Is Nano a No-No? Nanotechnology Advances into Buildings
Nanotechnology takes advantage of the novel properties that particles can exhibit at a billionth of a meter in size. Those properties are being used in building materials, where they can improve thermal performance and the effectiveness of photovoltaics, among many possibilities. The field has little regulation, however, despite significant health and environmental concerns.
From the Editors
BuildingGreen Partners with Taunton Press
BuildingGreen, publisher of Environmental Building News, announces a partnership with Taunton Press, publisher of Fine Homebuilding.
Focus on World's Uncertified Forests, Says SFI President
Sustainable Forestry Initiative president Kathy Abusow discusses the merits of her organization's forest certification program, and argues that the certification community should focus on the 90% of the world's forests that aren't certified sustainably managed.
BIM Companies Acquiring Energy Modeling Capabilities
Major building information modeling (BIM) software companies Autodesk and Bentley Systems have announced acquisitions that will give them energy modeling and other sustainable design capabilities.
NAHB Launches National Green Building Program
The National Association of Homebuilders has unveiled its National Green Building Program, along with a Certified Green Professional program.
Wal-Mart Introduces Second Generation of High-Efficiency Stores
Following a long program of testing green practices in experimental stores, Wal-Mart is now building high-efficiency stores that are expected to be 25% more energy efficient than conventional stores, but critics say that’s not enough.
PV Prices Rising
Contrary to predictions that increased demand for PV systems would result in continuing price reduction, the average cost of PV installations has risen slightly in the last three years.
Decorative Ceiling Panel Uses Recycled Content
Chicago Metallic has introduced Monarch GE, a decorative ceiling panel system using gypsum and 70% recycled content from glass.
A Low-Emissivity Coating That Really Works
Despite manufacturer claims, not all insulating coatings are created equal. Coatings with ceramic particles are not effective, but coatings with metallic particles, like LO/MIT-II from SOLEC-Solar Energy Corporation, can reduce radiant heat transfer.
PureWood: Chemical-Free Preserved Wood
PureWood is a thermally modified wood decking that achieves decay resistance and dimensional stability through a process that exposes the wood to very high temperatures and steam, rather than chemicals. Although totally natural, it is energy-intensive to produce.
From the Library
A new online tool, Walkscore.com, shows promise for determining the "walkability" of a given location, but has several important drawbacks.
Shedding Light on Light Quality
Two terms commonly used to refer to light sources—color temperature and color rendering index—tell us about the quality of light, but can at times be counter-intuitive. Lights with a low color temperature, for example, actually feel "warmer" on the color spectrum.