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Author Topic: Carbon Neutral Buildings  (Read 3179 times)

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AGelbert

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Agelbert NOTE: Thank Amory Lovins, who coined the term NEGAWATTS, for energy NON-use applications in building and powerplant design for efficiency.   ;D

US Building Efficiency Was Worth More Than Clean Electricity in 2013


Buildings are becoming a big part of the advanced energy economy.

Stephen Lacey
February 20, 2014

America's building sector often gets criticized for being an inefficient drain on the country's electricity system. At the same time, the natural gas industry gets held up as an economic miracle for the grid. But does that perception match reality?

A new analysis suggests that those assessments may be a little skewed -- at least when it comes to yearly revenues in those sectors.

Advanced Energy Economy, a clean energy business advocacy group co-founded by billionaire activist Tom Steyer, has released a report valuing the global advanced energy sector using data from Navigant Research. The report found that the global advanced energy economy -- which includes efficient transport, biofuels, commercial and industrial efficiency, and clean electricity generation -- was valued at $1.1 trillion in 2013.

The U.S. made up 15 percent of the global total across that wide range of sectors, with a $169 billion market.

Looking deeper into the numbers, a counterintuitive trend emerges: building efficiency revenues actually outpaced revenues in the clean electricity sector in 2013.

The report breaks down building efficiency subsectors into the categories of environmental design, HVAC upgrades, lighting, water heating, district heating, demand response and building energy management software. Taken together, these subsectors represented $43.9 billion in U.S. revenues and $150 billion worldwide.

The analysis focused on clean electricity factors in the solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, natural gas turbine and fuel cell subsectors. Combined, those technologies brought in $31.3 billion in revenues within the U.S. and $384 billion worldwide, according to the report.

Globally, revenues in clean electricity generation were more than twice those in the building efficiency space. But in the U.S., the building efficiency sector brought in roughly one-third more revenue last year, according to the report. That's a significant gap, and it illustrates the steady (and sometimes hidden) investment underway in the built environment.

Wind and natural gas are often hailed as the dominant forces in the clean energy sector. In 2013, however, wind investments plummeted due to uncertainty about the federal production tax credit. Orders for natural gas turbines have also also declined over the last two years as older plants are utilized more efficiently and flattening electricity sales slow investment in new infrastructure. Meanwhile, investment in building efficiency is increasing steadily, rivaling the top generation technologies.

Even with a strong showing for wind and gas in 2012, the clean electricity sector only brought in about $6 billion more revenue than the building efficiency space.

These figures back up a couple of recent studies on the value of efficiency.

In April 2013, sustainable architecture expert Ed Mazria analyzed EIA data and concluded that theoretically, no new power plants need to be constructed to service America's 60 billion square feet of new buildings by 2030. That's because new construction is becoming so efficient that building energy consumption will see a steep decline even under a business-as-usual scenario, according to the EIA.

Also last year, ACEEE energy economist Skip Laitner compared economy-wide investments in efficiency to energy production for the year 2010, finding that America spent three and a half times the amount of money on efficiency upgrades that it spent on energy supply.

"One immediate conclusion from this assessment is that the productivity of our economy may be more directly tied to greater levels of energy efficiency rather than a continued mining and drilling for new energy resources," wrote Laitner.


It would be premature to draw any definitive conclusions from the data in this latest AEE report. But the analysis does suggest once again that building efficiency is a much bigger force that people assume.  And if investment keeps its current pace, it will likely continue to rival the more visible clean electricity sector. 


Tags: building efficiency, building energy management

http://www.greentechmedia...an-Electricity-Generation
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2014, 09:01:01 pm »
 
Better Buildings Neighborhood Initiative Upgrades 100,000 Buildings, Saves $730 Million on Energy Bills
May 21, 2014 - 4:06pm

CONTACT
•(202) 586-4940

Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative, the Energy Department announced today that the Department’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program has helped more than 40 state and local governments upgrade more than 100,000 buildings and save families and businesses over $730 million on utility bills. Supported by the Recovery Act, the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program worked with 41 competitively selected state and local governments and their partners to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes and local buildings and leverage early federal funds to launch sustainable community-based programs.

In the United States, residential and commercial buildings account for about 40 percent of all energy use,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Upgrading the energy efficiency of our homes and other buildings will save families and businesses money on utility bills and reduce pollution in our communities, moving the nation closer to our clean energy future.”

