AGU Headquarters Net Zero Renovation to Begin March 2017

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced that they will be undertaking a major renovation of their headquarters in Washington, DC, with the hope of bringing the building to net zero status. This net zero renovation project is set to begin construction in March 2017. The 62,000 square foot office building, located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, will strive to keep its historic look while upgrading its systems to reach the net zero goal. Net zero buildings use only as much…

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Cheap Off-Grid Cabin Built For Under $300

Alyssa Craft and Jesse Stafford completed a cheap off-grid cabin-add-on to the trailer they are living in while setting up their homestead in the Western US. The cabin was built to allow them to heat the air around the trailer and prevent the plumbing, and themselves, from freezing during the snowy winter months. The majority of the building materials for the cabin are reclaimed from a demolition project and found by scouring the internet, thus the low cost. Alyssa and…

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Urban SkyFarm Soaring With Sustainability

Revisiting an oldy-but-goody originally published on InspiredEconomist.com Inspired by the ecological system of giant trees, the Urban Skyfarm is a prototype vertical urban farm project. Designed to support local food production and distribution, it also improves environmental quality through water and air filtration and renewable energy production. Urban Skyfarm Places First in Concept Category First Place Winner in the 2013 Green Dot Awards Concept category, The Urban Skyfarm is a vertical farm design proposal for a site located in downtown…

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SolarWindow Window Coating – Versatile Solar Power Generation

SolarWindow™ window coating generates electricity from light, both from the sun, and artificial light, as well. It is extremely versatile, able to be printed onto glass, plastic, or even paper, making it easy to install this wonder material in many places. This coating sets itself apart from others we have featured, as it can be applied on a wider range of surfaces, and the power production can actually be tuned to the specific needs of the building. John A. Conklin,…

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2016 Green Schools Awards Winners Announced

The Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network (GSNN), announced the 2016 Best of Green Schools award recipients earlier this year. The awards recognize 11 individuals, institutions, projects and events representing the best environmental efforts in schools across the country and highlight the national leaders and innovators in school sustainability for the year. “This year’s honorees are making huge strides in their schools and communities,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for…

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Washington-Based zHome Sets National Net-Zero Precedent

Originally published on CleanTechnica Builders seeking a net-zero energy home showcase can look to BuiltGreen’s zHome townhome complex in Issaquah, Washington. White paper released According to a BuiltGreen white paper, the zHome development is the first net-zero energy townhome complex in the US, a project meant to spur the market toward deep green housing for the average person. Built Green is an environmentally friendly, non-profit residential building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. When launched. this project…

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Delta Americas Opens LEED Platinum & Net Zero Headquarters

Delta, a global specialist in power and thermal management solutions, announced opening its new Americas headquarters in Fremont, California. The facility was designed to meet LEED Platinum and net zero standards. According to press information, this 180,000 square-foot facility is a testament to Delta’s commitment to sustainability. Over 1,000 MWh of electricity is expected to be generated per year through Delta’s solar photovoltaic power system. Additionally, the new building features a geothermal heating and cooling system that reduces HVAC energy consumption…

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Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off

Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off

Solar Decathlon 2015, a design and build competition involving university teams from around the globe, kicked off today with keynote speaker US Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz. The Decathlon asks teams to design and build homes powered by the sun that are affordable, energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in, which are judged in several competitions. The homes are on display throughout the competition so spectators can tour them. “These inspiring collegiate teams show the world how energy-efficient building design…

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First Passive House School In Maine Is Also Net Zero Energy

The Friends School of Portland in Maine is the first Passive House school building in the state, and only the third in the country. The neighboring OceanView Retirement Community is donating solar panels for the school to use, making the facility net zero energy (NZE). “One of our core values is stewardship and we certainly apply that to our environment,” said Jenny Rowe, Head of School at the Friends School of Portland. “This new facility not only provides a symbol…

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Yale Team's entry into this year's Solar Decathlon - Y House

First Yale Team Ever Provides Efficient Design for Solar Decathlon 2015

For the first time, Yale is participating in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The design focuses on the use of modules, with all of the unit’s plumbing, ventilation, and electrical components being housed in just one section of the house. “Our team has been really looking at how we can embed sustainability into the house itself,” said Kate McMillan, a senior architecture student from Houston. The team, composed entirely of students, has been working on the project for two years. “We’ve…

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DURA House, designed and built by NYC College of Technology

New York City Team DURA Designs Stackable Post-Disaster Home for Solar Decathlon 2015

One of the teams in this year’s Solar Decathlon, is from New York City’s College of Technology. This team focused on the issue of providing disaster housing that can be easily transported and stacked, if needed, to provide a high density of housing in a small footprint. Team DURA (Diverse, Urban, Resilient, Adaptable) created a stackable design to provide relief after catastrophic storms that can also be used for mobile and low-income housing in urban areas. “A lot of our…

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Bullitt Center Earns Living Building Certification

Bullitt Center Earns Living Building Certification

The Bullitt Center has proven its status as the greenest commercial building in the world by becoming the first office building to earn Living Building certification, the most challenging benchmark of sustainability in the built environment. To earn the certification, the Bullitt Center demonstrated that it produces more electricity from solar panels on its roof than occupants use in a year. In addition, toxic chemicals were screened from all building materials and all wood was Forest Stewardship Council certified. Its…

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Bullitt Center

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Changing the Status Quo

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Policy Changes As we’ve seen in this series, the…

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PVC pipe

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Green Materials

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Healthy Green Materials The Living Building Challenge requires projects…

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Bullitt Center in Seattle

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center — Water

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Rainwater Catchment System Rainwater falling on the PV panel…

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Bullitt Center, Seattle

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Energy

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick.   Solar Power The Bullitt Center uses photovoltaic (PV)…

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US is Close to Building Net Zero Neighborhoods

Hidden in the suburbs of Sacramento, California, in an otherwise unremarkable subdivision, is the ZeroHouse. The ZeroHouse is special because, as its name suggests, it uses zero net energy from the region’s electrical grid, making it one of America’s first net zero homes– and it wasn’t significantly more expensive to build than the rest of the houses in the area, either! Built by homebuilder KB Homes, the 2600 sq. ft. ZeroHouse uses an advanced, grey water recycling system to save…

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Is There a Problem With the Net Zero Energy Standard?

Residential and commercial buildings consume 40% of all the energy used in the United States every year; so it makes sense that we should strive to cut that usage as much as possible. The Net Zero concept promotes structures that create as much energy as they consume, usually through the use of solar energy panels or wind driven generators. They also focus on reducing the amount of heat that escapes from the interior of our buildings by employing passive solar designs,…

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