Green Building

New Green Building Websites


Achieving a green building demands a holistic approach, far beyond a little recycled plastic decking here, a few solar panels there, and a coat of low-VOC paint, says Steven Winters Associates, organizers of a new web site, the Whole Building Design Guide. Its producers hope to educate designers in environmentally sound design and simplify access to criteria and standards. www.wbdg.orgAnother site, Roadmaps to Energy Efficiency, is a step-by-step guide to retrofitting commercial properties to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. There are three ways (RoadMaps) to do it: do it yourself, hire an energy consultant firm, or work with an energy service company. Case studies and calculators demonstrate the benefits that have been achieved in buildings throughout the country.

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Build It Green – Resources

DOE Unveils EnergyPlusThe Department of Energy (DOE) has improved on its widely used DOE-2 software with its new release, EnergyPlus. The computer program allows architects, engineers, building owners and managers to dramatically lower energy use in buildings while optimizing building performance. The earlier version saved a total of $20 billion, according to DOE.EnergyPlus improves the simulation of whole building approaches in design, planning and construction. Like DOE-2, users can calculate the impact of different heating, cooling and ventilating equipment, and various types of lighting and windows to maximize building energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Now, users can also simulate the effect of window blinds, electrochromic window glazings and complex daylighting systems. Some of the buildings that have benefited from the program are the Pentagon, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco Airport, Intel and American Express corporate headquarters, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Wisconsin. Download EnergyPlus: [sorry this link is no longer available]After you’ve used EnergyPlus to optimize energy performance, you can turn to Atlantic Energy System’s Clean Power Estimator to do the same for solar systems.Enter your zip code and get an estimate of the net annual cost of a PV system (residential or commercial) in your location. The […]

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Bits and Bytes

Ford Motor Company is the first company to offer employees a SRI option in their 401k plan, the Domini Social Equity Fund. Ford’s 401k plan is the ninth largest defined contribution plan in the U.S.It’s rare for a national poll to find that Americans rank the environment as a higher priority than economic development, but that is what a recent Los Angeles Times poll concluded – 50 percent versus 36 percent. Respondents to the nationwide survey indicated that withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty was a mistake for President Bush and that pollution is getting worse. By a margin of 2-1, respondents believe that government oversight on businesses is necessary when it comes to environmental protection. If the law passes, the UK will be the first country to introduce a voluntary trading system of municipal waste landfill permits. The government expects it to reduce the cost of complying with the EU 1999 landfill directive. [sorry this link is no longer available]The newest division in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is the NJ Green Homes office. Its mission is “to fundamentally improve the environmental performance, energy efficiency, quality, and affordability of housing in NJ.” It will use advocacy, education and […]

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The House That Soy Built


A 65 X 40-foot demonstration home sits on the grounds of Farm Science Review, an annual outdoor farm exhibition near London, Ohio. Constructed by the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board, the “House That Soy Built” showcases the many ways soy beans can be substituted for chemical and petroleum products commonly used in buildings. Last fall, 150,000 visitors saw soy-based plywood, concrete sealer, plastics, carpet backing, adhesives, coatings and inks, lubricants, and solvents. The living room displays many products including carpet backing, candles, tabletops and fabric dye. The house will be updated each year as new soy products are developed. This year, all the lumber will be replaced with soy-adhesive finger-jointed lumber, and another room will added to display other soy products. Howell Cindy:

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