Over the last four years, these state and local governments have partnered with utilities, nonprofit organizations, financial institutions and building efficiency experts to upgrade more than 100,000 homes and other buildings. The initial $508 million federal investment leveraged another $1 billion in other public and private sector funding and supported more than $740 million in direct invoices to local workers for energy assessments and upgrades they performed. Local direct investments and savings will continue to grow as leveraged funds are used to finance future energy efficiency project upgrades.

All in all, more than 1,400 home improvement contractors completed upgrades for homeowners. Approximately 30 programs out of the original 40 are continuing without federal support, including programs in Oregon, Maine, Virginia and Florida.

To support continued public-private partnerships on residential energy efficiency, the Energy Department has launched the Better Buildings Residential Network, which currently includes 70 organizations. The network provides technical assistance and facilitates peer sharing for a wide range of stakeholders, including contractors, financial institutions, nonprofits, state and local governments, and utilities, who share best practices on home energy efficiency program strategies. Membership is open to all organizations interested in expanding the market for residential energy efficiency.  



Find more information on how the Better Buildings Initiative is saving communities throughout the country energy and money at www.energy.gov/better-buildings.

http://energy.gov/article...-saves-730-million-energy
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2014, 07:26:13 pm »
Methodist Church In North Carolina Celebrating Energy From The Sun  ;D
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/...-sun/#8r3kAIyU3Q30pC2Y.99
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 01:53:01 pm »
Can You Build A Safe, Sustainable Skyscraper Out Of Wood?

By Andrew Breiner 
June 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

North America’s tallest modern all-wood building is nearing completion in Prince George, British Columbia, but it might not hold that high rank for long. Other wood buildings are in the works across the world as it gains a reputation for climate friendliness, beauty, and yes, even fire safety.  ;D

The Wood Innovation Design Centre will be a six-story building, the maximum for a wood building under British Columbia’s building code, but the Centre’s high ceilings mean it will be about as tall as the average 10-floor building. It’ll join the current highest and second-highest modern wood buildings, respectively, a ten-story Melbourne residential building and a nine-story London apartment building.

But no new wood building yet has surpassed the world’s tallest, built in the 18th century. The Kizhi Pogost is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on an island in northern Russia, and has a central cupola 37 meters high, a few meters above the tops of the new wood high-rises. But it likely won’t hold onto the title of tallest wood building for long.


The Kizhi Pogost

One all-wood building in northern Norway will be 17 stories high, and there’s also talk of a more theoretical 34-story wooden skyscraper in Sweden.

A lot of wood’s appeal is counter-intuitive.  :o It’s not a bigger fire risk — in fact, thick wood planks stay strong in a fire, forming a protective char that keeps the integrity of the material intact. Steel can lose its strength when it burns, becoming “like spaghetti,” according to B.J. Yeh of the Engineered Wood Association.

This new interest in wood is driven in part by the rise of cross-laminated timber (CLT), essentially a highly advanced form of plywood that can rival steel in strength. It works, basically, by gluing and pressing small beams together into giant boards that can be up to six inches thick, and are custom-sized for their part of a construction project.

Though the Lorax turned a generation off to logging, cutting down trees is actually a sustainable way to build. Trees collect CO2 from the air as they grow, storing it in their wood. If the tree is cut down and its wood used to build, that carbon is sequestered, unable to contribute to warming. That’s especially notable in comparison to the amount of carbon emitted in the manufacture of steel and concrete. The benefit of carbon storage is so great that Stadthaus, the wood high-rise in London, will actually be carbon negative for the first 20 years of operation due to its construction materials. And of course, trees are a renewable resource when farmed sustainably. 

And lumber construction could help out with another climate-related problem. Pine beetles, in a population explosion fueled by climate change, have killed tens of thousands of square miles of forests across the country. But trees killed by pine beetles are still suitable for use in construction. And when communities afflicted by pine beetles are paying just to get rid of huge areas of dead trees, a booming lumber market could make sure they’re put to good use, with their carbon stored in buildings rather than burned into the atmosphere. 

