A household-scale virtual power plant has arrived

Aiming for 70% clean energy by 2030, Colorado’s Holy Cross Energy is piloting a household-scale virtual power plant technology that will help integrate more rooftop solar and storage. A device in each home optimizes provision of power to the grid, as well as grid services. Four Colorado homes with solar plus storage are now operating as virtual power plants.  In …

LafargeHolcim is selling CO2-sucking cement for precast, reduces emissions by 70 percent

Solidia Concrete uses a special binder — produced at lower temperatures — and patented curing process that uses CO2 rather than water. By adding and absorbing CO2, Solidia Concrete reaches strength in less than 24 hours unlike precast concrete made with Portland cement, which takes 28 days to reach strength. Solidia reduces the overall carbon footprint in precast concrete by …

What U.S. Cities Are Learning from Copenhagen’s Evolution

By Kathleen McCormick, Urban Land, August 8, 2019 Spanning a busy arterial road that separates the historic center from the harborfront, BLOX (center), designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the Dutch architecture firm founded by Rem Koolhaas, opened in 2018 as the new home of the Danish Architecture Center. The 89,000-square foot (27,000 sq m) BLOX also features 22 rental …

Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes

Berkeley has become the first city in the nation to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes. The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously voted to ban gas from new low-rise residential buildings starting Jan. 1. It’s not the first time Berkeley has passed pioneering health or environmental legislation. In 1977, Berkeley was the first in the …

The Case for Switching From Natural Gas Hookups to Heat Pumps

7/19 GTM: Geothermal heat pumps are a no-brainer given their efficiency and environmental advantages, argue investor Jigar Shah and Kathy Hannun of Dandelion Energy. The Natural Resources Defense Council claims that installing heat pumps instead of natural-gas lines would save homeowners $1,500 right away, and hundreds of more dollars each year after that in operating costs. Homeowners would also enjoy the benefit …

California cities begin banning natural gas hook-ups in new buildings, in a historic move

 By Susie Cagle in Oakland, for The Guardian, 23 Jul 2019 More than 50 cities and counties in California are now considering similar policies to Berkeley’s, either banning or limiting gas and incentivizing full electrification in new buildings. This week Berkeley, California became the first city in the United States to ban natural, fossil gas hook-ups in new buildings. The landmark …

Mass-production techniques + aggregated demand among building owners to cost-effectively retrofit buildings to a net-zero energy standard

The Challenge of Scaling Up Energy Retrofits for Buildings Most building energy retrofits are one-off affairs. “We need an Amazon” in the market, says one architect. By Tom Konrad, GTM, July 19, 2019 Getting to the root of the problem.8 It’s almost always easier and cheaper to build an energy-efficient building in the first place than retrofitting existing structures. But …

Getting the Facts Right: Clean, Electric Buildings Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions AND Save Money in New Construction

Building decarbonization is a necessary component of our overall climate change strategy. Multiple analyses have shown that for new construction it is cheaper to build all-electric than to install gas-fired appliances and air conditioning. RMI found this to be true for all new construction scenarios, even without considering the gas infrastructure costs of new service lines. In all but the most coal-heavy …

Mayors Urging All Cities to Consider Using Carbon Dioxide Mineralized Concrete for Future City Building and Infrastructure Projects

The built environment is responsible for over 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions and global building stock is expected to double by 2060. Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world due to its affordable and durable nature. And its key ingredient, cement, contributes to up to 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Companies like CarbonCure are helping lead that charge with …