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

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?”

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

Lots Happening in San Diego This Week For Construction and Legal Professionals

For the week of September 9th, 2013, there are some important events that professionals in the construction and legal industries should be aware of. Zero Energy Zero Water Building Conference My colleagues and co-conspirators at the San Diego Green Building Council will be putting on a really cool mini-conference focusing on how Net Zero Energy/Water … Continue reading Lots Happening in San Diego This Week For Construction and Legal Professionals

Competition among Starbucks retail locations to improve energy efficiency

Please note my confession down below… Starbucks is once again blazing new trails in retail by combining gamification with sustainability: The retailer plans to launch on Tuesday a competition that will pit 10 of its stores against one another to see who can cut electricity use the most in 30 days. The competition is part … Continue reading Competition among Starbucks retail locations to improve energy efficiency

Defects at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant far from resolved

The problems faced by operators of the San Onofre power plant appear to be just beginning: California’s utility regulator may investigate how much the outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is going to cost electricity customers. … A 95-page report released by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday states that the generators … Continue reading Defects at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant far from resolved