Buildings Are an Ideal but Overlooked Climate Solution Emma Stewart, Graham Pugh and Matt Jordan – November 04, 2019, Print In her speech before the United Nations in September 2019, Greta Thunberg called out the assembled world leaders for their stubborn adherence to the status quo in the face of an escalating climate crisis. “How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as …

Cost, comfort emphasized as building electrification takes off in Colorado

Allen Best, Nov 2019 Boulder, Colorado. A Boulder campaign is making a pitch to residents that they can save money and breathe easier by switching from gas.  Comfort, not climate, is the central message of a campaign in Colorado to persuade homeowners to switch from natural gas to electricity for heating and other indoor purposes. The joint program sponsored by …

Innovation Opportunities in Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings

November 19, 2019  |  By Sneha Ayyagari and Matt Jungclaus, RMI What if buildings could communicate with the electric grid to save money and reduce their environmental impacts? Buildings drive up to 80 percent of the peak demand on the grid, and peak demand drives grid investments in generation, transmission, and distribution assets, so there is a huge opportunity to balance building …

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 …

Boston zero net new buildings requirement applies only to new city construction

Boston updated its Climate Action Plan this week to require all new city buildings have a carbon neutral design, and Chicago recently launched an Energy Rating System to rate and display the energy efficiency of large buildings. Boston to require carbon neutral design for new city buildings Jason Plautz@Jason_Plautz Oct. 9, 2019, Smart Cities Dive Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has updated the city’s Climate Action …

Transitioning buildings

Buildings use more than 70% of the electrical power generated and are responsible for about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions This summer, Chicago launched its Energy Rating System that rates large buildings’ energy efficiency and requires the scores to be posted publicly on placards. Earlier this year it committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2035. More than 100 other U.S. communities have committed to …

Ways to meet climate goals: the short list of climate actions that will work

September 29th, 2019 by Michael Barnard, Clean Technica   cleantechnica.com/2019/09/29/the-short-list-of-climate-actions-that-will-work/ I spend a lot of time critiquing solutions for low-carbon transformation, and that leads, inevitably, to people asking me: what works? What should we be doing? Most recently, that came in the form of a question on Quora that was well enough formed to trigger me to write down the solution set: “What exactly …

Getting to 100% in Cities

by John Farrell, ILSR, 2018. Updated presentation. Resolutions Go for 100%: Over 70 U.S. cities have set goals to get all of their electricity from renewable sources within 15-20 years, offering lower costs and more local energy production. Listen to podcasts with the pioneers––http://bit.ly/VoicesOf100 Commit to developing local renewable energy: In Taos, N.M., and Minneapolis, Minn., city officials have set …