Building codes in cities and countries around the world limit the height of new wood buildings, reflecting safety concerns that new technologies have solved. So the wood boom will depend, at least in part, on getting the new reality: wood high-rises are safer, and more sustainable, than ever. 

http://thinkprogress.org/...ers-sustainable-building/

Agelbert NOTE: The following is an example of extremely high tech Renewable Energy biotechnology AND spectacular form with function beauty that Homo sap has not been able to figure out, let alone duplicate in efficiency, strength and sustainablility.  To be watched while listening to a certain Vivaldi piece. 


Only a person ignorant of the factorial function in the science of  probability and statistics could claim that the above biotechnology happened by "random mutations". 
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2014, 11:05:46 pm »
Amory Lovins’ high-tech home skimps on energy but not on comfort   

SNIPPET 1:
For most of its history, environmentalism has been associated with a back-to-the-land lifestyle: being one with nature, living in the woods, wearing sandals, maybe driving a Volkswagen. Over the last decade, a counter-narrative has taken over. Cities are in. As climate change has become the dominant environmental issue, a low-carbon lifestyle has become the priority. Denser living is heralded for its energy efficiency, as are walking, biking and taking transit instead of driving.

All other things being equal, walkable urbanism beats sprawl. But one house in Old Snowmass, Colo., demonstrates that, with the right design, rural living can be about as low-carbon as possible. And it turns out those hippies were on to something: the secrets to low-impact rural housing lie in embracing nature instead of combatting it. Plus it helps to have some bleeding-edge technology.

Amory Lovins, the owner of the house, is exactly the guy you’d expect to live here. A bespectacled physicist and world-renowned energy-efficiency expert, he cofounded the Rocky Mountain Institute in 1982 with his then-wife L. Hunter Lovins. They chose this location, nestled up in the mountains 14 miles from Aspen, for RMI’s first headquarters, which they built as a model of energy efficiency. The original structure was completed in 1984. Today, RMI has expanded into other buildings, but Lovins still lives in the original house, which got a high-tech makeover in 2009.

Snippet 2:
Many suburbanites have rejected the housing styles best suited to their specific environments , instead embracing a generic image of the American Dream that is often  ;D  ;)  regionally inappropriate.

Snippet 3:
In an arid mountainous area, the sun is strong during the day. So the 16-inch thick walls — made of concrete, locally harvested sandstone, and a middle four inches of polyurethane — are adept at storing heat throughout the day and retaining it overnight. Typically, an architect would recommend increasing the wall thickness until the point where the marginal savings on heating are passed by the increased costs of building. But Lovins went twice as thick, thereby eliminating the need to build a heating system at all.  ;D  “We saved $1,100, and that’s just on the building, never mind operating the heating,” Lovins boasts.

Windows are a major source of air leakage, so the building has “super-windows,” which have microscopically thin layers of gases such as krypton and xenon that let in light but prevent heat exchange. “It’s equal to 16 layers of glass but it uses only two layers and costs less than three,”  :o  says Lovins.

Keeping rooms warm is not the only purpose for which most houses require oil or natural gas. To make a “combustion-free” house, Lovins had to solve a few other problems such as drying clothes and heating water. The answer is to harness the sun’s natural heating power. Although they have a dryer, Lovins and his current wife Judy usually hang their clothes on a line that can be raised by pulley up into a skylight and dried in the sunlight. They heat water through eight thermal solar panels and send it around the house through pipes that are extra wide and turn at gentle angles to minimize the electricity needed to move it.

Snippet 4:
The house’s electricity is all renewable. Massive solar panels adorn the roof, carport, and grounds alongside the building. The panels produce far more solar power during the day than the Lovinses use, so they sell electricity to the grid during the day and buy wind energy from the grid at night. They also store the solar power in batteries so that they could be fully self-sufficient in a blackout. The batteries would run down at night but be recharged during the day. “In February 2013, there were five power failures [in the area], and we never lost power,” says Lovins.

FULL ARTICLE AND BANANAS IN THE ROCKIES PICTURES HERE:


http://grist.org/climate-...nergy-but-not-on-comfort/
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 07:01:14 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2014, 10:23:02 pm »
Green Building Spotlight: Climate Ribbon Replaces Air Conditioning in Miami  ;D
SustainableBusiness.com News
http://www.sustainablebus.../go/news.display/id/25845
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2014, 04:16:50 pm »

08/22/2014 02:42 PM        

Electrical Unions Launch Net-Zero Energy Training Center for Members

SustainableBusiness.com News


Thousands of electrical workers will soon be trained each year as "Total Solution Providers" - skilled in the most advanced energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.
Opening next year, the Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute in Los Angeles will train union members in demand response, grid reliability technology, utility-scale battery storage, advanced building and lighting controls, and plug load strategies.

