Google bets on massive heat pump system in pursuit of LEED Platinum at new campus

Adele Peters, writing for Fast Company: At a construction site on Google’s new Bay View campus–a few miles from its headquarters in Mountain View, on NASA-owned land near the San Francisco Bay–cranes lift tubing high in the air and drop it into holes that descend 80 feet into the ground. It’s a step that will … Continue reading Google bets on massive heat pump system in pursuit of LEED Platinum at new campus

Net-Positive Earth Moving Equipment?

Massive earth moving equipment ranks among some of the heaviest and most costly machinery in the world, outside of experimental particle physics, of course… Not surprisingly, the mostly diesel-powered mammoth vehicles typically employed for major infrastructure projects require a great deal of that diesel fuel to get the job done. Considering that in many such … Continue reading Net-Positive Earth Moving Equipment?

California: It ain’t easy being a green builder (but there are some real opportunities)

San Diego’s Building Industry Association played host to an outstanding and dynamic presentation earlier this morning on the topic of energy and the 2016 California building codes that went into effect at the beginning of this year.

The panelists included a great mix of building professionals and thought leaders that don’t merely speculate on the impact of green building — they live it:

Continue reading “California: It ain’t easy being a green builder (but there are some real opportunities)”

Without constant monitoring, solar PV efficiency remains limited

Solar panels leveraging photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight into electricity are notoriously inefficient. According to research by the International Energy Agency, one way to improve PV efficiency is through the implementation of Statistical Performance Monitoring combined with some advanced machine-learning. In their report, the researchers identified 4 different methodologies for improving solar panel efficiency, … Continue reading Without constant monitoring, solar PV efficiency remains limited

Why does actual building performance differ so much from energy modeling?

Energy modeling is not exactly a brand new science, but it certainly hasn’t been around very long, either.

In essence, energy modeling is a software-based approach to predicting how much energy a given building will use based on its location, orientation, wall/roof/slab design, windows, doors, etc. In California, for example, energy modeling is a critical aspect of designing any project and carries a great deal of influence on the permitting process. In Europe, there are very real country-wide energy usage agreements that set measurable goals for building performance. Continue reading “Why does actual building performance differ so much from energy modeling?”

Tesla will not be alone in the solar PV roofing tile market

Apple’s success as a company under Steve Jobs’ leadership was rarely about being first to market. Rather, Apple’s most successful products so far (Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch) were challengers in existing product categories (personal computing, MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, wearables). Apple’s entry into established categories was disruptive and ultimately successful due to superior … Continue reading Tesla will not be alone in the solar PV roofing tile market

What happens when actual performance varies greatly from the energy model’s predictions?

Britain has a problem. Chances are, the problem that Britain is facing also affects many jurisdictions in the US. What is this problem? Energy modeling — the process of using sophisticated software to predict future building performance — isn’t as accurate as some industry professionals would like to believe. In other words, the supposed energy … Continue reading What happens when actual performance varies greatly from the energy model’s predictions?

Can a hybrid jet engine and battery combo help California meet renewable energy goals?

As California continues the transition to renewable energy, practical issues sometimes create unforeseen complications. One example: California requires that ALL residential buildings constructed after January 1, 2020 produce at least as much energy as they used. By 2030, all new nonresidential buildings must meet zero net energy requirements.

Additionally, the state is requiring that 50% of existing nonresidential buildings meet the zero net energy requirements by 2030, although some details obviously need to be worked out as far as deciding which 50% of those buildings must comply. Continue reading “Can a hybrid jet engine and battery combo help California meet renewable energy goals?”

Untapping the Big Data of Energy Management through innovative business models

Sanjoy Malik, writing for Green Biz, discusses an issue that is something most building owners, developers, operators and other stakeholders aren’t too familiar with. However, for those of us with experience in improving/optimizing existing buildings, the issue can be a real deal breaker. What’s the problem? Since de-regulation of the energy utilities, the data produced … Continue reading Untapping the Big Data of Energy Management through innovative business models

California Energy Commission’s new rules would impact desktop and laptop computers

New rules proposed by the California Energy Commission would require that both desktop and laptop computers use less energy than is required for current typical models, beginning as early as 2019. According to Reuters, the biggest impact will be on desktops and in order to meet the new energy requirements, it will add an estimated … Continue reading California Energy Commission’s new rules would impact desktop and laptop computers