Posts Tagged 'sustainability'

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The Federal Preemption Bind on Local Energy Policy

When it comes to energy efficiency in buildings, rapid technological advances are being undermined by outdated regulations. Decades-old federal laws currently prohibit states from setting energy standards for some of the most modern appliances, including heating and cooling systems and water heating equipment. 

Industry lobbyists working in Washington, D.C., set the standards, which bind states and cities from moving to more stringent rules in local energy codes than the current federal mandate. This “preemption” effect presents a major barrier to reducing energy waste for many states and jurisdictions in pursuit of better energy performance in building stock and achieving climate action goals. 

Metal Buildings: Green Made Easy

Metal buildings are an easy, cost-effective choice when going green, thanks to their efficient use of materials and labor and the steel’s high quantity of recycled content. However, documenting their savings and efficiency while keeping up with various sustainability codes and rating systems is an ever-changing and difficult task.

Atlanta and Chicago Make Renewable Energy Pledges

The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved a pledge to commit the city to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Municipal buildings must reach that goal by 2025. Atlanta is now the largest Southeastern city with a 100 percent clean energy goal, followed by St. Petersburg, Fla., according to Sierra Club. 


Open Data Makes Sustainable Structures More Achievable

The demand for sustainability and efficiency associated with new construction and renovation projects is higher than ever, as monthly energy costs constitute an ever-increasing percentage of total building life cycle expenses due to rising utility rates. As a result, sustainable construction practices promoting net-zero building designs have become a prevalent industry objective. However, peak sustainability is rarely accomplished due to the high costs and a lack of resources available in the early stages of design and planning.  

BREEAM Breaks Into the U.S. Market

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) has been an integral part of the worldwide green building industry for many years, yet it only broke into the U.S. marketplace last October. The journey began 97 years ago, when the Building Research Establishment (BRE) was founded as an academic and science-based government organization in the United Kingdom. It has since been privatized and created the first green building standard, BREEAM, in 1990. All green building rating systems have their roots in BREEAM, including LEED. Today, nearly 3 million buildings have been registered and more than 500,000 have been certified under BREEAM.

New CO2-Eating Concrete Takes Less Energy to Produce

An engineering and materials science professor at Rutgers University has created an eco-friendly, lightweight concrete using reactive hydrothermal liquid-phase densification (rHLPD), a process that models the generative design behavior of shellfish, to create organic ceramics while submerged in water. 

Open Source Tool Seeks to Drive Emissions Reduction

A new open source tool that will help construction companies identify and reduce carbon emissions is currently being pilot tested by U.K.-based developer Costain and the University of Edinburgh Business School, with funding from Volvo’s Construction Climate Challenge. The Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool (CITT) project sprung from the need to solve two key problems facing the construction industry: high greenhouse gas emissions and the fragmented nature of supply chains.

USGBC Announces Top 10 Countries For LEED

China took first place on the U.S. Green Building Council’s list of the Top 10 Countries for LEED, which highlights countries outside the United States that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and market transformation. China moved up one spot from second place last year, with 34.62 million gross square meters of certified LEED space. Canada, India, Brazil and the Republic of Korea rounded out the top five countries on the list, followed by Taiwan, Germany, Turkey, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

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