The project is a collaboration between International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and Los Angeles Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (LA/NECA).

"The electrical industry is currently undergoing a revolution due to improved energy efficiency practices, integration of renewable energy on the grid, and developing clean technologies," says James Willson, Executive Director of LA/NECA. "Net Zero Plus is at the center of this revolution and will transform the way buildings use, produce, store, and sell energy."   ;D

It will be housed in a 142,000 square foot building being renovated as a net-zero energy facility.
Mostly US-made products will be featured at the "living lab and demonstration center" where emerging technologies will be tested, showcased, and even commercialized.

For example, the facility will house Smart Microgrids of various sizes to demonstrate how existing electrical infrastructure can be integrated with advanced electronics, battery storage, PV solar panels, and advanced lighting controls. A utility-scale system will integrate 12 vehicle-charging stations and a high-efficiency chilled water system.

Also integrated into the building will be energy efficient building technologies such as plug load strategies, data management, operable and dimmable skylights, extremely efficient industrial fans, exterior solar shading, and high Solar Reflective Index roofing material.

This is the second net-zero energy training center in California for electricians. The much smaller one in San Leandro, California fosters advanced skills in building automation, lighting control and on-site power generation.

IBEW's interest in advanced energy dates back to 2002, when they added solar PV to their headquarters in San Jose, California - also used to train electricians. The union later added solar systems on IBEW training centers in New York, California, New Jersey and other states to use for training.

These skills will be highly valued in California as the state moves toward net-zero energy for new residential construction by 2020 and commercial construction by 2030.

http://www.sustainablebus.../go/news.display/id/25877
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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2014, 03:46:34 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/w...p;feature=player_embedded

Carbon-Neutral Office Space?    ;D

 This virtually self sustaining office building is now built! At the edge of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Bullitt Center as of April 2013, has two thirds of the space already leased.

 It's beyond simply being "green". All its water will be supplied by rainwater collected in a 56,000 gallon cistern. They have composting toilets, a grand staircase with a view to discourage elevator use, and rooftop photovoltaics ready to produce 230,000 kilowatt hours a year, hopefully enough to break even with the energy use of the building.

 The goal is to prove that carbon-neutral office space can be commercially viable. And they encourage copycats!

 From the website www.bullittcenter.org:

 "The goal of the Bullitt Center is to change the way buildings are designed, built and operated to improve long-term environmental performance and promote broader implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other green building technologies in the Northwest.

 The building is seeking to meet the ambitious goals of the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most strenuous benchmark for sustainability.

 For example, a solar array will generate as much electricity as the building uses and rain will supply as much water, with all wastewater treated onsite.

 By creating a place where every worker has access to fresh air and daylight, the Bullitt Center will create a healthy, human environment that is more pleasant and more productive than most commercial buildings."

 Amen!

 --Bibi Farber

 For more information see: www.bullittcenter.org

 This video was produced by www.theSeattleTimes.com
- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.sFdllWkX.dpuf
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Breaking Ground on RMI’s Groundbreaking Building
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2014, 09:33:40 pm »
Breaking Ground on RMI’s Groundbreaking Building  ;D

Next week on October 15, Rocky Mountain Institute breaks ground on the exciting construction of our new building—the RMI Innovation Center—in Basalt, Colorado. The downtown Basalt location is just down the road from where RMI was founded over 32 years ago and where our co-founder and chief scientist, Amory Lovins, lives in his legendary energy-efficient home known as the Lovins GreenHome.

Continuing RMI’s presence in the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen is an important ingredient in our ability to reach our audience and the global leaders we hope to collaborate with in our work. RMI’s market-driven, business-led approach to shifting from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables requires collaboration with a diverse set of stakeholders. Our new building, with its convening center—the White Steyer Impact Studio—will provide an amazing venue to do just that.

Building on 32 years of RMI inspiring change in efficiency, this project will be the pinnacle of energy-efficient design, requiring no fossil fuels. Our dedicated and innovative design team, selected in early 2013, has been an extraordinary partner—and we’re all very excited to see the building take shape.

