visually move through a design allows us to find new opportunities for energy efficiency and understand how our design choices impact usability and environmental performance."
A new dialogue is emerging around the idea of resilience: how to help vulnerable people, organizations and systems persist, perhaps even thrive, amid unforeseeable disruptions.
Opinion article demanding tougher building standards in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I would say that resiliency is a necessary component of sustainable construction. However, existing building codes and standards may require improvement to answer these charges, not only Sustainable buildings. Duane Tilden
Quick question. Your state has good sunshine, lots of open rooftops, and the cost of solar energy has been falling by 10% per year. Do you think it will take 13 years to double the 10 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power?
Duane Tilden's insight:
"...in a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Commercial Rooftop Revolution ... By 2016, over 100,000 MW of unsubsidized rooftop solar will able to match grid electricity on price. Within 10 years, it will be 300,000 MW, enough to provide 10% of the nation’s electricity. This affordable solar future presents a stark challenge to traditional utility planning and a clarion call for better electricity policy."
By David Chernicoff for Five Nines: The Next Gen Datacenter |December 7, 2012 -- 16:46 GMT (08:46 PST)
Starting small can provide large benefits...
"Earlier this week I received an email from the PR firm for the Green Grid with this intriguing title. ... a generic overview of steps that can be taken to improve your IT efficiency. "
“Three Simple Steps to Improve the Energy Efficiency of IT.”
1. Put all the pieces back
Close up the tiles, replace panels in the rack, and close up areas that should be closed and open areas that should be open. When you mess with the airflow in your datacenter I can guarantee that the end results will be a higher expenditure to keep the facility at the proper temperature. ....
2. Turn stuff off
"Now for those of you who want the higher level view that the Green Grid is providing in this case, here are their steps:
Proposed measures to improve water efficiency of high-performance, non-low-rise residential buildings include limitations on full-flush volume for toilets and use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation.
"Measures to improve water efficiency, including limitations on full-flush volume for toilets and use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation, are being proposed for ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. ..."
"The addendum would limit the full-flush volume for all toilets to 1.28 gal per flush and limit kitchen faucet capacity to 1.8 gpm ..."
"Proposed addendum v also would set limits on the use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation. Municipal reclaimed water is highly treated, usually to drinking water standards, and often in short supply. Furthermore, the growing use of municipal reclaimed water for groundwater recharge of potable water supplies increases its value. ..."
'“It is unreasonable to allow the unfettered use of reclaimed water, considered a precious resource, as a means to save energy when there are more viable alternatives,” Pape said. “Therefore, the use of municipal reclaimed water would be prohibited for roof-cooling applications and for permanent irrigation of vegetated roofs using either in-ground or above-ground irrigation systems. There are many other alternative water sources that can be used for this puprpose, including graywater, condensate recovery, rainwater and cooling tower discharge.”'
The incorporation of interior greenery has grown to the point where it now even takes up indoor wall spaces.
"A new trend sees ‘bio-walls’ offering bring new life into conventional spaces. According to former University of Guelph researcher Dr. Alan Darlington, the incorporation of these green walls are drastically increasingly Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) passively, without energy reliance."
“We’re getting rid of 60 to 70 per cent of the pollutants in the air after a single pass through the filtration system,” he said. “It means less fresh outdoor air has to be brought in to maintain air quality and that significantly reduces the energy required to heat or cool that air. It’s a really beautiful technology.”
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)."
Two industrial projects in Queensland and New South Wales have raised the bar in green building and construction for warehouses and industrial facilities throughout Australia.
"... the bus depot has been recognised for a number of initiatives, including light-filled offices, breakout areas and workshops, ‘excellent’ passive design and natural ventilation which makes the most of Queensland’s climate.
[also]... on-site water collection, re-use and management strategy that treats storm water through a biofiltration system which then provides most of the depot’s non-potable water demand."
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the launch of the Green Building Information Gateway.
"Users can search and explore green building activity around the world, analyze trends and patterns in green building practice and discover connections between projects, people, products and services. Additional information is available at: GBIG.org . "
Green innovations are constantly changing as innovators are coming up with products. In terms of energy-saving insulation products, the three latest innovations are: Vacuum Insulation Panels, Aerogels, and Phase-Change Materials.
Former truck facility reborn as 2.7-acre park and music concourse with innovative geotherm energy to heat/cool adjacent arts buildings
"Early in the design, the team conceived of installing a ground-source heat pump system under the park. Consisting of 120 wells drilled to 500 feet depth, the "geo-exchange" system generates 600 tons (7.2 million BTUs/hour) of heating/cooling distributed via underground pipes to serve 120,000 square feet of nearby non-profit users as well as Guthrie Green’s cafe pavilion and bathrooms. Photovoltaic panels on the pavilion roof supply power for the heat pump system. The system enables 60% reduction in energy demand, with investment payback in five to seven years. The concept won the project a $2.5 million ARRA Stimulus Grant and other state/local funding."
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. "
The Nanaimo Regional District aims to promote rainwater harvesting with a free guide on the subject...
"The spectrum ranges from lawn irrigation to car washing, to indoor uses like toilet flushing. More comprehensive systems would provide an entire household's needs, including drinking water."
"With limited groundwater resources, particularly in the summer, rainwater capturing is a plus for the environment, and increases residents' self sufficiency, slows down or eliminates storm water runoff and reduces energy consumption when compared to wells, Midgley said."
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