Archive for the ‘Green Construction’ Category

 
 
Green Building Blog: Green Buildings Geared for a Boom
April 10th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Energy-Savings, Green Construction | No Comments »

 

Green building construction continues to boom and the green building industry is expected to almost double by 2020, so says a New York based emerging technology consulting firm, Lux Research. The green building industry in the US is currently at $144 billion and it is expected to grow to about $277 billion in less than 10 years.

Lux Research focuses on looking at "uncovering opportunities" in the green building market and feels that the growth will come from services, materials, and equipment that will be instrumental in creating energy efficiency or reducing the usage of materials in a building. They also state that the biggest growth can come from the energy service companies due to the huge demand that continues to grow at a fast pace.

Lux Research also states that technologies such as rooftop solar systems and and water heating systems will see immense growth with the implementation of new technologies that will create efficiencies.

All in all, sounds like the green building market is the right industry to be in for all of us so I'm for sure looking forward to the growth.

 
 
 
 
Green Building Blog: 3536 Solar Panels to Power the Port of Sacramento
April 1st, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction, Solar Energy | 1 Comment »

 

Wow! A 637-kilowatt solar power system has just been installed at the Port of West Sacramento. This solar power system is expected to supply 100 percent of the electricity needed by the Port of West Sacramento. The solar power system has 3536 solar panels and it covers 90,000 square feet of rooftop.

And best of all? It was installed FREE. Yes, FREE with the 25 year power purchase agreement with Pacific Power Management (PPM).

And the savings it will generate?

The port’s energy costs will be reduced by about $20,000 annually and in the next 25 years, this solar powered system is expected to eliminate over 34 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions.

The system consists of 3,536 solar panels covering 90,000 square feet on the rooftops of two rice warehouse buildings. With the 25-year power purchase agreement, it was installed at no cost to the port by Pacific Power Management (PPM).
 
So question is, why isn't this something that everyone is jumping on and doing? I mean if the initial cost is zero and the savings are apparent, and the environment is sure to get cleaner, what are people waiting for?

 
 
 
 
Green Energy Blog: Federal Stimulus Funds for New York Communities
March 29th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction, Renewable Energy | No Comments »

 

Want to make energy efficient renovations? How about your interest in renewable energy? 

Well, here's a new program that is being proposed to help you get some federal money to finance those energy efficient projects.  Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new program which is designed to help us finance "energy" saving projects. With PACE not only can you save the earth so to speak, but also save your check book from a quick erosion of your hard-earned money.

PACE allows property owners to pay in increments for their energy efficient investments rather than spending all the money up front. This means that you can begin saving money on energy bills and begin seeing the return before paying for the total cost of implementing an energy savings program.

So how will PACE work?

S
Basically as a property owner, if you opt to use PACE, you would agree to an incremental cost to your property taxes for a period of up to 20 years. Property owners do not incur any upfront costs and they benefit from seeing a saving on their energy bill which may exceed the surcharge on their property tax. If a property owner sells the property, this additional cost is transferred to the new property owner.

If homeowners are able to undertake these energy efficiency renovations on a national scale, they could collectively save $21 billion by 2020, as outlined in the OnEarth article mentioned above.  Most residential energy efficiency upgrades can be done in less than a day – and can cut home energy usage by up to 40 percent. Because homes contribute about 20 percent of the country’s climate emissions, these retrofits represent a significant environmental impact in additional to the financial savings homeowners will enjoy.

 
 
 
 
Green Building Blog: Green Construction Focus Continues
March 26th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction | No Comments »

 

The economic conditions appear to be tough for construction workers. February unemployment rates for construction workers grew from 24% to 27% which was disappointing news for all of us in the industry.

But it appears that people seeking careers or jobs in the construction or building industry should find a way to get trained in green construction techniques because that market continues to grow and is expected to have eight million jobs by 2013, according a study published by the US Green Building Council. The study called "Green Jobs Study" shows that currently there are approximately two million "green" jobs and they predict that will be a 32% increase in annual growth in green construction between now until 2013 even though the overall construction market has declined.

So if green buildings will grow, so will the opportunity for people who have green construction experience or training. The facts are indisputable; there is a huge benefit from "building" green not only in energy savings that are quite substantial, but also in reduced operational and maintenance costs. The above study estimates that green construction will save approximately $6 billion in energy costs between now and 2013 but what's impressive is that the operational savings predicted are also significant at almost $4 billion.
 
So bottom line is this; if you are looking for a career in construction, your focus should be on going "green" and learning all that there is to learn in this industry. That's what we are doing here at Centrim Electric and we hope to grow our own expertise in this area with more and more "green" projects.

 
 
 
 
Green Construction Blog: 2010 Sustainability in Construction Symposium
March 17th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction | No Comments »

 

The 2010 Sustainability in Construction Symposium will be held on April 20, 2010 in Los Angeles and will be a huge networking and learning experience for construction and design build professionals. The symposium will include presentations a range of topics designed to encourage companies to go green with sustainable construction practices. Leading experts will discuss sustainable development and educate and motivate environment professionals on the "latest trends, techniques, technologies, and materials in green building", according to symposium officials.

A keynote address will be given by Thomas Smith, NBC Universal's senior vice president of West Coast real estate who will also accept the 2010 Visionary Award in recognition for NBC Universal's Evolution Plan. NBC's Universal Evolution Plan is a long-term development strategy for the company's Universal City property in California in which environmentally-sustainable practices will be employed. It is expected to create thousands of new jobs and revenue for the local economy.

Also speaking will be Mark Rios, founding principal of Rios Clementi Hale Studios. The 2010 Innovators Award will be given to Bloom Energy for its "Bloom Box," which is created to provide clean electricity to homes and businesses. Other speakers will cover topics in the sustainability arena and will discuss the impact of green construction, opportunities, technologies and risks.
 

