Tag Archive for energy information administration

Growing Bricks Creates New Opportunities for Sustainable Building

bioMason Brick Growing Bricks Creates New Opportunities for Sustainable BuildingThe search for sustainable building materials has technology firms and construction companies looking in some surprising places. One such firm, bioMason, found a way to create construction-grade bricks from, believe it or not, bacteria — bacterial byproducts to be specific.

From Bacteria to Bricks

Bacteria create natural cement (similar to coral) in as little as five days. This cement is combined with sand to form bricks capable of holding up to the pressures of residential and commercial construction. Essentially, the bioMason brick is Read more

LEED vs. Green Globes: The Battle for Sustainable Building Supremacy

greenbuilding 300x274 LEED vs. Green Globes: The Battle for Sustainable Building SupremacyThere’s a new kid on the green construction standard block. The Green Globes rating system is being touted as a less-expensive method of rating the sustainability of construction projects. Until recently, LEED was the leading certification program that offered ratings for green architectural design and development, construction and maintenance. Now, LEED is facing competition from Portland, Oregon-based Green Globes, causing controversy and competition throughout the green building industry.

Differences & Similarities

Both LEED and the Green Globes provide national/state/local certification for sustainable building projects; however, there are quite a few ways in which these two systems differ.

  • LEED is based on a system of 110 points whereas the Green Globes utilizes a 1,000 point system.  Each requires a minimum of points in order to be certified. Read more

Why Smart Cities Are the Cure for America’s Aging Power Grid

smart cities 3 Why Smart Cities Are the Cure for America’s Aging Power GridSmart cities are all the rage with urban planners. But does this mean that the smart city design is right for every city? And what about the United States — will it fall behind and never catch up? Here are some of the questions city planners are asking.

What is a Smart City?

The term smart city applies to cities aiming to improve quality of life for citizens by updating infrastructure with smart power grids fueled by renewable energy. Smart cities can reduce traffic congestion, cut CO2 emissions and reduce operating Read more

Essential Design Factors of Net Zero Energy Buildings

NetZeroLeaf Essential Design Factors of Net Zero Energy BuildingsNet zero energy buildings are structures, either site-built or modular, that produce as much energy as they consume, resulting in zero additional energy required from outside sources. While defining the parameters of what makes a building net zero certified had previously been a bit hazy, the Living Building Challenge recently developed more defined criteria. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the essential design factors in every net zero energy building.

Good Design Dictates Lower Energy Needs

Good design is the start of every net zero energy building. Before considering renewable Read more

The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage Disclosure

Lightbulb 300x225 The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage DisclosureAs global green initiatives continue to increase and energy efficiency remains a priority, the question of energy usage disclosure has become a highly contested issue. As its name suggests, energy usage disclosure is the requirement that building managers report the total energy consumption rates of their respective properties.

Much of the country already complies with such informational reporting (specifically Northeastern states), however California, due to state law AB 1103, and Chicago now require that commercial building owners disclose their energy use. Other major cities, including New York, Austin, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are Read more

ModSpace Opens New Branch Office to Better Serve Customers in Northeastern, PA

 ModSpace Opens New Branch Office to Better Serve Customers in Northeastern, PA

Left to right: Mike Hoover, Sales Representative, Keven O’Brien, Director of Sales, John Lieffrig, Vice President of Sales; John Sipper, Hanover Township Manager; Lucy Sassi and Carl Worthington, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Al Walker; Hanover Police Chief; Jon Penman Branch Manager

The newest of our 80-plus network of branch locations opened today in Hanover Township, PA, a neighborhood in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region. The new sales office and storage yard will allow us to better serve customers throughout Northeast Pennsylvania with a local fleet of mobile offices, ModSafe portable storage containers and our innovative HQ ultimate onsite office.

“Opening this branch and investing greater resources in the region is a logical step for us,” said ModSpace VP of Sales John Lieffrig. “Growth in the region, due in part to the Marcellus Shale, has steadily increased demand for our temporary and permanent buildings. By moving part of our fleet closer to our customers we can improve delivery times, service intervals and overall customer service.”

Hanover Township Manager John Sipper, Police Chief Al Walker and several area representatives, vendors and customers were on hand for the event.

“It’s a great benefit to the township,” commented Sipper. “When businesses move into the area, it brings new residents and revenue. We’re happy to have ModSpace here.”

Though the grand opening was today, the branch has been ramping up operations for the last couple months, having already delivered several mobile offices and portable storage containers across the area.

For more information the ModSpace product and services available in Northeastern PA, please call the branch at 570.733.3193 or visit them online at ModSpace.com.

Middle East Cities Emerge as Global Leaders in Sustainability

 Middle East Cities Emerge as Global Leaders in SustainabilityWhile it’s the U.S. Green Building Council that sets the standard for LEED certification, two cities in the Middle East are quickly emerging as the world leaders in sustainable cities, or cities with a goal of net zero energy and waste. That means they produce as much energy, resources and waste as they consume.

Population and economic growth due to the Middle East’s oil reserves are the primary drivers in its aggressive push toward sustainability. With population expected to grow exponentially in the next 25 years, sustainable cities can offset the gradual depletion of the natural resources and with them, the region’s primary export and profit center. Here’s a look at innovative projects currently evolving in the region.

Read more

Rethinking the Definition of Green Building

 Rethinking the Definition of Green BuildingRising energy costs and global climate change are compelling arguments for sustainable construction. Yet some builders, developers and owners don’t see the value in green construction, particularly as it relates to their bottom line.

Good, Not Green

At the 2013 Greenprints sustainability conference, LEED founder Rob Watson suggested “eliminating ‘green’ as a modifier,” noting that “there are good buildings, and there are bad buildings…Good buildings save energy, water, time and effort — but perhaps most importantly to their occupants, they save money.”

That’s not to say that companies aren’t building green. LEED has helped spur energy-efficient construction Read more

New Policy Recommendations for the U.S. Energy Boom

 New Policy Recommendations for the U.S. Energy Boom

Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-profit organization created in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George J. Mitchell, recently convened a group of industry professionals, environmentalists and law makers to evaluate the current energy boom and make recommendations for a balanced approach that secures a better future for America. Here is a brief list of those recommendations as reported in a recent article by CNNMoney.com:

  • Fracking should continue, but tighter regulations on the practice should be imposed, particularly at the federal level
  • Read more

Planning Ahead to Prevent Construction Site Accidents

 Planning Ahead to Prevent Construction Site Accidents

Safety is the top concern for every construction firm. Besides the obvious impact on workers, construction accidents can have a devastating impact on customer relationships, your ability to bid and win jobs and, ultimately, your company’s bottom line.

As you approach your next project, here’s a list of high risk areas and some tips for developing a plan to avoid them.

7 Most Common OSHA Violations

7. Hazard Communication
6. Scaffolding
5. Excavations (protective systems)
4. Head Protection
3. Ladders
2. Excavations (general requirements)
1. Fall Protection

Inspect the Site, Recognize the Hazards, Make a Plan

This should seem routine, but inspecting and understanding any unusual hazards associated with a site should be completed before any project starts. Here are some tips for keeping your team safe on the job, Read more