The project originated with four main goals:

 
•Create a building that exemplifies and amplifies RMI’s mission and program—taking RMI to its “next generation”
•Create the highest-performing building possible
•Create a replicable process and business case
•Create a beautiful structure focused on community outreach and occupant experience


The building, nearly 16,000 square feet in total, includes 7,750 square feet of workspace, 4,420 square feet of convening and collaboration spaces, and 3,440 square feet of amenities and support space. It is planned for 50 employees and convening events with up to 80 people, with space for breakout sessions. The building is designed with growth in mind and the site has been approved for 4,000 square feet of future expansion.

We believe this building will become a highly replicable and scalable model of excellent, cost-effective, integrative design. This 100-year building is one RMI will be proud of for generations to come.

And we hope to influence the industry with our approach. Like ours, 90 percent of commercial buildings are less than 25,000 square feet. Offices are the largest use of commercial buildings of this size, many of which are owner occupied. Many of the principles can also be applied to existing buildings, of which three-fourths will be retrofitted by 2035. In the building industry, we have experienced over and over that truly innovative case studies are game changers. It is an industry of followers, and as a leader in that industry, we are setting a strong example.

There are several things that set our building apart, including an integrated project delivery process, ultra-low energy use, substantial on-site renewable energy generation, and a pioneering greywater system.

Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated project delivery (IPD) is a compelling business construct that organizes the owner, architect, and general contractor in a tri-party agreement, breaking down the traditional hierarchy that disintegrates projects and creates suboptimal design solutions. In this multiparty agreement, we are all working towards a common goal, with skin in the game—there is a financial risk/reward pool that motivates all players to bring innovative ideas to the table to meet the very aggressive project goals while delivering the project on budget. This model has been used frequently on large-scale buildings but on only a handful of smaller buildings. The model has great potential but needs some simplification to make it more easily applied to small projects. RMI has been documenting our findings and lessons learned, including those from the architect and general contractor. We will release an honest summary of those findings once construction is complete and we finalize our project costs (and hopeful savings). Stay tuned…

Ultra-low energy use

With our roof-mounted solar photovoltaics, we will be net positive, producing more energy than we use on an annual basis. Energy use intensity (EUI) is to buildings what MPG is to cars. And our building has an exceptional EUI—four times less than the average energy use intensity for office buildings in the U.S., even before renewables are factored in. This building will have one of the lowest EUIs for commercial buildings in the U.S. at 16 kBtu/ft2, and will be one of less than 200 buildings that have achieved net-zero energy.

One of the major reasons our energy use is so low is that we are shifting the way comfort is provided to the occupants by putting it where they need it most: on their body. Most buildings condition the entire volume of air (including the top four feet of air above people’s heads). Instead we are heating and cooling the people, not the space, by looking at all six factors that affect a person’s thermal comfort—air temperature, wind speed, humidity, clothing level, activity level, and the temperature of the surrounding surfaces. This is a relatively new development in buildings science and we are applying it as has never been done before.

Besides incorporating thermal mass using phase-change material and a highly insulating envelope, we will be using Hyperchairs. The Hyperchair, developed by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment, is one of the only “high-tech” pieces of equipment in the building but a critical one. It is a chair that integrates heating and fans into the seat and back, at very low wattage, for individual comfort control (think of your car seats).

The combination of these strategies enables us to expand our air temperature set points from the typical 70 to 76 degrees F to a wider range of 64 to 82 degrees F. This cuts our energy use in half and enables us to entirely eliminate a central air conditioning system and minimize heating to a small, distributed system.

Renewable Energy

The south-facing solar photovoltaic system (approximately 80 kW) will enable the building to generate over 100 percent of its electricity on-site. Several electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will allow EV drivers to charge their cars with renewable electricity when parked at the Innovation Center. Eventually, when bidirectional EV chargers are available, the building will use the EV batteries to store energy and power the building during peak times.

Since RMI is a nonprofit, we cannot take advantage of the tax credits available for our PV system. We are working with CollectiveSun, a group out of California, to set up a power purchase agreement (PPA) between RMI and a third party that will give RMI an overall lower cost of solar than we would have if we purchased it outright. Plus, we will have a fixed cost for electricity for the next period of time, between 15 and 25 years, depending on how the contract is finalized. The solar is owned and maintained by the third party, who pays the initial costs for the system and sells us the power we need.

