Imagine if the products employed in every day construction were manufactured with renewable resources, alleviating the need to use virgin materials. This is one of the objectives of LEED, among others, including improving indoor environmental quality and creating innovations that reduce inefficiencies in water and other resource consumption. With all the changes occurring in the environmental landscape, and the rise in value of green building, the LEED AP accreditation is becoming increasingly authoritative.
While scientists recognized the fear of climate change long ago, much of the populace refuses to make out the warning signs clearly presented. With land and ocean temperatures rising, surface temperatures drastically rising, and an increase in atmospheric C02, the consequences of global warming are becoming unstoppable. In his first inaugural speech, President Obama stated he would, “roll back the specter of a warming planet.” As the President’s first year ended, little change was made; he supported an expansion in oil and gas drilling while investing in developing “clean coal.”
At the start of the second Obama term, the President vowed to respond to the threat of climate change. Our country is about to face this year’s most delicate environment situation: the Keystone XL pipeline. Read the rest of this entry »
We are beginning to see an increased sophistication of the business models in the residential solar sector. Historically, solar energy in the residential sector has largely been inaccessible to the everyman due to the high initial investment of purchasing and installing the panels.
To combat this issue, solar manufacturers and installers, often separate companies themselves, connected homeowners with the available grants, loans and/or renewable energy financing firms. This initiative helped many homeowners realize that rooftop solar panels were affordable for them. Read the rest of this entry »
The Investment Tax Credit has been one of the major factors of growth for the solar energy industry since its establishment in 2006. The ITC is a 30% tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties. Following its success, it has helped annual solar installation grow by over 1,600% since 2006. The ITC was given an eight year extension in 2008 until December 31st 2016, when it will drop to 10%. Many professionals are now wondering what will become of an industry that has been driven so much by incentives when these will be gone. Read the rest of this entry »
The wide variety of solar technologies being developed by scientists and engineers is permitting the almost endless array of commercial applications that can be powered by the sun. Since solar technologies differ in terms of their energy conversion efficiency, cost effectiveness, weight, flexibility, durability under extreme weather conditions and unique balance of system requirements, the possibilities for developing marketable technologies using solar panels seems impossibly diverse. Three fascinating and unusual areas being explored by visionaries passionate about solar are aircrafts, wearable technologies, and public waste bins.
One of the most amazing technologies being built with solar panels is the zero-emission airplane. Believed to be years away in development, this technology is already in its infancy. Solar Impulse has developed an airplane that is entirely powered by solar energy. It has made successful flights all over the world and is scheduled to fly around the world (day and night) in 2015 as the first solar-powered airplane to achieve this monumental feat. Read the rest of this entry »
The decline in global investments in renewable energy isn’t as worrisome as it may seem, according to the 2014 Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report, released in early April. The report, produced by the Frankfurt School – United Nations Energy Program Collaborating Center, reveals that the falling cost of producing renewable energy technologies is a major part of the equation. Read the rest of this entry »
A challenge contractors often face is convincing homeowners of the many benefits of air sealing. Often times, homeowners see this as no more than an additional expense that they do not need. However, what many homeowners do not realize is that air sealing can make a great difference in air quality while also lowering energy bills. As a contractor, you want to do your best to look out for your clients. Here are some tips to convince them of the benefits of air sealing. By utilizing these, you may be able to increase air sealing sales, which benefits not only you as a contractor but the homeowners in the long term as well.
Visuals can be a great tool to help convince people about the benefits of air sealing. Some studies have come to the conclusion that 65% of people are visual learners and the effective use of visuals can help decrease learning time, improve comprehension, enhance retrieval, and increase retention. I recommend showing a chart like the one above from the EPA when explaining air sealing benefits to a homeowner. Read the rest of this entry »
The case to ban fracking is growing more popular in a society that is becoming more environmentally aware. Fracking, technically known as hydraulic fracturing, is defined as the process in which “fractures in rocks below the earth’s surface are opened and widened by injecting chemicals and liquids at high pressure: used especially to extract natural gas or oil.” While fracking has its advantages, politics is strongly divided over this issue.
The state of Maryland faces a split in opinions over this energy source; Read the rest of this entry »
Getting a LEED certification is not just a way of demonstrating a commitment to environmental wellness; it’s also a way of enhancing the asset value of a building.
More than 30 major cities across the US enacted disclosure requirements last year, requiring commercial building owners to disclose green building performance metrics. With the focus of the green building industry gaining importance, the practice of greening a building spans from existing constructions to new design projects.
Business owners, investors and entrepreneurs will parrot the saying until the end of time: “You have to spend money to make money.” Counterintuitive, perhaps, when it first hits the ears, but it is one of the few steadfast truisms of commerce, when done right. Businesses aren’t the only beneficiaries of this stream of logic. Individuals have countless options to strategically allocate their spending to see impressive returns. And no, I’m not talking about stock options.
I’m talking about you, yourself, and your skills. You are, after all, your most valuable asset. Invest correctly in yourself and you’ll experience the most sustainable, risk-free gain of any expense you’ve ever incurred. Read the rest of this entry »