1. Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods in Demand

    Reversing decades of dominant urban sprawl in metropolitan centers like Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis isn’t going to happen overnight. But a gradual return to transit-oriented development that maximizes access to public transportation is happening in cities across the country.Baby boomers, who originally settled in the suburbs, are now empty nesters and have a desire to live in neighborhoods where they can go to work and out to dinner without using their car.
  2. Land Banks Help Restore Abandoned Neighborhoods

    There are about 14 million housing units vacant year-round in the United States.Many of them are abandoned and tax delinquent, creating a blight of despair and ugliness throughout industrial cities in the Northeast, the Rust Belt and metropolitan areas everywhere.
  3. Smart Growth 101

    Supporting smart growth doesn’t mean skipping the local mall or avoiding a new housing development. So what does it mean?“Smart growth is really about more choices,” explained Paul Zykofsky, associate director of the Sacramento-based non-profit Local Government Commission (LGC). “It’s not about being against growth. It’s about well-planned growth.” Zykofsky and John Frece, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, addressed the basics of smart growth at the recent New Partners for Smart Growth conference in Denver.
  4. Redeveloping Abandoned Gas Stations

    Brownfield /’broun,feld/ n: abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. The empty gas station on the corner. The shuttered restaurant with a cracked parking lot. The abandoned factory or foundry on the edge of town.These examples of brownfields are ubiquitous in communities across the country – and they are an increasingly visible concern.
  5. What to Do with Empty Big Box Stores

    Look in almost any city in North America, and you’ll find at least one: That empty shell of a building with the paper-wrapped windows and the weed-infested parking lot.Yep, it’s a vacant big box store.
  6. The Big Idea Behind Smaller Homes

    While the average American homeowner seems bent on living large, an increasing number are discovering the benefits of living in a smaller, more sustainable, home.In 1973, the average new American house measured 1,660 sq. ft., and it’s been getting bigger ever since. Even the economic slowdown and the housing crisis didn’t slow the growth for long. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average new house built in 2012 was 2,505 sq. ft. – almost to the all-time high of 2,521 sq. ft. in 2007.
  7. Architect Advocates for Adaptive Reuse

    Preservation architect Jean Carroon believes the United States – a country that accounts for five percent of the earth’s population but 30 percent of its resource consumption – must take a leadership role in reversing the trends of the past half century. And, given the fact that new construction accounts for half of that consumption, the best way to reverse this unsustainable trend is to start reusing and maintaining what we’ve already built, and building things that last.“The greenest thing we can do for both our buildings and our world is constant, steady maintenance,” Carroon told a group at the recent Building Energy 2013 conference hosted in Boston by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.
  8. Is Your Brownfield a Diamond in the Rough?

    If your community is sick of watching more weeds grow on that unsightly brownfield, you first need a vision, then an environmental assessment, and then a willing tenant. Only then, will you be ready to attract a developer and court the financing partners you’ll need to turn that diamond in the rough into a gem the whole town will admire.So said a trio of redevelopers at the recent Brownfield 2013 conference in Atlanta. The National Brownfields Conference is the largest event in the nation that focuses on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment.
  9. Green Roof Sprouts on Affordable Housing Complex

    Replacing an aging residential hotel near downtown San Jose, Casa Feliz Studios was developed in 2009 with 60 new apartments by First Community Housing (FCH). The energy-efficient apartments serve extremely low-income residents — 35 percent with developmental disabilities — and are located in a run-down neighborhood of Victorian houses interspersed with deteriorating 1960’s apartment buildings. At less than half an acre, the tight infill site required a creative and efficient design.The building’s crowning glory is San Jose’s first green roof, which was engineered to maximize stormwater retention, holding 60 to 80 percent of rainwater on the roof.
  10. Fracking Creates Smart-Growth Dilemma

    You might think it’s odd to be talking about supporting hydraulic fracturing at a smart-growth conference. But, then again, there are some who would say there isn’t anything particularly smart about urban growth of any kind. Yet, growth happens, and someone has to manage it. In areas of the country impacted by hydraulic fracturing – commonly called fracking – it turns out that growth happens a lot, and seemingly overnight, bringing with it a long list of issues reminiscent of the fabled California gold rush of 1849.
  11. PACE Financing - Down But Not Out

