The Kendeda Building is “the greenest in the Southeast”

Lloyd Alterl loydalterNovember 25, 2019 Leed is for wimps; the Living Building Challenge really pushes the building envelope. The Greenbuild conference is built around the LEED certification developed by the US Green Building Council, but LEED is for wimps compared to the Living Building Challenge (LBC). A tour of Kendeda Building on Georgia Institute of Technology campus is a great …

Why is architecture and building so different in Europe?

Mike Eliason, an American architect working in Germany, explains. Lloyd Alter November 20, 2019 Mike Eliason is an architect from Seattle who is known to TreeHugger for his strong opinions and his praise of dumb boxes. He has a story to tell about the difference between construction in Germany and the USA and posted a tweet; I took him up on his …

The foxes are writing building codes for henhouses

Lloyd Alterlloydalter October 28, 2019 A secret deal lets the homebuilders dominate the committees that write the building codes for housing. Building Codes have been around since the time of Hammurabi and Deuteronomy, and have always been contentious, but became particularly so when they moved from being just about not killing people, about safety standards, to having other goals, like …

ZNE from scratch? Renovation or demolition? The question gets tougher every day

Lloyd AlterlloydalterOctober 28, 2019, Treehugger Sometimes we have to decide between “neighborhood character” or carbon emissions and density. A new Passive House in Vancouver is a good example. For years, this TreeHugger has been a proponent of preservation and renovation rather than demolition and replacement. But over the years I have renovated my own house twice, added a bit of …

Designing a Climate-Positive Future with Zero-Energy Districts

September 23, 2019  |  By Victor Olgyay RMI The environmental impact of buildings is clear. Over the last 30 years the green building industry has emerged in full regalia, with products, rating systems, building science, and architectural élan. Our design and technology have jumped from making buildings perform “better than code” to “zero-energy” or even “net-positive-energy” construction. Today’s high-performance buildings have a …

Electricity is set to become a cheaper energy carrier than combustible fuels

Dr Gunnar Luderer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who said the role of electrification in the future is underestimated. “Electricity is set to become a cheaper energy carrier than combustible fuels,” he noted. His team’s analysis has found that under 1.5C-consistent pathways, renewable power will be cheaper than energy from oil and gas from 2030, and they set out to find to …

The air conditioning trap

Excerpt from The Guardian, Aug 29, 2019 by Stephen Buranyi air conditioners are almost uniquely power-hungry appliances: a small unit cooling a single room, on average, consumes more power than running four fridges, while a central unit cooling an average house uses more power than 15. “Last year in Beijing, during a heatwave, 50% of the power capacity was going …

Chicago implements energy rating system for buildings + affordable, ZNE Habitat homes in Colorado

Katie Pyzyk, Smart Cities Dive, Aug. 26, 2019 Chicago launched its Energy Rating System to rate and make public the energy efficiency of large buildings (50,000 square feet or larger), including about 3,400 buildings across the city.  The buildings will be provided with placards illustrating their energy performance on a zero to four-star scale, which they are required to display on-site and report …

Six Reasons Why Berkeley’s Ban on New Natural Gas Is a Great Idea

by Gideon Weissman, Monday, August 19, 2019 Natural GasElectrificationGlobal WarmingFrackingClean Energy Last month the city of Berkeley, California, banned natural gas infrastructure from new buildings.[1] The most obvious reason for the ordinance is enough to justify it on its own: Natural gas is a fossil fuel, and burning it contributes to global warming. But by getting off gas, Berkeley is doing a whole …

Innovations To Combat Hot Cities With Natural Air-Conditioning

Aug 26, 2019 Natalie Parletta, Forbes, Science, Sustainable solutions and innovation With temperatures soaring around the globe, people who live in urban jungles – thick with concrete rather than trees – are feeling the heat even more. Climate Central warns that the compounded impact of climate change on cities is set to seriously jeopardise people’s health and put pressure on energy resources …