It can be tough to make an individual building into a zero energy building, while working at the community scale can offer up opportunities for energy efficiency and cost-effective renewable energy generation.
Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, rising global temperatures would still bring major changes to the climate system and our way of life. This article offers solutions for designing buildings that not only mitigate our impact on the global climate, but also adapt to the changes that are coming-and those that are already here.
Wind turbines on buildings could produce electricity where it's needed and catch high winds above ground level. However, wind turbulence, safety, cost, and poor performance all make building-integrated wind a limited strategy.
Integrated project delivery, or IPD, is a new contract mechanism for design and construction. Among its benefits for green building, it enshrines integrated design and building information modeling (BIM) into a legally supportive framework.
Everyone seems to be talking about measuring carbon footprints and designing carbon-neutral buildings, but these terms mean different things to different people. Some focus just on operating energy, while others also look at transportation, materials, and other building-related emissions. As with so many things, the results depend on what you count and how you count it.
Incorporating a continuous air barrier into a building's design and construction can save energy and improve the indoor environment, among other benefits. The right materials and assemblies can help accomplish that goal, but careful attention during design and close oversight during construction are essential.
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.