 
 
 
 
Green Construction Blog: Solar 4 All; New Jersey’s Leadership in Creating Renewable Energy
March 15th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy | 1 Comment »

 

Did you know that New Jersey was the 2nd largest producer of solar-generated power in the country in 2007? Yep, with 70K kilowatts of solar-generated power, New Jersey was 2nd only to California which produced over 528 K kilowatts of solar power. This according to statistics published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) in New Jersey announced a program which would double New Jersey's solar output by 2013. This program is called the SOLAR 4 ALL program in which four solar farms will be built in New Jersey. These solar farms would be built in Trenton, Hamilton, Edison and Linden. The New Jersey PS&G also plans to install thousands of solar panels which will be on pole-mounted utilities.

How much solar power is this new program expected to generate? Over 80,000 kilowatts or enough to power 64,000 homes!

According to New Jersey officials, this may well be the largest installation of solar panels in the world.

Wouldn't it be great if every state implemented a SOLAR 4 ALL program? Think of all the energy we'd be able to save by utilizing earth's most renewable energy.

 

 
 
 
 
Green Energy Blog: Office Windows as Solar Power Generators?
March 10th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Green Construction, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy | No Comments »

 

Office windows as solar power generators? That's just what the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) located in New York plans to do.

Anna Dyson, the head honcho at CASE states that tall buildings have windows with large surface areas which provide a lot of surface to generate power from captured sun's rays. By using a technology called ‘integrated concentrating dynamic solar façade’, a grid of clear pyramids are inserted on a window. These pyramids contain a lens which can focus sunlight onto a highly efficient solar cell by over 400 times intensity. What these pyramids do is they rotate to follow the sun throughout the day and generate the electricity to heat, cool, or light buildings. And these solar cells have a fluid around them to cool them off which also captures the heat that didn't convert into electricity which can also be used for heating or cooling a building.

Of course this technology is expensive and so its implementation may be cost-prohibitive. But someone out there will be sure to create a more cost-effective version of it not too long from now, I'm sure.
 

 

 
 
 
 
Green Energy Blog: Building Environmentally Friendly Living Quarters – Is Jamestown Properties Leading the Pack?
March 5th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Energy-Savings, Green Construction | No Comments »

 

Jamestown Properties, a German commercial real estate investment company, will go "green".  They plan to make small and large changes to make their entire US based $4B building portfolio environmentally friendly.

Simple changes include just using low-flow water fixtures but they also plant to revamp their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

But what's the cost to do all this?? In the millions!!!

But they'll see the Return on Investment for all this "Green" spending from lowered "energy" bills and of course by passing on some of the costs to the tenants in the form of increased rent. They'll also find that their buildings will sell at a higher price too once they become "green", so all in all, a win-win situation for the environment, Jamestown Properties, and tenants who also benefit from more energy efficient living spaces.

Jamestown is an acquisition and management firm located in Cologne, Germany and in the US, in Atlanta. They have invested $12 billion in commercial properties in the United States through private equity funds from German investors.
 
And to help them with all this "green" work, Jamestown acquired a consulting firm in Atlanta which focuses on environmental sustainability. Jamestown is pretty gung-ho in it's "green" mission because they've implemented various programs such as carpooling and bike sharing to help reduce Carbon emissions. They use energy efficient lighting to save lots of energy and they recycle paper and reuse it.

Sounds like Jamestown Properties is leading the pack in creating environmentally friendly spaces.
 

 
 
 
 
Green Energy Blog: Innovative Green Technology
February 19th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Energy-Savings, Green Construction, Solar Energy | 1 Comment »

 

Buildings account for over 40 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S. Buildings also account for over 70% of total electricity consumption. While companies need to focus on building more energy efficient buildings, the reality is that to help reduce carbon pollution, existing buildings need to be made more energy efficient.
 
But will incremental improvements be enough? Or do we need technologies which will reinvent the way we use energy?
 
Here is one example of an innovative technology which truly fits "thinking outside the box":
 
Electrochromic Glass by SageGlass is glass that can go from clear to dark to create energy efficiency. Basically the glass can transition from clear to tinted glass and the tinting can be user-defined automatically or manually. So a  SageGlass window would allow a user to change the tint depending on the changing weather conditions outside.

The company's literature mentions that "SageGlass panes are coated with five layers of ceramic materials. When voltage is applied across the coatings, ions travel from one layer to another layer, where a reversible solid-state change takes place, causing the coating to tint and absorb light. Reversing the polarity of the applied voltage causes the ions to migrate back to their original layer, and the glass returns to its clear state."

Of course innovation ain't cheap. SageGlass glazing is expensive. However
with SageGlass, energy efficiency is increased which results in lower electricity bills and of course a reduction in carbon emissions.

Now think of the carbon reduction potential if SageGlass were used in all those large skyscrapers that have all glass exteriors.

Will the technology used by SageGlass become more cost-effective and more widely used? We'll have to wait and watch.
 

 
 
 
 
Green Building Blog: Ready for Ready-made Green Homes?
February 18th, 2010    Posted by George Trimarche |  Posted in Energy-Savings, Green Construction | No Comments »

 

Ready-made designs for green homes are now available. You can save money by buying these eco-designs and creating a home that saves energy.

Free Green and Fab-Homes are just two of the companies offering green-designs for green-homes. Some of these green-homes can save up to 90% of energy when compared to a standard home.
 
So how do these home designs create green homes?

Well, the homes have amazingly resilient exteriors with strong/thick insulation, windows that are triple-glazed, and floorplans that are compact. And these homes are designed to require minimal heating or cooling.

What'll they think of next? The mind just boggles at the innovation that continues in this field….