Posts Tagged 'solar power'

4 Influential Technologies in Green Construction

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Norsteel Roof.

This year is clearly the best time to seriously consider green construction for your home. With tax breaks, lowered electricity costs, and an overall better indoor quality, there is every reason to favour of green construction. But the question is: how should you start? Here are four of the most important technologies in green construction today.

Cool roofs

Cool roofs serve the purpose of reflecting the sun’s rays and prevent them from reaching inside the building. In addition, it prevents the cool or warm air from inside the building from escaping through the roof. The reflecting surface of the cool roof (like the shell of a Norsteel Building) can cut down the intensity of the temperature from the outside by as much as 50 degrees.

But more importantly, cool roofs can save heating and cooling costs

Storm Water Management

Another innovation in green construction, storm water management directs water runoff into a plants and soil that would not only absorb but also purify the storm water.

Solar Power

Gone are the days when huge solar panels are required to generate this nonrenewable source of energy. Today, there are passive solar power sources that are capable of generating solar energy by strategically placing the solar home design in the windows. With this, solar energy is absorbed into the house to warm the home.

An active solar source, on the other hand, absorbs the sun’s radiation and transform it for electricity consumption or to warm water/air.

Smart Appliances

Appliances have never been smarter—you can save a lot of energy with electricity-saving refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers that are capable of delivering real-time data on power use. This function allows the appliance to adjust and optimize its operations to utilize as little electricity as possible.

Some even have computer systems integrated in them—an LG refrigerator, for instance, is capable of making an inventory of the refrigerated food to take note of expiration dates. With features like this, you can maximize the space inside the refrigerator and ultimately save on electricity costs.

Zero Energy Home

Without a doubt, the zero energy home is the ideal in green construction. The essence of net zero homes is its self-sustaining capability; it has renewable energy sources built into it, allowing the house to power itself.

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Green Building Trends for the Year Ahead

University of Calgary Child Development Centre, one of the largest LEED platinum certified buildings in Canada. Image Credit: Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

Green building consultant Jerry Yudelson writes a yearly list of predicted trends for the year ahead. This year, we see industry growth topping the list, despite the slowdown in 2010.

Yudelson is the principal of Tucson-based green building consulting company, Yudelson Associates and has compiled this list after speaking to consultants from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

Here’s the list:

  1. The green building movement will continue to grow around the world as more and more countries start to nurture their own green building agendas.
  2. Not only will the green building industry grow, it will positively rebound from a shaky 2010. Yudelson points to the growth in the number of LEED registrations as a solid indication of this future surge.
  3. According to Yudelson, “The fastest growing LEED rating system in 2010 was the LEED for Existing Buildings program, and I expect this trend to continue in 2011”. In other words, the biggest growth in green building will revolve around lowering the environmental impact of existing buildings rather than new builds.
  4. As awareness about the global water crisis grows, green planning will spend more time concentrating on water efficiency than anything else, including “conservation-oriented fixtures, rainwater recovery systems and innovative new water technologies”.
  5. Obama and his government will continue to support the green building industry.
  6. Any new buildings that are planned will likely be designed around zero-net-energy principles. This will apply across both residential and commercial builds.
  7. ‘Performance Disclosure’ is likely to become a new buzz word in industry circles. Any tenants or buyers will have the right to ask for the disclosure of actual performance in any commercial buildings.
  8. By the middle of last year, green schools represented about 40% of all new LEED projects. This trend will continue to grow as awareness of the health and educational benefits of green schooling continue to rise.
  9. More governments around the world will issue mandates requiring green commercial buildings for their major cities.
  10. The use of solar power in buildings will continue to grow over the coming year.