Solar cells can be an extremely beautiful and colorful building component and can go not only on the roof, but also all over the sides of a building

EPFL has developed a special glass filter that allows the solar panel to take on one single color. The filter determines which wavelengths of light will be reflected as a visible color,” Mandrup said. The rest of the sunlight is absorbed by the solar panel and converted into energy.” After 12 years of research, they have figured out a way …

MIT study finds that energy-efficient construction is key strategy for energy and effectively fighting climate change

Employing the full complement of building energy efficiency approaches for new construction and retrofits, and a rapid electrification of the automobile fleet are the most effective ways to substantially reduce emissions.   For building efficiencies, it is important to get this implemented for new construction, where it is easiest to make a difference.  Mandating that newly built homes be more energy …

Potential of evaporative power? Also, cooling for all, and low-tech air conditioner that uses terracotta tubes & water to naturally cool down air

Evaporation Power Could Supply 325 Gigawatts (70%) Of US Electricity Demand September 28th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill on Clean Technica In what is believed to be the first analysis of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers from Columbia University have determined that US lakes and reservoirs could generate a whopping 325 gigawatts worth of clean energy, which would account for approximately …

After the Hurricanes, Rebuilding for Energy Efficiency and Storm Survival: Builders of prefabricated zero-energy homes equipped for solar power have seen a spike in calls

By Lyndsey Gilpin, Inside Climate News, 2 Oct 2017 A quarter of homes in the Florida Keys are estimated to have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma, including widespread damage in mobile home parks. Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The scope of the damage to mobile home parks and older neighborhoods along America’s hurricane-ravaged coasts is enormous. More than 15,500 homes were …

Landscape Architects Argue That Sustainable Design Results In Net-Zero Homes

Sept 28th, 2017 by Carolyn Fortuna on Clean Technica Landscape architects and clean tech? Sounds like the old nature-versus-society conundrum, doesn’t it? Well, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) says that homeowners can implement cutting-edge methods so that residential landscapes support the environment — no matter the location or property size. And the ASLA is backing up its argument with a series of free …

Electricity alone powers one quarter of U.S. homes

By Ingrid Lobet | September 26, 2017  Recently we reported that for climate reasons, some environmental groups are starting to advocate for all-electric homes. Those are homes in which all the appliances including heaters, hot water heaters and stoves run on electricity, not natural gas.  Buildings are major consumers of energy, and energy can be clean or contribute significantly to climate change. When it is …

How Benchmarking Data Can Help Cities Meet Climate Goals

By Amy Egerter, RMI September 12, 2017   Cities have set aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets over the past few years. One of the most aggressive is Fort Collins, Colorado, which is targeting up to an 80 percent reduction by 2030, with interim benchmarks along the way. As deadlines draw nearer and the climate risks to urban centers grow, city leaders are …

Community Ice Box Challenge pits Passive House against building code boxbeats building code box in Ice Box Challenge

By Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter) Design / Green Architecture August 16, 2017 © Rob Bernhardt at the Ice Box Challenge unveiling On July 27, members of Passivehouse Canada loaded a tonne (1000 kilograms, 1.1 American Tons) of ice into two boxes in Vancouver; one box was built to the Passive House standard of insulation, and one to the British Columbia building code standard for residential construction. This …

NREL building and electrical grid related modeling tools for residential, commercial, industrial energy use, geared for residential and commercial buildings, campuses, communities, and microgrids

Last week Chuck Kutscher, Director of the NREL for Buildings and Thermal Systems Center, presented in Jackson, WY at the Global Business Roundtable, sponsored by the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs.  Kutscher made a great presentation on energy use in building construction and use, how important it is, major fraction of U.S. and global energy use and GHG contribution, …