If you're not paying attention, your home can be one of the biggest causes of energy waste. Outdated appliances, improper insulation and personal habits can all contribute to huge energy bills because all your heating, cooling and powering efforts are (literally) going right out the window.
With all the high-tech innovation happening in the market today, it only makes sense that some of this will eventually affect the way homes are designed and built. Future designers say that the most important difference between homes built in the 20th century and homes built in the next decade will be their intelligence. No, this doesn't mean your house computer will start asking you what you want for breakfast, but it does mean many choices about energy use will be left up to the home itself.
For example, now, one of the biggest energy wasting habits is leaving the heat or air conditioning on while no one is in the house. Currently, people need to change their thermostat every time they leave the house. In the future, your home may have a central system that senses presence in each individual room, and alters the temperature according to occupied settings. When no one is home, the systems will remain in standby, saving energy and money.
Research is also being done into the possibility that smart homes of the future can make appliances more efficient as well. Imagine a washing machine powered by the sun and programmed to switch on only when energy was at its most affordable rate.
These new technologies promise to make our home lives easier, more
comfortable, safer, more energy efficient and even more fun. We may not have those flying cars we were promised, but that doesn't mean we won't be living like the Jetsons by the end of the decade.
Solar-Powered Recycled Pavilions Unveiled for the 2012 London Olympics
A recent design competition for the London Olympic Games Information Pavilion generated a remarkable array of projects that make use of recycled materials and solar power. A group of Portuguese architects won the international ideas competition with an Olympic rings-shaped pavilion that showcases recycled steel. Sustainability plays an important roll in the info pavilion - solar panels installed on the top generate power for use in the pavilion. The winning entry was designed by Jose Carlos Cruz, Ines Guedes, Miguel Santos, and Antonio Cruz to look like the Olympic rings. The rings are extruded into rooms where visitors can find out information, relax, shop, or get a drink. The Olympic colors are used to in the rings on top of the buildings. The series of intersecting circular rooms incorporates recycled steel, while the rooftop holds solar panels that will generate power for the pavilion during the day.
The Power of a Soccer Ball
Anyone who watched the women’s World Cup final might have wondered if it’s possible to harness that pure human energy. Turns out, it is. There’s enough power in a soccer ball to light the night — or at least a part of it. It’s done via sOccket, a soccer ball that kids kick around all day, where its movement generates energy...read on
Be first on the ball! - Nairobi, Kenya
A Gamble for Vermont Yankee
The owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant may be coming up fast on a crucial decision about the reactor’s future. The plant’s initial 40-year operating license expires in March 2012; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is willing to let it run another 20 years, but the state of Vermont is not...read on
Reds Go Green: Chinese Communist Party Newspaper Signs Empire State Building Lease
A few years ago, we wrote about the Communist Party USA’s $1 million green renovation of its national headquarters space at 235 West 23rd Street. Dubbed “more Macy’s than Marx,” at the time we thought the story was worth noting mostly because we didn’t realize that such a party even existed (it actually has 3000 members nationally), much less that it’s headquartered in Chelsea...read on
Come on Down: 125 Broad Street is Lower Manhattan’s First LEED Silver Tower
Mack-Cali, the real estate investment trust, announced today that 125 Broad Street has earned a Silver rating from USGBC under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. The 40-story, Class A tower is the first commercial office building in the Downtown submarket (not including the World Trade Center) to earn a LEED Silver rating (or, as it would appear in USGBC’s database, any level of LEED certification)...read on
Earth’s Population Will Hit 7 Billion People This Year!
It seems like only yesterday that the planet’s population hit 6 billion, but in fact it was 12 years ago in 1999. This year, the planet will hit the next big milestone – the UN Population Division just announced that the world’s human population will hit 7 billion on Halloween 2011. Unfortunately, 7 Billion Day means that as we continue to dominate the planet, we are stretching natural resources, fresh water and food supplies to their limit while increasing our environmental impact exponentially...read on
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Local Law 84
All buildings in New York City over 50,000 square feet are required to submit an annual energy benchmark. We're here to help make it as easy as possible for you to meet this requirement, while putting a valuable financial evaluation tool in your hands.
Building owners and operators are growing more concerned with the upcoming deadline to have their properties properly benchmarked. Professionals in the industry are reporting a sharp increase in the RFQ's for building benchmarking. What surprises most industry professionals is how easily and quickly these buildings can be benchmarked - assuming of course you hire the correct professionals.
Benchmarking is easy-to-do, inexpensive, and accessible. In addition to supporting the requirement, we can provide intuitive monthly reports on your energy usage and spotlight opportunities for energy savings. The first benchmark report is due to the city on May 1, 2011 (grace period instituted, please see below), but there are benefits to starting as soon as possible so that you can take control of your energy usage sooner.
The grace period for penalties only applies for May 1 to August 1, 2011 while owners get used to the new requirements; (however, the city doesn't expect extensions in future years). Russell Unger, Executive Director of the Urban Green Council, sees the extension as a smart move. While some owners have already been benchmarking, for the vast majority, especially residential coops, this is totally new. Given that 16,000 buildings are impacted by the law, and the fact that the final rules were only issued last month, an grace period for the fines will make the transition to the reporting less painful.
Own buildings in New York City? Let us help you comply with NYC's new mandatory benchmarking requirement (Local Law 84).
Click here to find out more information about benchmarking and complying with the LAW!
The LEED'r is a green newsletter owned by The Cotocon Group that is written and published by Daryl Dworkin. The Leed'r is a weekly publication which reports on a wide range of environmental interests. In future newsletters, we will continue to provide compelling information, relevant news, interviews with industry professionals, and a whole lot of other interesting material. Please enjoy and feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or ideas that you may have regarding green building or any environmental issues at: email@example.com.
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