The hot, dry climate of the western U.S. poses special challenges for efficient air conditioning. The Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) at the University of California, Davis, leads a quest for highly efficient cooling equipment specifically for western states, designed to reduce cost and relax pressure on utility generating assets. Its initiatives align with California policies that...
A building doesn’t have to be new to be efficient. Today’s leading building owners are retrofitting buildings, converting existing buildings into models of sustainability. Building energy retrofits are investments in efficient technology during building renovation. While most building owners still pursue single technology improvements, market leaders bundle together energy saving technologies to get deeper savings in a more comprehensive approach. Energy performance contracting is one business model that enables building owners to implement whole building retrofits and significantly lower energy consumption and operating costs. Essentially, the upgrades are paid for through energy savings over time. Photo credit: Jack Amick/Flickr.
Net Zero Court: “Form follows performance” in creating a zero carbon emission office building prototype Net zero buildings are hot topic as California mandates net zero for commercial buildings by 2030 and as a U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Program initiative explores net zero buildings in the U.S. Gerry Faubert, director of Integrated Design at the HOK Group planning...
Available in Chinese. Trends in China Stimulate Exponential Growth in Certified Green Buildings In only a decade, China has gone from just one certified green building to nearly 450 – more than 400 of them built since 2007. Drivers of the trend include concern over climate change, enhancement of brand image, a better-informed market, and growth in domestic equipment suppliers. Michelle Bai,
Demand response (DR) – temporary changes to electric loads in reaction to conditions in the grid – now accounts for 7.6 percent of U.S. peak demand and could reach 20 percent in the future, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimate. But why have DR programs gained traction in some regions and not others? An Institute for Building Efficiency study explored that...
Under the European Union’s building efficiency framework law, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast, the European Commission is working to construct a comparative methodology framework to strengthen minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and for existing buildings undergoing major renovations.
Energy savings certificates (ESCs) have been around for a decade, but they’ve been slow to catch on globally. These tradable instruments represent the avoidance of a defined amount of energy use – but how much and what kind depends on the state or nation that created them. Best practices and standard definitions could help ESCs grow expand the market for energy efficiency projects.