Greywater in Colorado


Colorado is lagging behind many states in legally implementing greywater reuse systems. This issue has been making headway at a state level and next year the necessary state agencies will hopefully pass regulations allowing legal implementation. It will then be up to local jurisdictions to adopt regulations. We are working closely with our jurisdiction and are planning ahead for when we can fully engage our greywater system. We will have dual plumbing in the walls and space in our mechanical room to easily add the required treatment and storage and hook up to our existing infrastructure. This system will eventually enable the building to use no potable water for toilet flushing. Once legal, our building will be one of the first to implement a greywater system, setting a precedent in Colorado. The building’s landscape is specifically designed to minimize irrigation needs, maximize rainwater use, and utilize 100 percent non-potable water, which will be provided by runoff water collected in a nearby pond.

If all these achievements—and more that you can read about on our website—aren’t enough to convince someone of possible energy savings, our building will achieve USGBC LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge petal certification, LIFI Net Zero Energy certification, an anticipated Energy Star score of 100, and exceed the Architecture 2030 Challenge.

We intend to share what we have learned on this building through presentations, white papers, and blog posts during construction and operation. Once we’re in the building gin late 2015, we would be delighted to show you around.

Come visit and join us in our excitement for this breakthrough building!


“This building will create delight when entered, health and productivity when occupied, and regret when departed." Amory Lovins  , RMI Co-Founder and Chief Scientist


We are grateful to the many long-time friends and donors who have stepped up with early capital gifts to help make this building a reality. And to our talented team of experts —thank you for your passion and expertise to make this building the best it can be.

•ZGF Architects (architect of record)
•JE Dunn (general contractor)
•Graybeal Architects (local architect)
•Architectural Applications (high-performance design consultant)
•PAE Consulting Engineers, INC (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, IT)
•DHM Design (landscape architect)
•David Nelson & Associates, LLC (lighting designer)
•True North Management (owners representative)
•Sopris Engineering, LLC (civil engineer)
•KPFF Consulting Engineers (structural engineers)
•TG Malloy (land planner)
•Resource Engineering Group (commissioning)

http://blog.rmi.org/blog_...s_groundbreaking_building
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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2014, 06:05:19 pm »
Net-Zero Neighborhoods Gaining Traction  


Emily Hois
 October 10, 2014

The largest net-zero neighborhood in North America will be constructed more than a mile above sea level. All 308 houses in the Geos Neighborhood in Arvada, Colo. will harness sunlight and the earth’s core to generate as much energy as the homes consume.

But before the solar and geothermal technology comes into play, the design of these cottages and multi-family dwellings will reduce energy needs by 80 percent through efficiency concepts including passive solar collection and extreme air tightness. In fact, the layout of these residences at 5,540 feet will enable the homes to collect 60 percent of their winter heating needs through sunshine permeating the windows.

Homes Echo Values


Thanks to its monetary and environmental savings, energy efficiency is valued by both residents and housing developers along Colorado’s Front Range. Just ask New Town Builders. The Denver-based developer was one of the first in Colorado to offer production-scale net-zero homes, incorporating a 9.9 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system, in addition to energy saving appliances and efficiency designs. Originally priced in the mid $400,000s, New Town’s net-zero homes cost about $27,000 more than its homes without zero energy features.

For the second year in a row, New Town Builders was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy for its innovation and energy efficiency, while maintaining interior comfort and durability. The company is also Colorado’s first production builder to include solar panels as a standard feature on its single-family homes in Denver.

Financial Obstacles

Today’s green building materials have a longer lifespan — between 20 and 50 years — which reduces maintenance costs, reveals Regency Builders President Jon Schoenheider. “A home built in 2014 saves almost 80 percent more in energy costs than homes built 10-plus years ago,” Schoenheider said.

Although the savings generated by net-zero residences can total several hundred dollars each month, the energy-saving features are seldom taken into account by mortgage underwriters. Therefore, it can be difficult to finance a net-zero home — even for the most seemingly-eligible buyer.

Offsetting Energy with Community Solar

Individuals who are unable to qualify for a mortgage on a net-zero home, or those who aren’t ready to buy a new house can still offset their household’s energy use — with community solar.