    If you thought PACE financing was dead on arrival, think again! Some jurisdictions are still using Property Assessed Clean Energy programs to help finance housing retrofits, despite a controversial 2010 ruling by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to speakers at a Jan. 31 webinar hosted by Applied Solutions. PACE financing programs allow private property owners to install small-scale renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings and pay for the cost over its functional life through an on-going assessment on property tax bills.
  12. Passive House Design Brings Simplicity to Energy Efficiency

    Do you think investing in the latest high-tech HVAC and on-site renewable energy systems is the only way to create an energy-efficient building? Well, architects in Europe are suggesting you think again. Passive House, a standard for green design and construction developed in Germany, is now being applied in the U.S. as a simplified and less mechanized approach to meeting rigorous standards of energy efficiency.
  13. Best Practices for Sustainable Energy and Water Management

    Setting a good example is what governmental and religious institutions are expected to do, and two in Iowa did just that by showcasing just how efficient new buildings can be when following best practices in energy and water management. Developers of a government building in Des Moines and a skilled nursing facility for elderly nuns in Dubuque presented their case studies at a conference on Oct. 3.
  14. Adaptive Reuse Makes Buildings Better With Age

    From eyesores to desirable living spaces, old industrial buildings are getting a second chance and being rehabilitated into green gems. They are retired mills, factories, schools, hospitals and military installations. Some are still associated with the original businesses that occupied them, such as Nabisco and General Electric.
  15. Building Efficiency Codes Become Standard Practice in Many Locales

    DENVER, Colo. -- As the Rocky Mountain region experienced scorching, record-breaking temperatures in late June, and as fires engulfed significant swaths of Colorado, energy policy experts convened in Denver to discuss ways to mitigate harmful greenhouse gas emissions by the nation’s buildings. With climate scientists positing links between the temperature extremes and CO2 emissions, the recent events cast a suggestive backdrop to the gathering. The U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored conference, called the Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities, brought together close to 300 participants June 26-27 to share strategies to make buildings – whether commercial, multi-family residential or public-sector properties – more environmentally-responsible and energy-efficient.
  16. LEED-ND and Affordable Housing: Can the Two Go Together?

    Envision a green neighborhood and you might think of energy-efficient buildings, bike lanes, parks and open spaces. Creating a green neighborhood means implementing some of these sustainable design concepts from the very beginning. New neighborhoods – or those with at least half the square footage of their buildings undergoing major renovations – can look to the criteria outlined in LEED for Neighborhood Development. And, hitting those benchmarks can mean getting officially certified as a green neighborhood.
  17. Why Not Flush Rooftop Rainwater?

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -– As America’s expanding urban areas struggle with major water supply shortages and runoff pollution problems, capturing rainwater from rooftops provides a tremendous untapped opportunity to increase water supply and improve water quality, according to a recent analysis on Capturing Rainwater from Rooftops by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In its report, NRDC demonstrates the benefits and potential of rooftop rainwater capture, a "green infrastructure" practice that can be used to retain stormwater runoff on-site, by analyzing ways in which eight diverse U.S. cities could incorporate this simple water collection approach.
  18. Building Code Energy Standards Drive America Toward Obama Goal

    If you're wondering how America will ever meet President Obama's goal of making commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020, Jeff Boldt says the technical part is easy - all a local government has to do is download and adopt the recently updated ASHRAE energy codes already developed by government and industry researchers. The politics of making those changes might be a bit trickier, he acknowledged.
  19. Energy Star Reduces Operating Costs in Buildings

    If you're a local government that still hasn't implemented energy efficiency retrofits in your municipal buildings, Colin Dunn has a message for you: Energy Star can light the way to reducing consumption by 10 percent at almost no cost. And, using the program's assessment tools, you can prioritize the low-cost investments that could help achieve even greater returns - in some cases reducing energy costs by as much as 40 percent. As a senior associate at The Cadmus Group, Dunn gave a presentation at the recent Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque, Iowa, demonstrating a number of no-cost tools and resources available from Energy Star to help track and reduce energy use, prioritize investments, and demonstrate real savings over time.
  20. Green Homes Give Families a Healthy Foundation

