Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Building Energy Management Systems Save Energy and Money

Building energy management system

“A Building Energy Management System (BEMS) is an integrated system of software, hardware and services that controls energy use through information and communication technology,” according to The Energy Collective.  “Used primarily in commercial buildings, BEMS technology works by monitoring, automating, and controlling building systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, thermostats, and lighting to increase…

Arctic Circle Dome Home: Energy Efficient & Affordable

This post on the Arctic Circle Dome Home, called the EconoDome,  has been written by Wil Fidroeff. The Arctic Circle is the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the sun can remain continuously below or above the horizon for 24 hours or more. Barrow, Alaska, located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle,…

Guest Post: Most Popular Eco-Friendly Roofing Options for Your Home

Thanks to writer Jacob Petit for drafting this article on green roofing options. The roof is one area of the home that is often overlooked for purposes of energy efficiency, but it shouldn’t be. A large amount of the heat in a home is lost through the roof, which makes insulating it one of the…

Log Home Builders Specializing in Beetle-Killed Pine & Energy Efficiency

I have had the pleasure of writing about this Colorado company before and its skilled use of beetle-killed pine in some of the homes it builds. For those interested in log homes, or issues involving beetle-kill pine, this is a company worth following. What follows is taken from an old post, just to whet the…

Green Materials Report: Ecovative Design’s Mushroom Magic

Are there alternatives to foam  when it comes tp packaging and insulation? Absolutely yes. contends Ecovative Design, a Green Island, NY company engaged in the design, development, and testing of new products and biomaterial applications. The company has launched two extremely green mushroom-based products.  Start with the packaging material, said to perform in customized shapes…

Prefab Bioclimatic House Made Entirely of Wood

Bioclimatic prefab house exterior

Take a look at this beautiful prefab home, with wood structure and finishes, featured on ArchDaily. The commission had very clear premises: very tight budget, deadlines, and an energy-efficient construction – it inspired this prefab bioclimatic house, fashioned to Passivhaus energy demand standards. The architect, Alventosa Morell Arquitectes, decided to design a completely prefabricated wooden…

California State Bear Promoting Energy Efficiency

Wheres the Bear

The beloved California state bear is taking on another role, as he climbs down from his place on the state flag to spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency.  Traveling across the state for the next two weeks, the bear will share ways Californians can take steps to save money by using power…

Skylights Contribute to Energy Savings

Room with skylights by VELUX

Homes that utilize skylights, in combination with vertical windows, to provide adequate levels of daylight tend to be more energy efficient, according to a study commissioned by VELUX America.  Homes with skylights need less vertical windows to achieve the same amount of daylight.  Less vertical windows increase the energy efficiency of a building. “While we have…

Luminous Ceiling Provides Future of Lighting

 In a move that brings science fiction predictions to reality, Philips is introducing its OneSpace luminous ceiling to the world.  OneSpace integrates LED lights with a fabric to create a white light ceiling surface that hides the source of light completely. The result is a smooth and clutter-free ceiling that emits a uniform and glare-free light. “This innovation…

The Importance of Façade Engineering

Kate Becket reports on the subject of facade engineering. This involves not only what the structure will look like, but how it will function in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable footprint. The construction industry sees facade engineering growing in importance. Over the last couple of decades more and more building projects have incorporated a…

Air Conditioning Alternatives: Thermally Driven Cooling Systems

Cooling in the heat of summer can be a daunting challenge in congested urban areas. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg have been working on innovative sorbents that can store a particularly large amount of water vapor that can be used for cooling purposes. This research information released today…

Guest Post: Three Game-Changing Building & Construction Innovations in 2014

Guest writer Michael Craig provides GBE readers with this glimpse of important construction and building innovations he is looking at this year. Radical advancements that will significantly impact building and construction concerns in 2014 and beyond By Michael Craig With the construction industry on the upswing, with 2013 construction starts on the whole advancing 6%…

Japan Smart City Operational Experiments in Four Regions

(Yokohama, Toyota, Keihanna [Kyoto], and Kitakyushu) Steadily Yield Results; Japan Smart City Portal Reports from the Front Lines The next-generation energy and social operational experiments that are being promoted in four regions in Japan (Yokohama, Toyota, Keihanna [Kyoto], and Kitakyushu) toward the realization of smart cities and smart communities are steadily yielding concrete results. The Japan…

Companies & Building Products Worth Watching: Thermo-ply from OX Engineered Products

To better understand the integral quality of home’s structure, inspecting its unseen parts will usually tell the best story. Try structural sheathing, for instance. Is it plywood, particleboard, or some other concoction? What glues or chemicals were used? Does it contain formaldehyde? OX Engineered Products, a division of OX Paperboard, specializes in a line of…

Modular Design Lab: Meet the Flat-Packed Honeycombed HIVEHAUS

Here is an interesting way to approach building an easy-to-assemble living space, configured to be as small or large as you wish. HIVEHAUS, a new concept in modular living space – “inspired by nature- influenced by modernism and constructed using unconventional building techniques,” writes the UK-based company. Each hexagonal HIVEHAUS cell is a self-contained unit…

A Journey Through the Natural Building Techniques: Light Clay Infill

Light Clay Infill a.k.a Leichtlehm Leichtlehm, said from the throat easily by any native German speaker, translates directly as “light loam”. Loam is a composition of earth including relatively equal parts of sand, silt, and clay – which makes Leichtlehm easily translated to “light clay”. Light Clay Infill is a fairly old building technique, and…

Benefits of On-Site Machining

Any commercial activity that relies on heavy plant machinery also has a vested interest in making sure that downtime, whether due to maintenance, improvements or repairs, is kept to an absolute minimum. Continued operational effectiveness has to be maintained if disruptions to production processes are to be avoided and this can present particular problems depending…

Case Study: Eagleyew – A High Efficiency Natural Building on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada

The Story of Eagleyew: A High Efficiency Natural Building on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada I’m pleased to say that I have been building Natural Buildings for a number of years now. My work has taken me up and down the West coast of North America, with a focus in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been calling…