For example, Boulder-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC) allows any homeowner, renter, business or municipality to purchase enough photovoltaic (PV) panels to zero out their energy consumption. The solar panels are located in a centralized solar array that serves all residents within a given utility territory, such as the Denver Community Solar Arrays that serve Xcel Energy customers. Instead of the clean energy being generated and consumed by a single residence, the solar power is fed back to the utility grid and enables an entire community to benefit from locally-sourced, renewable energy.

Mainstream by 2020?

But for those determined to live in a net-zero dwelling, more options are becoming available every month. SunPower and KB Homes have just announced a partnership to build "double" net-zero energy homes that will feature solar electric panels and battery back-up, in addition to energy-efficient appliances and water recycling.

As net-zero communities continue to be tested by housing developers across the country, some experts predict that these buildings could hit the mainstream market as early as 2020. 


The original article was posted on the CEC blog.
http://www.renewableenerg...borhoods-gaining-traction
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AGelbert

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The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2014, 02:16:51 pm »
10/21/2014 01:54 PM     
Passive House Retrofit Provides Homes for Homeless Families

SustainableBusiness.com News

One of the few buildings in the US certified to "Passive House" standards will be home to low income and formerly homeless families in Washington DC. 

Called The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons, the deep retrofit of three blighted buildings combines state-of-the-art environmental design with affordable rents and support services for homeless families.

36 formerly homeless and low income families will not only have below-market rents, they will also get help finding employment, along with other services for youth and families. A third of the apartments are reserved for families with more intensive needs.


"Our goal is sustainability, not just in the environmental sense
, but in an economic sense to keep these families in a stable, supportive situation," says Polly Donaldson, executive director of the nonprofit co-developer Transitional Housing Corporation.

(graphics at link)
http://www.sustainablebus.../go/news.display/id/25964
 Before:

Green Building Passive House Before

After, but still ugly, unfortunately:

Green Building Passive House After


The deep energy retrofit includes super-insulation, an air-tight
 building shell, energy recovery ventilation, tuned solar shading & high performance windows and extremely efficient active space conditioning, resulting in 60-90% lower energy demand than conventional buildings.
   

That's in addition to renovated kitchen and bathrooms, façade improvements, a common laundry room and a community room with computer workstations.

 The development team: Zavos Architecture+Design, Hamel Builders, JDC Construction, Passive to Positive, Entellis Collaborative, Advanced Consulting Engineers, AMT Consulting Engineers, and SK&A DC. Transitional Housing Corporation functions as co-developer, landlord, and service provider.

Weinberg Commons is one of just 21 apartment buildings nationwide that are seeking Passive House certification, the most stringent standards to date that achieve net-zero energy buildings.   ;D

Driving growth of affordable, high performance buildings is one of six overarching goals of the ambitious Sustainable DC plan.   

Transitional Housing Corporation, which provides housing and
 comprehensive support services for over 500 homeless and at-risk families in Washington DC, purchased the complex.   

http://www.sustainablebus.../go/news.display/id/25964
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2014, 07:19:14 pm »
Green Idea House


100% Renewable Energy Goal Achieved: Net Zero, Carbon Emissions Free , Cost-Effective Home Retrofit 

Location: Hermosa Beach, California, USA






Summary:

The Green Idea House is a simple and replicable – yet cost effective – case study in creating a ‘net zero energy and zero carbon’ home in Coastal California and similar regions. Net zero energy means that the house will annually produce as much energy as it consumes, and zero carbon means that the house will not produce any carbon emissions.

This approach accelerates progress toward the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal that “All new residential construction in California will be zero net energy by 2020.” The local investor owned utility Southern California Edison chose it as the cornerstone case study to facilitate the transformation of residential construction to net zero energy by 2020, studying a real project on a constrained lot being undertaken by motivated residents with a limited budget.

When the Fortunato family needed to expand and remodel their modest home on a small city lot, the prospect of building green was daunting and the learning curve steep. As a result, they felt compelled to share what they were learning and create a community around the idea that anyone should be able to build affordably, sustainably, and with energy efficiency in mind.    

The process of designing, constructing and showcasing this project created a robust collaborative involving private, public and non-profit organizations. The Fortunatos used this team, as well as their own passionate persistence and curiosity, to identify and utilize materials that had the lowest lifecycle ecological impact, while still being affordable and readily available.