    Safe, comfortable, pleasant housing is what many people dream of having. But if housing is dangerous, inefficient and a detriment to neighborhoods, it can turn into a nightmare instead of a dream. Hazardous housing though, if properly treated, can become green, healthy and sustainable, according to Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Her agency designed and implemented the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), a national public-private partnership "that refocuses how we as a nation repair and improve housing in economically challenged communities."
  21. Smart Buildings and Smart Communities Bring Measurable Results

    Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is a key step in a community's journey toward sustainability, and public/private partnerships often play a vital role in that transformation. This was the message delivered by three speakers at the National Association of Counties' 76th Annual Conference and Exposition held recently in Portland, Ore. In a session entitled "Smart Communities and Smart Buildings: How They Improve the Economy, Environment and Experience," Lisa Petterson, Tom Shircliff and Ray Rapuano highlighted examples from Portland to Charlotte, N.C., and beyond.
  22. Seattle Creates High-Performance Building District

    SEATTLE -- Facing recessionary declines in occupancy rates and rental income, along with the increasing cost of utilities, commercial property owners in Seattle are feeling the pinch. In response to these market conditions, the city and a group of private entities have united to create a high-performance building district in downtown Seattle. The Seattle 2030 District is intended to ease the stress on the commercial real estate market by helping owners and developers find innovative financing, share critical tools and best practices and create joint educational opportunities to decrease their buildings' energy consumption and operating costs. Cumulatively, these actions are expected to increase cash flow and property values, reduce the risk of default, increase commercial real estate desirability, create new jobs, and help keep Seattle's edge as a desirable city in which to work and live in the 21st century.
  23. Performance-Based Ordinances Advance Residential Energy Efficiency

    The city of Boulder, Colo. has developed a program to take the hassle out of energy efficiency for homeowners - including rental-property owners - that relies on the use of an energy consulting firm. With its one-stop-shop approach, EnergySmart has since gone countywide, fueled by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and a local tax on energy bills. Yael Gichon is the residential sustainability coordinator for the city of Boulder.
  24. The Look of LEED a Decade Later

    What uses nearly 40 percent of America's primary energy, 13.6 percent of all U.S. potable water (15 trillion gallons a year), 40 percent of global raw materials (3 billion tons a year), accounts for 39 percent of all CO2 emissions and comprises 15 percent of U.S. gross domestic product? Buildings. Buildings. And more buildings.
  25. Community Leaders Dazzled by ROIs in Lighting Retrofits

    DUBUQUE, Iowa - With ROIs in some cases exceeding 200 percent, and paybacks reported in one to three years, a coalition of local government, industry and economic development leaders in Dubuque are spreading the word: The low-hanging fruit in energy conservation is lighting. Replacing outdated and inefficient light fixtures in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings has become a priority in this Midwestern city of 60,000. Why?
  26. Green Roofs Save Energy and Reduce Stormwater Runoff

    With interest in conservation growing, green roofs are becoming increasingly popular. From reducing heating and cooling costs to helping manage and filter stormwater, vegetated roofs make economic as well as environmental sense, municipal officials say. There are currently just over 100 green roofs installed in Washington, D.C. alone, with an additional 25 under construction and many more in the concept/planning stage.
Tuesday 05/13/2014
Partnership With California Home Builders to Power Sustainable-Living Neighborhood
Updated: May 13, 2014 - 8:55 pm

PETALUMA, Calif. -- Enphase Energy, Inc., announced that Leonard Roofing, a regional roofing, sheet metal and photovoltaic solar contractor, has installed the Enphase System on 18 single-family homes at California Home Builders’ newest residential community in San Fernando Valley, Calif. California Home Builders is an industry leader in real estate development, specializing in building residential communities, multifamily projects and luxury custom homes. The company has constructed hundreds of projects in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties since its establishment in 1994.

