Archive | Energy Efficiency

Embodied Energy

What constitutes the greenest building?  At the recent Greening of Historic Properties Summit last October, we heard the preservationists answer that question by saying it is the building that is already built!  Their response was based on knowledge of the amount of embodied energy existing buildings contain. Embodied energy is any energy required to mine, […]

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Consequences—and Potential Solutions—of Urban Heat Islands

Urban areas tend to have higher air temperatures than their rural surroundings as a result of gradual surface modifications that include the replacement of natural vegetation with buildings and roads.  The term “Urban Heat Island” describes this phenomenon.  Building surfaces and pavements absorb solar radiation and become extremely hot, and then, in turn, warm the […]

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Green Spotlight on Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Cornerstone speaks with Kevin Kampschroer What is Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE)?  Post-Occupancy Evaluation is the means by which we discover what works well and what doesn’t in a new or renovated building.  There have been different approaches to POEs over the years, and most have been in-depth analyses of specific buildings.  For a variety of reasons, the […]

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Green Spotlight on Modeling

Cornerstone speaks with Adrian Tuluca, R.A. What is modeling and when is it necessary? In the sustainability area, modeling is most often used to predict the energy cost of a building and, more importantly, to estimate the energy savings due to energy-efficient strategies.  As input into the energy analyses, we routinely perform modeling of conductive heat […]

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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Make More Than Fashion Sense

From providing electricity for satellites to powering solar calculators, photovoltaic (PV) cells capture the sun’s energy for many purposes.  But what is the reality of using solar cells to generate electricity for buildings?  This is a critical issue since buildings use more than one-third of the total energy consumed in the United States.  In the […]

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Green Spotlight on Pennsylvania Energy Production and Consumption

Cornerstone speaks with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David Hess Q:  You have stated that over the next five years Pennsylvania will face three formidable environmental issues: water, energy use, and watershed protection.  Please elaborate on your energy concerns. A:  Energy usage is a challenge because it is such an essential part of our modern […]

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What Lies Beneath: Ground Source Heat

Held just below the earth’s surface is a huge energy storage device, capable of absorbing 47% of the sun’s energy—that’s more than 500 times the energy mankind needs every year in a clean, renewable form.  GeoExchange systems, also known as geothermal heat pumps or ground source heat technology, take advantage of this great reservoir, transferring […]

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Building Commissioning: A Key to Building Success

This article is excerpted with permission from a longer article by Nadav Malin in Environmental Building News, Feb 2000, Vol 9: No. 2 Amazing as it may sound, it is not unusual for large and very expensive buildings to be built without any one party having overall responsibility for ensuring that the systems all work […]

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