The final outcome was a remodel that, at $200/square foot (before factoring in federal and state incentives for solar panels and efficiency upgrades), cost below average for the area, reduced the home's energy load by 80%,   :o  ;Dand created a house that, to date, makes more power than it uses. The Fortunatos plan to use the excess power in the future to charge electric vehicles., which they intend to purchase to replace their gas powered cars.   The return on investment (ROI) for the 6.5 kilowatts of solar panels, one of the most expensive elements of the retrofit, is approximately 8 years. The home is also healthy, as the Fortunato family made sure to eliminate VOC's, outside pollutants, and other toxins wherever possible.


The Green Idea House has attracted thousands of visitors wanting to learn about the Fortunato's innovative project and how they achieved it. The effort helped inspire the local City of Hermosa Beach to pursue a Carbon Neutral plan, for which the city has received state funding for a feasibility study.

Project Highlights:

• Supports state and city goals (including California's climate legislation AB 32, which aims to curb the state's greenhouse gas emissions)

• Demonstrates cost effectiveness and influences others to reduce energy,  water, waste, toxicity and greenhouse gas emissions

• Provides a case study demonstrating sustainability methods and construction techniques that can be applied to other projects and identifies City codes that are not sustainability-friendly

• Stayed within current building codes and standards to reinforce the feasibility of the average citizen being able to replicate the principles of the project

• Supports local businesses and non-profits by creating partnerships that bridge the gap between good ideas and the opportunity for market transformation

• As a result, the Green Idea House won Los Angeles County’s 2012 Green Leadership Award.

Photo Gallery (Daily Breeze)

Links:www.greenideahouse.com  Hermosa Beach couple's remodel aims to inspire eco-friendly methods: www.dailybreeze.com/ci_20404209/hermosa-beach-couples-remodel-aims-inspire-eco-friendly

http://www.go100percent.o...5BstartLon%5D=-96.9421388
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2014, 09:09:43 pm »
World's Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer Opens Garden  ??? Factory  in India   

SustainableBusiness.com News

You wouldn't expect the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer to have a "garden factory," but Hero Motocorp just opened one of many planned in India.

 Designed by iconic green architectural firm William McDonough + Partners, it demonstrates what they call "Octa-Generation."   That means the building captures or generates eight things: electrical energy, heating, cooling, water from the air, carbon dioxide for rooftop greenhouses, food, jobs on the roof, and air quality for people working in the building.

It's been awarded LEED-Platinum from the Indian Green Building Council, with the highest scores for any factory. It combines a  1.5 megawatt solar system, extensive daylighting, a green roof and rooftop greenhouses. An interior ‘bio-wall' of vegetation filters indoor air.

McDonough Hero Factory

"We believe in giving back to the environment as much as we take from it. And that is why Hero has kept the green concept in focus while building this ‘Garden Factory'. As leaders in the automotive industry, we fully realize our responsibility as an opinion leader in the fast changing industrial environment. With the knowledge that a cleaner, pollution-free environment is the only way forward 
, we are ushering in an era of change. Today, we are living up to that commitment by unveiling the first of our ‘Green Concept' manufacturing unit which will serve as a template for our upcoming production facilities to replicate," says Pawan Munjal, CEO of Hero MotoCorp. 

McDonough is also leading the design teams for Hero Motocorp's new solar-powered Research & Development Center, which opens next year.
 


McDonough Hero Factory1

 Hero Motocorps parent, Hero Group is involved in many industries, from IT to real estate, and its latest venture is Hero Future Energies, where it plans to develop 1 gigawatt of solar and wind energy by 2017. 

You may know McDonough's work from Ford's Rouge Manufacturing Center - home to the largest green roof in North America -  NASA's net-zero energy and water Sustainability Base - or Method's new factory that's topped by an urban farm  in Chicago. Or you might know them for their cradle-to-cradle certification.

http://www.sustainablebus.../go/news.display/id/26026
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2014, 07:46:55 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/w...p;feature=player_embedded

Unique Concept   


  This is one of the MOST unique and beautiful tiny living spaces we have seen- and it's made out of a shipping container!

 Measuring only 10 square meters, this little cozy space has it all: a real living room and bedroom (well.. you can't exactly stand up in either but they do the job for sleeping and lounging) a kitchen, office space and a terrific bathroom!

 Creating a comfortable space with 10 square meters to work with is a real accomplishment in itself. This house is also off grid, with solar panels and rainwater collection.

 Way to go Brenda Kelly!


 --Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com
http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.236Tb0Dp.dpuf
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