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Tuesday 04/29/2014
Solar Powered 10 Watt LED Hazardous Location Light Released
Updated: February 10, 2016 - 9:22 am

KEMP, Texas -- Serving industrial and commercial businesses for more than 40 years, Larson Electronics has released a solar powered explosion proof LED light fixture. This explosion proof LED light and solar panel combination includes a day/night sensor, manual on/off switch, and a motion sensor to maximize battery life.

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Tuesday 04/15/2014
Cree Delivers Light Quality and Innovative Design for Linear Lighting Applications
Updated: May 12, 2014 - 12:50 pm

DURHAM, N.C. -- Cree, Inc., recently introduced the LS Series linear LED luminaire, designed to replace the hundreds of millions of fluorescent strip, wrap and industrial fixtures currently installed in North America. The Cree LS Series linear LED luminaire offers a market leading combination of sleek aesthetics and high performance, and complements Cree’s extensive troffer and linear luminaire portfolio. Designed in a slim, modern form factor with multiple mounting options and lumen packages, the new LS Series linear LED luminaire can reduce energy consumption by more than 25 percent and nearly eliminate costly maintenance expenses, making it the ideal replacement for retail, education and industrial applications.

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Redirecting Sunlight to Urban Alleyways
Updated: February 10, 2016 - 10:02 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In dense, urban centers around the world, many people live and work in dim and narrow streets surrounded by tall buildings that block sunlight. And as the global population continues to rise and buildings are jammed closer together, the darkness will only spread.

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Tuesday 03/18/2014
Solar Powered KB Homes Arrive in Arizona
Updated: February 10, 2016 - 10:08 am

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- KB Home announced that homebuyers at all of its communities in Arizona now have the opportunity to own a solar-powered KB home. Combined with the energy-efficient features already included in all Energy Star certified new KB homes, solar power will help KB homeowners reduce their monthly energy bills by as much as 80 percent when compared to a typical resale home, and lower their overall cost of homeownership for years to come.

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Atlantic Aviation Business Commits to Development of Hangar at LAX
Updated: May 15, 2014 - 2:55 pm

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Macquarie Infrastructure Company announced that its Atlantic Aviation business has reached agreement with Los Angeles World Airports for the development of a 36,500 sq. ft. general aviation hangar at Los Angeles International Airport. Atlantic Aviation owns terminals and hangars, known as fixed base operations, at 63 airports throughout the U.S.

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Tuesday 01/28/2014
New Opportunities for Harvesting Building Energy Savings
Updated: February 10, 2016 - 9:41 am

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Ameresco, Inc., an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Seldera has launched a new technology-based tool to provide low-cost energy savings by adapting the building consumption to occupant behaviors.

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Tuesday 01/21/2014
New Energy Demonstrates Versatility of SolarWindow Electricity-Generating Coatings
Updated: February 10, 2016 - 9:35 am

COLUMBIA, Md. -- New Energy Technologies, Inc., developer of see-through technology capable of generating electricity on glass and flexible plastics, announced that the company has achieved compatibility of the SolarWindow architecture with a variety of active layer electricity-generating coatings. In organic photovoltaic devices, the active layer plays a critical role in determining a number of the key properties of the device, including color, amount of visible light transmission, wavelength response, and power production.

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Tuesday 11/12/2013
Company Selected for Power Plant Expansion at Houston VA Hospital
Updated: May 12, 2014 - 3:19 pm

BELOIT, Wis. -- Fairbanks Morse Engine, an EnPro Industries company, will supply a 3 MW combined-heat-and-power system to general contractor SpawGlass for a power plant expansion at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

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Tuesday 10/29/2013
New Energy to Unveil High Performance ‘Next Generation’ SolarWindow
Updated: May 12, 2014 - 4:57 pm

COLUMBIA, Md. -- New Energy Technologies, Inc., developer of SolarWindow, the world’s first-of-its-kind see-through technology capable of generating electricity on glass and flexible plastics, has announced plans to unveil the Company’s next generation, high performance SolarWindow working prototype within the upcoming calendar quarter.

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Thursday 03/11/2010
Installation of Geothermal HVAC System at Admin Facility.

Recipient: Champaign-urbana Mass Transit District (inc)

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Friday 03/05/2010
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Project

Recipient: Loxahatchee River Historical Society

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