Smart, green, productive and efficient buildings contribute to urban efficiency and high-performance cities. Buildings don’t turn green with a fresh coat of paint, and building green is not an afterthought. Green, net zero building principles encompass the entire life cycle of a building—from the design and construction phases to the operation and maintenance of the building. Green buildings efficiently select and use resources and engage occupants to live and work in the buildings in a sustainable manner. Those that match their energy demand with on-site energy production can achieve “net-zero” status. Increasingly, green and net zero buildings are demonstrating real market traction - and the benefits are becoming clear. Photo credit: Brad Kahn/Flickr
Google recently released Project Sunroof—an interactive online tool that allows building owners to estimate how much money they can save by installing solar panels on their roofs.
As consumers exercise choice, and technologies become better and cheaper, distributed energy resources (DER) are proliferating on power grids. However, grids and distribution systems were not designed to accommodate multiple DERs while sustaining reliability and quality. Some DERs are more variable and intermittent than the central generating plants on which the power system is based, according to...
Investments in energy efficiency can significantly help energy utilities as they face a future of stagnating sales, aging infrastructure, growth in distributed generation and stricter environmental regulations, says a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. While utilities are unlikely to face a “death spiral” as some have predicted, they need new...
An extensive set of advanced monitoring, control and information management technologies can be used to increase a building’s Energy Intelligence Quotient (EIQ) – a measure of the degree to which cost-effective intelligence has been deployed. But which intelligent technologies can be applied cost-effectively to a given building? The paper describes how to analyze the economic value of...
When beginning a green building project or trying to operate a facility effectively, professionals often wonder:
Momentum in pursuing net zero energy in new buildings is growing in the United States. An increasing number of buildings meet this standard, raising confidence that net zero goals are realistic given current building technologies and design approaches. In this environment, the New Buildings Institute (NBI) in February 2014 released an update on the latest market trends and government policies: