Nicholas Brown

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.
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Invesco Purchases LEED Platinum Arlington Building For $90M

Invesco Real Estate, an Atlanta-based company, purchased the office complex at 1776 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, West Virginia for $90 million, or $650 per square foot for a total 139,394 square feet. This is the first property under the current US Green Building Council’s Core & Shell certification program to receive LEED Platinum certification in Arlington. The building was developed by Skanska, and it has sustainability-enhancing features such as a building dashboard that enables monitoring of tenants’ energy consumption, air sensors to…

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R.K. Pachauri: India Urgently Needs “Green Buildings”

R.K.Pachauri, an internationally acclaimed environmentalist who chaired the IPCC, said that India urgently needs more green buildings, an especially radical departure from conventional building design. He said: “There has to be radical departure in the construction of new buildings. There is a change in culture which has impacted the consumption of energy, water and other resources. Our rating system has taken stock of buildings and we have prepared a knowhow to get truly green buildings, during an interview with IANS.…

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San Diego Airport Receives LEED Platinum Certification

NORESCO’s Sustainability Services group guided a Green Build terminal expansion at SDIA (San Diego International Airport), earning it a LEED (Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design) Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC®), which is the highest LEED certification there is. That means that relatively speaking, this is a stupendously energy-efficient structure! NORESCO managed Terminal 2 West during its design and construction phases. This project, which is the airport’s largest upgrade yet, comprises 10 new gates, a 460,000 square-foot…

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Houses Passes Two Energy Efficiency Bills

The US House of Representatives passed two energy efficiency bills, one of which is to better assist schools with energy-efficient enhancements, and the other instructs the Department of Energy to research the effect of insulation on energy and water usage on federal buildings.   The School Energy Efficiency Bill – H.R. 4092 This bill creates an office within the Department of Energy to “coordinate federal, state and local programs” which will help schools reduce their energy usage, according to The…

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How Ventilation Helps Keep You Cool

There is a common concern about ventilation bringing warm air into rooms. While this is true, it still helps to keep you cool by blowing out the even warmer air inside your home, and by helping to reduce humidity which makes you feel warmer. In many cases, it may be warmer inside your home than it is outside because your home will absorb heat from the sun and then trap it. Ventilation blows the resulting hot air outside. How Ventilation…

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Ford Reduces Water Usage Enough For 1 Billion Showers

As water scarcity is reported around the world, some large organizations have tried to reduce their environmental footprint by conserving water. In some regions wasting water means someone else will have to do without. To address this growing problem and save some money to boot, Ford Motor Company has initiated a water conservation effort at its facilities globally. This has resulted in a water usage reduction of 61 percent (10 billion gallons), which is equivalent to 1 billion 5-minute showers. Overall, the…

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48 More Kohl’s Store Branches Given Green Certification

Kohl’s has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings) certification for 48 more of its store branches. This brings the number of LEED-certified Kohl’s stores up to 432. That is 37% of their 1,160 stores. Stores that qualify for this certification include Energy Star certification, commitment to green power, waste recycling, water-saving plumbing fixtures and participation in green cleaning and sustainable purchasing practices, according to Kohl’s. Kohl’s is clearly making a significant effort to improve the sustainability…

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Certain Building Designs Make It Difficult To Live Without A/C

I have made numerous efficiency-enhancing suggestions to people who can’t afford air conditioning. However, they said that their homes’ designs can’t accommodate those enhancements easily. After encountering that road block so many times, I decided it was necessary to discuss it (along with potential solutions) in this article. Major Reasons Why People Struggle To Reduce A/C Usage Lack Of Burglar Bars/Security Bars Why would the presence of burglar bars be so important to cooling? I’ll tell you a brief story…

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4 Major Cooling Efficiency Myths

Swapnil Shah pointed out five major cooling efficiency myths related to cooling, but I have my own opinions to add on four of them. I think everyone needs to know these. #1: Air Conditioners Must Run All The Time To Maintain A Cool Temperature This is only true in certain situations. For example: An undersized air conditioner won’t be able to cool a room off, therefore it has to run all the time. An adequately large unit (for example: a 24,000 BTU unit…

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New York City

New York to Provide Incentives for Zero-Net-Energy Buildings

The state of New York will provide $34 million of incentives to individuals and zero-net-energy homes (buildings which generate more energy than they consume). This works out to be $2,000 to $8,000 per household. The Real Deal says that “A zero-net-energy building relies on, among other things, solar panels, insulation and geothermal heating and cooling systems to balance out energy consumption”. This is often the case. However, geothermal heating and cooling systems are not required for this (but they do offer great…

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Trina Solar Is The First To Guide Over 1 GW Of Solar Module Shipments

Trina Solar released its Q1 2014 financial results on May 21st. It revealed that Trina Solar’s profitability and module shipment guidance have improved for Q2’14. The company has guided 950 MW to 1,010 MW of module shipments this quarter (Q2’14), marking the first time that a photovoltaic solar module company has provided guidance to more than 1 GW of module shipments within one quarter. According to the DisplaySearch blog: “Looking back, Yingli Green Energy was close to this benchmark during Q4’13, with record industry…

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Bacardi Enhances The Efficiency Of Its Rum Facility

Bacardi, a wine company based in Puerto Rico, has been building its reputation for sustainability since 2006. Last year, it announced that it significantly reduced its water and energy usage. It is now taking the next step towards sustainability with the installation of solar skylights, which are intelligently designed ‘windows’ that allow plenty of sunlight into the rum warehouse, helping to keep it warm and nicely lit during winter, reducing heating demand, and the need for electric lighting. In addition to…

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Summer Is Approaching! How To Keep Yourself Cool.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the bitterly cold winter is ending. However, the summer heat is going to cause discomfort all over again. Not to worry! I’m here to provide you with cheap ways to keep cool this summer, and without any expensive upgrades or purchases. Drink cold water. If you don’t have a standalone water cooler, fill a pitcher with water and keep it in the refrigerator, or put ice in your water. Use a 16″ to 20″ standing…

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Environmental Group Honours A Power Company For Environmental Stewardship?

The Electric Power Board (EPB), was honoured by the Sierra Club environmental group for the highly energy-efficient design of its headquarters building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In June, the 7-year-old building finally received LEED certification, which is for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. “EPB’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people. For us, improving the quality of life in our building made sense,” according to Elizabeth Hammitt, EPB’s administrator for environmental policy. To EPB, that entailed water…

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IKEA To Begin A New Rooftop Solar Project

IKEA now wants to install another rooftop solar power plant in Massachusetts. IKEA has been on a roll recently, and has been installing solar systems for many stores across the United States, China, and the United Kingdom as part of its 100% clean energy initiative. They even intend to start selling solar panels in the U.K. IKEA partnered with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp for this new project. Construction of the project will commence next spring, and should be completed by next…

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2-Year Review Of Solar Water Heater

I have been using a solar thermal water heater for nearly two years, and am now ready to share my experience with it. First: solar thermal water heaters (often just called solar water heaters) operate by absorbing sunlight into insulated (by vacuum) glass tubes where it turns into heat. That heat accumulates in the water until it becomes adequately hot. The hot water is stored in a tank. Apart from that, the heater was said to be equipped with a…

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A Way To Reduce The Cost Of Solar Group Purchases

The cost of going solar can be reduced significantly by pooling multiple residents’ money to purchase everyone’s’ solar panels at once to enjoy quantity discounts, due to the large quantity of solar panels purchased. However, is it possible to reduce the cost even further? Yes. The cost of installing rooftop solar panels is extremely high, even higher than the cost of the solar panels. One approach to lowering contractor fees, is to make contractors compete with each other. If you…

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Energex: Rooftop Solar Is Destroying Our Business Model

Joining the rest of the utility power companies, Energex, a Queensland electricity network operator, believes that rooftop solar is destroying its traditional business model. The concept of generating power at a centralized location, and then distributing it to thousands of people via an electricity grid was created to benefit from economies of scale, while keeping the source of power plant pollutant and noise emissions out of residential areas. However, such benefits of scale apply only to fossil-fueled and nuclear power…

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