Lakesideca News

World’s Biggest Passivhaus Building Opens

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The tallest and largest PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. structure in the world, the 26-story in New York City, has won certification from Germany's Passivhaus Institut after completion earlier this year and is now home to hundreds of university students and faculty.

Vermont Sets New Noise Rules for Wind Turbines

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The adoption of new rules limiting noise from wind turbines was intended to meet the requirements of legislation passed last year, but neither side seems especially happy with the outcome.

Wind advocates think the new regulations are too strict and complained they will make it tough for Vermont to meet a goal of getting 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, reported. Opponents said turbines will still be too noisy.

Lobbyists Battle Over Lucrative Water Pipe Contracts

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Replacing aging water lines will cost U.S. utilities $300 billion over the next decade, according to one industry report, and the prospect of big pay days ahead for pipe and hardware manufacturers has touched off a lobbying battle between the plastics and iron industries.

Denver Voters Approve Green Roof Initiative

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Neither the city's mayor nor the Chamber of Commerce liked the idea, but Denver voters on Tuesday approved a measure that will require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to include rooftop gardens in their plans.

The Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative, appearing on the ballot as Initiated Ordinance 300, passed by a narrow margin in early returns — a little more than 4,000 votes or 4 percentage points — but the gap appeared to be holding. Backers of the grassroots effort to get the measure before voters said it looked as though they would eke out a win.

Renewable Energy Squabble Goes to Court

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A disagreement over prospects for an electric grid powered completely by renewable energy has morphed into a high-stakes legal dispute pitting a Stanford University professor against his critics.

In Norway, Home Energy Labels Are Not a Lure for Buyers

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Getting fair credit for energy-saving and green features from lenders and real estate appraisers has long been a sore point for builders specializing in high-performance houses, and new research from Europe suggests a lack of enthusiasm in the marketplace isn't limited to the U.S.

Bigger Houses Mean Smaller Yards

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A combination of bigger houses and shrinking building lots means that today's single-family houses take up a greater percentage of their lots, leaving less room for the kids to play in their own backyards, but also reducing the amount of lawn maintenance homeowners need to perform.

Denver Will Vote on a Green Roof Initiative

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A proposal facing Denver voters next month would require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to cover part of the roof with vegetation or solar panels.

In September, environmental activists narrowly won the right to place the Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative before voters by collecting just 45 more petition signatures than they needed, .

Creating a New Tool for Builders

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Scott Gibson

By this time next year, if all goes well, builders will be able to tap into a unique source of online advice for designing exterior walls that deliver high energy efficiency with minimal risk.

Building Science Advisor, already in the works for a year and a half, is still at least six months away from completion. But when it’s up and running, the interactive website will blend real-world advice with computer simulations to help builders choose the least risky path to high-performance.

An Unlikely Bastion of Renewable Energy

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Texas is conservative oil and gas country, but that hasn't prevented city officials in Georgetown, Texas, including its "good little Republican" mayor, from moving the city-owned electric utility to an all renewable future.

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