33% Increase in Zero Net Energy homes in 2016 from previous year

California will require that all residential housing comply with zero net energy requirements beginning in 2020. My own personal conversations with many of the builders in Southern California points to a real reluctance — if not outright denial, in some cases — about meeting those goals. Patrick Sisson, writing for Curbed, reports that across North … Continue reading 33% Increase in Zero Net Energy homes in 2016 from previous year

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?”

University researchers develop a more crack-resistant concrete using recycled tires

According to a press release by the University of British Columbia, researchers have developed a concrete formulation that includes recycled tires for a more resilient and sustainable building material: The researchers experimented with different proportions of recycled tire fibres and other materials used in concrete—cement, sand and water—before finding the ideal mix, which includes 0.35 … Continue reading University researchers develop a more crack-resistant concrete using recycled tires

At 12 stories, Portland’s Framework will be North America’s tallest wood building upon completion

Lucy Wang, writing for Inhabitat: The nation’s tallest wooden high-rise will soon take shape in Portland, Oregon. Funded by a $1.5 million-dollar award from the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, the innovative timber building, named Framework, will be built from domestically sourced and engineered wood products. LEVER Architecture designed the mixed-use high-rise as a … Continue reading At 12 stories, Portland’s Framework will be North America’s tallest wood building upon completion

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

Breaking down the pricing (and potential risks) of Tesla’s new solar roof system

Inhabitat’s Kristine Lofgren reports that the order form and website for Tesla’s new solar roofing system is now live. In a previous article, Inhabitat had the following to say:

The seamless look of the new technology is thanks to “integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware” according to Tesla’s website. Electrek said these features come from Zep Solar, a mounting equipment company SolarCity acquired before Tesla’s acquisition. Zep Solar engineers designed the rail-less system Solar City employed to slash solar installation times in half.

Continue reading “Breaking down the pricing (and potential risks) of Tesla’s new solar roof system”

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?

Tesla modifies roll-out of glass solar-powered roof tiles… plus more details!

Business Insider’s Danielle Muoio on Friday provided the following update regarding Tesla’s ambitious and potentially disruptive photovoltaic glass roof tiles:

CEO Elon Musk tweeted in March that the company would begin taking orders for its four solar roof shingle options this month. But during a TED Talk Friday, Musk said that two of the tile options won’t be available for purchase until early 2018.
Continue reading “Tesla modifies roll-out of glass solar-powered roof tiles… plus more details!”